China’s Tightening Grip on Tech Giants: DealBook Briefing

Amie Tsang and Michael J. de la Merced
New York Times
If the Chinese government goes through with a plan to gain board seats at some of its country’s top technology players, will that cause problems when those companies go hunting for deals overseas?

Video

10.11.17

The Town at the Heart of China’s Black Market in Ivory

from Environmental Investigation Agency
Last year, in response to mounting criticism for its key role in the steep decline in the world’s elephant population, China announced that it would ban ivory trading and shutter all of the country’s 177 licensed ivory processing companies and...

China Treats Its Foreign Aid Like a State Secret. New Research Aims to Reveal It.

Adam Taylor
Washington Post
Since the turn of the century, China has become an unavoidable global provider of foreign assistance, funding everything from opera houses in Algeria to tobacco farms in Zimbabwe.

China Hastens the World toward an Electric-Car Future

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China.

While U.S. Moves toward Coal, China Bets Big on Solar

Ben Tracy
CBS News
In southern China, the country flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar installation - built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now...

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Secures China Release Date (Exclusive)

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
A disappointing North American debut has placed added pressure on the major Asian territories where the film has yet to open, led by the massive China market.

Breakingviews - China's Oil Giants Brace for Electric Car Crash

Katrina Hamlin
Reuters
China’s push into new energy vehicles (NEVs) – including battery-powered and hybrid cars – could curb demand for black gold. Sinopec and PetroChina will be hardest hit. The policy will also add to downward pressure on global crude prices.

Accelerating Fintech in China

Joshua Bateman
TechCrunch
China’s expeditious adoption of fintech is generating profits not only for startups, but also the companies investing in them. Sitting in the headquarters of FinPlus, a fintech venture capital firm and accelerator, its CEO, Mosso Lau, said, “There...

This Year's Oscar Contenders from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan Are the Perfect Lens into the Places They're From

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
The Oscar nominations coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China have not attracted much buzz internationally, but each region’s submission touches on issues in that capture the ambitions, desires, and insecurities of its people. Taken as a trio, they...

New Documentary Portrays Nuanced View of Africans’ Experience Living in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When filmmakers Zhang Yong, Hodan Abdi, and Fu Dong set out to make a new documentary on the African migrant experience in China, they were determined to ensure that their own voices and experiences came through in the story. Until now, most if not...

Conversation

10.06.17

Is China the Future of Bitcoin, or Its Past?

Andrew Collier, Isaac Mao & more
China often dominates the market for Bitcoin, a virtual currency managed by a decentralized network of computers: at points over the last few years, China may have accounted for more than 75 percent of Bitcoin trading. Energy subsidies there make it...

Chinese Theaters Are Shortchanging U.S. Film Studios, MPAA Audit Finds

Daniel Miller
Los Angeles Times
Some Chinese theaters are shortchanging U.S. film studios whose movies are shown in the world’s most populous country, according to a person familiar with an audit conducted by the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

Ivanka Trump’s Business in China Shrouded in Secrecy as Public Trade Data Disappears

Erika Kinetz
Independent
It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump's merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, an Associated Press investigation has found...

In China, Cryptocurrency Sales Persist in the Shadows

Chuin-Wei Yap
Wall Street Journal
Three days after Chinese regulators outlawed cryptocurrency fundraising in early September, a woman met with half a dozen individuals at a Beijing golf club to pitch a digital-currency investment opportunity.

The Curious Career Paths of China's Public-Sector Bosses

Tom Mitchell
Financial Times
The official heroes of China’s state-sector reform program range from dedicated anti-graft investigators, who have purged dozens of allegedly corrupt executives over recent years, to strategically minded administrators determined to create a stable...

Exclusive: One Ford, Two Systems - U.S. Carmaker Revamps China Strategy amid EV Push

Norihiko Shirouzu, Joseph White
Reuters
U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) is overhauling its China plans as its global “One Ford” strategy is holding it back in the world’s biggest auto market, two high-ranking company insiders told Reuters.

As Sanctions Bite, North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub

Philip Wen
Reuters
Almost 100,000 overseas workers, based predominantly in China and Russia, funnel some $500 million in wages a year to help finance the North Korean regime, the U.S. government says.

