China GDP: economic growth could exceed ‘above 6 per cent’ target, Premier Li Keqiang says
China set an economic growth target of ‘above 6 per cent’ for 2021 after it grew by 2.3 per cent during a coronavirus-hit 2020. China’s economy is widely expected by analysts to grow by more than 8 per cent this year, helped by the low base from last year’s weak growth.
China, India forecast to lead 5.4 per cent global GDP rebound in 2021, but vaccine roll-out crucial: Moody’s
Moody’s Analytics expects the global economy to grow by 5.4 per cent in 2021, upgrading its February forecast of 4.9 per cent However, the estimate is predicated on a successful vaccine roll-out, with herd immunity unlikely to occur before mid-2024 Fitch Ratings also upgraded its global GDP growth forecast to 6.1 per cent this year from 5.3 per cent estimated late last year, on the basis that vaccinations would gain traction and GDP numbers were better than expected in the last quarter of 2020. China will lead the pack with 8.4 per cent growth in 2021, up from 8 per cent in the previous forecast, while the US will grow at 6.2 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent. Emerging markets outside China are expected to do well at 6 per cent, while Europe’s growth forecast remains unchanged at 4.7 per cent, Fitch Ratings said.
Alibaba already disrupted retail and finance. Next up? Logistics
Cainiao emerges as new profit center by leveraging data to streamline deliveries Cainiao Smart Logistics Network last month reported faster revenue growth than any other specified part of Alibaba Group Holding’s vast empire. JD Logistics, the corresponding arm of rival JD.com, has filed to raise as much as $5 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong. SF Holding, a stand-alone Chinese courier company, has offered $2.3 billion to buy control of Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics Network to expand its reach into Southeast Asia.Consider its Cainiao Guoguo delivery platform, which now has more than 100 million users. Overseas, Cainiao has constructed a network of local pick-up spots across 33 countries and is building up regional hubs in Hangzhou, China; Hong Kong; Kuala Lumpur; Pattaya, Thailand; Belgium; Russia; and Dubai. This is creating a hub-and-spoke model to improve efficiency for global deliveries. No competitor has built up anything close to Cainiao’s setup. Yet such issues are likely only to slow Cainiao’s growth, not derail it. The company’s roots within the retail and e-commerce ecosystem of Alibaba give Cainiao a data advantage that has the potential to disrupt the logistics industry worldwide. The fact that it is starting to generate operating profits underscores the potential impact of the global business ecosystem Cainiao is putting together.
Alibaba’s Battle for E-Commerce Dominance Takes a Conciliatory Turn
Although Alibaba has emerged as the leader in luxury e-commerce in China, the past few months have taken a toll on the tech giant Having successfully enticed more than 200 premium international brands to launch official storefronts on its Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform — with the pace accelerating rapidly over the past year — Alibaba has emerged as the leader in luxury e-commerce in China, besting rival JD.com, which has also aggressively courted global brands and also claims more than 200 luxury brand partnerships
JD.com invests US$800 million in last-mile delivery service to fill a gap in its community group buying strategy
The investment underscores JD’s commitment to growing its presence in the logistics sector, which has seen rising demand due to shelter-in-place measures during the pandemic. JD.com founder Richard Liu has created a community group buying unit to compete in what has become a key battlefield for China’s internet giants The rapid growth of community group buying has seen it come under intense government scrutiny as Beijing attempts to rein in the influence of Big Tech
Coronavirus recovery: surging US, China economies could spark demand for commodity currencies
Those jurisdictions and currencies best able to satisfy the energy and raw material requirements of the recovering Chinese and US economies stand to benefit Commodity currencies might also find fresh favour as it becomes ever clearer that complexities in the China-US relationship are going to have spillover effects It remains to be seen how seriously China will take the Biden administration’s apparent reiteration of its commitment to enforce sanctions on Iran. If Beijing does decide to cut Washington some slack on this issue and reduce its imports of Iranian crude, the rebounding Chinese economy will still need oil and so China will have to import it from somewhere else. Such is the heft of the Chinese economy, any such redirected demand for crude could help underpin oil prices. That in turn would reinforce a narrative that post-pandemic economic recovery in China and the United States means increased demand for imported energy and raw materials. On the foreign exchanges, commodity currencies might again start to look attractive.
