President Xi says China is willing and open for new free-trade deals in speech to Apec CEOs
Days after China and 14 other countries signed RCEP, Xi says his government does not want decoupling or to exclude other countries. US President Trump is expected to make an appearance at Apec on Friday, a sign that Washington-Beijing rivalries may come to the fore.
President Xi at Apec: China pledges to open up its ‘super-sized’ economy
Chinese president Xi Jinping has said China will open up its “super-sized” economy to import more high-quality goods and services.
Asia Isn’t Waiting
While the rest of the world retreats from globalization, trade, and all the other things that have brought so much prosperity to the world over the past 50 years, Asia has decided they’re moving forward.
This past week, 15 nations in Asia signed the world’s largest trade agreement. The U.S. was nowhere to be seen. This new pact, titled the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has been brewing for eight years. RCEP will use a single set of rules to replace bilateral trade agreements and trim tariffs. Notably, this agreement will make the Asia-Pacific region the largest trading zone on the globe—eclipsing both North America and the European Union. Economists have estimated that RCEP will increase global GDP by $186 billion by 2030.
China’s Xi Jinping touts collaboration despite escalating tensions
The Chinese president pledged to continue opening up the economy at a virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. But critics were quick to point out China’s lack of progress on previous reform commitments.
What is China’s dual circulation economic strategy and why is it important?
China’s emphasis on growth through exports is being bolstered by a focus on domestic demand as the international trade environment comes less supportive The coronavirus has highlighted the risks and vulnerabilities inherent in deep trade integration, spurring countries to reduce their reliance on other economies
The fault lines in China’s economy have been exposed
There have always been concerns about the levels of leverage in China’s corporate sector and within its local governments. China’s overall debt-to-GDP ratio is over 300 per cent and climbing.
Chinese tech group joins list of companies to default on bond issue
A Chinese state-backed technology group is the latest company to default on a domestic bond issue, denting Beijing’s ambitions to build a “self-reliant” semiconductor sector and further agitating the world’s second largest bond market, reported the Financial Times. Unigroup International Holdings said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange that semiconductor company Tsinghua Unigroup “was not able to redeem” its RMB 1.3 billion ($198 million) bond due on November 16, triggering a default.
Tsinghua Unigroup, a national champion, is ultimately controlled by Beijing-based Tsinghua university, China’s most prestigious engineering school. The company has received tens of billions of dollars in government support as President Xi Jinping’s administration ramped up efforts to wean the domestic semiconductor sector off US technology, said the FT. The National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors said it had discovered issues of “inadequate implementation of rules, imperfect internal control mechanisms and irregular business operations” during debt issuance by market institutions. It added that some had “emphasized business development and neglected compliance”.
China sells bonds at a negative rate for the first time
Strong investor interest as 4bn-euro issue attracts bids worth 17bn euros China, whose bonds have been a magnet for global investors because of their relatively high returns, has for the first time sold government debt at a negative interest rate — joining the “club” of nations that are seeming to defy economic logic by in effect getting investors to pay to lend them money. The negative yield for the five-year tranche compares with a 3.17% yield offered by the country’s yuan-denominated five-year bond. Globally, the universe of negative-yielding bonds now stands at more than $17 trillion. China is diversifying its bond currency mix away from the U.S. dollar and the yuan, and the latest deal follows a 4-billion-euro offering of seven-, 12- and 20-year maturities last year, the first since 2004. The Eurobond offering by China comes as nearly all the short- and medium-term eurozone government debt now carries negative rates, meaning investors in effect pay to own it.
