China Press Review – March 13, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: global economy faces historical challenge, with pandemic ‘anxiety’ set to scupper growth
The European travel ban issued by US President Donald Trump is the latest event to leave economists struggling to gauge the impact of the coronavirus outbreak     Recession is now expected by most analysts, but the long-term psychological scars to consumer and investor confidence are likely to hamper recovery hopes

China’s inbound foreign direct investment plunges in February as coronavirus disrupts economy
Foreign direct investment into China dropped 25.6 per cent last month after a 4 per cent gain in January    Chinese official admits it will be difficult to hold foreign investment steady this year, as the coronavirus pandemic hits the global economy

COVID-19 To Further Dampen U.S.-China Trade
The U.S. and China seemed to be starting the year out strong after on Jan. 15, President Trump and China’s chief trade negotiator, vice-premier Liu He, signed the “phase one” of a trade deal meant to halt the countries’ almost two-year-old trade war.

Coronavirus: China to pump US$78 billion into banking system to spur growth as risk of contraction looms
China cuts the amount of money banks must hold in reserve at the central bank, freeing up additional funds for new lending    But the People’s Bank of China did not cut the official deposit interest rate as some analysts had predicted

Coronavirus: China’s premier shrugs off likely first quarter economic growth contraction as ‘not a big deal’
China was expected to announce its 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of ‘around 6 per cent’ at National People’s Congress before it was postponed     Premier Li Keqiang says China is now focused on stabilising employment with analysts predicting China’s first economic contraction since 1976 in the first quarter

Tencent executive says coronavirus battle in China will give a push to digital infrastructure plans
The buildout of digital infrastructure in China involves everything from new high-speed railway lines to smart traffic management systems

France said to allow some Huawei gear in its 5G mobile network
By granting partial authorisation, France would follow Britain’s lead in excluding Huawei from the core of the 5G infrastructure

Apple says reopening all its branded stores in China
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is reopening all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday, a company spokesman said, more than a month after they were shut in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese tech giants and IPO hopefuls woo banks for loans as coronavirus shuts access to equity markets
Xiaomi mulls syndicated loan and US dollar-denominated bond issue in 2020, people familiar said    Lufax seals a three-year US$1.29 billion loan; seeks US$1.2 billion loan

Alipay to help 40 million Chinese service providers digitize operations
Alipay, the mobile payment platform operated by Ant Financial, this week laid out plans to open up its platform and offer upgraded tools and features to help 40 million service providers digitize their businesses over the next three years.

China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It.
Why did so many countries watch the epidemic unfold for weeks as though it was none of their concern?

China’s regulators to support smaller banks to limit financial contagion from burgeoning bad debt, PwC says
China’s regulators to step up support of smaller banks most vulnerable to rising NPLs, PwC says    State-led seizures, liquidity injections to limit financial contagion

Why Sars shows China should not lower its coronavirus guard
Scientists in the southern city of Guangzhou said that during the 2003 outbreak cluster infections reappeared when schools reopened    Study also suggests that the city was able to bring the Covid-19 outbreak under control much more quickly due to a swift and aggressive response

Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17
Government records suggest first person infected with new disease may have been a Hubei resident aged 55, but ‘patient zero’ has yet to be confirmed    Documents seen by the Post could help scientists track the spread of the disease and perhaps determine its source

Coronavirus upends macro economy
Three major long-term trends have just been thrown violently into reverse: The rise of cities, the rise of global just-in-time supply chains and the rise of the sharing economy. Conditions in all three cases are almost certainly going to get significantly worse before they get better.

Coronavirus crisis: what Boris Johnson can teach Donald Trump about calming investors’ nerves
Unlike in 2008, this year’s turmoil is not rooted in the banking sector and sentiment is less bearish, but the current threat is harder for policymakers to counter  Like the UK, the US must act decisively with both a monetary and fiscal package

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closes in bear territory as coronavirus upends world markets
Global markets wiped out US$9.7 trillion in just one week    Standard Chartered is now expecting a 100-basis-point cut by US Fed next week

China has bigger role to play in global fight against coronavirus, says country’s top expert
Zhong Nanshan, a leading respiratory disease specialist, says the country can start to help others after entering new stage in its fight against Covid-19    WHO has declared the disease a pandemic but Zhong said that if the rest of the world takes the fight seriously, the tide could start to turn in June

1 big thing: Beijing’s coronavirus propaganda blitz goes global
As China begins to get its coronavirus outbreak under control, authorities are going on the offensive to rewrite the narrative that the global epidemic is Beijing’s fault.

Don’t Despair. China Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon.
Why am I generally optimistic about China’s economic rebound? First, China has to rebound because the CCP needs China to rebound to stay in power, and keeping the people’s bellies full and their minds busy with labor (and some “wholesome” entertainment) are the foundation of any good communist playbook.

Voices & Opinion
As the novel coronavirus spread, the country’s closed-off residential neighborhoods shut their gates.   This renewed enthusiasm for closed-off, protective neighborhoods could pose problems if the government ever wants to get back to promoting open communities.

Podcast:Wuhan: Life under Lockdown
With exclusive access to two film-makers inside the Chinese city of Wuhan, Our World tells the story of life under lockdown.

Coronavirus: Donald Trump’s speech was meant to reassure, but it did just the opposite
‘He is a reality-show expert. This is a real crisis. The happy ending is not guaranteed,’ communications strategist says    Televised Oval Office address offered an ineffective remedy in the European travel ban and fell short on other policy recommendations, according to analysts

Coronavirus conspiracy theories: US and Chinese politicians rush in where experts fear to tread
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman who promoted online conspiracy theories about the origins of Covid-19 is the latest high-profile figure to make unverified claims   Beijing has been angered by US politicians who have characterised it as a ‘Chinese virus’ and senator Tom Cotton’s suggestion it came from a lab in Wuhan   One Chinese academic in Beijing criticised Zhao’s comments in a post on WeChat, saying they would further hurt relations with the US. “As a government spokesperson, you should already know to speak and act cautiously,” he wrote. “To take some common hearsay as ‘evidence’ without any reason, and publicly post these far-fetched claims online … is extremely likely to stir up or deepen the conflict between countries. “I cannot understand how this kind of hot-tempered person could advance so rapidly in his career.”

Covid-19 row engulfs China and the US
Beijing denies it has exported the coronavirus epidemic and blames Washington for the disease   So far, more than 135,000 people in at least 110 countries have become infected in less than three months. According to the WHO, the death toll has now reached nearly 5,000.
Still, Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London, said that the genetic analysis of coronavirus samples collected from around the world showed a common ancestor in China. “This is not in any way blaming a particular country,” she told the AFP news agency. China will probably not see it that way.

Is This the End Of Runway Shows?
Runway shows, once a staple of the fashion industry, are now under fire for being wasteful and ineffective. But what would take their place?  While China has disintegrated the frontiers between technology, media, and culture, and has put creatives, suppliers, and buyers on the same team, the Western world is having a hard time catching up. Unfortunately, this is creating a dangerous situation as Western players alienate entire generations of consumers who feel left behind or ignored.

Alain Gillard
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