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February 18, 2019

China applauds ‘positive’ Donald Trump tweet, hopes for US trade war deal ahead of Washington talks

A tweet by US President Donald Trump on the ongoing trade war is a “positive” signal, brightening prospects of a deal from this week’s talks in Washington, according to an opinion piece published by China’s major state media outlets on Monday.Monday’s opinion piece was published the day before a Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He is expected to leave for talks in Washington.In the tweet on Sunday, Trump said: “Important meetings and calls on China trade deal, and more, today with my…
February 18, 2019

China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains

Millions of Chinese individuals and businesses have been labelled as untrustworthy on an official blacklist banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates.The annual blacklist is part of a broader effort to boost “trustworthiness” in Chinese society and is an extension of China’s social credit system, which is expected to give each of its 1.4 billion citizens a…
February 18, 2019

China’s January passenger car sales in biggest drop in seven years as worries over economy, spending deepen

China’s car sales fell 17.7 per cent last month from a year earlier to 2.02 million units, marking the lowest January sales since 2012.Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that there was a 15.8 per cent decline in total vehicle sales in China in January to 2.37 million units.It is the seventh straight monthly decline in the world’s largest car market, and adds to wider concerns over domestic consumption and economic growth.Global carmakers such as Volkswagen and…
February 18, 2019

US-China trade war bogeyman hangs over American toy industry expo

The US-China trade war has dealt a glancing blow to American toys, hitting putty and arts and crafts items, while sparing superhero action figures, toy cars and most bestsellers.Uncertainty about the trading relationship between Beijing and Washington hung over this weekend’s Toy Fair New York, dampening the festive mood as about 30,000 industry representatives surveyed the latest and greatest in play.China manufactures about 85 per cent of the toys and games sold in the United States and is…
February 18, 2019

Singapore’s January exports to China collapsed in ‘very worrying’ development for both economies

Singapore is feeling the pinch of China’s economic slowdown as exports to the mainland collapsed in January.Non-oil exports to China showed a dramatic fall in January, crashing by 25.4 per cent, while Singapore’s oil exports to China plummeted by 30.8 per cent, showing a broad-based decline, and sparking concern about the economic prospects of both nations.Sales of gold to China collapsed by 94.9 per cent, while specialised machinery exports fell 55.2 per cent and measuring instruments fell 40…
February 17, 2019

Rising protectionism, concerns about technology’s reach are politicising, delaying merger reviews, lawyers say

As concerns rise about the reach of big technology companies and China’s growing political and economic influence around the globe, cross-border mergers and acquisitions are increasingly becoming politicised, deal lawyers said.Global merger and acquisition activity hit record levels last year, but the rate of deals falling apart was at its highest since the global financial crisis, according to a new report from the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.“Antitrust agencies around the world…
February 17, 2019

With or without trade war deal, disputes between China and US set to intensify, says Beijing commentator

It is wrong to advocate confrontation, but it is not right to pretend there is peace either. In the current economic climate, China and the United States may reach a trade deal to avoid an escalation in the current tariff war, but such an agreement will not lead to harmonious coexistence between Beijing and Washington. Demands from Washington can be generalised into two main themes. One is asking China to open up its market further, and the other is asking China to reform its state-led…
February 17, 2019

Donald Trump says US-China trade talks were ‘very productive’ after briefing

US President Donald Trump received an update on the US-China trade talks on Saturday at his Florida retreat after discussions in Beijing saw progress ahead of a March 1 deadline for reaching a deal. Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago club, was briefed in person by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and trade expert Peter Navarro, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic adviser...
February 16, 2019

China’s top economists call for more action to fend off growing risks

Top Chinese economists have called for more action to keep the economy, investment and job market steady as the country faces growing risks, including from the trade war with Washington. The call came from members of the Chinese Economist 50 Forum – which includes government officials and advisers – who gathered in Beijing for their annual meeting on Saturday. On the agenda was how to stabilise the economy, foreign direct investment, employment and expectations – all issues...
February 16, 2019

China’s top economists call for more action to fend off growing risks including trade war

Top Chinese economists have called for more action to keep the economy, investment and job market steady as the country faces growing risks, including from the trade war with Washington.The call came from members of the Chinese Economist 50 Forum – which includes government officials and advisers – who gathered in Beijing for their annual meeting on Saturday.On the agenda was how to stabilise the economy, foreign direct investment, employment and expectations – all issues that have become top…
February 15, 2019

How could a sharp slowdown in China affect growth prospects for the rest of Asia?

