China Press Review – February 4, 2019

Press review

U.S.-China Trade War Talks: America Should Give China Room To ‘Fall’
America has the upper hand in the US-China trade war talks. That’s according to a number of China observers, who see a bigger chance for China to blink before the US does.

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump ‘may meet in Da Nang, Vietnam’ at the end of February
Source familiar with discussions says the two sides are considering a meeting in the coastal city on February 27 and 28 The presidents are expected to continue pushing to resolve the trade dispute between the two nations

A successful US-China trade deal would boost copper, aluminium prices, analysts say
Two biggest risks to global metals and mining industries are China’s slowdown, trade war, many surveyed executives say Copper and aluminium prices are up this year, after steep falls in 2018

China’s Cofco buys ‘millions of tonnes’ of US soybeans
Deal part of efforts to implement a ‘consensus’ on trade agreed between China and the United States, company says

China says it will buy more soybeans, but American farmers see a bleak future
Although growers acknowledge ‘encouraging’ pledge from Beijing, they aren’t convinced industry can get back to where it was before trade war began

A slowdown in growth is to be expected given China’s economic restructuring. Overreacting and jeopardising that restructuring will bring short-term gain, but long-term pain

How serious is the Chinese economic slowdown?
The sheer scale of the Chinese economy today makes the risk of collapse a frightening prospect In his Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith pointed out that a “man of humanity” would lose more sleep over a “paltry misfortune” like the loss of a little finger than over a remote catastrophe such as an earthquake swallowing up the entire Chinese population. In his parable, the anti-hero would nonetheless “enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general”—before having a sound sleep. China’s intensifying slowdown is far removed from Smith’s imaginary disaster. But because of the sheer scale of the Chinese economy after four decades of rapid growth, there will be plenty of lost sleep if the slowdown does indeed take a turn for the worse.

How serious is the Chinese economic slowdown? 

China’s economy made steady progress policies in place to deal with risks Xi
Playing down concerns over economic slowdown in China amid the intense trade war with the US, President Xi Jinping on Sunday said the world’s second largest economy has made “steady” progress as his government took new steps for reforms and opening-up of economy to avert major risks.

China’s top 10 infrastructure projects to rescue its slowing economy
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved 27 infrastructure projects since the start of 2018, totalling US$219.43 billion Projects in Shanghai, Jiangsu province, Wuhan, Guangdong province, Suzhou, Changchun, Shaanxi province, Hangzhou, Chongqing and Guangxi province

Foreign businesses fret as China fast-tracks investment law
– China is fast-tracking a foreign investment law at an unprecedented pace to meet Washington’s demands on trade, but businesses fear that the time to review and raise objections on a crucial piece of legislation has been cut short. The law will eliminate the requirement for foreign enterprises to transfer proprietary technology to Chinese joint-venture partners.

‘AI Farms’ Are at the Forefront of China’s Global Ambitions
“Just like the Middle East has lots of oil, China can be the world’s center for AI data,” says Sheng Hua, CEO of Mengdong, whose clients include Chinese tech titans Baidu, and Alibaba.

2018 in review: China incubates 25 new unicorns worth $58 billion
China continued to be a breeding hotbed for tech unicorns in 2018, with 25 private companies receiving a valuation of $1 billion or more for the first time. The 2018 vintage unicorns boast a total valuation of $58.05 billion, China Money Network‘s data shows. The total number of Chinese unicorns represents a modest increase over the 22 in 2017, but is still a slowdown over 2016 and 2015, which saw 33 and 31 new Chinese unicorns, respectively.

2018 in review: China incubates 25 new unicorns worth $58 billion

Will China lose its tech mojo as venture capital for innovative start-ups gets harder to come by?
With money going to later-stage tech giants, can the ‘red unicorn’ wave keep rolling on? Polarised market threatens to undermine entrepreneurship and innovation

The ‘splinternet’: How China and the US could divide the internet for the rest of the world
The future could see Chinese and American apps and services dominate half of the internet each, leading to a split internet, according to Kaifu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures.Commentators have dubbed this the “splinternet.” Lee also said that China could be ahead of the U.S. in artificial intelligence in five years.

The Week in Tech: Bracing for the Year of the Pig in China
Relations have soured since China has become increasingly authoritarian under President Xi Jinping and the United States increasingly isolationist under President Trump. The two countries have been engaged in a trade war since summer 2018. But Monday felt like a watershed moment as the Justice Department unveiled sweeping charges against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. A tech Cold War seems irreversible, and much of the world has to choose a side: China or the United States?

An option for China as it tries to help Huawei escape its mounting legal woes
Slowly, we’re watching the world of technology cleave between China and the rest of the world, Ankit Panda writes The telecoms giant, which has become a symbol of China’s hi-tech pride, is under siege

What Do the Huawei Indictments Mean for the Future of Global Tech?
The United States indictments against Huawei look set to significantly worsen already tense relations between China and the U.S. As America pressures allies to drop Huawei and other Chinese firms, U.S. and European officials point to China’s own laws as evidence that even private firms are potential arms of the Chinese state, and the political atmosphere grows ever colder in Beijing, the vision of a world brought together through technology feels ever more distant.

