China Press Review – March 4, 2020

Press review

COVID-19: Implications for business
The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the global economy. This article is intended to provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the perspectives in this article may fall rapidly out of date. This article reflects our perspective as of March 1, 2020. We will update it regularly as the outbreak evolves.

Four coronavirus-driven Chinese consumer trends that will last even after the epidemic has subsided
The outbreak has hastened the transition to e-commerce and accelerated the use of artificial intelligence and robotics    People are also flocking to local stores and pickup points instead of patronising centralised shopping areas and are showing more interest in food safety and health

China’s economic imbalances laid bare by new figures showing the rich get richer, as poor provinces lag
Exporting powerhouse of Guangdong absorbed more funds than any other province in China last year, cementing its status as most dynamic economy    Disparity in regional funding partly due to shift in focus by China’s Communist Party, which now funnels money towards best performing economies

Coronavirus: clock ticking for China to stop foreign firms fleeing country, report says
Labour-intensive industries like textiles and heavy polluters likely to be the first to leave if Beijing does not restore confidence, scientists say   Exodus could result in China becoming a ‘hollow economy’, report says

Coronavirus outbreak fans the flames of US-China decoupling debate in Washington
Any hope that the US-China phase one trade deal would salvage the superpower relationship have been scotched by the coronavirus   Epidemic set to hit US economy and has led to rising discord among Washington figures, some of whom call for decoupling between the world’s two largest economies

Donald Trump’s unpredictability clouds his true feelings about China, former US State Department official says
When Trump does speak about Hong Kong, he ‘sounds a little bit more like a Chinese leader than American one’, says Kurt Campbell   US president’s respect for Xi Jinping is ‘probably for the wrong reasons’, says ex-Obama administration official

Coronavirus: Fed rate cut has ‘opened the window’ for China to pursue more aggressive economic policy
After the US Federal Reserve’s surprise 50 basis point cut to interest rates – the biggest since the global financial crisis – China is tipped to follow suit   Central bank expected to embark on more aggressive monetary loosening to counter coronavirus impact on economy, according to state newspaper editorial

Coronavirus: China set to follow global interest rate cuts to offset Covid-19 damage as markets remain mixed
Hong Kong was the latest to follow the United States, Australia and Malaysia in announcing an interest-rate cut China, though, is unlikely to fully match the half point interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, which ‘saw a risk to the economy, and chose to act’

Coronavirus could cause global medicine shortages as China’s factory closures hit supply chains
Factory activity in China – the top producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients – hit all-time low in February after measures to halt outbreak     US and Europe monitoring short-term delay to supplies, with antibiotics, diabetes medications, HIV drugs and ibuprofen among those heavily reliant on China

Why Luxury Brands Must Embrace Digital Outlets ASAP
Online luxury sales are forecasted to reach $91 billion by 2025, and almost 20 percent of all those personal luxury sales will take place in the digital realm.   The luxury world is now very dependent on Chinese consumers, but the COVID-19 crisis is revealing the cracks in that once rosy relationship. When an industry puts all its business eggs in one basket, it can be a recipe for disaster, and major luxury players have perhaps gotten too comfortable focusing on younger, affluent Chinese urbanites over the past few years instead of looking for innovative ways to branch out into the global market

Coronavirus takes aim at the US$1.7 trillion global tourism industry as leisure and business travellers stay home
As an illness that broke out in China goes global, the tourism business faces a growing threat   Many of the Chinese travellers who have driven the industry’s expansion were already staying home, after the government locked down tens of millions of people and banned sales of package tours

Coronavirus: small Hong Kong businesses call for HK$6 billion government aid, saying they are ‘left behind’ by relief package
Education service providers such as tuition centres, as well as salon owners and pet shop operators say they are struggling to stay afloat   Government adviser argues big businesses with many workers are main targets for aid, as it will be impossible to cover all small and private firms

Coronavirus: there are 2 types, Chinese researchers find, while authorities say faeces and urine can transmit the infection
Mainland China reports 38 new deaths by Wednesday morning, a rise from the previous day’s count, but new infections fall again to 119  Champions League and Europa League matches in Spain to be held behind closed doors

China Warns of Desert Locust Invasion
The pests have already wreaked havoc across several East African countries, as well as India and Pakistan.

