China Press Review – May 11, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: China faces historic test as pandemic stokes fears of looming unemployment crisis
For the first time in decades, China’s labour market is under pressure on multiple fronts as the economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus     Communist Party leaders fret that swelling unemployment could develop into social unrest, threatening its grip on power

Coronavirus: China risks being left out of new global economic order, Beijing’s former trade chief warns
Long Yongtu, who led China’s negotiations to enter the World Trade Organisation, has warned Beijing to be alert to the risk of geopolitical isolation    His voice adds to a chorus of warnings from former officials and advisers about China’s position in the post-coronavirus world

Coronavirus has created a rift between the US and China that may take a generation to heal
novel coronavirus has destroyed lives and livelihoods in both the United States and China. But instead of bonding the two nations together to fight the pandemic, it has sent their already strained relations on a rapid downward spiral — and fanned the flames of a potentially dangerous strain of nationalism.

The US dollar’s draw as a safe haven is likely to end when the coronavirus crisis does
For as long as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, dollar dominion is not in doubt    But if US economic data continues to deteriorate and the Fed comes under pressure to adopt a negative rate, investors will look for better returns elsewhere at the first opportunity

China’s purchases of US goods will fall way short of ‘phase one’ trade deal due to the coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic will cause China’s purchases of U.S. goods this year to fall way short of what was agreed to in the “phase one” trade deal, according to a forecast by think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Pandemic mires European Union’s market drive into China
A landmark September summit with the leaders of China and the European Union appears to be off, possibly putting an investment agreement on the back burner    As the bloc struggles to speak with one voice on China, objections are growing around the continent to Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus

Chinese investments in US dip to lowest level since 2009 with outlook for 2020 bleak amid global pandemic
A combination of US restrictions, Beijing’s outbound capital regulations and the uncertainty around the US-China relationship contributed to the pullback     The outlook for 2020 is bleak as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the global economy

The second quarter will see the ‘worst economic damage’: Strategist
Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank says the global economy will not snap back as strongly as most are hoping for in the second half of this year. He says cash preservation will be the order of the day before business and consumer confidence recover to pre-coronavirus level

How COVID-19 Exposed the Little Troubles With China’s Big Data Push
China has spent a decade investing in big data. But despite some notable successes, the coronavirus showed the industry still isn’t ready for prime time.  Over the past decade, China has invested heavily in the emerging field of big data. Massive data centers have been built in remote interior provinces like Guizhou and Gansu, and the national government has outlined plans for a national patient information platform. Officials view these investments as part of a broader program to improve social management, modernize governance, and build a smarter society by leveraging the vast quantities of information generated by our digital society. By 2018, the market for such services was worth an estimated 600 billion yuan ($93 billion).

E-commerce, live-streaming help drive recovery in China’s retail scene amid coronavirus slump
Online sales of physical goods surged 36.3 per cent year-on-year during the Labour Day holiday in China    Total retail sales of consumer goods fell by 20.5 per cent year-on-year nominally in the first two months of the year

How the coronavirus pandemic can help us prepare for the next predictable surprise – the climate crisis
Our chaotic global management of the Covid-19 pandemic is a warning that we must better prepare for the coming climate crisis. But will our political and business leaders listen?

Coronavirus: evidence of demand shock wave to China’s economy piles up, as South Korean exports collapse
South Korean exports plunged 46.3 per cent in the first 10 days of May, sparking fears that a second hit to China’s economy is on the way   Cancelled ship sailings, plunging metals exports and diverging air and sea freight rates all paint an ominous picture for the future of China’s economy

Facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression
Three months into the COVID-19 crisis, the world is not only facing a pandemic that keeps claiming lives, but also the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. Growth has turned negative, unemployment keeps rising, trade is collapsing, capital flows are fleeing emerging markets, and remittances are falling.The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global economy particularly hard because it arrived during a mega geopolitical battle. Many forget that our modern and open civilisation depends on a poorly institutionalised global interdependence. The interconnected economy and any sense of common global destiny are being tested. Leaders of great powers are adding to the global risks. Fortunately, past investment in global institutions and webs of bilateral and regional relations are providing a partial safety net, even if they cannot provide the strategic vision that humanity now needs.

