China Press Review – September 17, 2019

Press review

US-China trade war pessimism has created investment opportunities, asset manager Merian Global says
Firm’s largest investments are in Chinese technology giants Tencent and Alibaba, as well as Ping An Insurance Investors are bearish and nervous, which has made equities cheap as an asset class, Nick Payne, Merian Global’s head of global emerging markets, says

Chinese vice-minister heads to Washington as trade talks’ focus broadens
Liao Min leads Chinese negotiation team for first time in discussions to prepare the way for top-level talks in October

China pushing ahead with controversial corporate social credit rating system for 33 million firms
National Reform and Development Commission has completed its initial assessments, which will be used to label firms excellent, good, fair or poor Foreign firms fear they will be targeted in the event of a trade dispute or to give domestic firms a commercial advantage

Trade War and Oil: Double-Trouble for China’s Economy?
Traditionally an export powerhouse, the Chinese economy has been shifting toward a consumption-driven model in recent years. This change is evident in the fact that its exports as a percentage of GDP came down to 19.5% in 2018 from a peak of 36% in 2006.
However, a slowing economy, a possible rise in fuel bills, and a weakening Chinese yuan may hamper the prospects of China’s consumer sector. For Alibaba (BABA) and (JD), this could be bad news. Alibaba is a dominant player in the Chinese e-commerce market with more than a 50% share. is a distant second with just over a 15% share. Since May, when the trade war escalated, Alibaba stock is down 4.6%. Although has gained 1.9% during the same period, it has marginally lagged the 2.1% gain in the S&P 500 (SPY).

Chinese key stock index falls by the most in 10 weeks as central bank refrains from stimulus to arrest economic slowdown
The PBOC did not cut the medium-term lending facility (MLF) rate in its open-market operation, dampening hopes of lower borrowing costs Hong Kong’s stocks slide for a second day as MTR retreated on train derailment

The Great Anti-China Tech Alliance
The United States and Europe will regret letting Beijing win the race to govern digital technology.

The Great Anti-China Tech Alliance

World Bank urges China to open tech industries
The World Bank and a Chinese Cabinet agency have urged Beijing to roll back plans for government-led technology development that are fueling a tariff war with Washington. The appeal Tuesday comes in a report on technology industries as “new drivers” for China’s economy that was commissioned three years ago, before the trade war erupted.

World Bank urges China to open tech industries

Moving Supply Chains From China to Southeast Asia/South Asia: It’s Not as Easy as it Looks
In our own practice, we find many buyers expect their new suppliers from S.E. Asia and South Asia will operate at the same level as has been achieved in China. Their supply chain system usually assumes this. They are then surprised to learn that the level of performance in these new territories is more like China was in the 1990s and not at the level China has achieved. So buyers are faced with a new period of monitoring and training. Many smaller buyers are not prepared for the effort this requires. For this reason, buyers need to consider the key issues carefully before they move their manufacturing out of China.

Moving Supply Chains From China to Southeast Asia/South Asia: It’s Not as Easy as it Looks

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang seeks to manage expectations in Moscow
Agriculture deals may soften blow of US trade war but analysts say Russia is looking for more investment from China

China’s aircraft market worth US$3 trillion, says Boeing
It predicts that China will soon become the world’s largest aviation market and will need 8,090 new planes by 2038

Budweiser to raise US$4.8 billion in Hong Kong IPO, adds Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC as investor
IPO will be second-biggest globally after Uber’s US$8.1 billion listing in May Revived listing comes after Budweiser Brewing Company APAC scrapped its offering in July as protests, trade war intensified

China corn industry also hit by African swine fever as demand for pig feed drops
China grew 257 million tonnes in 2018 or 40 per cent of the country’s overall grain production, comprising 7.8 per cent of gross domestic product Private estimates show China’s pig population has dropped by as much as 60 per cent, while corn imports could also increase as part of US-China trade war deal

China will release 10,000 tons of pork from its national reserves
China will release 10,000 metric tons of pork from its central reserves this week in a bid to stabilize soaring pork prices and cope with a swine fever crisis that has wiped out roughly one third of its pigs.

