China Press Review – January 27, 2020

Press review

China halts stock trading in extended holiday as deadly virus outbreak spreads, sends country into lockdown
The State Council, China’s chief administrative authority, on Monday extended the Lunar New Year holiday by another two working days Hong Kong markets will still open as planned on Wednesday, HKEX says

Coronavirus could hit Japan’s economy harder than SARS
China’s escalating viral outbreak may end up hitting Japan’s fragile economy harder than the SARS outbreak of 2003, according to economists. The timing is also bad for Japan, where gross domestic product is forecast to have shrunk 3.7% in the fourth quarter amid an export slump and a consumer-spending drought following October’s sales tax hike. Economists are expecting government spending to fuel a 1% rebound this quarter, but the coronavirus crisis adds a new downward factor.

European stocks fall sharply as China virus fears intensify; Stoxx 600 down 1.4%
European stocks tumbled on Monday as fears over the economic fallout from the Chinese coronavirus outbreak intensify.

China coronavirus outbreak means the world is once again gripped by the six-year pandemic panic syndrome
After the Chinese government shut down Wuhan and other large Chinese cities, one can only guess at the massive economic cost being inflicted. What we need is not panicked responses to a passing flu that will disappear unnoticed into this year’s mortality data, but practical measures to nurse our economies and businesses through the upheavals the pandemic generates. So we should remember as we don face masks that we face much greater daily risks from seasonal flu, being hit by a bus, or being murdered – and the greatest pandemic cost will be economic, due to our irrational six-year pandemic panic syndrome.

China’s Coronavirus Impacts Everything: What Your Business Should Do NOW
Good advice overall for dealing with the coronavirus, not just on the employment law front. Monitor. Stay in touch with those who know what is happening. Be careful and be thoughtful. And being thoughtful should include the realization that it is human beings on the front lines of this crisis and the human side of all this should predominate. May this horrendous virus end quickly and the deaths cease.

China’s Coronavirus Impacts Everything: What Your Business Should Do NOW

Coronavirus contagious even in incubation stage, China’s health authority says
National Health Commission says understanding of infection remains limited, but its ability to spread is getting stronger More than 1,300 extra doctors and nurses have been deployed to Hubei to help battle outbreak, with 1,000 more to follow soon China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday that the new coronavirus is contagious even in its incubation period, which lasts up to 14 days, and that the virus’ ability to spread is getting stronger.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to head coronavirus crisis team as outbreak worsens
Health commission says battling the epidemic is becoming more complicated as scientists discover virus is infectious even during its incubation period Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang says of the 2,700 people currently under observation in the city, about 1,000 are likely to become confirmed cases

Coronavirus begins to hit China’s economy
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called the accelerating spread of a new coronavirus “a grave situation” as officials struggle to stop the spread of the disease that has so far infected more than 1,400 people worldwide and killed 42. Preliminary data has also shown the scale at which the outbreak is affecting the local economy. On the first day of the Lunar New Year there was a 41.6% decline Y/Y in civil air travel, 41.5% reduction in rail travel and 25% drop in road transport.

Why Wuhan is so important to China’s economy and the potential impact of the coronavirus
Wuhan, the hub of transport and industry for central China, has been sealed off to contain the spread of the deadly outbreak Known as the ‘thoroughfare of China’, restrictions on its transport links will impact the economy outside the city, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit

Wuhan seafood market may not be source of novel virus spreading globally
As confirmed cases of a novel virus surge around the world with worrisome speed, all eyes have so far focused on a seafood market in Wuhan, China, as the origin of the outbreak. But a description of the first clinical cases published in The Lancet on Friday challenges that hypothesis.

Shanghai sets the record straight: City is not in a lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak
Shanghai government officials deny rumours of a lockdown, calling it a “misreading” of events Officials continue to strengthen health checks at key entry and exit points even as it imposes curbs on bus transport in and out of city

Oil drops below $60 as China virus drives demand concern
Crude prices extended declines on Monday, dropping below $60 for the first time in nearly three months as the death toll from China’s coronavirus rose and more businesses were forced to shut down, stoking expectations of slowing oil demand.

Retailers, manufacturers shutting doors, letting employees work from home as Wuhan viral outbreak spreads
Retailers close shops as travel banned in eight Hubei province cities Many factories in Wuhan shut for Lunar New Year holiday, and questions remain whether quarantine will delay resumption of manufacturing

Coronavirus Highlights Perils of China’s Illegal Wildlife Trade
The country’s leading scientists and scholars have called for an urgent crackdown on the trade and consumption of wild animals.

Singapore says China virus outbreak will hit its economy this year
Singapore said on Monday that the coronavirus outbreak will hurt its economy this year, as it announced new measures to tackle the disease which originated in China and has spread to the city-state and several other countries.

