China Press Review – February 20, 2020

Press review

China Jan new bank loans hit record, more policy support seen
New bank loans in China rose more than expected to a record high in January, as authorities step up support for an economy hit by trade tensions and facing a new threat from a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

If slowing growth, unsound financial systems and the coronavirus don’t trigger a market meltdown, central banks will
Both China and the US chose the wrong remedies for ailing economies in wake of the global financial crisis. Financial risks abound today, as they did in 2007    A decade of easy money has only compounded the problems. Central bankers know this, and may seek to mitigate the distorting effects of low interest rates

China cuts lending rate to aid coronavirus-hit economy, but warned it ‘will only provide limited relief’
The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 10 basis points to 4.05 per cent, while the five-year LPR was lowered by five basis points to 4.75 per cent   The cut followed a similar move in the central bank’s medium-term lending rate on Monday as policymakers sought to ease the drag to businesses from the coronavirus

Coronavirus a new threat to euro zone expansion: ECB
The euro zone is on track for a modest economic growth but weak trade and the coronavirus outbreak keep the outlook uncertain, European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Thursday.

China stocks rally to a one-month high on PBOC stimulus while Hang Seng Index struggles to break key technical threshold
Market sentiment lifted by central bank’s moves to cut rates and a tapering in new coronavirus cases: Capital Securities    Hang Seng Index slipped after coming up against strong technical resistance at near 28,000 level

The economic impact of the coronavirus has been quick and sharp. But how long will it last?
From the epicentre in China to the rest of the world connected by trade and supply links, no industry or sector is apparently safe from the damage wrought by the epidemic. The longer-term costs are hard to predict, but pain is certain

Coronavirus ‘could cost global economy $1.1tn in lost income’
The coronavirus could cost the global economy more than $1tn in lost output if it turns into a pandemic, according to a leading economic forecaster. Oxford Economics warned that the spread of the virus to regions outside Asia would knock 1.3% off global growth this year, the equivalent of $1.1tn in lost income. The consultancy said its model of the global economy showed the virus was already having a “chilling effect” as factory closures in China spilled over to neighbouring countries and major companies struggled to source components and finished goods from the far east.

Coronavirus Might Do More Damage To China Than The Trade War
Lastly, the frequency of searches for “shutdown” and “bankruptcy” continues to rise on Baidu, suggesting there is a rising fear that the Covid-19 outbreak is going to greatly impact China’s economy.  “It is by no means clear that the profile of the economic recovery for the Chinese economy will be V-shaped or even U-shaped,” says Neil MacKinnon, an economist with VTB Capital in London. “Apple’s sales warnings this week did not go down well with equity markets. It should serve as a reminder that disrupted supply chains take time to recover

Coronavirus chaos can prompt a needed rethink on global trade and economic integration
Confidence in the benefits of trade and integration has suffered as trade wars highlight the risks of interdependence, and tech advances weaken the economic rationale for far-flung supply chains  The coronavirus and its disruptions might finally push the world to consider a new trading order

China’s M&A activity will rebound in second half as some dealmakers press on despite coronavirus restrictions, says PwC
While deals are seen dropping sharply in the first half, some private equity buyers are still negotiating with sellers despite travel restrictions, cities in lockdown   China’s total M&A deal value fell 14 per cent in 2019 to US$559 billion, the lowest in five years, driven primarily by a sharp 37 per cent drop in outbound transactions, according to data released by PwC on Thursday

E-commerce livestreams see outbreak-driven boost
E-commerce behemoth Alibaba’s livestreaming unit, Taobao Live, has seen rapid growth in February as offline businesses increasingly seek out online marketing and sales channels during the Covid-19 epidemic, which has forced much of China to a standstill.  Livestreams, grocery delivery, and online healthcare are surging in popularity, some of the few bright spots in the digital economy during a health crisis which has immobilized the country.

