China Press Review – February 27, 2020

Press review

EU firms ‘get another wake-up call’ about China and call for it to reform, as coronavirus hits profits
Profits down 20 per cent for almost half of European businesses based in China, according to survey   Companies call for level playing field and end to ‘patchwork of conflicting rules’, as well as financial relief measures following outbreak

How You Can Avoid Problems When Manufacturing to China
If you haven’t worked with a Chinese manufacturer before but are intending to start now, this article is for you. From the onset, we must inform you that you are in for a lot of positive gains, but you need to be ready for occasional production problems. One day you are panicking after a factory delays your products, the other day you are petitioning a manufacturer for refusing to rework substandard goods and another time you are running after a supplier who walked out on you without prior warning. Don’t get us wrong: There are many good manufacturers in China, but there is no harm in being cautious. To set up a company in China, you must know and avoid the pitfalls that rogue manufacturers have led many foreign companies into. Remember that when it gets to product development, you have your own customers waiting for your deliveries, so you need a manufacturer who delivers quality products and in a timely manner. That being said, which mistakes must you avoid when manufacturing in China? How do you avoid them?

US telephone companies must now report Huawei and ZTE equipment use, under new FCC order
The Chinese gearmakers are accused by the Trump administration of posing a risk of espionage    Huawei equipment is cheaper than competitors’ and is popular with smaller, rural US telecommunications providers, which often rely on government subsidies

Ruder Finn & CSG 2020 Forecast Shows Silver Lining in the China Luxury Market
Even though overall consumer spending sentiment is not strong, growth momentum will continue in 2020, especially in the mainland.

China’s Handset Shipments Plummet Nearly 40% in January
In the first month of 2020, mobile phone shipments in China nosedived by 38.9% year-on-year to 20.8 million units, according to statistics from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

How China Added Another 1.4 Billion Low-Cost, Offshore Workers to its Production Capacity
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) now covers 147 countries and territories, with projects and investment loans going out to nearly all of them. There is much debate and controversy about the BRI, not least with accusations that China is loading up smaller nations with debt (although why China would wish to do this is never explained) and is militaristic in design (although how China’s navy could effectively seize sea ports in Asia also remains unexplained). Consequently, my opinion is that China has instead come up with a scheme that allows it to secure much needed future supply chains via the three following criteria:

Coronavirus: Beijing to the rescue of small businesses, but exports are falling
65 billion authorized in subsidized loans.  39 billion allready granted in early February. Only 30% of small and medium-sized companies have reopened their doors. The country is losing 320 million euros per week in exports. Hi-tech multinationals are also affected.

China’s cabinet makers lose US anti-dumping case as trade tensions remain despite phase one deal
US Department of Commerce says Chinese firms sold wooden cabinets and vanities at ‘less than fair value in the United States’    A final hearing is scheduled for March 24 at the International Trade Commission to determine whether US producers suffered or were harmed

How blockchain can protect consumers from tainted food, knock-offs and fake news about the coronavirus
Chinese consumers often depend on brand recognition as an indicator of product quality and safety    But blockchain can provide more reliable information on product supply chains, benefiting both consumers and manufacturers

China’s Tariff Exemptions for US Imports: New Lists Announced in February
China released new lists to exempt 65 types of US commodities that have been subject to the Chinese retaliatory tariffs and launched a tariff exclusion process for 969 types of US imports in February.    These will enable China’s commitment to buying more US goods as stipulated in the terms of the US-China phase one trade deal. It also supports China’s efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak through increasing the imports of medical apparatus and instruments from the US

Coronavirus crisis: at this rate, how is China’s economy going to recover lost ground?
The latest consensus forecast for the Chinese economy is rather upbeat, and must reflect expectations of further stimulus measures. However, the government’s virus containment efforts continue to hamper the resumption of economic activity

Coronavirus: small business sentiment sinks to all-time low as outbreak knocks China’s economy, survey shows
Confidence among small and medium-sized firms in China slipped to an all-time low in February, a new survey shows     Results offer fresh evidence that economic conditions on the ground are much bleaker than the official version painted by Beijing

Covid-19, an opportunity for e-commerce
In recent weeks, our WeChat Moment newsfeeds have been heavy with posts about home-cooked meals. With much of China under lockdown, people have started devoting their free time to whipping up meals—prompted by boredom as much as necessity. Cookies, steamed buns, and pancakes have replaced restaurant takeout on Chinese tables. As a recent meme goes: After the quarantine began, everybody has suddenly become a great cook.

Chinese business optimistic during coronavirus, says Alibaba research unit
While the economic effects of the novel coronavirus continue to be felt throughout China, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the country remain optimistic about business prospects, according to the Ali Research Institute.