China wants to be a middle-income country without a middle class
Innovation and free thought will boost economy, but politics comes first

China’s most indebted provinces face further woes in 2020 as pressure to help slowing economy grows
Qinghai, Guizhou and Hainan top the list of China’s most indebted provinces, in terms of debt-to-gross domestic product ratio, with debts of 1.3 trillion yuan in 2018 As of the end of 2019, local governments in China had debts totaling 21.31 trillion yuan (US$3 trillion)

A roadshow’s memo to US companies: China is still open for business
Even with a phase one trade deal in place, traditional diplomatic and business channels have been reined in or compromised ‘There must be an information channel that’s current and reliable,’ an organiser of corporate presentations says

China must not choke off the private sector’s access to credit in the name of deleveraging
With state-owned enterprises soaking up the bulk of bank loans, the economy is in fact underleveraged. Many private businesses depend on freely flowing credit to survive and thrive If the government truly wants to build a competitive financial system, it must allow banks to run like banks

Huawei gets reprieve as Trump aides disagree on restrictions
The Treasury Department and the Pentagon are said to have opposed further tightening of US tech sales to Huawei

Tech CEOs in Davos dodge issues by warning audiences about AI
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet and its subsidiary Google, suggests a global framework for AI development efforts The EU is set to unveil its plans to legislate the technology, especially in ‘high-risk sectors’ such as health care and transport

China wakes up to wide web of online data leaks and privacy concerns
Some 468 million pieces of personal information were mined from financial lending platform databases and sold to smaller lenders in latest breach In country where apps and state surveillance are unavoidable, many worry about security, but some ‘just believe or assume that all hope is lost’

Better Buy: Baidu vs. Alibaba
Which Chinese tech titan will outperform the market in 2020?

Why FOMO is Shaping the Luxury Market Now More Than Ever
FOMO isn’t just a funny acronym; it’s the most common consumer trait in Gen Zers — one that luxury businesses must harness to stay relevant over the next decade. There’s always one recurring theme I see in my luxury masterclasses: Luxury managers are aware that their brands aren’t prepared to be attractive or relevant to millennials today — at all. And while they struggle to adapt to changes that have already happened, the changes that are coming via Gen Z will far outpace what they’ve already experienced. As a result, it will be critical for luxury brands to have the ability to anticipate what will happen over the next decade. That’s because, according to research, luxury brands are only relevant to younger consumers if they are considered influential and innovative. Brands that are relegated to following the pack will quickly become irrelevant and will be replaced with zeitgeist-defining brands.

Why FOMO is Shaping the Luxury Market Now More Than Ever

China buys Australian wheat, catches trade off guard
Traders told Agricensus on Friday that Australian exporters have sold as much as 500,000 mt in recent weeks, with China’s buying coming despite hefty cuts to local output that have sent prices soaring.

Unlocking the Potential of China’s Elite International Shopper
There are many different types of Chinese travelers these days, but the elite international traveler from China is now crucial to every travel market around the world. The UN predicted that 100 million Chinese will become travelers by the year 2020, but that number was reached in 2016 — four years ahead of schedule. Thanks to China, travel retail has transformed every actor in the airport industry, turning airports into destinations unto themselves. Data shows that what was 70 percent “impulse buying” five years ago is now 79 percent “planned buying” today, meaning that travel businesses should be planning unique and exclusive offers to elite or frequent travelers rather than price-sensitive promotions for standardized products.

Unlocking the Potential of China’s Elite International Shopper

A Billion Homes: How a Small Town Family’s Tale Captivated China’s ‘Cultured Youth’
Lu Qingyi discusses ‘Four Springs,’ his award-winning documentary charting the fortunes of his own family across multiple Lunar New Year holidays.

The five big crypto lessons of China
During the Year of the Pig, China’s approach to crypto really began to take shape. In our Chinese New Year Special, Da Bing explains it all for you.

China has world’s second-largest arms industry, think tank estimates
Newly available data suggests that China is the world’s second-biggest arms producer, behind the United States and ahead of Russia, a leading conflict and armaments think-tank said on Monday.

The Responsibility to Counter China’s Ambitions Falls to Us
The American inheritance and the American promise are both precious and precarious. If we don’t defend them vigorously, no one else will. The future is never settled: China’s rise is not fated, nor is the United States’ success. Two things are certain: First, the Chinese Communist Party seeks to be the world’s sole superpower and is advancing an agenda that systematically denigrates human dignity; second, human flourishing depends on the constant rejection of totalitarianism. As a nation founded on the idea of human dignity, the responsibility to counter China’s ambitions falls to us. It’s time for the U.S. to reassert its own vision, and to be prepared to defend it, with just as much patience and confidence.

It’s time for Southeast Asia to stand together against China – with Indonesia leading the way
Ankit Panda writes that it’s not too late for Indonesia to lead Southeast Asia back toward institutionalised solutions as talks continue toward an Asean-China code of conduct for the South China Sea.

Alain Gillard
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