China Press Review – June 4, 2020

Press review

The future of Asia: Decoding the value and performance of corporate Asia
The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented global challenge in the post–World War II period. The pandemic has proven to be not only a public-health crisis but also a major disruption to supply chains, which may permanently change long-standing business practices in the next normal. But Asia has come through crisis periods before and emerged stronger for it—and there is reason to believe it can do so again. The dynamism, speed, and agility of companies in Asia have given the region resilience, enabling it to achieve macroeconomic stability in a volatile world. Corporations in Asia have grown rapidly and risen to global prominence over the past decade. However, bigger has not always meant better for economic profit (net of the cost of capital), a measure of value creation and companies’ ability to beat the market. As a group, companies in Asia lag behind their counterparts in the rest of the world. An external shock of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate the widening of the gap between underperforming and outperforming companies.

China’s removal of GDP targets reveals its new economic strategy
China can now focus on critical economic issues and accommodate the realities of a post-coronavirus world, says Principal Global Investors’ Binay Chandgothia.

China ‘needs to win over Europe’ after loss of trust and impact of US rivalry
European Union reluctant to pick a side in the US-China tussle, but has shown a toughening of its stance towards Beijing   Hopes of enhancing ties with Europe remain on hold as Beijing implements its trade deal with the US and the world battles the coronavirus

Xi Jinping’s September meeting with EU leaders in Germany postponed due to coronavirus
‘Given the overall pandemic situation, the meeting cannot take place at the scheduled time, but should be rescheduled,’ says spokesman for Angela Merkel    Merkel initially hoped to use the event to persuade Xi to agree to a long overdue EU-China investment agreement, sources say

Taiwan draws up plan to woo US$1.3 billion of annual tech research in semiconductors, 5G and AI
Taiwan has created a seven-year blueprint to safeguard the island’s lead in semiconductors and other cutting-edge fields  The cabinet plans to allocate more than NT$10 billion to entice foreign chip makers to set up R&D facilities locally

UK opens talks with Huawei 5G rival as Boris Johnson confronts China
The aim is to move the UK away from reliance on Huawei, in the face of growing political opposition within the country’s ruling party and wariness towards China    The UK has opened talks with NEC Corp, while also considering Samsung Electronics as another possible 5G network equipment supplier

The numbers that show it’s hard for the UK to ditch Huawei
The world’s largest telecoms equipment supplier accounts for about 35 per cent of the radio access network gear used in Britain’s 4G infrastructure    Most of the initial 5G network gear already deployed by BT, Three UK and Vodafone come from Huawei

China-EU International Trade in Charts
China and the EU are ranked as the world’s two largest exporters but sit third and fifth on the table for global imports and tomorrow’s Silk Road can add great value to what already is an intense economic intercourse between China and the EU. It is all about a similar determination as motivated the ancient traders. According to data, China (16 %) was the largest exporter in the world, followed by the EU-27 (15 %) while PRC was the third largest importer in the world.

China has over 600 million poor with $140 monthly income: Premier Li Keqiang
China has over 600 million people whose monthly income is barely 1,000 yuan (USD 140) and their lives have further been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

Chinese tech firms pledge more help for street stalls, small vendors after Premier’s comments
Premier Li Keqiang says the Chinese government will provide more support for street stalls and small businesses as they are the “fire” of China’s economy      Tech platforms like WeChat and responded to Li’s comments by announcing new initiatives to help smaller retailers

Tracking China’s Preferential Policies Released Since the 2020 Two Sessions
During the annual Two Sessions meeting in May 2020, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the 2020 Government Work Report and unveiled measures to support businesses riding out the storm amid the COVID-19 outbreak.   Following his speech, China’s central government departments rolled out official announcements that confirmed and pushed the implementation of these measures.
This article explains the latest preferential policies available to businesses in China.

BMW and China’s State Grid partner on EV charging network expansion
BMW and Chinese power company State Grid on Wednesday announced a massive charging network expansion that would roughly double the number of charging piles for the carmaker’s vehicles in the country as it seeks to resolve a critical bottleneck in electric car adoption.

China’s ‘concession’ in airline row with US unlikely to ease the turbulence
Chinese authorities say American and other foreign carriers can fly into the country from next week   It follows US announcement that passenger flights from China will be banned from June 16

China’s aviation regulator backs off from a two-month row with US over American carriers’ access to lucrative US-China routes
Shares of the country’s three largest state-owned carriers were mixed in Hong Kong and Shanghai bourses after the US decision overnight     The Chinese aviation authority, responding to the industry’s lobby, will relax some restrictions from June 8

Why US Retailers Should Follow China’s Lead After COVID-19
Considering how badly Western retailers were struggling pre-COVID-19, department stores would be wise to look at China’s “New Retail” model for inspiration. While countries in the Western hemisphere relax “stay-at-home” orders, retailers are wondering what measurements they should implement to boost foot traffic and sales.Considering how badly the Western retail industry was struggling before the COVID-19 outbreak, there probably isn’t a comfortable resolution. Plus, the implementation of safety procedures and social distancing rules will surely be an expensive and complex process that will only further complicate things. The Atlantic states that this year “may bring the death of the department store, marking the end of that 200-year-old retail innovation after decades of decline.” Meanwhile, Neil Saunders, managing director at the research firm GlobalData Retail, told the National Real Estate Investor that department stores will take a powerful hit.

