Podcast : Essential Geopolitics: Is China’s Economy as Strong as It Lets on?
In an analysis for Stratfor Worldview in March, Stratfor senior analyst for global economics at RANE Michael Monderer wrote that “China’s continued high rate of fiscal stimulus doesn’t match up with the narrative that its economy has recovered from the COVID-19 crisis.”
Chinese economists debate potential for domestic stagflation, with most dismissing the risk
Ren Zeping, chief economist at the Evergrande Group, says stagflation is coming, but others such as Yu Yongding are dismissing such concerns for now Stagflation occurs when the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains elevated “China’s economic cycle is shifting from recovery to overheating and then stagflation, with rising inflation expectations and structural asset price bubbles,” Ren warned. “We may be standing at a cyclical inflection point.” Ren pointed to moves by Beijing policymakers to tighten credit policy, particularly in the property sector, as evidence that economic growth has reached its peak and is set to decline.
Weak Chinese consumption holds back global economic recovery
Soaring demand from other developed economies has breathed life into China’s economy, while China’s own sluggish recovery in domestic consumption is a weight on the global resurgence both in terms of the country’s growth and demand for the products of exporting countries, experts say. That contradicts the narrative that China — considered the growth engine for the global economy this century — is leading the world’s recovery, said Shaun Roache, chief economist, Asia-Pacific at S&P Global Ratings “The weak recovery in Chinese household spending is certainly holding back the momentum of global growth,” Roache said. “If anything, China’s growth is being supported by the rest of the world, as reflected in a rising current account surplus in the last nine months.”
China’s new financial court given jurisdiction to handle lawsuits involving overseas firms
Extraterritorial application of China’s financial laws said to play a role in further opening up the domestic market Announcement comes as China’s overseas financial interests are increasing rapidly, and as Chinese companies have been targeted by American sanctions
China digital currency: US ‘worried’ as it falls ‘behind the curve’ in race for financial technology innovation
The People’s Bank of China have been conducting experiments and tests of its sovereign digital currency for more than five years The Biden administration has finally shown support for research into the viability of a digital US dollar for the first time
Competition with China a tech marathon, not an arms race, says US Defence Innovation Unit director Michael Brown
A Pentagon outpost in Silicon Valley is helping the US armed forces tap into cutting-edge science, from space systems to artificial intelligence Part of DIU head Michael Brown’s work involves thwarting Chinese efforts to pilfer the crown jewels of US technology
Alibaba said to launch bargain marketplace Taobao Deals as mini-program on Tencent’s WeChat
The Taobao Deals team has already invited merchants to take part in the bargain platform, according to local media The move will see Taobao Deals accept transactions that use online payment service WeChat Pay
DETAILS OF ALIBABA PENALTIES EMERGE AS REGULATORS EYE OTHER GIANTS IN TECH CRACKDOWN
More than four months after a high profile crackdown on Jack Ma’s financial empire marked the beginning of a regulatory overhaul for China’s big tech companies, details of the penalties set to be imposed on internet giant Alibaba are becoming clear. In-depth business reporting by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News in recent weeks has revealed how Alibaba faces penalties from Beijing for a multitude of infractions, including not only alleged anticompetitive practices, but also violations relating to its vast media holdings, including one incident in which executives at Alibaba ordered social media censorship for private gain.
China chip champion urges global effort to ease supply crunch
‘Any other way is wrong,’ SMIC chairman says at opening of SEMICON China event Despite the various headwinds, including the coronavirus pandemic, Zhou said China’s semiconductor industry still generated 891.1 billion yuan ($137 billion), including foreign companies’ local output, in revenue in 2020, rising 17.8% to significantly outperform the global semiconductor growth of last year, as Beijing stepped up efforts to strike self-sufficiency. “We still expect China’s chip industry to continue maintaining speedy growth in 2021,” Zhou said. Top global companies emphasized the importance of the Chinese chip market and echoed Zhou’s call to work together. The CEOs of five chipmaking equipment providers — Applied Materials, Lam Research and KLA of the U.S., ASML of the Netherlands, Tokyo Electron of Japan — all said in prerecorded remarks that the China is crucial for their business and promised further close collaboration with companies there.
TikTok owner ByteDance hiring AI chip designers amid China’s tech self-sufficiency drive
The company has posted several chip-related jobs on its hiring website, most based in Beijing and Shanghai The ByteDance move comes amid a global chip shortage, which began in the second half of last year but has worsened in recent months
Pinduoduo founder Colin Huang steps down as chairman
Colin Huang, who turned his social e-commerce platform into formidable rival for Alibaba and JD.com, has stepped down from the the board of directors Having turned over the reins as CEO in 2020, the founder will now focus on research in food and life sciences, Pinduoduo said
ByteDance Enters Chips Sector, Initially Targeting Cloud AI Chips And ARM Server Chips
ByteDance is developing its own cloud AI chip and ARM server chip team, according to media reports citing insiders. ByteDance is also actively forming an AI chip team, and there are many chip-related positions at ByteDance on major recruitment platforms. ByteDance chooses to enter the chip field from cloud AI chips and ARM server chips, which is also the mainstream way for Internet companies to enter the chip market. From the perspective of the international market, since Google released TPU in 2016, it has become a trend for Internet giants to enter the chip field. Chinese internet giants have expanded their business in chips as well, initially starting from cloud AI chips or ARM server chips.
