China Press Review – September 9, 2019

Press review

China’s August exports unexpectedly shrink, imports remain weak
China’s exports unexpectedly fell in August while imports shrank for a fourth month, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy and underlining a pressing need for more stimulus as the Sino-U.S. trade war escalates.

China’s current account shrinks, but for how long?
There was one point of consensus among financial analysts and journalists following China at the turn of 2019. China was headed toward a current account deficit and would cease to be a net lender to the world. It wasn’t an implausible forecast. China’s current account deficit fell over the course of 2018 and US tariffs seemed set to knock China’s exports back a notch or two. But the potential impact of this swing was often over-stated and does not characterise the real risks.

China’s current account shrinks, but for how long?

More Fortune 500 companies worried about impact of Donald Trump’s China trade war strategy, US Chamber of Commerce says
Forty-three per cent of Fortune 500 firms – up from 30 per cent at the start of the year – have shown concern about US president’s tariff battle with China
Tariffs may be at point where they ‘seriously’ hurt companies, consumers and the wider economy, report says

Is Donald Trump’s trade war making China change?
40 per cent of European companies say China has improved market access US companies say China’s efforts on intellectual property protection have not gone far enough

How China has responded to US unhappiness
Analysts say the pace of market-driven change has quickened slightly as a result of Donald Trump’s trade war

China’s role in global finance has changed radically, but for how long?
‘If you owe the bank $1 million, you have a problem. But if you owe the bank $1 trillion, then the bank has a problem’. It’s an old gag, but it underscores an important point: the size of your borrowing or lending can have profound implications for your role in the world.

China’s role in global finance has changed radically, but for how long?

China firms, hit by trade war, build up local brands
Their focus on domestic market is set to spell fiercer competition for big foreign companies

Tariffs are no longer China’s biggest problem in the trade war
In the end, simply looking out for U.S. security concerns above immediate economic benefits might have been the point of this trade war all along.

A Big Mistake China’s Political Elite Makes In Fighting The Trade War
In fighting the US-China trade war, China’s political elite makes a big mistake: it assumes that China has achieved “power parity” with the US. That’s according to a recent article published in the September issue of Current History. It argues that the growing economic interdependence between the world’s two largest economies has given China the “false impression” that it has reached power parity with the US; and that gives Chinese officials the confidence that they can reach a “win-win” deal with Washington.

US must concede final 20 per cent to agree trade war deal with China, leading Chinese expert says
Jin Canrong, an international relations professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, says China had agreed to 80 per cent of a deal as far back as May ‘Between 60 and 70 per cent’ chance of Chinese President Xi Jinping and American counterpart Donald Trump agreeing a deal in November if US can lower demands

China’s foreign exchange reserves up US$3.5 billion in August despite yuan drop
Total rises beyond analysts’ forecasts to US$3.1072 trillion, according to central bank figures released on Saturday Increase from July due to stable balance of international payments and generally stable economic growth, regulator says

China offers to make US farm purchases as officials prepare for trade talks
Offer could be contingent on US easing export restrictions on Huawei and delaying October 1 tariff increase Depending on how negotiations proceed, Trump is also considering delaying another round of tariffs set for December 2015

Trump’s blacklisting of Huawei unfair and un-American, Microsoft president says
Microsoft’s Brad Smith warns Washington’s trade restrictions could expand beyond Huawei, threatening the US firm’s global competitiveness

Huawei is laying off workers in China as US sanctions bite
Huawei is reportedly laying off thousands of employees in China as the Shenzhen-based telecommunications equipment maker continues to struggle with a US trade ban that has cut it off from American suppliers.

Huawei is laying off workers in China as US sanctions bite

From US to China, Britain to Argentina, geopolitics are roiling markets, starting with currencies
The US dollar, Chinese yuan, British pound and Argentine peso have been quick to feed geopolitical tensions into wider markets. As political dramas unfold, fast-moving currency markets will continue to release value for shrewd investors

Opinion: Merkel must step up her China strategy
On her latest visit to China, Angela Merkel managed to sign 11 deals and also brought up the Hong Kong crisis. But she failed to take genuinely courageous and determined stance on China, says Maximiliane Koschyk.

German investment in China up 62.7% in first 7 months
Germany saw its newly added investment in China grew by 62.7 percent year on year in the first seven months of this year as bilateral trade and investment continued growing, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely invests in German flying-car start-up Volocopter
A Geely-led round of investment raises US$55 million to help the German company’s VoloCity air taxi launch commercially within the next three year

Five things to know about Alibaba as Jack Ma hands over the reins
Chinese tech giant faces challenges as Daniel Zhang inherits chairman title Although most of the company’s income comes from the domestic market, “globalization has always been Alibaba’s long-term strategy,” said Zhang in his 2018 letter to shareholders. Indeed, the Hangzhou-headquartered company with some 103,000 employees around the world operates data centers in 10 countries outside China and has expanded its logistics networks to Southeast Asia and Europe. But it remains unclear how Alibaba will navigate through growing trade protectionism and geopolitical tensions at the time when Ma — its public face and best-known ambassador to the world — is leaving his post. While Alibaba has a “very good” team, Ma’s retirement will cast a shadow over the company’s overseas ambition, said Shaun Rein, a managing director of Shanghai consultancy China Market Research. “He has got the charisma to call the CEO of a big company in America and say, ‘Let’s sit down and talk.’ I’m not sure that people want to meet Daniel Zhang in the same way they want to meet Jack Ma,” Rein said.