China dumps US Treasuries for fifth consecutive month, sending holdings to lowest level since February 2017
China’s US Treasury holdings fell to the lowest level since February 2017, at the same time as tensions between the two nations continued to ratchet up China’s spending spree on Japanese government bonds continued, up 73 per cent over the first nine months of 2020 compared to a year earlier
China shifted some borrowing to companies as it fought the pandemic
A new report suggests Beijing has been successful in shifting some government borrowing to the corporate sector, as it has enlisted companies to help limit economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Wall Street Journal. Growth in overall debt has accelerated this year in China, as it has all around the world. But unlike last year, when government borrowing drove the rise in China’s total debt burden, the biggest driver was nonfinancial corporate debt, according to a report released Wednesday by the Washington-based Institute of International Finance. Nonfinancial corporate borrowing soared to over 165% of China’s gross domestic product in the third quarter this year, from 150% of GDP in the year-earlier quarter, said the IIF, an association of global financial firms which bases its findings on data from international financial institutions, including the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, reported the WSJ.According to the IIF’s estimate, China’s total debt topped 335% of GDP in the quarter. That compares with 302% at the end of last year. In 2011, the ratio was 200%, according to the IIF.
China to cut tariffs, boost imports of high-quality goods and services: Xi
China will continue to cut its tariffs and expand imports of high-quality goods and services, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while vowing to push reforms and promote an innovation-driven growth model. “We will further reduce tariffs and institutional costs…, and expand imports of high-quality products and services from all countries,” Xi said in a keynote speech delivered via video at the APEC CEO Dialogues, ahead of a leaders’ virtual summit on the future of international cooperation on Friday. China will pursue higher quality growth through its “dual circulation” development model, driven by technological innovation, Xi said.
Xi says China must rely on innovation-driven growth model
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that China must rely on a growth model driven by innovation while continuing to deepen supply-side reforms, reported Reuters. Xi also called for stronger policy coordination among international communities, saying globalization is “irreversible” and that China will not engage in “de-coupling”.
Xi made the comments in a keynote speech delivered via video at the APEC CEO Dialogues, ahead of a leaders’ virtual summit on the future of international cooperation on Friday.
How Can the U.S. Maintain Global Leadership in Science and Technology?
Among the central issues the incoming U.S. presidential administration will face as it formulates policy toward China is the interconnectedness between the two countries in the spheres of science and technology. U.S. concerns over national security, trade practices, intellectual property, espionage, transparency, and human rights all have contributed to calls for everything from a reassessment of the value of a global scientific commons to outright “decoupling” of scientific research and development between the two countries.A newly released report, authored by a group convened by the University of California, San Diego’s 21st Century China Center and our colleagues at the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations, offers recommendations for how U.S. policy ought to address challenges to national security and economic strength across four domains of science and technology: fundamental research, 5G broadband communications, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. We asked members of the working group how they think the U.S. should maintain scientific leadership (and to what extent its edge has eroded), and how to best manage the risks in collaborating on science and technology research, investment, and standards against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between the two countries. — https://www.chinafile.com/conversation/how-can-us-maintain-global-leadership-science-and-technology
China Singles’ Day: do record sales really show a rebound in consumer spending?
Analysts are split over whether this year’s record Singles’ Day shopping spree represents a rebound in consumption in China Many economists say the surge in spending does not alter the overall trend of subdued consumer spending growth in the country
NEW CONSUMPTION PATTERNS, DIGITAL INNOVATIONS HALLMARKS OF THIS YEAR’S 11.11
The approach yielded strong results, with a record 250,000 brands and over 800 million consumers participating, and gross merchandise volume also at an all-time high of $74.1 billion. Older consumers – those at the tail-end of the Baby Boomer generation and Gen-Xers – featured more prominently in this year’s event, their numbers spiking by 300% from last year. That older shoppers were coming online in greater numbers was noted earlier this year by Alibaba’s research arm, AliResearch, but it was largely pegged to necessity during Covid-related lockdowns that prevented them from going to wet markets or shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
Alibaba Group’s Sophisticated Game of Monopoly
44 percent of global sales come through a number of Chinese-owned companies, which in order of ranking include Taobao, Tmall, Jd.com and Pinduoduo.
