China Press Review – March 30, 2020

Press review

The Coronavirus Is the Biggest Emerging Markets Crisis Ever
The pandemic is starting to topple one of the pillars of the globalization era.

Coronavirus: China can’t suppress it, US military can’t kill it. Covid-19 is the real Godzilla
The truth to emerge from the pandemic is that all humans share a common destiny, and we are embroiled in our biggest battle since World War II   Only when the human race chooses to share, help, care, cooperate and support each other can we beat this enemy from nature

Coronavirus: Five strategies for industrial and automotive companies
To rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, industrials must undertake a journey that begins with resolve and ends with fundamental reform.

Coronavirus crisis puts China’s ‘year of Europe’ on hold amid growing unease
Beijing had turned its focus back to the EU, but key gatherings have been postponed and talks on a bilateral investment treaty delayed    While its medical aid has been welcomed, there is rising concern over the Chinese narrative among European diplomats

Will China’s economy also be crushed by the coronavirus?
Neoliberalism has gone bankrupt, yet the screams of ”we shall expropriate” still echo within its media sanctuaries. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s ”America first” policies are deeping in response to the collapse of neoliberal globalization, and Europeans are increasingly looking toward the East for solutions.

China poised for V-shaped recovery
IN the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic and global markets that are breaking down, Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group co-chairman and co-chief investment officer Datuk Seri Cheah Cheng Hye, also known as the Warren Buffett of Asia, says investors have to be both aggressive and defensive to profit and thrive

Coronavirus: why Xi should do a Trump and hand out cash to cooped-up Chinese
Beijing appears to be relying on its usual method of boosting infrastructure to offset the economic gloom caused by the coronavirus  But it could boost both consumption and confidence – and help meet Xi’s poverty goals – by putting serious money in the hands of Chinese people

China’s 4% GDP Plunge Is Trump’s Nightmare
The 5% U.S. contraction that Goldman Sachs predicts in the second quarter has much to do with domestic trauma. With major cities getting locked down and trillions of dollars of stock market losses creating a negative wealth effect, gross domestic product will indeed crater. These immediate risks have the Federal Reserve frantically printing dollars and the U.S. Treasury planning to send checks to households. The second-wave effects require far more attention, though. And many of those are coming from China’s economy, one that’s losing altitude with each passing day. Beijing’s official GDP numbers in the months ahead are almost meaningless. For an unbalanced, highly indebted financial system at China’s level of development, anything in the 4% growth range is risky territory.

In Depth: How a Rugged Covid-19 Recovery Risks More Than 100 Million Jobs
The pandemic delivered a heavy blow to a Chinese economy that was already struggling to manage downward pressures and a weakening job market. Economists widely project that the economy is contracting in the first quarter, dragging projected 2020 GDP growth down to 4% or even lower. Based on 2018 and 2019 data, every 1 percentage point of GDP growth affects more than 2 million jobs.  China’s official urban employment rate jumped to a record 6.2% in February from 5.3% in January. During the first two months of 2020, 1.08 million new jobs were added in China’s urban areas, down 660,000 from the same period last year. China’s central bank pledges improved macro-economic control to limit virus fallout

China’s central bank has pledged to improve its macro-economic control to limit the fallout of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and better shore up its economy.

Can we stop the protectionist wave?
Globalisation was under threat even before the pandemic. US President Donald Trump set the tone by declaring himself ‘tariff man’, imposing bogus ‘national security’ tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from allies while launching a trade war with China and eviscerating the WTO Appellate Body. But Trump was not alone in attacking the global trading system.

Chinese e-commerce giant takes aim at rival leader Alibaba in cloud as China market heats up
JD is best known in China for its claim to one-day or next-day delivery service, which helped drive a year-on-year increase of 18.6% to 362 million annual active customer accounts in 2019. The company is now trying to build on that delivery and retail network with a new line of business in technology services, which covers logistics, advertising and cloud computing.  Bowen Zhou, chair of JD’s technology committee and president of JD Cloud & AI, says the company aims to work with Fortune 500 companies that want to grow their operations in China, as well as help U.S. and European technology companies’ products enter China.

