Joe Biden’s commerce secretary pick backs tariffs and export limits against Chinese firms
‘I intend to use all those tools to the fullest extent possible,’ Gina Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, says at confirmation hearing. She holds off committing to maintaining current sanctions against Huawei Technologies
Biden can pass his China test
When the time comes to evaluate US President Joe Biden’s international legacy, one variable will be enormously significant: the relationship that his administration forges with China. Sino-American competition has become the main global geostrategic issue, but its terms are far from being irrevocably defined. Despite their obvious rivalry, the United States and China must try to understand each other, and Biden will certainly act with greater skill, responsibility, and broad-mindedness than his predecessor. This is just as well, because global peace and prosperity in the twenty-first century will depend on the quality of the world’s most important bilateral relationship.
China manufacturing continues sustained recovery as industrial profits grow for eighth straight month
Profits at China’s industrial firms surged 20.1 per cent year on year in December to 707.11 billion yuan (US$109.3 billion) For 2020, annual profits for China’s industrial firms grew 4.1 per cent year on year to 6.45 trillion yuan (US$1 billion), recovering from a 3.3 per cent decline seen in 2019
China’s industrial profits extend growth in December amid brisk factory recovery
Profits at China’s industrial firms grew for the eighth straight month in December, suggesting a sustained recovery as the manufacturing sector rapidly emerged from its COVID-19 slump, reported Reuters. Profits surged 20.1% year-on-year in December to RMB 707.11 billion ($109.40 billion), after rising 15.5% in November, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Wednesday.
Economists polled by Reuters expect China’s GDP to rise 8.4% in 2021, the fastest pace in a decade. However, some analysts cautioned that a slower recovery in consumption and a potential rapid slowdown in credit growth could be risks for the Asian powerhouse. For the full year of 2020, annual profits for China’s industrial firms grew 4.1% year-on-year to RMB 6.45 trillion, recovering from a 3.3% on-year decline seen in 2019. It was also quicker than a 2.4% gain seen in January-November.
US-China tech war: former Google chief and others call for action to handle ‘asymmetric competition’ from Beijing
US tech group, formed in July 2020 to tackle ‘the most difficult questions regarding US competitiveness with China on technology’ also includes Jared Cohen Report calls for determined action to tackle tech competition with China and says a certain amount of ‘bifurcation’ is inevitable Technology rivalry between China and US intensified during the Trump administration as the US government restricted China’s access to advanced US-origin technology and increased scrutiny of Chinese scientists and researchers, on the grounds of national security. The restrictions have deprived some of China’s leading tech firms, such as Huawei Technologies Co., of critical components such as chips and software, and prompted Beijing to redouble self-sufficiency efforts in core science areas.
‘First time China has accepted any regulation on workers’ rights’
Is the EU-China investment deal a success story? An interview with European Parliament trade negotiator Bernd Lange
As largest FDI recipient, China improves business climate for investors
Rising above the challenges brought by the COVID-19 epidemic and the global economic recession, China became the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, and it has introduced a series of policies to further improve its business environment.
Will the EU-China Investment Agreement Survive Parliament’s Scrutiny?
A look at the remaining process for the CAI and the crucial role of the European Parliament, which could still vote the deal down.
EU-China investment deal: top EU negotiator defends forced-labour provisions amid criticism
Maria Martin-Prat, who led the European Union’s negotiations with China, said the EU is looking into autonomous measures to bolster forced-labour screenings A European Commission representative also shoots down rumours that Huawei provisions were added to China deal after signing
Merkel backs Xi on need to avoid new cold war, but presses China on human rights, transparency
‘I’d very much wish to avoid the building of blocs,’ German leader tells World Economic Forum amid calls for US-Europe alliance to counter China Chancellor cites China’s information release on Covid-19 as an example of lack of transparency, but expresses support for new investment agreement
China opens door to Ant Group’s stock market debut
China’s central bank governor has signalled that the door remains open for Ant Group’s stock market debut.
Joining the next generation of digital banks in Asia
As the region’s regulators increase license allocations and set standards for the next wave of digital banks, there are opportunities for both incumbents and new entrants to enter the arena.
Honor CEO speaks out: unburdened by US sanctions on Huawei, the budget smartphone brand looks to take on Apple and former parent
Since leaving Huawei in November, Honor CEO George Zhao says the company wants to make phones that surpass those of its former owner and Apple Renewed partnerships with US companies like Qualcomm, Intel, AMD and Microsoft offer a reprieve to Honor, but topping competitors remains a steep climb
Beijing scraps 58 high-tech companies’ qualification for lower taxes
China disqualified 58 companies’ eligibility for a significantly reduced corporate tax rate for high- and new-technology enterprises and asked them to pay back taxes at a higher rate, reported Caixin. The nation is suffering from fiscal revenue loss amid the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and a campaign to reduce tax burdens on enterprises over the past three years. As the government sells bonds to raise funds to fill the fiscal gap, it also needs to close loopholes in the tax system to collect as much revenue as possible. Under China’s tax law, high- and new-technology enterprises (HNTEs) are eligible for a 15% corporate income tax, compared with the standard 25%. To obtain HNTE status, several criteria need to be satisfied. A company’s core technology should belong to one of the categories outlined in a catalogue of high and new technologies specifically supported by the state.
