China Press Review – October 21, 2019

Press review

China Overtakes U.S. In Global Household Wealth Rankings ‘Despite’ Trade Tensions – Report
China’s population of people with over $110,000 of wealth had grown to 100 million, and “for the first time” had slipped ahead of the United States with its 99 million people in the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s global top 10% of wealth.

China’s central bank chief says trade tensions major risk to global economy
China’s top central banker said on Saturday (Oct 19) that potential escalation of trade tensions and policy uncertainty were the major risk factors facing the world economy, and market forces were keeping China’s yuan at an appropriate lev

China unexpectedly keeps benchmark lending rate unchanged in October
China on Monday unexpectedly kept unchanged its new benchmark lending rate, for the first time since its debut in August, suggesting Beijing is keen to avoid overly loosening monetary policy for fear it may push up already-high debt levels across the economy.

China doubles value of infrastructure project approvals to stave off economic slowdown amid trade war
Sharp increase in infrastructure project approvals implies greater infrastructure spending in coming years, helping to stabilise China’s economy Actual infrastructure investment accelerated to 4.5 per cent in the first nine months of 2019, up from 4.2 per cent in the first eight months

U.S. Commerce chief: U.S.-China trade deal doesn’t need to be inked next month
The initial U.S.-China trade deal does not need to be finalized next month, the U.S. commerce secretary said on Monday even as President Donald Trump has said he would like to sign the pact when he meet his Chinese counterpart at November’s APEC summit. “It has to be the right deal, and it doesn’t have to be in November,” Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network in a television interview. “It’s more critical that it be a proper deal that exactly when it occurs.”

China tariff deal was easy compared to the EU’s bazooka-proof trade walls
The present U.S. administration has only itself to blame for wasting nearly three years of its term of office without balancing trade accounts with China. Instead of focusing on changing America’s trade flows with China, Washington overreached into sovereign domains Beijing could not accept.

Global economy: ‘we must do everything possible’ to avoid global ‘fracture’ caused by US-China tensions, urges Guterres
Tensions around global trade and technology continue to rise and the international community needs to “do everything possible” to prevent the world being split into two competing spheres, led by the United States and China.

IMF officials pledge to combat global economic slowdown and trade war tensions
The IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the threat from trade wars was a chief point of discussion for finance officials Asked about Donald Trump’s trade war with China, ex-IMF chief Christine Lagarde said it would give the world’s economy ‘a big haircut’

China’s lending under fire
China’s lending practices come under fire, fiscal stimulus becomes a major topic of discussion for the IMF and World Bank, and the pound plummets — again. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Locking China Out of the Dollar System
By broadening the nexus between economic interest and national security, Trump is encouraging the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies and the emergence of a bipolar world order led by rival hegemons. Beyond fragmenting the trade and financial system that has underpinned the global economy for decades, the stage would be set for a devastating conflict.

Exports watched as China’s economic expansion slows
CHINA’s slowing economic growth bears watching, especially for its implications on specific Philippine merchandise exports, experts said last weekend.

Exports watched as China’s economic expansion slows

EU Chamber says China’s new foreign investment law is ‘surprisingly accommodating’
Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, gives a positive take on a preliminary look at China’s new foreign investment law. The law is set to take effect Jan. 1 and aims to address complaints about forced technology transfer and lack of intellectual property protection. Wuttke also pointed out that China would like to attract more foreign investment as its economic growth slows.

Multinationals’ Investment Returns In China Beat Their Global Average
Trade friction between China and the U.S. over the past year may be hurting economic growth and putting a cloud over investment decisions in the two countries. Yet when it comes to profitability, the news hasn’t been all bad for multinational companies doing business in China, according to a report published on Saturday.

Trade, human rights and the unravelling of the China-US relationship
While Beijing and Washington were inching closer on tariffs, they were swiftly moving apart over Xinjiang and Hong Kong The developments suggest the two countries are entering a dangerous period, with some moves reminiscent of the cold war, observers say

China’s central banker says yuan level ‘appropriate’, trade tensions risk to global economy
China’s top central banker said on Saturday that potential escalation of trade tensions and policy uncertainty were the major risk factors facing the world economy, and market forces were keeping China’s yuan at an appropriate level.

China seeks $2.4 billion in sanctions against U.S. in Obama-era case: WTO
China is seeking $2.4 billion in retaliatory sanctions against the United States for non-compliance with a WTO ruling in a tariffs case dating to the Obama era, a document published on Monday showed.

