China Press Review – March 11, 2020

Press review

US and China ‘still talking about trade deal despite coronavirus disruption’
American Chamber of Commerce warns of challenges ahead but says the two sides are working to address the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak    Business climate survey says firms ‘remain committed’ to the Chinese market despite the ongoing tensions between the two sides

Coronavirus: Is China getting back to business?
In China, where the coronavirus outbreak first started, the government has taken drastic steps to minimise human interaction and slow the spread of the disease.    And now – with official figures appearing to show that the crisis there may have stabilised for the time being – there are signs that more people are heading back to their workplaces.

Coronavirus: Chinese capital says all international visitors must agree to 14-day self-quarantine
Owner of Beijing-based tour company fears for business, saying ‘Everyone is scared. No one knows how long it is going to last’    President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China says measures amount to a ‘de facto travel ban’

Coronavirus: how epidemic could hurt China’s US dollar debt payments
Global financial turmoil in the past two weeks has made it harder for China to issue new US dollar bonds to rollover existing debt     China has US$2.03 trillion in US dollar debt and needs US dollars to help defend the yuan exchange rate if its trade position deteriorates

China’s loans slumped in February due to coronavirus, Lunar New Year
Chinese banks extended 905.7 billion yuan (US$130 billion) in new yuan loans in February, down from a record 3.34 trillion yuan (US$480 billion) in January    Banks saw a net decline of 413.3 billion yuan (US$59 billion) in household loans in February compared with a rise of 634.1 billion yuan in January

Huawei ban reprieve extended, again, to May
The exterior a Huawei buildings on July 30, 2019 in Shenzhen. (Image credit: TechNode/Shi Jiayi)
The Trump administration has extended the grace period of a trade ban on Huawei through May 15, allowing US companies to continue doing business with the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant.

Tough Sell: China’s Agents Shill Homes via Livestream Amid Epidemic
With sellers reluctant to let strangers into their homes during the epidemic, real estate companies are getting creative.

Ikea opens virtual store on Tmall
IKEA on Tuesday debuted a flagship store on Alibaba Group’s B2C online marketplace Tmall, marking the first time the world’s largest furniture retailer is selling its products on a third-party platform.   The virtual store, which is integrated with IKEA’s membership program, offers over 3,800 popular products and furnishing solutions. Though now only available to consumers in Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, the store will gradually expand its coverage to other locations in China, the companies said

Adidas sees $1 billion coronavirus hit to China sales, Puma warns on profit
Adidas says Greater China Q1 sales, profit hit by virus.   Adidas, Puma make third of sales in Asia.    Companies’ shares tumble in early deals.

COVID-19 Has Hurt China’s Influencers (Or Has It?)
The COVID-19 has had a massive negative impact on the influencer marketing industry from a monetization standpoint. Income sources are gone, and a majority of brand deals have been canceled or delayed several months. For those influencers who run their own brands, manufacturing and logistics have been shut down or are moving very slowly.

Coronavirus could have a lasting effect on China-dominated lithium sector
It’s been a tough time for miners of lithium, the metal essential to many high-performing batteries.

US-fuelled climate change, not China, is the greatest threat to the global economy and the world
While China is the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter, its per capita emissions are less than half the US’ and it is moving towards renewable energy    Meanwhile, the US accounts for twice China’s cumulative emissions in modern times but has pulled out of the Paris Agreement and remains committed to fossil fuels

White House to meet with tech companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple on virus
The meeting will be hosted by US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios

IRS likely to delay April 15 tax filing deadline as part of Trump coronavirus response, WSJ says
The Trump administration is likely to delay the deadline for filing income tax returns as part of its fiscal stimulus plan to combat the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, The Wall Street Journal reported.   The news comes as President Donald Trump and his economic team work to assemble a response to the deadly virus’ spread and its impact on markets and the economy.   During a meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, Trump pitched slashing payroll taxes to 0% for the rest of the year.

Italy’s lockdown goes nationwide as Europe sees coronavirus cases rising across continent
Streets empty after nation of 60 million was told to stay at home as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warns ‘the future of Italy is in our hands’    Every EU country has now reported cases of Covid-19 as it spreads across continent even as China sees number of cases drop

A coronavirus lesson from China: don’t make patients pay for tests and treatment
People with lower incomes will be deterred from seeking treatment if they face health care costs, worsening the epidemic, specialist says    But ‘aggressive testing was not realistic in most countries’

China has actively worked with the WHO to fight the coronavirus. Now, other countries should too
China’s lockdown measures have helped slow the international spread of Covid-19. As the epidemic enters a new phase, China should continue to support the WHO’s global disease control efforts by sharing data, experience and innovation

Cuts to passenger flights send air freight rates soaring as manufacturing resumes in China
China-US cargo rates have risen by 27 per cent over the last two weeks to more than US$3.50 a kilogram, key index shows    China’s air cargo capacity was down 39 per cent in February compared to last year because of the passenger flight cuts, according to Agility Logistics

Coronavirus spread in US drives down market sentiment, with Hong Kong and China joining major Asia peers in falls
US sees cases top 1,000, with clusters on both coasts     Markets waiting to hear President Trump’s plan to boost world’s largest economy smacked about by the virus

China and geopolitical revolutions that go viral
Geopolitical whirlwind follows in the wake of the coronavirus, grinding economies to a halt & crashing markets   The world to which China was accustomed is going away. The US and the rest of the world are shocked but culturally they could be better prepared to face the new situation. Market crashes came before. Crises in Europe, the Middle East or Central Asia also are part of the mental landscape in Washington or Brussels. But the world China knew and in which it thrived in the past 40 years is rapidly falling apart. This is totally new for Beijing, it is not something it wanted and not something it was ready for, or even something to which past experiences could be of much help, Maoist China was closed to the outside world, and before that China was removed from global affairs. China needs a new way of thinking about itself and the world. The practical solution should be to adopt the current, western way of thinking of the world. But it’s unclear whether it will happen, how and when.

Is COVID-19 Eroding China’s Influence in Southeast Asia?
Amid the epidemic, people are banned from traveling, goods shelved and investments stalled.

Coronavirus: Hong Kong schools should reopen only if there are no locally transmitted infections for 28 days, medical expert says
Professor David Hui says universities and secondary schools could reopen first, followed by primary schools and kindergartens after another two weeks     Education sector says schools are not equipped to reopen because of the ongoing mask shortage

Coronavirus: Wuhan doctor says officials muzzled her for sharing report on WeChat
Hospital emergency department head Ai Fen tells magazine she posted information on Sars-like virus in December and sounded alarm    Her interview, suggesting an opportunity for authorities to issue early warning had been missed, was later deleted

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