China Press Review – July 2, 2020

Press review

Shanghai’s quest to be global financial centre gains impetus from Hong Kong troubles but big obstacles remain
Hong Kong’s role as an offshore money centre for China may decline if Beijing further tightens its grip on the city     China has long wanted Shanghai to become the country’s premier finance hub, but capital controls and its legal system remain obstacles

Coronavirus accelerates shift to online shopping as consumers fear contracting the disease from handling banknotes
Shift to touch-free transactions and e-commerce is partly driven by consumers’ pressing concern over hygiene, says Mastercard      Online grocery sales in Hong Kong rise 73 per cent in the first quarter

Despite the rhetoric, US-China financial decoupling is not happening
The US-China economic confrontation of the last few years has prompted predictions that the world’s two largest economies are headed for a “decoupling.” The Trump administration’s recent threat to delist Chinese companies from US stock exchanges if they fail to comply with US accounting regulations  underscored that possibility, and Trump tweeted in mid-June that “a complete decoupling from China” was a US policy option.   But for all the fireworks over tariffs and investment restrictions, China’s integration into global financial markets continues apace. Indeed, that integration appears on most metrics to have accelerated over the past year. And US-based financial institutions are actively participating in this process, making financial decoupling between the United States and China increasingly unlikely. An examination of the data shows the danger of generalizing based on misleading anecdotal evidence.

Tough talking at the EU–China summit
On 22 June, the first summit took place between the new EU leadership team, headed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel, and China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, but there was little time for small talk. One official remarked, ‘the gloves were off from the start’ with no attempt to secure a traditional joint statement, let alone a joint press conference.

American firms’ move into China over past 20 years threatens US ability to lead and compete: report
As US business in China focuses more on high-end tech production, the risk rises that America is helping Beijing reach industrial and military goals: report   US business communities say China remains a preferred investment destination but the Covid-19 outbreak was a wake-up call on supply chains

China’s Greater Bay Area factories struggling as coronavirus takes bite out of 2020 orders
Almost three quarters of manufacturers in China’s Greater Bay Area see a negative impact on their business due to the coronavirus, Standard Chartered survey shows   The pandemic’s impact on demand was the biggest concern, with more than half forecasting orders would fall an average 12.4 per cent this year

China’s tech tycoons flood Hong Kong with US$20 billion of stock listings
Chinese tech tycoons with companies trading in Hong Kong now have a combined net worth of US$182 billion, more than the city’s 10 richest people     Alibaba, NetEase and have raised US$20 billion from share sales in Hong Kong

How a Chinese pharmaceutical firm has leapt to the front of the global race for a vaccine while the pandemic rages on
CanSino Biologics is vaulting into the global spotlight as connections on both sides of the Pacific make it one of the front-runners in the race for a coronavirus vaccine    In May, CanSino became the first globally to publish a full scientific study on its early human trials, an important step because it allows researchers worldwide to assess a vaccine’s potential fintech unit is planning a STAR Market IPO
JD Digits, the fintech subsidiary of Chinese online marketplace, is preparing for an initial public offering at China’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market in Shanghai, according to a filing by several securities firms.

Investors beware: there’s a new ‘China Hustle’
 “The China Hustle,” a documentary from a few years back, depicts a special type of stock market fraud. Obscure Chinese high-tech manufacturers, agricultural producers, and mining companies would list on overseas stock exchanges. Investor conferences, investment funds, and stockbrokers played up each company’s connection to China’s growth miracle, stimulating investor demand and precipitating share price spikes.

Why Now Is The Right Time To Invest In Luxury
The massive disruption shaking up the luxury sector right now calls for unprecedented action. So why then am I optimistic about the future of luxury? Writing my weekly Future of Luxury column for Jing Daily allows me to reflect on some of the most critical and inspiring luxury topics of our time. Today, on my birthday, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on the lessons luxury brands must take away from the past calendar year, and what they might mean for them in the future.   In 2019, as we prepared to move into the last year into the 2020s, the need for luxury brands to make changes was already becoming urgent. Just a few months earlier, the Dolce & Gabbana China PR disaster sent shockwaves across the luxury brand community, and it became clear that “business as usual” wasn’t going to be possible anymore.

