China Press Review – March 28, 2019

Press review

The EU’s China strategy, while avoiding Trump-style confrontation, puts European unity to the test
While it won’t challenge China as Trump has done, the grouping wants to address its concerns over some Chinese policies through a united front. Italy’s lone endorsement of the belt and road shows the challenge it now faces
www.scmp.com

The EU’s future depends on its relationship with China
The 14th-century admonition that “He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon” is the mantra these days of many European leaders. The devil in question is China. This week’s visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to Italy and France, and the looming EU-China summit in April, are on their mind. Europe is embracing the challenge of developing new strategic and deeper economic relationships with Beijing, but cautiously.
www.irishtimes.com

Europe Needs a Global Strategy
The increasingly sharp rivalry between the United States and China could have negative economic and other consequences for Europe. But instead of forging a strategic vision suitable to this risk, European leaders are, as per usual, preoccupied with their own problems.
www.project-syndicate.org

Judy Asks: Is China Devouring Europe?

While China may not be exactly devouring Europe, it certainly presents an unprecedented challenge to the order which has enabled Europe to thrive. For Europeans to shape a system ostensibly returning to great power politics, “Europe United” must become more than a slogan, and a shared one at that.
carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/78708

Unity, reality and reciprocity: Europe brings down the barriers for Xi Jinping in Paris
European leaders strike united stand but also try to find common ground with Chinese president as the trading partners grapple with slowing growth
www.scmp.com

Luxembourg endorses China’s Belt and Road plan
Days after Italy was the first G7 country to endorse the controversial plan
luxtimes.lu/world/36884-luxembourg-endorses-china-s-belt-and-road-plan

US-China trade war talks to hit the ground running with dinner diplomacy as American delegation arrives in Beijing
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday ahead of a full day of talks on Friday Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, will head the Chinese side in the latest round of trade talks
www.scmp.com

19th-Century ‘Humiliation’ Haunts China-U.S. Trade Talks
“Chinese policy has shifted from fear of being bullied into unequal treaties into becoming a bully itself and forcing unequal agreements on weaker nations,

19th-Century ‘Humiliation’ Haunts China-U.S. Trade Talks

China and America can’t afford walking away without a deal from trade talks, says former US ambassador Max Baucus
Walking away without agreement will be ‘if not devastating, very detrimental’ for Donald Trump but ‘we are getting closer to a deal’ Xi Jinping will also want to show he can strike an agreement and implement economic reforms, says former diplomat and senator
www.scmp.com

US-China trade war talks to hit the ground running with dinner diplomacy as American delegation arrives in Beijing
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing on Thursday ahead of a full day of talks on Friday Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, will head the Chinese side in the latest round of trade talks
www.scmp.com

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks up ‘steady’ and ‘positive’ economy, as crunch US-China trade war talks kick off in Beijing
Speaking at Boao Forum for Asia, China’s premier remained upbeat about the Chinese economy as he promised further relaxation of foreign investment rules Comments came as US and Chinese negotiators began two days of talks in Beijing in an effort to end the trade war
www.scmp.com

Lost in translation? How verbal mishaps and lack of Chinese-language document threaten US-China trade deal
Misunderstandings and China’s concerns about being bullied have created distance, says Michael Pillsbury, an outside adviser to Donald Trump Having no Chinese-language text of the 120-page draft agreement Beijing was potentially agreeing to could present an obstacle
www.scmp.com

Pompeo ‘hopeful’ that EU countries will shun Huawei
In his testimony to Congress on Wednesday, the US Secretary of State said that he is “hopeful” EU countries would follow US advice and shun Huawei from their 5G networks. He added that progress has been made convincing them and that the US will not partner with or share intelligence with countries which use Huawei equipment.

