China Press Review – November 27, 2019

Press review

Will Donald Trump and Xi Jinping rekindle their ‘great chemistry’ at the G20 summit?
Issues such as the trade war may ultimately hinge on how well the Chinese and American leaders get on during their talks in Argentina this weekend The volatile US president has blown hot and cold towards his Chinese counterpart, but the meeting in Buenos Aires offers a chance for a reset

Trump and Xi to reach trade war ‘truce’ at G20, says Hong Kong scholar with close ties to Beijing
Leaders likely to reach ‘framework agreement’ in Argentina, Lawrence Lau says Impact of trade war on China ‘manageable’ for Beijing even if there are job losses, academic says

Trump versus Xi: China’s best shot at the world title is to box clever
The G20 showdown in Buenos Aires could end in concessions to avoid a ‘calamitous cold war’ over trade

There Is No Grand Bargain With China
Why Trump and Xi Can’t Meet Each Other Halfway One day, it will be time to talk with Beijing about making a deal. But that day will only come once China’s momentum has stalled and Xi or one of his successors is no longer convinced that his country is on the path to regional dominance. At that point, Trump’s upcoming meeting with Xi will be long forgotten

Trump’s tariff policy on Chinese imports could backfire, cause global market meltdown, analysts warn
A move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports next year could backfire by causing a global financial market meltdown, analysts warn Analysts hope for “ceasefire” ahead of the meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on December 1

Trump’s tariff policy on Chinese imports could backfire, cause global market meltdown, analysts warn
A move to increase tariffs on Chinese imports next year could backfire by causing a global financial market meltdown, analysts warn Analysts hope for “ceasefire” ahead of the meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on December 1

US likely ‘biggest loser’ if iPhones, laptops go on tariff list
Additional tariff on the devices would make little impact on China, analyst says

Prolonged trade war could lead to another financial crisis: China’s US ambassador Cui Tiankai
Cui Tiankai warns of risks to global markets Defends Beijing against charges of forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft

Hong Kong and China stocks drop as concerns about trade war resurface
US President Donald Trump says he will go ahead with his plan to increase tariffs on Chinese imports if he fails to make a deal with Beijing at the G20 meeting Gene-related stocks fall after a Chinese researcher’s experiment involving two children provokes backlash and a government investigation

Pro-market economist excluded from China’s reform and opening up honours list
‘Spiritual leader’ of pro-market reforms ignored in 40th anniversary top 100 of contributors to China’s economic transformation Critics charge his absence is political and signals an end to market-led era

Top Beijing official attacks US over WTO reforms, and says China economy is not as developed as claimed
Head of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences says doubts about country’s economic status come from ignorance Thinly veiled attack comes days before President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump meet in Argentina

China Blue-Collar Wave Strengthens Xi’s G-20 Hand
The economy may be struggling and stocks slumping, but the working class are doing well under his policies.

China’s four traps
On the 40th anniversary of the launch of China’s “reform and opening up”, the country is well on its way to recapturing its former status as the world’s largest economy, having made substantial progress toward modernizing its agricultural sector, industry, defense systems, and scientific capabilities. But four major traps lie ahead.

Opinion | The world can change China
The key is China’s quest to be respected as a great nation. Much as the Chinese elite may resent foreign lecturing, it pains them to see their country branded a recalcitrant in the eyes of the world. Foreign pressure is even more critical since those arguing for economic reform in China these days are a beleaguered lot. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, this “reform and opening” programme has slammed into reverse. Xi’s retrograde policies are driving the middle classes overseas to places such as Canada and Australia. Private businesses are displaying their lack of faith in the future by holding off on investments and, with Mao-era politics again in command, the ultra-rich fear expropriation.

China’s industry profit growth slows for 6th month as trade war takes toll
Conflict with US continues to weigh on production – industrial profits rose 3.6 per cent last month, down from growth of 4.1 per cent in September

China’s ‘consumption upgrade’ trend undeterred by US-China trade war, study says
China saw a 3.3 per cent rise in consumption of fast-moving consumer goods in the first half on year, accelerating from 2 per cent growth a year earlier, according to study

Why is Jack Ma a member of the Communist Party of China?
Does being a founder and executive chairman of a company worth about $400bn (£313bn), with a personal wealth said to be about $35bn, put you at odds with being a member of a communist party whose leader wants to “develop China, develop socialism and develop Marxism”?

