China is only G20 country expected to see positive economic output this year, OECD says
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development revises up its forecast for Chinese growth this year to 1.8 per cent, from a 3.7 per cent contraction projected in June. Rapid control of the coronavirus outbreak allowed China to reopen businesses faster than other countries, but spending on services still remains subdued, the group says. The latest economic indicators are encouraging signs that China’s recovery is broadening out into private capital expenditure and retail sales, boosting confidence that GDP is on track to return to its pre-Covid potential growth level, said Robin Xing Ziqiang, chief China economist at Morgan Stanley. Raymond Yeung, chief economist for Greater China at ANZ Bank, also upgraded his China GDP growth forecast to 2.1 per cent for 2020, up from 1.8 per cent, on the back of a robust recovery in the services industry and news that China could have Covid-19 vaccines ready this year. Yeung raised China’s 2021 forecast to 8.8 per cent, up from 8.1 per cent. “China’s efforts in containing local coronavirus flare-ups have largely paid off, as evidenced by the smaller-than-expected impact on overall GDP growth,” Yeung said. “This will ensure a stable environment for the continued recovery of the domestic economy for the remainder of 2020.”
WTO says Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods violate global trade rules
For practical purposes, however, the decision may have little binding effect. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the ruling is evidence of the WTO’s inability to hold China to account.
China’s WTO win over US offers no concrete reward but Beijing gets moral high ground, experts say
Chinese officials ‘certainly happy’ with World Trade Organisation ruling that some of Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs are illegal. However, a frosty political climate and dysfunction at the Geneva body suggest the spoils of victory will be moral rather than concrete.
Alibaba to ramp up digital transformation in China’s US$4 trillion manufacturing sector
The e-commerce giant’s New Manufacturing pilot, Xunxi Digital Factory, is powered by technologies such as process and cost planning, automated in-house logistics and its own manufacturing operating system Xunxi, which means fast rhino, has initially offered its cloud-based manufacturing supply chain to small firms in China’s apparel industry In July, Alibaba chairman and chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong said the company aims to serve two billion customers globally, while creating 100 million jobs and helping 10 million small businesses on its platform become profitable through infrastructure support by 2036.
Retailheads: food delivery backlash, VCs snub e-commerce
In August, China’s e-commerce sector drew a total of RMB 11.7 billion ($1.72 billion) in funding, down 45.3% from RMB 21.38 billion in the same period last year, according to data from E-commerce Research Center. The funds went to 33 companies, including JD Health and fresh grocery sites Yipin Shengxian and Xiaotu Maicai. Local lifestyle e-commerce was the most popular sub-category, accounting for RMB 8.58 billion in investment during the month. The drop in China’s e-commerce venture capital aligns with the global market, where e-commerce investment in 2020 is also languishing. Last week, Chinese food delivery giants were again the target of public ire. Meanwhile, Dianping’s symbolic surrender to Meituan is made official and Tencent Weibo gives a final curtain call. Venture capitalist interest in e-commerce platforms wanes despite booming consumer demand.
Luxury Brands Have Only Scratched The Surface of China’s E-Commerce
China’s e-commerce system thrived during China’s coronavirus lockdown, showing that the luxury market has a promising future with many more possibilities. The luxury industry was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, and former LVMH chair Pauline Brown called the public health crisis “a disaster for virtually every company in the sector.” Yet, Asia has seen a marked improvement in 2020, with a strong rebound in China, in particular. Now, luxury retailers are looking to identify and understand the emerging patterns in China to help boost their businesses there.
Hong Kong unveils $3 billion package to fight COVID-19, prop up economy
Hong Kong announced Tuesday its third round of anti-epidemic funding worth about 24 billion Hong Kong dollars (3.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the latest effort to fight COVID-19 and bail out an economy reeling from the epidemic.
China’s ‘Big Three’ close in on full domestic traffic recovery
Two of China’s three largest carriers have recorded new highs in domestic passenger traffic for the year, underpinning the Chinese airline industry’s rapid domestic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak. In traffic results released for August, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines carried more passengers than they did in January, right before traffic bottomed out amid onerous lockdowns imposed in several Chinese cities and provinces to curb the pandemic’s spread.
Timely data release would boost confidence in China coronavirus research
Late disclosures and large-scale vaccinations outside formal trials could be counterproductive to Chinese candidate. Revelation that hundreds of thousands were given emergency inoculation may do more harm than good.