China Accused of Flooding Europe with Cheap E-Bikes

Ivana Kottasová
CNN
Imports of Chinese e-bikes to Europe have increased from almost zero in 2010 to an estimated 800,000 in 2017, according to the European Bicycle Manufacturers Association. The industry group has had enough: It filed a complaint with the European...

China Steps up Battle Against Runaway Property Prices

Xinning Liu and Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Chinese banking regulators have told lenders to crack down on the use of consumer loans to finance home purchases, the latest effort to cool down the overheated property market and rein in financial risk.

The New Generation of Chinese Collectors Shaking up the Art World

Oliver Giles
CNN
Michael Xufu Huang is hard to miss. In March of this year, the Chinese art collector turned heads at a Guggenheim party by showing up in a white leather jumpsuit. A week later, he swept through the VIP opening of Art Basel in Hong Kong in a powder-...

Media

09.29.17

Trump on China

In the run-up to and during his race toward the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump made frequent statements about China, its people, and the government in Beijing, in remarks that ranged from effusive praise to outright attack, and which...

China Gives Carmakers More Time in Biggest Electric-Vehicle Plan

Bloomberg
China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score program tied to the production of electric cars, giving automakers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

China to Shut down North Korean Companies

BBC
China has told North Korean companies operating in its territory to close down as it implements United Nations sanctions against the reclusive state.

China Leads the March of Women Learning Business

Emily Feng
Financial Times
In her early 20s Cindy Mi preferred long pencil skirts and severe blazers. She was managing her family education business and she projected authority by dressing conservatively.

Books

09.27.17

Cracking the China Conundrum

Yukon Huang
China’s rise is altering global power relations, reshaping economic debates, and commanding tremendous public attention. Despite extensive media and academic scrutiny, the conventional wisdom about China’s economy is often wrong. Cracking the China Conundrum provides a holistic and contrarian view of China’s major economic, political, and foreign policy issues.Yukon Huang trenchantly addresses widely accepted yet misguided views in the analysis of China’s economy. He examines arguments about the causes and effects of China’s possible debt and property market bubbles, trade and investment relations with the West, the links between corruption and political liberalization in a growing economy, and Beijing’s more assertive foreign policies. Huang explains that such misconceptions arise in part because China’s economic system is unprecedented in many ways—namely because it’s driven by both the market and state—which complicates the task of designing accurate and adaptable analysis and research. Further, China’s size, regional diversity, and uniquely decentralized administrative system pose difficulties for making generalizations and comparisons from micro to macro levels when trying to interpret China’s economic state accurately.This book not only interprets the ideologies that experts continue building misguided theories upon, but also examines the contributing factors to this puzzle. Cracking the China Conundrum provides an enlightening and corrective viewpoint on several major economic and political foreign policy concerns currently shaping China’s economic environment. —Oxford University Press{chop}Related Reading:“What the West Gets Wrong About China’s Economy,” Yukon Huang, Foreign Affairs, September 14, 2017“Challenging Conventional Wisdom,” Chen Weihua, China Daily, April 28, 2017“Cracking China’s Debt Conundrum,” Yukon Huang, Financial Times, December 6, 2016“Despite Slower Growth, China’s Economy Is Undergoing Major Changes,” NPR Interview with Yukon Huang, January 19, 2016

China's ‘Teapot’ Oil Refiners Feel the Heat as Competition Grows

Anjli Raval and Neil Hume
Financial Times
China’s independent oil refiners face an uphill struggle as excess capacity in the sector and slower demand for fuel creates a tougher trading environment, a top executive has warned.

Conversation

09.27.17

How are NGOs in China Faring under the New Law?

Holly Snape, Anthony Saich & more
In September 2016, Beijing implemented a new law governing charities, which changed the ways domestic charitable organizations can register and fundraise. Then in January 2017, Beijing began implementation of a new law on the management of foreign...

China Considers Rule Change That Could Aid Tesla

Trefor Moss and Eva Dou
Wall Street Journal
The move could pave the way for Tesla Inc. to manufacture vehicles in China.

