China Press Review – July 15, 2020

Press review

The State Of Chinese Consumer Post-COVID
As the effects of Covid-19 continue to ripple across the globe, China – one of the first to countries to emerge from the pandemic – offers a glimpse into fundamental changes and new trends in consumer behavior. Daniel Zipser, senior partner and head of McKinsey & Company’s consumer and retail practice in Greater China, spoke with us recently, sharing his insights about post-pandemic consumers.

As China’s economy rebounds, dangers lurk beneath the surface
China faces internal and external challenges; stimulating consumer demand at home may be its biggest one, analysts say.

US President Donald Trump signs Hong Kong Autonomy Act, and ends the city’s preferential trade status
New law is the latest salvo from a united Washington as it retaliates against Beijing for further eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy   The executive order means ‘Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China’, the US president says

China promises sanctions for US ending of Hong Kong preferential status
Beijing says American institutions and individuals to be targeted after President Donald Trump signs new law   Foreign ministry statement describes US actions as ‘violation’ of international norms and ‘interference’ in Chinese internal affairs

National security law’s grey lines blur Hong Kong’s future as a global financial centre
The vagueness of the new legislation, statements by government officials and the actions of the police do not inspire confidence that the law will be narrowly applied     If Hong Kong is to be more than China’s offshore financial market, it must retain its free press, independent judiciary and honest civil service

Hong Kong will remain ‘extremely important’ financial centre despite short-term security law fallout: Andrew Sheng
Hong Kong’s proximity to China means global financial managers will continue to flock there to access the mainland, says ex-Hong Kong official Andrew Sheng    But the city is caught in the middle of ongoing China-US disputes and will suffer in the short-term from the new National Security Law

China’s unemployment crisis shows no signs of easing as graduates face reality check due to coronavirus
China is set to release its June unemployment figure on Thursday, along with the headline gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate   China’s policymakers have already prioritised employment for this year, vowing to create 9 million new urban jobs

China hits out at UK Huawei ban, but British politicians complain Boris Johnson did not go far enough
Members of the British Prime Minister’s Conservative Party complain that it could take seven years to remove the Chinese tech giant’s products form the country’s 5G network    Chinese foreign ministry promises to take ‘all necessary steps’ to protect interests as state media calls for ‘public and painful retaliation’

Huawei decision ‘may delay 5G by three years and cost UK £7bn’
Experts say small towns and rural areas will be hardest hit by UK ditching Chinese firm

UK’s Huawei 5G network ban ‘disappointing and wrong’
China’s ambassador to the UK has called Britain’s decision to ban telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network “disappointing and wrong”.

China threatens to pull big business out of Britain and accuses Boris Johnson of being ‘America’s dupe’ after banning Huawei from UK’s 5G network
UK Government announced yesterday Huawei will be banned from 5G network  The Chinese tech giant’s equipment will be stripped out of the network by 2027  Beijing accused UK of working with US to ‘suppress and exclude’ Chinese firms  US lobbied UK to reverse January decision to green light the firm’s involvement    Donald Trump has appeared to claim credit for Britain’s U-turn on the issue

The Huawei dispute is only one part of a wider UK-China struggle
Coronavirus, trade, Hong Kong and human rights all in play as relations teeter over 5G role

Huawei telecommunications 5G mobile networks cellular
Huawei said Tuesday the UK’s decision to ban the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker from its 5G networks was “disappointing” and urged the country to “reconsider.”   The British government said that banning Huawei gear was due to “uncertainty” around the company supply chain. The company argued that it was a “politicized” decision.

Canada faces new pressure to block Huawei from 5G, after UK ban risks marooning Ottawa from Five Eyes intelligence allies
Ex-diplomat Charles Burton says it will now be difficult for Canada to approve Huawei and distinguish itself from allies who have all blocked the Chinese firm   He says a ‘policy of appeasement’ to China has not helped the detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who are accused by Beijing of spying

Taiwan digital minister warns of China’s 5G ‘Trojan horse’
Audrey Tang says Taiwan acted in 2014 to keep Huawei out of systems

In Depth: China’s Chip Dreams Power SMIC’s Mega IPO
A new “technology cold war” between the U.S. and China has added fuel to a drive by Beijing for self-reliance in high-tech microchips that power many of today’s gadgets. Against that backdrop, a previously unknown player has suddenly become the talk of town as a key component for achieving Beijing’s semiconductor dreams.

What’s really behind Pinduoduo leadership switcheroo?
In case you missed it, the founder of Pinduoduo, Colin Huang, recently stepped down as CEO. The move was announced a week after Huang eclipsed Jack Ma as China’s second-richest person. That feat was underwritten by a sudden, rapid increase in Huang’s personal wealth, adding $25 billion in six months on the back of Pinduoduo’s surging stock price.

