China Press Review – February 3, 2020

Press review

Chinese patriotism is new sales octane as millennials embrace home-grown brands at the expense of foreign icons
Trade war, boycotts stir nationalistic fervour, drives sales of guo huo, or home-grown brands, against foreign icons   Outpouring of support for local cosmetics makers, apparel manufacturer and snack food producer will endure: McKinsey

China manufacturing outlook worsened in January, even before coronavirus outbreak
The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a survey of small, private producers in China, was 51.1 in January, down from 51.5 in December    China’s industrial profits – the money made by its largest industrial firms – also fell by 3.3 per cent in the whole of 2019 after falling 6.3 per cent in December

US agencies to resume talks about further restrictions on sales to Huawei: sources
Principals at government departments plan to meet as soon as next week to talk about tightening rules for Huawei’s US suppliers     Focus is on US suppliers that avoid limits on sales to the company by shipping products made in overseas facilities

Huawei, Chinese chip makers keep factories humming despite coronavirus outbreak
Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier, restarted operations at its Dongguan factory on February 3  Chip foundry SMIC and memory maker YMTC kept plants running through the Lunar New Year holiday

Merkel plan for Huawei 5G gear gets pushback in Germany from within her own ranks
The stand-off pits Germany’s trade interests with China against security concerns raised by the US

Is China getting real with its grandiose visions for the belt and road?
Beijing is toning down its rhetoric for the grand plan and rethinking its massive international infrastructure programme, Raffaello Pantucci writes   Signs of a more modest approach from Xi Jinping’s trip to Myanmar when there was little official mention of an economic corridor involving the two countries

Coronavirus could cut China auto production by up to 2 per cent this year, S&P says
Production likely to decline ‘materially’ in the first quarter as car makers forced to delay plant reopenings after Lunar New Year, S&P says    Sales could recover after epidemic stabilises, but positive effect to be ‘mild’, rating agency says

Beauty Brands Big on China’s New Streaming Show
Beauty brands have no shortage of choice when it comes to working with KOLs for video and livestreams, but when they focus exclusively on beauty, the content of these collaborations can become repetitive and predictable. But one Chinese influencer promises to mix things up this year by meshing cross-border e-commerce with beauty and travel content in her new streaming show.
Why many Chinese women are giving motherhood a miss – it’s not just the high cost of raising a child
Women from the one-child generation tend to be assertive and career-focused. Their aspirations do not always include motherhood and they are less influenced by calls from the government    Beijing should introduce and enforce policies to support working women – including single women – who want to have children
France threatens to block Chinese firm’s rescue of British Steel
Jingye deal to save the company and its Scunthorpe steelworks thrown into doubt
Recession? Correction? Coronavirus Isn’t Likely to Cause Either.
If you’re a bear, the escalating coronavirus outbreak lends itself to the argument that the U.S. economy might finally tip into recession and the stock market might finally correct.

Coronavirus will ‘hit China’s economy but not as much as Sars’
Deputy chief of the country’s top economic planning agency says the impact from the outbreak will be temporary and won’t rattle the foundations   But more of the population is affected this time around, raising the spectre of greater fallout, analyst says

Coronavirus: Hong Kong hospital staff strike to demand closure of China border
Hundreds of hospital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the border with mainland China be completely closed to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

China to inject US$174 billion of liquidity into markets amid new coronavirus outbreak
China’s central bank has announced it will inject 1.2 trillion yuan (US$174 billion) into markets via reverse repo operations on Monday   Investors are bracing for the worst when markets resume following a new coronavirus outbreak that has dented China’s economic activity

China’s stocks plummeted. Other markets are faring better
The Shanghai Composite nosedived 7.7% in its first day of trading following an extended Lunar New Year holiday — its biggest drop since August 2015’s notorious “Black Monday,” when global markets were rattled by China slowdown fears.

China’s yuan weakens but resilient yen points to risk recovery
China’s offshore yuan dropped to a more than seven-week low on Monday, but a recovery in the safe-haven Japanese yen suggested fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus in China were ebbing for now.    Chinese markets took a beating in the first trading session after an extended Lunar New Year break. The offshore yuan dropped as low as 7.023 yuan per dollar. The dollar was last up 0.3% against the Chinese currency.

