China Press Review – February 7, 2020

Press review

China cancels January trade data release, will combine with February
The Customs Administration of China says it will combine trade data for January and February, removing volatility over the Lunar New Year period    The adjustment brings it in line with the way other major indicators are released, including consumption and industrial production

China’s forex reserves stand at 3.1155 trln USD
China’s foreign exchange reserves came in at 3.115 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of January, official data showed Friday.    The amount increased by 7.6 billion dollars, or 0.2 percent, from the end of 2019, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

US Attorney General William Barr blasts ‘China’s playbook’ and Huawei’s dominance of 5G, suggests alliance with Nokia and Ericsson
FBI director says: ‘This is not about the Chinese people as a whole and it’s sure as heck not about Chinese-Americans. But it is about the Chinese government’    Barr says US companies should consider buying controlling stakes in Huawei’s international rivals

Nio raises $100 million but faces delivery delays
Cash-strapped electric vehicle maker Nio has raised $100 million in convertible bonds, relieving immediate cash flow concerns, but now faces delivery delays for its February shipment amid a viral outbreak that has brought much of the country to a standstill. The cash infusion may temporarily alleviate financial pressures for the troubled EV maker, which had just RMB 2.55 billion ($357.3 million) in cash and equivalents as of the third quarter of last year.

The global car industry is bracing for a huge shock from China
For decades, China was the promised land for American, European and Japanese carmakers. Now, the coronavirus outbreak threatens to prolong a slump in vehicle salesderail production in the country and snarl global auto supply chains  The longer the crisis drags on, the greater the chance that global auto supply chains will be damaged. German engineering firm Bosch, which is the world’s largest auto component manufacturer, has dozens of plants in China including two in Wuhan. Other parts suppliers including Schaeffler, ZF Friedrichshafen, Faurecia and Valeo have significant operations in the country, according to S&P Global Ratings. “Even industries that appear to have low exposure to Chinese suppliers will almost certainly contain firms that are heavily reliant on inputs from China,” MacAdam wrote Wednesday in a research note. “It only takes bottlenecks in the production of one low-value, but crucial, component to bring higher-value, downstream production to a halt.

China’s smartphone giants team up to challenge Google Play: report
The outside of one of Xiaomi stores on Nov. 25, 2019, in Beijing. (Image credit: TechNode/Coco Gao)
Top Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo are teaming up to form an alternative to Google’s Play store to distribute Android apps to users outside China, Reuters reported Thursday.  The four Chinese handset giants together accounted for around 40% of global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, underscoring the potential for the partnership to take a chunk of business from Google’s Play store in the international Android app distribution market.

Chinese espionage, tech theft is ‘greatest long-term threat’ to U.S. economy, FBI director says
FBI Director Christopher Wray sounded an urgent warning Thursday about China’s pursuit of U.S. technology and trade secrets, casting the communist power’s campaign of theft as the “greatest long-term threat to our economic vitality.”

Could the coronavirus epidemic trigger a China-led global recession?
As Chinese factories shut and people stay home and spend less, global manufacturing supply chains are breaking down, tourism is depressed, and commodity prices are falling. The US may no longer be the only economy capable of causing a global slowdown

Can American Retailers Survive in China with Tensions Rising?
Many American consumer activists inaugurated Trump by ostracizing and blacklisting Trump-tainted brands. Later, this phenomenon was successfully exported to China, and mainland consumers are getting increasingly irritated with the ongoing trade war as well as American support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong.     Now, calls to boycott American products in China are getting louder. The New York Times highlights that the Global Times (a tabloid controlled by the People’s Daily) cautioned about a “people’s war” that could be carried out against the United States. Furthermore, on Chinese social media, the phrase “China is not scared!” has become a highly successful hashtag, and various social media personalities are expressing their outrage in digital posts where they ask their fans and followers to boycott American products.

China’s Coronavirus Set To Dampen Economic Growth In The United States
“The domestic economic fallout of the coronavirus remains quite uncertain, and today’s revision should be seen as an initial reaction,” he adds ominously.   The hit will come mainly from a sharp 8% projected drop in U.S. exports to China, JP Morgan economists estimate.

China, Hong Kong stocks close mixed as investors weigh growth prospects amid virus outbreak
Death of 34-year-old doctor who first alerted public to deadly virus depresses sentiment in Hong Kong     People’s Bank of China says damage to economy will be temporary

It won’t be long before the coronavirus catches up with exuberant stock markets
The outbreak is already dragging down commodity and oil prices, and risks from post-Brexit negotiations and US electoral uncertainties will increasingly come into play. The giddy rallies in US stocks cannot last

Coronavirus: iPhone maker Foxconn warns staff to keep away from Shenzhen production base
Foxconn, China’s largest private employer, recently slashed its 2020 sales outlook, anticipating disruptions in manufacturing

Foxconn May Not Resume Full China Production Until Month-End Amid Epidemic: Reuters
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn may not resume full production at its China factories for several more weeks, in the latest signal that China’s travel restrictions implemented to combat the worsening novel coronavirus epidemic could disrupt global tech supply chains.

Coronavirus Outbreak Pushes 200 Million In China To Video Conferencing
Nearly 200 million people across China began remote work via cloud office software this week, pushing companies including Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent to compete in a market that is estimated to be worth hundreds of billions as coronavirus outbreak keeps people indoors.

Coronavirus to cause temporary disruption to China’s economy, PBOC says
China is considering possible countermeasures to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak that is expected cause a temporary disruption to the economy, a central bank official said.

podcast : China business concerns spreading
The coronavirus has paralyzed China’s economy. And it’s sheer size means many international companies are suffering too. There is barely a global household name that isn’t linked to Chinese production facilities.

