Conversation

04.14.17

Ivanka: A ChinaFile Conversation

Rebecca E. Karl, Yishu Mao & more
At a time of strained and erratic relations between the U.S. and China, Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and, more recently, a member of his administration, has emerged as an unlikely but singularly potent emissary, not to just to China’s...

Report Shows Labor Conditions at Chinese and American Firms in Kenya Comparable

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Nairobi-based researcher Zander Rounds joins Eric and Cobus to discuss a new comparative study on employment relations at Chinese and American firms in Kenya. Zander co-authored the report with China House Kenya founder Huang Hongxiang as part of a...

Is Trump Backing Down on China?

Eric Geller and Doug Palmer
Politico
The president last year compared China’s economic behavior to “rape.” Now he says he and Xi are “in the process of getting along very well.”

China’s Fosun Big on Expanding in Pharma

CBS News
Chinese conglomerate Fosun International will remain on the lookout for investment opportunities in the West amid concerns in the market over capital controls and debt levels, according to the company’s chairman.

Why Ford’s Electric Push in China Might Get Grounded

Wall Street Journal
On Thursday Ford Motor announced its China-focused electric-car strategy, including new vehicles. Ford’s Chief Executive Mark Fields said the “time is right” for his company to beef up in China. It is playing catch-up, though.

China Tech Investment Flying under the Radar, Pentagon Warns

New York Times
China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says.

Viewpoint

04.05.17

Xi Is Ready for the Summit. Trump Can’t Possibly Be. So What Should He Do?

Robert Daly
At the summit in Mar-a-Lago, U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to alter deeply-rooted Chinese policies despite having no China strategy. China’s Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping hopes that by making deals on secondary matters important to Trump...

Trump Team Takes Steps to Keep Chinese Away from Westinghouse

Bloomberg
The Trump administration is so alarmed that Chinese investors may try to purchase Westinghouse Electric Co.’s nuclear business that U.S. officials are trying to find an American or allied buyer for the company instead, two people familiar with the...

U.S.-China Trade Scorecard: Advantage China

Roger Yu
USA Today
When President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, he will remind his guest that China runs the largest trade surplus with the United States.

Why China’s Got Beef with U.S. Beef

Bruce Einhorn
Bloomberg
Beef may be on the table when the U.S. president and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discuss trade during this week’s summit at Trump’s Florida resort.

Viewpoint

04.05.17

No Winners or Losers, Please

Paul Gewirtz
Who will be the winner of the upcoming Trump-Xi summit? My answer: That’s a dangerous—and wrongheaded—question to focus on. Yes, we want the U.S. to win, but the U.S.-China relationship must be played and judged as a long game.The present situation...

Books

04.05.17

China’s Crony Capitalism

Minxin Pei
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property—in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay. —Harvard University Press{chop}

South Korean Automakers Cut China Production amid Missile Dispute

Hyunjoo Jin
Reuters
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp have sharply cut vehicle production in China, sources said, as anti-Korean sentiment and competition from Chinese brands play havoc on sales and threaten earnings.

China Meeting Spotlights Trump Ethics Swamp: Sen. Cardin

Ben Cardin
USA Today
We can't tell if he's acting in the public interest or tending to the family business...

Conversation

04.04.17

What Should We Expect When Trump and Xi Meet in Florida?

David Dollar, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
On April 6-7, U.S. President Donald Trump will host Xi Jinping in their first face-to-face meeting when China’s President arrives at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. The meeting comes early in Trump’s presidency, after a campaign in which he frequently...

If U.S. Trade with China Is So Unfair, Why Is GM the Best-Selling Car There?

Tim Fernholz
Quartz
Ahead of a high-stakes summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Donald Trump’s White House has made clear that it isn’t happy with China’s high tariffs on imported American automobiles.

Viewpoint

04.03.17

What Does the Future Hold for Business between the U.S. and China under Trump?

Ker Gibbs
We are now well into the first 100 days of the Trump administration. His supporters expect major changes in the China relationship. They voted for a man who promised to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods and slap China with the currency...

Chinese Capital Constraints Send Shock through Global M&A

Don Weinland and Javier Espinoza
Financial Times
Outbound deals hit lowest level since 2014 after cash clampdown

China’s Hottest New Boy Band Is Actually Made up of Five Androgynous Girls

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Acrush is made up of five women mostly in their early twenties, who all have edgy short hairstyles and dress like a bunch of boyish hearthrobs.

Kushner Family, China’s Anbang End Talks over Manhattan Real Estate Deal

Rob Schmitz
NPR
The family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has called off talks with Chinese insurance company Anbang to redevelop a Manhattan office tower—a deal that raised ethical concerns.

China Should Learn the Golden Rule

Christopher Balding
Bloomberg
The truth is that Chinese companies looking to invest abroad are treated now—as they’ve been for years—far better than China treats foreign investors.

