China Press Review – July 4, 2018

Press review

Belgium interested in hosting Alibaba eWTP digital hub
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel met with Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma to dicuss the company’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative, launched last year in Malaysia. The aim of of the eWTP is to provide SMEs with the same sort of infrastructure as larger companies for global trade. Michel would like Belgium to become a partner in the initiative.

Belgium Prime Ministre, Jack Ma meet and discuss EWTP
Jack Ma has a vision: to create an internet-based trading platform that will bring small businesses into the global economy. More may be in the works in Belgium, with the city of Liège under consideration as one of six logistics hubs Cainiao plans to open across the globe.

China pushes reluctant EU to form anti-Trump alliance in trade row

Officials claim Europe is resisting offer to join Beijing in joint action at World Trade Organisation despite offer of greater market access

Powering the Digital Revolution in China
China is home to 730 million Internet users, and its mobile payments market is over 11 times the size of the market in the US. As e-commerce and digital transactions expand exponentially, data centers, the warehouses of the digital revolution, are being built at a breakneck pace in China.

Powering the Digital Revolution in China

Will Chinese President Xi Jinping promote boycotts of US brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s?
If he does it could be damaging to the local economy as the China operations of all-American brands are co-owned by state-backed firms

China denies it will be first to impose tariffs on $34bn of US goods
Both sides made 6 July tariff threat but 12-hour time difference gives Chinese edge

China looks to replace US farm goods as trade row turns sour
American cherries, soybeans, cars, pork and whisky will all be more expensive if Beijing hits back with retaliatory taxes

China can ‘win big battles’, economic team says as trade row with United States heats up
Statement released after Vice-Premier Liu He hosts first meeting of new-look Financial Stability and Development Committee

US-China trade war threats prompt Taiwan firms to consider moving away from mainland
Island’s business stand to lose from conflict with many companies dependent on their mainland links and factories

‘A victory for Chinese steel and US law’: why a lawyer thinks Chinese companies can put faith in the American legal system
Steel case could have set a dangerous precedent for China, but should instead encourage its companies to choose the path of engagement, advocate says

China’s Ambitions in Eastern Europe to Face Scrutiny at Summit
China meets central and eastern European leaders on Saturday for a summit where Beijing’s promises of big infrastructure deals will come under greater scrutiny with some participants saying the annual gatherings yield little. States from the Baltics to the Balkans will meet China’s Premier Li Keqiang at the seventh “16+1” summit in the Bulgarian capital, hoping for fresh money from Chinese companies backed by state banks.

Yuan recovers some ground but caution remains as trade war looms
China’s yuan rebounded for a second day on Wednesday as the currency took a breather from its sharp depreciation in recent weeks, although bearish sentiment lingered as the US prepares to implement tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6.

Why China’s dramatic currency drop isn’t a 2015 re-run
Chenye, who runs three China-focused funds at Harvest Global Investors, said the huge fall in CNY, its largest-ever single-month drop against the dollar, had grabbed headlines but had perhaps been over-simplified in some areas.

China’s monetary policy loosening is a sign that the central bank is gearing up for a fight
Aidan Yao says the People’s Bank of China looks set to do some heavy lifting in the coming months and investors can expect tough times ahead

China to cut coal use, curb steel under action plan to fight pollution
Government also targets 2 million electric car sales a year by 2020 and expands anti-smog campaign to 82 cities

Beijing lays down a gauntlet to Brussels in the Balkans
EU and US must respond to China’s growing influence at Europe’s vulnerable back door

SoftBank’s links to Huawei questioned by US Congress
House letter raises national security concerns on T-Mobile-Sprint deal

HNA Group chairman Wang Jian dies in France after accident
Reports suggest businessman might have fallen off a wall while trying to take a photograph

China’s Legend closes purchase of Luxembourg bank
Legend holdings corporation, parent company of Chinese technology giant Lenovo, completed the purchase of nearly 90 percent stake in Banque Internationale a Luxembourg S.A. (BIL) on Monday.

US temporarily lifts ban on ZTE while lawmakers’ debate on its punishment continues
The Chinese telecoms giant is allowed to resume doing business with its American suppliers until August 1

Made in China 2025
China’s “Made in China 2025” policy to upgrade its industry plays a central role in the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions. Paul Haenle sat down with Paul Triolo, practice head of Geo-technology at the Eurasia Group, to discuss how the Chinese government initiative impacts and challenges the U.S. and global economies, and how best to formulate policies in response.

