China Press Review – January 30, 2019

Press review

China to kick off trade talks with timeline for structural reforms
Officials gather in Washington under shadow of economic worries

Will the US and China finally agree a trade deal?
Top trade officials from the US and China are meeting in Washington as a deadline to strike a deal approaches.

US and China face deep trade, IP differences in today’s high-level talks
The U.S. and China launch a critical round of trade talks on Wednesday. The talks are taking place amid deep differences over Washington’s demands for structural economic reforms from Beijing. The differences between the two powerhouse economies will make it difficult to reach a deal before a March 2 U.S. tariff hike.

U.S., China launch high level trade talks amid deep differences
The United States and China were set to try again on Wednesday to dig out from a damaging trade war with a new round of high-level talks aimed at bridging deep differences over China’s intellectual property and technology transfer policies.

China’s economic reforms are working. The bad news is the pain may get worse
Aidan Yao says amid a growth slowdown, the strengthening service sector and household consumption are welcome news. Even so, softening global demand and challenging conditions at home will keep economic planners on their toes

Data Update: China’s Private Sector Recession
Official statistics show China’s private sector is in recession.Private industrial profit growth y-o-y was negative through 2018. Unemployment is likely higher than reported.

U.S. sends 70 questions to WTO about China’s subsidies
The United States has accused China of hiding some trade-distorting subsidy programs from international scrutiny while disclosing others it does not need to, according to a document circulated on Wednesday at the World Trade Organization.

China Announces New Measures to Support Consumption
* The country’s top economic planner released measures to boost consumption, specifically targeting cars, cutting-edge wireless technology and home appliances * Though key details about these measures are currently unclear, analysts say they are likely to be weaker than stimulus issued to prop up consumption in the wake of the global financial crisis

The trade war won’t shake Xi Jinping’s grip on power in China – for now
Deng Yuwen says the Chinese leader has been asserting his authority following biting criticism last year of his government’s handling of the trade conflict His power is secure, but surely a China that has celebrated 40 years of reform won’t regress to the days when one person could decide the country’s fate

With China, U.S. Needs to Verify But Trust
While the White House is right to worry about enforcing any trade deal, it should give Beijing opportunities to show it’s working in good faith.

China is rushing through overseas investment reform at unprecedented speed ‘under pressure from US’
The Foreign Investment Law of the People’s Republic of China aims to address issues raised by US President Donald Trump at summit with Xi Jinping last year Move viewed as attempt to avoid escalation in tariffs placed on US$250 billion of Chinese exports, which may rise from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in March

Fudged growth numbers take the shine off China’s ‘miracle’
One of the greatest failings of China watchers and commentators is a tendency to see and assess China through Western eyes, treating it as if it is a Western nation, in particular when regarding its economic data and developments.

US intelligence chiefs warn senators that China continues to grow as a security threat
Officials united in assessment of China as a leading cyberespionage and counter-intelligence risk to the US Concerns about China were paired with those about Russia, with the two countries seen as most strategically aligned against the US since the 1950s

Why China feels it has little to gain from linking Huawei case to latest US trade war talks
Beijing is unlikely to gain much by linking criminal probe into Chinese tech giant with latest trade negotiations

Huawei tells suppliers to move production to China as US ban looms
Company calls on partners to relocate operations to avoid tech wall

How the US took more than a decade to build its case against Huawei
The indictment alleged Huawei’s long-running scheme to deceive the US and numerous global banks about its business in Iran

Huawei ‘distrust’ and ‘irrational’ US trade war slammed by leading Chinese academic
Trade war is ‘inevitable’ and will be long and drawn-out, says Zhang Yansheng, the chief research fellow at the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges Chief financial officer at the Chinese technology giant, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December and is fighting extradition to the US

The Huawei Indictments are the New Normal
In the past, many U.S. companies were reluctant to take this kind of aggressive action because of concerns that it would impact their business in China. They rightly feared a “tit for tat” response on the part of the Chinese government. This concern is melting away and decades of resentment against the practices of Chinese companies are likely to come spilling out in a cascade of claims.