US meeting on Huawei, China policy still on for Thursday despite Trump tweets, sources say
The deputy-level meeting was called to discuss issues including possible new restrictions on China’s blacklisted Huawei Technologies   Doubts swirled about whether the meeting would happen after President Donald Trump blasted stricter limits on shipments of US products overseas on Twitter

Europe’s big tech vision fizzles to life
The European Union wants to keep writing the rules of the digital future, but a reality check may be in the offing instead The inescapable problem the EU now faces is that its digital lag is entrenched and its competitors are multiplying   The EU has struggled to develop a China strategy in general, so it is no surprise that its digital blueprint lacks a strategy for handling Beijing. But Europeans are engaging in plenty of policy feuds with the US on issues like digital taxes and the role of Huawei Technologies in 5G mobile networks – making it somewhat surprising that the European Commission produced such an inward-looking policy roll-out. The upshot: The bloc best known for its soft-power abilities to convene governments and other organisations in service of shared aims has no digital plans to do that.

HNA Group’s fate hangs in the balance as coronavirus lockdowns scupper the Chinese asset buyer’s debt workout plan
Hainan Airlines could be taken over and its aviation assets dispersed among several state-owned carriers, according to a Bloomberg report   The airline’s assets could be divided between China Southern Airlines, Air China, and China Eastern Airlines, Bloomberg reported

Air France says coronavirus impact could climb above $200 million
Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) warned on Thursday of a potential 200 million euro ($216 million) hit to earnings by April as it contends with the China coronavirus outbreak’s “brutal” impact on the airline market

KLM airlines extends ban on China flights due to coronavirus
KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France KLM, said on Thursday it would extend a ban on flights to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

HNA Group’s fate hangs in the balance as coronavirus lockdowns scupper the Chinese asset buyer’s debt workout plan
Hainan Airlines could be taken over and its aviation assets dispersed among several state-owned carriers, according to a Bloomberg report    The airline’s assets could be divided between China Southern Airlines, Air China, and China Eastern Airlines, Bloomberg reported

 Carriers have pulled 1.67m teu of capacity out of China, costing $1.5bn
Ocean carriers have withdrawn more than 1.67m teu of export capacity from China since the lunar new year holiday, according to an Alphaliner survey.     Based on an average freight rate of $1,000 per teu, the cumulative revenue lost to the carriers will have exceeded $1.5bn, putting some of the less-financially secure container lines at risk.

China’s Lenovo confident of managing virus impact, reports strong third quarter
– Lenovo Group (0992.HK), the world’s biggest PC maker, posted a better than expected profit on Thursday and said its global operations would help it tackle short-term headwinds from China’s coronavirus outbreak, sending its shares up 7%.

Coronavirus: China’s manufacturing supply chain pummelled from all sides in efforts to restart
Coronavirus costs keep mounting for manufacturers, who are facing huge losses in sales and struggling to ramp up production       Logistical logjams persist as transport networks struggle to find workers and navigate lockdowns across China

Yale lecturer: China to rebound rapidly after virus attack, no long term damage
The new coronavirus will deliver a sharp punch to China’s economy, but it’s not “a devastating blow”, and recovery will be rapid without long-term damage, said economist Stephen Roach.

podcast : China flatlining right now: Stephen Roach
Stephen Roach, former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman on just how disruptive the coronavirus could be to China and the global economy.

China’s Hubei, epicentre of coronavirus, extends work suspension to March 11
China’s Hubei province on Thursday asked firms not to resume work before March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying only businesses involved in epidemic prevention and control or necessary public services would be exempt.

Why Patent Laws Matter, Even in Times of Crisis
On Jan. 21, Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology filed for a patent on the use of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19. Normally, this might be cause for celebration: COVID-19, a deadly pneumonia-like disease caused by a novel coronavirus, has killed over 2,000 and sickened 70,000 more worldwide since last December, sending researchers scrambling to develop an effective treatment. The thing is, the Wuhan Institute of Virology didn’t develop remdesivir: The drug was researched, produced, and patented by Gilead Sciences, a California-based pharmaceutical company; and the institute’s decision to claim exclusive rights over an unproven use of the drug in the midst of a rapidly escalating health crisis was heavily criticized.

China posts sharp drop in new coronavirus cases after criteria change
Mainland China reported on Thursday the lowest number of confirmed cases of a new coronavirus since late January, partly because of a change in diagnostic criteria for patients in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Outbreak

Tracking coronavirus: Map, data and timeline
The tables below show confirmed cases of coronavirus (2019-nCoV, officially known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) in China and other countries. To see a distribution map and a timeline, scroll down. There are currently 75,758 confirmed cases worldwide, including 2,129 fatalities.

