China Press Review – January 25, 2019

Press review

Washington and Beijing ‘miles and miles’ from trade resolution, says US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
‘There are lots and lots of issues’ that need to be worked out, says the US commerce secretary, including enforcement of commitments
www.scmp.com

China, US ‘less belligerent, more cordial’ as delegation heads to Washington before Liu He
Commerce Vice-Minister Wang Shouwen and Finance Vice-Minister Liao Min are expected to arrive in the US on Monday, Bloomberg reports Both sides appear committed to reaching a deal before March 1, analysts say
www.scmp.com

US-China Trade War: The Official And Unofficial Reasons Behind It
The unofficial reasons behind the US-China trade war are quite different. They have to do with China’s rapid technological rise and a concurrent quest to dominate emerging digital technologies. That’s a situation of great concern for America, the world’s long-time technology leader.
www.forbes.com

China’s Latest Official GDP Report Is Accurate. No, Really
The reading aligns with independent metrics, but it’s too soon to conclude the country is done massaging its numbers.
www.bloomberg.com

Putting the brakes on China’s slowdown
China’s economic performance in 2018 was rather disappointing. According to official statistics, the country’s growth rate during the year was 6.6 per cent, the lowest since 1991. The real situation was probably even worse.

Putting the brakes on China’s slowdown

China bulls echo Wang Qishan’s view from Davos: the economy is fine
China has just reported its slowest annual growth in nearly three decades, but some analysts are still confident that the economy is not close to tanking Some analysts remain bullish on consumption, but their voices are drowned out by widespread pessimism
www.scmp.com

George Soros calls China’s President Xi Jinping ‘the most dangerous opponent of free societies’ due to face recognition AI and social credit plan
Billionaire investor warns of China’s use of artificial intelligence to keep tabs on its citizens He says open societies must ‘pin hopes on the Chinese people’
www.scmp.com

China says criticism of Xi Jinping by George Soros is ‘meaningless’
US billionaire said in a speech at Davos that the Chinese president is the world’s most ‘dangerous opponent of open societies’ Chinese foreign ministry responds that remarks by individuals who ‘invert right and wrong’ are ‘not worth refuting’
www.scmp.com

European politics is in flux, but the news is not all bad for investors
Tai Hui says the EU has a headache on its hands this year with Brexit, fiscal discipline and mass protests, on top of volatile parliamentary elections in May. Even so, there are quality companies that are less sensitive to market volatility
www.scmp.com

Beijing tells cadres to prepare for the worst amid uncertainties of its high-stakes trade war with the US
Top official tells cadres to arm the country for a tough fight against external uncertainty
www.scmp.com

China’s central bank just moved one step closer to flinging open the floodgates of stimulus
This will allow holders to swap commercial bank perpetual debt for central bank bills A PBOC statement said this will “increase the financing support for the real economy”
www.scmp.com

China to set up central bank bills swap to support liquidity of banks’ perpetual bonds
The plan aims to encourage banks to replenish capital through perpetual bond issuance, said the People’s Bank of China
www.scmp.com

China’s GDP numbers send out a warning
Slowdown is deeper than data shows and will dive further without a trade deal
asia.nikkei.com

China’s GDP: Statistics And Reality In The Chinese Economy, Part 2
China’s economic growth last year dropped to its lowest rate in a generation and though there were a number of international and domestic reasons for that performance it was not out of line, the Chinese economy has been slowing steadily for the last five years.
www.benzinga.com

US venture capital defies ‘cold winter’ to raise US$15.5 billion for Chinese investments
The surge in US venture capital investment in China is attributed to the large number of start-ups that listed publicly
www.scmp.com

China and Hong Kong stocks maintain gains ahead of economic data release and trade talks resumption
Stocks end higher ahead of the release of preliminary economic data and China-US trade talks next week China Kepei Education Group rises on debut in Hong Kong
www.scmp.com