Hong Kong’s new role in “dual circulation” strategy
Drawing on Hong Kong’s comparative advantages, expertise and talent, the business sector, especially tech start-ups, SMEs and professionals, will benefit from the renewed initiatives and policies directed towards “internal circulation”, according to Prof. Witman Hung, principal liaison officer for Hong Kong at the Shenzhen Qianhai Authority.
Friendly neighbors are the key to China’s community group-buying craze
China’s grocery market is large—it is expected to be worth RMB 11 trillion ($1.8 trillion), the world’s largest, in 2023, according to research agency IGD. But it’s complicated—rather than a weekly trip to the supermarket, most Chinese consumers visit a variety of stores and marketplaces to stock their pantries.
Chinese companies from small to large have been trying to figure out how to sell groceries online for years. Venture capitalists fueled the craze by injecting hundreds of billions of yuan in the sector since its first boom around 2013.
Dior’s Failed China Livestream Is A Western Luxury Problem
Over 11 million people in China viewed Dior’s latest collection. The feedback was harsh, prompting the question: Do luxury brands even care about livestreaming?
HOW CARTIER KEPT ITS SPARKLE IN CHINA AMID COVID-19
French luxury house Cartier has become one of the biggest success stories on Tmall Luxury Pavilion since launching on the platform a year ago. Despite Covid-19, Cartier pulled out all the stops to meet Chinese consumers digitally and closed out the year as the top-selling brand on Alibaba Group’s dedicated site for high-end brands.
Global luxury brands like Omega, De Beers eye China’s retail boom as wealth expands in lower tier cities
Sales of luxury goods in China soared 48 per cent in 2020 to US$53.5 billion as the economy rebounded from a slump in the first quarter Rents on premium ground-floor retail space are likely to see positive growth when leases come up for renewal: CGS-CIMB Securities
Exclusive: Faraday Future to get $310 million lifeline from Chinese state-owned enterprises
Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future is close to finalizing a $310 million round of funding from a group of China’s state-owned enterprises and national funds, as the company is set to go public via special purpose acquisition company in the US. The new investment will ease near-term cash flow pressure on the embattled EV maker and clear some roadblocks for the company resuming its expansion plan into the Chinese EV market, the world’s biggest of its kind.
Kuaishou’s bankers close order book two days early as investors scramble for US$5.4 billion IPO by Tencent-backed video-app operator
Kuaishou’s Hong Kong public offering attracts pledges from investors worth more than 200 times, surpassing the initial reception to Ant IPO Driven by the fear of missing out, investors’ optimism on the loss-making short video platform outweighs concerns on its profitability
Why bond investors should see China, not the US, as the ‘land of hope and dreams’
Globally, bond markets are not only underinvested in Chinese government bonds compared with US Treasuries, but in the process are also forgoing the higher yields that they currently offer over US paper The US debt market is the largest in the world, with China next in line, but while foreigners own about one-third of the US Treasury market, less than 10 per cent of Chinese government bonds are held by overseas investors
HNA’s key decision-making body leaves out Chen Feng’s name, signalling founder’s exit from China’s biggest asset buyer
Chen Feng is not listed in the newly elected Communist Party committee members at HNA Group Gu Gang, executive chairman of the company, is the new party committee head
China’s moves to curb market speculation are not ‘abrupt’ exit from coronavirus stimulus
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) offered 2 billion yuan (US$309 million) in new liquidity on Tuesday, a far lower amount than the market expected This raised market speculation that it may have started a faster-than-expected reduction of coronavirus stimulus given forecasts for strong economic growth
Northwest China Reports Thallium Pollution in Yangtze Tributary
A high concentration of the toxic metal was found in the upper Jialing River basin, which cuts through Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.
Controversial change to Portugal’s golden visa scheme to weigh heavily on Lisbon and Porto’s property market
New rule, which comes into effect in July, excludes the capital Lisbon and Porto from qualified destinations for property investments The change to the golden visa programme triggers a rush of property buyers to qualify for the residency scheme
China pours money into green Belt and Road projects
Renewable power has for the first time made up the bulk of China’s Belt and Road Initiative energy investments as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated a shift away from fossil fuels, new analysis showed, reported the Financial Times. The share of wind, solar and hydropower made up 57%, or about $11 billion, of China’s total investment in energy infrastructure in 2020, up from 38% in 2019, according to research from the International Institute of Green Finance at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing seen by the Financial Times.
