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Cissy Zhou



Articles by Cissy Zhou

As coronavirus, US-China tensions add to global economic uncertainties, Asia looks to be a key growth engine

18 hours ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The evolution of the global coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions between the United States and China will continue to reverberate throughout the world for some time, even after the virus is brought under control and bilateral tensions ease, experts have warned.Speaking at a virtual panel during the Asia Financial Forum (AFF) on Monday, Singapore’s former deputy prime minister, Wong Kan Seng, said the stakes are high in the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, and…

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US-China trade war deal reaches first anniversary as bilateral mistrust hits ‘all-time high’

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]One year after signing the phase one trade deal with the US, China remains far behind in its commitment to buy more American goods, though the agreement has been a vital sticking plaster in a fast deteriorating bilateral relationship, experts said.The world’s two largest economies signed the deal on January 15 last year, effectively calling a ceasefire in a trade war that saw tariffs slapped on billions of dollars worth of products and reorganised global supply chains after it was launched by…

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How will China’s GDP be hit by Beijing’s new caps on real estate lending?

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s aggressive moves to tamp down risk in the real estate sector by curbing financing are not expected to significantly affect growth this year, provided other sectors of the economy continue to improve, economists have said.The property market has been a major driver of economic expansion in recent years, particularly in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, so a slowdown in the sector could have an outsize effect on the overall economy. One reason is that many other industries – such…

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China hits back at foreign sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China on Saturday issued a new order to prohibit firms from complying with foreign laws banning transactions with Chinese companies and individuals, effective immediately.The so-called Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extraterritorial Application of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures apply to circumstances that “improperly prohibit or restrict” Chinese individuals, companies, and institutions from conducting normal economic, trade, and related activities with parties from the third…

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China GDP: IMF cuts 2021 growth forecast citing US tech decoupling, domestic debt, Hong Kong risks

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has trimmed back its growth projection for the Chinese economy in 2021, citing headwinds from technological decoupling with the United States and domestic financial risks, to restrictions on fundraising via Hong Kong for Chinese companies.China will grow by 7.9 per cent this year, the fund forecasts, down from its previous prediction of 8.2 per cent growth made in October.While few other nations will achieve such a level of growth, the downgrade is a…

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China’s home appliance manufacturers left cursing export orders as costs rise, profits vanish amid yuan rally

13 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Faced with a perfect storm of a strong yuan and the rising cost of raw materials, China’s home appliance manufacturers are fearful of booming exports orders caused by the coronavirus as profits decline, leaving some on the verge of bankruptcy.On one hand, overseas demand for appliances is rising amid lockdowns and work from home arrangements in the West, but on the other, firms are seeing profits vanish as the Chinese yuan continues to rise, meaning they will receive less for the orders which…

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How coronavirus turned China’s economic expectations on their head

17 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]At the end of 2019, economic debate in China centred on whether the country should aim for 6 per cent growth the following year – a conversation that was rapidly turned on its head by the coronavirus.As the situation steadily worsened, first in China and then across the globe, growth forecasts were slashed as the death toll mounted.Revisiting these increasingly pessimistic forecasts highlights how quickly assumptions were turned on their heads by a disease that has now infected more than 84…

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China’s 2019 GDP revised down, shrinking the base for 2020 growth calculations

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The size of China’s economy and its growth rate for 2019 are slightly smaller than Beijing previously announced, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday after its annual revision of economic data.The NBS statement did not say how much the revision would affect the calculation of the 2020 growth rate. However, by creating a lower base for that calculation, the revision could potentially result in a larger increase for this year than otherwise would have been expected.The…

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China ramps up domestic jet development as OTT Airlines makes maiden flight with home-grown ARJ21 jet

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]One Two Three Airlines (OTT Airlines), a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines launched in February to expand domestically-produced aircraft to more markets, completed its maiden commercial flight on Monday.The nearly two-hour flight from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport will be followed by the opening of new routes to Nanchang, Hefei and Wenzhou over the next three months, according to the airline.The Shanghai-based company used an ARJ21 jet for…

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Boeing jet sales to China ‘highly complicated’ by company’s arms sales to Taiwan, experts say

December 17, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The outlook for sales of Boeing passenger jets in China is “highly complicated” due to bilateral diplomatic issues, particularly the company’s arms sales to Taiwan, according to analysts.China is likely to be cautious in its future dealings with Boeing – including whether to give its 737 MAX approval to resume flying again – given continued US-China tensions, they said.For its part, Boeing is trying hard to break the ice and resume business in China.In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday,…

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China’s yuan to continue rise against US dollar in short term, but when will Beijing say enough?