McDonald’s brews up challenge to Starbucks’ China coffee dominance
Fast food giant McDonald’s will spend RMB 2.5 billion ($381 million) over the next three years on a major expansion of its store-in-store McCafes in China, challenging rivals like Starbucks and KFC in a race to cater to a growing Chinese middle class with a taste for premium drinks, reported Caixin. Under the plan, McDonald’s is aiming to have 4,000 McCafe’s on the Chinese mainland by the end of 2023, according to an announcement earlier this week. The build-up comes as China’s coffee market is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead as the country’s middle class expands and more people try out the beverage as an alternative to traditional tea-based drinks. The market is expected to triple from RMB 56.9 billion in 2018 to RMB 180.6 billion in 2023, according market data firm Frost & Sullivan provided in the 2019 IPO prospectus for local chain Luckin Coffee. “As China’s coffee market grows with speed, consumers will understand more about coffee and fall in love with it. Today, we’re very pleased to announce the across-the-board brand-upgrade plan for McCafe,” said Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald’s China. “Our goal is clear: Where there is McDonald’s, there is McCafe.”
The 2 Things Western Luxury Brands Must Have To Compete With Taobao
Unfortunately for niche brands, many of China’s luxury consumers turned to Taobao for their non-essential fashion needs after the COVID-19 virus hit. Today, brands in China have to adapt to a new reality where even the country’s most upscale customers are turning to Taobao to mix high and low fashions. Chinese consumers can find a more local and affordable competitor on Taobao for almost every popular niche brand. To compete with Taobao’s ultra-fast fashion, brands have to develop a cult and culture to stand out.
Explainer | Zhuhai, second richest city in mainland Greater Bay Area after Shenzhen, touts upbeat economic growth to attract talent
Per capita GDP of 175,500 yuan in 2019 was the second highest after Shenzhen among its nine mainland peers within Greater Bay Area Zhuhai, which led the Top 10 Livable Cities in China in 2019, holds up its economic achievements to attract talent from rival Bay area cities
Analysis: Xi’s message to Jack Ma, ‘You’re nothing but a cloud’
Japanese painting delivers stern warning as president takes victory lap Ant Group is unrivaled in scale. More than 1 billion people use Alipay, its core smartphone payment service. It offers a range of other services as well, including loans, cash advances and credit assessments. Critics, meanwhile, have said it presents a danger to China’s existing financial order. For his part, Ma has stayed away from politics. Unlike the founders of Tencent, Baidu and other tech giants, he is not a member of China’s “two sessions,” the annual gathering of the national legislature and the top political advisory body. That said, his business empire’s rapid growth, to a certain extent, has been protected by his political connections. Ma has relatively close relationships with former President Jiang Zemin, who led the so-called Shanghai faction, his right-hand man former Vice President Zeng Qinghong and the people around them.
China’s Draft Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Platform Economy
China’s competition regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”), issued a consultation draft of the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on the Sector of Platform Economies (the “Draft Guidelines”) on November 10, 2020. This marks China’s first major step in formulating a comprehensive regime to regulate competition among platform businesses operated on the Internet (the “Platform Economy”) and signals SAMR’s changed regulatory priorities with a focus on anti-competitive behavior in the Platform Economy.
Is there room for a Gen Z social network in China?
Like all Chinese, I’m on social media a lot. I check Wechat every other minute, I read Linkedin and Twitter from time to time, and then I post on Weibo and Douyin occasionally. (One minute—let me just check Wechat). But even as Wechat—which recently claimed 1.1 billion global active users and Douyin (the Chinese counterpart to Tiktok) continue to gain new users in China, I have been wondering if there is space for a new social network in China, especially for the Generation Z, native to mobile Internet and known to be fickle, and maybe even for everyone. We do have a very competitive landscape of social apps in China. There are three types of social apps here:
Huawei in Canada: lawmakers push Justin Trudeau on 5G ban
Legislators pass non-binding motion urging the government to establish a strategy to combat China’s increased spying activity and intimidation of Canadians Canada is the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance that has yet to ban the Shenzhen-based telecoms giant from its next-generation mobile network
China Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine taken by about 1 million people under emergency use scheme
Beijing launched programme for essential workers and other groups in July as clinical studies to prove vaccines’ safety and efficacy were ongoing No serious adverse reactions reported by recipients Sinopharm’s chairman says
Covid-19 vaccine news is no cure for the pandemic recession. Next, policymakers must deliver
Euphoria aside, the promise of a Covid-19 vaccine does not undo the damage already caused by the pandemic. Also, there are significant logistical and political hurdles to clear before mass vaccination is possible
How China crushed coronavirus
In China, a monumental effort by ordinary people and a policy of “infected until proven healthy” have kept new Covid-19 cases at exceptionally low levels since March China lost the first round against Covid-19 as officials dithered, allowing the virus to escape Wuhan and seed a global pandemic. But once it was clear that the country was facing a serious crisis, China’s vast bureaucracy pulled itself together and mobilised. The face of epidemic control for most people was not president Xi Jinping in Beijing. It was the lowest rung of the bureaucracy – the neighbourhood committee. They ensured public compliance in a national pandemic control effort that went right to the doorstep.