There won’t be enough coronavirus vaccines for a return to normal life until 2022, WHO scientist says
The need for social distancing and mask wearing will continue next year, leading World Health Organisation scientist predicts. Negotiations ongoing for US and China to participate in the WHO’s global alliance of equitable vaccine distribution.
SMIC asks to continue supplying Huawei: report
China’s biggest contract chipmaker SMIC has applied to the US government to continue supplying to telecommunications equipment maker Huawei, local media reported, after the grace period for a semiconductor ban expired on Tuesday.
China’s central bank stresses its central role in new sovereign digital currency
Fan Yifei, deputy governor of China’s central bank, says the main aim of the digital yuan is to defend the state monopoly on creating money. The People’s Bank of China official did not provide a timeline for the launch of the currency.
Chinese database details 2.4 million influential people, their kids, addresses, and how to press their buttons
Compiled using mostly open-source intel, shines a light on extent of China’s surveillance activities.
Donald Trump says Oracle ‘very close’ to TikTok deal as ByteDance aims for majority ownership
Proposal by Chinese owner would give Oracle a minority stake and responsibility for management of TikTok’s data. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says ByteDance has offered to create 20,000 US jobs with popular video-sharing app.
Will Oracle Solve Trump’s TikTok Problem?
Forcing the unspooling of a complex global company is not as easy as yelling about the “China menace.”
TIKTOK: ‘This is nothing but economic bullying’
A senior Chinese official has accused the US, which forced the sale of TikTok on national security grounds, of “economic bullying”, while lambasting European Union restrictions on Huawei, in comments highlighting Beijing’s increasing assertiveness against what it sees as unfair treatment from Western governments.
Beijing is publicizing its philosophy of how tech firms like TikTok must aid China’s rise
There are clues in the guidelines that the Party is also concerned about shaping a younger generation of tech founders, such as Zhang Yiming, the 37-year-old founder of ByteDance. Compared with someone like Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who has long been seen as an informal ambassador for China, Zhang has always emphasized the global reach rather than the Chinese roots of his tech empire. He drew flack at home last month for a statement that appeared resigned to a forced sale of TikTok to a US firm in order to continue its global success—and that failed to thank China.
China must “strengthen the cultivation of young entrepreneurs…guiding them to inherit and continue the great tradition of listening to and following the Party” the decree said
In depth: China chip sector has money, now it just needs workers
Tech talents in short supply despite Beijing’s cash injection to boost industry.
Can Shenzhen Become The New Doorway To The West?
Shenzhen continues to prosper as a tech and luxury hub. But will the “Silicon Valley of China” ever leave Hong Kong’s shadow? The South China Morning Post reported that Shenzhen is keen on embracing Hong Kong in financial integration plans, pushing for a scheme that will enhance cross-border trade and capital flows between the two cities. The policy would allow Shenzhen greater market access to Hong Kong and its wealthy inhabitants.
Tencent to mitigate setbacks in US, India with new regional hub in Singapore, analysts say
Internet giant Tencent’s move to Singapore follows that of TikTok owner ByteDance, which plans to invest billions of dollars in the city state Tencent expects to meet demand for internet-based services in Singapore and across Southeast Asia.
Singapore becomes hub for Chinese tech amid US tensions
Some of China’s biggest technology firms are expanding operations in Singapore as tensions rise between Washington and Beijing.
How to Move Your Manufacturing Out of China Safely
With companies falling all over themselves to move their manufacturing out of China to reduce their risks (and their tariffs), my law firm’s international manufacturing lawyers are not only hearing from many companies wanting to leave China, but from many companies in big trouble for not having properly engineered their leaving China.
Australia eyes trade with India to cut China reliance amid mounting tensions
Canberra to increase links with New Delhi to diversify a trade portfolio that currently makes it the developed world’s most China-dependent economy Australia-China ties have deteriorated in recent months after a series of diplomatic spats.
China food security concerns prompt rethink of soybean expansion
China should leave bulk soybean production to the US and Brazil and instead develop specialist non-genetically modified beans, industry leaders say. Soybean imports will continue to play a role in domestic consumption, but limited arable land should be used for strategic crops to maintain food security.
Health in China: exhaust fumes from animal vaccine plant leave thousands sick with brucellosis
Company used out-of-date sanitisers in the production of brucella vaccines, allowing the bacteria to enter its exhaust air. Health authorities test almost 22,000 people and find 3,245 have brucella bacteria antibodies.
H&M cuts ties with Chinese supplier over Xinjiang forced labour accusations
Swedish clothing giant ends relationship with yarn producer Huafu Fashion. Company says it does not work with any garment factories in Xinjiang and will no longer source cotton from region.
