China Press Review – March 5, 2019

Press review

China and US still have work to do but both ‘certain’ deal on opening financial sector can be achieved
Two sides will reach complete agreement, bank regulator says on sidelines of National People’s Congress ‘We have some minor disputes but I don’t think it’s a big problem’, Guo Shuqing tells press conference

Beijing demands 30 per cent increase in banks’ lending to small companies in bid to boost flagging economy
Move announced by Premier Li Keqiang could inject US$230 billion worth of capital into SMEs, according to one analyst’s estimate It is the first time Beijing has announced a specific target for loans to small companies in its annual work report

Tariff war cost US companies and consumers US$4.4 billion a month in 2018, report says
Economists find those who were exposed to the duties overseas ‘paid none of the bill’ – which was passed on to American importers and consumers They say the US economy has been damaged by the dispute that has seen tariffs applied on about US$283 billion of imports

US-China trade war deal confusion leaves American companies demanding clarity over mixed messaging
Speakers at the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce Business Summit said the uncertainty caused by the tariff war is damaging business At the crux of the uncertainty is how the trade war will be resolved, with speakers complaining over the mixed messaging coming from the US government

China Sees Tough Battle in Boosting Growth Without Debt Blowout
Premier Li announces almost 2 trillion yuan of tax cuts Annual growth target lowered to a range of 6 to 6.5 percent

China cuts taxes and defence budget growth, demands more profits from state firms
Value-added taxes cut more than expected. State firms have to hand in more profits to bridge fiscal shortfall Defence budget growth slashed from 8.1 per cent to 7.5 per cent

China counts on tax cuts to buoy business in tough economic times ahead
As growth slows and the trade war bites, Beijing aims to reduce levies on key sectors such as manufacturing to keep people employed and ensure social stability

Trump’s allies push him to resist a quick China deal
President Donald Trump is growing closer to sealing a trade deal with China, but some advisers are urging the White House not to rush it in the interest of calming nerves on Wall Street.

Six key takeaways from China Premier Li Keqiang’s annual policy blueprint
The government set the economic growth target for 2019 in a range of 6.0 to 6.5 per cent during the opening of the National People’s Congress Beijing also announced a significant 3 percentage points cut in value-added tax rate for manufacturers to 13 per cent

The 2 trillion yuan question: will China’s stimulus measures be enough to boost the economy?
Beijing is taking extensive measures to stabilise the economy, through the central bank, local governments and an enormous tax-cut package. Already, some indicators seem to be responding to stimulus, which bodes well for global trade

China Has a Dirty $1 Trillion Stimulus Secret
Another economy-boosting infrastructure binge is afoot, but you won’t find it reflected in the fiscal deficit target

China lowers 2019 GDP growth target to 6-6.5 per cent range
Gross domestic product growth target released on Tuesday morning in Premier Li Keqiang’s annual report to the National People’s Congress Target down from ‘about 6.5 per cent’ set for last year due to US-China trade war, an already high debt level and financing bottlenecks for private enterprises

China Continues Debt-for-Bond Swaps for Local Governments
China will continue to swap local governments’ unofficial liabilities for government bonds this year to give them more financial breathing room as economic growth is expected to slow further, according to Premier Li Keqiang’s annual report to the country’s top legislature on Tuesday.

China’s GDP target range gives government leeway for economic growth ahead of 2019 uncertainties
Premier Li Keqiang tells National People’s Congress on Tuesday that China will aim to achieve an economic growth this year that falls in a range of 6.0 to 6.5 per cent Beijing’s policy efforts geared towards stabilising growth, not stimulus, showing China’s acceptance of a modest slowdown in 2019

As Trump Moves to End Trade War With China, Business Asks: Was It Worth It?
The United States is poised to roll back most of its tariffs as part of a trade deal with China but farmers and businesses wonder if the cost of the trade war was worth it.

