China Press Review – March 14, 2019

Press review

US-China trade war: Trump says he’ll welcome deal ‘either way’ as Beijing cools on idea of summit
Schedule for Mar-a-Lago talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping remains unclear Sources in Beijing say talk of leaders’ meeting has been over-hyped

Gary Cohn, former economic adviser to Donald Trump, says US is ‘desperate’ to sign trade agreement with China
‘The president needs a win,’ says Gary Cohn, ex-director of the National Economic Council, but Trump insists he’s in no rush for a deal

China economy slows further as industrial output growth slumps to lowest in a decade
Industrial production growth slowed to 5.3 per cent in January and February compared to the same period last year, down from 5.7 per cent growth in December Unemployment rate rose to 5.3 per cent in January and February from 4.9 per cent in December, according to the National Bureau of Statistics

China’s private companies making a pig’s ear out of paying their bills as economic slowdown bites
Record numbers of Chinese firms are defaulting on their bonds, while also taking longer than ever to pay their suppliers, says trade credit insurer Coface A majority of companies expect lower growth this year, up from a third last year, as private sector bears weight of China’s slowdown

China’s fight against smog last year may be obscuring just how bad its economy is this year
China’s economic activity data in January and February this year may have been inflated due to a low 2018 comparison caused by anti-pollution campaigns, Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, and his team say in a Thursday note. Data released Thursday showed China’s industrial output fell from 5.7 percent in December to 5.3 percent in January and February. Reuters reported that was the slowest pace in 17 year. Analysts also pointed out that, in Thursday’s data release, the majority of fixed-asset investment came from property, while spending growth in areas more critical to the economy was less robust.

Why Huawei’s lawsuit against the US defies common sense but makes perfect strategic sense
Huawei’s lawsuit against the US government seems reckless, in the context of cases involving foreign tech firms that go to court in the US. But maybe the Chinese company is just trying a distraction trick out of the ‘Thirty-six Stratagems’

Why Brookings is right on China growth, and why we’re not surprised
Chinese growth since 2008 has been almost 2 percent lower than official numbers indicate, according to a recent Brookings research paper. We think the authors make a valid point, having used two independent approaches to the analysis and arriving at roughly the same outcome. The findings, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise

China: Data shows fiscal stimulus is working
Infrastructure investment and real estate development has supported the economy while retail sales growth has stabilised. We don’t read too much into the industrial production data as factory closures due to the Chinese New Year fell in a different month this year, which distorted the figures

European Union calls for united trade and tech front against ‘rival’ China
‘Landmark’ paper appeals for more reciprocal economic relationship with bloc’s biggest trading partner Document is a wake-up call for those in Beijing banking on EU ties offsetting trade war pressure from the US, analyst says

Build new global alliances to limit China’s ‘illicit practices’, US senators urged
Unilateral US action on trade alone will not stop China from violating international norms, security experts tell Senate panel ‘China can substitute its trade by going somewhere else,’ Oriana Mastro, a political military affairs strategist at the US Air Force Reserve, told the hearing

Huawei and ZTE are Chinese ‘snakes’ and must be banned from sensitive US university research, Republican lawmakers say
A bill introduced by three Republican lawmakers would ban tech from China’s Huawei, ZTE and Russia’s Kaspersky from sensitive academic research

China Calls for U.S. and European Companies to Join Belt and Road
China pledged greater cooperation with American and European companies on Belt and Road ventures, in its latest bid to counter criticism that President Xi Jinping’s initiative is focused on projecting Beijing’s influence at the expense of host countries.

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative an attack on European unity?
China has told the European Union not to turn “beneficial competition” into “rivalry”. The remarks, by China’s Foreign Minister, are a reaction to a European Commission report criticising the Chinese refusal to fully open its markets to European goods.

Italy’s foreign minister defends MOU agreements with China
Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero on Thursday defended the commercial accords Italy is poised to sign with China as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative and said they had the backing of President Sergio Mattarella

Most Chinese Consumers Say Their Rights Were Violated in 2018
A recent survey has found that the majority of China’s consumers were victimized by unfair sales policies, misleading ads, or other abuses.

What Chongqing’s Declining Growth Rate Tells Us about China’s Slowdown
Chongqing’s declining growth rate has seen it drop to the bottom of the list of China’s fastest growing regions. China Briefing puts a spotlight on the city and examines how despite its recent economic performance (which may also explain China’s overall slowdown) foreign investors won’t be leaving yet.

Fewer companies in China are planning to hire, survey finds
At the opening of China’s largely symbolic National People’s Congress last week, Premier Li Keqiang announced that ensuring employment would become a priority for national policy for the first time.
A net 6 percent of Chinese companies surveyed plan to increase hiring in the three months ahead, according to a report by recruitment firm ManpowerGroup.
The level of hiring intentions declined in seven out of nine regions, notably in Beijing and Shanghai, the survey finds.

