China Press Review – May 18, 2018

Press review

China’s ‘promise’ to cut trade surplus with US by US$200 billion a year nothing more than rumour, state media says
Chinese vice-premier Liu He sits down with US President Donald Trump, but progress on talks ‘tough’, People’s Daily says
www.scmp.com

China scraps levy on US sorghum imports amid trade war talks
Analysts say it amounts to a goodwill gesture amid negotiations in Washington between the two nations aimed at resolving their increasingly volatile trade disputes
www.scmp.com

All signs point to an impending economic slowdown in China
Retail, property and fixed-asset investment growth have slowed down this year, while worsening trade ties with the US could weigh down the economy further
www.scmp.com

China’s Economy Is Too Frail to Force Open
U.S. trade negotiators should understand Beijing’s concerns over sweeping reforms.
www.bloomberg.com

How Shenzhen is taking on Silicon Valley at innovation
Once seen as a haven for cheap manufacturing and knock-offs, China’s Shenzhen has become a mecca for entrepreneurs, innovators and tech firms.

How Shenzhen is taking on Silicon Valley at innovation

Retail Imports Growing Despite Threat of Tariffs
Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to grow steadily throughout the summer despite the prospect of heavy tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Trackerreport released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Retail Imports Growing Despite Threat of Tariffs

Millenial demand for niche brands new focus for Taobao
Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce platform, will step up support for cool and unique stores as a way to tap demand among China’s young middle-class consumers, who are increasingly showing an appetite for the different and off-beat.
www.alizila.com

Alibaba Health to expand AI investments on improved sales, e-commerce services growth
Alibaba Health Information Technology plans to expand its investments in artificial intelligence and launch a range of new services, as growth in sales and e-commerce services lifted its revenue in the 12 months ended March 31.
www.scmp.com

Tmall launches offline consumer service center
Tmall has partnered with Alibaba Group-owned mall operator Intime on a new brick-and-mortar consumer-services center in Hangzhou.
www.alizila.com

Ping An Bank’s Bad Debt Unit Improves Non-Performing Loan Recovery Via Innovation
A year after Ping An Bank Co., Ltd. set up its bad loan asset management unit with more than 400 staff in late 2016, the bank reported that it had recovered non-performing assets of RMB9.53 billion (US$1.5 billion) in 2017, up 81.62% compared with the year before.

Ping An Bank’s Bad Debt Unit Improves Non-Performing Loan Recovery Via Innovation

China approves Toshiba’s sale of US$18 billion chip unit to Bain-led group
The anti-monopoly review had been the last and biggest hurdle to a successful sale of Toshiba Memory
www.scmp.com

China local govt firm fails to repay $629 mln loans in rare default – sources
A firm controlled by a city government in China’s Inner Mongolia region has failed to make interest and principal payments on nearly 4 billion yuan ($629 million) in off-balance sheet loans, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
www.reuters.com

China’s steel mills turn to scrap as polluting industries are told to clean up their act
Crackdown on pollution sees steel producers recycling waste products rather than relying on carbon-intensive blast furnaces
www.scmp.com

China ups war on waste with prizes for Beijing households sorting their own rubbish and recycling
Points earned for accurately classifying rubbish for collection can be exchanged for rewards including toilet paper and seasoning boxes in capital’s pilot scheme
www.scmp.com

Why China is Beating the United States in its Own Backyard
Beijing’s more comprehensive approach to the region is resulting in significant inroads at Washington’s expense. It is often said that the concept of power in the international arena has been shifting, and that China is the best example of it. Irrespective of the challenges that remain for Beijing, it is clear that, for years now, the Asian giant has used international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) as tools to extend its influence over its own neighborhood, and others further afield. With investment in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America, Chinese companies – public and private – now hold about 11 percent of all FDI assets globally, second only to the United States. Nowhere is that clearer than in Latin America, which, as the United States’ traditional neighborhood, is one of the key battlegrounds where any notion of a U.S.-China rivalry will play out.
thediplomat.com

