Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC)

China Press Review – February 10, 2022

China’s industry ministry gives itself more power over data transfers in updated rules
Regulation makes MIIT another powerful player alongside the Cyberspace Administration of China in the governance of cross-border data flows. Under new rule, data owners must get MIIT approval for transfer of China data to overseas industry, telecoms and radio law enforcement agencies.

China tech bosses hail Beijing’s guidance after year of regulatory storm
Tencent’s Pony Ma and Alibaba’s Daniel Zhang, among others, pledged allegiance to the state’s policy direction, China’s internet watchdog says     ByteDance China chairman Zhang Lidong vowed to explore the global market and compete against international companies

China tech market growth to slow in 2022, says Forrester
Vietnam, India, Philippines set to outpace Middle Kingdom  China’s tech market growth will slow from 9.7 per cent in 2021 to 8.2 per cent in 2022, in large part thanks to the Middle Kingdom’s zero-COVID strategy, analyst firm Forrester predicted in a report released this week.   While China’s tech consumption will slow, it will still outpace the rest of the Asia Pacific region’s 6.2 per cent growth in 2022, down from 6.4 per cent in 2021.

China’s loan growth jumped in January
January usually sees a big increase in loan growth from December, as Chinese banks tend to book loans at the beginning of the year. But this year’s jump is significant even on a year-on-year basis. This indicates that underlying economic activity is stronger than last year

China’s exports to continue brisk expansion
Despite a number of economic uncertainties this year, Niu Liqun, chairman and CEO of Jia Shi Da Robot Technology, remains optimistic about his company’s growth prospects.    “There are many positive factors helping us to tap into global markets, including China’s leap forward in international cooperation and supportive policy measures for foreign trade,” said Niu, whose company is a leading robot manufacturer and exporter based in Taiyuan, Shanxi province.   “We will strengthen research and development to meet diversified customer requirements in international markets and aim to grow into an internationally renowned brand.”   Just like Jia Shi Da, foreign trade enterprises across the country are strengthening efforts to make 2022 another successful year, despite facing challenges that include uncertainties in overseas demand and surging costs of raw materials and logistics.   Analysts and business leaders said China’s foreign trade is expected to have strong growth momentum throughout the year, thanks to Chinese enterprises’ increased focus on improving product quality and adopting new business methods such as cross-border e-commerce.

Evergrande chair breaks silence to rule out asset fire sale
Evergrande’s shares rose after its chair ruled out asset fire sales and pledged to complete half its remaining projects over the rest of the year, as the world’s most indebted developer battled to deliver units to homebuyers.  Hui Ka Yan said in comments reported by state media that the developer would deliver 600,000 units in 2022, months after work at hundreds of the company’s projects stalled during a crisis that has engulfed China’s property sector. The company’s shares were 3 per cent higher in afternoon trading in Hong Kong, having fallen almost 90 per cent over the past 12 months. The broader Hang Seng China Enterprises index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong was up 0.3 per cent.   Evergrande first began missing bond payments in September and defaulted on its debts at the end of last year as it entered the biggest restructuring process in China’s history.

Evergrande’s top insider sold all his dollar bonds before Chinese developer defaulted on offshore debt last year, new filings show
Vice-chairman and CEO Xia Haijun sold US$128 million face value in three dollar bonds in July and August last year, filings on Wednesday show   Evergrande, which defaulted in December after failing to service the interest on two dollar bonds, has pledged to offer a debt workout plan in six months

Breaking the Internet: China-US Competition Over Technology Standards
High-tech middle powers like Japan and South Korea will be crucial to avoiding a “splinternet.”

China infrastructure: slower growth means faster state spending
The IMF has slashed China’s growth forecast to just 4.8 per cent this year. That is a sharp revision: 8.1 per cent was the figure in 2021. Inevitably, stimulatory government spending is on the way. China’s infrastructure companies have much to gain.  Beijing is ramping up the pace of more than 100 projects with an emphasis on food security, energy, transport, logistics and telecommunications. It can no longer count on the local property sector, once the country’s main driver of economic growth, in the wake of the slow collapse of real estate giant Evergrande.   Tech has also suffered a stock sell-off, with some indiscriminate effects. Infrastructure stocks, especially in telecoms and construction, have been caught in the downdraft from real estate and IT. But in many cases that is a category error.