Electric carmaker Faraday Future seeks US$40 million for Nevada land as production plans unravel
Start-up founded by Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting is selling land acquired in 2015 Construction of Nevada plant was suspended in 2017 after founder’s financial condition deteriorated

China Becomes World’s Biggest Importer Of Rare Earths: Analysts
China, the world’s top producer of rare earth elements, last year also emerged as the biggest importer of the group of minerals used in everything from ceramics to consumer electronics, analysts said on Wednesday.

China’s nuclear reactor building spree
China needs eight new reactors per year until 2030, when 10% of its electricity will be nuclear

China has the largest number of property billionaires, as decades of economic growth fuelled urbanisation and demand for a roof over every head
China has 108 dollar-denominated property billionaires, according to Hurun’s 2019 list, led by Evergrande’s chairman Hui Ka-yan US President Donald Trump’s wealth is estimated at US$3 billion, in 82nd spot

New China Billionaire Drops $2.8 Billion as PDD Shares Tumble
One of China’s freshly minted billionaires saw his net worth plunge $2.8 billion after the e-commerce company he founded, Pinduoduo Inc., tumbled in U.S. trading on mounting losses.

Why China is struggling to realise its dream of a Hainan hi-tech paradise
The southern tropical province is to be transformed into a digital free trade zone, but there is still much to be done Officials struggle to meet the grand plan’s ambitious targets

The trend on Tmall Global is also happening across the industry. Analysts say that with a booming middle class and an increase in discretionary income, Chinese shoppers are spending more on health products, such as fish oil, muscle gainers, protein bars, edible collagen, vitamins, among others. A Daxue Consulting report indicates the total market share of vitamins in China reached $3.4 billion in 2017, a 32% jump from 2014. The research firm projects that by 2020, the figure could reach as high as $22 billion.

How China Giant MO&Co. Is Breaking into the U.K. Fashion Market
MO&Co. launched in 2004, and primarily targeted millennials — young female professionals with an eye for a stylish chic silhouette. By 2010, however, they added Edition 10, a more high-end line than MO&Co., and in 2014 a cosmetics brand called REC, which is estimated to reach $297 million (RMB 2 billion) in revenue by 2020. Then, in 2016, it launched a children’s line, Little MO&Co., and finally in 2018, a menswear line, Common Gender, demonstrating the broad appeal of the MO&Co. brand in China.

How China Giant MO&Co. Is Breaking into the U.K. Fashion Market

That’s thanks to Idle Fish, “Xianyu” in Chinese, Alibaba Group’s secondhand marketplace that puts unwanted goods to use elswewhere, carving out a channel that makes recycling unwanted garments as easy as making an online purchase.

Alibaba to help international brands launch 1,000 Tmall stores in 2019
Alibaba expects international and domestic cosmetics brands to open 1,000 stores this year on its Tmall platform to meet demand from Chinese consumers.

Why U.S. growers are betting the farm on soybeans amid China trade war
– U.S. farmers are gearing up to plant what could be their third-largest soybean crop ever despite failing to sell a mountain of beans from their last harvest due to a U.S.-China trade war that remains unresolved.

China’s Tax Reductions: Look This Gift Horse Very Carefully in the Mouth
China tax lawyersThe tax man cometh and taketh away. ALWAYS.

China’s Tax Reductions: Look This Gift Horse Very Carefully in the Mouth

Chinese Lawmakers Propose Lower Age of Criminal Responsibility
Thirty legislators have submitted a proposal to reduce the age at which someone can be held accountable for a crime from 14 to 12.

NAB names Rauf Siddiqui in illegal appointments case
As China shot down Indian bid to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) Chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the hashtag #BoycottChineseProducts was trending in India on Thursday. Indian nationals bashed China and called for a ban on its products amid much outrage.

China hits back at ‘prejudiced’ US over rights criticism – and says White House is curbing press freedom
Beijing dismisses attack on human rights violations by highlighting US gun crime, racism and government attacks on journalists Annual report unveiled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had described treatment of Muslims as ‘something that has not been seen since 1930s’
American B-52 bombers fly over disputed South China Sea for second time in 10 days
Planes ‘conduct routine training’, US Pacific Air Force says, reiterating that it does so regularly ‘in support of allies and a free, open Indo-Pacific’ It follows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s criticism of ‘China’s illegal island-building in international waterways’

Pentagon’s Shanahan Warns of China’s Growing Military Might
Acting defense secretary makes pitch for $750 billion budget He says border wall construction won’t undermine defense

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