China Press Review – January 24, 2020

Press review

Shanghai Launches Level 1 Emergency Response Over Coronavirus
The city is taking maximum emergency measures to prevent the spread of the deadly pneumonia-like virus as epidemic concerns grow.  With the Lunar New Year holiday already on China’s doorstep, Shanghai has launched its highest-level emergency response against the novel coronavirus that had infected 20 people in the city and at least 865 in the country as of noon Friday, according to official notices. Beijing had issued its own Level 1 emergency response just 15 minutes earlier.

Wuhan coronavirus confirmed in 29 of China’s 31 provinces
The deaths include the first reported outside the epicentre around Wuhan   Number of infected doctors and nurses higher than reported, sources say

Wuhan virus outbreak threatens to derail Hong Kong stock market in Year of the Rat
First close of new year will be determined by how quickly the infection spreads or is contained, analyst says     Strong market momentum will boost Hong Kong stocks, stockbrokers’ body says

China coronavirus: pressure mounts on Hong Kong Education Bureau to suspend classes after Lunar New Year holiday to safeguard students, teachers
Parents, teachers and principals feel classes should be suspended for at least one to two weeks after schools reopen on February 3   Earlier in the day, Macau government also extended holiday until at least February 10 for all schools except higher education institutions

After Sars, is Hong Kong prepared for another deadly coronavirus outbreak? Unlikely, with Carrie Lam in charge
Hong Kong has reported the first cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infection, but the initial lack of a health declaration protocol at train stations has hampered contact tracing. The government must do better to show it has learned from Sars

China coronavirus: rush is on in Wuhan to build treatment centre for up to 1,000 patients
Workers paid three times their usual wage to get emergency facility built within six days    Strategy echoes Beijing’s response to Sars in 2003

Can wearing masks stop the spread of viruses?
Using them to prevent infection is popular in many countries around the world, most notably China during the current coronavirus outbreak where they are also worn to protect against high pollution levels. Virologists are sceptical about their effectiveness against airborne viruses. But there is some evidence to suggest the masks can help prevent hand-to-mouth transmissions. Surgical masks were first introduced into hospitals in the late 18th Century but they did not make the transition into public use until the Spanish flu outbreak in 1919 that went on to kill over 50 million people.

Wuhan coronavirus confirmed in 29 of China’s 31 provinces
The deaths include the first reported outside the epicentre around Wuhan   Number of infected doctors and nurses higher than reported, sources say

The Spread of Wuhan Coronavirus Infections
Current updates about the novel coronavirus that has infected hundreds in China and is testing the mettle of the country’s health authorities.

Global carmakers and luxury brands hit as virus shuts down China’s ‘motor city’
Renault, Honda and Peugeot owner PSA Group are among several companies that have large manufacturing plants in Wuhan — ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak that has already claimed dozens of lives.

Davos 2020: Lower Growth, Higher Debt, Weak Investments
 China is expected to grow at only 4-5 percent in the current decade as concerns over a ballooning debt pile of the world’s second-largest economy loom large, according to Zhu Ning, associate dean at Tsing

America can’t afford to lose to China in the 5G race
The fifth generation of technology, known as 5G, has the potential to completely change how we live our lives. But it’s not just about being able to download movies or music faster. It will fundamentally impact our country’s national and economic security and technological leadership. That’s why we can’t afford to lose the 5G race to China.  By 2035, the full rollout of 5G technology could generate 22 million jobs globally and generate over $13 trillion in global economic output. I’d like to see that a good portion of those jobs and that revenue are created here in the United States.

New US limits on Huawei suppliers coming soon, says US Commerce Secretary Ross in Davos
Ross said the ultimate US objective is not to cut Huawei off from all American supplies, but instead to protect national security

French telecoms operator Orange doubles down on Huawei defence amid heightened security debate
Orange chief executive Stéphane Richard said he hoped more stringent rules would not lead to a de facto veto of Huawei in Europe

China and the US were never going to live happily ever after, so Trump brokered the best divorce he could
China’s world view is shaped by a desire for stability and its narrative of a ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of foreign powers. It is unlikely to yield much to the US  Trump and his team understand this, which is why they sought to extricate the US from a deep trading relationship with China

The US picked the ‘wrong time’ for a trade war with China, Hong Kong businessman says
The U.S. opened a trade conflict with China about two years ago, when it imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines. Since then, both sides have placed additional duties on each other’s products at different occasions.   “I think America picked the war to fight with China … at really the wrong time,” said Hong Kong property developer Tan Sri Dato David Chiu, chairman of Far East Consortium International.

