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British Virgin Islands goes after Chinese money – China latest business and technology news

summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology from May 15, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Cyber attacks in China and a Belt and Road rap song."
5 months ago
Lucas Niewenhuis

Bloomberg reports on how offshore Chinese companies locked out of the global banking system following the release of the Panama Papers may find relief in a new bank in the British Virgin Islands.

The Bank of Asia, as it is called, will focus on Chinese customers and open up for a “soft launch within Q3 2017,” according to its website. The Virgin Islands, like many Caribbean tax havens, are known for incorporating massive shell companies that disguise owners’ identities, a legal practice that nonetheless became even more closely associated with money laundering following the Panama Papers leak. China and Hong Kong-linked firms “accounted for almost a third of the offshore companies created by Mossack Fonseca,” the law firm whose papers were exposed in the leak, Bloomberg noted.

Bloomberg data shows that nearly 2 trillion dollars left China in 2015 and 2016, though government crackdowns on capital outflow led to a capital inflow in February 2017 for the first time in over two years. However, the money is now headed out again, according to the most recent numbers in March. The Bloomberg article discusses how the Bank of Asia plans to be a “landing place” for future flows of money leaving China.

By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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