5G Contribution to China Economy to Reach $1 Trillion in 10 Years – Business Executive
The direct and indirect contribution of 5G technology to China’s economy by 2030 will amount to 6.5 trillion yuan ($915.4 billion), Wang Jianzhou, the former chairman of one the world’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile Limited, said on Saturday

Disparities in China’s Regional Growth: A Look at H1 2019 GDP Data
Regional growth trends, however, show that the risks of a slowdown will not be felt evenly across the country. With rising land and labor costs and a more export-oriented economy, China’s wealthy coastal areas may be more exposed than others to the supply chain disruptions caused by the trade war. At the same time, they are the country’s most diversified and innovative economies, making them best positioned to lead China’s new economy. Conversely, China’s industrial north is showing no signs of rebounding, despite the government’s best efforts. And while inland regions have seemingly shrugged off the trade war by growing at the fastest rates in the country, questions about their sustainability linger. As China enters a “new normal” of slower growth, the country is becoming increasingly segmented into distinct regional economies – with some having brighter prospects than others.

Will nationwide waste sorting solve China’s landfill problem?
Landfill sites around the country are filling up ahead of time, adding urgency to the authorities’ need to cut the amount sent to them Rubbish sorting schemes in cities led by Shanghai have followed a boom in building incineration plants

Chinese appliance makers show European ambitions at Berlin expo
Haier seeks to extend air conditioning success to smart washers and fridges

China’s passenger car sales drop in August
China’s passenger car sales continued to shrink in August, data from an industrial association showed Monday. The retail sales of passenger vehicles reached 1.564 million units last month, down 9.9 percent year on year and up 5.4 percent month on month, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Xpeng starts delivery of 2020 models as NEV market is poised for recovery
Electric vehicle maker Xpeng Motors has started delivering the 2020 version of its first mass market SUV model, the G3, timed for what experts foresee will be a pickup in Chinese new energy vehicle market at the end of the year.: The delivery of XPeng’s newest model follows a July backlash from consumers over the unexpected release of the G3 2020 version, which features an extended driving range and lower price tag.

Xpeng starts delivery of 2020 models as NEV market is poised for recovery

China’s Internet Industry Causing ‘Significant’ Carbon Emissions
Using renewable energy to power data centers would help the sector reduce its carbon footprint, according to a new report from Greenpeace East Asia and North China Electric Power University.

Big data to ‘put big pressure on China’s clean energy goals’
Greenpeace and the North China Electric Power University say demand from internet data centres will be met by coal-fired power plants Internet giants have ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to drive country’s economy towards green energy

The trade war has changed US-China ties forever, so Beijing is building bridges to the EU through the belt and road
The trade conflict will more likely than not end in a stalemate, sending Beijing scrambling for sophisticated partners China’s overtures to Europe make sense in this light, since Donald Trump has not shown the foresight to counter them

Are Japan and China really getting along?
Following the 2019 Osaka G20 summit, Japan–China relations appear to have entered a new period. While improved Japan–China ties are in the national interests of both countries, the ongoing US trade war with China is beginning to have significant effects on the relationship. Can Japan and China continue to improve relations? What benefits does this rapprochement offer the two countries

Are Japan and China really getting along?

Can China take advantage of rift between South Korea and Japan?
Seoul’s decision not to renew agreement with Tokyo on sharing military information could provide Beijing with a golden opportunity, Ankit Panda writes End of GSOMIA will be a setback for the United States, which had underscored the central role of strong alliances in region

If China and India speak in one voice, the world will listen: Sun Weidong
India and China advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalisation, trade liberalisation, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism

China’s pork prices starting to ‘scare’ consumers as discontent soars
Across China, prices have doubled since July, reaching record highs of 30 to 33 yuan per kilogram, surpassing analyst expectations Beijing has implemented policies to offset increases but it is expected to take years to restore stocks after African swine fever outbreak led to 1 million pigs being culled

Meat imports surge to ease pressure from tight pork supply
China’s meat imports, including pork and beef, have surged in the first eight months of the year, national data showed on Sunday. China’s imports of pork jumped 66.1 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year, with beef imports rising by 65.2 percent, national broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday.