Dreaming of a Silicon Desert
How a small city in northwestern China is trying to turn itself into the next ‘big data’ hub. In 2013, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced an ambitious new plan to construct a cloud computing base in Zhongwei. Although the project encountered a series of policy-related setbacks, the center finally opened for business in late 2017. In addition to the Amazon data center, Zhongwei is also home to Western Cloud Base — three massive cloud computing complexes situated around the city

Tencent’s WeChat is now host to 1 million mini-programs
Mini programs are helping to boost customer retention on WeChat, which has 1 billion users globally.

Chinese Firms Rush For Overseas IPOs As 14 Major Stock Sales Aim To Raise Over $18B In Two Months
Chinese tech companies are rushing to go public, as investor enthusiasm for hot tech stocks is believed to likely evaporate as global trade tensions and financial uncertainties cast shadows over initial stock offerings. A total of 14 major overseas IPOs by Chinese firms have been filed or completed during the past two months, with an aim to raise over US$18 billion. Three of which have completed their stock market debut, according to China Money Network data.

Alibaba and Tencent hit by China’s new mobile payment rules
Mandate to deposit funds at central bank will slash interest income

Riding China’s Rise: The European Politicians in Beijing’s Orbit
Former leaders from France, U.K., Germany, France boost China EU-China summit in July likely to underline Europe’s dilemma

Hong Kong seeks bigger role in BRI
Asia’s financial centre is betting on a green Belt and Road but there are concerns over ‘greenwashing’, reports Kayleigh Long

Why Western media rush to badmouth BRI
Sri Lanka’s debt problem is a hot topic nowadays. Western media outlets like the New York Times are keen to find fault with the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

Malaysia suspends construction of major Belt and Road rail project
The suspension comes as Malaysia seeks to renegotiate the terms of the deal with China

Is China ‘putting back the ladder’ to development?
The US–China trade dispute is on-again, off-again. While many are stressing the rights and wrongs of reigning in Chinese trade policies, there is little open contemplation of why China adopted such practices in the first place and what that might suggest about development prospects under existing global trade rules. Size is important, but it is the dynamics and degrees of bargaining power that are at the crux of trade negotiations. Developing countries of all shapes and sizes must practice strategic patience in reclaiming lost policy space while also identifying sources of new spaces. To this end, major endeavours like China’s Belt and Road Initiative present an opportunity for other countries to creatively leverage the focus on infrastructure(rather than rules) to graft much-needed policy flexibility onto the global trading system.

Is China ‘putting back the ladder’ to development?

Guns And Debt On The Belt And Road

Guns and debt on the Belt and Road

China ‘to invest US$250 million’ to boost Venezuela’s oil sector
After meeting officials in Beijing, Finance Minister Simon Zerpa says the two countries will sign three or four more financing deals in coming weeks

Men & Makeup: The Changing Face of Chinese Beauty
For young Chinese men like Gu, the idea that luxury cosmetics are exclusively for women is an outdated notion. Traditionally, China has been a country of unshakable gender roles. But, in an evolving modern China, the male beauty industry is booming.

Men & Makeup: The Changing Face of Chinese Beauty

The China-US Confrontation: A Russian View
China and the US have different geopolitical imperatives, so tensions are bound to increase between the two powers. Russia’s position in the nascent confrontation will be important to watch, as it is simultaneously under pressure from the West and in the shadow of Chinese economic strength. Russia will likely see US-China competition as providing an opportunity to improve its own geopolitical position.

Ofo’s Yellow Bike App Gets ‘Red’ News Feed
As the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 97th birthday on Sunday, bike-sharing company Ofo announced a new content feed feature filled with state-owned news sources. The Ofo news feed — called “Kankan,” which means “take a look” — draws content exclusively from major state media outlets such as Xinhua and China Central Television. Ofo CEO Dai Wei said in a press release that the feature aimed to showcase the company’s “red gene” in line with Party values. “Our purpose in launching Kankan is to attract more young followers to take an interest in these ‘mainstream’ values,” he said.

Alain Gillard
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