US Businesses in China Grow Despite Recent Tensions: AmCham China 2019 Survey
US-China trade tensions and a slowing Chinese economy were key challenges for US businesses last year as captured by the latest AmCham China Business Climate Survey. China Briefing summarizes the key takeaways from the survey, including changes in business sentiment during this turbulent period.

China businesses offer mixed reaction to VAT cut as exporters still call for more help amid slowdown
New 13 per cent value-added tax rate announced by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday still higher than in competitors across Asia like Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia Exporters remain under heavy pressure from lack of access to credit and the impact of US-China trade war

China’s foreign investment law will apply to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
NPC spokesman Zhang Yesui clarifies that the new legislation will also cover investors from the three places The status of the regions is not explicitly stated in the draft bill

China’s squeeze on Australian coal nothing to do with Huawei’s 5G ban. Really?
Beijing and Canberra have been at pains to deny that politics is behind the delays that have hit Australian coal imports. To sceptics, it’s a case of protesting too much

Huawei opens cybersecurity centre in Europe amid US efforts to ban firm’s 5G network gear
Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier, opened its new Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels on Tuesday, as the company pushes back on efforts by the US government to shut it out of 5G network gear markets around the world. Chinese tech giant urges regulators, standards organisations and telecoms carriers to work together in the new facility

Huawei goes on legal warpath with twin North American lawsuits
The legal offensive shows a more aggressive stance against the US government’s efforts to ban use of Huawei gear Countries are preparing to spend billions on 5G networks, enabling everything from smart highways to self-driving cars

Who is JW00237? The secret Canadian campaign to ban Huawei’s Chinese ‘spies’, and the anonymous official at its heart
Canadian immigration officer ‘JW00237’ branded three Huawei staff spies in 2016, an effort cast in new light by the US pursuit of the firm and CFO Meng Wanzhou Time-stamped documents obtained by the SCMP show the officer tried to veto all three unrelated applications in four days, processing two just 37 minutes apart

Meng, Kovrig & Spavor – Same Same But Different
So while Meng rightfully accesses the protections afforded to all suspects in Canada’s criminal justice system, including the right to zealously challenge the state’s case, Kovrig and Spavor have another three months to go in RSDL before they even find out what charges will be filed against them.

Meng, Kovrig & Spavor – Same Same But Different

China to Tap Artificial Intelligence to Elevate Manufacturing Sector
China wants to make better use of artificial intelligence (AI) to boost the country’s labor-intensive manufacturing industry up the value chain, according to an annual government work report released Tuesday.

China’s Tech Titans Bring AI, 5G to the Table at ‘Two Sessions’
Here’s what the country’s most accomplished tech executives are talking about at the year’s most important political meetings.

Chinese firm still keen on US electronics market after avoiding prosecution in LED display patent case
Sansi Electronic Engineering named in a patent infringement complaint by Ultravision Technologies regarding modular LED display panels and components Ultravision terminated the investigation after entering into a confidential agreement with Sansi, according to the US International Trade Commission

How a likely trade war resolution and the MSCI China weighting boost point to a rise in the yuan
Beijing may well accept a trade deal that specifically calls for a stronger yuan, while investors will look to buy more of the currency to fund increased holdings of A-shares

Goldman Sees More Gains in China’s Yuan as Economy Improves
The yuan’s rally has more room to run as China’s economic recovery picks up, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

China’s e-commerce giants are trying to penetrate the U.S. market
China’s $1 trillion online market may not be enough for homegrown giants Alibaba (BABA) and (JD). The country’s two biggest e-commerce players are now trying to appeal to businesses and customers in the United States.