Inside China Tech: China’s business (and smog) comes back
Some of our top stories this week show how China’s economy is recovering as the country emerges from its coronavirus lockdowns    At the same time, satellite images and air quality index data show that hazy air is returning to parts of China as production resumes

China’s agreement to buy US products becomes key to saving trade deal
Covid-19 outbreak has increased the importance of implementing this aspect of the interim agreement, according to sources on both sides     Senior officials have promised to work to save the deal after Donald Trump threatened to walk away unless China sticks to its commitments

Sweden’s Ericsson raises forecast for global 5G subscriptions to 2.8 billion by 2025
The Swedish telecoms equipment maker raised its forecast because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made more people work remotely   Ericsson and Finnish rival Nokia compete worldwide against China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp

How China’s Belt and Road Initiative Went Astray
In taking on geopolitical overtones, the BRI has become alienated from its original economic purpose.   The most fundamental reason for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) lies in optimizing China’s domestic economic development model, economic structure, and industrial sector, as well as solving the historical problems left over after the rapid development of the Chinese economy from 2000 to 2010.  However, seven years after it was first announced, the continued advancement of the BRI is facing increasing resistance. In practice, the development of the entire initiative has deviated from the original strategic goal, as seen through two points. First, resource investment between the “Silk Road Economic Belt” (the “Belt”) and the “Maritime Silk Road” (the “Road”) is too unbalanced. In other words, the Maritime Silk Road has monopolized too many policies and material resources. Second, the implementation of the BRI overemphasizes “infrastructure connectivity.” As a result, the original grand and all-encompassing national strategy degenerated into a simple juxtaposition of “state-owned enterprises plus infrastructure.” Most importantly, the alienation of the BRI from its original goals poses huge challenges to the development prospects of the entire project.   Comparing the initial strategic background of the BRI and its current development trend, we believe that the BRI is at a crucial point of decisive significance. China has to address this problem squarely and make appropriate policy responses in a timely manner to correct and adjust course.

Will the coronavirus pandemic derail Japan’s economy as it extends emergency measures?
Not only will the restrictions on person-to-person contact shrink domestic consumer spending, but Covid-19’s impact on Japan’s trading partners will also hit exports hard

Japan puts Toyota, Sony and 516 other firms on ‘national security’ list to counter China risk, foreign raiders
Foreigners buying 1 per cent or more in core firms face tighter investment scrutiny, versus previous threshold of 10 per cent   Japan takes step in line with measures adopted by US, Europe and others to counter China security risk

Trump’s bet on jobs unravels on America’s worst slump since the Great Depression, as does his path back to the White House
The collapse of the US jobs market robs Trump of his chief argument for re-election and will fuel his drive to quickly “reopen” the US economy, even as solid majorities of Americans are reluctant to return to public life    One decades-old formula, from Yale economist Ray Fair, estimates that each percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate costs the incumbent 2.3 points in vote share come Election Day

China’s banks extended 1.7 trillion yuan of new loans in April, beating expectations
Chinese banks extended 1.7 trillion yuan (US$240 billion) in new loans in April, down from March but beating analyst expectations   Broad M2 money supply in April grew 11.1 per cent from a year earlier, while outstanding yuan loans grew 13.1 per cent from a year earlier

How Will China Shape Global Governance?
China, the U.S., and other countries may not agree on every issue across the international agenda and indeed hold different values and interests. However, as this current pandemic demonstrates, they must work together and find common approaches to global issues. Many multilateral institutions are antiquated, ineffective, and unreflective of current geopolitical realities. The pandemic could inspire a new wave of multilateralism, wherein countries like China and the U.S. collaborate to rewrite global rules. But if these leading powers do not spearhead international cooperation, other countries cannot follow. The U.S. and the EU should rethink their own common identity based on shared values and strengthen their alliance to counterbalance China’s augmented influence. They also must be cognizant that global governance remains a hotly contested issue and will continue to evolve, mirroring changes in the international system and accommodating the emergence of rising powers like China and its interests.

Coronavirus: Chinese official admits health system weaknesses
The coronavirus pandemic is a “big test” that has exposed weaknesses in China’s public health system, a senior official has told Chinese media.

Coronavirus: Two antibodies identified for potential drug treatment by Chinese scientists
The antibodies were found to work together as a team to prevent the virus from binding to a host cell   Researchers say that could help target different strains that evolve as virus spreads

New Chinese Covid-19 cases raise fears of fresh wave of infections as disease returns to Wuhan
Shulan city in country’s northeast goes into ‘wartime mode’ after a spike in cases, while the capital of Hubei province records six cases in a residential community Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first identified, says it has sacked an official for mishandling disease controls

Chinese City Resumes Lockdown After COVID-19 Cluster Detected
Shulan becomes the latest city in China’s northeast to impose movement restrictions on residents after a dozen people were diagnosed with the coronavirus over the weekend.A city in northeastern China has re-imposed lockdown measures after diagnosing 12 new COVID-19 cases in three days, state-run newspaper People’s Daily reported Monday.

Wuhan lab chiefs insist facility is secure as coronavirus claims circulate
The head of the biosafety laboratory tells a scientific daily that it follows strict measures to ensure no virus can leave   Staff have to follow stringent safety procedures and waste products have to be handled with the utmost care

COVID-19 fuels global health tensions
As of 10 May over four million COVID-19 cases had been reported worldwide, with 280,000 confirmed deaths. The pandemic has highlighted the need for strong national health systems and regional infectious disease monitoring. Rising global health tensions urge the need for governments to prioritise international mechanisms that promote affordable access to new treatments and vaccines.