At least 11 countries have reimposed restrictions amid fears of coronavirus second wave
Nations including Japan, China, South Korea and Germany forced to bring back localised quarantines or widespread shutdowns

India coronavirus: Recession looms as economy reopens
India is gradually unlocking its economy after a shutdown that lasted more than two months. But it’s unlikely to be business as usual for millions of retailers, small enterprises and factories, writes the BBC’s Nikhil Inamdar

Contact tracing – the privacy vs urgency dilemma for governments in the fight against Covid-19
China has been quick to experiment with digital contact tracing, enlisting domestic tech giants to build QR-code-based quarantine apps during the pandemic      The US approach to contact tracing has been fragmented and slow to launch, with no national program in place, although privacy has been top of mind

Revive millionaire migration to cure Canada’s coronavirus economic woes, say advocates
Chinese-dominated investor migration schemes were terminated or paused amid heavy criticism, but supporters are lobbying for their resurrection    The Investment Industry Association of Canada wants the federal investor programme restarted, but a professor who studied it called it a ‘dismal failure’

New US sanctions on 33 Chinese firms and institutions to take effect on June 5
Commerce Department added entities to blacklist for helping Beijing spy on Uygurs or because of ties to weapons of mass destruction and China’s military   Move will restrict sales of US goods to those on the list, as well as certain items made abroad with US content or technology

Beijing city plans to punish people for ‘defaming’ traditional Chinese medicine
It’s seen by the Communist Party as a source of national pride, and a draft regulation aims to expand its use in the health care system   But a proposed ban on ‘denigrating’ TCM has sparked criticism on social media, with some calling it a further intrusion on free speech

China renews interest in trans-Pacific trade pact that followed TPP amid escalating US tensions
Premier Li Keqiang said last week that China was willing to consider joining the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP)   CPTPP is a trade agreement, signed in March 2018, between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam

China’s zealous ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomacy highlights both Beijing’s power and insecurity
China’s abrasive, entitled ‘Wolf Warriors’ are doing a better job than any American diplomat of arousing anti-Chinese feelings around the world    This new generation of diplomats want China to shine, but as they try to please their boss, they would do well not to add to the country’s external uncertainties

China-US financial war over Hong Kong unlikely given damage it would do to both sides, analysts say
US moves so far to restrict China’s access to US capital markets are ‘skirmishes’ rather than start of all out financial war, analysts say     Risk remains that US will impose strong financial sanctions on China for imposing a national security law on Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s ‘Special Status’: What It Means & How China Reacts
High-ranking members of the Trump administration have asserted that Hong Kong no longer merits a special status as it pertains to trade. This could give the semi-autonomous territory treatment similar to that reserved for mainland China.

Hong Kong: Thousands defy ban to attend Tiananmen vigil
Thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong have defied a ban to stage a mass vigil in memory of the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.

China-India dispute highlights both sides’ growing military presence at border
Deployment of Chinese advanced weapon systems is designed to show India the PLA’s capability, expert says   Ongoing friction echoes 2017’s serious confrontation in Doklam

US role rejected as India and China vow to resolve border dispute themselves
Neighbours to hold high-level military talks on Saturday after month of confrontation near the Line of Actual Control   US President Donald Trump had offered to mediate, which the Chinese and Indian governments refused

Has COVID-19 Changed How China’s Leaders Approach National Security?
While the world is reeling from the cascading shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has continued a comparatively aggressive course in its foreign policy and security posture. Not only has it continued military and paramilitary activities in the South and East China Sea, including exercises around Taiwan, but actions have increased. China’s outreach efforts, including offers of medical supplies and advice, have at times been accompanied not only by vitriolic statements and dubious alternative pandemic origin stories from its Foreign Ministry officials and state media, but also by the leveraging of trade relations with the EU to censor criticism of these statements, as well as trade actions—official and unofficial—against Australian beef and barley imports in response to Canberra’s push for more transparency on China’s initial handling of the outbreak.

First She Beat the Virus. Now, She’s Battling Its Stigma.
Testing positive cost Jiajia two jobs in mere months, even as society turned away.

Alain Gillard
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