China Press Review – February 4, 2020

Press review

Horse trading and arm twisting as US battles China over leadership of UN intellectual property agency
Critics say candidate Wang Binying, now the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s deputy director general, would help spread Beijing’s ‘malign influence’     A Wang victory would give China five top spots at specialised UN agencies – the US has four – and expand its ability to project its world view

Chinese device brands such as Lenovo, Xiaomi to see manufacturing, sales delays due to coronavirus
The supply chain issues in the tech sector are just part of a bigger economic problem for China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus to test just how reliant the world is on Chinese manufacturers, with Asia braced for shock wave
With regions of China accounting for 80 per cent of exports on lockdown, factories around Asia are being forced into looking for alternative supplies    Workers trapped in China amid travel bans, while trade watchers as far afield as California wait for boats from China to stop arriving

Coronavirus may disrupt China’s diplomatic agenda, US trade deal, observers say
Chinese and European leaders have a series of talks lined up, including Vice-Premier Liu He’s trip to Brussels, but for now there is ‘no change of plans’    Outbreak will also ‘seriously impact ongoing bilateral discussions and the implementation of the phase one agreement’ with Washington

Coronavirus will delay export ‘boom’ from US-China phase 1 trade deal, Larry Kudlow says
President Donald Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that the deadly Chinese coronavirus outbreak will dent a surge in exports that is expected to flow from the first “phase” of the U.S.-China trade deal signed last month.  “It is true the trade deal, the phase one trade deal, the export boom from that trade deal will take longer because of the Chinese virus. That is true,” Kudlow said in a Fox Business Network interview.   But Kudlow noted that the Trump administration, which imposed travel restrictions and quarantines in response to the coronavirus last week, still projects “minimal impact” from the fast-spreading disease

With coronavirus outbreak hitting China’s economy, the US must pull its weight to ensure global growth
More policy accommodation in the form of easier credit and fiscal stimulus from Beijing looks likely
The Federal Reserve must go the extra mile and consider another interest rate cut while Trump must resolve the trade war with China

Why central banks may not be able to save China’s economy from the coronavirus
Chinese authorities announced a series of monetary measures aimed at calming market fears over the coronavirus epidemic.  The People’s Bank of China said it would inject 1.2 trillion renminbi of liquidity into the financial system and cut short-term rates.  However, some economists think the problem is too deep for simple monetary easing to solve.

Coronavirus epidemic may be tougher than Sars on China’s banks if it persists, S&P says
The effect on China’s gross domestic product growth could be worse than Sars if the virus is not ‘swiftly contained’, S&P says   The shares of some of China’s biggest lenders have fallen by double digits in recent weeks as the health crisis has worsened

Hong Kong’s retail industry to overcome challenges posed by protests, coronavirus with value-added services, strategies
Short-term leases and pop-up stores to be main source of leasing activity in Hong Kong for now    Sharp decline in retail sales a clear warning for retailers to reposition and restrategise

China Seeks to Redraw the Global Trade Map
There’s plenty of trade news to vying for our attention nowadays. But China’s Belt and Road Initiative should not get lost in the shuffle. Beyond building roads and bridges in developing countries, the BRI also has serious implications for trade in areas like 5G technology, arctic trade and even space travel.   The U.S. response to the BRI has varied. The Obama administration followed a “Pivot to Asia” approach, negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a mega-trade deal excluding China. President Trump scrapped the TPP days after coming to office. His administration has since passed the BUILD Act which authorizes the U.S. government to invest up to $60 billion in developing countries across Asia and Africa.    But the United States’ muted response may be too little too late. With every new BRI project, China is physically laying the groundwork for new trade routes across the region. If successful, BRI means all roads will lead back to Beijing.

Huawei and ZTE bans: Chinese tech giants urge US not to finalise national security risk labels
The FCC voted in November initially to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security risks    If finalised, the move will bar US rural carrier customers from tapping a US$8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the Chinese suppliers

Singapore Airshow to go ahead despite fewer exhibitors, with stepped-up coronavirus measures
Singapore Airshow will go ahead as planned next week despite the withdrawal of 16 exhibitors and  fewer visitors expected as travel disruption grows from the spiralling coronavirus outbreak. Of the 16 exhibitors who have pulled out, 10 are from China and six from four other countries, including aerospace companies Gulfstream, Textron Aviation and Bombardier .

Coronavirus Crisis Shows China’s Governance Failure
As the Communist Party cements control, more officials worry about pleasing their bosses than taking care of the people.

