China Press Review – February 12, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus ‘could cut China’s purchases of US goods’ under phase one trade deal
White House national security adviser predicts impact on the value of American agricultural products Beijing committed to buying     Containing the outbreak and assessing its effects on an already slowing economy will be the priorities, observers say

China faces setback in 5G ambitions as coronavirus leads to delays in base station installations
The Beijing subsidiary of China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless network operator, reportedly said it has postponed installations of base stations   The company’s 5G construction plans in 2020 will “definitely be affected” by the coronavirus epidemic, it was quoted as saying

Germany’s Merkel seeks to sideline Huawei hawks in ruling out full ban
Merkel has struggled to assert control in a stand-off that pits Germany’s trade interests with China against security concerns raised by the US

China’s central bank approves Mastercard joint venture for clearing business
Approval comes three weeks after China and the US sign phase one trade deal, but three decades after Mastercard established a presence in China    US bank card firms face an uphill battle in China, given dominance of UnionPay and Chinese consumers preference for mobile phone payment apps

Coronavirus: US Postal Service suspends shipments destined for China and Hong Kong, citing travel disruptions
USPS says it will no longer accept items destined for China ‘until sufficient transport capacity becomes available’   Most of the service’s supplier airlines have suspended their flights to the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau

Coronavirus: does China have the financial power to repair the economic damages caused by the outbreak?
Production has been largely halted in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has affected nearly 45,000 people and killed over 1,100 across the country      Retail, tourism, aviation and logistics are among the worst hit, with measures already announced seen as being too mild to offset the economic damage

China’s economy set for V-shape recovery as coronavirus cases level off soon and stimulus kicks in, says Credit Agricole CIB
The French bank sees first-quarter growth easing to 3.5 per cent, full-year expansion at 5.7 per cent as Beijing cuts rates and injects liquidity  Yuan to strengthen to 6.9 per US dollar as the economy gets back on track as early as the second quarter, economist says

Three ways the coronavirus crisis could play out for China’s economy in 2020
In the best-case scenario, the crisis may blow over by the end of the first quarter, and do minimal damage to the economy In the worst case, if China fails to contain the virus’ spread, it could expect painful adjustments and possibly structural damage to its economy, with spillover impact on other economies

China banks prepare for worst-case scenario
The banking industry is taking a big hit. The outbreak has already damaged China’s most vibrant small businesses, and if it prolongs, many firms will go under and be unable to repay their loans.

$3 Trillion can’t buy China out of virus trouble
Asia’s emerging-market currencies are sliding as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to slow the region’s economy and drives outflows into the dollar.     Some analysts have suggested that China could use its reserves to recapitalize the banking system, which is sure to be hit by the economic shutdown that authorities have imposed in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Assuming a level of bad debts comparable to that of the late 1990s, the losses and recapitalization requirements would absorb around half or more of China’s total reserves. That would leave the country’s foreign-exchange chest below the IMF minimum.

Factbox: Coronavirus forces delay of trade fairs and conferences
Over two dozen large trade fairs and industry conferences in China and overseas have been postponed due to travel curbs and concerns about the spread of the 2019 coronavirus, potentially disrupting billions of dollars’ worth of deals.

Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress to go ahead despite coronavirus cancellations
Deutsche Telekom, Orange, BT Group and Nokia are the latest to announce that they will not attend the upcoming tech event

Luxury’s Response to the Coronavirus Must Look Beyond Revenue
The long-term impact on luxury also remains unclear. The industry, however, is already facing serious consequences. Capri Holdings has projected a potential $100 million loss due to the crisis. Shanghai Fashion Week, originally scheduled for March, has been postponed. Many luxury brands have also drastically altered their store hours, if not simply shuttered their doors until the crisis settles. The fate of supply chain, logistics, and shipping all too are in question. is hiring 20,000 people who can’t work because of the coronavirus
The Chinese government has made saving jobs a major priority as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts businesses and sends shockwaves across the world’s second biggest economy. Now some of the most prominent companies in China are taking in displaced workers to help cushion the blow. (JD), one of China’s largest e-commerce firms, has promised to open up more than 20,000 new positions. It’s hiring warehouse workers, couriers and drivers.