S. Korea reports 1st death from virus, cases soar to 104
South Korea reported its first death from the new coronavirus on Thursday, with 53 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in a single day to bring the total here to 104.

South Korea city urges 2.5m citizens to stay home as coronavirus cases grow
The mayor of the South Korean city of Daegu urged its 2.5 million people on Thursday to refrain from going outside as cases of a new virus spiked and he pleaded for help from the central government.  Mayor Kwon Young-jin made the request in a televised news conference after the southeastern city and its nearby towns reported 35 additional cases of infection with the new coronavirus on Thursday.

S. Korea reports 1st death from virus, cases soar to 104
South Korea reported its first death from the new coronavirus on Thursday, with 53 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in a single day to bring the total here to 104.

Chinese film director Chang Kai and family die from coronavirus
Four members of same family die during self-quarantine at centre of outbreak in Wuhan

Scientists question China’s decision not to report symptom-free coronavirus cases
Researchers say that excluding these people could conceal the epidemic’s true extent, but others say the practice makes sense.

Chinese research lab ‘badly hurt’ by rumours linking it to ‘man-made’ coronavirus crisis
Wuhan Institute of Virology says conspiracy theories have ‘seriously interrupted the emergency research we are doing’    They include that the virus strain was ‘leaked from the WIV lab’ and it was ‘taken over by the military’

Hospitals across the US prepare for coronavirus outbreak to become global pandemic
A larger spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus across the U.S. could overwhelm emergency rooms and cause supply shortages of some crucial medical supplies.   The threat of the new virus comes at an already busy time for most U.S. hospitals: Seasonal flu is at its peak.

Why postponing China’s National People’s Congress adds further complexity to Beijing’s economic plan
The annual National People’s Congress is set to be delayed until at least the end of March or even early April due to the coronavirus outbreak The annual parliamentary gathering is a ceremonial event to rubber-stamp policies that have already been decided, but the outbreak has changed the landscape

Amid the coronavirus crisis, China is paying a high price for its authoritarian system
While blame for the epidemic cannot be pinned solely on the government’s attempts to control and manipulate information, its heavy-handed approach has further eroded public trust. Beijing should beware the high price of an authoritarian regime

China – Coronavirus OutbreakChina – Coronavirus Outbreak
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), popularly known as ‘coronavirus’ has caused widespread concern since being identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The outbreak has been characterised by misinformation and differing precautionary actions taken internationally but has importantly highlighted the risks posed to public health infrastructure in a globalised world. The effect of these factors has not only posed a serious challenge to the Chinese Communist Party’s competence in tackling public health threats but has also put a significant strain on global value chains. Eyes are now transfixed on how the outbreak will develop over the next few weeks.

More passengers to disembark in Japan from cruise ship hit by COVID-19
A second group of about 600 Japanese and foreign passengers from the coronavirus-hit cruise ship moored near Tokyo was set to disembark on Thursday (Feb 20) after a two-week quarantine on board, as criticism of Japan’s handling of the outbreak mounted.

Macau casinos reopen after coronavirus shutdown but gamblers keep their distance
Low-key return marked by tight rules with punters kept apart from each other, made to wear masks    Fewer than a third of tables open as casino floors appear desolate in city’s staggered return to gambling

Health rating system deployed in over 100 cities: Alipay
More than 100 cities in China have adopted the QR code health rating system developed by mobile payment platform Alipay, one version of an app that is expected to be rolled out across the country next week.   The health code system is the quick answer the government was seeking to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, though some loopholes remain.

Cobalt-free EV battery sales growth to top 50% in 2020: report
Tesla’s partnership with Chinese battery maker CATL on lower-cost cobalt-free batteries could drive a big shift in the industry, according to one investment bank, which expects China sales of the product to surge more than 50% this year.

China auto sales fall 18%, with coronavirus adding to ongoing slump
China’s vehicle sales likely fell by almost a fifth in January, marking a 19th consecutive month of decline, hurt by Lunar New Year holidays that started earlier than last year and by the coronavirus outbreak.  The epidemic will hit auto sales and production hard in the short term, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said, predicting competition in the industry would get fiercer and some smaller parts suppliers could collapse.

