China Press Review – June 26, 2020

Save The Dates For The Second Edition Of EU CBEC Forum 
The EU Cross-Border E-Commerce Forum 2020 is a two-day event to be held on October 14-15 at Liege Airport, aimed at helping your business to take off with cross-border e-commerce

Bull in a China shop
China’s emergence over the past four decades from the wreckage of the Cultural Revolution to become a political, economic and technological superpower to challenge the US for the position of the world’s largest economy has been unparalleled in history.     Whether China’s growth rates can survive this transition remains to be seen – all the more so in the wake of the damage inflicted by Covid-19. China’s official annual GDP growth rate has held steady at above 6 per for three decades, sometimes reaching well over 10 per cent. The veracity of its economic data may have frequently been called into question, but there is little doubt that the country’s growth has been rapid even if the sheer scale of its economy means the rate is now slowing. That is a worry, given the scale of the country’s public and private debt, often described as a ‘time bomb’.  The major concern now is whether China’s transition to an innovation-led, domestically-focused economy can happen quickly enough to sustain its growth – especially if there is further escalation of the trade dispute with the US. Trade between the two countries amounts to around $660bn a year, with the US the largest single market for Chinese exports. China has thrown huge amounts of stimulus at maintaining growth, including $500bn in fiscal support provided in the wake of Covid-19. Given China’s dominance of emerging market indices, investors should be paying very close attention

The future of trans-Atlantic collaboration on China: What the EU-China summit showed
The EU-China Summit this week made clear that while both the United States and Europe are both moving toward a tougher and more critical view of China, European governments aren’t anywhere near as tough. Instead, they are trying to advance their distinct interests, which means emphasizing cooperation and partnership with China along with vigorous competition and criticism.

Sieren’s China: EU-China summit doesn’t resolve issues
As Brussels and Beijing struggle to agree on climate protection and trade, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated their differences. The longer the two sides talk, the more China benefits, writes DW’s Frank Sieren.

‘Lowest point’ of economic crisis probably passed, ECB President says
The worst of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is probably behind us, according to European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde. “We probably have passed the lowest point,” she said on Friday, speaking at the online Northern Light Summit. “I say that with some trepidation because of course there could be a second wave,” she cautioned.

The EU-China courtship is flagging. More action and less talk, from Beijing, can rekindle the relationship
Trump may have pushed China and the EU closer, but the US-China phase one trade deal, slow progress on a comprehensive investment agreement and Beijing’s foot-dragging over economic liberalisation are straining relations
David Dodwell

Foreign companies on China M&A deal spree as Beijing further opens up financial, auto sectors
Inbound M&A activity surpassed outbound deals as companies capitalised on further liberalisation in mainland, bankers say      Rising tensions with US, greater scrutiny discouraged overseas deals by Chinese firms

Why Huawei’s days in the UK could be numbered
The UK government is inching towards taking a decision on Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G and fixed-broadband networks

China debt market feeling the heat in June with two big defaults and a government order to reduce risk
Energy and mining conglomerate Qinghai Provincial Investment Group confirmed in a statement on Monday that it had filed for bankruptcy     Last week, Sichuan Trust said it would be unable to repay investors and a vice-governor of Yunnan province ordered all state firms to slash debt size and to restructure all high-interest debts

Coronavirus: One Chinese white-collar worker in three is out of a job
For online recruitment agency Zhaopin, most newly unemployed are aged 40 to 50. About 37 per cent of white-collar workers had a pay cut, 21 per cent saw their wages cancelled, and 28 per cent suffered delayed payment. For the China Labour Bulletin, the official unemployment rate of 6 per cent is not accurate. Strike action in services, education, transportation and online retail is growing.

Does Covid-19 spread through food? The evidence says ‘highly unlikely’
A fresh outbreak linked to a market in Beijing has fuelled speculation that contaminated food from overseas could be to blame    But experts don’t see it as a vehicle for virus transmission, and some say livestock is the more important area to investigate

Covid-19’s Devastating Educational Impact on Asia
For millions of children, their education is likely to be permanently stunted   Unicef projections show that over the coming six months as many as 120 million more children could be pushed into poverty and food insecurity, joining some 240 million children already classified as poor.  In order to mitigate the impact on poorer families, the report says that Governments should immediately direct more resources towards social protection schemes, including emergency universal child benefits and school feeding programs.