China’s new age of uncertainty
To calm the economic turbulence, China’s central bank has substantially increased domestic credit to offset capital outflows and to help boost consumption and investment at home. In the medium-term, the U.S.-led tariff pressures are likely to accelerate its shift from low-end manufacturing to higher value-added industries like electronics, automobiles, robotics and artificial intelligence. The geopolitical pushback, for its part, could force Xi to return to Deng’s “hide your capacities, bide your time” strategy. But such a return can scarcely obscure China’s ambitious goals that Xi has laid bare. Even if Beijing starts soft-pedaling its ambitions, it is likely to adopt a “two steps forward, one step back” strategy to keep progressing toward its goals.
www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/01/25/commentary/world-commentary/chinas-new-age-uncertainty/#.XEsMZVVKg2w

China’s Smart Manufacturing Faces A Lack Of Smart Governing
China has profound potential to revolutionize smart manufacturing, but that’s not likely to happen if it continues down this path. Already many of its largest companies are state-owned, and the trend is growing. So much so, in fact, that an increasing number of Chinese entrepreneurs, economists and government officials now worry Beijing is backing away from the free-market, pro-business policies that made the country a top economic power, and returning to authoritarian Communist control.
www.forbes.com

Another Huawei Week!
As the world’s biggest telecoms firm, they are big enough to look after themselves, but it’s amazing how many directions Huawei is getting pummeled from.
chinaeconomicreview.com

Huawei launches first 5G base station chipset amid international pushback
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has launched its first chip for 5G base stations, marking the company’s effort to decrease its reliance on foreign components

Huawei launches first 5G base station chipset amid international pushback

Why Huawei’s ‘wolf culture’ will help telecom titan fight off attacks and thrive
Huawei finds itself in an unenviable position. Absent proof that it doesn’t have deep ties to the Chinese intelligence apparatus is not enough to prove an absence of the same

Why Huawei’s ‘wolf culture’ will help telecom titan fight off attacks and thrive

Huawei confident in uncomfortable times
Huawei has a public relations problem – to put it mildly.
www.bbc.com

‘I misspoke’: Canada ambassador to China regrets saying Huawei chief had ‘strong case’
John McCallum admits comments about Meng Wanzhou’s extradition fight had ‘created confusion’
www.theguardian.com

Getting Arrested in China: A Few Points
Despite the recent number of high profile arrests, you and I both know that when it comes right down to it, 99+ percent of the time when a foreigner gets arrested in China it is for actually violating the law. I mention this because the last thing I want people to believe is that they following the law does not matter in China either because doing so is not necessary or because they will get arrested anyway because China has gotten so out of control of late. As I believe you wrote somewhere, the important thing is not to act in such a way as to make it easy for the Chinese authorities to arrest and convict you. It is still the case that if you do that, you will almost certainly be fine.

Getting Arrested in China: A Few Points

Could Americans be next after China detains Canadian and Australian citizens?
Analysts question whether Chinese government is willing to risk America’s anger by detaining its citizens, but may be using Canada as a proxy The West is increasingly concerned about possible ‘hostage diplomacy’ – a practice Beijing has denied
www.scmp.com

Swedish writers strike back at Chinese embassy over criticism of journalist
Professional union says it backs writer Kurdo Baksi’s campaign in support of Gui Minhai, who cannot leave China
www.scmp.com

Consumption remains engine and driving force for China’s growth, Alibaba CEO says
Growing middle class driving China consumption, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang says
www.scmp.com

Alibaba Earnings: What to Expect Amid China’s Economic Slowdown
Investors who have grown used to blowout growth from the e-commerce giant should temper their expectations.
www.fool.com

ALIBABA HELPS JUMPSTART ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN HONG KONG
ASA Innovation, a Hong Kong-based maker of the air-purifier lamp Airluna, was selected as the “Most Favorite” and “Best Startup” of this year’s Jumpstarter on Thursday, the annual event initiated by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund to promote innovation in the city and draw attention to Hong Kong as a hub for start-ups.
www.alizila.com

Entrepreneurs should focus on the problem, not the technology, says Alibaba’s Joe Tsai
In December, there were 2,625 start-ups operating in Hong Kong, up 18 per cent from the previous year
www.scmp.com

Asian tech execs voice hopes and fears for AI in Davos
‘Whether or not you like it, it is happening,’ says Alibaba’s CEO Zhang
asia.nikkei.com

Anbang explores sale of Manhattan office tower, Chinese insurer as it unwinds overseas acquisitions
Manhattan office building houses the Beijing-based conglomerate’s US headquarters Anbang is also in advanced talks to sell its domestic health insurer Hexie Health to Fujia Group, which interests ranging from petrochemicals to finance
www.scmp.com

Alibaba opens hotel to show off its AI and robots
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has opened a hotel in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to showcase its latest technologies, including mobile payments, artificial intelligence, and service robots. Guests can use self-service terminals to check into the hotel, dubbed Flyzoo, and are able to control the lights, TV, and curtains in hotel rooms via voice commands. In addition, room service is delivered by service robots.