The role of offshore investment for China’s Belt & Road project
The Belt & Road initiative needs offshore investment to succeed, says Elise Donovan, Director, BVI House Asia.
www.globallegalpost.com

Eurasian connectivity: the EU and India enter the fray
In an effort to mitigate the geopolitical impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the European Union and India are considering their own infrastructure plans for greater integration of the Eurasian supercontinent.
www.atimes.com

Belt and Road offers path into China for foreign financial firms

Investors offer vital funding for projects with eye toward looser ownership rules
asia.nikkei.com

Belt and Road offers small Chinese cities new opportunity, but challenges remain
When eastern coastal cities in China embraced the nation’s opening-up back in the 1980s, some cities in South China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region were still struggling with poverty and the after-effects of a brief war.
www.globaltimes.cn/content/1102850.shtml

Georgia to seek hub status in Belt, Road
The nation of Georgia hopes to become a logistics hub between Europe and Asia within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Georgian diplomat said in an exclusive interview.
www.ecns.cn/business/2018/05-18/303062.shtml

China wants US firms to join Belt and Road Initiative despite Washington’s doubts over project
Beijing tries to generate interest in flagship scheme as it seeks support from American businesses amid ongoing trade tensions
www.scmp.com

What do emerging market currency woes mean for China?
In the week since Argentina sought IMF help to arrest a sharp fall in the peso, the Turkish lira, Hong Kong dollar and Indonesian rupiah have all needed official pledges of support after similar plunges
www.ecns.cn/business/2018/05-18/303081.shtml

Analysis: How risky is our dependence on China?
About 73 per cent of Australia’s exports go to Asia. China is our biggest export partner. But with fresh doubts cast over US-China trade negotiations, what could a knock to China’s growth do to our own?
www.mortgagebusiness.com

Inheriting Li Ka-shing’s empire: The two men to watch
Hong Kong tycoon’s retirement leaves void at CK Hutchison
asia.nikkei.com

How a sleepy farming hamlet in rural Jiangsu became China’s thriving lingerie capital
Guanyun used to be known for growing wheat and rice but now it is the centre of a multimillion-dollar manufacturing industry built on racy underwear
www.scmp.com

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Bitcoin Is A Bubble, While Blockchain Is Not
“Blockchain is now a hot word. First, blockchain is not a bubble, but Bitcoin is a bubble. Bitcoin is just a tiny application of blockchain,” Ma said. “Blockchain is not a huge gold mine. At least inside Alibaba, blockchain must be a solution that addresses the privacy and security issues in the digital era.”

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Says Bitcoin Is A Bubble, While Blockchain Is Not

An Official Report In China Ranks Ethereum As Top Public Blockchain, Bitcoin Ranks 13th
A global public blockchain ranking published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology found Ethereum as the top public blockchain. Bitcoin, the most mainstream cryptocurrency with the highest market capitalization, was ranked 13th in this report.

An Official Report In China Ranks Ethereum As Top Public Blockchain, Bitcoin Ranks 13th

OneSpace Launches China’s First Privately Produced Rocket In Sub-orbital Test
OneSpace Technology, China’s first private rocket producer, has successfully launched its first single-stage OS-X solid rocket earlier today, according to state media reports, marking an important step for China’s nascent commercial launch industry.

OneSpace Launches China’s First Privately Produced Rocket In Sub-orbital Test

Chinese firm has assets frozen by France over links to Syrian chemical weapons programme
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is due to soon release a fact-finding report into the suspected Douma attack
www.scmp.com

China tipped to profit after Donald Trump quits Iran nuclear deal
Threat of US sanctions could drive out European and Japanese investors, increasing opportunities for Chinese firms, particularly in the oil sector, analysts suggest
www.scmp.com

Coming to a cinema near you – Chinese debtors ‘reel of shame’

Movie theatres in a county in Sichuan province showing short clips before the main film naming local people who have failed to pay off debts
www.scmp.com

—————————————–
Alain Gillard
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