As China Piles on Debt, Consumers Seek a Piece of the Action

Keith Bradsher and Ailin Tang
New York Times
Chinese central bank data shows that consumer loans have grown almost 50 percent since the start of last year, and the International Monetary Fund said it expected China’s household debt as a percentage of its economic output to double by 2022...

Ice Hockey Makes Push to Help China Get Its Skates On

Christian Shepherd, Pei Li
Reuters
The corralling of such resources behind the latest attempt by a major league to tap into the country’s huge market reflects how keen Beijing is to develop interest in the NHL and how much effort will be needed to make China an ice hockey country.

Media

09.23.17

The German Edition of the Falun Gong-Affiliated ‘Epoch Times’ Aligns with the Far Right

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On the eve of the German election Sunday, it’s no surprise that Russian state-funded media outlets are attacking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sensationalizing migrant violence, and providing conciliatory coverage of far-right groups. Russia,...

S&P Downgrades China, Says Rising Debt Is Stoking Economic, Financial Risks

Elias Glenn
Reuters
S&P’s one-notch downgrade to A+ from AA- comes as Beijing grapples with the challenges of containing financial risks stemming from years of credit-fueled stimulus to meet ambitious government economic growth targets.

Before Wisconsin, Foxconn Vowed Big Spending in Brazil. Few Jobs Have Come.

David Barboza
New York Times
Before the Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn pledged to spend $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, the company made a similar promise of 100,000 jobs in Brazil. Six years later, Brazil is still waiting for most of those jobs to...

BYD Predicts Ambitious China Shift to Electric Cars by 2030

David Stanway
Reuters
All vehicles in the country will be “electrified” by 2030, which could range from full electric cars to mild hybrids, Chinese automaker BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said on Thursday. BYD, backed by Warren Buffett, has already invested heavily in the...

Fame Academy, the Chinese College Offering Classes in How to Become an Internet Celebrity

Liu Zhen
South China Morning Post
Chongqing Institute of Engineering has already enrolled 19 students, mainly female, to be taught about how to present themselves online to attract viewers and translate fame into profit.

Trump's Threats Loom as China Weighs Opening to Wall Street, Tesla

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Coincidence or not, China appears set to ease restrictions on foreign automakers and banks amid sustained pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to open up its economy.

China's Pollution Crackdown Shakes up Iron Ore Traders

Neil Hume
Financial Times
Over the summer, price differentials between high and low grade iron ore have intensified amid a government-led crackdown on pollution and outdated steelmaking capacity. That has caught many traders on the hop and left some nursing nasty losses from...

The Timing May Be Right for Facebook to Enter China next Year, Analyst Predicts

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
A Mizuho report pointed out that Beijing tends to lessen its media scrutiny during an administration's second term, and Facebook may have “an opening” after Xi Jinping begins his second five-year term in November...

China Considers Lifting Foreign EV Cap in Free Trade Zones

Bloomberg
China is discussing a plan to allow foreign carmakers to set up wholly owned electric-vehicle businesses in its free-trade zones in a major revision of a fundamental principle governing the country’s auto industry policy since the 1990s, according...

Trump to Punish China outside WTO

Charles Wallace
Forbes
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Monday that the Trump Administration is drawing up plans to punish China outside the World Trade Organization.

Fugitive Tycoon Guo Wengui Assailed by Businessman Who Says He Was Framed for Crimes

South China Morning Post
China’s highest profile fugitive, exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, is under attack from a former business partner who claims Guo got him framed for crimes he says he did not commit.

Africa Needs Infrastructure, China Wants to Build It. So What’s the Problem?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Every week seemingly brings a new announcement of a Chinese-financed mega project somewhere in Africa. Last week’s announcement of a $5.8 billion power station in Nigeria that will be financed and built by Chinese state-owned companies is typical of...

Media

09.18.17

Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor, Susan Shirk & more
The following is an edited transcript of a live event hosted at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2017, and named for a new book by Richard McGregor, the former Beijing Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, “ChinaFile Presents: ‘Asia’s...

China vs U.S.: Who Is Copying Whom?

