China Press Review – September 17, 2018

Press review

Another financial crisis is coming, and thanks to Donald Trump we may not be able to solve it
David Brown says current conditions resemble those of 2007-08, but a wave of populist nationalism spearheaded by the US president is undermining global institutions that ended the Great Recession

Could China find itself at the centre of the next financial crisis because of its mounting debt?
China has been a force of stability in recent financial downturns, but may play a different role in future crises, analysts said.

As the trade war rages, China’s economic tightrope tremors
China’s banking system is under pressure as regulators attempt to reduce risks stemming from shadow banking and excessive corporate leveraging. The US–China trade war is adding to this pressure by threatening to further slow growth. The Chinese government is in a bind since its go-to methods to stimulate the economy are among the main causes of this current headache.

As the trade war rages, China’s economic tightrope tremors

Companies scramble to hire as production shifts from China to cheaper Asian centres amid deepening trade war

Hong Kong and mainland companies are planning to hire more staff in cheaper regions of Asia as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing prompt firms to shift parts of their production lines to India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Malaysia, according to an international headhunter.

China’s trade surplus with US grows to new record in August, adding fuel to trade war fire
China’s trade surplus with the United States widened to a record in August even as the country’s export growth slowed slightly, an outcome that could push President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their cantankerous trade dispute.

Donald Trump ‘wants US$200 billion in China tariffs’ despite Steven Mnuchin’s attempt to restart talks
Trump met with his top trade advisers on Thursday to discuss the China tariffs, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, say sources

Keep calm and carry on amid the current state of the trade war, for time is on China’s side
Over the weekend, Donald Trump’s trade team invited Beijing to fresh trade talks. Almost simultaneously, tweets from the White House cast doubt on the talks.

China warns it won’t play defence in U.S. trade war: report
China will not be content to only play defence in an escalating trade war with the United States, a widely read Chinese tabloid warned, as U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to announce new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods as early as Monday.

As Trump’s Trade War Mounts, China’s Wall Street Allies Lose Clout
Beijing long turned to big banks to help get its way in Washington, but the old back channels have proven ineffective when it comes to trade tensions.

How Worried Should China Be About its ‘Consumption Downgrade’?
Whether there is a “consumption downgrade” remains debatable, but real threats are growing in China’s economy.

Beijing urged to print more money to help China cope with Donald Trump’s trade war
‘Prudent’ monetary policy is binding the country’s hands, former official argues

‘Winter is coming’ for China’s private market investors as economy slows, forcing many to adjust strategies
The pain Zhao is feeling has been dubbed “the winter of capital” by Chinese investors and entrepreneurs. In response to a domestic economic slowdown, Chinese financial regulators have stepped up financial deleveraging measures to reduce bad debt risks. As a result, the number of Limited Partners (LPs) that invest in venture capital deals and private equity funds has decreased, along with financing from banks, shrinking the pool of cash to fund start-ups.

Trade war will not derail China’s promise to open up its financial markets, central bank chief says
Road maps, timetables ‘already very clear’ and will be implemented, People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang tells economists’ forum

The next crisis could be triggered by the US-China trade war, interest rates: Sovereign wealth chief
Economic troubles in emerging markets and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China could potentially increase the risk of the next financial crisis, according to the chief executive officer at South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Chinese Art Of Economic War
We are witnessing an increasing number of countries being bullied by bigger, stronger, more developed countries. Now, China has to react to Trump’s aggressive trade measures and I think its actions will be inspired by Unrestricted Warfare.

Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser Liu He meets pro-market liberals as debate over China’s future direction rages
Chinese vice-premier attended conference where a series of speakers called for the private sector to play a greater role in the country’s development

Briefing: Alipay and UnionPay join forces on barcode payment
On September 14, a source told an NBD News reporter, Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay inked an agreement with China’s UnionPay. The two will cooperate on card-less and barcode payments, with Alipay offering some payment clearing services through UnionPay. The news follows a similar development this past April, in which UnionPay announced a QR code payment partnership with WeChat Pay. According to Wang Pengbo of internet consultancy Analysys, Alipay’s partnership with a payment clearing organization was inevitable and also forms part of a nationwide trend

Briefing: Alipay and UnionPay join forces on barcode payment

Can China keep the climate cool while its air-conditioning market heats up?
Alan Miller says China’s contribution to climate-agreement quotas is crucial as its population increasingly turns to air conditioners to beat the heat and the nation remains a key player in global sales

How Michael Kors Learned to Speak Chinese—And Sparked NYFW Sales
For fashion houses and luxury brands, one big-spending demographic has often fallen between the cracks: the Chinese consumers residing outside of China. But brands have started to realize they can no longer afford to ignore this group given that their dependence on Chinese consumers for growth has reached unprecedented levels.

How Michael Kors Learned to Speak Chinese—And Sparked NYFW Sales

Top 10 most relevant brands in China
Chinese consumers find IKEA, BMW and Nike less relevant to them now. Local brands now constitute the majority of the 2018 China Brand Relevance IndexTM (BRI) by Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy.

Top 10 most relevant brands in China

Chinese Millennial Skincare Gets a Black Tech Makeover
The vaunted 10-step Korean skincare routine is now an established beauty ritual in Western countries, but to Chinese millennials, skincare routines that spread layers over layers of creams on the face have become passé. Instead, they’re turning to a mysterious and futuristic science to transform their appearance that’s known cryptically as “Black tech” (黑科技). It involves technologies such as radio frequency, LED light, micro electric current, and T-sonic pulsation—sci-fi sounding words that have become common topics among this generation of “skintellectuals.” It’s a trend that many consider a natural amalgam of two big Chinese millennial interests: beauty-tech and skincare.

