China Press Review – February 26, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: China ‘fully expected’ to meet trade deal terms despite Covid-19 outbreak, top US officials say
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed a letter praising China’s progress on trade deal   Statement did not mention coronavirus outbreak but said China ‘fully expected’ to meet terms of phase one deal

China’s economic recovery accelerating, Politburo says
China’s economic recovery is accelerating but the coronavirus outbreak situation in the epicentre of Hubei province and its capital Wuhan is still dire, the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo said on Wednesday according to a state television report

Will coronavirus trigger a global recession?
World economy’s prospects look bleak owing to Covid-19 outbreak and Donald Trump’s trade policy

German economy nears stagnation in first quarter with coronavirus outbreak
Germany’s economy is nearing stagnation in the first quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak, the DIW economic institute said on Wednesday, adding that German industry would be particularly hit if the virus continued to spread worldwide.

Reuters’ Karen Freifeld and Mike Stone report on continued efforts to restrict the supply of American components to Huawei, despite a series of tweets last week in which President Donald Trump spoke dismissively about the national security implications of such sales. The comments were the latest twist in a long-running U.S. campaign against Huawei.

Toyota invests US$400 million in, bringing self-driving start-up’s valuation to US$3 billion
Japanese car giant Toyota and Guangzhou-based announce deeper ties as global carmakers race toward a driverless future  They plan to advance joint efforts to develop autonomous driving technology and deploy mobility services

Cash-strapped Tesla challenger NIO signs preliminary deal for US$1.4 billion funding
NIO founder and chief executive William Li Bin vows to continue the electric car maker’s efforts to raise more external financing

China’s car sales in January slide for 19th consecutive month as coronavirus puts brakes on economy
Car sales fell 18.7 per cent in January, worse than expected, as the novel coronavirus took a toll on China’s economy    China, the world’s biggest car market, is bracing for even worse results in the months to come

How Much Money Does the World Owe China?
While China’s role in global trade is highly publicized and politically polarizing, its growing influence in international finance has remained more obscure, mostly due to a lack of data and transparency. Over the past two decades, China has become a major global lender, with outstanding claims now exceeding more than 5% of global GDP. Almost all of this lending is official, coming from the government and state-controlled entities.

China produces 182 new billionaires, triple the new faces in the US, while Shanghai overtakes Hong Kong for the first time: Hurun Report
Shanghai overtakes Hong Kong for the first time in the number of billionaires with 83 to 76, according to the latest Hurun Global Rich List 2020    The world’s 2,816 billionaires enhances their combined wealth by 16 per cent to a record US$11.2 trillion

New Chinese billionaires outpace U.S. by 3 to 1: Hurun
 China minted three times as many new billionaires than the United States in the past year, with fortunes made in drugs and online entertainment after a mini-boom from the coronavirus outbreak, a ranking of the world’s wealthiest people shows.

Coronavirus, trade war a ‘double whammy’ for foreign firms in China, EU chamber boss says
Restrictions introduced to contain the spread of deadly disease also dashed hopes that trading conditions might be about to improve, says chairman of the southwest branch of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China    Authorities must now provide firms with clear guidelines and support to help them get back in business

Coronavirus: doubts raised over whether Chinese companies can use force majeure to counter risks
More than 3,000 certificates were issued in February to Chinese companies seeking to invoke force majeure because of the coronavirus outbreak    But legal experts say the companies may be in for a ‘rude awakening’ if they think they will be let off the hook with international parties

Danone warns China earnings set for virus hit
 Danone on Wednesday warned the coronavirus outbreak would hurt its 2020 earnings and mean a 100 million euro ($109 million) hit to first-quarter sales, mainly in its Mizone water business in China. Danone generates about 30% of its Early Life Nutrition infant formula sales in China and 10% of its overall sales.

Coronavirus boosts fortunes of e-learning providers, while Hong Kong’s private tutoring industry struggles
Hong Kong-based education app operator Snapask sees huge uptick in new users, completes Series B fundraising    But most traditional tuition centres will not survive if classes do not resume in March, trade union representative says

Has the internet helped China contain the coronavirus?
While the internet and social media have enabled the rapid dissemination of healthcare and public safety advice and information, managing the risk of miscommunication and false information during public health emergencies remains a challenge for all of us.

Coronavirus: Chinese workers offered free transport
China wants workers to quickly return to factories in areas less affected by the coronavirus.

Big unknowns for millions as they return to work in China’s economic powerhouse
Some people are struggling to get back to their workplaces while those who can face quarantine and financial uncertainties     Businesses are also feeling the squeeze as they try to absorb the cost of extra protective equipment and measures.

China Manufacturing versus Mexico Manufacturing: Who Wins?
The recent coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China has raised many “Alternative China” hands, and especially from businesses in the US. This, coupled with the fairly recent decision to replace the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the President Donald Trump initiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has led some to speculate that bringing jobs and production closer to home – or at least to nearby Mexico – from China may be a viable alternative to retaining sourcing or production in the PRC.