China’s SOE executives defend Beijing’s economic model from ‘targeted attacks’ by US, EU
Representatives from China’s state-owned enterprises hit back at criticism from overseas executives at a conference in Shandong over the weekend Foreign executives say SOEs create an uneven play field for private and foreign competitors, and are against the spirit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Chinese companies’ profit warnings indicate it could be the worst third quarter since 2015 as economic growth slows down
Forty-three per cent of the 1,309 companies that have issued earnings guidance for the third quarter expect a decline in net profit Contemporary Amperex, China’s biggest maker of lithium batteries for new-energy vehicles among companies that has forecast a drop in profit

China: Creaking tiger, hidden dragon?
China’s economy grew 6.6% in 2018, its slowest rate since 1990, with trade issues impacting the world’s second-largest economy. DW asked Martin Jacques, an academic who predicted the rise of China, to unpick the signals.

The focus must be on SMEs as economic growth slow further
The private sector contributes the lion’s share of China’s GDP and new jobs; unless banks are prepared to undertake a calculated chance on them, small and medium-sized enterprises cannot achieve their full potential for driving the economy

Alibaba eyes lower-tier, overseas markets to power Singles Day growth
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba kicked off promotional efforts for its annual shopping extravaganza, the November 11 Global Shopping Festival known as Singles Day, as the massive annual sales event heads into its second decade.

Alibaba eyes lower-tier, overseas markets to power Singles Day growth

The Future of Huawei in Europe
On October 9, the European Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity released their long-awaited risk assessment of the region’s 5G network. Written with input from all 28 European Union members, the report warned about a 5G supplier from a “hostile” country, or a country “where there are no legislative or democratic checks and balances in place.” But notably, the report does not explicitly warn against China.

EU, China, others, team up to coordinate ‘green’ investment financing
The European Union, China, India and several other countries teamed up on Friday to coordinate rules and standards for trillions of dollars of private and public “green” investment needed over decades to prevent irreversible climate change.

China’s demand for natural gas, infrastructure to rise even as trade war slows down economy
Trade war only affects US exporters as China has slapped 25 per cent tariffs on the commodity China’s LNG imports could more than double to 111 million tonnes by 2025 from last year, according to Morgan Stanley

China-US currency deal would not be a new Plaza Accord of one-sided exchange rate movement, analysts say
Currency provisions are expected to be included in any interim deal between China and America following progress made during talks last week in Washington The 1985 Plaza Accord saw Japan, France, Germany, Britain and the US push down the value of the US dollar, resulting in the Japanese yen doubling in value

China employment steady despite Donald Trump’s claim US trade war cost country ‘3 million jobs’
Statistics agency says China created 10.97 million jobs in the first nine months of this year, or 99.7 per cent of the government’s full-year target But independent analysts question if official monthly data underestimates the true unemployment situation

China’s easing of M&A rules put in place after 2015 market crash will boost fundraising, analysts say
Tougher rules put in place after the market crash led to fundraising shrinking from 833 billion yuan four years ago to 71 billion yuan so far this year Move will quicken back-door listing process on Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges

Alibaba sets sights on 500 million consumers for Singles’ Day shopping festival on November 11
The company is hoping to attract an additional 100 million consumers based on its analysis of data and consumer behaviour, but declines to provide targeted sales value More than 200,000 brands will be taking part in the shopping extravaganza and over 1 million new products will be on sale

What’s Souring Western Wine & Spirits in China?
The wine market is another vertical under close industry scrutiny, as winemakers wait to see the impact an uncertain China market will have on both importers and domestic wineries.

What’s Souring Western Wine & Spirits in China?

14 Irish meat plants approved to export beef to China
Beef is now the fastest-growing meat in China, outstripping stagnant demand for more widely-eaten pork as consumers look to reduce fat in their diets. But supplies are unlikely to keep up with demand given the high cost of raising cattle in China, prompting the government to rethink its import restrictions.

China works on biosecurity law
China’s draft biosecurity law was on Monday submitted to a bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee for deliberation. The draft focused on protecting the security of the country’s biological resources, promoting and safeguarding the development of biotechnology, and preventing and prohibiting the use of biological agents or biotechnology that may harm national security.

Is China Still the Global Leader on Climate Change?
The world’s success in bringing down global greenhouse gas emissions is dependent on the actions of China, the world’s largest carbon emitter.