Why smart technologies will continue to transform workplaces in post-Covid-19 world
Businesses and staff have seen efficiencies and other benefits offered by greater use of AI and automation and mix of home- and office-based job practices Additional security and data protection will prove vital as companies increasingly rely on videoconferencing technologies and co-working spaces
How China wants to keep controlling the internet
A new draft of China’s updated online service regulation spells out the powers and roles of three main government bodies overseeing the internet The Chinese model presents an alternative to the Western model as countries search for a way to better supervise online activities
Inflation worries add to the appeal of Chinese government bonds for investors
Chinese government bond yields are not only higher than the yields for other government paper, their relative lack of volatility is also an attraction With Western central banks intent on keeping their policy settings loose, despite the risk of inflation, the PBOC’s more balanced approach is reassuring
Hong Kong rises to fourth in global financial centre rankings on the back of strong IPO market, mainland stock links
Hong Kong ranks behind New York, London and Shanghai, but ahead of Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo in the latest Global Financial Centres Index The city will continue to expand its listing reform and connect schemes to strengthen its financial competitiveness, minister says
Five big US banks ‘drawn to strong economic performance like moths to a flame’, increased exposure to China by 10 per cent to US$78 billion last year
China’s financial markets a potent lure for the world’s biggest banks, with billions in profits on the line in investment banking and wealth management Europeans banks such as HSBC, Credit Suisse and UBS are also keen to boost investments
Goldman, Citigroup lead US banks ploughing billions into China
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led U.S. banks plowing billions of fresh cash into China last year, undeterred by political turmoil as the world’s second-largest economy further opens its US$50 trillion financial market.
C919: China seen certifying passenger jet this year, but can the plane claim market share from Boeing and Airbus?
Success of the C919 is vital to both China’s technological development and its domestic aviation market China’s continued ban on Boeing’s 737 MAX may come up in discussions among US and Chinese officials at their talks in Alaska this week
China’s BYD hires engineers for Europe EV battery plant
China’s electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD is hiring engineers for its first overseas battery plant in Europe, the company backed by Warren Buffett said on Wednesday, as it pushes to become an EV parts supplier. Batteries are key components of EVs. BYD, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, which also makes semiconductors for EVs, sold 426,972 vehicles last year, among them 189,689 EVs.
pdf : China’s Refusals of Food Imports Economic Research Report No. (ERR-286) 65 pp
China has adopted many new standards, laws, and regulations during the last two decades to address its food safety problems. Exporters aspiring to sell to that country’s growing market must comply with these measures. This report profiles the kinds of foods refused entry by China and the violations reported. The results of this analysis can inform exporters and leaders in business and government about China’s enforcement of safety regulations for imported foods.
Massive spread of foodstuffs being planned
The largest food company in China plans to compete globally by merging its international trading division with several domestic businesses. On that, the China Oil and Foodstuffs Corp has hired bankers to advise on a plan to combine Cofco International with some of its mainland trading and processing assets, according to insiders. After the merger the plan is for Cofco to sell shares in the new company – most likely in Shanghai – with an initial public offering value of more than US$5 billion (HK$38.9 billion). Meanwhile, Yum China (9987) plans to acquire 5 percent of poultry supplier Fujian Sunner Development with the aim of enhancing its supply chain security.
EU envoys agree for first China sanctions in three decades: Diplomats
The European Union agreed on Wednesday to blacklist Chinese officials for human rights abuses, two diplomats said, the first sanctions against Beijing since an EU arms embargo in 1989 following the Tiananmen Square crackdown. EU ambassadors approved the travel bans and asset freezes on four Chinese individuals and one entity, whose names will not be made public until formal approval by EU foreign ministers on March 22, as part of a new and wider rights sanctions list
With economic growth and shift in power balance, China brings a new confidence to the table in Alaska
Beijing views recent US crises and the pandemic as accelerating a shift in global power, giving a China a more equal footing on the world stage Meetings such as the US-China talks in Anchorage this week are important to the Chinese for more than just a means to a diplomatic end The early signals point towards President Biden’s willingness to confront Chinese leadership over a whole range of issues — from unfair trading practices, gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang, crackdown on democracy in Hong to the growing assertiveness over Taiwan. Biden is far from the first US president to excoriate Chinese government’s actions. The forthcoming months will tell to what extent rhetoric will be matched by policy response. For those in Asia, there are still plenty of unknowns regarding the policy specifics. These blanks will be gradually filled as the United States heals on the home front and adapts to navigating the world after having had its credibility severely challenged under Trump.
USA-China: A necessary confrontation?