A ‘ghost market’ hangs on in the shadow of Shenzhen’s hi-tech ambitions
This is part of an occasional series on tech in Shenzhen, the city that has been called “China’s Silicon Valley” The night market takes place after dark in Huaqiangbei, the world’s biggest electronics wholesale district

Shenzhen, a blueprint for Chinese cities, must abandon Hong Kong’s property model, warns China’s ‘godfather of real estate’ Meng Xiaosu
Meng Xiaosu, who spearheaded China’s property reform policies in the 1990s, said flawed property policies were the root of many of Hong Kong’s social ills The government of Shenzhen took the idea of selling land-use rights to developers through auctions from Hong Kong

Is China trying to replace Hong Kong with Shenzhen?
With support from the former British colony, Shenzhen has grown from a sleepy fishing village to a centre for hi-tech, but can it really overtake its world-famous neighbour? Beijing-based analyst Zhang Lin considers the central government’s plan to make it a socialist model city

Collaboration is the Greater Bay Area’s competitive advantage
Beijing’s Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, published early this year, lays out a vision for a vast technology, finance, manufacturing and logistics hub built on a network of nine major cities in Guangdong, plus Hong Kong and Macau. The ambitious schedule set by the Outline Development Plan (ODP) states that the ‘framework’ of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) should be in place by 2022 and that the GBA should have become an effective economic system supported by innovation by 2035.

Can Hong Kong maintain its status amid protests despite Beijing’s push to turn Shenzhen into a financial hub?
In a series of in-depth articles on the unrest rocking Hong Kong, South China Morning Post goes behind the headlines to look at the underlying issues, current state of affairs, and where it is all heading In this latest instalment, The Post looks at speculation that anti-government protests will mean Hong Kong runs the risk of being replaced by Shenzhen as the financial heart of the Greater Bay Area

Forget Lam’s extradition U-turn, Xi’s channelling of Mao shows he’s about to get tough on Hong Kong
Any optimism that the crisis has been defused is likely to be short-lived Protesters may feel emboldened – and if they do, they have misread the mood in Beijing

How Lennon Walls and human chains link Hong Kong’s protesters to cold war Europe
‘Leaderless resistance’ to controversial extradition law looks to 1980s Prague and the Baltic states for creative and peaceful means of dissent Analysts say Eastern Europe’s long memory of communist rule explains antipathy felt in countries like Lithuania and Czech Republic towards Beijing’s tactics

US bill on Hong Kong won’t help city out of political crisis, former diplomat says
If city loses special status as a result of the proposed legislation it ‘would be the death knell for Hong Kong’, according to Stephen Orlins
National Committee on US-China Relations president makes remarks as protesters march to US consulate, calling on Washington to pass the act Hong Kong expects democracy, the Chinese don’t want it. It was clear from the start: historian Wang Gungwu

Hong Kong expects democracy, the Chinese don’t want it. It was clear from the start: historian Wang Gungwu
The renowned academic Wang Gungwu reflects on unresolved tensions that have endured ever since the formulation of ‘one country, two systems’ These span from Tiananmen Square to China’s failed attempt to make Shanghai its new financial centre

Hong Kong businesses can help to end the street protests, by putting stakeholders above shareholders
A profit-at-any-cost corporate mindset, especially in real estate, has created deep inequalities, a major factor behind the protests roiling Hong Kong Companies that can invest in employees and focus on delivering value to society will be initiating a paradigm shift that will ultimately benefit shareholders

Hong Kong protesters warned not to try Beijing’s patience as Chinese state media denounces rally at US consulate
Latest commentaries follow Sunday’s demonstration urging US Congress to pass Hong Kong human rights bill Editorial in China Daily says Beijing will act if things get out of control, while tabloid Global Times warns against ‘fit of hysteria’

Hong Kong is expat paradise? Many are reconsidering whether to leave amid protests
Applications for general employment visas dropped 7 per cent in August from a year earlier Online forums now often feature expats debating whether to let their kids take mass transit

Germany’s Angela Merkel renews call for peaceful resolution to Hong Kong protests
German chancellor says in talks with Beijing she ‘advocated that conflicts be resolved without violence and that anything else would be a catastrophe’ She also criticised China’s social credit system during speech at a university

India challenging China’s influence in the South China Sea with outreach to Russia and other regional powers, analysts say
India and Russia have agreed to launch a maritime route that would partly go through the hotly contested waters Traditional security allies also could ramp up their military and technological collaboration

Despite US unease over China and Russia in the Arctic, there are ways for everyone to be a winner
As China deepens Arctic activities and ties with Russia, the US has ramped up both its rhetoric and military spending Given the rich natural resources in the region, finding ways to cooperate is in everyone’s interest

The U.S.-China Cold War Is a Myth
The 20th century’s great standoff doesn’t explain the emerging dynamic between Washington and Beijing.

The U.S.-China Cold War Is a Myth

Confucius Institutes: The growth of China’s controversial cultural branch
Concerns are growing about Chinese influence on academic campuses around the world According to China, its Confucius Institute is “a bridge reinforcing friendship” between it and the world

Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 16

Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 16

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