China Press Review – January 3, 2020

Press review

US farmers in limbo over unsigned China trade deal and predicting another bleak year
Reluctance to invest until signing of deal that analysts warn would not be a quick fix for a US agricultural economy one farmer calls ‘completely broken’   Government bailouts give farmers incentive to keep planting despite China needing less of some crops and sourcing others from new supply chains

US-China trade deal key for 2020 emerging market returns and sentiment
Fund managers tell Trustnet what to expect from emerging markets in 2020 and explain why the US-China trade war is likely to be the biggest mover of markets and sentiment again.

Why China’s Debt Defaults Are Picking Up Yet Again
Chinese companies are facing a reality check after years of ramping up debt. A de-leveraging campaign that President Xi Jinping began in 2016 to curb risks in financial markets has led to a crackdown on unregulated lending — so-called shadow banking — and tighter rules on asset management. That made it harder for some to raise funds to repay existing debt, leading to a record number of bond defaults in 2018 and 2019 as economic growth slowed. Contrary to what many investors thought, state-owned borrowers can’t count on a bailout.

China-made exports of Ford, Tesla, BMW set to surge as Beijing opens auto industry, government says
New report reveals exports of foreign-branded cars assembled in China are expected to rise as the domestic market matures and Beijing opens auto industry  China has introduced a range of reforms in the sector, including permitting overseas firms to wholly-own local ventures and use the country as a global export base

Asia’s factories end 2019 with brighter outlook led by China
Asia’s manufacturing industry finished 2019 with a modestly brighter outlook, with fewer economies signalling contraction at factories. Purchasing manager indexes for South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan all moved above 50 last month, data from IHS Markit showed yesterday. Malaysia improved right to the dividing line between expansion and contraction of 50 while Indonesia stayed slightly below it.

Investing in China in 2020
There is tremendous potential, argues our overseas trading expert, but investors must tread carefully.

One of China’s Biggest Worries for 2020 Is Pork
While many around the world were preparing to usher in 2020 with champagne and fireworks, some of China’s senior-most officials were busy on inspection tours that revealed one of the their biggest worries for the new year: pork.

China’s central bank eases into 2020 with a firm grip on loose liquidity
While policy easing remains – with falling lending rates and a cut to the reserve requirement ratio – investors should not expect a flood of liquidity. The 2020 prognosis? Loose but prudent monetary policy

China encourages foreign bank underwriting of local government bonds
China’s Ministry of Finance said restrictions will be removed for foreign banks to participate in the underwriting of local government bonds, part of efforts to open up the country’s financial market.     The ministry said in a statement on its website that it would help its agencies nationwide to revise and improve underwriting rules for local government bond issuance.

Harrods Follows Galeries Lafayette’s Lead by Chasing Chinese Shoppers into China
Like many luxury stores, Harrods has had an eye on the China market. But now they’re putting down roots in the mainland for the first time. Six years after the grand opening of luxury department store Galeries Lafayette’s sprawling Beijing outpost — and nearly a year after the opening of its Shanghai location — the venerable London-based department store Harrods is now opening its first permanent store in mainland China.

Why Luxury Brands Should Focus on Tier-2 and -3 Cities
While luxury markets are saturated in China’s 1st-tier cities, lower-tiered cities still offer a lot of opportunities for Western luxury brands. Photo: Prada, Shutterstock. Illustration: Haitong Zheng/Jing Daily.According to Deloitte and Secoo, lower-tier cities in China are fueling luxury growth. Hot spots like Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are already oversaturated markets, but smaller cities have an excess of demand. And despite the high-spending capacity of this consumer segment, luxury brands have been slow to seize the opportunity.

A rising China will not become a global aggressor – it has too much to lose and enough space to transform
While some fear that resurgent communist ideology will undo China’s gains and spark aggression towards other nations, this is unlikely because of how enmeshed China’s economy is with the West   Seeing China as a system in transition allows for greater space for innovative responses, including to the question of Taiwan and Hong Kong

Surveillance: U.S. Not Looking Ahead, Sachs Says (Podcast)
Robert Albertson, Sandler O’Neill Chief Investment Strategist, says 2020 will be a year of reckoning. Chris Bryant, Bloomberg Opinion Columnist, provides an update on former Renault-Nissan Head Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Lebanon. Henrietta Treyz, Veda Partners Managing Partner & Head of Economic Policy, is not optimistic about Phase Two negotiations taking place in the near future. And Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University Professor, says the U.S. political system is broken.

Why the U.S. needs to revisit its China policy?
For anyone wondering what is behind the unprecedented attention to and coverage of Xinjiang and Hong Kong by the U.S. media, “Washington’s Xinjiang Smear” by Stephen Gowans is a must read. The article contextualizes the focus of the United States’ Congress, Pentagon, and media as part of the larger policy decision of the United States to implement its policy of “China containment.”

Hong Kong Considers the Future: ‘If You Can Afford It, Leave’
As violence escalates and the Chinese government exerts greater control over the financial hub, residents wrestle with their options.

What is happening at the LVMH of China?
With unpaid invoices and mounting debt, Shandong Ruyi is paying the price for rapid expansion.

TikTok Banned By U.S. Army Over China Security Concerns
The U.S. Army this week has banned TikTok from government-owned devices as scrutiny over the platform’s relationship with China grows.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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