Australian Vote on Extradition Treaty With China Is Canceled

Amien Cave
New York Times
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull canceled a parliamentary vote to ratify an extradition treaty with China on Tuesday after opposition lawmakers said they would not support it

American Airlines Buys Stake in China Southern Airlines

CNBC
American Airlines has agreed to pay $200 million for a stake in China Southern Airlines, the biggest of China’s three major state-owned carriers, in a bid for a bigger share of the country's growing travel market...

China’s Secret Plan to Crush SpaceX and the US Space Program

Clay Dillow
CNBC
China’s breakneck economic expansion may be flagging, but the country's ambitions in space show no signs of slowing down...

China’s Tencent Bought A 5 Percent Stake in Tesla

Johana Bhuiyan
Re/code
Tencent, a Chinese internet giant, is also an investor in Chinese ride-hail player Didi Chuxing.

China’s HNA in Talks to Buy Controlling Stake in Forbes: Sources

CNBC
Acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the owner of the publisher of Forbes magazine, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters

China Plans Fresh Crackdown on Tangshan Steel Production

Emily Feng
Financial Times
China is planning a new crackdown on steel production in the north-eastern city of Tangshan in a bid to prevent false reporting of mill closures by local governments reluctant to obey shutdown orders.

China State Firms Eye Land around Panama Canal: Waterway Authority

Brenda Goh
Reuters
Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China’s outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world.

American Airlines Seeks China Southern Tie-Up as Traffic Booms

Neil Gough
New York Times
American Airlines is looking to become the second big carrier in the United States to buy its way into capturing more of the big and growing business of flying to China.

The New (Red) iPhone Shows How a Simple Act of Charity Isn’t So Simple in China

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
In China tomorrow (March 24) Apple will launch the crimson-hued iPhone 7 and 7plus devices in partnership with (RED), an AIDS-relief charity it has promoted and supported for over a decade.

Australia Shouldn't Pick Between U.S. and China, Premier Li Says

Bloomberg
Australia, which has fought alongside the U.S. in every major conflict since World War I, has been careful not to offend China, which was responsible for 31 percent of its merchandise exports in the 12 months to July last year.

Here’s What Happens to the Athletic Wear Industry When China Starts Going to the Gym

Marc Bain
Quartz
If the world’s big sportswear brands could invent a country with just the right mix of ingredients to fuel their businesses for years to come, it would look a lot like present-day China.

Welcome to Yiwu: China’s Testing Ground for a Multicultural City

Helen Roxburgh
Guardian
Unlike Guangzhou’s African community—who have faced prejudice and hostility—Yiwu’s foreign residents enjoy an ‘unusual freedom of worship,’ with the municipal government even consulting international traders on city business

Why China Stoking up Anger over South Korea Missile System Is Doomed to Fail

Josh Ye
South China Morning Post
Encouraging boycotts of South Korean goods won’t stop Seoul deploying the defence shield, but will sour an economically valuable relationship, observers say

Airbnb’s Rivals in China Hold Hands in a Nervous New Market

Amie Tsang and Paul Mozur
New York Times
Airbnb sees big promise in China, where travel spending reached nearly $500 billion in 2015 thanks to a new generation of domestic tourists. On Wednesday in Shanghai, Airbnb unveiled a new Chinese name—Aibiying, which means “welcome each other with...

Uber for Bikes: How ‘Dockless’ Cycles Flooded China—and Are Heading Overseas

Nick Van Mead
Guardian
New cycle-share firms in China allow you to simply drop your bike wherever you want. They have caused colourful chaos – and world cities could be next

Donkey Skin Is the New Ivory

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Countries throughout Africa are struggling to figure out how to contain the skyrocketing price of donkeys due to surging demand for the animals in China. Donkey skin is fast becoming an increasingly prized commodity due to its use in a traditional...

South Korea Complains to WTO about China over THAAD

BBC
South Korea has appealed to the World Trade Organization to determine if the Chinese government is treating South Korean companies unfairly.

China’s Taxes on Imported Cars Feed Trade Tensions with U.S.

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
A Jeep Wrangler can cost $30,000 more in China than in the United States—and the reasons illustrate a growing point of tension between the two countries.

Viacom’s Paramount Rejected in Potential $1 Billion Film Deal with China

Claire Atkinson
MarketWatch
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures movie unit has failed to strike a deal with two Chinese groups to receive $1 billion in financing for a fresh series of films, according to several Hollywood sources who spoke to The Post.

Missile Row Drives Korean Culture Underground in China

Adam Jourdan and Joyce Lee
Reuters
The mainland chill on Korean content that follows Seoul’s decision to deploy a missile defense system is driving Chinese fans to get their “K-culture” fixes on peer-to-peer platforms instead of mainstream sites.

