China Press Review – May 11, 2018

Press review

China moves to strengthen financial ties to Japan in face of US trade war threat
East Asian neighbours try to overcome legacy of mistrust by unveiling plans to improve links between their economies

Trump Is Right on China But Wrong on Tariffs
Unlike previous presidents, he dispenses with the lie that economic growth will make Beijing a better global citizen.

US hopes to narrow wide gap in China talks
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday he hopes to see progress to reduce large differences with China in trade talks where hundreds of billions of dollars in commerce are at stake.

US and China will go for Round 2 of trade talks next week
The United States and China will hold a new round of trade talks after no breakthroughs emerged from their first meeting.

China April new loans rise to 1.18 trln yuan
Chinese banks extended 1.18 trillion yuan ($186.37 billion) in net new yuan loans in April, up slightly from March and higher than expectations, as policymakers look to support the economy as it faces fresh risks from U.S. trade threats

The three weaknesses
Our prediction has always been that the Chinese economy is solid, until the day when suddenly it’s not. What could shift the status quo? The three most likely factors are property, debt and trade war, and on all three fronts we saw developments this week.

The three weaknesses

As trade tensions rise, Chinese investors move away from high-profile US properties to avoid Beijing’s wrath
Lesser known US assets that offer slow but steady returns – and are less likely to catch the eye of a vengeful Chinese government – are now more attractive to Chinese investors, analysts say

EU officials hopeful after China makes a ‘political commitment’ to expand firms’ access to markets
The optimistic tone of talks between EU and Beijing officials contrasted with the chill that growing China-US tensions have put into the global trade climate

Trump chaos breeds better EU-China relations
Trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem is key to forming the EU’s China policy – along with Jyrki Katainen, commissioner for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness

The Coming Anti-China Indo-Pacific alliance
France’s young President Emmanuel Macron has lately been at the forefront of establishing an “Indo-Pacific” alliance, an arrangement of countries (India, Australian, Japan and the US), many of whom also have deep trade relations with China, but who also want to prevent their relationship from turning into overdependence.

The Coming Anti-China Indo-Pacific alliance

Is the South China Sea Dispute a Foregone Conclusion?
China has gained an irreversible advantage in the South China Sea.

DealBook Briefing: How China Is Trying to Head Off Its Own Financial Crisis
Tough jail sentences and the demises of shadow lenders are signs that Beijing is seeking to deal with a debt problem.

China factory inflation decline halted as consumer prices ease
Five-month streak of declines pauses and consumer price index rises but marginally below forecasts

China’s fast climb up the value chain

From high-tech unicorns to specialty chemicals, the country’s economy is moving swiftly beyond its lower-margin roots

From the world’s workshop to the world’s tech hub: China’s economic leap forward
The Chinese government believes that it can become the top tech nation in the world sooner rather than later. Some milestones have already been met with more in sight as China looks to surpass the US, Japan and Korea.

Tech unicorns and socialist innovation in China

American investors are salivating as a wave of Chinese tech “unicorns” (private startup corporations worth over $1 billion) are set to go public. Lufax, the online entertainment group and lender, Xiaomi, the cell phone manufacturer, and the giant known as Didi Chuxing Technology are all in the process of making an initial public offering. A headline in the Wall Street Journal proclaims: “China’s Biggest Tech Unicorns Stampede to Go Public.”

ZTE suspends smartphone sales, after-sale services to comply with US ban
ZTE was slapped with a seven-year ban prohibiting any of its agents to have any business transactions with the US

Chinese telecoms giant ZTE fears collapse
Will ZTE be the first major commercial casualty of the ongoing trade dispute between China and the US? The telecoms giant issued a bleak statement on Wednesday, saying it had ceased major operations as a US ban bites.

Singapore’s GLP will do something it has never done before with this US$1.6 billion private equity fund

Asia’s biggest warehouse operator, Global Logistic Properties, has established a 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) private equity fund in China, in line with its strategy to pioneer a “technology-led logistics ecosystem”, according to a company statement.

Can China’s ‘WeChat Diaspora’ Pioneer Mobile Payment in the US?
Gray-market transactions driven mainly by American Chinese communities cater to the growing demand for rapid, convenient smartphone payments.

China Focus: China’s new VAT rate cut fuels real economy
According to China’s State Council, the country will cut VAT rates as part of a tax reduction package amounting to 400 billion yuan this year.

BCG: China to Drive 70 Percent of Global Luxury Spending in 2018
According to True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight, the fifth edition of an annual report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Altagamma, Chinese consumers already make up 32 percent of the global luxury market- a number predicted to rise to 40 percent by 2024.

10 Luxury Brands Share the Digital Love This Mother’s Day
Read below to discover Jing Daily’s pick of the ten most creative WeChat marketing campaigns delivered by international luxury brands this Mother’s Day. The list is in alphabetical order.

10 Luxury Brands Share the Digital Love This Mother’s Day

Hong Kong’s Economy Continues to Defy Gravity
Hong Kong’s high-wire economy continued to defy gravity, putting aside fears of a tightening Fed to post its best quarter of growth in almost seven years.

China Enlists U.N. to Promote Its Belt and Road Project
Top United Nations officials are helping sell Xi Jinping’s signature foreign-policy initiative.
China Enlists U.N. to Promote Its Belt and Road Project

Lenders look to Belt & Road
Chinese loan bankers are pinning their hopes on President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative in search of an alternative growth engine amid a regulatory squeeze on outbound acquisitions.

Belt and Road Initiative attracting car manufacturers in Pakistan
The local assembly of Mercedes‐Benz trucks by NLC will mark a major shift in the domestic logistics and transportation industry towards European manufacturers, who offer technologically advanced products that combine superior performance, environment friendliness, reliability and road safety.