China’s US$62 billion belt and road project in Pakistan risks becoming corridor to nowhere
Almost seven years after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was established, less than one-third of announced projects have been completed    In Gwadar, an airport is among projects that have yet to materialise as economic slowdown forces China to scale back its global ambitions

Coronavirus: China’s manufacturing heartland almost back to normal as over 6 million workers return
Local governments in Guangdong are chartering trains and planes, as well as offering financial incentives, to help employees return to work after the extended holiday    Small and medium-sized businesses, though, are still struggling to solve their labour problems as the support is focused on larger companies or state-owned enterprises

America’s battle with the coronavirus looks grim thanks to dire working conditions and Donald Trump’s incompetence
The hypercapitalist US system can force millions to carry on with their jobs even if they are sick. Meanwhile, the fractious and irresponsible US president is more concerned with his election chances than curbing the virus

Coronavirus’ economic impact in East and Southeast Asia
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise around the world, there are deep concerns over the potential economic impact of the virus. The virus originated in China, and given the size of China’s economy, a slowdown there from the COVID-19 outbreak will spill over to the rest of the ASEAN+3 region. The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) estimates that the COVID-19 epidemic could deduct as much as half a percentage point from the economic growth of some regional economies in 2020.

Preparing Your Company for Business AFTER the Coronavirus
What makes sense for your business will depend on your business and your industry but for many businesses now is the time to move into China or ramp up your existing presence there. For many, doing business with China without actually being in China will be the better way to go. In a future post we will talk about the factors our China business lawyers look at in determining what makes  the best sense

Are temperature checks effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus?
Use of ‘temperature guns’ is increasingly common as authorities and companies screen people entering buildings   Questions remain over transmission by people who have not shown symptoms

India’s multimillionaires are multiplying the fastest over the next five years amid economic prosperity, Knight Frank report says
The size of super-rich population in Asia seen growing 44 per cent over the next five years, double the pace in North America: Knight Frank    India, Egypt, Vietnam, China and Indonesia are countries with the highest rate in minting multimillionaires by 2024  There were 5,986 UHNWIs in India in 2019, according to the report. The US had the largest number with 240,575, compared with 61,587 in China, 3,306 in Singapore and 2,737 in Hong Kong. Globally, Knight Frank expects the size of UHNWIs to grow by 27 per cent to 649,331 by 2024.

Preparing Your Company for Business AFTER the Coronavirus
For more than a year we’ve been relentlessly writing about how China has become so much riskier for manufacturing and how so many companies that manufacture in China are desperately looking to move their manufacturing elsewhere. I predict that at least 50 percent of the American and European companies that do all of their manufacturing in China today will have moved at least 50 percent of that manufacturing out of China within the next 2-3 years. As Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes Senior Reporter for Emerging Markets, put it in his recent article, Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub: “The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.”

Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 could be postponed to end of year – Japan’s Olympic minister
Japan’s Olympic minister says the Tokyo 2020 Games could be postponed from the summer until later in the year amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

HANNOVER MESSE 2020 postponed
HANNOVER MESSE 2020 has been postponed to the week of 13 to 17 July. Deutsche Messe AG is thus responding to global developments related to the Coronavirus.

Hannover Messe, Global Industrie, BIM World…The List of Trade Shows Canceled or Postponed due to Coronavirus
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the number of industry tradeshows that have been canceled and/or postponed has increased. An overview of the industrial and tech shows that are canceled, postponed or maintained all around the world can be found in this article. We will update it as announcements are made.

Coronavirus Update: Google I/O, Facebook F8 and other 2020 tech conference cancellations and travel bans
As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, tech conferences are being canceled, postponed, or turned into virtual events. Tech companies are also restricting employee travel.

Annual Conference Cancelled Over Coronavirus Fears
CERAWeek is one of the biggest oil and gas industry events, featuring more than 800 speakers and 5,500 attendees from nearly 100 countries who get together in Houston, TX for five days each year. But this year’s event has been cancelled, according to a March 1 announcement by its organizer IHS Markit.

Art Fair Tokyo Cancelled, Art Dubai ‘Postponed’ due to Virus
The spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has brought down two art fairs in two days. Art Fair Tokyo has been cancelled and Art Dubai has been postponed indefinitely because of the virus, which also led to the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong last month

Major Business Events Postponed or Cancelled due to Coronavirus Outbreak
Several organizers had announced the postponement or cancelation of their events around the world over fears of the Covid-19 outbreak. Here’s a list of all the major event postponements/cancellations due to the Coronavirus outbreak so far. This list will be updated daily.

Qihoo 360 accuses CIA of 11-year espionage offensive
Cybersecurity company Qihoo 360 has accused the CIA of targeting China’s government and several of the country’s critical industries in a decade-long espionage campaign.The claim comes just weeks after the US charged four Chinese military officers over the 2017 Equifax breach in which hackers stole personal data, including names and addresses, belonging to 147 million Americans.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
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