China hits back at international travel bans as concerns grow coronavirus could damage economy
President Xi Jinping tells Donald Trump that Beijing has ‘declared a people’s war’ to defeat the deadly contagion     But a lack of transparency and perceived under-reporting of infection numbers could have a long-term impact on China, analysts say

Xi talks with Trump over phone on novel coronavirus outbreak
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke over phone with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday morning, urging the U.S. side to respond reasonably to the novel coronavirus outbreak.     Noting that China’s prevention and control efforts are gradually yielding positive results, Xi stressed that China has full confidence and capability to prevail over the epidemic.

The coronavirus epidemic could upset a crucial year for China-EU relations
This year was meant to be pivotal for the future of EU-China relations—that is, before a global epidemic of the Coronavirus broke out in Wuhan province, killing 563 people, infecting more than 28,000, and straining the world economy.  Amid a tense international backdrop, China and the EU have been renegotiating the terms of their relationship since the early 2010s. In 2013, they signed a “Strategic Agenda for Cooperation,” in which they committed to deepening their cooperation on a range of issues and to signing a joint investment agreement by the end of 2020.  But then, in response to China’s meteoric growth—both in economic and political influence—EU leaders announced a shift in 2016 to “a more realistic, assertive, and multi-faceted approach” towards Beijing. And last year, the EU sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community by saying in a strategic communication (pdf) document that China is a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.” In recent months, trade tensions between the US and China and between EU member states over Huawei’s 5G technologies further complicated the EU-China relationship.

Opinion: China Needs to Institutionalize Whistleblower Protection
We are deeply saddened by the death of Li Wenliang, one of the first whistleblowers to alert people about the new coronavirus, and offer our sincere condolences to his family. We also want to restate here that whistleblowers in China should be better protected.

Coronavirus: tributes and anger after death of Wuhan whistle-blower doctor Li Wenliang
Widely shared online obituaries hail 34-year-old ophthalmologist as an ‘ordinary hero’, while social media users are scathing in criticism of Wuhan authorities  Li shared his police reprimand with online followers

‘Hero who told the truth’: Chinese rage over coronavirus death of whistleblower doctor
Demands for freedom of speech in the wake of Li Wenliang’s death have been censored by the authorities amid widespread outpouring of anger

Coronavirus: China’s health and politics have always been linked
China is a long way from being the disease free ‘socialist garden’ imagined in the Communist Party’s utopian plans   If the Sars outbreak in 2003 was a wake-up call, the current coronavirus crisis should be an urgent warning

A City on Red Alert: Shanghai Hunkers Down to Wait Out Epidemic
The novel coronavirus has infected relatively few people in Shanghai so far, but the city’s residents are leaving nothing to chance.

Food supply key in China
With a population of 1.4 billion, food security is one of the overriding themes in China. Even before the outbreak of novel Coronavirus, it was a daily challenge to ensure food supply.

China’s virus epicentre Hubei speeds testing after complaints
China’s Hubei province, the coronavirus outbreak epicentre, has started using a faster and more convenient method of testing in order to isolate patients more quickly, the official People’s Daily reported on Friday.   Reuters reported last month that a lack of RNA test kits in Hubei capital Wuhan may have delayed patients from being properly diagnosed and treated, contributing to the spread of the virus in the early days of the outbreak.

Research in China is complicated by the Communist Party’s influence, says researcher who worked there
In a system where conducting research can be at great professional and personal risk to a scientist, it is not hard to imagine the challenges involved in current scientific work on the coronavirus in China

Coronavirus: World Health Organisation plays down dip in daily infection rate, saying it might not mean outbreak has peaked
‘Too early to predict’ whether the outbreak is peaking, based on just one data point, says the head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme   ‘We are still in the middle of an intense outbreak and we need to be very careful about making any predictions,’ Michael Ryan says

Coronavirus: 41 additional passengers test positive on Diamond Princess
41 passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, bringing the total number of cases to 61.

As US-China rivalry heats up, the days of not choosing sides may soon be over for Southeast Asia
Both powers have given Asean states reason to doubt their commitment to the region. Under pressure to align with the interests of one or the other, Southeast Asia’s policy of studied neutrality looks increasingly untenable

Coronavirus: outbreak has stoked a rise in xenophobia, Chinese living abroad say
Recent attacks have been reported on Asians in New York, England and Germany    While most of those interviewed have not experienced extreme bigotry themselves, they see daily ‘microaggressions’ become more common

Coronavirus, South China Sea politics fuel anti-Chinese sentiment in the Philippines
While the Southeast Asian nation has just three confirmed cases, experts say fears over the virus’ spread are threatening to become an ‘epidemic of racism’ Police say they will crack down on the spread of fake news, but it remains unclear how they will do so and which law they will use

What a Picture of China’s One-Child Policy Leaves Out
State power over individuals has greatly declined in China, and it is highly doubtful that the Chinese government would resort to such tactics. But just as Wang points out at the end of One Child Nation, government interference in family size and its control of women’s bodies is not unique to China, nor are these measures limited to societies concerned with reducing births. Abortion is prohibited or highly restricted in much of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. And even in some countries where abortion remains legal—including the United States—it is highly controversial and becoming increasingly inaccessible. One Child Nation forces us to think more deeply about the policies of our own governments, which might not be as extreme as parts of China’s under the one-child policy but in much of the world interfere far more deeply, and dangerously, than we might expect.

Meet China’s 113 Cities With More Than One Million PeoplePublished 17 hours ago on
In 2010, China’s urban-dwelling population surpassed its rural population, marking a monumental demographic milestone in the country’s history.    Just three decades prior, China looked markedly different. Only 20% of Chinese citizens lived in urban areas, and many of today’s metropolises were still small villages.

Alain Gillard
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