Chinese Millennial Skincare Gets a Black Tech Makeover

China and California rise above US trade war for action on climate change
‘Patience, imagination and perseverance’ will overcome temporary obstacles of Trump’s trade policies, says state governor

Teijin builds China plant for lightweight electric-car parts
Japanese maker’s alternative to steel will tap into growing electric-car production

Tencent-backed news app Qutoutiao triggers circuit breaker five times as it jumps 128 per cent in volatile Wall Street debut
Analyst suspects speculative trading has played a part in the wild swings of several recent Chinese IPOs

China Calls for Borderless Research to Promote AI Development
Chinese leaders, including Vice Premier Liu He, joined business mogul Jack Ma and executives from Google at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai to support a borderless approach to AI research. He called for foreign investment in the country and pledged to foster “an environment of free thinking” to support development.

China’s home prices rise at fastest rate for 2 years
Sixth consecutive monthly acceleration points to likelihood of further government restrictions to keep housing affordable

Hong Kong will take a huge step towards smart banking this week with introduction of no cost, immediate interbank fund transfers
A new payment system that will allow free real-time fund transfers among platforms such as PayMe, Alipay and WeChat Pay will be launched as scheduled on Monday, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

China must take urgent action to push its private sector past a crisis of confidence
A firestorm of criticism following a social media post advocating that the private sector should be phased out has exposed how it is still treated as a second-class player

Unit Of Debt-Ridden HNA Faces ‘Uncertainties’ In Buying China’s E-Commerce Site Dangdang
Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co., Ltd., the investment vehicle of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. that is widely-known for acquiring American company Ingram Micro, is facing a possible failure in its attempt to take over Chinese e-commerce platform Dangdang Inc.

Unit Of Debt-Ridden HNA Faces ‘Uncertainties’ In Buying China’s E-Commerce Site Dangdang

China’s dreams of 5G dominance hit roadblock in Western markets
More countries likely to follow Australia’s move to exclude Huawei and ZTE

The electric plants powering China’s new agricultural revolution
Scientists hail breakthrough as results of the world’s largest experiment confirm fruit and vegetable output can soar without chemical pesticides and fertilisers

New entrants in Xi’s Belt and Road dreams
Chinese planners aim to bring Hong Kong and Macau closer to the mainland through better rail and road links. They also believe the connectivity will act as a boost for the Belt and Road initiative

Japan and China crossing tracks in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian countries still face major challenges in regional market integration and connectivity. ASEAN plans to strengthen connectivity through the development of a series of rail, road and water links offering regional powers not only the opportunity to secure overseas investment contracts but also to shape Southeast Asian infrastructure in their favour. This opportunity has heightened competition between two of Asia’s giants, Japan and China, in overseas infrastructure financing and high-speed rail (HSR) construction.

Japan and China crossing tracks in Southeast Asia

China’s Belt and Road investment up 12 percent in Jan-Aug
China’s foreign direct investment in 55 countries covered by the Belt and Road initiative increased 12 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year, official figures showed on Thursday.The value of investment stood at US$9.58bn, accounting for 12.9 percent of the China’s total outbound investment from January to August, according to data released by China’s Ministry of Commerce.

In Pakistan, Chinese money grapples with a Karachi-Lahore
A new administration in Islamabad is spooking Beijing with its calls for transparency over the US$62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, but it may be a reflection of internal rivalries that have long been a problem

podcast : The Center of China’s Belt and Road
Here’s why Kazakhstan comes out a winner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China struggles with Belt and Road pushback
China, in an implicit recognition that at least some of its Belt and Road-related projects risk trapping target countries in debt or fail to meet their needs, has conceded that adjustments may be necessary.

How Djibouti is about to lose its port to China
One such African country that is exhibiting all the red flag signals of going the Sri Lankan, and now Zambian, way is Djibouti.

Belt and Road Initiative: China’s global development strategies have changed the rules of the game
Despite their many promises, sweepingly ambitious projects, from Malaysia to Pakistan, offer stark and uncomfortable choices to some of the world’s poorest countries

China to create three ‘green economic belts’ in BRI countries including Pakistan
Three belts will be created using poplar trees, under a plan released by the China Green Foundation
Pakistan The belts are expected to start in Northwest China and connect countries in Central and West Asia, such as Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey.

Going postal: how Donald Trump is threatening the international mail system
David Dodwell says the US president’s gripes that the American postal service is subsidising other countries’ trade – and singling out China – may be justified but here, as elsewhere, unilateralism is not the way forward

China says tackling African swine fever ‘complex and challenging’
Inspection team to be formed to patrol major provinces that could be at threat from the disease after series of outbreaks since early August

Amazon investigates staff bribery claims
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s investigation began in May when the firm was tipped off about the practice in China.The Journal said independent brokers had used Chinese messaging service WeChat to connect independent sellers with Amazon staff.

China Should Rein In Ghost Cities That Kill The Dreams Of Its Young Citizens
China’s ghost cities make it extremely difficult for young Chinese to buy a home and form a family. And that’s bad news for the future of China, and its financial markets.

America needs more Chinese teachers, but Donald Trump’s immigration policies may make it harder to get them
While demand for Chinese language education is on the up, stricter rules on immigration may make it harder for schools to find enough qualified teachers

Is Beijing’s offer of residence permits to Taiwanese a trick or treat?
More than 22,000 mainland-based Taiwanese have already obtained the cards but critics say they are being duped

Fan Bingbing tax evasion scandal: four luxury brands caught up in the Chinese actress’ fall from grace
The actress, one of China’s highest-earning entertainers, has not been seen in public since the July scandal. Her disappearance poses some difficult questions for the luxury brands she endorses

On internet censorship, China can tell the US: told you so

They’re coming from different angles, but American leaders are beginning to sound a lot like China’s when warning of the dangers of an untamed, unregulated internet

Alain Gillard
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