Here’s what will help financial markets battle impact of the coronavirus outbreak: a return of corporate earnings growth
After a spectacular 2019, markets could rise modestly in 2020 on the back of stabilising profit margins amid recovering economic growth. The reporting season now under way will set the tone for markets
China’s Financial Markets Set for Tumultuous Return on Monday
Traders’ first chance since Jan. 23 to react to virus outbreak    Global markets have been roiled since China last traded
China Central Bank Sees Temporary Economic Impact From Virus, Pledges Support Measures
China pledges more money to help companies weather coronavirus outbreak
Central bank says it will cut lending rates, increase liquidity to ensure financial stability as death toll and number of confirmed cases continue to rise    Statement comes as report by Hong Kong scientists says there could be more than 75,000 infected people in Wuhan alone

Coronavirus could be ‘death blow’ for many of China’s small manufacturers if not under control by April
The impact of the outbreak adds to rising costs and trade war uncertainty for many Chinese businesses    Manufacturers fear foreign customers will shift orders to other countries if the situation is not brought under control by April

What coronavirus means for China tech
“I am less worried about the impact on China’s tech giants, and more worried about small and medium enterprises,” says Norris. “Things were already looking grim, and this latest public health crisis will dent business confidence.”

China’s private sector business capital on lockdown as coronavirus takes its toll
Authorities in the east China city of Wenzhou have closed roads and ordered people to stay home as number of confirmed cases hits 265   About 180,000 people from the city work in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and may have carried infection when they returned home for the Lunar New Year holiday

Coronavirus forces world’s largest work-from-home experiment
The coronavirus outbreak is prompting daily changes in corporate directives   As Chinese companies begin to restart operations after the Lunar New Year, more are trying to organise meetings via videochat or productivity software platforms

‘Busy looking for masks’: Financiers worry about virus, Hong Kong braces for business slowdown
Temporary relocation for families and search for face masks are top issues worrying bankers as they return from Lunar New Year break    Some executives are even avoiding Hong Kong travels amid widening travel restrictions globally

China Epidemic: Real Effects on Logistics and Manufacturing
If the situation is as bad as what I wrote above, some factory owners will decide to pull the plug. And the manufacturers that depend on their components will have to stop their lines, incur massive losses, and be unable to ship.     The question then becomes, how long will this last? And nobody has an answer. Nobody can forecast a date for a vaccine to be ready, clinically trialled, approved, and manufactured in the necessary volumes.

How the Fashion Industry is Coping with the Coronavirus Crisis
 “Many industry trade shows are now canceled,” said Vincent Djen, the director of Cheng Kung Garments and the Chief Strategy Officer of REmakeHub, a company that provides circular solutions for plastic waste, explaining how the coronavirus has already disrupted many fashion industries’ plans for 2020. To name a few, Spinexpo, the industry sourcing exhibition dedicated to innovation in yarns, fibers, and knitwear, and the China (Shanghai) International Optics Fair, which are held in Shanghai in February, have both been postponed.

Coronavirus outbreak halts meeting of top China economists under Vice-Premier Liu He
The Economists 50 Forum, which includes China’s most prominent financial experts, has suspended its yearly gathering and urged members to take care Meeting’s indefinite postponement underlines the disruptive impact that coronavirus is having on economic and social activities in China

More than half of China extends shutdown over virus
Last year, those parts of China accounted for more than 80% of national GDP, and 90% of exports, according to CNBC calculations of data accessed through Wind Information.

Shanghai ramps up face mask production as supplies run out amid coronavirus scare
Manufacturers as well as the government have had to make arrangements for raw materials and manpower because of the Lunar New Year holiday      Face masks are cherished by people ‘as something more expensive than gold’, resident says

Coronavirus: China shifts responsibility over medical supplies amid mask shortage, rising death toll
China’s economic planning agency has taken over responsibility for supplying facial masks after shortages were reported among health workers   The foreign ministry on Monday said China ‘urgently needs’ protective medical equipment as the death toll from the coronavirus continues to grow

Coronavirus: China Red Cross under fire over poor distribution of masks, medical supplies
The government is under growing pressure to relax restrictions on donations of masks and other items

Beijing has ordered donations to be funnelled to five government-backed charity organisations while Hubei province remains under lockdown   The Red Cross Society of Hubei province has become a target of public anger as the distribution of donations – especially of much-needed protective equipment for medical staff at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak – becomes a logistical nightmare.  The hashtag “Red Cross” has become the most searched topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, with many asking: “Why are doctors still without protective gear after so many donations? Is [provincial capital] Wuhan a black hole?”
Fury in China as footage appears to show officials taking doctors’ face masks
Local and central government officials face growing wave of anger over handling of coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus: scientists identify possible new mode of transmission in human faeces
Genetic traces of the new coronavirus have been found in the stool of patients being treated at a hospital in Shenzhen  The findings have prompted researchers to warn of possible faecel-oral spread of the disease, in addition to respiratory droplet transmission and contact
If China fails to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the price will be paid by all
The Chinese government must overcome its isolationist instincts and start sharing more information with health experts and scientists abroad, including those from the US. Greater transparency and cooperation are needed to tackle a looming global epidemic