‘New challenges’ for China in crackdown on ozone-destroying chemicals
Environment Minister Li Ganjie says next phase of adhering to Montreal Protocol needs government to improve policies and strengthen supervision Study found China was responsible for half of the global rise in banned CFC emissions

RCEP: Asia races against clock to save trade deal of the decade
Japan-South Korea rift and India-China rivalry complicate talks

The success of China’s Belt and Road depends on global cooperation not competition
Since its inception in 2013, opportunity and anxiety have pervaded China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The transcontinental development project has been described as a 21st century Silk Road seeking to expand trade, increase connectivity, boost foreign investment, and ultimately reduce poverty. Yet the project has also been dogged by controversy, with criticism that new infrastructural costs were burdening poor nations with debt. A new report suggests the merits of the scheme could be multiplied if leading economies can overcome geopolitical tensions and collaborate to fund key projects. The report from consultancy Silk Road Associates and global law firm Baker McKenzie forecasts five scenarios showcasing how the 2020s could be “a golden era” for emerging market infrastructure investment. The study looked at potential BRI investment in over 150 countries involving plans for railways, ports, roads, and more.

Vivo offers new smartphone with 5G, 4G versions as China demand for advanced service still in early days
Less than 1 million 5G smartphones are forecast to sell in China this year, according to IDC That number is projected to grow to 57 million next year as 5G network services expand

Dangerous Demographics: China’s Population Problem Will Eclipse Its Ambitions
If demographics are destiny, then China is facing its biggest challenge in decades with no easy long-term solution in sight.

Pressure from Beijing, looming vacancy tax will force Hong Kong’s developers into faster and cheaper project launches, say analysts
The looming tax on unsold flats and a series of Chinese state-media commentaries citing unaffordable housing as a factor in the protests rocking Hong Kong have put the city’s developers under pressure, say analysts Developers may price new projects at 10 to 20 per cent below the prevailing secondary market price, said Lung Siu-fung of CCB International Securities

Shenzhen: Industry, Economics, and Policy Trends
Often dubbed China’s “Silicon Valley”, Shenzhen is China’s fastest-growing city. It is ranked by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as the mainland’s top city for “overall economic competitiveness” and is China’s premier Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for foreign investment as well as a sub-provincial class city.

Hong Kong airport’s loss is Guangzhou and Shenzhen’s gain amid ongoing anti-government protests
Monthly passenger numbers at Guangzhou airport edged ahead of Hong Kong for the first time in August, while Shenzhen airport also recorded gains Hong Kong’s airport recorded its biggest decline in a decade last month, as anti-government protests have gripped the city

No wonder Hongkongers are frustrated when the system is so unequal, unaffordable and uncaring
Hong Kong’s youth and its middle class no longer believe in upward mobility and see little but more competition ahead. Facing economic insecurity and disconnect from older generations, they turn to protests as a way of belonging. A new social contract is needed to restore faith

Hong Kong’s hotel sector is in free fall as violent protests keep tourists from the mainland, and elsewhere, away
In a matter of months, the strong fundamentals of Hong Kong’s tourism industry have been dealt a massive blow. The hotel market is now a proxy for the perceived stability of Asia’s financial hub, and things don’t look good

Several dozen Hong Kong retailers likely to fold as protests hit sales, leaving thousands unemployed
Hong Kong’s retailers are likely to miss out on the five-day golden week holiday sales bonanza in early October as mainland tourists stay away A local employment agency says up to 30 per cent of the city’s retailers are now asking full-time employees to go on unpaid leave

China unveils supersonic spy drone during National Day military parade rehearsal
Expect ‘exciting new weaponry on show’ during event marking 70th anniversary of founding of People’s Republic, analyst says At least two types of advanced unmanned aerial vehicle likely to take part

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