China Press Review – September 24, 2018

Press review

US-China trade war ramps up as tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese imports take effect
The third round of US tariffs on Chinese imports is an escalation of the conflict between the world’s two biggest economies

China accuses United States of ‘bullying’ on trade but calls for cooperation
Beijing attacks Washington over ‘economic intimidation’ in a white paper laying out its trade war stand for the first time

Trump’s tariffs threaten China’s economy. It already has cracks
American and Chinese officials have made headlines in recent months for their confident predictions of trade war victory, but many longtime China watchers say the most important drivers and trends affecting Asia’s largest economy go well beyond tariffs. As the trade war escalates, it will not be easy for the Chinese government to use public spending to boost investments due to its mounting debt.

Trump has made his point with the US-China trade war, now the real work must begin
David Brown says a rethink of the US’ trading relationship with China is long overdue, but instead of a protracted conflict, both sides should take steps to agree on a mutually beneficial dynamic

Trump’s tariffs: How is the exclusion process working?
Commerce has received over 30,000 requests but has acted on less than 15 percent of them

Trump’s tariffs: How is the exclusion process working?

US-China trade war: visit to Washington by Beijing’s top economic adviser Liu He cancelled, source says
US should ‘correct its mistakes’ on handling of issue, foreign ministry says, as Donald Trump boasts of having ‘more bullets’

Why Trump’s trade war is a blessing in disguise for Chinese leaders
Tariffs and the US president’s bluster are tightening the screw, but could be a much-needed reminder of China’s real strength and limitations

Trump’s China Fight Puts U.S. Tech in the Cross Hairs
As tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods go into effect on Monday, tech and telecom companies warn that America’s dominance is at risk.

The U.S. Is Ignoring The Progress China Has Made
China has a reputation for being a currency manipulator, having mercantilist trade practices, glaring disrespect for IP and depending on exports for growth. While these things were all true in the recent past, today much of this doesn’t hold much water anymore and in other fields there have been real improvements. Denying this progress and trying to isolate China risks halting, and even undoing this progress, apart from the economic damage trade wars tend to bring.

Trade war takes bite out of Chinese port city Tianjin
Ironically, tariffs hit Samsung and German luxury car dealers hardest

China’s grain imports fall as trade war tariffs on American products come in
Shipments of animal feed staple sorghum plummet despite drop in prices in overseas market

Amid escalating US-China trade war, Hong Kong must figure out how to protect its unique interests
Maintaining city’s special status and sparing it from possible collateral damage form important mission for commerce minister during Washington visit

In crossfire of US-China trade war, Hong Kong headgear company finds safe haven in Bangladesh factory
Relocating production elsewhere could be a solution as tariff row escalates between two superpowers, but for those who have not done so, the process would take years

Asian firms shuffle production as China tariffs hit
Companies—including SK Hynix of South Korea and Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba and Komatsu of Japan—began plotting production moves since July, when the first tariffs hit, and the shifts are now under way

‘The whole world economy’ is at risk if the US-China trade war gets much worse: SocGen chair
The financial markets are not paying enough attention to the escalating U.S.-China trade war, Societe Generale’s Lorenzo Bini Smaghi says. “If it gets worse, the whole world economy is going to slow down,” warns the Italian economist. With new reciprocal tariffs earlier this week, the question is whether Trump will follow through on a threat to target the rest of Chinese imports.

Risk is rising that all of imports from China could be hit with US tariffs, Goldman Sachs says
Goldman Sachs said the odds of the US imposing tariffs on all Chinese imports were 60 percent as trade tensions between the two countries escalate. That could bolster inflation as prices rise, the bank added.

China’s debt rises to USD 2.58 trillion
China’s spiralling debt, a major concern for the slowing down of its economy, has risen to USD 2.58 trillion, a media report said Sunday. The country’s top legislative body has decided that the upper limit for local government debt this year should be 21 trillion yuan. China’s local government debt balance stood at 17.66 trillion yuan (USD 2.58 trillion) by the end of August, but it remained within the official limit, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the Minist ..