December 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s yuan is expected to continue appreciating against the US dollar in the early part of next year due to strong growth of the Chinese economy and weakness in the American currency due to a coronavirus-induced slowdown in the United States, analysts said.However, they disagree over whether the yuan will continue appreciating throughout the entire year, with some arguing Beijing will step in to stop an excessive rise that would endanger the economy and its policy priority to promote home…

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China digital currency: Suzhou to hand out 20 million yuan million of virtual red packets as part of trial

December 5, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A Chinese city is handing out virtual red packets of money to its citizens as part of the country’s drive to launch the first sovereign digital currency.In a statement posted on Friday night, the Suzhou municipal government said it was giving away 20 million yuan (US$3 million) to residents via a lottery.A total of 100,000 digital red packets, each containing 200 yuan (US$31), will be distributed to residents on Friday, the eve of the so-called Double Twelve shopping festival. They will be…

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US-China relations: Biden says trade-war tariffs to remain in place for now as alliance building comes first

December 2, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]US president-elect Joe Biden confirmed that he will not make any “immediate moves” to lift the tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on imports of Chinese goods before a full review of the existing phase-one trade deal and consultations with US allies, despite China’s hopes that it would be able to renegotiate the trade agreement with the new US administration.In an interview with The New York Times published on Wednesday, Biden said the “best China strategy” was to get all…

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Donald Trump’s mooted China sanctions to throw spanner in the works of C919 passenger jet plans, sources say

November 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s plans to roll out the home-grown C919 passenger jet next year could be severely disrupted if the Trump administration restricts US companies from doing business with the state-owned conglomerate developing the plane due to its alleged links with the Chinese military.The Trump administration is expected to soon announce export controls on a list of 89 Chinese companies with military ties, including the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), Reuters reported.Two separate…

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China debt: Beijing may cut belt and road lending due to domestic pressure, to ensure future of project

November 23, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]President Xi Jinping last week doubled down on China’s commitment to his grand foreign policy project, the Belt and Road Initiative, but opinions are split over the sustainability of such investment amid a backdrop of rising debt at home.“China will further harmonise policies, rules and standards with [Belt and Road Initiative] partners, and deepen effective cooperation with them on infrastructure, industry, trade, science and technological innovation, public health and people-to-people…

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China declares early victory in 2020 job creation goal, but questions linger over data

November 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China created 10.09 million jobs in its cities between January and October, surpassing this year’s target of 9 million new urban jobs two months ahead of schedule, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday.

China’s improving job market is largely in line with its broad-based recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with consumption and services in recent months catching up with growth in industrial production and fixed-asset investment.

Unemployment in China has fallen since April…

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Roll-out of China’s home-grown passenger jet still up in the air as US tech restrictions expected to persist under Joe Biden

November 15, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The administration of US president-elect Joe Biden is likely to continue the Trump administration’s effort to contain China technologically, despite the easing of some concerns about the acquisition of key American components needed for its home-grown C919 passenger jet, according to analyst predictions.When the United States began tightening controls on technology exports to China, industry insiders and pundits warned of possible delays in the roll-out of the Comac C919 – an integral part of…

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China’s Copyright Law sees biggest amendment in two decades, and omits highly controversial clause

November 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A highly controversial clause in an amendment to China’s Copyright Law that would hand regulators great power was significantly played down when lawmakers passed the final version this week.The proposed provision within Article 4, which covers literary and artistic properties, as well as scientific works such as computer programs, was intended to prevent copyright owners from hindering the “normal distribution of works” and “harming the public interest”. This triggered strong opposition from…

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China targets trademarks violations in effort to improve IP protection, but unlikely to satisfy US demands

November 11, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]More than 850 violations relating to the malicious squatting and hoarding of trademarks have been identified under a campaign started in China last year in an effort to improve intellectual property protections.Under the two-year long Blue Sky campaign, which was launched in May 2019, the China National Intellectual Property Administration has reviewed 47,000 registered trademark agencies, although this is seen as a less important area compared to copyright and patent rights, lawyers said.The…

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After Joe Biden election win, China will seek to renegotiate trade deal, Beijing advisers say

November 8, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Joe Biden’s US election victory will encourage China to try and renegotiate Donald Trump’s trade deal, viewed in Beijing as being “twisted” in Washington’s favour, according to advisers to the Chinese government.The phase one trade deal was hammered out after months of painful negotiations and 18 months of trade war tariffs piling up on both sides. It saw China commit to buying US$200 billion in additional US goods on top of 2017 levels, but stopped short of forcing major structural changes to…

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China embraces rising capital inflows as rivalry with US intensifies

October 30, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing is relishing its current role as a darling for global investors, despite rising tensions with Washington, as large inflows of portfolio and fixed-asset investment funds make their way into China.While the US Federal Reserve and central banks of other major economies are splashing out money to protect economic activities and jobs, China is seeing a steady flow of funds into its bonds, stocks and investment projects. This is allowing the People’s Bank of China to take a prudent monetary…

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US-China tech war: can Washington take a leaf out of Beijing’s plans on strategic technologies?