Jack Ma revealed as Communist Party member, making waves for Alibaba
On Monday, a list honoring contributors to China’s economic growth published by the People’s Daily revealed that Jack Ma had at one point joined the ranks of the Communist Party. While he has been described as such at official events, he had never publicly confirmed his Party member status before. The heads of Baidu and Tencent were also singled out for praise by the People’s Daily, although both were described as “nonpartisan.”

podcast video : US tariffs bring China and Europe together
As the United States adopts an increasingly protectionist stance, Europe and China are hoping to deepen their economic ties.

The US and China Are the Closest of Enemies
After years of economic symbiosis in which the US purchased low-cost Chinese imports and China purchased US Treasuries, China has begun to pursue the prerogatives of a superpower, and the US has responded in kind. As a result, both countries are becoming more alike, particularly in their belief that there can be only one winner.

As US and China battle over trade tariffs, Taiwan’s underdog city waits patiently for its day
Taiwanese manufacturers turn away from China and back to Taoyuan Suppliers to electronics giants build capacity to beat tariffs

Taiwan elections may give economy brief boost as US-China trade war threatens tech sector
The gains made by the Beijing-friendly KMT in Saturday’s elections may help improve ties with mainland But longer term, the trade war and troubles in Taiwan’s electronics industry will continue to weigh on growth

The demise of local policy innovation in China
Despite playing a key role in enacting economic reforms and ensuring the Chinese Communist Party’s regime durability, there has been a noted reduction in local policy experimentation in China since 2012. The number of provincial-level policy pilots has dramatically declined from 500 in 2010 to about 70 in 2016. Over the same period, the share of national regulations with experimental status fell from nearly 20 per cent to about 5 per cent.

The demise of local policy innovation in China

Changes at German robotics firm Kuka raise questions over Chinese intentions
Till Reuter, CEO of German industrial robotics firm Kuka for the last 10 years, will step down next month. The surprise move suggests big changes are afoot at the high-tech manufacturer, in Chinese hands since 2016.

Chinese brands outpace multinationals gaining new customers: study
Chinese consumer goods brands are posting faster growth in terms of consumer penetration and expansion of consumer base in the past year, a recent study by Kantar Worldpanel reveals. P&G and Yili were the top two companies with the widest consumer bases, reporting 92.4 percent and 90.9 penetration among urban consumers respectively, according to the study which tracks urban shoppers’ purchasing behavior in 24 provinces and municipalities across more than 100 product categories.

Money and muscle pave China’s way to global power
“China wants to be a great power in the world,” said Mr Paul Heer, a former chief national intelligence officer in East Asia for the US, who now teaches at George Washington University. “They think the rest of the world owes them recognition, and a return to what the Chinese see as their rightful place.

One in 10 people will have genetic makeup mapped in €400m project
Genomics Medicine Ireland intends to recruit 600 people over the next five years
about 6 hours ago The announcement follows the acquisition of GMI by Chinese genomics specialists WuXi Nextcode for an undisclosed sum. That company has its origins in a merger of the group that was involved in mapping the genetic makeup of Iceland and China’s WuXi region.

China Stimulus May Not Be Enough To Boost Economy
China has a bunch of little, nagging problems that will slow its economy in the months ahead. Whether its cracking down on crazy loans from small, muni lenders, to real estate developers run amok and — how can anyone forget — Trump’s trade war, China’s famous 6.5% GDP growth target will be missed next year.

CIW / Retail & E-Commerce / China online retail sales up 25.5%, over US$1 trillion as of Oct in 2018
In October 2018, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3,553.4 billion yuan (US$511.65 bn) in China, up by 8.6% year-on-year (nominal growth rate), according to National Bureau of Statistics of China. Of the total, the retail sales of consumer goods of units above-designated size reached 1,247.9 billion yuan (US$179.68 bn), increased by 3.7%.

Clock ticks for Chinese provinces struggling to hit their 2018 growth targets
19 of 31 provinces and municipalities were behind in meeting their annual goals after third quarter Provincial officials facing race to pump up their local economies to bolster their promotion chances

2018: A Transition Year for China Autos?
As further evidence that a fundamental shift in the outlook for China auto sales is occurring, Bernstein notes that most of China’s Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities are now “full of cars.” In 2017, Beijing had car ownership penetration of 260 cars per 1,000 people, while the top 10 cities averaged 251 cars per 1,000 people. At these levels, many local governments have deemed it necessary to restrict car sales in their cities, with Beijing taking it a step further by restricting the size of the total fleet in the country’s capital city. Finally, Bernstein notes that growth in licensed drivers in China has slowed in recent years, and this is a further sign that China’s auto industry is reaching maturity.