Coronavirus and Global Trade
Global trade is affected by myriad factors. The latest event to affect the international supply chain is the recent coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This novel virus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700.1More cases are expected as the virus moves beyond its point of origin in China’s Hubei province to the rest of the world.
Resulting labor deficits and quarantine procedures could have major effects on production and shipping worldwide. Events like this one reinforce the need for companies to have detailed logistical plans in place to compensate for the shortages and delays that are likely to result.

Geneva watch fair cancelled over coronavirus fears
The organisers of Watches & Wonders Geneva – the former Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) – have cancelled their annual watch fair due to take place from April 25-29, amid fears over the new coronavirus outbreak.—wonders_geneva-watch-fair-cancelled-over-coronavirus-fears/45582792

International Hardware Show in Cologne postponed to 2021
The Eisenwarenmesse – International Hardware Show in Cologne has been postponed to a new date in February 2021.

Asia Apparel Expo 2020 postponed to June this year
The 2020 edition of Asia Apparel Expo, which was due to take place from February 18-20 at Messe Berlin, Germany, will be rescheduled to a mid-year dateline of June 23-25. The international medical concerns related to outbreak and spread of novel coronavirus from China have dictated that public health and safety of exhibitors and visitors must take priority.

CPhI Japan postponed
CPhI Japan has been postponed due to rising travel restrictions related to the outbreak of COVID-19. The major pharma industry event, which draws in about 200,000 attendees, was scheduled for March 16-18 in Tokyo.

With Japan caught out by Covid-19, the Tokyo Olympics will be a challenge
As infections and deaths mount among Diamond Princess cruise passengers, Japan’s ad hoc response to the outbreak, in part possibly to avoid upsetting China, is looking wholly inadequate. Will it learn its lessons in time for the Summer Olympics?

Wednesday evening news briefing: Coronavirus fears postpones Six Nations match
Your evening guide: Ireland v Italy clash in Dublin put back as virus spreads and Sajid Javid’s parting shot at Dominic Cummings

Factbox: Sports events hit by the coronavirus epidemic

Coronavirus: China, Japan, South Korea supply chains under threat from ‘second wave’ of disruptions
The three Asian countries contribute around 24 per cent of the entire world economy, but have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak   China was attempting to boost trade and investment with Japan and South Korea to offset risks of decoupling from the United States

Some American companies are seeking to cut their reliance on China as coronavirus outbreak disrupts production, crimps revenue
Revenue in China will fall in 2020 if the coronavirus continues to disrupt work through April, said half of the respondents in AmCham China’s survey   Some US companies are shifting out of China, with 28 per cent polled saying they are setting up, or using alternative supply chains, according to a separate survey by AmCham Singapore

Workers at more than 60 per cent of Chinese companies still telecommuting amid coronavirus lockdown, says Baidu
Telecommuting remains the current choice of operation for more than half of Chinese companies coping with the shutdown brought about by the coronavirus, despite figures in recent days showing a slowing in the spread of the deadly disease inside China. More than 60 per cent of companies in major Chinese cities have not reopened offices since the Lunar New Year holiday, allowing employees to work remotely from home, statistics from Baidu showed.

Hong Kong, China stocks gain on signals of more stimulus from People’s Bank of China to boost economy pounded by coronavirus
Shanghai Composite, CSI 300 benchmark climb after three sessions of losses   Hang Seng Index ends with gains in a very jittery trading week

Coronavirus: China’s ports reach ‘turning point’ as Covid-19 backlog clears
Crane operators, customs officers, tugboat pilots and other key logistics links have began to slot into place after lockdowns across the country had led to congestion  China is the largest container cargo handler – processing around 30 per cent of global traffic or around 715,000 containers a day in 2019

Coronavirus: China’s courier sector braces for losses as outbreak snarls supply chains
Some 65 per cent of China’s courier businesses forecast losses this year as the coronavirus weighs down the economy    Road closures, flight cancellations and workforce limitations have made the resumption of operations difficult for most firms

How Will Coronavirus Impact China in the Long Term?
As numbers of new infections begin to diminish, the People’s Republic of China is beginning to claim victory in its battle with the coronavirus. But with over 700 million people—10 percent of the world’s population—now living under lockdown, the ripples of the viral crisis are huge, even if an end may be in sight. Hidden infections and dubious statistics have also left epidemiologists highly worried. What signs are there of the economic and political impact of the virus? And what should the world be keeping an eye on in the next few weeks? —

WHO warns failure to prepare for coronavirus now ‘could be a fatal mistake’
World Health Organization officials warned that member countries need to prepare for their first COVID-19 cases after seven new countries reported cases for the first time over the last 24 hours. “No country should assume it won’t get cases. That could be a fatal mistake. This virus does not respect borders,” WHO’s top official said.

COVID-19 epidemic at ‘decisive point’: WHO chief
Urging countries at the early stages of the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease to “move swiftly”, he added: “If you act aggressively now, you can contain this virus, you can prevent people getting sick, you can save lives.”

