China Press Review – February 18, 2019

Press review

With or without trade war deal, disputes between China and US set to intensify, says Beijing commentator
Beijing-based independent political economy commentator Zhang Lin shares his thoughts as the March 1 trade war truce deadline nears Quote former Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong saying ‘the imperialists have never ceased their efforts to destroy us’ to suggest Chinese sentiment on US demands

Donald Trump says US-China trade talks were ‘very productive’ after briefing
President tweets his thoughts after meeting his trade team at Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Says ‘Billions of Dollars are being paid to the United States by China in the form of Trade Tariffs’

Donald Trump’s March tariffs could hit China’s GDP by under 1 per cent – but do lasting wider damage, experts warn
If no deal is struck before the 90-day truce ends on March 1, the threatened tariff increase could impact market sentiment and conflicts over technology Washington’s next move has potential to escalate US-China hostilities in a range of other areas

As the clock ticks, there’s a path to a ‘win-win’ outcome in US-China trade talks
Ankit Panda writes that a meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could result in a way out of the impasse, at least temporarily

Trump claims tariffs brought China to its knees. His trade war is hurting Midwest farmers instead.
American farmers have been decimated by the trade war, even as the Trump administration claims to be patching up relations with China.

Trump claims tariffs brought China to its knees. His trade war is hurting Midwest farmers instead.

China applauds ‘positive’ Donald Trump tweet, hopes for US trade war deal ahead of Washington talks
Opinion piece in major state media outlets is seen to be part of Beijing’s efforts to reassure its citizens that the tariff war with the United States will soon be over A Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He is expected to leave on Tuesday for the American capital after last week’s trade talks in Beijing produced ‘progress’

As US-China trade war talks enter the final stretch, is Beijing ready to tackle its structural issues?
Though there might not be a deal by the time Trump meets Xi, China can address US concerns by improving credibility over everything from IP protection to subsidies for its favoured industries

China stocks jump most in three months on record new lending and trade deal outlook
Traders react positively to news that China banks pumped record 3.23 trillion yuan into economy in January They also liked US President Donald Trump calling last week’s trade talks ‘very productive’

China, US trade barbs over Huawei and South China Sea at Munich conference
US Vice-President Mike Pence urges leaders to reject the Chinese telecoms firm, saying Washington has been clear ‘on the threats posed’ China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi hits back that Beijing rejects ‘technological hegemony’

How Huawei went from small-time trader in Shenzhen to world’s biggest telecoms equipment supplier
Huawei made a breakthrough in Europe in 2004 with Dutch operator Telfort, which used its custom solution for upgrading to 3G A US-led campaign to block the Chinese company is threatening its biggest overseas market

It’s China’s Huawei against the world as spying concerns mount
With its finance chief facing charges in the US, the telecoms giant is finding it increasingly difficult to find a friend

European Union finds itself in crossfire in Huawei battle
US vice-president, Chinese official spar at gathering of senior security officials Pressure is ramping up as Europeans try to work out a common approach toward the risks of using Chinese kit in the next generation of data networks

Huawei to deploy ultra-fast 5G telecoms network coverage at Shanghai’s railway hub in world first
Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station handles more than 60 million passengers every year The station would be the first railway hub in the world to be equipped with 5G coverage, according to Huawei

Huawei risk can be managed, say UK cyber-security chiefs
Any risk posed by involving the Chinese technology giant Huawei in UK telecoms projects can be managed, cyber-security chiefs have determined.

Can China’s ‘Greater Bay Area’ really rival the likes of Tokyo, New York and San Francisco?
It covers a geographical area equivalent to the land mass of Croatia and is the largest of the four metropolitan areas At US$1.8 trillion in 2017, the GDP of the Greater Tokyo Area is largest among the four regions

China Must Fix Its Economy to Weather the Trade War, Official Says
China must address its domestic imbalances to strengthen its ability to weather the impact of external risks such as the trade war with the U.S., a senior foreign exchange official has said, pointing to rapidly rising household debt as one of the biggest threats to the country’s economic health. The trade dispute with the U.S. and rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve are the main foreign risks faced by the Chinese economy, Lu Lei, a deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said at a forum in Beijing. But whether these issues would trigger serious problems in China depends on the soundness of the country’s internal financial system, he said over the weekend. “Without concrete structural reform within the country, any management of external risks can only delay the outbreak of a systemic crisis (rather than defuse it),” Lu said.

China Continues To Prop Up Its ‘Unpropable’ Economy
Many of us are drawn to a good illusion and in some ways, it could be said that our culture has become obsessed with avoiding what is real. With this in mind, we must remember that politicians and those in power tend to go to extreme efforts to avoid taking responsibility for the problems they create. History shows that one way a country can kick their gross domestic product higher is to build a false economy based on infrastructure or war.

How could a sharp slowdown in China affect growth prospects for the rest of Asia?
Uncertainty is the only certainty for economies until US and China declare trade peace Latest data shows only Malaysia has coped with recent pressures

US-China trade war bogeyman hangs over American toy industry expo
China manufactures 85 per cent of toys and games sold in United States Trade war adds impetus to search for cheap labour and materials

HNA mulls sale of Swiss aircraft maintenance firm SR Technics, potentially raising US$1 billion
HNA Group has engaged an adviser on the potential disposal of its 80 per cent stake in SR Technics Beleaguered Chinese group bought into the aircraft maintenance firm in 2016 HNA has further reduced its stake in Deutsche Bank AG to 6.3 per cent, raising US$410 million

Feeling the pinch of economic slowdown, Chinese counties seek new growth drivers
Chinese counties are at the forefront of the nation’s drive to urbanize its vast rural areas. But as China’s economic growth slows to its lowest level in more than 25 years, local economies are also feeling the pinch.