Apple Plans Two More R&D Centers in China as Its Challenges in the Country Continue

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
Apple has announced plans to set up two new research and development centers in China amid continued challenges to the iPhone maker in the world’s second-largest economy.

For a Change, China’s Censors Have No Problem with “Gay Moment” in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Echo Huang
Quartz
Unlike other Asian countries, China says it has absolutely no problem with a plotline involving a possibly gay character in Disney’s re-boot of Beauty and the Beast.

Sinica Podcast

03.17.17

Big Daddy Dough: Hip-hop and Macroeconomics in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
By day, Andrew Dougherty is a macroeconomist who manages a China research team for Capital Group, one of the world’s largest actively managed mutual funds. By night, he is Big Daddy Dough, creator of an album of parody hip-hop songs that explain...

Books

03.16.17

Hollywood Made in China

Aynne Kokas
China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 ignited a race to capture new global media audiences. Hollywood moguls began courting Chinese investors to create entertainment on an international scale—from behemoth theme parks to blockbuster films. Hollywood Made in China examines these new collaborations, where the distinctions between Hollywood’s “dream factory” and Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” of global influence become increasingly blurred. With insightful policy analysis, ethnographic research, and interviews with CEOs, directors, and film workers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Los Angeles, Aynne Kokas offers an unflinching look at China’s new role in the global media industries. A window into the partnerships with Chinese corporations that now shape Hollywood, this book will captivate anyone who consumes commercial media in the twenty-first century. —University of California Press{chop}

China Consumer Day Show Skewers Nike Shoes, Muji Foods

Jackie Cai and Adam Jourdan
Reuters
China’s annual consumer rights day television show turned its spotlight on U.S. sports brand Nike Inc for misleading advertising and Japanese brand Muji for selling food products allegedly sourced from part of Japan affected by radiation.

Here’s Who Will Benefit from the Beijing-Seoul Fallout

Huileng Tan
CNBC
Currently, South Korea’s decision to allow the U.S. to deploy an advanced missile defense system on the peninsula has culminated in a series of retaliatory measures from Beijing. South Korean firms have already started investing in the fast-growing...

Is Google Another Step Closer to Being Unblocked in China?

Nectar Gan
CNBC
Google is still in talks with Beijing over its plans to return to the mainland Chinese market

China Property Sales Surge Despite Efforts to Cool Market

Voice of America
Property sales by area rose 25.1 percent year-on-year in January and February.

China’s Economy Gets Off to Strong Start in 2017 as Investment Rebounds

Yawen Chen and Elias Glenn
Reuters
China issued a raft of upbeat data on Tuesday showing the economy got off to a strong start to 2017, supported by strong bank lending, a government infrastructure spree and a much-needed resurgence in private investment. 

After Dick Clark Productions Deal Fails to Close, What’s Next for Dalian Wanda?

Gene Maddaus, Brent Lang
Variety
Wang Jianlin has led a triumphal march through Hollywood.

Trump’s Top China Expert Isn’t a China Expert

Foreign Policy
Peter Navarro doesn't speak Chinese, and has scant in-country experience. Should that matter?...

Kushners Set to Get $400 Million From Chinese Firm on Tower

Bloomberg
Family company of president’s son-in-law in deal with Anbang, one of China's largest insurance companies. Plan is circulating among investors for more equity partners...

Ford to Build New Lincoln SUV in China by 2019

Detroit Free Press
Ford and its joint ventures in 2016 sold a record 1.27 million vehicles in China, though the company’s imported vehicle volume for 2016 was down overall from 2015.

Trump’s Trade ‘Hammer’ Aims to Pound China, Mexico and the WTO

Bloomberg
Lighthizer has urged a harder-nosed approach to China, which accounts for more than half of America’s $500-billion trade deficit, and more trade complaints from the U.S.

After $225 Billion in Deals Last Year, China Reins In Overseas Investment

New York Times
On Saturday, in the strongest public signal yet that Beijing is changing course, China’s commerce minister castigated what he called “blind and irrational investment.”

Lotte Stores Feel Chinese Wrath as South Korea Deploys U.S. Missile System

Javier C. Hernandez, Owen Guo, and...
New York Times
A wave of anti-South Korean sentiment has broken out across China after the South’s embrace of an American missile defense system that China says can be used to spy on its territory.

No Country Comes Even Close to China in Self-Made Female Billionaires

Echo Huang
Quartz
China is home to more self-made female billionaires than any other nation, according to Hurun Report.

As Leaders Argue, South Korea Finds China Is No Longer an Easy Sell

Motoko Rich
New York Times
Now, as the deployment of the system begins this week and China threatens to punish South Korea further, companies like Beyond Cosmetics have been bracing for worse.

Trump Trademarks Approved by China

BBC
China has given U.S. President Donald Trump the chance to expand his brand, after approving dozens of applications to register the Trump trademark.