China Press Review – December 5, 2018

Press review

Belgium has signed on to become a member of the Electronic World Trade Platform ¬– the first country in Europe to do so. Alibaba Group on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Belgium to bring the eWTP to the country of 11.4 million, with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters as well as Alibaba Group Senior Director James Song and President of Global Business Angel Zhao in attendance.

Alibaba eyes Europe-China e-commerce with Belgian smart logistics hub
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba inked an agreement with the government of Belgium to promote cross-border trade and confirmed plans to establish a smart logistics hub in the Belgian city of Liege. The aim of the agreement is to enhance overall logistics efficiency for small to medium enterprises in the region and aid them in becoming more competitive amid a surge in global e-commerce. In a statement, Alibaba CEO, Daniel Zhang, said the deal would open up “huge potential” for European companies to reap the benefits of cross-border trade, particularly in China where there’s high demand for European goods.

Alibaba eyes Europe-China e-commerce with Belgian smart logistics hub

Alibaba extends global electronic trade partnership to Belgium
Alibaba-owned Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has signed a deal with Belgium’s Liege Airport to lease a 220,000-square metre site where a smart shipping hub will be built That project will entail an initial investment of 75 million euros (US$85.3 million), with the first phase of operations expected to start in 2021

Saving Stitches: Alibaba’s Clothing Revolution
Not content with dominating the shopping scene, China’s tech giants want to change manufacturing. But could Alibaba end up with too much power?

What the US wants from China during the 90-day trade war truce
Beijing may offer concessions on certain US demands including IP protection and agriculture However, other issues are more intractable and are unlikely to be resolved within 90 days

Trade war truce may placate US, but changing China in 90 days is ‘wildly optimistic’
Reform of China’s IP rules that was already planned may offer the US a fortuitous win State-owned ‘dinosaurs’ more entrenched than ever, with US demands for structural change to China’s economy looking unrealistic

Trump and Xi made progress at the G20, but are the US and China still destined for war?
Aidan Yao says the US’ fundamental disagreements with China’s industrial policy and trade practices haven’t changed. Both sides, and the world, still need to worry about Thucydides’ Trap leading to worsening conflict

China is said to be resuming imports of US liquefied gas and soybeans amid trade war truce
It wasn’t clear if the preparations meant China would cut the retaliatory tariffs imposed on those products It is possible that Beijing could reimburse buyers for tariffs they have paid

Why European Biotechs Should Look to China for Investment
Traditionally European biotechs have looked to the US for additional investment, but changes in the law and significant economic success in the country in recent years means that new opportunities are opening up in China that are ripe for exploitation.

Why European Biotechs Should Look to China for Investment

Internet giants such as Alipay, Amazon pose existential threat to banks, says Bank for International Settlements chief
Huge amounts of data tech titans gather on customers may give edge over established banks, Agustín Carstens says

What worries China’s manufacturers more than tariffs? Labor shortages
According to Chinese government statistics, the country’s workforce peaked in 2011 at 941 million and has been on the decline since. The latest figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that the working population is 916 million. “The working age population decreased by 25 million from 2012 to 2017. That is equivalent to the entire population of Australia disappearing from the workforce,”

How tightly should China regulate tech innovation without strangling engine for economic growth?
China’s authorities have stepped in to overhaul safety practices in the ride-hailing industry after allowing the companies to police themselves

A tale of two cities: Shenzhen vs Hong Kong
Forty years ago Shenzhen was a rural backwater with a population of 20,000, boasting very little industry or agriculture. Communist Beijing was happy to keep it that way for fear its proximity to the freewheeling capitalist colony of Hong Kong made it a security threat. But after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms the town developed rapidly and is arguably surpassing Hong Kong as China’s leading city for industry and technology

P2P lender Lufax reportedly raises $1.3 billion
Lufax, one of China’s largest peer-to-peer lenders and online wealth managers, has reportedly raised $1.33 billion from a consortium led by Chinese private equity firm Primavera Capital. Other participants in the round include the Qatar Investment Authority, Hong Kong-based All-Stars Investment, and Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings. The funding values the company at $38 billion, lower than the anticipated $40 billion the company aimed for in June.

