China Press Review – January 22, 2019

Press review

US-Sino trade war has made dealing with China ‘more difficult,’ Majid Al Futtaim CEO says
A trade dispute between the U.S. and China has battered financial markets in recent months, with market participants increasingly concerned the conflict could soon destabilize the global economy.

Pessimism Looms Over Prospect of a Sweeping China Trade Deal
The United States and China will meet later this month as administration officials look to calm volatile markets amid concerns an agreement may not be in reach.

Volatility expected for Chinese yuan, as experts diverge on 2019 outlooks
Traders and fund managers are predicting a year of volatility for the yuan, despite its strong start to 2019 A sharp appreciation in the currency already appeared to be rapidly losing steam on Monday

An anxious Europe has to grow up and face the reality of a powerful China
Ties Dams says Europeans have long seen China through the lens of the missionary and the merchant, who focus on either China’s human rights records or huge market. But now, the scaremonger is taking over the narrative of China

Citi: It’s ‘plausible’ that the US and China could drop tariffs this year
Citi says the U.S. and China suspending tariffs is a ‘plausible’ surprise for 2019. The U.S. bank says in a note that both sides are facing pressures that could lead to a better-than expected outcome. It comes after China reported its worst annual GDP growth since 1990.

If China’s Economy In “Serious Danger”, How Can It Offer Trade Concessions?
This fight becomes all the more difficult if more Chinese workers are furloughed without pay, or laid off outright from the private sector. Forcing companies to buy American is not going to alleviate his “serious dangers.”Something else will have to give. I just gave him a few ideas.

China’s Slowdown: Xi knows he is in choppy waters, but it remains to be seen if the Chinese ship navigates smoothly
All of this is to say that the Chinese are aware of the balancing act they need to do here. They need to reform internally, meet people’s aspirations and take advantage of strategic opportunities. Whether they will succeed in all three and keep the Chinese ship sailing in choppy waters remains to be seen.

China’s Sharply Slowing Economy Worries Asia
It has always been the question of not if but when the Chinese economy would slow sharply “for the simple reason,” as one leading economist and China watcher once put it, “that it has done so well.” The recent numbers are quite worrying, and as the saying goes in the field of crisis economics, it is when the tide had washes out that you would know who was swimming naked. China’s massive debt levels, a subject of intense media attention, are often seen as the factor that could finally send the world’s second-largest economy into a tailspin. But China is a big economy and it takes time for such a big ship to feel if the winds were blowing against it.

China’s Sharply Slowing Economy Worries Asia

China slowdown is ‘no disaster’, Davos hears
Economists at Davos upbeat on Chinese economy despite slowdown The slowdown in Chinese growth has become the latest looming cloud over the global economy, but at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the advice from Beijing was not to worry.

China, Hong Kong stocks back-pedal as investors sort through uncertainties on trade, global growth
Trade talks so far producing pretty much nada on intellectual property protection, Bloomberg reports IMF issues second downgrade in three months on global growth

US to proceed with Meng Wanzhou’s extradition
The US is planning to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on allegations of breaking sanctions against Iran and other countries, according to a paywalled article on Canadian media outlet the Globe and Mail.

Briefing: US to proceed with Meng Wanzhou’s extradition

How Huawei Wooed Europe With Sponsorships, Investments and Promises
As the Chinese telecommunications giant faces scrutiny over its security, its careful cultivation of European governments and customers is at risk of unraveling.

China warns US and Canada of action against any request to extradite Huawei’s Sabrina Meng Wanzhou
Chinese foreign ministry calls the case an ‘abuse’ of extradition convention Ottawa ‘furious’ that Canadian citizens have become collateral damage in dispute between US and China

143 former China diplomats and academics write to Xi Jinping demanding Canadian detainees be freed
Open letter to Chinese president warns of less dialogue and greater distrust ‘Both China and the rest of the world will be worse off as a result’

Be vigilant about threats to China’s stability and reforms, Xi Jinping tells top cadres
Hundreds of senior officials from all provinces and autonomous regions summoned to Beijing for Communist Party study session on risk control President tells them they must not let their guard down and they should be aware of potential turbulence and disruption ahead

China’s Internal Challenges Will Threaten Xi Jinping’s Reign
Political reform paved the way for the collapse of the Qing dynasty, and it is coming for Beijing once again.

Xi warns China to maintain political security against ‘black swans’ of economic volatility
President focuses on party’s ideological discipline as economic growth slows to weakest in nearly 30 year

China’s plans to dominate hi-tech sector hit a stumbling block as US trade war takes its toll
Production in a number of advanced manufacturing sectors dropped sharply late last year as US tariffs took effect Tighter US laws and regulation likely to further impede progress of ‘Made In China 2025’ plan

Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace, is taking steps to make shopping more accessible to blind and partially sighted users, launching technologies to help navigate the site designed specifically for this demographic.

