Conversation

07.20.17

Should the U.S. Play Hardball with China on Trade?

Tom Hoffecker, Duncan Innes-Ker & more
Last week, United States President Donald Trump suggested that he is considering leveraging tariffs on Chinese steel imports. Trump’s aggressive posture has left diplomatic experts uneasy amid an already divided U.S. diplomatic house in Beijing, and...

U.S.-China Economic Dialogue Ends in a Tiff

Nikkei Asian Review
Negotiators involved in the first U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday failed to produce concrete results. The U.S. later issued a statement saying China acknowledged a shared objective to reduce the U.S.’s bilateral trade...

Chinese Billionaire Battles Talk of Trouble at Real Estate Empire

CNN
Last week Dalian Wanda sold several theme parks and dozens of hotels for $9.3 billion, marking the end of Wang Jianlin’s dream to defeat Disney (DIS) in China. The billionaire said the deal would reduce his company’s debt burden. It followed several...

CPEC: The Growing Resentment and Resistance among Poor Pakistanis Can Cost China Dearly

Quartz
In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar bilateral development project that will officials promised in 2015, “usher in an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity.”

Sinica Podcast

07.19.17

Guo Wengui: The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Billionaire Turned Dissident

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
The life and times of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui reads much like an epic play, so it is fitting that we have included with this podcast a dramatis personæ to explain the many characters in Guo’s story. Scroll to the bottom, below the...

Chinese Labor Activist Targeted over ‘Ivanka Trump Supplier Probe’

South China Morning Post
Hua Haifeng believes police arrested him and took a special interest in his work after he began investigating factories supplying Trump’s clothing brand

China Is Increasingly Becoming Key For Israel’s High-Tech Industry

Ferry Biedermann
CNBC
Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

China to Keep Monitoring ‘Irrational’ Overseas Investments

Reuters
Reuters
Chinese authorities will continue to monitor the trend of "irrational" overseas investments in the real estate, hospitality and film industries...

In Urban China, Cash Is Rapidly Becoming Obsolete

New York Times
Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay — the two smartphone payment options — before bringing up cash as a third, remote...

China Cracks down on Dalian Wanda’s Overseas Deals: WSJ

Reuters
China’s regulators have told banks to stop providing funding for several of Dalian Wanda Group’s overseas acquisitions as Beijing looks to curb the conglomerate’s offshore buying spree, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Is New Transformers a Sign of China’s Hollywood Fatigue?

Sherry Fei Ju and Charles Clover
Financial Times
Like a high-flying space robot shot out of the sky, the Transformers film franchise has crash-landed in China—singeing a promising Hollywood business model in the process.

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

KFC—Yes That KFC—Is Selling Its Own Smartphones in China

Cheang Ming
CNBC
Kentucky Fried Chicken celebrated its 30th anniversary of operations in China by unveiling a limited edition smartphone it had collaborated on with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei.

Apple Opens Data Center in China to Comply With Cybersecurity Law

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Apple has set up its first data center in China, setting the tone for how foreign companies will handle a strict new law requiring them to store Chinese users’ information in the country.

In China, Shoppers Buy Bad Loans Online with Their Groceries

Bloomberg
Among the sneakers, diapers, and pet food for sale on Taobao, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, is a listing that may take up a little more space in the online shopping basket.

Modi’s India Beats Xi’s China

Panos Mourdoukoutas
Forbes
India has been on the radar of different international agencies in recent days and has been getting high marks for its reforms and growth prospects—beating China.

China Envoy Says North Korea Trade Growth Picture ‘Distorted’

CNBC
China’s ambassador to the United States has said reports of trade growth between his country and North Korea, in spite of international efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, give “a distorted picture.”

China’s Wanda Signals Retreat on Debt-Fueled Acquisition Binge

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
The Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has epitomized the country’s high-flying deal makers, building a vast global empire of theme parks, real estate developments, and movie theaters across the United States.

Chinese Umbrella-Sharing Firm Remains Upbeat Despite Losing Most of Its 300,000 Brollies

He Huifeng
South China Morning Post
Just weeks after making 300,000 brollies available to the public via a rental scheme, Sharing E Umbrella announced that most of them had gone missing, news website The Paper reported on Thursday.

China’s Baidu Being Probed after CEO Tests Driverless Car on Public Roads

Reuters
Baidu Inc, China’s biggest search engine provider, is under investigation to determine whether it had broken any laws after its chief executive tested a driverless car on public roads.

Features

07.05.17

China is Driving a Boom in Brazilian Mining, but at What Cost?

Milton Leal
In the middle of northern Brazil’s Amazon jungle, Chinese-made digging equipment rasps at the bottom of a giant iron ore mine. Here in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in the Serra dos Carajás in Brazil’s Pará state, some 1,600 miles northwest...