China’s railways see 2.8 bln passenger trips in first three quarters
The number of passenger trips served by China’s railways reached 2.8 billion in the first three quarters, up 9.4 percent from last year, according to China Railway

China September home price growth flatlines, fewer cities see price gains
New home prices in China grew at a steady pace in September, with fewer cities reporting price gains, a relief for policymakers who remain wary of high debt and bubble risk and are refraining from stimulating the sector as the economy cools.

How China’s youth are shaping internet culture at home and abroad amid censorship
Panellists at the World Internet Conference discussed the development of a distinctly Chinese online culture in a censored environment China is home to the world’s largest online community, but the government imposes strict controls on users

Google and Facebook stay away but smaller US firms scout for business at China’s World Internet Conference
Some American hardware providers attend state-backed event along with Chinese entrepreneurs Jack Ma and Robin Li

China’s Greater Bay Area and Country of Origin Markings
The vision behind the Greater Bay Area plan is clear: It seeks to subsume Hong Kong and Macau into the surrounding Mainland areas, diluting their special character and moving away from the Two Systems model. At the same time, it would allow these nearby areas to directly harness Hong Kong and Macau’s strengths as contributors to Mainland China’s development. Going back to the original point, a “Made in GBA” label would make sense from China’s point of view. On the one hand, it would allow products made in the GBA’s Mainland Chinese cities to enjoy the same designation as products made in Hong Kong, a well-regarded, advanced, high-income economy. Note that very little actually gets made in Hong Kong. At the same time, it would nominally link at least some of Hong Kong’s economic activity to that of the GBA at large, bringing a whiff of prestige to locales across the border typically associated with low-cost manufacturing. No longer would the story be one of Hong Kong companies shifting their production to Guangdong to enjoy lower costs and laxer regulation—it would all be part of a larger whole.

China’s Greater Bay Area and Country of Origin Markings

Hongkongers are the world’s most reluctant online shoppers, but try stopping the Chinese
The 2019 FIS Retail Global Payments Report shows Hongkongers spend the least in online retail shopping at 4 per cent of overall purchases China continues to lead the world in digital wallet adoption and online shopping

Hong Kong protests in the Mainland eye
As Hong Kong’s protests continue and become more violent, observers are wondering how it will end. Will Hong Kong’s leaders be able to quell the protests through negotiation? If they don’t, Beijing has made it clear that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will step in. The director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming has called the turmoil in Hong Kong a ‘colour revolution’.

Hong Kong protests in the Mainland eye

The Hong Kong crisis
Street protests that have gripped Hong Kong for over four months are becoming more violent. Some protestors have begun attacking police and police are firing live rounds at protestors. Last week a protestor was shot and a policeman stabbed in the neck. As tensions mount between the public and police, Hong Kong’s authorities are under increasing pressure to find a solution. If they fail, Beijing has threatened to intervene — a move that could bring to an end what remains of the ‘one country, two systems’ model that has preserved Hong Kong’s autonomy since the former British colony’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

The Hong Kong crisis

China’s onshore bond defaults likely to continue rising as ratio matches 2018 record, Fitch says
Default rate by issuer count stood at 44 or 1.03 per cent in the first three quarters of this year, Fitch says Chinese companies have missed repayment obligations on onshore bonds worth more than 100 billion yuan (US$14 billion), says Goldman Sachs

China’s prices of new homes flatlined in September as bruising trade war with US gives users reason to wait out on investments
September annual new home prices expand 8.4 per cent vs 8.8 per cent in August
53 out of 70 cities reported higher prices vs 55 in August

Oppo steps up retail expansion in Southeast Asia to close sales gap on rival Samsung
Major Chinese smartphone players are sharpening their focus in the region amid the continued sales decline in China

Shanghai offers biggest hint yet of zero-tariff policy at Lingang free-trade zone as it unveils plans for bonded facility
Shanghai mayor Ying Yong says additional tax incentives would be rolled out at expanded free-trade zone in the hope of turning it into a ‘modern city’ with the greatest level of openness

How Asia’s small farmers can harness technology to combat climate change and improve food security
As climate change makes farming harder and more unpredictable, Asia’s millions of smallholder farmers need innovation and technology to tackle pests and crop diseases, to better meet the region’s growing food demand

How China is breeding a beetle army to defend the Three Gorges Dam from plant invasion
Scientists learn from successful use of the insect in the US to tackle plant pest that arrived with Japanese occupation Today, voracious eaters are raised in greenhouses over winter and released in spring

Hong Kong’s economy is reeling from the one-two blow of local protests and US-China trade conflict, but it will survive
The impact of the unrest has been quick and devastating, especially on tourist business, but the city has lived through worse crises Longer-term damage from the trade war is more of a worry, but Hong Kong is not alone in this