Qingdao Port banks on hydrogen refueling stations for leading role in green transition
Qingdao Port, a subsidiary of Shandong Port Group and the second-largest foreign trade port in China, is accelerating efforts in green transition by building a hydrogen refueling station to supply clean energy for its operations.   With construction to be completed in March, the refueling station will be the first one that is settled in port areas in China.   The port will focus on future operations of the station and make it a role model among ports that are building eco-friendly ports and seeking fewer emissions, port executives said.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin solve none of the problems of fiat money, and add some new ones
Believers in cryptocurrency insist it offers a transparent, decentralised alternative to the fiat monetary system   In reality, it has all the same inconsistencies, with the added drawbacks of being spectacularly risky, carbon intensive and easily co-opted for cybercrime

China’s digital yuan not a backup amid a financial crisis, and there’s ‘no incentive’ to move money
China has already launched pilot schemes for its e-CNY in 11 cities plus inside venues used for the ongoing Winter Olympics    More than 260 million virtual wallets being used as of the end of December, with a total of 470 million yuan (US$73.9 million) currently held electronically

Race to 6G: Chinese researchers declare data streaming record with whirling radio waves
Experimental wireless line set up in Winter Olympics compound could stream over 10,000 high-definition live video feeds simultaneously, says Beijing research team   ‘It is about introducing a new physical dimension, which can lead to a whole new world with almost unlimited possibilities,’ according to 6G researcher

Coronavirus: Bill Gates-backed Hong Kong start-up wins US FDA approval for its Covid-19 rapid test kit even amid US-China strain
Hongkonger Ricky Chiu Yin-to founded Phase Scientific International in 2015 while pursuing a PhD at the University of California      The biotech start-up is building a facility in California that will focus on developing liquid diagnostic tests for various cancers, and plans to build a similar one in Shenzhen

US-China trade war: Washington urged to cut tariffs despite deal shortfall, stop issuing threats
China is reported to have bought only 57 per cent of the additional US$200 billion worth of goods and services in 2020 and 2021 under the phase-one trade deal v   US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has vowed to hold China to the terms of the deal before moving forward

US-China trade war: Beijing’s ‘best efforts’ defended after failing to meet trade-deal terms
Former head of think tank under commerce ministry defends China’s ‘very good’ purchases and says failure to meet its commitments was due to ‘a variety of reasons’    Recent deals between US and Japan, European Union to resolve tariffs raise hope that Washington and Beijing could return to the negotiating table

China-Europe trade shows resilience with strong performance in 2021
Europe-China trade 
saw robust growth last year, exhibiting vigour and resilience in their economic cooperation in spite of a weak global recovery due to the pandemic. Official data showed China’s trade with the European Union (EU) in 2021 amounted to $828.1 billion, up by 27.5 per cent year on year (YoY). China remained the EU’s largest trading partner, while the latter was the former’s second largest.

China resumes R&D push with record US$441b outlay in 2021
Beijing has put ‘new breakthroughs in original innovation’ back on the fast track after Covid-19 dip, National Bureau of Statistics official tells People’s Daily  Areas receiving the biggest support included ‘space exploration, nuclear physics, quantum science and biological engineering’

Never mind central banks. It is bond markets that are too hawkish
Bond markets are overreacting to the climate of extreme hawkishness created in part by the speed and aggressiveness of leading central banks’ shift to monetary tightening     The self-induced market rout only adds to the risk of a policy mistake    Even in Asia, where inflation rates are much lower, the rapid adjustment in market expectations for rates in Europe and the US is fuelling concerns that the region’s central banks are falling behind the curve. This creates a dangerous situation in which jittery bond markets perceive Asian monetary policy through the prism of the Fed and the ECB.    Central bankers in Washington and Frankfurt are to blame for the suddenness of the hawkish shift. However, bond investors are jumping the gun in pricing in much tighter policy than previously anticipated. If there is a brutal sell-off in the coming months, markets are likely to be more culpable than central banks.

Hong Kong stocks fall from 3-week high as HSBC, Chinese lenders retreat on tighter curbs amid worst Covid-19 outbreak in city
HSBC and banking peers fall after Hong Kong recorded the biggest surge in infections since the onset of pandemic WuXi Biologics falls for a third day, bringing the slump to 28 per cent as investor dump the stock on concerns about US export restrictions

Hong Kong developers, property agents turn to virtual reality to keep sales moving as tightened social distancing measures take effect
Centaline expects fewer than 500 first-hand transactions in February, the lowest in 24 months, as tighter social distancing measures keep prospective buyers away   Henderson Land Development cancels briefing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to announce sales details of The Harmonie residential project

‘Made in China, sold on Amazon’ troubles continue as US$314 million sale of online merchant Patozon drags on
Global Top E-commerce, former owner of Patozon, has sued online fast fashion retailer Shein and another firm for failure to hold up their end of the deal     TikTok owner ByteDance and Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi were the major investors in the acquisition of Patozon early last year

Understanding China’s New Rules on Import and Export Food Safety
China has enforced new rules on import and export food safety from January 1, 2022. The new rules provide more details on the customs authority’s requirements on overseas food safety assessment and inspection, registration and filing of importers and exporters, product labeling, and food safety risk management. The measures come at a time when China’s customs agencies have already tightened scrutiny of imported food products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How should businesses in China react to new environmental disclosure requirements?
China is speeding up work on requirements for companies to disclose environmental information. Businesses need to be ready, finds CDP’s Song Ziying.

