China Press Review – January 17, 2020

Press review

China’s Economic Growth Hit A 30-Year-Low
China’s Total Import And Export Value Of Goods Trade Increased By 3.4% Year On Year
China’s economic growth slowed to its lowest levels in three decades in 2019, but analysts are welcoming Friday’s results thanks to signs that the world’s second largest economy is beginning to stabilize.

China’s per capita GDP crosses $10,000-mark for the first time
As a country with 1.4 billion people and a per capita GDP of more than 10,000 US dollars, China will contribute more to the development and progress of the world, Jizhe said.

China tells European Union it won’t miss out because of trade deal with US
Foreign ministry gives assurances that ‘absolutely no way will European business be affected’ by Beijing’s deal with Washington, EU’s ambassador to China Nicolas Chapius says   China also committed to concluding negotiations on Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, he says

What does American business call the US-China trade deal? A start
Trade associations urge Trump administration to start ‘phase two’ negotiations with Beijing immediately   Calls seek a dropping of remaining tariffs, as well as progress on access to China’s market and state subsidies to Chinese companies

The US-China trade deal has been signed, the markets are bullish – what could go wrong this time?
Despite the weak world economy and geopolitical stress, market sentiment is strong. But the bulls should be mindful that the US-China trade war has not been fully resolved and markets have become more vulnerable in the past year

Trade war: China, US face tough reality ahead after the pomp of phase one deal signing
US and Chinese camps send differing signals over prospect of a phase two deal, while many wonder if China can keep to its phase one commitments    After trade deal, average US tariffs on Chinese goods will 19 per cent compared to 3 per cent before the trade war, with European Union already voicing fears

Will China stick to the phase one trade deal? That depends on whether it fosters stability
Chinese President Xi Jinping staying away from the signing of the deal suggests Beijing is leaving open how far it will abide by it    At present, the deal fosters China’s larger goal of stability and does not challenge its economic model, which is veering back towards state control

EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan criticises US-China phase one trade deal, claims it is unlikely to boost competitiveness or jobs
EU worries that Chinese companies would be forced to buy more goods and services from US companies than European ones, under pact signed by China and US   Top EU trade official’s reaction to pact reflects its overall cautious reception from European officials and businesses

Markets aren’t losing any sleep over the US, Iran and oil yet – the trade war is still more of a worry
Justifiable fears about a full-scale US-Iran conflict gave markets the jitters, but they have quickly calmed down. For investors, it’s key to understand whether a particular event will have a sustained impact on the global economy and corporate performance

Asean, RCEP trade partners unlikely beneficiaries from US-China trade war, Deloitte economist says
An initial agreement for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was agreed in November 2019, and could be signed towards the end of 2020    China and the US agreed their phase one trade deal on Wednesday in Washington, but the United States is not involved in the proposed regional trade pact

China GDP growth last year was 6.1 per cent, slowest rate for 29 years
China’s economy grew by 6.1 per cent in 2019, the lowest growth rate since political turmoil ravaged the country in 1990, the government announced on Friday    Figure comes amid a fierce US trade war, with industrial production down to 5.7 per cent last year and retail sales also slowing to 8.0 per cent

China’s new bank loans hit record in 2019, more stimulus expected
New bank lending in China hit a record of 16.81 trillion yuan ($2.44 trillion) in 2019 as the central bank eased policy to support the world’s second-largest economy hobbled by weak global demand and the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Alibaba’s 10 tech trends to watch in 2020
The Alibaba DAMO Academy, Alibaba Group’s global program for tackling ambitious, high-impact technology research, has made some predictions about the trends that will shape the industry in the year ahead. From more-advanced artificial intelligence to large-scale blockchain applications, here’s what you can expect in 2020.

Why Hong Kong’s resilient economy can make a comeback in 2020 (as it did after 1997 and 2008)
Amid trade uncertainty, the economic outlook for Asia remains bleak. But Hong Kong has a history of coping better than its neighbours, and is well placed to ride out any economic storm in 2020

Huawei offers British and Irish developers US$26 million to build apps for its new operating system
Chinese tech giant Huawei is trying to lure developers to build apps for its flagship phones after it was cut off from Google’s services on Android   Huawei phones can still run Android, but the company now needs its own viable app ecosystem to replace lost Google services such as app store

China the top market for blockchain financing in 2019: report
Blockchain-related financing was most active in China and the US in 2019, which together accounted for roughly 60% of total deals in the industry according to a report published Thursday.     Global blockchain financing trends last year were heavily influenced by major events in China and a shift in sentiment from the country’s regulators.