Briefing: Alibaba opens hotel to show off its AI and robots

Consumption remains engine and driving force for China’s growth, Alibaba CEO says
Growing middle class driving China consumption, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang says
www.scmp.com

Tencent and NetEase games finally get Chinese approval
But popular titles still stuck in queue as market questions profitability of approved ones
asia.nikkei.com

Hurdles and hidden strengths in China’s Greater Bay Area
Last October, Chinese officials celebrated the opening of the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, a $20 billion, nine-year project that became the latest and greatest emblem of plans for the so-called Greater Bay Area (GBA)–which aims to rival similar innovative hubs in San Francisco, New York City, and Tokyo.

Hurdles and hidden strengths in China’s Greater Bay Area

3 Cosmetics Industry Gurus Discuss Selling in a Softer Chinese Economy
Here’s what three cosmetics industry executives see in the slowing Chinese economy and how they are adapting strategies for the challenging marke

3 Cosmetics Industry Gurus Discuss Selling in a Softer Chinese Economy

Gen-Z with Chinese Characteristics: Report
As China’s oldest members of Generation Z (1998-2016) turn 21 this year, the urgency to market to them is mounting, and both brands and retailers need to understand how this generation is different from previous ones. Also of importance? Recognizing how China’s Gen-Z differs from its peers in other parts of the world.

China’s Free-Spending Gen-Zs and What Triggers Their Buying: Report

Pig Chic
The best and worst fashion items made in honor of the Year of the Pig

Pig Chic

Hyundai Is the Latest Car Manufacturer to Scale Back in China
South Korean Hyundai and affiliated Kia together were the third largest selling car brands in China in 2016. But sales were so low in 2018 that the companies’ joint ventures used only half their manufacturing capacity. Hyundai’s sales in China dropped by 23% in the fourth quarter of 2018, leaving annual sales flat compared to 2017. Japanese maker Suzuki, known for small vehicles, left China in September 2018 as consumers favored bigger models
fortune.com

The China Conundrum – are we headed for a supply chain meltdown?
Is it time for global companies to reconsider their China supply chain strategy? We think that an examination of the issues requires careful consideration.
diginomica.com

Chinese consortium sees off Hong Kong rivals in ferocious bidding war for prime Shanghai commercial land, ending their stranglehold
The victory marks a high-profile end to a winning streak for offshore investors, who have repeatedly outbid their mainland rivals in the last year Group led by China Resources Land bids US$854 million, or 65,200 yuan per square metre, a new record for Shanghai’s commercial land
www.scmp.com

Artificial intelligence system used to catch unhygienic chefs in action in China
Cutting-edge technology recognises poor habits caught on camera and sends an alert to administrators via a mobile app It was developed for local authorities in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province
www.scmp.com

China’s cyber police launches new campaign targeting apps that obtain personal information illegally
App developers are responsible for the security of personal information they collect under new campaign
www.scmp.com

China trials ‘Deadbeat Map’ app to monitor citizens’ debts as part of social credit score system
Authorities in China are trialling a new app which will enable users to check on the debt status of around them, as part of a developing social credit system aimed at monitoring the behaviour of the country’s 1.4 billion citizens.
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/24/china-trials-deadbeat-map-app-monitor-citizens-debts-part-social/

China’s Media Forecast is Bleak and Stormy
Spring Festival is coming, but the country’s politics remain frozen.
China’s Media Forecast Is Bleak and Stormy

Microsoft’s Bing search engine restored in China
Microsoft has confirmed that access to its Bing search engine in China has been restored after an outagre
www.bbc.com

Series of explosions rock China’s Changchun city
One dead, investigations are on: Government Blasts seen on high and low floors
www.scmp.com

—————————————–
Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Awex
Service Asie Pacifique
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a.gillard@awex.be
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