Japan key to US plan to rally allies against China in Indo-Pacific, observers say
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin urges Tokyo to strengthen its contribution to regional security Japan has been stepping up its role in the region by building partnerships with neighbours and allies
‘It’s a time bomb’: Philippine analysts say Beijing’s coastguard law sets stage for armed conflict in South China Sea
The new legislation allows China’s coastguard to fire on foreign vessels in disputed waters, board and inspect ships, and demolish structures built by other countries Experts say it presents a serious threat to Filipino fisherfolk in their own waters, and could see the eruption of violence potentially drawing in Manila’s treaty ally, the US
COVID had a surprising impact on income inequality: It went down
Much of what we thought we knew about the pandemic’s economic impact appears to be wrong. So says Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton, a professor at Princeton, based on a new analysis of worldwide COVID-19 data through 2020. Among the surprises he found: There’s no tradeoff between saving lives and saving the economy, despite the opposite widespread belief among policymakers.
The pandemic has not increased inequality among countries; it has decreased inequality when each country is regarded as an equal unit, regardless of size. When countries are weighted by population, the pandemic has indeed increased inequality—but not because poor countries got poorer. It’s because China got richer. But wait – surely it makes more sense to weight countries by population. Luxembourg just isn’t as significant as China. When Deaton weighted each country appropriately, he found that inequality did indeed increase – but the explanation revealed yet another surprise. Inequality isn’t widening because the pandemic “is impoverishing poor countries by more than the better-protected rich countries,” he writes, though that is what virtually everyone believed would happen. It’s happening “entirely because of China.” For decades China’s surging economy reduced international inequality because its vast, poor population was prospering. But China isn’t poor anymore. Most of the world’s people “now live in countries poorer than China,” Deaton reports. So when China gets richer, as it did again last year, it now increases inequality among nations. Deaton acknowledges that his findings “may be temporary.” The pandemic is far from over. And his data is pre-vaccine; varying distribution of vaccines could change his results. For now, his research is another reminder of how much we still don’t know about this fundamentally new phenomenon, a 21st-century global pandemic.
Coronavirus resurgence in China will be a mere hiccup in the country’s economic recovery
Covid-19 infections and restrictions will slow recovery but consumption will bounce back as the main economic driver With the rising yuan doing the work of tightening, the central bank can afford to take its time to normalise policy
China’s frozen food import delays over coronavirus fears add fresh pressures to global supply chains
Hundreds of containers are being held up in Dalian, a major port for seafood imports, as authorities test the fish for the coronavirus before allowing them to clear customs Frozen containers are being diverted to other ports in China, leading to bottlenecks in Shanghai and Qingdao
22.77 million vaccines already administered in China as nation rushes to inoculate 50 million people before festival
China has administered 22.77 million coronavirus vaccine doses, Chinese authorities said on Wednesday, marking a step closer for China to reach the target of inoculating 50 million people before the Chinese New Year.
Wuhan relatives ‘being silenced’ as WHO visits
Relatives of Wuhan’s coronavirus dead on Wednesday said Chinese authorities have deleted their social media group and are pressuring them to keep quiet while a World Health Organization team is in the city to investigate the pandemic’s origins. Scores of relatives have banded together online in a shared quest for accountability from Wuhan officials who they blame for mishandling the outbreak that tore through the city one year ago.
WHO science sleuths set to start Wuhan investigation into Covid-19 origins
Quarantine period in China ends on Thursday and team will begin work on the ground looking at earliest known cases Amid doubts over access, one member reportedly says Chinese scientists have been sharing data that was not previously made public
Tokyo 2020: Uncertainty persists over Olympics and Paralympics as IOC meets
When members of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board dial in to their first video conference of the year on Wednesday, they will do so amid mounting uncertainty over this summer’s delayed Tokyo Games
pdf THE COST OF DE-GLOBALISING WORLD TRADE ECONOMIC SCENARIOS FOR THE WORLD’S TURN Economic scenarios for the world’s turn inwards
After decades of propelling global economic growth through the international flow of goods, services, people and ideas, globalisation is in crisis. Already under pressure from geopolitical tensions and the rise of populist politics, the covid-19 pandemic has caused even the most free-marketoriented economies to question their reliance on global supply chains and trumpet the value of self-sufficiency. This report aims to highlight the potential economic losses resulting from “de-globalising” the world economy, focusing on international trade. The potential impact of emerging obstacles to trade is simulated using a Computable General Equilibrium model, focusing on three distinct scenarios for the coming decade. As countries continue to wrestle with covid-19, The Economist Intelligence Unit expects global GDP to contract by 4.7% in 2020, while global trade is likely to shrink by 10.6%. Although a rebound is expected to begin in 2021, large amounts of debt accumulated during the pandemic will make for a fragile recovery. This report presents three scenarios that highlight downside risks to the already pessimistic baseline global economic outlook.
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