The Huawei Indictments are the New Normal

Huawei may enter TV market this spring, building on 5G plans
A source told Yicai Global that Huawei plans to release TV sets under its Honor brand in April or May 2019, adding to its smart home offerings. Its target audience would be middle to high-end customers and would build on the smartphone maker’s 5G ambitions. By selling high-resolution 4K or 8K sets along with associated high-quality services, the source said, it could increase demand for higher-speed internet. Huawei declined to comment on its potential expansion into television.

Briefing: Huawei may enter TV market this spring, building on 5G plans

Behind the rise of China’s smartphone brands lies growing unease over country’s tech gains
Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are helping change people’s perception about the quality of Chinese Android phones China is now home to some of the most successful smartphone brands, rivalling the likes of Samsung Electronics, Apple and LG Electronics

China maintained a current account surplus in 2018: Regulator
China’s current account is slowly swinging from a decades’ long surplus towards a deficit. Analysts say that will mark a major structural shift in global capital flows in and out of the country which could make the yuan exchange rate more volatile.

Zhang Jun: Why China must save less
China’s rapid investment-led growth in recent decades has been fueled by high levels of national savings, but this unbalanced development path appears increasingly risky. The country must now reduce its excessive savings by shifting to a model focused on domestic consumption and opening up the service and non-trade sectors writes Zhang Jun

US farmers are all ears about prospects for this year’s corn crop as China continues big soybean purchases
Across the Midwest, farmers will be watching developments in US-China talks before deciding on this year’s crops – and corn, not soybeans, looks like a good bet

What do China’s reassignments of Liu Shiyu and Yi Huiman say about Xi Jinping’s policy priorities for the next few years?
Yi Huiman, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, promoted to securities regulator head to help steer stock market towards avenue for fundraising Incumbent CSRC chairman Liu Shiyu will oversee command centre of collectives, the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives

China should save less, stop protecting industries and liberalise instead, to unleash domestic consumption
Zhang Jun says opening up markets – from telecoms to education and insurance – would be a massive boost to an economy struggling with declining productivity and a trade war

China’s Gloomy Companies Are Slashing Profit Forecasts
At least 20 firms projected worse 2018 earnings late Tuesday Private enterprise particularly vulnerable, money manager says

Guangdong’s growth slump is seen as a turning point for China’s economy, say analysts
Country’s most prosperous province has set lower 2019 growth target that matches expected national target as fast growth fades and trade war clouds outlook Provincial officials have made helping private sector to boost growth a priority

Alibaba bets on ‘new retail’ to stay fresh amid China slowdown
Ahead of earnings report, executives talk up connecting physical and online

Alibaba revenue grows at weakest pace in three years as slowing China bites
E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s quarterly revenue grew at its weakest pace in three years, as the impact of a slowing China and a crippling Sino-U.S. trade war kept buyers away during its top-sale season.

Tencent to power Hong Kong startups amid its shift to enterprise
Chinese tech giant Tencent signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to share its technological capabilities with startups in the tech hub. The agreement gives tenants in the science park access to Tencent’s AI, blockchain, data security, payment, and cloud computing technologies in their development and application of fintech, AI, healthcare, and smart city services.

Briefing: Tencent to power Hong Kong startups amid its shift to enterprise

China to see 71% of ad spending be programmatic (US$30bn) by 2019
71% of digital ad spending in China will be traded programmatically by 2019. The internet giants BAT controlled around 80% of programmatic buying.

Shutting Down a China WFOE: Don’t Go There
Closing a China WFOE: Just fading away is a bad idea. For reasons that ought to be apparent to anyone who reads the news, our China lawyers have of late been getting a whole host of emails from foreign companies looking to shut down or just flee from their China WFOEs.

Shutting Down a China WFOE: Don’t Go There

LVMH Reports Strong Growth But Remains Cautious about the Global Economy
LVMH attributed 29 percent of its 2018 revenue to the Asian market (excluding Japan), which is only matched by all of Europe. The company saw no changes in Chinese customer demand between the third and fourth quarters, but also no slowdown toward the end of the year. The demand in China in 2018 could be attributed to the company lowering prices to more closely match those in other countries.

LVMH Reports Strong Growth But Remains Cautious about the Global Economy

If a Government Can’t Deliver Safe Vaccines for Children, Is It Fit to Rule?
Another scandal over shoddy drugs in China, another hit to the Communist Party’s legitimacy.

