China Press Review – December 10, 2018

Press review

‘Major fiscal surgery’ needed to stop China growth rate dropping below 6 per cent in first half of 2019, economist says
GF Securities chief economist Shen Minggao offers bearish outlook due to the ongoing US trade war despite last week’s 90-day trade truce agreed between President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Donald Trump Impact on exports to be more pronounced in coming months even after deal at G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

China’s trade surplus with US hits record level as businesses scramble to beat tariff deadline
November figures show gap reaching US$35.5 billion but some of that may be down to businesses stockpiling goods before threatened increase in tariffs Falling imports highlight impact of slowing domestic demand

China’s November export, import growth shrinks, showing weak demand
China reported far weaker than expected November exports and imports, showing slower global and domestic demand and raising the possibility authorities will take more measures to keep the country’s growth rate from slipping too much.

China November soybean imports plunge 38 percent year-on-year on tariff war
China imported 5.38 million tonnes of soybeans in November, down 38 percent from a year ago and the lowest monthly number in two years, customs data showed on Saturday, after buyers avoided U.S. soybeans amid a tariff war with the United States.

Hong Kong exporters ‘face 25 per cent fall’ in US orders for first quarter of 2019 due to trade war
Small and Medium Enterprises Association honorary chairman Danny Lau warns of rough time ahead HKUST professor believes US is using ‘petty tricks’ and wants to start a tech war

US-China trade war continues to weigh on Asian manufacturers
November PMI shows grim export picture, but cheaper crude helps ease pain

Explained: how the US uses anticorruption laws and sanctions to police the world
The cases of Patrick Ho and Sabrina Meng Wanzhou show the extraterritorial reach of US authorities

China’s real endgame in the trade war runs through Europe
China’s growing largess among distressed European nations like Hungary and Greece is giving it growing leverage over EU decision making. As trade tensions play out, the unanticipated shocks of greater U.S. unpredictability and greater Chinese assertiveness are creating deeper European divisions about how to navigate it all. With its efforts to influence, China weakens Western unity (and U.S. attraction) and improves its image as an alternative to liberal democracy.

Washington and Beijing may have smoothed over tensions for now, but they are destined to remain the world’s chief political adversaries

Deflation threat returns to haunt Chinese economy as risks from US trade war linger
Both consumer price index and producer price index fell on a monthly basis due to weak demand and a steep drop in oil prices Bad news follows slower than expected drop in imports and exports

Chinese premier Li Keqiang calls for more creativity to help country’s economic transformation
China invested 2.2 per cent of GDP in research and development last year

Made in China 2025? Not unless it starts spending more money, lawmaker says
Country on track to miss its goal to boost R&D spending to 2.5pc of GDP by 2020, just as it did five years earlier, senior finance official says Despite target miss, actual funding rose 12.3 per cent in 2017 to 1.75 trillion yuan, making China world’s second-biggest spender after the U

podcast video : China economy has to do well in order for US to do well, says EY CEO
EY chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger joins ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss how U.S.-China trade tensions are impacting businesses and how he feels about stepping down from his EY roles in July 2019.

The arrest of the telecoms giant’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, is a rude shock to those who thought the economic cold war might be ending The US says Huawei has breached its restrictions on business with Iran – but could Meng also have breached UN sanctions?

China summons US envoy to protest ‘unreasonable’ arrest of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, threatens to retaliate
China foreign ministry says US should withdraw the warrant which is ‘unreasonable demand’ on Canada Further actions vowed depending on US response

Huawei: The rapid growth of a Chinese champion in five charts
Huawei is the poster child for China’s dynamic tech sector. It has grown phenomenally in recent years, from a small manufacturer of telephone exchange switches, to become a global leader in the tech industry.

Can Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, who survived a famine, weather Donald Trump?
With US$92 billion in revenue, Huawei is bigger than Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent combined Ren owned 1.4 per cent of Huawei, according to the company’s 2017 report, valuing his stake at US$2 billion

How China’s First E-commerce Law Will Shape E-tailers’ Future
A new e-commerce law in China will go into effect on January 1, 2019, further regulating the country’s online luxury sales market. The new rules are generally being interpreted as positive for the sector, but they will certainly change the way brands do business in China.