Not Doctor Approved: China Bans Marketing of Beauty Products as ‘Medical’
Strict new regulations from China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) are likely to have an impact on how cosmetics are marketed in China. Identifying a beauty product as having “medical benefits” is now illegal. It’s a step that China’s taking to keep up with global FDA standards, as most countries don’t entertain the idea of “medical” cosmetics and keep medical products separate from cosmetic ones.

Not Doctor Approved: China Bans Marketing of Beauty Products as ‘Medical’

Meet the ‘godfather’ of China’s smartphone industry
Duan Yongping is the founder and chairman of Dongguan-based BBK Electronics Corp
Privately held BBK is behind smartphone brands Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Realme

Michael Jordan has been brewing beer for over 20 years with all kinds of ingredients. These days, he’s testing out something new: consumer insights from Tmall, China’s largest B2C shopping site. Jordan is the brewmaster at Boxing Cat Brewery in Shanghai, owned by global beer brand Anheuser-Busch InBev. His team has partnered with the Tmall Innovation Center, the market-research arm of Alibaba, to become the first company to make a craft beer tailored specifically for China.

China luxury dealmaker plans IPO for US$2b Lycra unit
Acquisitive Chinese luxury apparel firm Shandong Ruyi Group is planning an initial public offering for The Lycra Co., maker of the elastic material used in yoga pants and skinny jeans.

What social media says about China’s war on air pollution
How does the average Chinese person feel about air quality today? It’s a question that seems even more pressing nowadays considering that in 2018, China appeared to slow down in its aggressive, government-led “war against air pollution.”

What social media says about China’s war on air pollution

As Donald Trump focuses on ‘America First’, China flexes its growing muscle at UN
China seen as using its clout to undermine human rights positions and back resolutions that reflect its world view Beijing has surpassed Japan as the body’s second biggest contributor

China Couldn’t Dominate Asia if It Wanted to
There are plenty of reasons Asia has been multipolar for almost all of recorded history, and Beijing understands them all.
China Couldn’t Dominate Asia if It Wanted to

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is here to stay, whether the US likes it or not
David Dodwell says China’s ambitious infrastructure-funding project is a reflection of the country’s vision of itself and a way to ensure the stability of its neighbours

China’s Belt and Road: Environment’s Enemy?
To all of the other problems that have cropped up recently with China’s massive multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative development scheme, add one more: the possibility of global environmental damage, according to a new 88-page policy research working paper released recently by the World Bank.

China’s Belt and Road: Environment’s Enemy?

China to provide USD 2.5 billion loan to Pakistan to boost foreign cash reserves
China will provide USD 2.5 billion in loans to Pakistan to boost the foreign exchange reserves of its “all-weather ally”, a media report said Saturday. Pakistan is nearly broke with the drying up of foreign cash reserves and mounting external debt.

China Joint Ventures: The Long Version
With China’s economy in a downturn and so much uncertainty regarding the future of US/China (and even EU/China) relations, our China lawyers have of late been seeing a massive uptick in companies looking to do China joint ventures “to share in the risk.” When done right, China joint ventures do share risk. But when done wrong they actually increase the risk, but only for the non-Chinese company. This is part one in a series of posts intended to help you spot China joint venture risks and avoid them.

China Joint Ventures: The Long Version

Giant Shopping Spree to Show What’s Really Up With China Economy
China’s consumers have cut back on purchases of everything from Apple Inc.’s iPhones to Swiss watches as the trade war with the U.S. hits the economy Landing just days after hundreds of local companies issued profit warnings and multinationals sounded the alarm about softening demand, the week-long Lunar New Year holiday will provide the next litmus test of the resilience of the Chinese shopper.

Happy Lunar New Year: how big security data is scanning the holiday crowds in China
Four years after tragedy struck in Shanghai, police throughout China are using new technology to keep track of crowds and individuals

China disciplines more than 80 officials linked to major vaccine scandal
Four officials from the China Food and Drug Administration, including former deputy director Wu Zhen, have been handed over to prosecutors Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology was fined US$1.3 billion in October

Is China’s corruption-busting AI system ‘Zero Trust’ being turned off for being too efficient?
Despite being restricted to just 30 counties and cities, artificial intelligence system has already helped snare 8,721 officials System cross-references big data to evaluate work and personal lives of millions of government workers

‘If we have to leave, we leave’: the downside of life in China’s park city
Chengdu is arguably China’s most liveable burgeoning megacity, following in the footsteps of England’s garden city movement – but on an epic scale

How the Chinese empire became the master of its own destruction
A failure to reform and modernise led to the collapse of China’s imperial system Wars and rebellions in the second half of the 19th century were disastrous for the Qing Dynasty

Europeans referred to East Asians as white until the end of the 18th century But as the Chinese and Japanese resisted cultural assimilation they darkened – both in Western eyes and their own

China’s pigs are vanishing as consumers go the whole hog for leaner pork
Across the country breeds are rapidly disappearing and signature dishes are going with them Year of the Pig unlikely to provide much comfort as animals are exposed to increased risk of disease

How Peppa and China’s ‘Little Miss Piggys’ Are Redefining Cool
In honor of the Year of the Pig, a look back at how these pudgy farm animals became avatars of urban Chinese life.

Chinese zodiac 2019: All you need to know about the year of the pig
Pigs loom large in Chinese culture so it is little wonder that the character for pig, an animal central to traditional village life, is written nestled inside the character for home

Alain Gillard
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