China looks to make it easier for electric car drivers to swap batteries on the move
Government working to establish common industry standards for procedure, which would remove headache of waiting to recharge vehicle    Move could also cut cost of electric vehicles by allowing drivers to buy or rent batteries separate from car

The 5 Best Chinese New Year Products from Luxury Brands
Although Western brands mostly had a down year in 2019, the Chinese market remained a solid source of growth. According to the 2019 McKinsey China Luxury Report, China is expected to deliver 65 percent of the world’s luxury spending by 2025. Despite some negative influence from an economic slowdown and a trade war, most luxury brands performed well in the Chinese market last year. As an example, BoF pointed out that LVMH saw “unheard of growth rates” in 2019.

China to curb farming near rivers in push to reverse water pollution, official says
Beijing planning to restrict farming that encroaches on major rivers, restore wetlands and ecosystems, and tackle excess water consumption, environment ministry official says     China is in the middle of a campaign to restore the environment of the Yangtze River, which has been damaged by decades of land reclamation, water diversion and the dumping of toxic waste

China’s Chengdu Sees 4,600 Trips By China-Europe Freight Trains
Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has seen over 4,600 accumulative trips made by China-Europe freight trains since the Chengdu route was launched in 2013, according to the train operator

Chinese playbook to steal trade secrets
The Chinese grabs technology from foreign companies by bullying, buying and other subtler means.

How does 2020 bode for China’s overseas investment? A Chinese lawyer’s take
What is really encouraging is that at the end of 2019, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a groundbreaking opinion on how the judiciary system should support the Belt and Road Initiative, stating that China should “proactively contribute its judicial resources to global environmental governance”. More specifically, it calls on the Chinese judiciary to strengthen environmental public interest litigation and tort litigation to “stop environmental violation” and “enforce liability for damages”.       If these words are meant genuinely, the opinion in effect opens the doors of Chinese courts to environmental public interest litigations and tort cases on damages happening outside China’s borders, particularly along the Belt and Road. China’s judicial resources, and its experience with trying domestic environmental disputes, are now accessible by communities affected by Chinese investments in countries with underdeveloped environmental governance. This is certainly the best new year present I have received as a Chinese environmental lawyer and an offering that I am keen to activate in the coming year.

Through connective power, Xiplomacy enhances int’l solidarity
World political and business leaders will flock to the snow-capped Swiss town of Davos next week for the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, sharing their ideas on the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Three years ago at the same spot, Chinese  President Xi Jinping delivered a landmark speech at the 2017 WEF, and also addressed the United Nations Office at Geneva, calling for concerted efforts to champion globalization and build a community with a shared future for mankind.  Guided by such a vision, China has worked to bring the world together to solve the most unprecedented problems challenging peace and development today.

China turns to Myanmar as the ‘friendly giant in the neighbourhood’
When Xi Jinping arrives in the Southeast Asian nation for the first state visit in 19 years, he will come bearing gifts – billions of dollars of investment projects    China has been its closest ally for two decades, and the country presents a particular opportunity for Xi and Beijing’s broader ambitions

China’s birth rate falls to near 60-year low, with 2019 producing fewest babies since 1961
Chinese mothers gave birth to 14.65 million babies last year, the lowest level since 1961, the government announced on Friday   China’s overall population continued to grow, rising to 1.4 billion at the end of the year from 1.39 billion a year earlier
Chinese birth rate falls to lowest in seven decades
The end of the one-child policy has done little to reverse the falling birth-rate   China’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the formation of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago – despite the easing of the one-child policy

The Chinese Couple Who Dared to Have a Third Child
After China ordered local authorities to relax their birth-control policies, a couple thought it was safe to have a third child. They were wrong.

Alain Gillard
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