Subsidy withdrawal to cull China’s EV battery industry
Just a handful of Chinese electric-vehicle battery makers may survive the end of Beijing’s large-scale subsidy program next year, which has been instrumental in nurturing the world’s largest domestic market, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Subsidy withdrawal to cull China’s EV battery industry

The most successful EV model to date is not from the US or China
When it comes to being the top maker of electric vehicles (EV) by sales, China’s BYD and Tesla have been duking it out in recent years. Neither company, however, has a model popular enough to rival Japan’s Nissan Leaf, which is the most popular electric car of all time.

China’s January passenger car sales in biggest drop in seven years as worries over economy, spending deepen
Car sales fell 17.7 per cent last month from a year earlier, while total vehicle sales in January fell 15.8 per cent to 2.37 million units overall Seventh straight monthly decline in the world’s largest car market, and adds to wider concerns over domestic consumption and economic growth

Chinese credit growth soars in January
China’s total social financing (TSF) growth surged to its highest level on record last month, indicating that Beijing’s recent push for more lending to offset a slowdown is taking effect, Caixin reports. TSF, a gauge of the economy’s credit and liquidity, rose to Rmb 4.64 trillion ($684.93 billion) in January – a big jump from December’s reading of Rmb 1.59 trillion, according to People’s Bank of China data.

Chinese credit growth soars in January

Bank lending for ‘real economy’ key to boost China growth – central bank official
China should encourage its banks to support smaller, private firms in the real economy, rather than forced lending or policies such as quantitative easing, a state newspaper quoted a central bank official as saying on Saturday.

As China gets used to buying on credit, it remains important for GM financing arm even as new car sales soften
Chinese buyers make larger down payments and pay off loans quicker than US counterparts

Lunar New Year Luxury Consumption: 3 Lessons for Luxury Brands
The economic conditions in China are still dramatically more favorable than in many other regions including Europe, the U.S., and Japan, despite decreasing growth rates Since the week of Chinese New Year celebrations is behind us, the question is: quo vadis luxury? Are we facing the big crisis that so many commentators foresee? Should brands even rethink launching in China now? How should luxury brands deal with economic uncertainty?

Lunar New Year Luxury Consumption: 3 Lessons for Luxury Brands

Alibaba Pictures starts year of the pig with box office successes
“The Wandering Earth,” billed as China’s first major science-fiction film, emerged as box-office champion during the Chinese New Year holiday, a peak movie-going period in the country.

African swine fever: Chinese frozen foods firm Sanquan recalls suspected contaminated goods
Dumplings brand calls in suspect products and praises supply chain quality Beijing has issued stricter testing standards for slaughterhouses

Chinese firms plan to export e-commerce culture to Africa

Some of China’s largest tech giants are establishing roots in Africa’s budding e-commerce market, where structural limitations and immature markets have deterred global players. The prospect of getting an early seat at the table, however, has caught the eye of bigwigs such as Jack Ma, who has kickstarted a number of preliminary initiatives aimed at sowing seeds with promising African tech talent.

Chinese firms plan to export e-commerce culture to Africa

Legal bump in the belt and road? A Mideast port giant, a Chinese rival and a Hong Kong lawsuit over a Djibouti deal
China Merchants Port Holdings accused of infringing port agreement of United Arab Emirates’ DP World with Djibouti Case to be heard in Hong Kong – a belt and road first

Top Chinese model Li Jingwen bares her freckles for Zara and all hell breaks loose
Spanish fashion house accused of ‘uglifying China’ by showing one of the country’s most successful models without make-up Comparisons drawn with last year’s Dolce & Gabbana scandal

Chinese Netizens Decry, Then Defend, Zara Model’s Freckles
The country’s consumers initially questioned whether model Li Jingwen’s distinctive face was a suitable selection for a makeup line aimed at Asians.

China crackdown on fraudulent P2P platforms results in 62 overseas arrests, US$1.5 billion of assets frozen
A wave of defaults hit the peer-to-peer lending sector in June, which wiped out billions of dollars of savings that retail investors put in The implosion sparked widespread public grievance and protests

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains
Annual report shows the businesses and individuals added to trustworthiness blacklist as use of the government system accelerates System aims to pressure citizens to avoid bad behaviour, although human rights advocates argue it does not take into account individual circumstances

China data leak exposes vast hi-tech surveillance operation in Xinjiang
Dutch researcher says tracking firm left database of personal details unprotected for months

Police embedded in grass-roots Communist Party cells as security grip tightens on Beijing
Mao-era practice revived in renewed push to strengthen grass-roots management Chinese capital already keeping close tabs on residents with volunteer neighbourhood watch groups

Furious Chinese condemn ‘racist’ Spanish bank BBVA, saying it locked them out of accounts in money laundering crackdown
Hundreds of Chinese customers of BBVA rallied in Madrid, saying they had been blocked from accessing their accounts but had done nothing wrong Spain strengthened money laundering regulations last year, requiring banks to obtain a series of personal details and background information from clients

China rejects German appeal to join endangered cold war-era nuclear treaty
Politburo member Yang Jiechi says Chinese weapons are defensive and don’t pose a threat German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a global medium-range treaty to take account of China’s growing missile power

China’s dream: The first solar power station in space
Following its successful and world-beating trip to the far side of the moon, China is preparing to build a solar power station in space, as the world’s No 2 economy strives to burnish its superpower credentials. With an $8-billion annual budget for its space programme, second only to the US, China is seeking to compete with its rival for economic, military and technological dominance.

Wang Jingchun and Yong Mei share best actor awards at Germany’s Berlinale for Chinese saga ‘So Long My Son’
Pair play couple who live through the Cultural Revolution and explores the fallout from the one-child policy

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