The threat of a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown in China could damage Asia’s growth prospects, according to analysts. While optimism is rising over continuing trade talks between the United States and China, they have yet to reach a deal and remain far apart on key structural issues. If the conflict were to intensify, China’s challenge would be to cushion its economy from a fall. China’s latest data on foreign trade, GDP growth and the purchasing managers’ index...
February 15, 2019

Chinese drivers switch lanes, follow US motorists in buying more used cars

Chinese consumers, whose penchant for frequent upgrades created the world’s largest automobile market in a generation, are discovering of late that new is not everything. They are switching gears to buy second-hand cars, eschewing first-hand models, as economic growth in mainland China weakens to its slowest pace in decades and an ongoing trade war with the United States spills over into uncertainties about investment and job prospects. Beijing, pushing its electric vehicle market, is...
February 15, 2019

Donald Trump’s fair trade and intellectual property demands ‘good for China’, says economist Jin Keyu

US President Donald Trump’s demands for China to protect intellectual property rights and to conduct fairer trade practises are “actually good for China”, Jin Keyu, an associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics, said. “What the US are demanding of China to do in terms of better protection of intellectual property and fairer trade practises are all good things for China in the long run,” said Jin in an interview this week. “What...
February 15, 2019

Brexit deadline looms for Asia-bound ships as slow boats to China set sail from the UK

Dozens of cargo ships will set sail on Friday from the United Kingdom on journeys that will see them enter Asian ports after the United Kingdom has left the European Union. The status of these container ships is causing headaches among officials at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post understands, ahead of the planned Brexit on March 29, with some journeys lasting as long as 48 days. The officials are concerned that ships could be “stranded at...
February 15, 2019

China’s loans hit all-time high as banks open floodgates in January to help slowing economy

New loans in China surged to an all-time high in January, highlighting Beijing’s scramble to bolster economic activities at home amid the trade war with the United States. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, said on Friday that new yuan loans surged to 3.23 trillion yuan (US$476.97 billion) last month. The figure almost tripled the 1.08 billion yuan (US$159.48 million) of loans in December, while also beating the 1.6 trillion yuan (US$236.27 billion) of...
February 15, 2019

China and US make ‘progress’ in Beijing but trade war talks to continue in Washington next week

China and the United States have agreed to continue talks in Washington next week after two days of negotiations in Beijing produced “progress” but not enough to seal a deal to end the trade war, a source briefed on the talks said. “Talks will continue next week among the same group of people, but at a different place,” the source, who declined to be identified, told the South China Morning Post. “The last two days in Beijing made progress but not enough to seal a...
February 15, 2019

China and United States make ‘progress’ in Beijing but trade war talks to continue in Washington next week

China and the United States have agreed to continue talks in Washington next week after two days of negotiations in Beijing produced “progress” but not enough to seal a deal to end the trade war, a source who had been briefed on the talks told the South China Morning Post. “Talks will continue next week among the same group of people, but at a different place”, the source said, who declined to be identified. “The last two days in Beijing made progress but not...
February 15, 2019

China’s government tells banks to ‘increase financial support’ for private firms to aid slowing economy

China’s top leadership has increased the pressure on lenders and financial regulators by urging them to do more to provide financial support to small and private businesses in a move aimed at keeping the slowing economy on track and maintaining social stability amid the trade war with the United States. Banks, local governments and regulators have been urged to change the behaviour of commercial banks, who have only been offering lukewarm financial support to private borrowers. “...
February 14, 2019

Chongqing battling rising unemployment as China’s traditional industrial base follows nationwide slump

With the Chinese economy slowing, concern has increased among Chinese policymakers about the outlook for employment, since ensuring sufficient employment is seen as a necessary ingredient in maintaining social stability in the country. Employment was the top priority the Politburo set last July when it shifted its economic policy focus to stabilising growth, leading the government to enact a series of policies to counter rising joblessness. This series will explore the employment challenges...
February 14, 2019

Chongqing battles rising unemployment as China’s traditional industrial base follows nationwide slump

With the Chinese economy slowing, concern has increased among Chinese policymakers about the outlook for employment, since ensuring sufficient employment is seen as a necessary ingredient in maintaining social stability in the country. Employment was the top priority the Politburo set last July when it shifted its economic policy focus to stabilising growth, leading the government to enact a series of policies to counter rising joblessness. This series will explore the employment challenges...