Louise Lucas
Financial Times
China is gradually shedding its reputation as the world’s technology copycat. It still spawns lookalikes, whether they be GoPro-style action cameras or Didi Chuxing, a ride-hailing app that looked awfully like Uber until it added Chinese...

Conversation

09.15.17

Bannon Says the U.S. Is at ‘Economic War with China.’ Is He Right?

Paul Haenle, Jacqueline N. Deal & more
Steve Bannon, whose controversial views on China remain hugely influential in the White House, is visiting Hong Kong this week to speak at a China investment conference. In August, before he left his White House position as chief strategist, Bannon...

China's WeChat Crackdown Drives Bitcoin Devotees to Telegram

Lulu Yilun Chen
Bloomberg
With administrators personally liable for what is said on groups they run, users of bitcoin exchanges OKCoin, Huobi and BTCChina are migrating to services beyond the Chinese government’s reach.

G.M. Chief, in China, Challenges Planned Bans of Gasoline Cars

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Speaking in Shanghai on Friday, Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors said her company was making a big push to develop electric cars but that consumers, not government dictates, should decide how cars are powered.

China Plans First Dollar-Denominated Bond Sale in a Decade

Gabriel Wildau and Jennifer Hughes
Financial Times
China is planning to sell dollar-denominated bonds for the first time in a decade, as it seeks to take advantage of investor appetite for Chinese credit amid the country’s unexpectedly strong economic growth.

China Is Stumbling Hard at Acquiring the High-Tech Chip Companies It Wants So Badly

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
US president Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a Chinese private-equity firm’s proposed $1.3 billion purchase of Lattice Semiconductor, an Oregon-based chip manufacturer.

VW, China Partners to Recall 4.86 Million Vehicles over Takata Airbags

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Official Chinese estimates show over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel.

China's Two Largest Tech Companies Sign a Deal over the West's Biggest Music

Andrew Flanagan
NPR
Among the deals being signed that shape the way the world experiences culture, a new partnership will exert a great influence on the flow of content from the world's three remaining major record labels to an enormous and growing marketplace —...

The Rise and Rise of China's Xiaomi in India

Abhishek Baxi
Forbes
A couple of years ago in 2015, MIT Technology Review ranked Xiaomi number 2 on their list of 50 Smartest Companies -- a list that also had companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft who were rated far below the Chinese smartphone and smart home...

What the World’s Emptiest International Airport Says about China’s Influence

Brook Larmer
New York Times
The four-lane highway leading out of the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota gets so little traffic that it sometimes attracts more wild elephants than automobiles. The pachyderms are intelligent — they seem to use the road as a jungle shortcut — but not...

China Just Reversed Two Policies Designed to Keep the Yuan from Sliding

Elena Holodny
Business Insider
China is reversing course and loosening some financial restrictions after the yuan's appreciation in 2017...

China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race

Bloomberg
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.

Smuggling Operations at Sea Targeted in Latest UN Sanctions against North Korea

Liu Zhen
South China Morning Post
The UN has called on member states to use “new tools” to clamp down on smuggling activities at sea under the latest sanctions against North Korea following its nuclear test last week.

Sinica Podcast

09.11.17

China’s Tightening Grip on Cyberspace

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Adam Segal returns to Sinica to comment on China’s recent cybersecurity law—where it came from, how it changed as it was being drafted, and how it may shape the flow of information in China in the future. Other issues discussed include the...

Next Stop for the Steve Bannon Insurgency: China

Mark Landler
New York Times
Stephen K. Bannon plans to travel to Hong Kong to deliver a keynote address at an investor conference, where he will articulate his call for a much tougher American policy toward China.

Renminbi Slides after China Relaxes Currency Controls

Gabriel Wildau, Tom Mitchell, Jennifer...
Financial Times
The renminbi suffered its worst day in three months after China’s central bank scrapped two rules intended to bolster the currency in a sign that official nervousness about currency depreciation and capital flight has eased.

China to Shut Bitcoin Exchanges

Chao Deng
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to shut down, delivering a heavy blow to once-thriving trading hubs that helped popularize the virtual currency pushing it to recent record highs.