What Hong Kong’s crisis and Britain’s Brexit woes have in common
In both cases, deep societal rifts and a political misstep combined to wreak political civil war and economic harm, leaving deep, perhaps permanent scars. Brexit’s lesson for Hong Kong? It is hard to stuff the genie back in the bottle

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam ‘relieved’ that murder suspect in extradition saga which sparked protest crisis to turn himself in to Taiwan
Chan Tong-Kai is wanted in Taiwan for allegedly killing his pregnant ¬girlfriend in Taipei last year The Hong Kong government claimed, when introducing the legislation that sparked the recent unrest, that sending him there was a key motivation

US is instigating colour revolutions, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe says
Washington uses ‘big sticks’ such as sanctions to bully countries, he says, days after US’ Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act moved closer to becoming law But Wei’s speech is less hawkish than one he made at the same security forum last year

Chinese soft power is a carrot being undermined by a stick
Beijing’s big spending on soft power will have little effect if it sticks to hard power foreign policies Its global influence may be growing, but increasingly it is viewed unfavourably abroad

The curious corruption case of China’s former securities chief Liu Shiyu and his lenient treatment
Liu will not have to face court and will not lose his Communist Party membership despite ‘wrongdoings’ during his work Most officials accused of corruption have faced criminal charges and been expelled from the party

China’s tech rise poses security and human rights dilemma for Australian universities
Australian universities face an uncomfortable choice in working with China’s world-leading researchers on facial recognition and artificial intelligence Collaborate, and be accused of helping Beijing to violate human rights; or disengage, and lose both funding and competitiveness

Chinese leaders’ business affairs should be as clear as a US$15,000 crystal horse from Deutsche Bank
An exposé has revealed Deutsche Bank showered Chinese leaders with gifts, including a US$15,000 crystal horse and a Bang & Olufsen sound system It highlights a political taboo – the need for transparency in the business activities of Chinese leaders and their families

‘Grey zone’ tactics are raising risk of military conflict in the South China Sea, observers say
America’s freedom of navigation operations and drills in disputed waters designed to challenge China’s rise and excessive territorial claims, analyst says And promises Washington makes to other nations in region could lead to an ‘unwanted conflict’ with Beijing, he says

China’s defence minister says resolving ‘Taiwan question’ is national priority
China’s defence minister, Wei Fenghe, said on Monday that resolving the “Taiwan question” is his country’s “greatest national interest”, and that no force could prevent China’s “reunification”.

Lowy Institute sees ‘clear risks’ from China’s Pacific lending but says ‘debt trap’ claims are overblown
China’s financial largesse in the Pacific carries “clear risks” for stability if left unchecked, a Sydney think tank has warned, while also saying allegations of “debt-trap” diplomacy are, so far, overblown. In a study released Monday, the influential Lowy Institute warned that fragile Pacific nations risked borrowing too much and leaving themselves exposed to demands from Beijing.

How China Could Inflict ‘Retribution’ Against Adam Silver, NBA
China Central Television (CCTV), the state television broadcaster for mainland China, warns that NBA commissioner Adam Silver “will receive retribution sooner or later.” The threat, which came in a commentary published on Saturday, comes a day after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang disputed Silver’s claim that the Chinese government asked him to fire Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

With New Rockets, China Eyes Bigger Pie Of Commercial Space Launch Market
The new “Long” rocket series comprising a cluster of solid-fuelled rockets codenamed “Smart Dragon” and a Tenglong liquid-propellant rocket were unveiled on Sunday by China Rocket

U.S. not out to “decouple” from China, defence official says in Beijing
The United States is not seeking to “decouple” from China and not asking any country to choose sides, a senior U.S. defence official said on Monday, offering a softer outlook on relations bruised by a bitter trade war.

US Airports Implement New Technology For Boarding China Bound Passengers
There are now new measures in place for any U.S. citizens wishing to travel to China. The Chinese government has imposed even stricter checks to see whether passengers are eligible to travel to the East Asian country.

US Airports Implement New Technology For Boarding China Bound Passengers

Hollywood’s Many Chinese Controversies Explained
A recurring dilemma for the film and TV industries in the United States is what to do about China. For years, China has been a double-edged sword for Hollywood. China is one of the biggest markets for Hollywood studios – which is why it’s also a serious problem. Studios depend on Chinese audiences, which makes pleasing them a top priority, but this can be difficult to do when satisfying them causes outrage amongst Western audiences.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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