Hey big spender! Hong Kong jewellery, cosmetics retailers want you to spend some more time (and money) with them
Hong Kong consumption sentiment is sluggish and cautious this year, analysts said, as property prices in Hong Kong continue to slide and in the mainland have cooled off. Meanwhile, the US-China trade war has yet to be resolved.

China retail market overview 2018; rural areas grew by 10.1%, online retail up 24%
In the whole year of 2018, the total retail sales of consumer goods totaled 38,098.7 billion yuan (US$5,620.13 billion), up by 9.0% year-on-year (nominal growth rate), according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. Of the total. The retail sales of consumer goods of units above-designated size reached 14,531.1 billion yuan (US$2,143.55 billion), with an increase of 5.7%.

Cross-border e-commerce platform NetEase Kaola extends offline presence
Cross-border e-commerce platform NetEase Kaola plans to open 15 new brick-and-mortar stores during 2019 in a bid to keep up with the new retail boom in China.

Cross-border e-commerce platform NetEase Kaola extends offline presence

China’s parents still mistrust country’s brands 10 years after lethal milk powder scandal
Deaths of six infants after 300,000 were poisoned by chemical added by Chinese suppliers has fuelled ongoing consumer suspicion Using overseas milk has since been key to winning market share in China

Dirty air in Chinese cities linked to unhappiness, study finds
Millions of keywords in social media posts tracked and matched to air pollution levels
Researchers find high levels of pollution lower people’s happiness

Meet Wuxi Biologics, the contract drugs maker that believes it can help cure China’s scandal-hit vaccine market
Wuxi Biologics is in talks with three separate vaccine developers to manufacture their products in China
‘We already have a globally accepted quality assurance system … we can play a leading role in elevating vaccine standards,’ says chief executive

China To US Tech Investment Plunges 79% To Lowest Level In 7 Years Amid DC Crackdown
Just a few years ago, China’s tech leaders were investing mega sums in America’s highest profile technology startups. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent put capital in Uber, Lyft and Magic Leap, and co-invested with Silicon Valley venture firms and Japanese mega-investor Softbank.

China and Brazil resolve commercial dispute over chicken meat
China’s Ministry of Commerce has accepted a proposal from Brazilian poultry exporters to end a dispute over dumping, a lawyer at MPA Trade Law told Reuters on Monday.

China and Brazil resolve commercial dispute over chicken meat

New darlings of property investors? Co-living, car parks and data centres
Yields of alternative investment classes potentially higher compared to traditional real estate, analyst says Co-living is especially attractive to investors, as young people turn to shared living space in super expensive city

China Extends Tax Relief, Incentives for Small and Micro Businesses
China will cut RMB 200 billion (US$29.43 billion) worth of taxes for small and micro firms, as the government seeks to stabilize the economy and stave off unemployment amidst a protracted trade war with the US.

As China’s economy falters, some fund managers look to bonds
Despite mounting signs of a Chinese economic slowdown, 2019 is off to a good start for fund manager Du Zhenye.

Chinese vice president calls for closer innovation cooperation with Switzerland
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said here Monday that China stands ready to work with Switzerland to further promote bilateral ties and cooperation, particularly in the field of innovation.

Morgan Stanley eyes rich Chinese entrepreneurs in Singapore
Morgan Stanley, the world’s second-largest wealth manager, is keen on getting a slice of wealth in Singapore by adding services that focus on Chinese entrepreneurs setting up family offices in the Lion City.

Chinese army now makes up less than half of PLA’s strength as military aims to transform itself into modern fighting force
State news agency says PLA has been cutting back on ground forces as part of ‘transformational change’ to military Number of officers and non-combatants also falls as part of ambitious restructuring of world’s largest armed forces

Tencent, NetEase miss out again as Chinese government approves third round of video game licences
After a nine-month freeze, regulators have approved a total of 257 video games to be published in China

China Wants to Dominate the Internet
Its new geopolitical strategy is a threat to open networks. America and its allies must respond.

China’s ageing elite live golden years in style
At a gated community for Chinese senior citizens, retired military personnel, film-makers and top university professors settle into a new routine: ballet lessons, weightlifting and catered dining.

Dolce & Gabbana advert completely ruined my career, says Chinese model Zuo Ye as she breaks her silence over race row
Model breaks silence over ‘racially insensitive’ commercial that showed her trying to eat pizza and pasta with chopsticks Zuo Ye says she would never do anything to insult China, but points out she had no control over the content of the advert that triggered a consumer boycott

Peppa Pig: China falls for an unlikely UK brand ambassador
She’s unlikely to feature on many lists of the all-time top British cultural icons.With the need for stronger ties with major economies in a post-Brexit world, I asked the UK ambassador whether she thought that a certain pink pig was proving rather more adept at it than British politicians.

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