China digital currency: central bank seeks to assure consumers of data, privacy protection
China’s central bank is trying to allay privacy worries associated with its digital currency by promising ‘controllable anonymity’ Mobile users fear having to share too much information and private businesses have low trust in the anonymity of payments
American Rescue Plan: China faces foreign outflows threat, with instability fuelled by US $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief
Potential for a reversal in capital inflows and a possible wave of bond defaults are two of the biggest risks facing China’s economy this year, said former central bank adviser Li Daokui The instability is being fuelled by the US$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will benefit China by boosting exports, but also add to risks
Data privacy: China defines for the first time ‘necessary’ information that apps can collect, closing ‘bundled consent’ loophole
Users of live-streaming, short video, news, browser and utility apps can access basic services on these platforms without providing personal information The new rules come as China seeks to expand the internet industry’s role in economic growth, while providing more protection for consumers’ personal data
If Chinese traders enter US markets, they may bring volatility with them
China is considering letting its citizens invest in overseas stock markets, with US exchanges a likely destination To some analysts, such a move could prove destabilising to markets that are already erratic
Huawei Technologies outranks Midea, Foshan Haitian, BYD as China’s most valuable consumer goods company in new Top 100 Hurun list
Privately owned Huawei’s worth is assessed at 1.1 trillion yuan (US$169 billion) in Hurun’s Top 100 Most Valuable Consumer Goods Companies 2021 Firms based in southern Guangdong province, such as Midea Group, Foshan Haitian Flavoring and carmaker BYD, sit atop the inaugural list China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, covering a period from 2021 to 2025, called for continued push in domestic consumption as a growth strategy. The economy expanded 2.3 per cent in 2020, the slowest in four decades, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chinese billionaires, though, have now outnumbered those in the US after a stock rally in 2020, Hurun said earlier this month.
European firms welcomed to enter China, speeding up diversification
Digital technology is rebalancing across the world, and the decarbonization of the Chinese economy will be a new game-changer for the next 40 years, said Roland Berger head on Tuesday during its 2021 industry foresight report release event. “US companies have only a 10-15 percent market share in the digital technology sector in China, as Chinese high-tech enterprises such as Alibaba and Tencent have a very high share in the domestic market.
US-China tech war: state-led economy crucial to meet challenges of American sanctions, says prominent economist
China’s government will play a crucial role in the development of ‘chokehold technologies’, which America has weaponised, says economist Bai Chong-en Combination of market forces and government direction to drive technology development important, but state-led approach could stifle innovation, Bai says
Chinese biotech firm boosts funding, plans IPO next to catch European rivals in cancer therapy market
EpimAb Biotherapeutics, a developer of bispecific antibody for cancer therapy, plans a public stock offering early next year The global market for bispecific antibodies is estimated at US$12 billion by 2026, according to a Kuick Research report
China’s Social Credit System in 2021: From fragmentation towards integration
The Social Credit System is part of Xi Jinping’s vision for data-driven governance. Government organs across regions and administrative levels should join hands to create a coherent information ecosystem. Data-sharing challenges continue to hamper this effort.
Baidu becomes first technology giant to make a flat debut in Hong Kong stock market this year as investors spurn the pivot by China’s dominant search engine towards artificial intelligence
Baidu’s shares opened with a 0.8-per cent premium to its offer price of HK$252 before ending their first day of trading unchanged Baidu gained as much as 1.8 per cent, and briefly fell by 0.2 per cent below its IPO price
China’s 14th Five-Year Plan — Key takeaways for financial services
On 12 March 2021, China released its much-anticipated economic and social development blueprint for the next five years and beyond – the ‘Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for National Economic and Social Development and Long-term Objectives Through 2035’ (14th Five-Year Plan). This article discusses the key takeaways from the 14th Five-Year Plan for the financial services sector.
Asia-Pacific to remain hot M&A market amid pandemic recovery, opening markets
The Asia-Pacific will likely remain an active place for mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector in 2021, thanks to its stronger post-pandemic recovery, opening markets and a growing pool of fintech startups hungry for funding, experts say. The number of financial sector M&A deals announced in Asia-Pacific more than tripled to 255 in 2020, S&P Global Market Intelligence data show. Greater China, which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, accounted for more than a third of the total deal count and remained as the top destination for M&A deals in the region.
Putting the China-EU investment agreement in perspective – and assessing the lessons for the UK
At the end of last year, China and the EU reached agreement on a new investment deal, the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). Robert Basedow examines the content of the agreement and assesses what lessons the UK can draw from the negotiations as it seeks to establish its own post-Brexit relationship with China.