US, China must compromise on trade deal to benefit the whole world, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong says
Lee reiterated Singapore has not ‘banned Huawei’ despite US pressure on Southeast Asian nations to exclude Chinese tech firm    He also said code of conduct between Beijing and other claimants in South China Sea was preferable to ‘coming to blows’

Chinese investment is saving American factories and manufacturing despite the trade war, even though Trump won’t admit it
Despite trade tensions, from Ohio to Kentucky to Louisiana, Chinese FDI is building factories and creating jobs. State governors welcome and court Chinese investment; Trump should start listening to them

China’s Economy Was Brightening This Month Before Virus Fear Hit

China’s economy to slow in 2020 but remain robust: Baker & McKenzie’s Cheng
 “It’s not going to be double-digit growth of that sort anymore, but it’s still pretty robust growth for an economy of that size,” While the firm expects that agreement of the phase one trade pact between the U.S. and China to soften some of the dampening growth, it also projects a 20% decline in China’s IPO and M&A activity. The drop, Cheng said, will likely be followed by a boost in 2021.Globally, China is positioning for the long-term. “The long term plan, whether it’s through the BeltAndRoad initiative, or The Greater Bay Area Initiative, is still forecast for pretty strong growth, going forward, and not just in China but also outward from China,” he said. “Now with the trade truce there was some fear of impact on that, but the trade will flow, whether it flows as much between China and the U.S., it will still flow and it will flow to other parts of the world, if needed.”

Why Hong Kong’s economy is more than capable of weathering the recent protest headwinds
Tourist arrivals are not a good barometer of the state of the economy, given that inbound tourism accounts for only 3.7 per cent of Hong Kong’s GDP  Meanwhile, Hong Kong has been growing in strength and attracting senior personnel in some areas, such as the legal sector

Why the biggest threat to the stock market rally is the one that no one is talking about
Lacklustre global growth, continued US-China sparring and geopolitical risks over Iran are all potential triggers for a major sell-off, but none appear likely to materialize Instead, the danger may come from vulnerabilities yet to be identified. History shows a ‘black swan’ event is not so unthinkable Triggers for market shocks are devilishly hard to anticipate. Yet, just because the most talked about ones are having little impact on sentiment does not mean that today’s Teflon market will stay resilient. Eventually, something is bound to stick.

China’s economic woes threaten to derail climate actions
China is on track to meet its Paris Agreement climate targets but that’s not enough to save the planet. Experts in Davos say the world’s biggest polluter must do more and ensure it does not slack amid a slowing economy.

EU, China, Others Form Trade Alliance After Trump Stymied Arbitration Process
The U.S. last year precipitated the paralysis of the WTO appellate body.

EU, China, others agree on WTO body to settle disputes
Seventeen World Trade Organization members, including the EU and China, agreed Friday to create a temporary mechanism to settle trade disputes after the US paralysed the WTO’s appeals body last month. The contingency step would preserve the WTO’s two-step dispute system until its own Appellate Body became operational again, the EU commission said. Washington froze the body, the supreme court for international trade, by blocking appointments for over two years.

PayPal Expands Its Footprint in China
After becoming the first outsider to crack China’s digital payments market, PayPal is going even further.

China Cargo Train Routes Face Backlash in Finland
A Finnish state media documentary raises questions about the Kouvola-Xi’an train connection – and, implicitly, the wider China-Finland relationship.

D2C Brand Perfect Diary is Disrupting China’s Beauty Market
Since launching in 2016, China’s homegrown beauty brand Perfect Diary is now the hottest cosmetics brand on Tmall. During Singles Day 2019, Perfect Diary broke the first brand breaking the 100 million RMB (US$14 million) sales record in one day – ahead of other international cosmetic brands.

Wuhan coronavirus: hospitals turning people away as doctors say ‘home is best’ in many cases
Local people say they are becoming increasingly concerned as doctors turn them and their families away   Man finally admitted to hospital for treatment after a week of worry for his niece

Virus outbreak ‘could reshape China’s smart city vision’
The outbreak could reshape China’s smart city vision away from “political surveillance” and towards health security

Alain Gillard
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