The COVID-19 pandemic pulls at the seams of Southeast Asia
The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be yet to come for many Southeast Asian countries, though some, such as Vietnam, have seen relative success in containing the virus.

Australia’s diplomatic COVID-19 self-isolation
Australia’s domestic response to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis has brought plaudits at home and from around the world, especially from commentators in the United States.

China Is Defensive. The U.S. Is Absent. Can the Rest of the World Fill the Void?
Smaller countries like Australia are trying to build a new kind of alliance, by first investigating what went wrong in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Is This the End of Luxury?
While many so-called “experts” predict that luxury is on its way out, Dr. Langer believes it’s the right time for brands to indulge, inspire, and innovateLast week, Bain & Company published a study predicting the collapse of the luxury sector with a drop of -35%. Apart from the impact of the lockdowns, frugality and a shift towards more cautious spending were cited as reasons. Bain expects that the luxury market will need at least three years to get back to 2019 levels. This was not welcome news to luxury CEOs, and many so-called “experts,” who indulge in amplifying negativity, popped out of their quarantine bubbles, predicting that what we are now seeing is the end of luxury as we know it.

Navigating Tmall: A Guide For Luxury
If your brand is new to selling online in China, Jing Daily breaks down the different platforms on the country’s largest online e-commerce During the COVID-19 outbreak, online sales emerged as the most viable way for brands to weather this unprecedented crisis. Brands that are new to China’s online marketplace should opt for digital sales channels with built-in infrastructures that allow them to jump in quickly and easily. For this, they must choose between Tmall (the country’s largest luxury competitor),, and a smaller, domestic company like Pinduoduo. WeChat is even an option.

From Bruce Lee to L’Oreal, China is pumping up optimism for court cases against intellectual-property thieves
A slew of recent court rulings point to improved attitude towards defending foreign owners of iconic trademarks and patents    Authorities have also tightened curb to rampant “trademark squatting” by reviewing the first-to-file patent system

US imposes fresh visa restrictions on Chinese journalists as media once again finds itself a target
Ninety day limit on Chinese citizens is latest in series of tit-for-tat measures targeting reporters and news outlets from Washington and Beijing      New York Times Beijing bureau chief Chris Buckley became latest foreign reporter forced to leave country on Friday

PM asks for more efforts for Vietnam to achieve 5% growth rate in 2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has proposed for greater efforts for Vietnam to achieve the  GDP growth rate of over 5 per cent and keep inflation under 4 per cent this year.

Pakistan’s Khan Botches Pandemic Response
Politics, not policy rules reaction   It is increasingly clear that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has massively mishandled the Covid-19 coronavirus, with more than 28,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in Pakistan and 636 deaths, probably a fraction of the real number given one of the lowest testing and tracking efforts among major nations.   The Pakistan Army has distributed more than 350,000 food parcels so far to the affected people. Still, the need is huge. Humanitarian organizations and churches are doing their best by providing food items to poor families across the country. However, a collective fight is necessary. It is time for national unity and looking after each other. The rich members of society must come forward to offer support to those who are struggling with daily bread.  The situation is grave and there are difficult times ahead. Therefore, the Daily Times warns that the Covid-19 pandemic tells a lot about a country’s ability to handle the current crisis, and also deliver valuable lessons on what certain countries need to work on once this pandemic is over.

Epicenter of COVID-19 shifts to emerging economies from developed world
Outbreaks in heavily indebted countries pose risk to global economy

With the coronavirus imperilling belt and road borrowers, China must not simply write off debt
Forgiving the debt will not only send the wrong message, and it will discourage China from making further infrastructure loans   Debt-to-equity conversion could allow China to change the nature of the Belt and Road Initiative by turning it into super-sovereign wealth fund

China proposes fast-track entry for Japanese business travelers
Arrangement lets in fliers who test negative for COVID-19

China tries to calm ‘nationalist fever’ as calls for invasion of Taiwan grow
Loud calls on social media urge Beijing to strike while world is busy with coronavirus crisis, but observers say the authorities do not want to be rushed    A recent article in an influential Communist Party journal drew on parallels with the 17th century conquest of the island to highlight need for patience

Coronavirus spares China’s armed forces but disrupts PLA modernisation plans
People’s Liberation Army has officially recorded no infections but disease fears have delayed recruitment, training and operations    Analysts say Sars experience guided military’s prompt response, but combat effectiveness has been affected

Key figure in China luxury villa corruption scandal goes on trial, accused of taking tens of millions of US dollars in bribes
Former Shaanxi boss accused of taking pribes from contractors and people who sought job promotions   Zhao Zhengyong allegedly abused his position to benefit contractors

Shanghai Disney Reopens to Smiles and Social Distancing
Patrons were low in numbers but high in spirits on the first day back since the park closed in January amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

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