Troubles mount for global shipping lines as seafarers are in short supply amid coronavirus travel and quarantine restrictions
The International Chamber of Shipping has been lobbying the United Nations to classify 2 million seafarers globally as ‘key’ or ‘essential’ workers  Limitations on crew change have the potential to cause serious disruption to the flow of trade, says Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS

China’s health care, infrastructure stocks lure global bargain hunters even as coronavirus pandemic roiled equity markets in March
Foreign funds have pulled 70 billion yuan (US$9.9 billion) this month from Stock Connect amid rush for exits   Shenzhen Mindray, Wuxi AppTec benefited from fund inflows; Ping An Insurance, Midea and banks were dumped

Coronavirus tech will continue to improve our lives long after the pandemic is over
The pandemic is spawning a tech revolution that will change our lives for the better, with technologies in everything from telemedicine and e-learning to home working set to receive a turbo boost from the 5G roll-out, particularly in China

Chinese banks brace for bad debt blowout as coronavirus pandemic piles weight on to struggling, debt-ridden businesses
Bank of Communication expects non-performing loan level this year to ‘rebound’ from 2019, as coronavirus hit borrowers’ financial health    Three leading state-owned banks report stable non-performing loan levels in 2019, even amid slowing economy

A global consumer default wave is just getting started in China
With corporate delinquencies rising as well, banks could face a 5.2 trillion yuan surge in total nonperforming loans and an unprecedented 39% slump in profits this year, according to a worst-case scenario outlined by UBS Group AG analysts this month.

Coronavirus: China slashes bank loan rate by biggest amount in five years, joining global easing
People’s Bank of China reduces 7-day reverse repo rate to 2.20 per cent from 2.40 per cent, the largest cut since 2015   Move comes as analysts expect China’s economy to contract in the first quarter for the first time since 1976

Second ‘Shock Wave’ Hitting Chinese Economy as Exports Plummet
The massive decline in demand for exports has led to international companies delaying or canceling orders. While the Chinese workers are able to work, the factories themselves are without work.   This has created what may end up being the greater damage from the pandemic. The economic shock wave that tumbling demand can create will likely push impacts out from China to the rest of the world as well. According to Larry Hu, Chief China Economist at Macquarie Group, the worst is still to come. He said:“The worst is yet to come for exports and supply chain. For the whole year, China’s exports could easily fall 10% or probably more.”

An Overview of China’s Economy and How Coronavirus Affected It
China has been the highest contributor to global economic growth for more than a decade. The capitalist market reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 paved the way for its impressive growth journey. China has set one of the best examples of how opening up of an economy can transform a country into a dominant economic power. Here’s an overview of the Chinese economy, and how it’s been affected by COVID-19.

Coronavirus: China to raise fiscal deficit ratio after G20 pledges US$5 trillion economic rescue package
President Xi Jinping says China will raise its fiscal deficit ratio and issue special bonds to stimulate the economy   China has already contributed US$344.1 billion to the global economic rescue package announced by the G20, foreign ministry says

Will Digital Vouchers Heal China’s Economy?
To encourage people to spend, Chinese cities and e-commerce platforms are giving away millions of dollars worth of digital vouchers.

How China Turns Trash Into Wealth
Chinese recyclers are the world’s greatest buyers and processors of what others don’t want.

Coronavirus: why China’s ‘mask diplomacy’ is raising concern in the West
Beijing has sent medical experts and badly needed supplies to places hit hard by the pandemic in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia  Other countries have also offered help, but analysts say there are worries about the motives behind the Chinese efforts and possible strings attached

China says its temporary travel ban on foreigners is ‘responsible and necessary’ during pandemic
Beijing says it looked to other countries before formulating cross-border restrictions   Pledge to help mainlanders return home despite restricted flights

The West Needs to Wake Up to China’s Duplicity
China is waging a double information war: one abroad and one for its own public, both led by the Chinese authorities with President Xi Jinping at its head. They apparently see the West as weak and submissive. We have been.

