China Press Review – October 15, 2019

Press review

China’s economy cause of growing concern in Beijing as US-China trade war takes toll on growth
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged local authorities to do everything possible to tackle ‘downward economic pressure’ amid US-China trade war tensions     Message represents a more pessimistic reading of China’s economic situation compared with previous statements from the governmen

China and US ‘on same page on trade war talks progress’
After official media warnings about prospects for future negotiations, state-affiliated social media account says both sides have the same stance     Shift in tone follows upbeat assessment from White House at the end of latest series of high-level meetings in Washington

US-China trade talks to resume next week, eyeing to clinch ‘phase one’ deal during November forum
US’ Treasury secretary and trade representative plan to have a call with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He next week, followed by further face-to-face meetings   The aim is to prepare for Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to sign an agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month

US and China set on ‘decoupling’ amid their clash of civilisations, Singapore Forbes forum told
Economists and business leaders warn that a ‘phase one deal’ on trade touted by Donald Trump is only a short-term truce and masks a deeper transition for the world economy   The decoupling process has already taken place in technology and manufacturing, experts say, and leaves businesses with a difficult dilemma

China’s rising pork prices worsens outlook of Asia’s largest stock market as scope to stimulate economy is reduced
Pork prices surged 69 per cent in September, fuelling consumer inflation and reducing the likelihood of policy easing

China’s pork crisis sends consumer inflation rising to the brink of Beijing’s limit, highest level in six years
September’s consumer price index rose to 3.0 per cent, largely due to soaring pork prices     China’s producer price index, a measure of the prices manufacturers charge at the factory gate, also fell further into deflation at minus 1.2 per cent

Premier Li Keqiang’s snack stop highlights impact swine fever has taken on Chinese pork supplies
Li’s visit to a roadside food vendor during a visit to Xian highlights country’s ongoing drive to secure supplies of the staple meat     Consumers have faced rising prices and shortages after disease wiped out more than 40 per cent of domestic pig herds

China ‘must ensure its own food security’, but soybean imports to continue
The country must fill its rice bowl with more of its own food, researchers say in a national white paper    Such a move would disappoint overseas producers hoping that Beijing will increase imports to meet the country’s demand

Chinese FDI  to stabilize in the long run
China would continue to see an increase in outbound investment in the mid to long term driven by growing capital strength, and outbound investment will bring new impetus to China’s economy, EY said in its latest “China Go Abroad” report.    “In the short term, as US withdraws its capital and focuses on the domestic market, Chinese capital will become the major sources of foreign investment in many overseas countries,” said Loletta Chow, Global Leader of EY China Overseas Investment Network

China keeps credit tape open to bolster growth despite a spike in pork-driven consumer inflation
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on Tuesday that banks extended 1.69 trillion yuan (US$240 billion) in September, a rise from 1.21 trillion yuan in August.   September’s consumer price index rose to 3.0 per cent, largely due to soaring pork prices, hitting the upper limit of Beijing’s consumer price index (CPI) for 2019

China Sept new bank loans beat expectations, more easing seen
* September new loans 1.69 trn yuan vs forecast 1.4 trn  * M2 money supply up 8.4% yr/yr; forecast 8.2%  * PBOC revises TSF measurement, Sept TSF at 2.27 trln yuan  * Central bank seen easing policy further to support growth (Adds inflation data, quotes from analysts, officials, background)

After trade war progress, the Fed should cut interest rates, boost its QE holdings and lower the dollar’s value to boost the US economy
The Federal Reserve should not only cut interest rates, but up its quantitative easing holdings, thus driving down the dollar. This, and a trade war ceasefire, would not only boost the US economy but the global economy and trade as a whole

Chinese economy seen expanding 5.9% in 2020 – UOB
Ho Woei Chen, Economist at UOB Group, assessed the recent trade data from the Chinese economy and prospects for economic growth.

China’s 2019 growth rate again cut by IMF as US trade war, Brexit leaves world economy in ‘precarious’ position
Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) predict in their latest report that China’s growth will be 6.1 per cent in 2019 and 5.8 per cent in 2020    Chief economic Gita Gopinath says there is an ‘urgent need’ to de-escalate trade and geopolitical tensions as IMF also cuts 2019 global growth forecast to 3 per cent

China’s economy cause of growing concern in Beijing as US-China trade war takes toll on growth
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged local authorities to do everything possible to tackle ‘downward economic pressure’ amid US-China trade war tensions   Message represents a more pessimistic reading of China’s economic situation compared with previous statements from the government

podcast audio : Just how much is the trade war hurting China’s economy?
The trade war marches on, despite the news that the U.S. and China may be moving closer to a partial deal on agricultural products and tariffs. Meanwhile, there are more signs of weakness in China’s economy. For the month of September, China’s import and export data looked weaker than economists were expecting. In dollar terms, China’s exports dipped 3.2% from a year earlier, and imports contracted for the fifth straight month. To what extent is the trade war to blame?

