China Press Review – October 3, 2019

Press review

China Telcos Open 5G Data Preorders Ahead of Commercial Rollout
The country’s ‘big three’ telecom providers have processed a combined 7 million preorders in just a few days, but details about the plans remain scant.

Europe will face more economic ‘pain’ if US limits investment in China, analysts say
Several news outlets recently reported that the White House was looking into limiting investment ties between the world’s two largest economies. The options being considered were thought to include removing Chinese stocks from U.S. exchanges and restricting government pension funds’ investments in the Chinese market. Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) told CNBC via email that she expects the U.S. “to move forward with sanctions targeting Chinese companies and banks.”

Saga of China’s Bank of Jinzhou raises questions about the health of Chinese banking sector
China’s troubled Bank of Jinzhou is seeking to raise 6.2 billion yuan (US$866 million) just two months after it secured a 3 billion yuan (US$419 million) bailout Problems at the company cast a spotlight on the risks facing regional lenders in China’s banking sector

China’s Spenders Are Saving. That’s a Problem for Everyone.
Chinese consumers, a $4.9 trillion force, transformed the global economy. With their own economy slowing, they are pulling back

Fireworks, friction and US-China trade talks
Beijing’s 70th birthday bash might be over but next week’s discussions to break the economic deadlock loom large

Introducing Feng Mao, Richemont and Alibaba’s New Venture
Feng Mao brings together 130 brands on Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion, among them Tom Ford, Brunello Cucinelli, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and many others. In the wake of a tough summer in Greater China, dented by ongoing Hong Kong protests, an uncertain outbound tourism market, and yuan devaluation, all eyes in the luxury industry are on Feng Mao, the new high-end online joint venture between Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and luxury monolith Richemont.

Introducing Feng Mao, Richemont and Alibaba’s New Venture

5 Takeaways from McKinsey’s Digital Consumer Trends Report
As Tier-1 and Tier-2 markets are becoming increasingly saturated, international brands are starting to focus on smaller towns if they want to achieve their goals for growth. According to Dandan Cheng from Sinorbis, “China has both the largest internet population and the largest number of mobile internet users in the world.” Moreover, China is rapidly digitizing various industries and e-commerce is leading the way. In fact, in McKinsey’s 2017 report, they mentioned that about a decade ago, “China accounted for less than one percent of the value of worldwide transactions.” Additionally, McKinsey predicts that China’s e-commerce market is estimated to be larger than those of France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States combined. Therefore, international retail companies that want to maintain their prime position in China are forced to dramatically revolutionize their web and social media presence and join the “online to offline” revolution.

5 Takeaways from McKinsey’s Digital Consumer Trends Report

Russia’s Lukoil sells rare Arctic crude oil to China: sources
Russian oil producer Lukoil has sold a cargo of Varandey Blend crude to a Chinese buyer with the shipment sailing via Arctic waters in an unusual trade flow, according to industry sources and shipping data.

Robotics start-up Geek+ is leading China’s push into smart logistics to support e-commerce, manufacturing
Beijing-based Geek+ has deployed more than 7,000 logistics robots for a new generation of almost zero-labour, automated warehouses Worldwide sales of logistics robots are forecast to reach US$22.5 billion in 2022, up from an estimated US$5.7 billion this year

Getting a new mobile number in China will involve a facial-recognition test
China is taking every measure it can to verify the identities of its over 850 million mobile internet users. From Dec. 1, people applying for new mobile and data services will have to have their faces scanned by telecom providers, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said (link in Chinese) in a Sept. 27 statement.

Chinese spend 127.5 bln USD on overseas trips in H1
Chinese spent a total of 127.5 billion U.S. dollars on overseas travel in the first half (H1) of this year, official data showed. Over half of the money was spent in Asian countries and regions, followed by America and Europe, according to a report from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. France, Italy, Britain and Switzerland were top European destinations, according to the report. Chinese spent 14.9 billion dollars in Belt and Road countries and regions in H1.

Hong Kong’s desperate homeowners slash prices by 20 per cent after unprecedented violence on National Day
Market observer says Tuesday’s violence prompted sellers to lower prices Overall property transactions in Hong Kong fell 14 per cent month on month to a three-year low of HK$36.4 billion in September, according to Midland Realty

Hong Kong may have lost US$4 billion of capital to Singapore this summer, says Goldman Sachs, as protests rattled nerves
Goldman Sachs estimates US$3 billion to US$4 billion in Hong Kong dollars may have been deposited in Singapore this summer Singapore saw a sharp uptick in foreign currency deposits in July and August

Is China Heading for Crisis?
The protests in Hong Kong accelerate the contradictions of Beijing’s goals.

Ties between China’s corporate sector and the Confucius Institute raise fears about Communist Party influence abroad
Chinese language and culture centers are funded mainly by the Chinese government. Chinese multinationals also provide sponsorships and financial assistance. Academic freedom, collection of sensitive data and intellectual property are issues. At least 22 American universities have cuts ties with the institution.

Sweden cautions European Union on Beijing-Moscow ties and ‘challenges’ posed by China
Scandinavian country urges the European Union to adopt a ‘common and clear’ stance to deal with China’s growing geopolitical ambitions in Europe Paper comes with Sweden’s relations with China at the lowest ebb among all EU member nations

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan seeks to bolster China ties ahead of Xi Jinping visit to India
Kashmir likely to feature prominently on agenda after New Delhi scrapped region’s special status, prompting Khan to warn of risk of conflict Islamabad is pushing for international support over issue, but observers expect Beijing to focus on its economic ties with Delhi

Pakistan owes China more money than it owes the IMF
Pakistan has been borrowing from Beijing to tide over a financial crisis.

Donald Trump’s UN speech about patriotism and sovereignty proves a hit – in China
US embassy in China’s post of a Trump quote on Weibo, the day after Beijing celebrated its National Day, finds an enthusiastic audience Many commenters relate the words to Chinese affairs, including protests in Hong Kong

China’s scenic sites limit ‘golden week’ visitor numbers to cut crowds
Managers of the Leshan Giant Buddha and Jiuzhaigou National Park restrict ticket sales as millions head off for the holiday break

US Marine Corps ‘must adapt to long-term China threat’
Head of the American force says Asian giant aims to displace the United States and cumbersome corps needs to trim down to meet the challenge

China consumers cut back on travel during ‘golden week’ holiday due slowing growth, weaker yuan
Many Chinese consumers are forgoing expensive trips abroad during ‘golden week’ amid a slowdown in the economy and decline in the value of the yuan Online travel site International says weak outbound travel demand and a decline in air ticket prices may affect third quarter earnings

Alain Gillard
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