Xi Jinping Has More Clout Than Donald Trump. The World Should Be Wary

Economist
American presidents have a habit of describing their Chinese counterparts in terms of awe. A fawning Richard Nixon said to Mao Zedong that the chairman’s writings had “changed the world”. To Jimmy Carter, Deng Xiaoping was a string of flattering...

The Chinese World Order

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
Ten years ago the journalist James Mann published a book called The China Fantasy, in which he criticized American policymakers for using something he called “the Soothing Scenario” to justify the policy of diplomatic and economic engagement with...

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 to Debtors: Pay up or Be Shamed

Keith Bradsher and Ailin Tang
New York Times
Troubled by huge debts run up by big state companies and politically connected local governments, China is taking steps instead to go after the little guys.

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.

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...

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...

What We Know about China’s 19th Party Congress and the Possible Economic Fallout

Sara Hsu
Forbes
On October 18, China will hold its 19th National Party Congress, which will provide broad indications for economic policy in the coming years. While it has been projected that there will be significant changes among the top party members, President...

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.

China's Real Reasons for Enforcing North Korea Sanctions: Trump, Party Congress

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Washington has praised the world's second-largest economy for making progress in enforcing sanctions imposed on North Korea. But China's current measures may just be a temporary move for its own gain...

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.

This Week, Half of China's Population Is on the Move

Echo Huang
Quartz
Close to 700 million people in China are expected to travel during the country’s National Day holidays, known as the Golden Week, which kicked off on Sunday (Oct. 1).

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.

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 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.

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

As China’s Economy Slows, ‘Business Cults’ Prey on Young Job Seekers

Javier C. Hernandez and Iris Zhao
New York Times
Some look like high-tech firms, promising young college graduates a fast track to riches. Others pose as charitable groups on a membership drive, or companies building a sales network for a new product. Tens of millions across China are signing up...

Chinese Cities Order Steel Output Cuts Earlier Than Expected to Fend off Smog

South China Morning Post
The city of Handan in the top steelmaking province of Hebei has ordered steel mills to halve output a month earlier than expected, according to media reports, the latest city to ramp up efforts to reduce the smog that blankets northern China during...

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...

Viewpoint

09.24.17

China, Global Peacemaker?

James Bowen
In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave opening remarks to a two-day international forum designed to demystify and attract support for Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” This estimated $1 trillion investment campaign aims to create extensive...

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...

China's Path out of Poverty Can Never Be Repeated at Scale by a Country Again

Zheping Huang, Tripti Lahiri
Quartz
Since China began its market reforms in the late 1970s, it has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, slashing the rate from nearly 90% in 1981 to under 2%, as measured by the World Bank’s latest spending benchmark.

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...

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...

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...

Viewpoint

09.15.17

There Is Only One China, And There Is Only One Taiwan

Richard Bernstein
One of Beijing’s least favorite people is Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a landslide election victory 18 months ago on a platform calling for more separation from China—a coded way of rejecting one of the mainland’s most sacred principles...

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...

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.

China and Russia Warn the U.S. Not to Seek North Korean Regime Change

Ting Shi and David Tweed
Bloomberg
In supporting a watered-down version of North Korea sanctions, China and Russia had a stern warning for the U.S.: Don’t try to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime.

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.

China Steps up Curbs on Virtual Currency Trading

Peng Qinqin, Wu Yujian and Han Wei
Chinese regulators ordered a halt to all virtual currency trading platforms in the country, acting to further rein in risks related to cryptocurrencies, Caixin learned from a source close to regulators.

China's Export Engine Slows as Imports Maintain Steady Gains

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China’s export growth slowed as global demand for the country’s products moderated, while imports remained robust as investment at home aided demand.

High Cost of China's Push for Unesco Heritage Sites

Ben Bland
Financial Times
China is ranked second only to Italy in terms of number of world heritage sites. But it's come at a cost...

China Will Back Fresh U.N. Measures on North Korea over Nuclear Tests

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister said Thursday that Beijing would support further U.N.-imposed “measures” against North Korea following its largest nuclear test, but stopped short of saying whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as halts...

Blocked in China, Facebook Is Said to Seek a Shanghai Office

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The social media giant in recent months has quietly scouted for office space in Shanghai, according to two people with knowledge of its efforts there. Those offices would house employees working on Facebook’s effort to make hardware but could also...

Wanda Sues over 'False' Reports on Chairman Wang Jianlin

Wayne Ma
Wall Street Journal
Dalian Wanda Group, the property and entertainment giant controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, has filed defamation suits against at least 10 Chinese social media accounts that published reports the company says sent its shares and bonds tumbling.

Trump May Have Pushed Mexico into the Arms of China's Alibaba

Sophia Yan
CNBC
Mexico's Ministry of Economy and Alibaba will partner to get more Mexican products onto the tech firm's popular e-commerce platforms...