China Press Review – January 8, 2020

Press review

Instead of US-China decoupling, 2020 should bring acceptance of different development models
The much-touted ‘end of history’ marked the emergence of a multipolar world in which a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to development will not work   We must find ways to accommodate ‘developmental diversity’ while upholding the institutions that support international cooperation

How China Is Reshaping International Development
China is trying to repave the road to international development by emphasizing commercial ventures instead of handouts. But there have been plenty of bumps along the way.

China cements Communist Party’s role at top of its SOEs, should ‘execute the will of the party’
‘Provisional’ regulation puts Communist Party committees in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) ahead of the board of directors     New regulation also stipulates that the party secretary of a state firm must be its chairman who must ‘execute the will of the party’

China’s central bank debuts app monitoring system
Shenzhen central bank finance app monitoring regulation   The Shenzhen branch of China’s central bank has developed the country’s first internet finance app monitoring system, signaling that efforts to improve internet finance regulation and reduce risks will continue in 2020.

China’s Vice-Premier Liu He shifts focus to domestic financial issues as trade war deal nears
The China Financial Stability and Development Committee has met an unprecedented number of times over the past 40 days      The meetings come amid a growing number of bond defaults and regional bank failures, and ahead of a phase one trade deal with US

US trade deficit falls to three-year low in wake of China standoff
Fears grow that Donald Trump will now set his sights on the EU and the UK   The gap between US imports and exports shrank to its lowest level in three years in November following a 15% decline in the country’s annual trade deficit with China.

China developers turn to old-charm lower-tier cities for cheaper land bank as prices in Beijing, Shenzhen soar
Taiyuan and Xi’an are two cities where property developers have picked up more land bank as they avoid soaring prices in top-tier cities    Taiyuan land cost 2,476 yuan per sq m on average in 2019, compared with 2,624 yuan in Xi’an. Both are almost 10 times cheaper than Beijing and Shenzhen

A bear in a China shop? Four threats to China’s economic rise
Like all economies, large or small, developed or emerging, China has challenges to deal with. Its old economic model – one that focused on low-value manufacturing – has run its course. China must now look forward to its new model, focused on high-value technology and domestic consumption, in order to succeed.  China is also undergoing significant reform. It’s focused on improving governance and, while it has historically been difficult for businesses to operate there and for foreigners to invest in its markets, things are changing.China’s markets have evolved significantly over the years and, importantly for investors, this includes both the quantity and quality of companies based there. Its markets are almost too big to overlook, especially if the country continues to prosper, make investor-friendly reform and improve corporate governance. We think there’s a lot of potential in China. In our view, a good place to start for those looking to dip a toe in the water is a broader Asian or emerging markets fund – our favourites can be found on the Wealth 50. That said, China still has a long way to go and investors should be aware it’s a high-risk place to invest, especially as periods of economic and political instability are likely to persist.

China’s Super Rich Twice as Likely to Have Property to Thank
China’s wealthy families are twice as likely as global peers to have made their millions in real estate, according to a report co-authored by UBS Group AG, which found an increasing focus on wealth preservation and succession.    Almost 30% of participants surveyed said their family wealth came from property, followed by consumer discretionary and industrials. The swelling ranks of China’s super rich are also increasingly turning to family offices as they focus on wealth maintenance and succession planning, according to the study.

US Affordable Luxury Brands’ Problems Run Deeper Than the Trade War
A problem often overlooked is their weaning desirability among the Chinese consumer – whose knowledge of affordable luxury brands started to shift long ago.China in 2010 was markedly different from how it is now. Consumers would flock to stores from the likes of big US luxury goods makers Michael Kors and Kate Spade — often bypassing Prada and Louis Vuitton in the process. Now, a decade later, it feels like the warm glow of these brands is fading; increasingly mature consumers are shifting their preferences and shopping elsewhere. Rising tariff costs are only adding to the woes of these brands, meaning they need to up their game in 2020 or risk losing a valuable market share.

Beijing talks its way past Hong Kong in English proficiency, but Shanghai tops China rankings for sixth year in a row
Company behind survey of young, English-speaking Chinese professionals credits travel and international trade for Shanghai’s commanding position   Growing middle class with aspirations to educate children overseas also plays big part in greater English use

Tencent and state-owned UnionPay to merge QR code systems for mobile payments in China
Tencent will share a common QR code system for mobile payments with China’s state-owned UnionPay, under a new partnership  Currently, merchants have to offer different codes for each payment service

China loses third bank in three months as economy hits 30-year low
China’s economic growth continues to slow down, causing a number of banks to close due to difficult conditions. Hengfeng bank has become the latest to shut its doors.