Hong Kong’s Tragic Mishandling of the Coronavirus
Government, in thrall to China, delivers possibility of a major health crisis

Coronavirus crisis brings out worst in toxic Hong Kong society already scarred by the revolution of our times
Yonden Lhatoo despairs for the city, given the ugly public mood on the streets as the global health emergency bites hard and an indecisive government inspires no confidence
The Wuhan Pneumonia Patient Trapped Between Despair and Hope
Ten days after Zhang Chi first went to the hospital with a high fever and lung infection, he has yet to receive a conclusive diagnosis.   Zhang Chi is one of many Wuhan residents striving against the coronavirus. His story demonstrates the resilience and indefatigable spirit of the people of Wuhan, and his road to recovery highlights the serious challenges the virus has exposed, particularly shortages of medical resources.
Wuhan doctors beaten up, overworked, under supplied
Medical workers treating people infected with the coronavirus in the central China city say they are fighting more than just a virus outbreak     Doctor says he overheard a waiting patient threaten to stab someone … but ‘killing a few of us will not reduce the queue, right?’
Leave China NOW!
You should probably leave China. Now.    You are in a country overcome by a deadly virus and news reports here in the United States make clear that it isn’t coping well with that. The official numbers of those with the coronavirus are not even close to the real numbers. China’s medical facilities are stretched thin and there is a shortage of masks and gloves and various other things needed to fight the virus. You are a foreigner in China with a job that does not pay particularly well. To put it bluntly, this means you are a low  priority for medical care and for being flown out back to your home country. If I were you I would prioritize my health and wellbeing over a day or two of vacation, or, a few hundred dollars in the case of the other teachers for whom you write.

Japan Refuses Entry of 8 Foreigners over Coronavirus
Japan had refused the entry of eight foreign nationals by Sunday, in line with a measure, introduced on Saturday, to strengthen immigration controls amid the spread of a new coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday.    Under the measure, the Japanese government in principle will refuse entry by foreign nationals with records of being in China’s Hubei Province within 14 days of their applications to enter Japan and holders of Chinese passports issued by the province, regardless of whether they are infected with the virus, originating in Wuhan, the capital of the province.

Coronavirus versus Sars – a tale of two viruses
These are the similarities and differences between the latest health emergency and its predecessor, Sars, which affected more than 8,000 people in 37 countries    The two diseases are genetically similar and both have flu-like symptoms, but the new virus is clinically milder

Coronavirus shows the US and China are sailing in the same boat and share similar national security concerns
The US reported its first coronavirus case soon after Beijing broke its silence on the outbreak, indicating how many Americans travel to China  The disease has also highlighted the need to overcome the mistrust of and racism towards Chinese in the US

China reports outbreak of deadly bird flu among chickens in Hunan province, close to coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan
Bird flu outbreak in Hunan province, which lies on the southern border of Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak    Bird flu is much deadlier than either Sars or the coronavirus, but as of yet no human cases have been reported in this outbreak
Coronavirus: US confirms 8th case of virus in person who travelled to China; Pentagon agrees to provide quarantine housing for up to 1,000 people
Latest US patient, who was not identified, is in Massachusetts. The virus has so far resulted in 259 deaths in China, although none outside the country    The Pentagon will provide housing support for people who may need to be quarantined
China’s belt and road: after the gold rush, Pakistan sees the downside
Beijing’s massive investment in projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor supercharged Pakistan’s GDP growth, for a while    Now the ‘early harvest’ has been reaped, interest is drying up – and so are the jobs
Irish fund offering residency on the ‘Emerald isle’ for €1 million sees surge in interest from wealthy Hongkongers looking to escape civil unrest
An Irish fund is offering rich Hongkongers a way to gain permanent residency by investing €1 million in family-run hotels near Dublin    Interest has quadrupled in recent months as Hong Kong has been ravaged by political turmoil, according to the fund’s chief executive
China must outlaw the trade and consumption of exotic animals, not only to protect endangered species, but also for the health of mankind
The outbreak of the Wuhuan coronavirus, also linked to a market where wildlife was sold for food, once again highlights the lack of regulation of wildlife trade. Considering the huge costs to health and the economy, it’s time to ban the trade permanently

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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