Copper receives a boost thanks to strong credit growth from China
China credit data coupled with some positives from the property sector have pushed the red metal out of its recent boring range

U.S., Chinese beauty appetite fuel L’Oreal forecast-beating Q4 sales
spending in the U.S. and China helped L’Oreal beat growth expectations over the crucial end-of-year period as consumers splurged on beauty products. Fuelled by North America – the fastest-growing region for L’Oreal – and mainland China, the world’s largest cosmetics group’s sales rose 11.2% on a like-for-like basis over the last three months of 2021 to 9.09 billion euros ($10.40 billion), beating the 8.74 billion euros forecast of analysts in a Refinitiv poll.

Will Chongqing Become China’s Next Big Luxury Hub?
Chongqing is putting its money where its mouth is. After being named one of the five cities to be transformed into an “international consumption center” by China’s Ministry of Commerce, the Sichuan municipality has announced plans to accelerate this development. On February 8, the local government stated that domestic and global brands that choose Chongqing to open their first store in China may receive a financial incentive of up to 1 million yuan (about $157,000).

Tik Tok to rival SHEIN with e-commerce portal Dmonstudio launched
Tik Tok, the viral short video platform under the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has launched its independent fast-fashion e-commerce portal Dmonstudio, specialising in womenswear and fashion accessories, as seen on the official website introduction. From the logo design (in bold capital letters) to website layout and target consumer segment, all are highly comparable to SHEIN, China’s most mysterious billion-dollar company. This move is regarded as one to take on SHEIN, who is leading the cross-border e-commerce market, according to the Chinese media outlet Egain News on 7 February.  Despite the website only being launched recently, the initial registration of the domain ( dates back to 2021, and it has been run internally since then as an insider at Tik Tok was cited by the media. This has once again shown the caution and growing ambition of Tik Tok in exploiting the landscape of social e-commerce, given the potential of this industry is seen both in China and across the world, something evidenced by SHEIN.

China’s agricultural product wholesale prices edge down
The wholesale prices of China’s agricultural products went down on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The latest China agricultural product wholesale price index came in at 135.45, down 0.95 points from the previous day. By 2 p.m. Wednesday, the average wholesale price of pork, a staple meat in China, declined 2.7 percent to 21.29 yuan ($3.34) per kg. The price of eggs edged down 0.3 percent to 9.25 yuan per kg.

ASML Asks Customers to Snub Suspected Patent-Infringing Chinese Rival
China’s Dongfang Jingyuan is associated with XTAL, against which ASML has previously won an $845M IP rights infringement payout

Chip lithography leader ASML flags possible intellectual property infringement by a ‘little giant’ in China
ASML said it has asked its customers not to encourage the alleged IP infringement by Dongfang Jingyuan Electron, a Beijing-based company known as a ‘little giant’  The allegation comes as China is doubling down on developing its own capability in lithography, which is a vital step for chip production

The Graphic Truth: Where is China investing?
For nearly a decade, Beijing has been investing heavily in middle- and low-income economies to boost China’s economic and political clout. The Belt and Road Initiative, one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever, is helping China expand its geopolitical reach and rival America’s influence in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Here we look at where China has been investing its yuan since 2015.

China’s Triangulation Gambit
America’s rapprochement with China, 50 years ago this month, isolated the former Soviet Union at a time when its economic foundation was starting to crumble. Today, there can be little doubt that China has revived triangulation as a strategic gambit – or that this time America is the one being triangulated.

China-Russia Alliance: Shared Antagonisms
‘Friends’ keep a wary eye on each other as Turkey seeks to expand its interests The informal alliance forged this month between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping demonstrates the global political potential of the seemingly unrelated Ukraine and Taiwan issues.  At one it is a serious threat in Asia and Europe to the US and its various allies. China has no specific interest in Ukraine and cannot openly back any Russian attempts to seize territory. However, It may embolden, Putin who is otherwise rather lacking in foreign friends. Meanwhile, it may also seem to strengthen Beijing’s hand in raising the cost to the US, Japan, and others in defending Taiwan.