Trade war escalation may trigger financial crisis in China, researchers warn
Study looked at possible scenarios where the US could try to constrain, or even attempt to destroy, China’s financial markets, financial assets and its currency

EU sends second warning to UK over customs duty shortfall
The European Commission said on Monday it had sent Britain a second warning to recover 2.7 billion euros ($3.18 billion) in customs duties it failed to collect on Chinese imports between 2011 and 2017.

How tensions with the West are putting the future of China’s Skynet mass surveillance system at stake
The twin pressures of the US-China trade war and threatened sanctions of sensitive critical components are forcing security authorities to turn to innovative solutions

Chinese netizens shell out for content, embracing pay model
Convenient mobile payments and piracy crackdown boost video and music sales

Gold price may top US$1,300 in 2019 as investors seek sanctuary from the deteriorating trade war
The price of bullion could average US$1,350 an ounce in 2019, compared with this year’s average of US$1,285, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Hukou System in Shanghai: Benefits, Eligibility, and Application Process
Hukou (户口) is a system of household registration in China. Each citizen is issued a household register under supervision of the Ministry of Public Security, China’s police. Hukou serves as an identity proof for citizens, recording their basic information and permanent residence.

China and Japan are still best of frenemies, 40 years on from treaty of peace and friendschip
In 1978, an accord between Beijing and Tokyo ended a near century-long enmity. Now, as the countries prepare to celebrate the anniversary of that historic day, they find themselves drifting apart once more

Why China buying up ports is worrying Europe
Far-reaching commercial activities raise question of whether port investments are linked to military purposes and represent a security risk in host countries

China’s Richest Man Deepens Auto Industry Ties With $1.9B Guanghui Stake
China Evergrande Group, controlled by China’s richest man Hui Ka Yan, has agreed to invest $1.9 billion for a 41% stake in one of the country’s largest automobile distributors.

Biotech Companies Offer New Investment Opportunities in Hong Kong
New listing rules for the Hong Kong Exchange is opening the door to a wave of global biotech companies bringing new investment opportunities to the region. While investing in these early stage companies with little to no revenue and possibly years from launching products may seem intimidating, for aggressive investors, biotech companies with promising pipelines offer a potential for extraordinary returns as drug development is a big-money business. With a growing global population and no shortage of diseases to be treated, global drug sales are expected to grow from $1.1 trillion in 2016 to $1.5 trillion by 2021.

Luxury E-tailer Farfetch’s IPO Receives Premium Price
In a global endorsement of the luxury market and e-commerce’s role in growing it, investors splurged big on the initial public offering of Farfetch, a high-end e-tailer.

Luxury E-tailer Farfetch’s IPO Receives Premium Price

As China builds biotech sector, cash floods U.S. startups
Crammed in tight, four-person booths executives use for private conversations, the former GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L) executive pitched dozens of U.S. biotech companies to partner with his start-up, Brii Biosciences.Months earlier, Hong had raised $260 million – much of it from Chinese and Asian investors – with a strategy to bring U.S. biotechnology drugs to China, the world’s second-largest prescription drug market and home to a rapidly growing biotech sector.

China’s tech boom at risk over muddled tax hike proposals
THE venture capitalists of China are starting to get nervous. Venture investments have driven a boom in technology startups over the past five years, but funding has started to slow in recent months. Now the government is floating new tax policies that could hammer investors, persuading some to pull back on cutting deals until they get more clarity.

Jack Ma, New Retail, and Robots: What we saw at Alibaba’s Computing Conference
During his speech at the investor day event, Ma emphasized the theme of this year’s event — “Empower Digital China” — when he evoked the U.S.-China Trade War. He suggested Chinese manufacturers could survive the mêlée by boosting innovation, and he urged the industry to follow the example of Chinese retail. Ma said, “We only protect the future. We only protect the hope. We only protect the new ideas.” All week, Alibaba made sure their new ideas were on full display — most notably, the company’s smart logistics network, Cainiao; their new retail flagships, Hema supermarket and BingoBox; and their partnership with the city of Hangzhou, City Brain 2.0.