China’s Pinduoduo appoints Chen Lei as new chief executive
Before his appointment, Chen was involved in building Pinduoduo’s infrastructure for transactions, interactive features and cloud operations   Founder Colin Huang Zheng will remain as chairman, focusing on long-term strategy and fundamental research

Brand Value Is More Important Than Ever In The Post COVID-19 Era
For the first time, over 17 Chinese brands made it on the latest BrandZ Top 100 list, demonstrating the growing strength of Chinese homegrown brands.

China’s experience shows coronavirus second wave need not be a disaster
The good news is Beijing’s experience shows we can tame second waves in a way that minimises disruption through greater preparedness and understanding   In the next stretch of the battle against the coronavirus, global anti-pandemic efforts need to be smarter and more collaborative

Hopes ride on WHO mission to China
With the lack of global unity helping accelerate the coronavirus spread, it is positive news that an international team will be dispatched to find out more about how the outbreak started

Apple supplier Foxconn, others said to be disrupted by India’s greater scrutiny of imports from China
The delays have affected production at Foxconn’s two factories in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where smartphones from Apple and Xiaomi are assembled    Other companies affected by the inspection measures at Indian ports included computer giant Dell and carmaker MG Motor

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi deletes Weibo after China app ban
Weibo said it deleted Modi’s account on Wednesday after request from the Indian embassy    Modi had been one of the few heads of state to use the Chinese microblogging platform

China urges India to end trade ‘discrimination’, but holds off retaliation after deadly border clash
China hopes India will stop targeting Chinese exports to ensure ‘healthy and stable’ trade ties, says commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng   India this week banned Chinese mobile apps amid a wave of calls to boycott Chinese-made products and review investment

China and India to move troops ‘in batches’ from disputed border
Military commanders aim to prevent accidental clashes but without political settlement stand-off is expected to continue    Agreement follows deadliest skirmish in decades over disputed border in the Himalayas

Hong Kong national security law: how will it affect businesses? Uncertainty over overseas funds, foreign offices
Commerce chambers warn companies to tread carefully, with lawmaker advising operators to adopt wait-and-see approach  Concerns centre on operations such as dealings with foreign branches or entities, with penalties ranging from fines to confiscation of funds

China firmly opposes Britain’s offer of residency rights to Hongkongers and warns of ‘corresponding measures’
China’s embassy in Britain says offer of residency rights and path to citizenship violated 1984 memorandums of understanding regarding sovereignty over city   Lawyer says Hongkongers can choose whether to apply for British citizenship but were never given a choice about Chinese citizenship

Hong Kong national security law: for Japanese, a chance to ‘poke red China’?
While many Japanese have taken to the internet to call for solidarity with Hong Kong’s protesters, leader Shinzo Abe has been conspicuously silent     Reaction may be more a gauge of Japanese animosity towards China than an expression of support for activists, says professor

China lashes out at Five Eyes nations as Britain and Australia offer to help Hongkongers
BN(O) passports and possible arrangement by Canberra offer safe havens after Beijing enacts controversial national security law    Passport applicants in Hong Kong keen to have an escape route but wary of the difficulties in settling elsewhere

National security law: peaceful protesters could land in jail, legal experts warn
Actions that may potentially lead to guilty verdict include protests staged outside government offices and vandalism of public property, lawyers say    Political pundits suggest Beijing drafted legislation as a way to target actions often seen during anti-government demonstrations of past year

Requiem for Hong Kong
A few weeks ago, in Hong Kong’s Saddest Day, we echoed legislator Tanya Chan’s sentiment after China’s rubber-stamp National People’s Congress announced it would enact national security legislation for the city.  As sad at that fateful May 21 was, we warned “the days ahead could be much sadder” for Hong Kong. Unfortunately, that prediction has come to pass. On June 30, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region came into force, and every aspect of its enactment is confirming Hongkongers’ worst fears.

Chinese Communist Party celebrates 99th anniversary by praising coronavirus success
Official mouthpiece People’s Daily says fight against Covid-19 proves superiority of the country’s political system    Xi Jinping tells members to stay true to principles

Vietnam, Philippines criticise Chinese military drills in South China Sea
The Philippines said China’s exercises near the Paracel Islands were ‘highly provocative’ while Vietnam said they violate its sovereignty     Hanoi and Manila warned of growing insecurity in Southeast Asia at an Asean summit last week, amid concerns that China is advancing its territorial claims

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