Briefing: P2P lender Lufax reportedly raises $1.3 billion

UnionPay charts new course into Europe as President Xi witnesses its partnership with Portuguese bank BCP
Millennium BCP, Portugal’s biggest listed lender, is 27 per cent owned by mainland China conglomerate Fosun International Companies including Huawei also expected at signing ceremony where a clutch of deals will be signed

British telecoms giant BT Group to strip Huawei from core networks, limit 5G access
Huawei has not been included in BT’s selection of core 5G network equipment suppliers for EE, the UK’s largest mobile carrier Following its acquisition of EE in 2016, BT started removing Huawei equipment from its core 3G and 4G networks

China’s new big coal regions fail to meet energy efficiency targets
Beijing promises new renewable energy quota system 12 provinces and regions exceeded their targets last year but rust belt and coal-rich areas struggle

Sales at China’s top developers plunge in November as property market stares at year of recession
Sales at Country Garden and China Evergrande decline even after they lower prices Rival China Vanke’s November sales however rise 68pc year on year

Will licence to operate for US rating agencies equate quick entry into China’s bond market? Far from it
Expectations are rising that Beijing will accelerate further opening of its financial services sector as part of the trade war negotiations in the next 90 days All three global rating agencies have applied to operate independent entities in the mainland

Will China See a ‘Lost Decade’?
Despite these similarities, China in 2018 is not Japan in 1991. Chinese policymakers have a lot more say over economic levers, have internalized the lessons of Japan’s asset bubble collapse and, in many cases, consider the Plaza Accord to have been a humiliation for Japan. But notwithstanding these caveats, a series of factors are pointing toward China’s slide in the direction of a lost decade of its own.

Foxconn considers setting up factory in Vietnam in response to US-China trade war
The iPhone assembler said earlier this year that the Sino-US trade spat was the biggest challenge it is facing, and its high-level managers were making plans to counter the impact Such a move would be one of the first significant steps by a major company with large manufacturing facilities in China to secure an additional production base outside the country because of trade tensions

Staying put: small China firms postpone plans to move to Vietnam after trade war truce
Small Chinese manufacturing firms are reconsidering plans to move to Vietnam to avoid US trade tariffs Costs of relocating to Vietnam have soared this year

Portugal wavers as Xi Jinping presses Europe on Belt and Road Initiative
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa set to agree to include the port of Sines in Chinese investment plans But Lisbon so far follows Spain in stopping short of a broader formal endorsement, amid European concerns about such investments

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: a Marshall Plan in reverse
There will eventually be a toll taken on China. This is because the BRI has placed Beijing in the invidious position of bailing out the Chinese companies responsible for building up many of these white elephants in the first place

Washington’s silence on Taiwan in trade war talks speaks volumes about desire for deal with Beijing
Analysts say US move a ‘friendly gesture’ in crucial 90-day period

Nearly 350,000 Chinese cadres disciplined during Xi Jinping’s austerity campaign
High-ranking ‘tigers’ – and many more ordinary ‘flies’ – punished for breaking the rules in six-year crackdown on extravagance

The rise and fall of a Belt and Road billionaire
In the mid-1990s, Ye Jianming had a simple job in a forest, or so his story goes. Twenty years later, he sat atop a $44 billion business empire. Today, he has vanished and, as that empire crumbles, is reportedly under investigation by the Chinese government.

Former Youku president Yang Weidong arrested on suspicion of accepting improper payments
Yang Weidong was arrested on December 3 and is now under police investigation

In Chinese Corruption Cases, Who’s Taking What?
Despite a raft of ‘little official, big graft’ cases, high-ranking officials are still the ones raking in the big bucks.

China Is About To Launch A Daring Mission To Land On The Moon. So Why Do You Know Nothing About It?
However, it’s actually China that’s going to the moon sooner than you think. On New Year’s Eve, in fact, when may become the first country to land a probe on the undiscovered side of the moon.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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1080 Bruxelles
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