Beijing smog: which industries were among the worst offenders, according to 2,000 top Chinese scientists?
Rate of coal consumption was four times national average and output of several industries was found to account for 40 per cent of national total Most bulk materials in the region were transported by diesel trucks

Everybody’s rushing for a Shenzhen address, betting tech investments will pick up in Greater Bay Area
Demand from tech firms for prime office space in Shenzhen will double to about 1.4 million square metres a year from 2020 to 2022, says JLL The IT cluster of Nanshan alone will account for 43 per cent, or 6.24 million square metres, of new office space expected by 2023

Office Depot and Alibaba team up to tap small and medium businesses

The partnership would give Alibaba access to Office Depot’s 10 million customers and 1,800 sales agents

China to slash mobile costs 30%, improve access to online services
The Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Image credit: Bigstock/BackyardProductions)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced plans on Tuesday to reduce mobile access costs by at least 30% nationwide as part of a broader push for the country’s digital transformation in a number of sectors, including healthcare, education, and sports.

China to slash mobile costs 30%, improve access to online services

Jobs, jobs, jobs: China focuses on quality of life as trade war and lower growth take toll
Premier Li Keqiang says the government will create 11 million new positions in urban areas and help disadvantaged groups join the workforce Plans are also afoot to cut mobile internet rates and expand childcare

Tencent’s WeChat created 22 million job opportunities in 2018 – report
Social media platform WeChat created more than 22 million job opportunities in 2018, 5.3 million of which drew the majority of income through the platform, according to a report published on Monday. Total job opportunities grew 10% compared with 2017, following steady average growth of more than 2 million positions per year since 2014. The report did not specify the proportion of jobs that were full-time, however, or average wages.

Tencent’s WeChat created 22 million job opportunities in 2018 – report

Chinese Estates, selling a single home last year, posts a 72 per cent plunge in profit as sales and equity investments shrink
Chinese Estates sold a single apartment unit last year in Hong Kong, amid a cooling market where a 28-month rally in home prices was stopped in its tracks by rising mortgage rates The solitary unit, which sold for HK$286.2 million, contributed HK$125.4 million to the developer’s bottom line

After Piraeus Project Blocked, Greek Foreign Minister Visits China
Despite a planned $580 million upgrade of the port of Piraeus by the Chinese company COSCO being blocked, Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, in Beijing, said Greece still wants better relations and investments.

After Piraeus Project Blocked, Greek Foreign Minister Visits China

China defends belt and road strategy against debt trap claims
National People’s Congress spokesman positive ahead of planned April summit for participants in the multibillion-dollar infrastructure scheme Backlash suggests deep-seated anxieties over Beijing’s strategic intentions

Jaw-Jaw: The geo-economic challenge of China’s Belt and Road Initiative
What exactly is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)? What is the place of BRI in Xi Jinping’s foreign policy? What countries are involved in this massive project, and what is the likelihood that the grandest ambitions of BRI will be realized? Is China actually not a maritime power, but, rather, an aspiring continental power? Nadège Rolland and Brad Carson discuss these issues and much more in the new episode of “Jaw-Jaw.”

Jaw-Jaw: The Geo-Economic Challenge of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China Hints At Surprise Space Station Launch, Says Its New Rocket Can Challenge SpaceX
China has hinted that its new space station could launch into orbit later this year, sooner than previously thought, on a commercial-grade rocket that is designed to be more affordable than private rocket launch companies such as SpaceX.

China Plans to Launch Its Own Mars Probe Next Year
China’s space agency plans to launch a probe to Mars next year, following its recent successful landing on the Moon’s far side, according to a statement from one of the country’s prominent space scientists

China blocks internet searches abroad as Xi under pressure ahead of major speech
Chinese authorities are tightening restrictions to foreign websites in renewed efforts to control the flow of information ahead of its set-piece annual parliamentary sessions.

How a global traveller came home to reconnect with China of his youth and preserve fading traditions
Photojournalist and art collector Keren Su never forgot the ‘living museum’ he encountered on a 6,800km bike ride across China nearly 40 years ago He built three lodges, the first a traditional wooden structure with no nails, that are cultural museums, art galleries and rustic rural stays rolled into one

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