Russia-Ukraine crisis: China urged to weigh economic costs of Moscow coalition as sanction threats mount
Beijing must carefully weigh the risks of getting closer to Moscow while Russia faces sanctions over Ukraine, some Chinese analysts say   China-Russia trade would be caught up in sanctions fallout, especially if Russia was excluded from the SWIFT financial messaging service

China’s penetration into South America: A Case study of Argentina
With Argentina and Beijing cementing their partnership in the Silk Road Initiative and Beijing supporting Argentina’s Falklands claim, the Middle kingdom’s infiltration into Latin America is undoubtedly evident.  Often dubbed as a South-South model of cooperation, the ever-increasing economic asymmetry between the two nations tells a different story. The traditional relations between Buenos Aires and Beijing are centered around trade, but over the years, Beijing has expanded its sphere of influence in entire South America, especially Argentina. Multiple facets have been added to their bilateral relationship:

Argentina Joins China’s Belt and Road
The Argentine president’s attendance at the Beijing Winter Olympics brought big strides in the relationship.   Despite pauses and setbacks in the development of the Belt and Road caused by the pandemic and resulting global economic uncertainty, the Argentina BRI agreement is the latest in a series of political gains Beijing has accrued in Latin America, assisted by diplomatic initiatives such as the China-CELAC forum, which has brought together Central and South American economies with Beijing since 2015. Also this month, China and Ecuador announced the launch of bilateral free trade talks, while at the beginning of 2022 the government of Nicaragua, after having cut diplomatic ties with Taipei in December last year, confirmed its interest in developing stronger Chinese economic ties via the BRI.
These developments present serious challenges to Washington as it seeks to regain political momentum in Latin America following years of diplomatic neglect under former President Donald Trump. Plans have been mooted by the Joe Biden government to expand the nascent U.S.-led Build Back Better World (B3W) project into the region. However, Argentina’s addition to the Belt and Road roster further underscores the vast amount of catching up the United States now finds itself facing.

Will India become the world’s fastest growing large economy?
In late January, the IMF released its update on the outlook for the world economy. It downgraded its estimate for global growth in 2022 to 4.4 per cent from 4.9 per cent last October. Against this background, India was a striking outlier.   India faces a complex geopolitical environment in its immediate neighbourhood. There has been no progress on its Ladakh border dispute with China where both Chinese and Indian troops were killed in combat in June 2020. The chaotic withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the reinstallation of a Taliban government were setbacks to India’s development efforts in Afghanistan, raising the threat of terrorist blowback across India’s border with Pakistan in the Kashmir Valley. China’s superior resources and its economic and strategic interests make it an increasingly aggressive competitor in India’s ‘near abroad’. China’s closest relationship is with India’s traditional adversary, Pakistan, where the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) forms a central axis of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China is also increasingly influential elsewhere in South Asia, including in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar, although perhaps somewhat less so in Bangladesh. In addition to these challenges, the budget also needed to accommodate massive uncertainty in the global outlook for commodity prices, inflation, interest rates and capital flows.

China suspends Lithuanian beef imports as Taiwan row grows
China has suspended imports of beef from Lithuania since Wednesday (9 February), the General Administration of Customs said, amid a growing trade spat with the Baltic nation and its Western allies centred on Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

Beijing continues to push labour protections as China’s delivery couriers battle ‘dehumanised’ algorithms in fight for survival
Delivering food or parcels is a common choice for migrant workers, thanks to huge demand, low barriers to entry and flexible terms    Beijing has urged China’s internet platforms, including Meituan and, to enhance protection of gig workers by improving welfare coverage

The Fonts That Made China’s Digital Revolution Possible
For centuries, the delicate and elegant Songti typeface dominated Chinese printing presses. But on the early digital era’s low resolution monitors, delicacy could be a drawback.

China Plans Another Record-Setting Space Missions in 2022
The country aims to launch over 50 rockets and send more than 140 spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit this year.

China arrests ex-deputy banking regulator on bribery charges
Cai Esheng, who retired in 2013, also faces charges over the abuse of power    He was expelled from China’s ruling Communist Party last month after being placed under a probe in July

Winter Olympics: Eileen Gu propels Anta, Midea into the global limelight along with dozens of lesser known Chinese brands
Anta,, Baidu and several other Chinese companies are providing goods and services to help the Beijing Winter Olympics proceed smoothly  President Xi Jinping wore a parka at the opening ceremony made by Arc’teryx, a sportswear maker

Snow Queen talent Eileen Gu cashed in 200 million RMB from global brand sponsorships
A top Freeski talent who won 6 medals in 36 days, the first student to graduate a year early in high school with Stanford University’s offer, a bilingual girl speaking fluent Mandarin and English, a fashion model clamoured by big brands, with those labels also helping make Eileen Gu an internet sensation over the last few days on social media. She also just scored the first-ever Olympics gold medal yesterday in the women’s Freeski big air.  In 2019, Eileen Gu decided to compete for China. The 18-year-old girl has racked up over 20 brand endorsements and sponsorships, cashing in an estimated 200 million RMB ($31.4 million) in 2021. You may wonder how she can be so talented in multiple ways and why she has been favoured by brands and audiences.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
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