China Press Review – February 7, 2019

Press review

China steps up efforts to close failed zombie companies by 2020, but faces harsh economic reality
Liquidation plans for state-owned enterprises in regions including Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan and Shaanxi underway, local media report Analysts warn that closing firms that may ‘exceed 20,000 cases’ during economic slowdown may exacerbate fears of increasing unemployment

Responsible competition and the future of U.S.-China relations
Seven critical questions for strategy

Responsible competition and the future of U.S.-China relations

US trade deficit with China narrows, as effects of trade war-induced export front-loading begin to fade
The United States’ trade deficit with China fell US$2.8 billion to US$35.4 billion in November, led by a decline in US imports of consumer goods The data will be well-received by US President Trump, who has railed against the US’ perceived lopsided trading relationship with China.

The Chinese business leaders bringing prosperity to the world’s second biggest economy
From the founder of the world’s largest e-commerce company to China’s wealthiest woman, here are China’s most influential business leaders

The Chinese business leaders bringing prosperity to the world’s second biggest economy

When the Fed is worried about China, it’s no time to get carried away by Sino-US trade talks
Nicholas Spiro says the bond market, where the smart money is, thinks the newly dovish Fed is too optimistic about US growth. Meanwhile, 2019 is starting to look like 2016, when China’s softening economy caused concern among US policymakers

Huawei faces increased US opposition at Mobile World Congress with officials out to dissuade from buying Chinese 5G gear
US officials are increasing the size of their delegation to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month The US plans to advocate for other providers such as Cisco Systems, Ericsson and Nokia

Huawei likely faces 5G ban in Canada, security experts say – but the trick will be how and when to announce it
Analysts and former diplomats doubt Huawei will be allowed a role in Canada’s next-generation networks, but China’s ambassador warns of repercussions if the firm is banned Any decision by PM Justin Trudeau could be delayed as long as possible to avoid jeopardising Canadians who are held in China

Huawei: Tackling security concerns may take five years
It will take three to five years for Huawei to address security issues raised by the UK government, the company has said.

US-China Tech Rivalry Creating ‘Splinternet’
Last year, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt warned of “a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.” In recent years, concerns have grown in some quarters over this pending bifurcation and a corresponding “China Model of Internet Control,” as Freedom House outlined in last year’s “Freedom on the Net” report. This digital divide, or “digital iron curtain,” is becoming readily apparent in Zambia, where many local activists worry that the country’s democratic norms are being undermined by Chinese influence in the tech and media sectors. Sheridan Prasso reported last month for Bloomberg:

US-China Tech Rivalry Creating ‘Splinternet’

David Malpass, US nominee for World Bank president and long-time China hawk, ‘will continue to take part in trade talks’
Malpass will travel to Beijing next week with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, administration officials say ‘It doesn’t make sense to have money borrowed in the US, using the US government guarantee, going into lending in China,’ the nominee said in 2017

Donald Trump’s pick to head the World Bank means US-China rivalry has a new front: development aid
Daniel Wagner says China continues to take World Bank aid despite its growth and the founding of alternative institutions like the AIIB. Trump’s nominee to lead the bank, David Malpass, may have been chosen to stop that

EU derails Franco-German deal to create rail giant aimed at China’s competitive threat
Proponents of merger said it is needed to beat back state-backed China rail threat But EU commissioner said merger would create near monopoly and that China isn’t looking to enter European market in ‘foreseeable future’

Chinese consumer is the ‘single most important thing’ in the world economy, Jim O’Neill says
Chinese growth, a big driver of the global economy, is slowing. Former Goldman Sachs chairman Jim O’Neill said the one worrying element is consumer spending. Closer to home, O’Neill said Brexit with “No Deal” has a 20 percent probability

The One Thing Stores & Hotels Can Do Right Now to Boost China Tourist Sales
Accepting mobile payments could pay off fast—and handsomely—for retailers catering to Chinese clients. According to a recent joint report from Alipay and Nielsen, retailers that adopted mobile payment options enjoyed a marked increase in sales among Chinese outbound tourists in 2018.

The One Thing Stores & Hotels Can Do Right Now to Boost China Tourist Sales

Jiangsu Tax Cuts, Other Incentives for Private Sector Businesses
Jiangsu, an economically prosperous province in East China, has rolled out a series of new measures and tax cuts to bolster its private economy. Among Chinese provinces, Jiangsu has the second-highest GDP after Guangdong, with a private sector that accounts for over 50 percent of the province’s overall economy.

US and allies urged to increase digital investments in Asia to counter China’s belt and road tech projects
Panel says Beijing’s big ambitions have raised cybersecurity questions Analyst says China ‘will dominate the region’ if US and its allies fail to offer alternative

China and Russia loaned billions to Venezuela — and then the presidency went up for grabs
China and Russia have kept Venezuela afloat by lending billions to the economically crippled petrostate, sometimes with cheap oil thrown in as a sweetener for the two creditors. Those deals were struck with strongman Nicolas Maduro, whose leadership is facing a serious challenge from Juan Guaido, and it’s not clear what happens to that debt if Maduro is kicked out of office. Venezuela is indebted to external creditors by a total of something close to $100 billion.

Is China about to abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy?
The growing US-China naval arms race is putting pressure on Beijing to reconsider its long-standing nuclear policy, analysts say But one source said that unlike the US, China is incapable of launching a pre-emptive strike and so has little choice but to retain “no first use” policy

HIV Scare: Risk to Public Health ‘Very Low,’ Say Authorities
Officials move to quell concerns after 12,000 potentially contaminated blood products were released into the Chinese health system.

Chinese blood plasma ‘cleared’ as authorities give mixed messages on HIV contamination
Batch that health commission said was contaminated is cleared by drug watchdog whose officials are being investigated over last year’s rabies vaccine scandal Shanghai regulator says it has recalled the batch and halted production at the company that produced it

Chinese intelligence hacked Norwegian software firm Visma to steal client secrets, investigators say
The alleged attack was part of a global effort by China’s Ministry of State Security to steal intellectual property and company secrets, say security experts The claims came after Norway’s police intelligence agency accused Beijing of stealing information via technology provided by telecom tech giant Huawei

Chinese contractor for Australia’s AMP pleads guilty to stealing data
The 28-year-old man was arrested as he tried to board a flight to China in January Financial planning company had noticed suspicious activity on its network

China’s Privacy Conundrum
The country is increasingly protecting consumers from tech companies even as government surveillance intensifies.

Why some Filipinos fear a Chinese military takeover of a bankrupt shipbuilder’s dockyard in Subic Bay
Relations between the two nations have warmed since a tense stand-off over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in 2012 But Chinese interest in a bankrupt shipyard that was once home to part of a major naval base has set tongues wagging about Beijing’s designs on the site

Alain Gillard
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