Belt and Road Initiative attracting car manufacturers in Pakistan

Baku’s new silk road can connect Europe to the east
At the heart of a 21st-century silk route connecting Asia and Europe, Baku is the natural geographic meeting point for east and west. An ancient city on the original silk road, the city now has its eyes on becoming a free trade zone modelled on Dubai.

For Better or Worse, Africa’s Digital Future is Tied to China
China’s infrastructure-building spree in Africa is now visible in dozens of countries across the continent. Big signs that advertise the names of Chinese state-owned contractors hang over construction sites for roads, railways, airports, and other projects. But out of sight, the Chinese are also leading another infrastructure building boom that is just as important, if not more, than the thousands of kilometers of roads they’re building.

Chinese listed companies propose to pay investors record 1 trillion yuan in cash dividends
Payout accounts for 32pc of combined profit generated by mainland-listed companies

Cross Border e-Commerce in China: Regulatory Updates and Trends
With cross border e-Commerce (CBEC) taking an increasing bigger share of the total import and export market, it is of no surprise that the government has taken CBEC regulations more seriously. As consumer complaints and industry speculation over unfair competition increase, regulatory authorities have taken notice. Foreign companies seeking to pursue business opportunities in China’s booming CBEC market, especially those do not have a business entity in China, need to closely examine the fast changing CBEC rules and regulations.

Cross Border e-Commerce in China: Regulatory Updates and Trends

Tencent’s WeChat Reportedly Removes First Blockchain Mini-Program From Social App
Tencent Holdings’ WeChat app has reportedly removed the first blockchain-based mini-program from its mobile app, because the mini-program operates in areas that is not available on the platform currently, according to screenshots circulating on the Internet today.

Tencent’s WeChat Reportedly Removes First Blockchain Mini-Program From Social App

Here’s what China is doing to boost its artificial intelligence capabilities
The development of AI, seen as one of the key drivers of economic growth in the new economy, has been one of China’s national priorities since July 2017

China’s AVIC Capital To Jointly Set Up $1.58B Local “Bad Bank” In Chengdu
The firm, named Chengdu Yihang Asset Management, will invest in and manage non-performing assets of financial and non-financial institutions. It is one of the latest local AMC to be established after 57 local AMCs have been set up by local city and provincial governments since 2014 when this type of entities are allowed to be formed.

China’s AVIC Capital To Jointly Set Up $1.58B Local “Bad Bank” In Chengdu

Chinese Biotech Firm Ascletis First To File For Hong Kong IPO Under New Listing Rules
Ascletis Pharma, a Hangzhou-based biotechnology firm, has filed to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, making it the first company to exploit the new and more accommodating listing rules in the city, an IPO prospectus published by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange showed.

Chinese Biotech Firm Ascletis First To File For Hong Kong IPO Under New Listing Rules

Could you resist the plea of this poor Chinese fruit farmer? Clue: you probably should

Authorities launch investigation after image of ‘Overstock Grandpa’ and emotional tag line become ubiquitous in online vendors’ adverts

Didi Chuxing Faces Government Warning After Passenger Murdered
China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is facing a strong backlash from both government and media after a Didi driver in Zhengzhou was suspected of raping and murdering a female passenger earlier this week.

Didi Chuxing Faces Government Warning After Passenger Murdered

China plans a massive deep-water port and industrial zone

Myanmar is concerned the project will overload it with debt The town of Kyaukpyu, nestled around a small fishing port on the Bay of Bengal, has the air of a place expecting to get rich soon.

Rebuilding after Sichuan earthquake, one brick and one life at a time
Billions have been spent on communities torn apart by the May 12 earthquake 10 years ago but the destruction from that day still casts a long shadow over the disaster zone

China’s war on pollution targets illegal waste dumping
Latest environmental crackdown sees city mayors summoned to Beijing to account for failures to tackle problem

Ex-Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui’s reversal of fortune and the questions left unanswered

Wu Xiaohui, the glamorous, high-profile financier behind the insurance giant Anbang, was known for his good connections. Having married a granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, he rubbed shoulders with political and business elites, both in China and abroad.

Former Anbang Insurance Boss Wu Xiaohui Sentenced To Imprisonment And Asset Confiscation
The Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court made a public verdict on former Anbang Insurance Group boss Wu Xiaohui regarding his fundraising fraud and infringement case, sentencing Wu long-term imprisonment and confiscation of property, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported.

Former Anbang Insurance Boss Wu Xiaohui Sentenced To Imprisonment And Asset Confiscation

Even the royal family knows the future is Chinese
There was a time when classrooms were dominated by the ‘3 Rs’, reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Now, the focus is on Mandarin. And it’s not just the privileged kids in boaters learning this Chinese language – the subject is being taught to state school children from the poorest areas. This is a smart move as all eyes are on China. Gone are the days when English was the global language and we only needed to learn a smattering of French to help us on our holidays.

How China uses ‘Digital Leninism’ to secure communist rule
Sebastian Heilmann, a German academic, said recently that China has been promoting the digital economy in order to fix the mistakes of its former planned economic policies and secure communist rule by enhancing mass surveillance.

‘First victim’ of China’s new anti-graft agency was ‘left disfigured’ after he collapsed and died during interrogation
Former local government driver had been detained last month as part of investigation into official by super agency

Chinese broadcaster loses Eurovision rights over LGBT censorship
Mango TV blacked out performance featuring two male dancers during semi-final

Marvel get its first official Chinese superheroes
The first ever Chinese superheroes have officially entered the Marvel universe.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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Twitter: @alaingillard
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