China Press Review – January 28, 2020

Press review

China’s top 10 infrastructure projects for 2020 and beyond that will help boost its slowing economy
China approved 26 infrastructure projects with a total expected investment of 981.7 billion yuan (US$142 billion) in 2019  Rail projects in Chongqing, Kunming, Chengdu, Zhengzhou and Xian top the list, which also includes the expansion of Xianyang International Airport

The world economy is on the precipice, and don’t look to trade growth to cushion a fall
The IMF’s latest assessment of the global outlook is sobering – a shock event will easily tip fragile economies into recession    Global trade is sluggish from the impact of protectionism. An expansion in cross-border trade, a reliable growth driver in the past, is unlikely

Coronavirus: Tales of solidarity from China’s virus-hit Wuhan
As the number of coronavirus infections continues to grow, millions of people have gone into lockdown in Wuhan – the centre of the outbreak – to try to stop the virus spreading. But in this time of isolation some people are determined to raise each others’ spirits.

Why the coronavirus threat, new trade barriers and massive global debt will not dampen stock markets
Central banks seem committed to loose monetary policy, which means the wall of money they have created since the 2008 financial crisis needs to find a home   Negative yields in mainstream bond markets, meanwhile, will push investors towards equities

Ex-FDA chief worries China could be underestimating coronavirus cases by ‘tens of thousands’
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he’s worried that coronavirus cases in China are actually much higher than the official numbers.    “I think we are dramatically underestimating” cases in China by “tens of thousands,” Gottlieb said.    Chinese officials on Tuesday sharply increased their confirmed coronavirus cases to more than 4,500. The death toll in China rose to 106.

By the numbers: Economic effects of China coronavirus
China and other Asian economies face losses in tourism, aviation, retail and entertainment sectors due to the virus.

‘Significant threat’ to Chinese economic growth amid coronavirus outbreak
Asia Pacific markets suffer heavy losses as death toll rises, with Chinese index closed until 3 February

China’s Coronavirus Has Revived Global Economic Fears
The spread of the dangerous virus has spooked global markets and threatened prospects for economic growth

Dollar perched at eight-week highs as virus fears linger; Fed eyed
The dollar held at a 8-week high against its rivals on Tuesday as investors focused on the economic fallout from a new coronavirus in China, though broader market sentiment stabilized with the Chinese yuan and the Australian dollar off early lows.

China coronavirus: public health measures will hurt economy in the first quarter, analysts say
Effects of disease control policies could see ‘economic growth slow by as much as four percentage points’ in the quarter, Plenum Group says        Lockdowns within Hubei province could depress national gross domestic product another 1.5 percentage points, it adds

China tries to contain diplomatic impact of coronavirus outbreak
Observers say epidemic could affect how the country is seen abroad, and it may disrupt upcoming summits with European leaders in Beijing     Envoys have been seeking to reassure counterparts that government is handling the crisis well

Expected surge in Chinese company defaults will spur restructuring demand as funds gear up to swoop on distressed assets, says A&M advisor
Corporate delinquencies climbed to a record high of 153.5 billion yuan (US$22 billion) last year, up from 117.1 billion in 2018, according to Wind data     As China’s economic growth slows, more companies are likely to run into liquidity problems, while corporate earnings and cash flow are weakening, says A&M’s Ron Thompson

The China Sourcing Alternatives in ASEAN – Complimentary Country Guides
The US-China trade war has made many US companies look at alternatives to China sourcing, both due to the impact of tariffs in addition to the increasingly expensive Chinese labor market. At Dezan Shira & Associates, the publishers of China Briefing, we have expanded our business over the years to establish offices advising foreign investors throughout Asia. Our first Vietnam office, for example, was established back in 2007. Since then we have expanded throughout the region.  ASEAN, which comprises the ten southeast Asian countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam enjoys free trade among its members and, additionally, has an FTA with China, India, Australia, and New Zealand. The US also has double tax avoidance treaties with ASEAN members Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand; these can be useful when looking to increase operational profitability.

UK approves Huawei’s restricted use in 5G networks, handing lifeline to Chinese telecoms giant
Huawei would be excluded from the sensitive core of the country’s 5G mobile networks

UK allows limited role for China’s Huawei in 5G networks
Closely watched decision likely to anger US but please Beijing

China’s role ‘critical’ if world is to meet climate change targets
Without further Chinese progress away from coal, Paris Agreement goals cannot be delivered, UN environment agency warns      China has invested more than any other country in renewable energy, but its investments in fossil fuels have also risen

Is the Trump Trade Deal With China Overhyped?
The deal with China continues the pattern of Trump making minor tweaks to existing agreements and concluding new mini-trade deals that leave the U.S. worse off than before.

How Chinese officials inflated the nation’s birth rate and population size for 2019
The unexplained discrepancies in official data from different sources only underline how the government manipulates the figures to justify its population control policies and allow past mistakes to go unpunished

Pros and Cons of Luxury Brands Taking Runways to China
In 1979, Pierre Cardin produced the first Western runway show in China, yet half a century later, China is now many brands’ first country of choice for staging shows. This is hardly surprising, as China currently accounts for more than 30 percent of all global luxury sales. This trend has been gaining momentum since the 2000s but has mushroomed over the last couple of years as more brand names venture into the Chinese market. Who can forget Fendi’s iconic show on the Great Wall of China in 2007? This was followed by Hermès’ memorable show in Shanghai’s World Financial Centre in 2008 and Armani’s seminal One Night In Beijing show, which was watched by over 1,000 guests in 2012.

Virus Crisis Exposes Cracks in China’s Facade of Unity
With anger rising over the response to the outbreak, even some with ties to China’s leaders have called for acknowledging divisions, not papering them over.

The Art of Political Control in China
When and why do people obey political authority when it runs against their own interests to do so? This book is about the channels beyond direct repression through which China’s authoritarian state controls protest and implements ambitious policies from sweeping urbanization schemes that have displaced millions to family planning initiatives like the one-child policy. Daniel C. Mattingly argues that China’s remarkable state capacity is not simply a product of coercive institutions such as the secret police or the military. Instead, the state uses local civil society groups as hidden but effective tools of informal control to suppress dissent and implement far-reaching policies.

Chinese netizens take advantage of rare opportunity to vent anger on social media amid coronavirus outbreak
Beijing’s Great Firewall is used to regulating the internet domestically, blocking access to selected foreign websites

Mainland tourists to Macau plummet during Lunar New Year amid deadly outbreak of Wuhan virus
Mainland tourist numbers were 75.1 per cent lower over the first four days of the Lunar New Year holiday, according to data from the Macau Government Tourism Office    Macau’s gaming sector is likely to remain under pressure until the virus outbreak is brought under control, according to Jefferies

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