China is racing ahead of India in adopting EVs
Electric two-wheelers are a huge market in China and the electric car market is picking up as well. Mint examines the reason behind this    Electric vehicles (EVs) may be the future of mobility but at present form a minuscule portion of the vehicles sold in India. In comparison, electric two-wheelers are a huge market in China and the electric car market is picking up as well. Mint examines the reason behind this.

Shanghai-Made COVID-19 Vaccine Ready for Human Trials
The candidate is one of a select few mRNA-based vaccines — advantageous because the most laborious steps of the immunization process can take place after inoculation — being tested worldwide.

Third coronavirus wave pushes back recovery of Hong Kong’s struggling retail property sector to mid-2021
Retailers will be more cautious with their expansion plans because of the new social distancing measures, says Colliers  Major landlords launch legal proceedings against top brands to recover millions in unpaid rent and fees

Greater Bay Area manufacturing hub Dongguan reports rise in home prices amid increased liquidity, speculative buying
City’s average home prices had risen by 17 per cent year on year by the end of June   Home sales have risen 20 per cent in the first six months to 55.7 billion yuan

China plans Greater Bay Area airport cluster by 2025
China aims to finish the building of a world-class cluster of airports in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by 2025, according to a new plan released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Chinese bankers in Hong Kong feel the sting of a tripling tax bill as China’s tax authority collects tariffs on citizens’ global income
China’s tax authority last week moved to tax the global income of Chinese citizens worldwide     That leaves Chinese professionals living in Hong Kong facing tax rate of as much as 45 per cent, compared with the previous 15 per cent

Chinese professionals shocked by 45% China tax rate consider leaving Hong Kong
Fears of a Hong Kong brain drain are increasing after China moved to tax its citizens’ global income, undermining the financial hub’s appeal to thousands of bankers and other white-collar workers from the mainland.   Faced with a tax rate as high as 45 per cent – up from about 15 per cent previously – Chinese professionals across Hong Kong are considering moving back home to avoid getting squeezed by both the new levy and sky-high living costs in the former British colony, according to interviews with workers and recruiters.

Mike Pompeo urges ‘free and fair’ Hong Kong vote after China’s national security law warning
Beijing’s liaison office in city and Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office have both lashed out at opposition primary in which more than 600,000 people voted    US Secretary of State expresses ‘grave concern’ over Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s comment that unofficial poll may have violated national security law

Under national security law, Hong Kong can be pro-democracy without being anti-China
Speculation about the impact of the law must give way to a democratic agenda for Hong Kong crafted for these post-security law times   Democratic development is painstaking, slow work, but the fruit of the labour will benefit not just Hong Kong, but also help it fulfil its role as China’s international city

Should US firms be worried about Hong Kong sanctions?
The future of American companies in Hong Kong has been thrown into doubt after Donald Trump signed an order to end the city’s preferential treatment.

New York Times moving some staff out of Hong Kong as security law brings media chill
The New York Times is moving some staff out of Hong Kong due to a new security law imposed by China on the city, as both foreign and local media face increased uncertainty in the Asian financial hub.   Some Times employees in Hong Kong “have faced challenges securing work permits,” the paper reported Tuesday in an article detailing the decision to move some staff to Seoul, South Korea. “With the city facing a new era under tightened Chinese rule, Times editors determined they needed an additional base of operations in the region.”

The US is taking on Beijing over the South China Sea, but Asean remains cautious
With US-China ties fraying and a need for trade with China amid the Covid-19 pandemic, countries in the region cannot risk siding with Washington, analysts say   Negotiations over a code of conduct in the disputed waterway could also stall following the US’ assertions that Beijing’s claims are ‘completely unlawful’

Hard for US-China trade to survive a shooting war
Can the US and China be both serious rivals and big-time trade partners?  There’s a curious ambivalence in the US-China relationship these days. It seems to combine two incompatible elements.

Not just India, Tibet — China has 17 territorial disputes with its neighbours, on land & sea
China has disputes with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Brunei, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar and Tibet.

China-Russia ties cornerstone of global strategic stability
The global trend of multipolarization is not over. In the post-pandemic era, although the US waves its sanctioning powers and tries to consolidate a US-centered world order, other forces represented by China and Russia are not weak. Nor are they without energy and power to set countermeasures in motion.    On the road of safeguarding their respective national interests, China and Russia will surely strengthen comprehensive strategic cooperation to make their relations stronger in order to become the cornerstone and main force of global strategic stability.

World population growth set to fall by 2100, as new dominant powers emerge
An international study in The Lancet predicted a world population of 8.8 billion by the end of the century as fertility rates decline   China’s population is expected to fall to 780 million. Geopolitical power will shift to China, India, Nigeria and the United States   By 2050, China’s gross domestic product will overtake that of the United States, but fall back into second place by 2100, they predict.   “By the end of the century, the world will be multipolar, with India, Nigeria, China and the United States the dominant powers,” said Richard Horton, describing the study as outlining “radical shifts in geopolitical power”

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