October 21, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The White House has published a National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies as a road map to ensure that the United States protects its “technology advantage” across a wide range of fields, from artificial intelligence (AI) to quantum information, in the face of challenges from China and Russia.But analysts say the US strategy, which includes 11 pages of generalised statements, is more of a wish list from the Trump administration to maintain American advantages. And they say this…

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China digital currency: Shenzhen consumers spend 8.8 million yuan in largest trial of digital yuan

October 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s largest test of its sovereign digital currency ended with 8.8 million yuan (US$1.3 million) being spent in over 62,000 transactions during the week-long trial in Shenzhen.The Shenzhen government confirmed 47,573 people from the 50,000 selected by lottery received the digital ‘red packets’, each containing 200 yuan (US$30), after a total of 1.9 million residents applied to take part in the 10 million yuan (US$1.49 million) giveaway.In total, 62,788 transactions were made at the 3,389…

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China leads way as IMF says global economic recession ‘less severe’ than previously thought

October 13, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The world economy will experience a “less severe though still deep” recession this year than previously expected, as prospects have worsened significantly in some developing economies while large advanced economies have reported stronger-than-expected growth out-turns, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.The IMF’s World Economic Outlook estimated that the global economy will contract by 4.4 per cent this year – a less severe contraction than the 4.9 per cent downturn it…

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Shenzhen’s sovereign digital currency giveaway attracts 2 million applicants in China’s latest test of virtual yuan

October 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Nearly 2 million people in Shenzhen, 15 per cent of the southern technology hub’s total population, signed up to take part in the latest trial for China’s sovereign digital currency.Distribution of a total of 50,000 digital “red packets” – gift envelopes traditionally given out during holidays and special occasions – each containing 200 yuan (US$30), began on Monday after Chinese citizens living in Shenzhen were asked to sign up between Friday and Sunday.But with 1,913,847 people having signed…

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US financial sanctions against China ‘suicidal’ for Washington, former Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan says

October 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The United States is unlikely to launch a financial war against China as it would hurt itself more, outspoken former Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan said.“Don’t worry, everybody. If the US really decouples from us in the financial realm, it will hurt us by 1,000 but hurt themselves by 2,000, which equals a suicidal attempt and the US will die even before we do,” Huang said in comments published at the weekend.His comments came as the Trump administration is facing a deadline on Monday to identify…

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China’s duty-free shoppers rush to tropical Hainan as Hong Kong and Seoul off travel list

October 7, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese tourists who traditionally rush to duty-free outlets in South Korea or Hong Kong for holiday shopping are being lured to southern China’s island province of Hainan this year as the coronavirus continues ravaging most of the world.Long queues are a common sight at shopping malls such as the Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Complex in Sanya city, photos and videos posted on social media show. For the first five days of the eight-day “golden week” holiday that lasts from October 1-8 this…

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China holiday spending improves from May, but still a third below last year’s ‘golden week’

October 5, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s consumer spending has recovered from the worst levels seen during the height of the coronavirus outbreak this spring but is still far below normal, as tourist spending in the first half of the “golden week” holiday plunged by nearly a third from the same period last year.China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Sunday that 425 million Chinese hit the road from Thursday to Sunday, the first four days of the eight-day national holiday, a drop from 542 million in the same period…

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US-China tech war: can China’s chipmaking drive save it from US technology embargo?

September 28, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Over the past year, President Xi Jinping has on multiple occasions described China’s reliance on imported technology with the term Qia Bozi, which translates to being strangled by an adversary. And no industry better reflects this weakness than semiconductor manufacturing – the microprocessors that power the modern economy, from smartphones to cars.China often boasts of having the world’s most extensive industrial value chain and is known as the global leader in assembling mobile handsets, but…

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China debates cutting US access to drugs as hostilities spike

September 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]In recent weeks, as the United States has ramped up its attacks on Chinese tech firms and the threat of financial decoupling has grown, government advisers in Beijing have begun debating a so-called nuclear option: cutting US access to medicines.From pills for pain relief to HIV medications, the US is heavily reliant on imported medicines from China thanks to large-scale offshoring in the 1990s.While weaponising drug exports and precursors does not have official backing, its discussion has…

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