Japan latest country to exclude Huawei, ZTE from 5G roll-out over security concerns
Japan’s decision adds to the list of countries that have pushed back on Huawei’s involvement in 5G infrastructure plans

China’s central bank governor says STOs are ‘illegal financial activities’
China’s central bank has made clear its position on security coin offerings (STOs), classing them as an “illegal financial activity.” Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), clarified the institution’s stance at a forum in Beijing on Saturday (Dec. 8). He said that virtual forms of money had become an accomplice to “all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”

China’s banking regulator slaps US$22 million fines on six banks
The largest fine of 55.5 million yuan slapped on China Zheshang Bank 800 banks and individuals penalised in the third quarter of this year

Ermenegildo Zegna, a global leader in luxury menswear, has opened a flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, marking the launch with an exclusive collection created with the Chinese Football Association., Intel Launch Joint Research Lab For IoT-Powered Smart Retail Solutions
China’s e-commerce giant and global chipmaker Intel Corporation have launched a joint lab that will explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in smart retail solutions, announced in a statement released today

Chinese scientists go in search of the soul with world’s most powerful brain scanner
Billion-yuan device set to ‘revolutionise brain studies’, aid research into Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s First phase of project approved, but design process expected to take at least five years before construction can start

Hong Kong-listed Chinese steelmaker Tiangong confident of US anti-dumping duty repeal, shrugs off trade war
Jiangsu province-based company has already successfully appealed against a 251 per cent countervailing surcharge Our experience can be used by other Chinese companies affected by US tariffs, says chairman

Alibaba Group plans to take a majority stake in Alibaba Pictures, the Hong Kong- and Singapore-listed production house that helped bring movies such as “Mission Impossible: Fallout” and “Star Trek: Beyond” to China.

Winter is here but this time China’s gas suppliers are ready for the big chill
Better-organised supplies and milder weather are helping the country’s north avoid the heating shortages of last year

China’s war on pollution targets steel mill slag heaps
World’s biggest steelmaker produces a 100 million tonnes of waste but less than a third of that is recycled

China and India: Struggling to rebalance
China is struggling to manage its structural growth deceleration, while India is struggling to accelerate its trend growth

Chinese Investment in Croatia: First 160 Million Euro Project Begins
As Gordana Grgas/ writes on the 1st of December, 2018, after much talk and many announcements, the official launch of the first Chinese investment in Croatia took place last week, which should reach the staggering amount of 160 million euro in two years.

Chinese oil firm hunts for overseas assets even as deal making falls to 10-year low amid stricter scrutiny
Chinese firms reach 14 deals so far this year, the lowest in the last 10 years In terms of value, the US$2.36 billion concluded so far is the smallest in the last 11 years

Hong Kong exchange considers adopting robotics, artificial intelligence to enhance efficiency, eyes data trading
Hong Kong stock exchange to announce a strategy for 2019-21 early next year HKEX also looking into turning big data into a tradeable asset class

Applications to Hong Kong’s financial industry soar to record high as traders look beyond slump to Greater Bay Area opportunities
A record 46,063 individuals are licensed as analysts, stockbrokers, fund managers and futures traders in Hong Kong Stockbroking reached saturation point long ago, with the top 100 brokers controlling 95 per cent of transactions. What applicants are looking forward to is the opportunity for growth in the Greater Bay Area

ByteDance to compete with WeChat by launching messaging app
Jinri Toutiao parent company ByteDance is reportedly planning to launch a messaging app as the firm sets its sights on WeChat and escalates its rivalry with tech giant Tencent. The service, dubbed Flipchat, is going to take the form of an independent app, people close to the matter told Chinese media, adding that ByteDance has approached several senior staff members on WeChat’s team. ByteDance declined to comment on the news

Why China’s video games industry is welcoming a new ethics panel
Committee to look into online products criticised in the past as being violent and addictive

Hong Kong’s Basic Law may be a child of China’s constitution, but it has come of age
Cliff Buddle says the precise relationship between China’s constitution and Hong Kong’s de facto constitution can be debated in academic circles, but let’s not forget that the Basic Law exists to protect the Hong Kong system

Online Property Sales Are Booming in China
Global funds are searching out distressed property sales in the world’s largest bad-debt market

New law set to pass in the US Congress should give the impetus to end the slaughter of dogs for food worldwide
Eating dog meat may be taboo in the West but a lack of legal sanctions means dogs can be killed for food There is a long way to go in Asia, where at least 30 million dogs are killed every year to be eaten

The year China’s luck ran dry
Xi Jinping is largely talked about as a strong leader presiding over a centralised state system, within which he and his closest allies have been able to enforce unity and discipline through a large-scale anti-corruption drive and a host of other measures. Ideology remains at the heart of this effort. Messages about where the country is heading (to great nation status by 2021), how it will get there (state enterprises in a hybrid market economy) and why it is doing this (to have a powerful country never again victimised by the outside world) are rammed home.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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