Briefing: Pompeo ‘hopeful’ that EU countries will shun Huawei

Huawei poses national security risks, says UK watchdog
NCSC report casts doubt over Chinese firm’s future involvement in telecoms
www.theguardian.com

Japan-Europe project to challenge China for post-5G supremacy
NEC and Deutsche Telekom part of team looking to build faster future
asia.nikkei.com

Briefing: China Telecom to test 5G coverage in Shanghai by mid-year
China Telecom’s Shanghai branch announced on Tuesday that the company is going to test its gigabit 5G networks in three spots in Shanghai in the first half of this year, including an industrial park, the city’s financial district, and a hospital. The next-generation wireless networks will be applied to different scenarios in these areas, including a cloud-based intelligent manufacturing system powered by high-speed 5G networks at the Shanghai Lingang Industrial Park, and an overall healthcare solution based on 5G technologies at the Yueyang Hospital. In the Lujiazui financial district, the company will provide 5G connectivity to financial institutions s

Briefing: China Telecom to test 5G coverage in Shanghai by mid-year

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘saddened’ as Italy signs up for China’s belt and road project
US’ senior diplomat steps up warnings of Chinese ‘debt trap’ and says countries that join Beijing’s initiative ‘ultimately lose’ Italy signed a “non-binding” protocol with visiting President Xi Jinping to become part of the Chinese project.
www.scmp.com

China’s Belt and Road descends on Europe, in Iron Curtain fashion

Italian port city of Trieste is the latest flash point in a battle for hegemony
asia.nikkei.com

A Low-Carbon Belt and Road
China’s Belt and Road Initiative is set to spur a sharp acceleration in GDP growth and development across the 60-plus participating economies. In order to ensure that BRI-related infrastructure projects don’t also undermine global climate action, meaningful steps must urgently be taken to reduce their carbon footprint.
www.project-syndicate.org

Barcelona and La Roca Village Launch Mandarin App to Draw in Travel Shoppers
More Chinese tourists are taking trips around Europe, and destinations on the continent are looking for new ways to cater to those tourists while also enticing them to shop more. The Catalan Tourist Board and La Roca Village, which is a designer outlet shopping mall in the Barcelona region, co-announced on March 19 the launch of a Mandarin-language app to guide Chinese tourists through Barcelona. The city is the most popular destination in Spain for Chinese travelers, and it aims to keep its crown by targeting 1 million Chinese arrivals by 2020.

Barcelona and La Roca Village Launch Mandarin App to Draw in Travel Shoppers

China’s mobile payment market fourth quarter growth dwindled
China’s third-party mobile payment market reached RMB 47.2 trillion ($7.01 trillion) in trade volume in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, a 7.8% quarter-on-quarter increase, according to a newly released report from Beijing-based market consultancy firm Analysys.

China’s mobile payment market fourth quarter growth dwindled



Alibaba acquires Chinese productivity app Teambition

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has fully acquired Shanghai-based productivity tool Teambition on Tuesday through its investment arm, according to Chinese enterprise intelligence platform Qichacha.com. Teambition consists of cloud-based project management tools, with functions similar to a mixture of Trello and Dropbox. Users can collaborate on projects and share or edit documents in real time across departments, locations, and business units. It has more than seven million users across 38 industries with clients including Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL, and Ximalaya.

Briefing: Alibaba acquires Chinese productivity app Teambition

Geely and Daimler form EV joint venture to develop Smart
Chinese automaker Geely will purchase a 50% stake in Daimler’s Smart car division, as the German manufacturer seeks to promote electric vehicles and recover its losses from the flagging micro car business.

Geely and Daimler form EV joint venture to develop Smart

Hong Kong small businesses’ confidence in growth at five-year low, poll finds
52 per cent say trade war will have a negative impact on business in 2019
www.scmp.com

Appetite for food-delivery apps wanes among small restaurant owners
For the past six years, the lives of Chi Hongwei and her husband have revolved around their 30-square-meter franchise restaurant that sells wontons, a type of traditional soup dumpling.

Appetite for food-delivery apps wanes among small restaurant owners

HK Express deal exposes Chinese conglomerate HNA Group’s key assets as debt repayment pressure mounts
The distressed former global assets acquirer faces debt repayment of US$2.8 billion this year and US$30.7 billion by 2025 Uncleared debts and possible sale of blue chip assets make survival difficult for Chinese group
www.scmp.com

Philippines insists it can repay Chinese loans for water projects and avoid ‘debt trap’
President Duterte confronting concerns he agreed to unfavourable terms while taking on China-funded infrastructure projects
www.scmp.com

The new Silk Road is China’s ‘second pillar of legitimacy’ — and Europe is starting to buy in
China is undertaking a colossal project called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which involves pushing billions of dollars into various economies in Asia and Europe through opaque loans to expand influence around the world. The BRI — also known as the New Silk Road — is envisioned as a revival of an ancient trade route between China and Europe. According to one expert, the project stems from China’s desire to build a “second pillar of legitimacy.”
finance.yahoo.com