Jack Ma, New Retail, and Robots: What we saw at Alibaba’s Computing Conference

Actress Shu Qi sells Hong Kong villa at a loss as world’s priciest property market starts to cool
Markets observers say the actress got off lightly as home prices are expected to fall further on the back of rising interest rates and trade war concerns

Easy money in China, Japan bodes well for real estate investments
Real estate a more stable asset class with less volatility in price fluctuation compared to stocks, bonds, says LaSalle Investment Management

Why China’s elite athletes soar internationally as its schoolkids plod at home
While Beijing spends heavily training elite athletes to win gold medals, its young people remain unable – or reluctant – to exercise owing to a lack of facilities, a shortage of qualified teachers and safety concerns

Italy aims to be China’s first G7 partner on belt and road
Deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio says he wants to sign cooperation deal with Beijing before year is out

China admits challenges in BRI amid pushback
China has admitted that it may have to make some adjustments to Belt and Road-related works, an acknowledgement of concerns that the mega projects it is implementing in India’s neighb ..

Why China can’t win the world with easy money
Indian politicians and diplomats fear China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to finance and build massive infrastructure projects in 78 countries, controlling infrastructure running through Asia and Europe. China believes this will help it dominate the 21st century.

Fears in Zambia of huge debt bust from China-fuelled building boom
Critics say Lusaka is hiding the extent of the country’s borrowings from Beijing and could be about to hand over control of key state assets

Could the humble cabbage help stop the march of African swine fever in China – and the world?
Chinese researchers say some common plants harbour a molecule that appears to alter the DNA of the virus plaguing pig farms from Africa to South America

China says new African swine fever outbreak reported in Inner Mongolia
China said on Monday (Sep 24) it has confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China, as authorities struggle to contain the highly contagious disease.

China scrambles to avoid a repeat of last winter’s botched coal-to-gas conversion programme in highly polluting northern rural areas
China Gas, a major natural gas distributor, says it has lined up supply contracts to ensure it can heat a growing number of rural homes – but some analysts are sceptical as another winter approaches.

Taiwan mulls opening citizenship door to Southeast Asia to cope with cross-strait brain drain
Proposed economic immigration bill is Taipei’s response to Beijing efforts to lure talent away from self-ruled island

China has a big fat problem with US-style ‘body positivity’
What’s the healthiest approach: making people feel comfortable about their obesity … or fat-shaming our way to more healthy lifestyles?

Chinese tycoon Xiao Jianhua could face trial ‘soon’ for stock manipulation, sources say
Billionaire has not been seen in public since disappearing from a luxury Hong Kong hotel in January 2017

Hong Kong National Party’s call for ‘armed revolution’ no mere political slogan but a threat to safety and order, security minister John Lee says
Minister elaborates on his decision to ban party, describing how it spread hatred against mainlanders and planned to infiltrate schools

How to Leave China AND Survive
Why is this company right to be so afraid and what are the risks for a foreign company seeking to leave China? Equally importantly, what can you do to mitigate those risks?

How to Leave China AND Survive

China Contracts: Not Quite Legal Usually Means 100% Illegal
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to remind people that having a contract that seems sort of legal is not even close to the same thing as having a contract that is really legal and actually enforceable. See China Contracts: Make Them Enforceable Or Don’t Bother. The big difference is that most of the time it is just flat out impossible to sue on a contract that is not truly legal. In other words, a less than fully legal, truly enforceable contract is no contract at all.

China Contracts: Not Quite Legal Usually Means 100% Illegal

Here’s What Mooncakes Tell Us About Millennial Trends in China This Year
Less than a decade ago, China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a traditional Chinese festival that starts from September 24 this year, gained so much in popularity that its unique celebratory treat—the mooncake—began to transform from a humble snack into a high-priced delicacy. Now, confectioners are re-imagining the gourmet dessert with all kinds of creative twists in an attempt to lure luxury-loving millennials to these tasty temptations. And while baking ingredients and techniques matter more than ever, Jing Daily assessed the marketing of China’s newest high-end mooncake offerings to see what exactly is wooing China’s young consumers—even if it only matters once a year.

Here’s What Mooncakes Tell Us About Millennial Trends in China This Year

China Shuts Over 4,000 Websites In Massive “Clean-Up” Campaign
China has shut down more than 4,000 websites and online accounts in a three-month campaign against “harmful” online information, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, citing the country’s illegal publication watchdog

One Belt, One Love
As China goes global, so are many relationships—with mixed results

Alain Gillard
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