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Big airlines and big oil


Bloomberg reports that American Airlines, the world’s biggest carrier, is in talks to invest about $200 million in China Southern Airlines. The article calls this sum of money “a bagatelle” compared with the more than $40 billion of revenue that American Airlines brought in over the last year. But as Chinese tourists venture abroad in greater numbers, often bearing the 10-year U.S. visas that have been available to them since 2016, American Airlines is missing out because it has very few landing slots at Chinese airports. Buying into China Southern could pave the way for a code-share agreement that would allow American Airlines to buy seats on the Chinese airline’s aircraft and “offer ‘virtual’ capacity instead.”

In a deal with a bigger price tag, Chevron is going to sell shares of its assets in South Africa and Botswana to the Chinese energy giant Sinopec for $900 million. Caixin reports that the agreement will give Sinopec 75 percent of the shares of Chevron’s branch in South Africa and 100 percent shares in the Botswana subsidiary. It will also allow the Chinese company to rebrand Chevron’s 820 Caltex gas stations in the two countries with the Sinopec name, as well as take over a refinery and lubricating-oil plant and other facilities.


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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.