China orders further cleanup along Yangtze
China’s Ministry of Water Resources said on Tuesday that illegal infrastructure along the Yangtze River is being dismantled to restore order. A year-long inspection organized by the ministry and local water authorities showed that there are 5,700 infrastructure projects along a total of 8,311 kilometers of main river shorelines.

It’s China! No, it’s Japan! In months-long battling, China regains its title as home to world’s second-largest stock market
China, Japan have been battling like fierce sumo wrestlers for two months – but now China has noticeably pulled ahead Trade talks getting ready to begin could be pivotal in China-Japan contest

Investors brace for China tech funding ‘down rounds’
Investors are bracing for a series of “down rounds” in China’s much-hyped tech sector as weak stock markets worldwide and the country’s economic slowdown weigh on once-buoyant private markets.

JP Morgan goes bullish on Hong Kong home prices, expecting gains of up to 7 per cent this year
Buoyant liquidity conditions, improving sentiment, to underpin gains in residential prices from April, says JP Morgan researcher Sino Land’s Mayfair by the Sea 8 in Tai Po garners lacklustre response on Tuesday, as only 31 of 118 flats are sold as of 6pm

Next generation out to prove itself, will be more creative with property investment, says Savills
Young blood more open to borrowing from banks and will not buy property to just collect rent, says head of private investment office at global firm

Why Young People From Taiwan Struggle to Adjust to Mainland Life
Despite a bevy of policies aimed at attracting young residents of the island to study and work on the mainland, many report difficulty integrating into their new communities

Chinese city seeks young blood: how ageing Nanjing lures new talent
The ancient capital of China is pulling out all the stops in a bid to defuse its ticking demographic timebomb

China’s ride-hailing giant is getting into the electric-car business
China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is making a bet on electric cars. It’s also betting on battery-swapping technology, which has stalled in the US but is revving up in China.

Can China Turn the Middle of Nowhere
In the barely inhabited steppes of Central Asia, it is establishing the next foothold in its trillion-dollar campaign to transform global infrastructure. Khorgos is a flagship project of this work in progress, an international shipping hub and free-trade zone that its promoters say is poised to become the next Dubai. Thanks to its location at the junction of the world’s soon-to-be-largest national economy and its largest landlocked country, Khorgos has become an unlikely harbinger of the interconnected planet: a zone fully enclosed by the logic of globalization, where goods flow freely across sovereign borders, following corridors designed to locate every human being on the planet within a totalizing network of producers and consumers, buyers and sellers.

As US Steps Out, China Aggressively Working To Enter Central Asia via Afghanistan
China wants to engage in the Afghan peace process which clearly highlights its ambition of becoming a superpower in Central Asia. After spreading its influence with the Belt and Road initiative in many parts of Asia, the Persian Gulf and Europe; China is now working aggressively towards winning the energy-rich Central Asia.

US will boost security ties with Taiwan, says ‘ambassador’ as he warns mainland China to stop strong-arm tactics
Washington’s top envoy says America has ‘grave concerns’ over efforts to coerce island into reunification talks

DJI steps up anti-graft campaign following $150 million losses
Chinese drone-maker DJI said it will strengthen its efforts to fight graft within the company, following an internal investigation that found it had lost $150 million due to corruption

DJI steps up anti-graft campaign following $150 million losses

Chinese authorities clamp down on travel apps amid concerns over personal data
China Railway (CR) has curbed Chinese travel apps’ access to train tickets, as the government looks to limit third-parties on its online ticketing platform following a series of recent data breaches.

Chinese authorities clamp down on travel apps amid concerns over personal data

Five things live streamers in China cannot do
Revealing clothes? Sexy whispering? Seductive banana eating? Yup, all banned

Chinese grindcore band with pig for a lead singer, Pig Cage squeals discontent with the government
Pig Cage, a grindcore band from Inner Mongolia, uses pig sounds instead of human vocals The band’s creator, Maihem, says he didn’t like the sound of his own voice, so he decided to use a porcine substitute

Xi’s China Is Steamrolling Its Own History
The Chinese Communist Party sees the past as a resource to be plundered by the present.
Xi’s China Is Steamrolling Its Own History

Alain Gillard
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