Phasing out coal power and meeting climate goals by 2050 ‘totally doable’ for China
Study suggests ‘low-hanging fruit’ be retired and operating hours of other plants gradually cut by 2050 to keep warming to within 2 degrees Celsius    With financial support and careful planning it could be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to researchers

China’s Urban Champions
Princeton University Press: The rise of major metropolises across China since the 1990s has been a double-edged sword: Although big cities function as economic powerhouses, concentrated urban growth can worsen regional inequalities, governance challenges, and social tensions. Wary of these dangers, China’s national leaders have tried to forestall top-heavy urbanization. However, urban and regional development policies at the sub-national level have not always followed suit. China’s Urban Champions explores the development paths of different provinces and asks why policymakers in many cases favor big cities in a way that reinforces spatial inequalities rather than reducing them

Elon Musk launches Tesla SUV programme in China with ‘NSFW’ dad dance
Musk danced enthusiastically on stage at the launch of Tesla’s Model Y electric sports utility vehicle programme in Shanghai, stripping off his jacket   The ceremony was attended by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong and other senior government officials

Tesla top produce Model Y in China from 2021
The announcement came shortly after the company began local deliveries of its first model to be produced in China, the Model 3 sedan, which is set to significantly lift the brand’s sales in the world largest electric vehicle market.

Geely and Mercedes-Benz invest $780 million to make electric Smart cars
Geely will lead engineering and Mercedes-Benz will take charge of their overall look

GM warns of ongoing challenges in China as sales fall 15% in 2019
GM’s sales in China dropped 15.1% to nearly 3.1 million vehicles last year compared with 2018, including a 13.3% year-over-year drop in the fourth-quarter.  GM expects the country’s downturn to continue this year and pose additional challenges for the automaker.  GM shares were down about 1% mid-morning Tuesday to around $35.50.

Hong Kong faces HK$10 billion potential shortfall in land sales revenue as city faces first fiscal deficit in 15 years
Five analysts predict a shortfall against budget estimate, while one expects collection to surpass city’s target, according to a Post survey this month   Financial Secretary Chan says reduced revenue affects resources for public services, hurts minorities most

China Tech Investor 46: 2019’s biggest winners and losers
China Tech Investor is a weekly look at China’s tech companies through the lens of investment. Each week, hosts Elliott Zaagman and James Hull go through their watch list of publicly listed tech companies and also interview experts on issues affecting the macroeconomy and the stock prices of China’s tech companies. to issue $1 billion debt offering is planning a $1 billion note offering to refinance and fund general operations, according to a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Luckin Coffee announces 2 new bids to raise cash
Chinese online-to-offline beverage chain Luckin Coffee announced two separate developments on Tuesday aimed at a major cash raise including a five-year bond offering and a new share issuance, just eight months after its US stock market debut.

China calls for restraint to ease tensions in Middle East after Iranian missile strikes on US bases
Both sides should seek resolution through peaceful means, such as dialogue, to ensure stability in the region, foreign ministry says   ‘Further deterioration … not in the interests of any country,’ spokesman says

Lunar New Year in China raises risks of worsening African swine fever crisis, minister says
Vice-agriculture minister Yu Kangzhen said on Wednesday that China’s sow herd rose 2.2 per cent in December compared with November     The Lunar New Year, China’s peak pork consuming season, falls on January 25 as million of people return home to celebrate the festival with their families

Pompeo, you must be joking about Hong Kong and China
When it comes to undermining the autonomy of other countries, and mistreating and killing Muslims, the US secretary of state and his band of merry hypocrites should look at themselves in the mirror

Meeting the challenge of China’s changing population
The shrinking demographic dividend and managing an ageing population are now major challenges to China’s economic development. According to the most recent population projections released by the Population Division of the United Nations, World Bank and China’s Population and Development Research Center, the ageing of China’s population will have four main characteristics in the coming years.

China province of 80 million claims only 17 people in poverty, sparking debate about official data
The Chinese coastal province of Jiangsu has claimed only 17 residents out of a population of some 80 million remain in poverty     The province is the first to declare a near elimination of absolute poverty as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to wipe it out by 2020

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