Coronavirus: China’s New Preferential Tax Policies to Bolster Enterprise Production
On February 7, the Ministry of Finance and State Taxation Administration unveiled three key documents laying out a series of preferential policies related to corporate income tax, value-added tax, and individual income tax. The three documents introduce new deductions, tax exemptions, and subsidies to stimulate action in three critical areas related to fighting the coronavirus outbreak. These are:

Coronavirus: Why markets can count on China’s economy to make a swift recovery after the crisis
Beijing is fighting to contain the epidemic, and it will surely kick-start the Chinese economy just as forcefully afterwards. This is simply the politically astute thing to do, given the public unease over Beijing’s handling of the crisis

Hong Kong, China stocks continue to rise on expectations of Beijing stimulus to blunt coronavirus impact on economy
China allows local governments to sell 848 billion yuan of debt before March    Ping An Good Doctor – which recently ran up 20 per cent in gains – was clobbered, falling 5.4 per cent

Coronavirus: China’s small firms at risk while outbreak poses challenge to Beijing’s grand economic goals
As coronavirus dents Lunar New Year sales season, small firms in China worry about 2020 businesses outlook    Most small firms, a cornerstone of economic activity and jobs, do not have reserves to weather a major economic storm

Coronavirus: China’s firms face grim reality as help from Beijing could take too long to trickle down
Tens of millions of small businesses across China face an uncertain future as the extended slowdown after the Lunar New Year weighs heavily  China’s central bank has pumped trillions of yuan worth of additional liquidity into the banking system, but analysts and merchants say the measures are not enough

Has coronavirus shaken China’s confidence?
Beijing is scrambling to repair its bruised credibility after reacting too slowly to the deadly epidemic

F1’s Chinese GP called off due to coronavirus with Vietnam race at risk
Race set for 19 April unlikely to be rescheduled    Inaugural Vietnam GP on 5 April also in doubt

China is struggling to get back to work after the coronavirus lockdown
China is struggling to return to work after the coronavirus outbreak shut down large swaths of the world’s second biggest economy for more than two weeks.
Worker shortages, transport disruption, a lack of medical supplies and heavy-handed local officials are all making life difficult for businesses, the Chinese government said Tuesday.

What industry can’t stop? Semiconductors
While most industries have shut down, necessities in the medical, food, and logistics industries have carried on working. Semiconductors are one of the industries that have carried on production—even in Wuhan itself. There couldn’t be more of a striking example as to how important the semiconductor industry is to the Chinese government. It can’t stop for a week, even for covid-19.   Will this crisis have lasting effects on the Chinese semiconductor industry?

podcast Caixin China Biz Roundup: Critics Debunk Study Feeding Virus Conspiracy Theories
Today’s podcast discusses: controversial non-peer reviewed study suggesting virus had been deliberately engineered is challenged; WHO says potential vaccine still 18 months away; and 11 million Chinese expats stuck in China as nations impose travel bans.

New Test Claims To Diagnose Coronavirus in 22 Minutes
A new test kit developed in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen claims it can tell whether a person has the novel coronavirus in just 22 minutes, according to domestic media reports.

Coronavirus Latest: Singapore Cases Hit 50, Japan Extends China Travel Restrictions
China is grappling with an outbreak of infections from a new coronavirus that began in December. Caixin Global will continue covering this story as it develops. Please check back regularly for updates.

‘It’s the pneumonia everybody in China knows about’ – but many deaths will never appear in official coronavirus figures
Wuhan’s overburdened health workers are unable to confirm many of those who died were suffering from Covid-19, which means they will not show up in official figures   The families of those who die at home are also denied the comfort of being able to make proper funeral arrangements

EU crisis center monitors coronavirus outbreak, offers aid to China
EU authorities are closely monitoring the coronavirus epidemic. The threat level for Europe is low. Only 33 cases have been reported in the bloc. Bernd Riegert reports from Brussels on efforts to contain the virus.