European chief singles out China’s moves on Hong Kong, Xinjiang as she unveils new sanctions scheme
EC president Ursula von der Leyen talks of China’s human rights record in her maiden state of the union speech If China does not open its markets Europe must move to protect itself, says German ambassador to EU Meanwhile, Germany’s ambassador to the European Union also vowed to get tougher against China economically if Beijing continued unfair market practices for foreign investors. Michael Clauss, who has also served as Berlin’s ambassador to Beijing, revealed on Wednesday that the EU’s 27 leaders would make key digital decisions next week as they mulled new strategies to confront China’s technological advance. The EU and China set a deadline of the end of the year to conclude the deal, which is aimed at creating a level playing field for European investors in China, and opening up the market by eliminating preferential treatment for state-owned sectors.
“Our priority would definitely be to see China open up, reciprocity and market access,” Clauss said. “But if not, then we have to adapt and move in a direction where we have to protect ourselves.” Those protective measures include more scrutiny on foreign investments coming from China, especially for the EU‘s public procurement, restricting investments from Chinese state-owned enterprises in Europe, and even giving EU money to European businesses to compete with Chinese businesses globally.
US Secretary of State says ‘tide has turned’ and the world increasingly regards China as a threat
‘The world has wakened,’ Mike Pompeo says, assailing Beijing’s governance, economic system, espionage activities and handling of the pandemic. His remarks, some say, contribute to a growing risk of a misstep as communication between the two nations falters.
US-China tensions: Asean should actively address the fallout from their feud
A cycle of reciprocal aggression between the world’s two largest and most influential powers cannot be the formula for stable or orderly coexistence. As a relatively neutral set of actors, Asean states should go beyond acting as mediators between the major powers and jointly identify possible solutions.
South China Sea: ex-US defence chief James Mattis told Beijing to play by the rules, Woodward book says
Washington journalist details private talks between the American general and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe in 2018 as tensions were rising. Mattis accused China of breaking pledge not to militarise the Spratly Islands and warned that war would be ‘extraordinarily tough’ on the Chinese.
China-Australia relations: infiltration allegations against Chinese consul ‘vicious slander’
Chinese consulate general in Sydney says it is ‘committed to promoting friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation’. Suggestions consul Sun Yantao engaged in infiltration activities are ‘totally baseless’, it says.
China-India border dispute: PLA raised combat readiness after exchange of gunfire, sources say
Chinese commanders increased alert level to second-highest possible for the first time in troubled region since 1987. Alert was only eased after nations’ foreign ministers met in Moscow.
China-India border clash: civil words cannot hide the lack of trust
The joint statement released after the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers met in Moscow reiterates old formulations, and the divergence in media reports on it only highlights the bitterness that has built up since May.
China-US tension: America pushes major weapons sales to Taiwan, putting pressure on Beijing, say insiders
US plans to sells seven major weapons systems to island as part of Trump’s increased aggression against China. There is a fear in Taiwan that Joe Biden would be less willing as president to sell America’s most advanced weapons to the island.
Domestic concerns shape China’s policy strategies
In the US–China relationship, ideology now trumps interests. In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on China at the Nixon Library repeatedly referred to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (‘the Party’) rather than as the president of China. Referring only to Xi’s power over the Party in this way is part of a US government drive to appear anti-Party rather than anti-China. It is a fundamental mistake to treat relations with China as an ideological mission. Viewing China as an ideological threat — rather than just a big power competitor — focusses too much on Xi Jinping and overlooks how his power is constrained by the Party apparatus and China’s sheer size. It also inaccurately interprets Xi’s personal leadership style as Chinese ideology.The constant focus on what things look like back home points to the people that Xi worries the most about — the elite that hang around Xi’s inner circle of the 3000 central Party members, themselves the constituency of China’s top seven leaders. That elite seems to be the group most unhappy about Xi’s reign: forced to have their values examined and questioned, and some feeling that China is going in the wrong direction. It is also the group most likely to speak to outsiders. Even bearing in mind any grumblings of the elite, the rest of China’s population reports consistently high levels of satisfaction with Xi’s leadership. So why would the United States think it can separate Xi Jinping from China’s people by labelling him ideological? China’s leaders know they must hang together or hang separately. Internal division is what they see as their main threat; turning US–China relations into an ideological battle will just unite these groups. Western foreign policy would be better directed were it anchored on this understanding.
Keep politics out of travel advisories
Hong Kong has been caught up in the rivalry between Beijing and Washington, and by raising its warning against Americans visiting the city the US has imposed a costly further sanction.
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