3 Reasons a Coronavirus Second Wave Threatens China & South Korea
China and South Korea passed the peak of coronavirus. The risk of a second wave of the virus remains, and precautions cannot be softened.

Hong Kong stocks slide while Australia shares soar as coronavirus pandemic continues to spark market volatility
Australia, China announce fresh steps to help battered economies   Sentiment remains cautious in Hong Kong, mainland, despite latest big injection of money into system by People’s Bank of China

Chinese stocks tumble as investors prepare for earnings slump, eye bigger stimulus to revive growth
Investors are pricing a slowdown in first quarter earnings amid disruption to manufacturing and supply chains   All eyes on the Politburo after it advocated widening fiscal deficit and selling special sovereign bonds to fund stimulus

Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown
The Indian government has defended its handling of the coronavirus outbreak after a strict lockdown – introduced with little warning – left millions stranded and without food

A Reporter in China Explains What Life Is Like There Now
The United States leads the world in confirmed cases of the coronavirus after surpassing China on Thursday. China, the original source of the outbreak, experienced its worst days in mid-February, including one particularly frightening day with more than 14,000 new cases in Hubei province alone. But last week, it announced that it had no new locally transmitted cases.

Coronavirus: Xi Jinping’s visit to Zhejiang sends ‘clear message’ it’s time to get the economy back on its feet, state media says
Chinese president is fighting ‘two tough battles’ to reboot industry and defeat Covid-19, Xinhua says  Choice of industrial powerhouse for official visit shows the importance Xi gives to reviving the economy, observers say

Coronavirus: Chinese scientist advises people in Europe, US to wear face masks in public
People who don’t cover their mouths are making a big mistake, says director general of Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention    Advice comes as number of confirmed infections in US nears 105,000

COVID-19 Patients Without Symptoms Just as Infectious, Study Suggests
Chinese disease control researchers analyzed infections among 2,147 close contacts of 191 patients and found no statistically significant difference in transmission rates between symptomatic and asymptomatic coronavirus carriers

Can China return to normalcy while keeping the coronavirus in check?
China is addressing an issue every country and location in the world will eventually face: how to normalize and restore societal activities, while at the same time minimizing disease-related dangers from the outbreak

Chinese biotechs, flushed with funds and armed with ideas, join the race to find a coronavirus cure as pandemic ravages the world
I-Mab Biopharma will soon start clinical trial on a drug that shows promise against Covid-19, while Cansino Biologics’ trial on a vaccine has been approved by Chinese authorities  Song Ruilin, the head of China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association, says the policies launched in 2008 to support development of new drugs are now starting to pay off

Coronavirus: China ramps up Covid-19 test kit exports amid global shortage, as domestic demand dries up
More than 100 Chinese companies are selling coronavirus testing kits to Europe, but most are not licensed to sell in China     A global shortage of kits has sparked a scramble for resources, but the specialist nature of the production process provides limitations

Coronavirus: China economy set to get worse before better, official warns, as export hit looms
China has reversed some efforts to reopen entertainment venues amid fears of second wave of infections, while exports are set to plunge   Tens of millions of jobs at risk, with one report saying 18 million jobs in exporting industries could be lost due to overseas demand slump

Vitamin C deployed in big doses to help treat coronavirus patients
Hospitals in the United States and China administer the supplement as part of a therapy for people with Covid-19    But there’s no evidence yet that it is effective and more research needs to be done, expert say

Coronavirus: more asymptomatic carriers reported in China, but experts disagree on the threat they pose
Although people who don’t show symptoms are ‘very infective’, there’s probably not very many of them, respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan says   But head of specialist Covid-19 team in Shanghai says asymptomatic carriers ‘now pose the biggest risk’ in terms of preventing imported cases

World Health Organisation warns countries not to treat Covid-19 patients with unproven medicine amid scramble for a cure
History of medicine abounds with ‘examples of drugs that worked on paper or in a test tube but were actually harmful’, WHO chief says   Warning comes as cases of the respiratory ailment caused by the coronavirus surge worldwide