China Shadow Banking Is Slowing amid More Coordinated Government Measures, Says Moody’s

Huileng Tan
CNBC
Growth in shadow banking in China is slowing due to coordinated government action to contain systemic financial risks, a development that will benefit banks, although it will also bring adjustment risks.

Environment

06.30.17

Can the AIIB Support Asia’s Energy Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), headquartered in Beijing, held its second annual meeting on the Korean island of Jeju last week. Korea is currently positioning Jeju as a zero-carbon tourist destination, so the choice of location...

China’s Richest Man Builds World’s Biggest Indoor Ski Resort, Giving Harbin Year-Long Winter

Zheng Yangpeng
South China Morning Post
Harbin Wanda City, the $6 billion resort development built by China’s wealthiest tycoon Wang Jianlin, opened for business on Friday, the conglomerate’s sixth theme park as it pushes further into the country’s leisure and entertainment industry to...

Hong Kong to Be Staging Point for Plan to Draw 100 Billion Yuan of Capital into China’s Bond Market

Karen Yeung
South China Morning Post
China’s government will allow foreign investors to trade in the country’s $9.3 trillion bond market, a vital step in helping to internationalise the yuan and help deepen the capital market.

US-China Honeymoon Over: Washington Sanctions Chinese Bank and Sells Arms to Taiwan

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Relations between the world’s two largest economies look to be entering a new phase of turbulence after the US punctured Chinese celebrations of the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return by unveiling sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North...

Depth of Field

06.29.17

Love, Robots, and Fireworks

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Included in this Depth of Field column are stories of love, community, remembrance, and the future, told through the discerning eyes of some of China’s best photojournalists. Among them, the lives of African migrants in Guangzhou, seven years inside...

Trump Is China’s Chump

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
Beijing is now quietly encouraging everyone in the neighborhood to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China’s free-trade competitor to TPP.

China Is About to Bury Elon Musk in Batteries

Joe Ryan
Bloomberg
As Elon Musk races to finish building the world’s biggest battery factory in the Nevada desert, China is poised to leave him in the dust.

Why The Great Malls of China Are Starting to Crumble

Irina Ivanova
CBS News
China, which for years has been goading consumers to spend their hard-earned yuan as the country seeks to modernize its economy, faces an all-too-American problem: too many shopping malls, and not enough people to shop there.

China's Massive Corporate Crackdown Aimed at Curbing Outflows: IMF's Former China Chief Prasad

Leslie Shaffer
CNBC
China is sending a "remarkably strong signal" about stemming capital outflows by going after big companies...

Caixin Media

06.27.17

Is China Building Too Many Airports?

Over the next three years, local authorities in China are planning to build more than 900 airports for general aviation—the segment of the industry that includes crop dusting and tourism. The figure is nearly double the central government’s goal of...

Hollywood Conducting First Independent Audit of China's Box Office

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
After years of U.S. studio concerns over a lack of transparency and possible ticket fraud, Hollywood is getting a closer look at the Chinese industry's books...

China Jails Workers from Crown Resorts of Australia in Message to Casinos

New York Times
A court in Shanghai on Monday sentenced three Australian employees of Crown Resorts to less than a year in prison each for illegally promoting gambling in China. Including the time they have already spent in prison, all three should be released in...

Coal on the Rise in China, US, India after Major 2016 Drop

ABC
The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change...

China Southern Air to Raise up to $1.9 Billion in Share Issue for Aircraft Purchase, Capital Boost

Reuters
China’s largest airline by passenger numbers said 7.8 billion yuan of the proceeds will be used to acquire 41 aircraft, and the selection and installation of lightweight seats for its A320 series aircraft.

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

Uganda: President Cancels $175 Million Mining Project

Yasiin Mugerwa
President Museveni has stopped a multi-billion copper mining project with a Chinese company at Kilembe Mines following information that a former minister pocketed a $1m bribe to influence the deal.

China’s Mistress-Dispellers

New Yorker
How the economic boom and deep gender inequality have created a new industry.

Unless China Changes Tack, India Won’t Be the Only Country Opposing One Belt, One Road

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
India said about OBOR that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Why I'm Building a Network of 10,000 Elite Scholars Who Understand China

Steve Schwarzman
CNBC
By 2007 China had become a critical player on the world's stage but few people had a deep understanding of the cultural values and traditions that underpin that nation's business, political and everyday life...

China's Government Tightens Its Grip On Golf, Shuts Down Courses

Rob Schmitz
NPR
By 2004, many of China's hundreds of golf courses were found to be built on valuable farmland through corrupt land deals...

Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market

Chris Bukcley
New York Times
The start of China’s carbon trading market late this year has been years in the making, but is now shaping up as Mr. Xi’s big policy retort to Mr. Trump’s decision to quit the Paris accord.