In China, Body Positivity Still Wrestles With The Skinny Aesthetic
Italian clothing brand Brandy Melville, referred to as “BM style,” is receiving hype in China recently, sparking debate on societal beauty standards. Other brands like Neiwai have been encouraging body positivity. The hashtag #TestIfYouCanRockTheBMStyle, along with a picture named “BM Girls’ Ideal Weight Chart,” have taken the Chinese Internet by storm, even sparking controversy on Facebook. “BM” is short for Brandy Melville, an Italian clothing brand targeting teenage girls and young women. The look — consisting of crop tops, tank tops and skirts — was popularized in Western media during the early 2000s, for example, by Lindsey Lohan and was featured in the Mean Girls movie. Now K-pop stars and Chinese celebrities alike are raising its body awareness among Chinese youngsters.

How China Is Tightening Its Grip on Hong Kong’s Economy
China is not only tightening its political grip on Hong Kong to rein in the restive city, it’s pushing harder to deepen its influence over the international finance hub’s business life. From real estate to initial public offerings, debt issuance and telecommunication

China’s Go West plan fails to capture imagination of foreign firms suffering from ‘regional development plan fatigue’
Foreign firms unconvinced by China’s latest efforts to revitalise its 12 underdeveloped western local economies    Beijing urged to focus on ‘long-term factors, not short-term subsidies and tax deferrals’, while Xinjiang human rights issues could also act as a deterrent

Timing Your China Trademark: Not Too Soon and Not Too Late.
You definitely will want to register your brand name in China before you let anyone know you will be using that brand name in China.  And you definitely will want to register your brand name as a China trademark before you contract with anyone in China to have them distribute your product.  Beyond that though, I think you should just weigh the cost of the trademarking (the brand and the logo) against the odds of someone going off and registering those before there is any indication that you will be using those in China.  And since your product name is pretty unusual and also regional within the United States, the odds are pretty good that nobody will register it in China if you are able to keep it a secret that you are going to China. This assumes that you have not and will not need to reveal your brand name or your logo to the Chinese government to get its approval of your product.

Shenzhen leads the way as China turns to property investment frenzy to boost growth
Investment into real estate development in Shenzhen surged 17.0 per cent from a year earlier in the first five months of 2020     Property investment in Shanghai also expanded 3.7 per cent in the first five months of the year, reversing a fall of 2.9 per cent in the January-April period

Wirecard’s auditors EY say they were victims of an ‘elaborate’ fraud by their client that ended in US$2 billion of missing funds
Ernst & Young, or EY, accused their client Wirecard of fraud that allowed more than US$2 billion to go missing      Now that Wirecard has filed for court protection from creditors, the accountants who signed off on the fintech firm’s books for a decade are rejecting responsibility for their role in the debacle

US Senate passes bill that would punish China for Hong Kong national security law
Proposed congressional actions involving Hong Kong are ‘more symbolic than substantive’, an analyst says   Measure now goes to House of Representatives for debate on its own version of the legislation

US and EU team up to ‘continue transatlantic awakening to China challenge’, Mike Pompeo says, as Sino-American relations sink
The US secretary of state says he doesn’t ‘want the future to be shaped by’ the Chinese Communist Party     Trump administration has accepted an invitation from Europe’s top diplomat to join a new ‘US-EU dialogue on China’

In limbo: thousands of Chinese citizens stuck in US illegally, and Beijing won’t take them back
One immigrant spent time in prison and was ordered deported but instead was later pardoned and is now a US citizen    China’s failure to cooperate in the process has earned it a ‘recalcitrant’ label from the US Department of Homeland Security, but there is little recourse

Three engineers in China secrets case put on US wanted list
Ex-president of Chinese chip maker Fujian Jinhua and two other engineers are accused of stealing technology from Micron Technology    Issue of arrest warrants marks acceleration of first case filed under Trump administration’s ‘China Initiative’

On China trade sanctions: India can serve its national security much better by rapidly expanding its economy
After decades of peaceful coexistence, China has turned progressively hostile in its territorial disputes with its neighbours including India. The most plausible explanation for this shift is the size of its economy. With GDP at $14 trillion, it now feels economically secure and militarily powerful enough to pursue its long-standing geopolitical ambitions that include the acquisition of territories with strategic value.

Don’t hold your breath for a dramatic Southeast Asian pushback against China
Covid-19 has revealed the two faces of Chinese power: benefactor and bully. As US-China tensions grow and temperatures rise in the South China Sea, Southeast Asia will only become more tense, anxious and constrained

Trudeau defies pressure to free Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou in return for Canadians held by China
Canadian PM said halting extradition trial of Chinese telecoms executive would expose more overseas Canadians to arrest for political purposes     Trudeau was responding to letter from 19 ex-lawmakers and diplomats urging Ottawa to free Meng

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
Place Sainctelette 2
1080 Bruxelles
Tél 02 421 85 09 – Fax 02 421 87 75
Copyright © 2020 awex, All rights reserved