Life as a coronavirus patient in Wuhan during its darkest hour
First in a series exploring the different experiences of Covid-19 survivors from around the world   In Wuhan, a primary schoolteacher and her elderly parents became sick just as the health system collapsed

COVID-19 and the Case for Empowering China’s CDC
Supposedly tasked with disease control and prevention, the China CDC has been hobbled by a lack of authority and funding. Here’s how to fix it. In the months since, as the outbreak evolved first into an epidemic, and then a global pandemic, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) has been vehemently criticized for not detecting COVID-19 and communicating the risks it posed to the public in a timely manner. In particular, many observers have expressed frustration at the apparent failure of the center’s electronic infectious disease reporting system, which was established in 2004 to rectify the reporting issues revealed by the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, outbreak in 2003.

Coronavirus: Can Taiwan repeat its success in controlling Covid-19, with new infections from US and Europe on the way?
Fast response, transparency and efficacy have been credited for island’s success in controlling the disease locally so far, experts say   Taiwan will be tested in the weeks to come as Taiwanese return home from Europe and North America, where case numbers are rising

Coronavirus: Countries reject Chinese-made equipment
The Netherlands has been among the countries reporting faulty Chinese-made equipment
A number of European governments have rejected Chinese-made equipment designed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus leaves Australian economy facing first recession in 30 years
High household debt and a reliance on Chinese demand for its exports leave Canberra acutely vulnerable. Some predict unemployment will hit 15 per cent  Australians have little experience of economic hardship – the country’s last downturn was in 1990

Tesla & The China Connection
Critiqued by many for not doing enough during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elon Musk delivered on a promise to provide 1,200+ ventilators for emergency respiratory care. This initial wave was not manufactured by Tesla in the US, but rather, purchased from China. A month earlier, the famous CEO celebrated the delivery of the first Made in China Tesla Model 3 with the then Shanghai-mayor in a Hollywood style extravaganza. Tesla’s connection to China has brought the world’s most elite electric vehicles to the world’s second-largest economy, and the rare relationship is getting more robust by the month.  It’s the kind of reciprocity that many corporations are craving right now in the tenuous financial marketplace. Chinese ventilators are just the beginning for Tesla.

Lessons from Asian banks on their coronavirus response
Financial institutions in countries initially affected by the pandemic moved quickly to safeguard their employees, transform their operations, and serve customers in new ways.

Apple supplier Foxconn’s profit down 24 per cent in last quarter of 2019 as it braces for coronavirus impact
Foxconn reported a net profit of NT$47.76 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the last quarter of 2019, down from NT$62.61 billion a year earlier  The Taiwanese company is among manufacturers worldwide grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic

TikTok, a Chinese soft-power time bomb in US living rooms?
The coronavirus has fuelled explosive growth of the app, which now has 800 million users, few of whom will know it is owned by China’s ByteDance  While videos of dancing teens may seem benign, there are growing fears in America it could be a Trojan Horse for mass surveillance by Beijing

Beijing may step up drills in South China Sea amid rising tensions with US military, analysts say
Chinese air force and navy simulated face-to-face encounters with invading aircraft and warships in latest exercises    They took place the same day a US destroyer carried out a freedom of navigation patrol in the contested waters

Do China’s expulsions of US journalists harm its relationship with the world?
Cancellation of US reporters’ credentials followed the US designating five Chinese state media outlets as ‘foreign missions’ of their government   A ‘step forward’ for media freedom in 2008 has been replaced by another arena for the tensions between Beijing and Washington

Coronavirus alters China’s political score card ahead of pivotal 2022
Henan Gov. Yin Hong’s star rises as others fall in runup to party congress

US military operations in South China Sea increase risk of confrontation, think tank says
American forces conducted eight freedom of navigation operations in disputed waters in 2019, three more than in the previous year   Beijing says its air force and navy held a joint exercise in the South China Sea on March 10 to simulate face-to-face encounters with invading aircraft and warships

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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