Chinese lenders turn off the taps on international energy projects as ‘debt trap diplomacy’ criticisms mount
Loans from two development banks fell by 71pc last year to US$3.2bn with three projects in Guinea, Nigeria and Turkey the only ones to benefit    Concern is growing both in China and abroad about the sustainability of its lending practices

Opinion: Journalists’ expulsion a sign of China’s insecurity
For the first time in about 30 years, China has expelled several foreign news correspondents at once. The move is a sign Beijing’s insecurity over its handling of the deadly coronavirus, says DW’s Philipp Bilsky.

Getting the measure of corporate Asia
Over the past decade, Asia received half of all new investment in the global economy. Despite pockets of excellence, Asian companies have struggled to deliver strong returns on this influx of capital.

Virus brings two foes together, Japan and China
As China faces increasing isolation, with some countries closing off borders over coronavirus fears, an unlikely friend has emerged — historical arch-foe Japan.

ANUFOOD China 2020 Notice Regarding Latest Coronavirus ( 2019-nCoV) Situation
The Chinese Koelnmesse event interzum guangzhou (28-31 March 2020) has been postponed. A new date will be announced. EmTech ASIA (25-26 February 2020) in Singapore will also be postponed to 4 and 5 August 2020. The MIECF (26.-28.03.2020) in China is cancelled. At this time, plans remain in place for all other outbound Koelnmesse events to be carried out as scheduled.

An Industry Goes Viral
Among the first to react were organisers of trade events and fashion shows. In early February, the organisers of the Shanghai Fashion Week, scheduled to be held from March 26 to April 2, announced that the event would be postponed. “We will actively search for (new) times and ways, and maintain close communication with partners who care for and support Shanghai Fashion Week,” a statement said. The China Fashion Week, scheduled to start on March 25, is yet to make an announcement.
Trade fairs in Mainland China to be postponed include CHIC Shanghai, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring, Yarn Expo – Spring. Trade fairs in other countries have been deferred / rescheduled as well. These include Asia Apparel Expo 2020 (in Germany), Apparel Sourcing Week (in India), DTG 2020 (in Bangladesh), Denimsandjeans (in Japan), Morocco International Textiles and Accessories Fair (in Morocco) and IGATEX (in Pakistan). The reasons are the same: COVID-19.

Shanghai Fashion Week postponed due to coronavirus
The organising committee behind China’s most prominent fashion event has confirmed that Shanghai Fashion Week – originally slated to kick off on March 26 – will be postponed, as a precautionary measure amid growing concern surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

IELA postpones its 3rd edition of Operations Summit 2020
Coronavirus is affecting the exhibition industry with plenty of events being cancelled or postponed. The IELA network is supporting and working closely with organisers and exhibitors from the logistics side to manage challenges, minimizing the impact.

ITLM Asia Pacific postponed 12 months
Reed Travel Exhibitions has confirmed that its Singapore based luxury travel event, ILTM Asia Pacific, due to take place in May this year, will now be postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will take place from 31 May to 03 June 2021.

Drone Show Korea 2020 – postponed
 (postponed from the scheduled date, and is not yet rescheduled​)

Taiwan International Fastener Show is postponed
The Taiwan International Fastener Show will be postponed due to the coronavirus. It was originally set for 21 to 23 April 2020 and will now take place from 14 to 16 October in Kaohsiung in the south of the country. This has been announced by the event organisers Bureau of Foreign Trade (MOEA) and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra). They had been expecting around 430 exhibitors with 1 150 stands.

Korea show organisers confirm new dates
As reported by IBI earlier this month, the 13th Korea International Boat Show (KIBS) has been postponed. The organisers, the Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX) in Seoul, have now announced the new dates – June 5-7, 2020.

Playtime Shanghai **RESCHEDULED TO 7/13/20**
Rescheduled to July 13-14, 2020

Sinophobia: How a virus reveals the many ways China is feared
Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus began, even within Asia itself
Sammi Yang first realised something wasn’t right when she showed up at her doctor’s in Berlin, and was immediately barred from entering the building.

Alain Gillard
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