With specific reference to services, China will foster European investment in cloud and financial services, as well as private healthcare, and services related to air and sea transport. This is the first time in its history that China has opened up in this way to foreign companies and investment. China and Europe seem to have realised that in the post-pandemic world there should be no room for “geopolitical Olympics” which determine who wins the “first superpower” medal, but rather there will be a need for a new and creative economic multilateralism that sees the East and West of the world working together to lay concrete foundations for the rebirth of the planet. We all hope that the United States will be involved in the game, perhaps taking an example from the realism of Israel and the Arab States that seem to have understood that we all come out poorer from conflicts.
Domestic divisions leave blanks in US Asia policy
In the flurry of analyses of Joe Biden’s early policy moves, there is a common thread that depicts the 46th president as an agent of change towards predictability in policymaking, and a much-desired course correction after the chaotic Trump years.
What the US really wants from the China talks
On the day of Donald Trump’s big “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House in January, I spotted a sign that seemed a bit off message: “China for Biden. One change on the American side is an end to the cold war rhetoric used by top Trump officials, who focused on what they saw as the irredeemable nature of the Chinese Communist Party. But President Biden does continue to frame the relationship in ideological, rather than primarily economic, terms. “I believe we are in the midst of an historic and fundamental debate about the future direction of our world” he wrote in his interim national security strategy, citing the competition between democracy and autocracy. This is a break from the Obama era, but not a complete one. “I’m sure Blinken wants to give (the Chinese) a message to take back that can be built on,” says Green. “Not an olive branch, but a clear picture of what’s happening. And the opportunity down the road to work on issues. That’s really the biggest difference…that piece Trump would never have done.”
US-China relations: No ‘unrealistic expectations’ for Alaska meeting
Washington officials say Thursday’s high-level diplomatic sit-down in Anchorage is intended as an initial discussion Difficult issues will be raised, but don’t expect any specific negotiated deliverables, they warn “We’re united in the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where countries follow the rules, cooperate whenever they can, and resolve their differences peacefully,” Blinken said of the US-Japan partnership. “And in particular, we will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way.”
Japan in ‘impossible situation’ over Diaoyu visit request, after Blinken blasts Chinese ‘aggression’
Tokyo faces a no-win situation after local government officials in Ishigaki asked for permission to visit the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands The islands are at the centre of a Japan-China territorial dispute that has been dragged into a wider battle for influence between Beijing and Washington
Beijing blasts US, Japan for ‘anti-China encirclement’ after Tokyo talks
It follows diplomatic and security meeting at which concerns were raised about Beijing’s ‘coercion and destabilising behaviour’ Foreign ministry spokesman calls it a ‘vicious attack on foreign policy’ and says China won’t yield to pressure from US ahead of Alaska talks
Blinken denounces China’s ‘strings attached’ vaccine diplomacy
“Various countries including China have been engaged in so called vaccine diplomacy,” Blinken told Nikkei Asia and other Japanese media on Wednesday in an online roundtable. “We shouldn’t tie the distribution or access to vaccines to politics or to geopolitics.” This policy comes with “strings attached… And that certain requests are made, and maybe stronger requests are made of countries in order to receive the vaccines,” he said. “[The vaccine rollout] needs to be done by anyone who’s doing it because it’s in the overall interest of humanity. I hope that is the driving principle that different countries bring, as they’re thinking about creating a greater access to vaccines and distributing more vaccines.” Blinken on Wednesday also denounced China’s maritime expansion near the Senkaku Islands — known in Chinese as Diaoyu — and Taiwan, saying that China is “acting, both more repressively, at home, and more aggressively abroad.” “It’s important for us to make clear together that China cannot expect to act with impunity,” he said. “It really matters that countries don’t take steps to make the possibility of conflict, greater, not less. That’s a shared concern with regards to the Senkaku Islands where we’re joined with Japan, and we have a security treaty.”
Coronavirus in China: Sinovac chief urges everyone to get the jab
In a state TV interview Yin Weidong says CoronaVac will trigger an immune response two weeks after the first dose Vaccine makers can be agile in developing products to protect against new variant strains, he says
China’s production bottleneck could be eased with latest Covid-19 vaccine
Emergency use approval paves way for large-scale manufacture of cheap, easy-to-produce vaccines but three doses required Non-peer reviewed clinical trial data suggests vaccine is well tolerated and produces immune response against the virus
EU proposes coronavirus passes to allow free travel by summer
Measure could help avoid quarantines, testing requirements, but some argue it is premature and discriminatory
Entering China is now easier for people who have a vaccine — but only if it’s made in China
Multiple Chinese embassies issued statements on how China would facilitate entry into the country for people who have been vaccinated using Chinese vaccines. To be clear, people who have not been vaccinated with Chinese vaccines can apply to enter China, but will need stronger reasons or specific documents
China gets German children’s book about COVID withdrawn
German publisher Carlsen-Verlag has, at the urging of the Chinese embassy, taken a children’s book off the market, because it implies a direct link between COVID-19 and China.
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