What Luxury Brands Need to Know About Their Future Cash Cow
As the growth for luxury consumption in first-and-second-tier cities continues to slow down, it’s 3rd-tier cities like Hohhot in Northern China (above) that will start to make up the difference for luxury brands   While luxury in every part of China is a signifier of wealth and status, the social context in top-tier cities is different from that in lower-tier cities. In top-tier cities, purchasing a luxury product is more about fitting into a group that shares the same values. In smaller cities, however, purchasing a luxury product is more about showing off in front of friends, family, and colleagues. It’s not about fitting into an existing group. It’s about speaking of one’s elevated lifestyle. In lower-tier cities, consumers tend to value the price of a product compared to top-tier city consumers. For them, luxury purchases are, therefore, still highly driven by the psychological pleasure of showing off within their own circle (“面子”).

Chinese investment in Western countries drops on tech leak fears
Greater scrutiny squeezes cash flow to Europe as well as Belt and Road nations

China closes ranks as AI firms join Huawei on US blacklist
The US move to blacklist Chinese artificial intelligence and surveillance companies has met with widespread condemnation in China despite the companies’ claims that the prohibition won’t have long-term effects on their operations.

China to pay triple for overseas postal deliveries by 2025 in package deal with global union
Fee increase follows threat from United States to withdraw from international body over ‘subsidising of Chinese exporters’

How China Can Reach its Centennial Goal
The focus on exports has undoubtedly served China well over the last four decades. But the key to achieving President Xi Jinping’s goal of creating a “great modern socialist country” by 2049 will be unleashing the potential of China’s domestic market, especially by eliminating institutional barriers to the growth of private enterprises.

Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting files for bankruptcy in US but holds on to hope of building electric car to challenge Tesla
Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing calls for a creditor trust is to receive all of Jia’s US equity interest and personal assets under a debt restructuring plan    Jia’s team says he had repaid US$3 billion of debt but US$2 billion was still outstanding

Stocks Blog: Tech shares weigh on China market; carmakers BYD, Geely slip as electric vehicle sales plunge
Hong Kong telecom providers climb after securing 5G rights    Foreign traders drink up Kweichow Moutai shares on profit optimism

Nine banks to meet Hong Kong’s monetary authority on ways to ease business loans and stave off city’s economic downturn
Special meeting comes two days after the HKMA cut banks’ countercyclical capital buffer (CCB) for the first time since 2015, a reduction that unleashes up to HK$300 billion into the economy    Banks may be asked to cut loan applicants some slack, and ignore any short-term sales slumps caused by the city’s four-month long civic unrest, as long as they are creditworthy in the long term, bankers said

China’s developing country status brings it few benefits in the WTO
Whether China is a ‘developing’ or ‘developed’ country for the purposes of the World Trade Organization (WTO) matters a lot to US President Donald Trump. Trump ignited a new front in the US–China trade war in July 2019 by tweeting that the world’s richest nations are masquerading as developing countries to get special treatment. They are ‘cheating’, according to Trump. He directed the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ‘use all available means to secure changes’ at the WTO.

China’s biggest oil refiner to reduce operations after freight rates for supertankers from the Persian Gulf to China skyrocket
The cost of chartering a supertanker from the Persian Gulf to China surged fivefold since late-September, according to Baltic Exchange data    Booking a tanker for the West Africa to China route rose to US$10 a barrel – which adds almost 20 per cent to the price of oil

Gas demand growth in China slows as economy hits consumption
Sinopec predicts increase of just 10 per cent in natural gas demand, compared to 17 per cent last year

Apple under fire for security feature which sends some user data to Tencent
Apple was again in the hot seat on Monday when its practice of sending web-browsing data including IP addresses to Chinese internet firm Tencent began to circulate, just as the public backlash for removing a police-monitoring app from its Hong Kong App Store on Wednesday was dying down.

Canadian election winner to face continued Chinese pressure
Arrest of Huawei CFO haunts Ottawa with citizens detained by Beijing

Portugal’s property market gains from Hongkongers looking for golden visa, safe haven amid protest chaos
An increase in demand from Hongkongers has prompted property agents from Lisbon to travel to the troubled city to pitch to potential buyers     About half of the buyers from Hong Kong are aiming to obtain permanent residency under Lisbon’s golden visa programme, according to property agents

Moody’s unlikely to downgrade ratings of Hong Kong banks as they remain ‘resilient’ in face of protests
Hong Kong lenders collectively have a ‘strong balance sheet’, Moody’s says    Banks could see some pressure on profits, asset quality as economy weakens

Even after four months of protests, don’t expect Hong Kong’s housing and office markets to crash any time soon
House prices and office rents are sliding, and Hong Kong is almost certainly in recession. But an undersupply of residential and office space should provide a strong counterweight to falling demand – unless Beijing sends in the troops

Xi Jinping’s trip to India and Nepal ‘was a much-needed win for China at critical time’
Few tangible results from Chinese president’s unofficial summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as leaders steer clear of touchy subjects     But trade talks commitment with New Delhi a diplomatic victory, analyst says, while Xi also shored up Kathmandu’s support for belt and road scheme

China harvesting data on global scale, Australian report warns
Chinese company GTCOM accused of giving Beijing access to its tech toolkit, including international bulk data collection

The Value of a College Degree? A Shot at a Shanghai High School
I spent seven years and tens of thousands of yuan getting my bachelor’s degree — all so my kid could stay in the Shanghai school system.

Alain Gillard
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