Big China Companies Targeted over ‘Systemic Risk’

Financial Times
China’s bank regulator ordered domestic lenders to check the “systemic risk” presented by “some large enterprises” involved in overseas buying sprees, sending stock prices of some of the country’s most acquisitive private-sector companies sharply...

China Invites Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to Visit Beijing

Bloomberg
Details of the possible trip by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs in the White House, were still under discussion, according to a U.S. official and a Chinese official who asked not to be identified. The visit may also...

China Is Trying to Pull Middle East Countries into Its Version of NATO

Washington Post
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held annual summit last week in Kazakhstan, and the most significant outcome was the announcement that India and Pakistan became its first new members since being formed in 2001.

Beijing Is Investigating Some of China’s Top Overseas Deal Makers

Wall Street Journal
China’s banking regulator is conducting a sweeping check on the borrowings of some of the country’s top overseas deal makers, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in one of the most forceful attempts yet to get a grip on runaway debt.

China Takeover Tycoons' Cash Wall

David Fickling
Bloomberg
These firms' engine isn't profit-making drudge-work selling goods but the art of persuading financiers...

Media

06.21.17

American Universities in China: Free Speech Bastions or Threats to Academic Freedom?

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 1986, Johns Hopkins University opened a study center in Nanjing University, making it the first American institution of higher education allowed to establish a physical presence in China during the Communist era. Since then, dozens of other...

China’s Trump Honeymoon: Unexpected, and at Risk of Ending

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s assertion that China had failed to pressure North Korea into curbing its nuclear and ballistic missile program means that Beijing must now confront the prospect of a stormier relationship ahead — not just over North Korea but also...

China Shares Get MSCI Nod in Landmark Moment for Beijing

Dion Rabouin, Michelle Price
Reuters
U.S. index provider MSCI said on Wednesday Hong Kong time it would add a selection of China's so-called "A" shares to its Emerging Markets Index .MSCIEF after having rejected them for three years running...

Books

06.20.17

Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China

Andrew Collier
This book is about the growth of shadow banking in China and the rise of China’s free markets. Shadow Banking refers to capital that is distributed outside the formal banking system, including everything from Mom and Pop lending shops to online credit to giant state owned banks called Trusts. They have grown from a fraction of the economy 10 years ago to nearly half of all China’s annual 25 trillion renminbi (U.S.$4.1 trillion) in lending in the economy today.Shadow Banks are a new aspect of capitalism in China—barely regulated, highly risky, yet tolerated by Beijing. They have been permitted to flourish because many companies cannot get access to formal bank loans. It is the Wild West of banking in China. If we define capitalism as economic activity controlled by the private sector, then Shadow Banking is still in a hybrid stage, a halfway house between the state and the private economic. But it is precisely this divide that makes Shadow Banking important to the rise of capitalism. How Beijing handles this large free market will say a lot about how the country’s economy will grow—will free markets be granted greater leeway? —Palgrave Macmillan{chop}

Ford to Save $1 Billion Building Focus in China Instead of Mexico

Keith Naughton
Bloomberg
Ford Motor Co. is canceling controversial plans to build the Focus small car in Mexico, saving $1 billion by ending North American production entirely and importing the model mostly from China after next year.

Alibaba Is Coming to Detroit to Sell Small Businesses the Chinese Dream

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
The Chinese e-commerce giant is pulling out all the stops to impress America at Gateway ’17, its biggest-ever public event in the United States.

China Propels Rise of Electric Ultra-High-Performance Cars

New York Times
Want an insanely fast ride with zero emissions? Startup NIO has the car: An electric two-seater with muscular European lines and a top speed of 195 miles per hour (313 kilometers per hour). The catch: The EP9 costs nearly $1.5 million. NIO, a...

Some Global Investors See Fresh Worries in an Old Problem: China

Michael Schuman
New York Times
While investors have been preoccupied with President Trump and chaos in Washington, nerve-rattling elections in Europe and the uncertainty created by Federal Reserve policy and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a once-familiar — and...

Environment

06.15.17

Bike-Sharing Schemes: Flourishing or Running Riot?

from chinadialogue
Almost one hundred Chinese cities, from Beijing to Lhasa, now have bike-sharing schemes. The bikes, clad in various colors, have GPS trackers and can be unlocked simply by scanning a barcode on the frame with your phone. Some can even be reserved...

Conversation

06.14.17

Do Street Protests Work in China?

Mara Hvistendahl, Benjamin L. Read & more
A rare street protest broke out in China’s biggest city and commercial capital on Saturday night, June 10, when residents of Shanghai marched against new housing rules that some residents claimed have caused the value of their property to plummet...

Anbang Chairman’s Detention Underlines China Business Risks

Tom Mitchell, Henny Sender, Gabriel...
Financial Times
Wu Xiaohui was targeted by insurance regulator and anti-corruption investigators.