Coronavirus: China admits ‘shortcomings and deficiencies’
China’s top leadership has admitted “shortcomings and deficiencies” in the country’s response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus: China revives output of medical supplies but shortages persist on front line
Ministry official says 60-70 per cent of factories that make needed items have resumed production after Lunar New Year break     Supply and demand are becoming ‘more stable and balanced’, he says

Taking credit, avoiding blame? Xi Jinping’s absence from coronavirus frontline
The Chinese leader’s unusual decision to command from a distance during the national crisis has aroused suspicion

Banks, insurers join Alibaba, Tencent in donating to efforts to fight coronavirus outbreak
Several of the financial firms that have made donations are looking to expand their businesses in mainland China    Corporate donations by financial companies not uncommon during times of calamity, such as the recent Australian bush fires

As China goes back to work after Lunar New Year, will the coronavirus spread even more rapidly?
Most provinces and regions told businesses to remain closed, but in some parts of the country they reopened on Monday  After lockdowns and quarantines were enforced during the holiday season to contain the spread of infections, a return to normality will raise fresh fears

Coronavirus: UK tells all Britons to leave China ‘if they can’
All Britons in China should leave the country if they can to minimise the risk of exposure to the new coronavirus, the Foreign Office has said.

Coronavirus Shuts Macau, the World’s Gambling Capital
As officials in China and the region battle the mysterious outbreak, companies like Wynn and Las Vegas Sands could take a hit.

Europe ‘working on all fronts’ with China to help fight coronavirus outbreak
European Commission says it is supporting efforts to contain the disease, including repatriating EU citizens and providing emergency supplies    Beijing has also said it will continue to work with the global community

Cainiao ‘Green Channel’ speeds medical supply delivery during virus outbreak
Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has teamed up with industry partners to launch a global logistics channel that expedites the delivery of medical-aid donations to areas in China hit by the coronavirus outbreak.   So far, the Green Channel has delivered more than 5 million masks, 500,000 medical gloves, 40,000 sets of protective clothing, 20,000 goggles, 7,000 cases of disinfectant fluids, 30 tons of intravenous drips and over 40 tons of food to Hubei province from donors around the world, including Unicef, the Wuhan University Alumni Association in New York and other individuals and organizations from Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus: China thanks Japan for ‘heart-warming’ support after lashing out at US
Foreign ministry spokeswoman says she was ‘deeply touched’ by the country’s sympathy, understanding and donations    It was a stark contrast to Beijing’s response to Washington closing its borders to travellers from the mainland

Social media used to supervise official outbreak responses
capital of southwestern Sichuan province, on Jan. 30, 2020. (Image credit: TechNode/Eliza Gkritsi)
Criticism has spread on Chinese social media over how officials are handling of the coronavirus outbreak, even prompting personnel changes within the government and other institutions.
 The outbreak of a dangerous respiratory virus in China has exposed poor management and slow responses on the part of local-level governments.

Artificial intelligence applications surge as China battles to contain coronavirus epidemic
Autonomous robots have also replaced human cleaners at segregated wards to reduce infection rates   The voice robot, which collects and checks information such as personal identity, health condition and whereabouts

Where closing borders will fail, good hygiene and personal vigilance will help us check the coronavirus outbreak
The key is to stop the transmission by as-yet-unidentified infected people to others. And the best way to do that is if all members of the public take the necessary precautions by avoiding close contact with others and practising good hygiene

Coronavirus in China: Applicability of Force Majeure in Contract Disputes
The spread of the coronavirus in China these past few weeks has caused the World Health Organization (WHO) to announce the situation as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Many enterprises in China (including foreign invested entities) may be heavily affected in the production, logistics, international service, and other aspects of their operations, which may result in delays or failure to fulfill contractual obligations. Under such a situation, should the affected enterprises take liabilities for breach of contract? Is delayed performance or contract termination allowed?  In this article, we look at the situation according to Chinese laws and similar cases and suggest what measures should be taken to deal with these contractual issues.

How to Move Your Manufacturing From China: Rule One, Be Careful
This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of posts we will be writing on how to move your manufacturing from China. The South China Morning Post did a story yesterday whose title says it all: Coronavirus could be ‘death blow’ for many of China’s small manufacturers if not under control by April. The article itself consisted mostly of interviews with Chinese factory owners who talked about how bad things are for factories in China right now and how if things do not improve by, variously, the end of February, March or April, we should expect massive numbers of them to go under.

Coronavirus: US says Beijing will allow its health experts into China to help combat outbreak
American public health agency also says US actions are ‘science based’ and are not an overreaction to the contagion   Measures including a travel ban are aimed at ‘slowing the entry of the virus into the United States’, CDC says

Alain Gillard
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