China stocks slide as global coronavirus fears grow
China stocks ended lower on Wednesday as fears over the global coronavirus contagion rose, though losses were contained as new infections fell in China and investors expected a further stimulus from Beijing to support the domestic economy.

Coronavirus: US outbreak now inevitable, leading American health official warns
‘It is not so much a question of if, but when,’ says Nancy Messonnier of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention   ‘Data over the last week has raised our expectation that we are going to have community spread here,’ she says

Coronavirus: South Korea records almost 300 new infections as Hong Kong confirms first child case
Number of new cases in mainland China falls, but Covid-19 continues to spread in Europe and Asia as South Korean total passes 1,100   Teenage boy from Diamond Princess cruise ship among four new infections confirmed by city’s health authorities

Guangdong: 14% of patients recovered are healthy coronavirus carriers again
14% of patients recovered from coronavirus and discharged from hospitals were found positive for the virus in the following checks. In a press conference held yesterday, Guangdong health authorities said it is still unknown why this occurs. In any case, this aspect makes control over the epidemic even more complicated.

Italy, reeling from coronavirus outbreak, discovers what it’s like for Chinese
Italy – which has reported 11 deaths and more than 300 cases – has locked down 11 towns amid Europe’s biggest outbreak    Italians now face stricter travel measures in some places abroad, weeks after their government imposed a ban on flights to and from China

Is latest US drive to counter China’s influence in Africa too little, too late?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid his first visit to Africa after almost two years in office and warned about ‘authoritarian regimes with empty promises’  But attempts to boost business may be no match for China’s extensive investments and perceptions that the continent is an ‘afterthought’ for Trump’s White House

Cancellation of FOODEX JAPAN 2020
Japan Management Association, the organiser of FOODEX JAPAN 2020, has officially taken the decision to cancel the event, originally scheduled to be held at Makuhari Messe during 10th to 13th March 2020.

Milan’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair postponed until June due to coronavirusBreaking news: the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan has been postponed until 16-21 June in response to Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.

Interpets in Japan cancelled
Interpets was to have been staged in the Aomi exhibition halls of Tokyo Big Sight from 26 to 29 March. Messe Frankfurt Japan, the Japan Pet Food Association and the Japan Pet Products Manufacturers Association have now announced the cancellation of the show due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus threat to Italian Enada show
The ENADA trade show has now been postponed due to the spread of coronavirus in Italy, a number of exhibitors have told InterGame. Organisers are now aiming for the show to take place from April 21-23 instead, but this has not been confirmed.

JEC World 2020 is postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak
Based on the latest assessment of the coronavirus outbreak, JEC Group has postponed this year’s JEC World until 12-14 May 2020.    The composites industry trade show was due to take place from 3-5 March.

Aquafeed conference cancelled due to coronavirus
 “We really didn’t have a choice.” Organisers of Aquafeed Horizons 2020 conference have cancelled its Bangkok event.

PDAC 2020: Coronavirus Convention
Already 177 exhibitions for February have been cancelled or rescheduled, including the Shanghai International Industrial Automation and Robot Exhibition, the Prolight and Sound Fair in Guangzhou and the International Equipment Machinery Exhibition in Jinan city, China Trade News reported. There are more than 200 that have are in the process of being postponed or cancelled for March. And that’s just China.

As coronavirus looms over Olympics, Japan PM urges two-week curbs on sports events
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on Wednesday for sports and cultural events to be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks in the battle to stem a coronavirus contagion amid mounting concerns the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be canceled.

Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics still ‘business as usual’, says IOC’s Dick Pound
Preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are “business as usual” despite the outbreak of coronavirus, according to International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

Factbox: Airlines suspend flights due to coronavirus outbreak
 (Reuters) – Airlines have been suspending flights or modifying service in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Factbox: What the EU can do to tackle coronavirus outbreak in Europe
The EU coordinates the actions of its 27 member states but has little power to counter epidemics as states maintain exclusive competences on health measures, travel restrictions and surveillance.  Below is what the EU can and cannot do.  This week the Commission announced 232 million euros ($252 million) to fight the disease at global level. Half of it will go to the World Health Organization (WHO) and 100 million will be spent on medical research for vaccines, treatments and diagnostics tools.

Coronavirus: China’s airlines offer domestic flights for as little as US$4 as industry struggles amid outbreak
Around two thirds of the total number of flights scheduled every day in February were cancelled, placing huge financial pressure on airlines and airports   China’s aviation industry has also been affected by a series of restrictions by other countries and airlines, with British Airways extending its suspension until mid-April

How the coronavirus crisis could lead to four more years of Trump
The US president could play the epidemic like a trump card in his re-election campaign. Even if the outbreak were to affect US economic data, the Federal Reserve would surely ease policy and then Trump would no doubt claim credit for it

Alain Gillard
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