China tweaks global yuan strategy in signal of growing caution
China has made a small but important tweak to policy governing the internationalisation of the yuan
Beijing’s new five-year plan for 2021-25 calls for ‘prudence’ in expanding the yuan’s use in overseas payments
China approves $13bn high-speed railway from Chengdu to Chongqing
The 432.4km link, costing some $12.86 billion (85.1 billion yuan), will run through other cities in southwestern Sichuan province, the National Development and Reform Committee said in a statement on 12 November, reports Reuters. With around 36,000km of high-speed railways now built, China leads the world in this transport mode, but it has no plans to stop. In August, China Railway Group revealed plans to nearly double the size of the total network to 70,000km in the next 15 years.
CHINA SPENDS BIG ON SEMICONDUCTOR DEVELOPMENT, BUT FRONTRUNNERS STUMBLE
With achieving “national self-reliance” an important goal of Beijing’s under its new five-year plan, the government has been pouring vast sums of money into fostering a homegrown semiconductor industry. China’s reliance on foreign technology and imports makes the chipmaking sector a major vulnerability in the Chinese government’s eyes, especially after the country’s biggest manufacturer, SMIC, was hit with sanctions from the U.S. government in September. Recent developments have highlighted the immense challenges facing the country as it races to establish a national champion in a technologically complex industry. This week, The Wall Street Journal’s Liza Lin reported that a record number of Chinese companies have registered their business as related to semiconductors this year:
US lawmakers urge multilateral approach to counter China
Senate report lays out a broad range of recommendations on diplomacy, trade and technology The report urges advanced democracies to align and ‘help set baseline standards for technology infrastructure and development’
US-China rivalry: Pentagon invests US$12.7 million in rare earth producers to reduce reliance on China
Bulk of funding goes to MP Materials, which owns the world’s largest rare earth mine outside China US has traditionally depended on China for its supply of the metals, which are used in everything from smartphones to military hardware
A state of uncertainty: China’s reaction to US election betrays its fears
As Chinese nationalists capitalize on political uncertainty in the United States following the presidential elections, the schadenfreude belies deeper-seated political anxiety about what a Biden win will mean for China, says Valarie Tan. China has good reasons to be concerned with Biden’s win, since it is a double-edged sword. His China approach is likely to be less chaotic than Trump. There are prospects for China and the United States to cooperate in important areas such as climate change. But unlike Trump, Biden is expected to seek partnerships with US allies and international organizations – the very actors that Trump isolated – for a more powerful multilateral global approach to confront China.
How Xi Jinping Blew It
Public opinion toward China has darkened, and with Joe Biden set to become president, there is little prospect of Beijing fixing its mistake.
Hong Kong: UK and allies clash with China over its policies
China has strongly rebuked the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after being accused of a concerted effort to silence critics in Hong Kong.
Australia rejects China’s list of grievances
Australia’s prime minister on Thursday pushed back over a list of more than a dozen grievances raised by China regarding his country’s human rights diplomacy, independent media and investment policies, saying “we will always be Australia”
A Woman Was Beaten to Death by Her In-Laws. They Got Three Years
After a Shandong woman’s husband and parents-in-law tortured and starved her for years, a local court gave them lenient sentences for “abuse.” A public outcry was followed by a retrial order. Following a wave of online backlash over the plaintiffs being sentenced to just three years each, the Yucheng People’s Court in the eastern Shandong province announced Tuesday that its initial ruling would be canceled and a new trial held “in a few days.” As of Wednesday evening, a related hashtag on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo had been viewed over 420 million times.
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