Tesla sales in China plunge 70 percent in October, according to auto industry body
Tesla sold just 211 cars in China last month, a sharp drop versus a year ago, the country’s passenger car association told Reuters on Tuesday. Data showed Tesla car sales in the world’s largest auto market fell 70 percent in October versus the year earlier period, according to a China Passenger Car Association official.

The sun is not yet setting on Hong Kong
City should reinforce its value to both Beijing and the world

Tencent partners with Line on mobile payments in Japan, heating up competition with Alibaba’s Alipay
The partnership heats up payments competition between Tencent and e-commerce giant Alibaba in the Japanese market

China citizens are proud the country can compete with the US on AI, venture fund manager says
Speaking to CNBC’s Eunice Yoon, Yeung described how technology consumers were starting to want more protection for their data from large-scale platforms, namechecking the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — which came into force earlier this year. But in China, Yeung described a different view on data protection. “I think there are a lot of Chinese citizens really proud of the fact that we’re actually big enough to even be able to compete with the U.S. in terms of AI. And I think it is just a really exciting time to be in China,” she said

New Restrictions on High Tech Technology Transfers to China
As we have been writing pretty much since the US-China (and to a lesser extent — but soon to be much greater extent — the EU-China) trade war started, the new normal for China will go beyond imposing tariffs. Other measures will be adopted by the U.S. government (and by the EU) to address the issues of forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft. One of those measures is prohibiting the transferring of key technologies to China pursuant to proposed U.S. federal rules. With the initiation of rule-making by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is clear the new normal has gone beyond the prediction phase; it is already happening.

New Restrictions on High Tech Technology Transfers to China

Asia’s largest real estate trust buys Beijing shopping mall for US$369 million
Beijing Jingtong Roosevelt Plaza in the Tongzhou district is Link Reit’s second acquisition in the Chinese capital

China’s building BRICS in South Africa
China understands that its engagement with South Africa and the rest of the developing world, as stated in its foreign-aid policy white paper, has to be mutually beneficial, and for the benefit of the partner country, in this case South Africa

China’s building BRICS in South Africa

Shenzhen’s rising costs boost office demand in Hong Kong as local firms return home
Growing number of small to mid-sized firms has ceased operations in Shenzhen in the past 12 months Each firm is vacating between 2,000 to 8,000 sq ft of floor area

How Hong Kong’s poverty line is skewed by the elderly, to the detriment of its working-age population
Richard Wong says removing the elderly from the calculation of the poverty line would better reflect poverty among those of working age This would allow for more targeted poverty alleviation measures for both groups, one based on consumption expenditure and the other on income

ofo says its refund system still works despite increased processing times
Amid rumors of bankruptcy and acquisition, Chinese bike rental firm ofo has said that its system for refunding users’ deposits is functioning normally, despite increased processing times. The company initially handled requests for refunds in up to three days, later increasing the waiting period to 10 days, and then eventually to 15 days.

Pence’s Trip to the Indo-Pacific Was a Win for Diplomacy, but Not Trade
It is an opportunity for them to demonstrate America’s continuing commitment to the region, in a way that only the elected leaders of its executive branch can. He continued to lay out the administration’s vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific”—a strategic counter to growing Chinese influence throughout the region. The most serious problem with the administration’s trade message is that governments in the region will not sign up to anything resembling containment of China.

Trade tensions with the United States blow hole in budget for China’s newest aircraft carrier
Cuts and rising fighter jet development costs have slowed progress on the Type 002, military insiders say

Chinese scientists condemn ‘crazy’ and ‘unethical’ gene-editing experiment
More than 120 researchers sign open letter criticising He Jiankui after he claimed to have been responsible for world’s first gene-edited babies

Xi’s China
OR, conversely, China’s Xi, now that some in the Western press are tagging him as the first modern emperor (after the Communist Party abolished the president’s term limit). President Xi’s language is sprinkled with references to nature, in much the same way that the poets of ancient China did. He refers to his vision of “development of a shared destiny” as a garden, while protecting the envi¬ronment as the world’s single biggest challenge. “The Chinese economy is not a pond but an ocean,” and just to make that clear, “heavy winds and storms may upset a pond but never an ocean.”

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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