Number of new coronavirus cases reported in South Korea tops China for first time
Seoul reports 505 people were infected with Covid-19 – the largest jump the country has seen in a single day    Leading Chinese respiratory specialist says number of infections could have been greatly reduced if country had acted earlier    Guizhou province become the first in China to announce a date when pupils could return to school. The epidemic control command in the southwestern province announced that final-year students would return to the classroom on March 16. It said the date for resuming other classes would depend on how the situation developed.

Trade war and coronavirus show retail supply chains are too dependent on China, ex-Macy’s CEO says
The trade war and coronavirus outbreak helped show retail supply chains have become too reliant on China, former Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said. “The answer is yes. It is too much,” Lundgren said on “Closing Bell.”  About 20% of the retail supply chain is exposed to China, according to Cowen analyst Oliver Chen.

Saudi Arabia bans foreign pilgrims as Japan plans to close schools
Countries around world scramble to halt spread of virus that has so far killed almost 3,000 people

All schools in Japan told to close until April over virus outbreak
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday asked all elementary, junior high and high schools nationwide to close from Monday through the students’ spring break, which typically ends in early April.

Coronavirus: China defends decision to impose control measures on South Korean, Japanese visitors
‘As long as the measures are scientific, professional and moderate, everybody should be able to understand,’ foreign ministry spokesman says   But experts say ban is unlikely to stop the deadly outbreak becoming a pandemic

Coronavirus: the hunt for ‘patient zero’ – and why the world’s health may depend on it
Identifying first person infected would help answer crucial questions about the virus and possibly prevent future outbreaks    But as time passes, tracking down the index case grows increasingly difficult

Coronavirus case in US may be due to ‘community spread’ of infection
American patient with no apparent sign of exposure tests positive for the virus    US health officials say community spread of Covid-19 would weaken travel restrictions and other containment measures

Coronavirus: US lawmakers push Donald Trump and his team to be more aggressive in dealing with outbreak
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar faces tough questioning on Capitol Hill as he insists that risk to US is ‘low’ but ‘could change quickly’     ‘Confusion is the enemy of preparedness. I think we have some problems with the administration,’ congresswoman says

Coronavirus: Donald Trump appoints Vice-President Pence to lead containment efforts
The announcement follows criticism that a health official’s warning on Tuesday that a US coronavirus outbreak inevitable conflicted with Trump’s earlier messaging    Trump administration has been on the defensive over its response to the spreading, deadly virus

Hong Kong office rents plummet as coronavirus drags commercial property transactions to an all-time low
The number of deals signed in Hong Kong is likely to fall below 200 this month for the first time since records began in July 1995, according to Centaline Property Agency   Central’s office vacancy rate reached 4 per cent in January for the first time in more than five years, according to JLL

Why India’s closer ties to US need not harm relations with China
The US$3 billion arms deal sealed during Donald Trump’s visit to India is motivated in part by a desire to form a strategic counterweight to Beijing    But military observers note Narendra Modi wants to carve out a role as an independent player and has no desire to alienate China

Could the coronavirus help to improve China’s ties with South Korea, Japan?
Cooperation on ‘soft’ issues like public health can provide an ‘opportunity for improvement’ in the nations’ broader relationship, international affairs expert says    Foreign ministers agree to do all they can to ensure Chinese President Xi Jinping’s planned visits to east Asian neighbours go ahead later this year

Conflict prevention in the South China Sea depends on China abiding by the existing rules of navigation
US freedom of navigation operations do not, in and of themselves, raise the risk of a maritime incident     From the 1972 ‘Rules of the Road’ to the 2014 bilateral agreement on the rules of behaviour, the protocol exists for peaceful engagement even in disputed waters

A fairy tale ending
How do you ensure a story has a fairy tale ending? You write the ending yourself of course. In recent days, official state media in China have celebrated the publication of A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combatting Covid-19 in 2020, a book that compiles writing by official state media to paint a portrait of leadership resolve in the face of a major challenge.

Docuseries Profiles People at the Heart of the COVID-19 Crisis
“In Wuhan,” co-produced by Bilibili and CCTV, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews since its first episode aired Wednesday.

podcast : Coronavirus: The ‘propaganda push’ in China
As China battles coronavirus, medics treating people on the front line are being hailed as heroes.  For the first country dealing with this new, potentially fatal, disease, it was always going to be tough.   Chinese doctors and nurses have been putting their lives as risk. And the BBC’s Stephen McDonell says they’re now also key to the government’s “propaganda push”.

Singapore shows how to stop coronavirus without bringing the world to a halt
It is virtually impossible to enter any building in Singapore without being offered a sanitising hand wash, a simple expedient for limiting the spread of the virus. Similarly citizens are encouraged to conduct regular checks of their temperature, thereby making early detection of potential new cases more likely.
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