China, EU strive for investment agreement by 2020
The China-EU investment agreement negotiations are one of China’s most important economic and trade negotiations. The talks started in November 2013, aiming to reach a higher-level agreement covering investment protection and market access based on the agreements signed between China and EU member states, according to information released by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
www.globaltimes.cn/content/1143847.shtml

The China Trade Deficit Is Now In Retreat
The trade deficit with China fell 4.1% year over year in January to $34.5 billion, the first decline since Feb. 2017. Official trade data shows a 2.8% drop in the goods deficit, the main source of the trade gap. Despite last year’s blockbuster trade deficit with China, the gap between the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 economies is shrinking…ever so slightly. It’s not going to make a dent, really. But it’s a move in the right direction if you’re President Trump, who has complained about the trade deficit with China for at least a decade now. And he has made that deficit one of the reasons for hitting Chinese imports with tariffs.
www.forbes.com

Could The Worst Be Over For China’s Tencent?
Tencent is showing signs of recovering from China’s online games suspension that dragged on for most of last year and crippled its core business. But soaring spending to bolster revenue growth will continue to weigh on its once lucrative margins. After Beijing ended the suspension in December, the company managed to get eight games approved so far. But with the process expected to be a lot more stringent as regulators scrutinize thousands of games for potentially undesirable content, Tencent is pivoting to business-oriented services for faster growth. Its newer ventures, such as cloud computing and online payments, are gaining momentum, but intense competition means that profitability from such services is still anything but certain
www.forbes.com

China’s power industry calls for hundreds of new coal power plants by 2030
Under the proposal, the country could add a large coal power plant every 2 weeks for the next 12 years

China’s power industry calls for hundreds of new coal power plants by 2030

China Cuts Social Insurance Costs for Employers
According to the State Council, regional governments should cut business’ social insurance obligations depending on the local government’s funding needs and the extent to which they deem it necessary to support the economy.
www.china-briefing.com

Enforcement: Content and Control
Let’s focus on China and control. China’s cybersecurity and data protection laws are focused on protecting China government control. They are focused on protecting data China does not want the world to see. It is focused on making sure data is localized to China and thereby easily subject to onsite inspections by Chinese government officials. See e.g., SaaS in China: The 101 where we talk about how China does not want foreign companies on “its Internet”; it wants foreign companies to be on its Internet only through more easily controlled Chinese companies.

China Cybersecurity Laws and Law Enforcement: Content and Control

What is China really up to?
“The Communist Party of China’s overriding objective is to stay in power. It will do everything it can to do so. Its success thus far in reducing absolute poverty and growing its middle class (today about 420 million) – has been critical in contributing to its longevity. ”

What is China really up to?

A Brief History Of China’s United Front – Analysis
Authoritarian governments are evolving new ways to navigate a US-dominated international system that has long been weighed against their interests. Russia is the most obvious recent case with its high-profile disinformation and hybrid warfare strategies. But there’s another rising power on the forefront of these influencing operations: China.

A Brief History Of China’s United Front – Analysis

No Earrings, Tattoos or Cleavage: Inside China’s War on Fun
The Communist Party wants to instill the people with “core socialist values.” That means winnowing out content that extols individualism or hedonism.

Censorship pays: China’s state newspaper expands lucrative online scrubbing business
People.cn, the online unit of China’s influential People’s Daily, is boosting its numbers of human internet censors backed by artificial intelligence to help firms vet content on apps and adverts, capitalizing on its unmatched Communist Party lineage.

Censorship pays: China’s state newspaper expands lucrative online scrubbing business



Cancelled appearances, high-profile absences, TV blackout: has China’s answer to Davos lost its sheen?

President Xi Jinping is in Europe, while other key officials are in Beijing for the trade talks with the US Various discussions have been switched to closed-door events without explanation, with fewer high profile speakers taking the stage
www.scmp.com

A look at China’s Kunlun, whose ownership of gay dating app Grindr is seen as a national security risk by the US
The intervention by a US national security panel may now force Kunlun to sell the popular dating service
www.scmp.com

—————————————–
Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Awex
Service Asie Pacifique
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a.gillard@awex.be
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