Coronavirus ‘could infect 60% of global population if unchecked’
Exclusive: Public health epidemiologist says other countries should consider adopting China-style containment measures

Virus peak near?; Positive propaganda energy as emphasis on restarting economy increases; Xu
Is the outbreak closer to coming under control? New cases have officially declined for several days and the official media is in full positive energy mode trying to spread that word that while the battle is still raging victory is within reach.

It could be ‘several months’ before coronavirus outbreak ends
Professor Martin Marshall said that getting “rid of the epidemic” could be “several months away”.

Taiwan says it does not need Beijing’s permission to take part in WHO’s online coronavirus meeting
Excluded from the World Health Organisation on mainland China’s objections, Taipei said it dealt directly with organisation on outbreak     Beijing and the WHO say they ensured Taiwan was kept up to date with virus developments

Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents
Currently, the emergence of a novel human coronavirus, temporary named 2019-nCoV, has become a global health concern causing severe respiratory tract infections in humans. Human-to-human transmissions have been described with incubation times between 2-10 days, facilitating its spread via droplets, contaminated hands or surfaces. We therefore reviewed the literature on all available information about the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces as well as inactivation strategies with biocidal agents used for chemical disinfection

Beijing pins hopes on ‘guy with the emperor’s sword’ to restore order in coronavirus-hit Hubei
Chen Yixin, a protégé of President Xi Jinping, arrived in Wuhan on Saturday to help tackle the outbreak    He is expected to introduce measures to maintain social stability, including heavy controls on media and people expressing views online

Coronavirus: top Chinese expert says family isolation curbs outbreak, contradicting claims in Beijing
Chief expert of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says studies show 83 per cent of clusters of cases occur within families   But briefing comes a day after Beijing city government opts to move people out of family isolation because household clusters show they fail to self-monitor adequately

Who Is Paying for Coronavirus Patients’ Treatment?
The Chinese government has vowed that no one will be left out of pocket for coronavirus-related medical care, but is such a promise feasible?  We paid for the drugs, and I’m sure we’ll get reimbursed later — it’s just that the channel hasn’t been announced yet.

50 million students used Dingtalk on first day back to school
On Monday, 50 million students and 600,000 teachers in China used the live-streaming feature on Dingtalk, Alibaba’s enterprise communication app, to hold online classes as schools in China reopen after the prolonged Spring Festival holiday.

Two of China’s biggest cities given power to seize private property to help stop spread of coronavirus
Shenzhen and Guangzhou introduce laws to requisition buildings and equipment to curb spread of disease    Guangdong province, which has been the worst affected area outside Hubei, also passes legislation to ban wildlife trade, which has been linked to the outbreak

Coronavirus: Li Wenliang’s death prompts academics to challenge Beijing on freedom of speech
They also call on legislature to make February 6 – when whistle-blower doctor died – a national day for free speech    Petition is gaining momentum online but some signatories have already come under pressure

Coronavirus Forces Foreign Students in China to Choose: Stay or Go
As Americans and others flee Chinese universities, the crisis is severing ties that have historically brought the country closer to the rest of the world.

Europe-China air freight traffic overtakes China-Europe for the first time
“This situation is exceptional,” said Niall van de Wouw, managing director of Clive. “It shows the magnitude of the crisis. The substantial reduction in capacity has still outpaced volumes. But this is logical, given what is going on.”  Freightos suggested this morning that “massively reduced air cargo capacity will likely also lead to a spike in air rates”. But it also noted that US importers were now seeking new markets for goods.

Oktoberfest in China? Developer woos businesses with a replica German city in Hengqin near Macau
Hengqin German City has engaged Siemens to set up base and study the feasibility of an electric car venture      Developer seeks to retain half of the properties to ensure its sustainability as sales are temporarily halted amid coronavirus outbreak

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