China-EU relations: why Beijing may not want to let Xinjiang sanctions undermine investment deal
A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman warned that Brussels cannot talk about cooperation on one hand and harm China with the other But diplomatic observers believe that it does not want to let the first EU sanctions on China since the Tiananmen crackdown ruin its trade relationship The policy objectives and measures outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan will deliver important reforms and, with them, potential opportunities, to local and international investors and financial institutions operating in China and around the world. The 14th Five-Year Plan shows that high-quality growth, innovation and digital will be at the forefront of China’s economic and social development agenda over the medium term, and that the financial services sector (including both domestic and foreign financial institutions and investors) will play an important role in these developments.
China’s tough talk won’t dispel the nightmare prospect of US conflict
Beijing’s foreign policy chiefs came out swinging at the Alaska talks, reflecting China’s demands to be respected as an equal power But they will have to find a more effective way to break through Washington’s containment strategy
‘We’re in it together’, Blinken tells Nato after flurry of China sanctions
American secretary of state calls for collective action to tackle big challenges, from climate to ‘autocratic states’ China set to be on the agenda when European leaders and Blinken meet on Wednesday, analyst says
Days of ‘wanton interference’ are over, Beijing says
Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday that Western forces should know that the days when they could “wantonly interfere” in China’s internal affairs are over – and they won’t be coming back. Wang made the remark during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Guilin, Guangxi, Xinhua News Agency reported.
‘Stop interfering in China’s internal affairs’: patriotic products quoting US-Alaska summit take off online on Taobao
A slew of products bearing the word’s of China’s foreign policy chief have flooded China’s online stores including lighters, T-shirts, hoodies, and bags Many approve of aggressive and defiant tone struck at fiery meeting and compare to China’s humiliation by the West more than a century ago
France summons Chinese envoy Lu Shaye over threats and insults
The foreign ministry slammed ‘unacceptable comments’ by the ambassador against lawmakers and a French scholar Researcher Antoine Bondaz was called a ‘small-time thug’ during a Twitter face-off with the Chinese envoy
China, Russia agree to work together against ‘illegitimate’ sanctions
Foreign ministers meeting in Guilin also call for a summit of permanent members of the UN Security Council to resolve ‘common problems’ Wang Yi says Western powers can no longer interfere by ‘making up stories’, while Sergey Lavrov hits out at ‘destructive’ Cold War tactics
Transatlantic allies unite in sanctions on China over Xinjiang
Japan stands as only G-7 member left out of response to Uyghur abuses U.S., the U.K. and Canada joined the European Union on Monday in announcing sanctions on Chinese officials accused of involvement in human rights abuses, leaving Japan as the only Group of Seven member not to follow suit. China hit back, saying it “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the EU sanctions, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson. Beijing announced sanctions on 10 people and four organizations on the EU side “that severely harm China’s sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation,” according to the spokesperson’s statement. They include members of the European Parliament and EU member legislatures. The EU “must stop lecturing others on human rights and interfering in their internal affairs,” the spokesperson said, warning that China is ready to make “further reactions.”
China’s top legislative body to weigh overhaul of Hong Kong political system next week
Agenda for meeting of National People’s Congress Standing Committee led by proposals to amend annexes 1 and 2 of the Basic Law, state media says National legislature passed resolution earlier this month paving the way for shake-up to ensure only ‘patriots’ hold key positions of political power.
Learning from and about China – 2
As we saw in the first part of this series, decades of rapid economic growth (that reached 12% or more annually in the early 1980s following the opening up of markets by Deng Xiaoping in 1978) helped to liberate 748.5 million people from dehumanizing poverty. The poverty rate declined from 66.3% in 1990 to zero percent in 2020 (even using a higher poverty incidence rate of $2.25). Among the world’s 15 most populous developing countries, China has seen the greatest drop in poverty rates. To be sure, China’s impressive contribution to global poverty reduction is largely a function of its size of 1.4 billion people. For example, Vietnam succeeded in reducing its extreme poverty rate from 61.3% to 1.9% from 1990 to 2018, replicating the accomplishment of China. Having a much smaller population than China (95 million), Vietnam’s also equally impressive success only accounts for 3.2% of global poverty declines since 1990. China’s success at alleviating poverty can be partly attributed to the decades of rapid economic growth unleashed by rapid increase in the Gross National Income (GNI) which includes incomes earned by Chinese individuals and enterprises abroad. Over the last two decades alone, China’s GNI per capita grew more than ten-fold from just $940 in 2000 to $10,400 in 2019. This is twice the rate of increase achieved by Russia, the second fastest growing economy among the once-celebrated BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa)
What the World Needs to Learn From Chinese Content Commerce: Part One
The Covid-19 pandemic put China in a leading position in global content-commerce, with major implications for any brand
Hong Kong-listed Sinopharm reports jump in 2020 profit, says ready to deliver Covid-19 jabs as China targets 500 million shots by June
Hong Kong-listed unit of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group reveals 13.9 per cent jump in profit for 2020 Company has been preparing to distribute Covid-19 vaccines for a while: president
China helping the whole world with Covid: Beijing
Beijing says it is wrong for people to suggest that it is ‘scheming to conduct some kind of vaccine diplomacy’, when China just wants to help the whole world with Covid. File image: Shutterstock
Beijing says it is wrong for people to suggest that it is ‘scheming to conduct some kind of vaccine diplomacy’, when China just wants to help the whole world with Covid. File image: Shutterstock
China and Russia on Tuesday rejected accusations they are seeking to use coronavirus vaccines to project their influence around the world, with Beijing saying they only want to help the whole world tackle the virus. Speaking to reporters after talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted that both countries were guided by principles of “humanity” rather than geopolitical interests.
Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy bears fruit in Central and Eastern Europe
China’s vaccine diplomacy appears to be bearing fruit in these countries, and that threatens to deepen the rift between them and Brussels. Eurosceptic leaders have consistently played up Chinese support at the same time as discrediting the EU. “I come to the airport not only to receive the high-quality vaccines, but to demonstrate the friendship between China and Serbia,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic as he welcomed the first batch of the Sinopharm vaccine at Belgrade airport in January. He did not grant the Pfizer-Biontech and Sputnik V vaccines a similar high-profile reception. In Hungary, the first EU country to approve a purchase of Sinopharm, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the EU’s vaccine procurement “scandalously slow”
Why was the PLA at the China-US talks in Alaska?
Members of the Chinese armed forces played an important support role at the top-level talks, a military source says The PLA presence also sent a message about hopes for a better relationship with the Pentagon, the source says Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University, said the potential for accidental military conflicts would grow if the two sides did not resume military talks over safety engagements in the air and on the high seas. “The problem is, it seems like both sides’ leadership have other political agendas,” Shi said. However, Thomson said the professionalism of the Pentagon would help avoid any crisis from happening, even though there was no sign of any significant results from the Alaska talks.
Is Taiwan the world’s latest flashpoint for war?
Taiwan gains traction as Biden bolsters support for the island nation, further straining US-China ties
Writing for the Yahoo News website this month, James Kitfield, the national security and foreign affairs correspondent for National Journal magazine, quoted from a recent report from the Council on Foreign Relations — Taiwan is “becoming the most dangerous flashpoint in the world for a possible war” between the United States and China. He also quoted the head of the U S Indo-Pacific Command, Adm Phil Davidson, in Senate testimony — China might try to annex Taiwan “in this decade, in fact within the next six years.”
Shared burden of a new vision for the Asia Pacific
The relief is palpable. After four years, Washington’s Asian allies have got what they hope is their old partner back. US President Joe Biden won’t shake down Japan and South Korea, hector Australian prime ministers or fawn over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strongman tactics.
US trade chief Katherine Tai talks China, WTO, and climate in first calls with counterparts
Biden’s top trade negotiator emphasised the need to work together to address concerns about forced labour and other China-related issues In calls with trade ministers and the WTO director general, Tai also vowed to rebuild alliances with key partners
Why Australia and New Zealand issued their own statement on US-led China sanctions
Canberra and Wellington clarified they were not imposing penalties of their own, after being briefly included in Washington’s statement announcing coordinated sanctions However, they have backed the move, and say there is clear evidence of human rights abuses in the region, including sterilisation and restrictions on freedom of religion
China prepares for Communist Party celebrations with crackdown on ‘illegal’ NGOs
Civil affairs ministry tells public to be alert for unregistered social groups trying to raise funds in the run-up to the party’s centenary later this year Government accuses some organisations of illegal fundraising and says they are jeopardising social stability and ‘sullying the party’s image’
The powerful centenarian: China’s Communist Party turns 100
Nearing its 100th anniversary, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears stronger than ever. On the one hand, the party state lead by Xi Jinping has fared comparatively well in containing the coronavirus pandemic, increasing Chinese citizen’s trust in their government. From another perspective, what helped the leadership overcome challenges in recent decades was an unusual combination of political control and planning with economic flexibility and experimentation.
Dark side of China’s organised crime crackdown revealed in private lender case
Loans to cash-hungry businesses lead to life imprisonment for woman caught up in campaign against ‘black and evil forces’ As Luo Wenjun awaits appeal decision, her lawyer warns this and similar cases could end the country’s vast private credit market
China Mulls Lifetime Bans for Sports Dopers
Athletes whose anti-doping suspensions exceed one year could find themselves permanently disqualified from international competition.
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