BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:
CEO calls out job market sexism
China’s top private health-care CEO says Chinese employers discriminate against young women / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
An interview with Roberta Lipson, founder and chief executive officer of United Family Healthcare, one of China’s largest private healthcare companies with clinics in major cities. Lipson outlines how young Chinese women face cross-industry discrimination, largely due to fears about younger women taking leave to have children.
See also on SupChina: What ails China’s healthcare system? Roberta Lipson has a detailed diagnosis.
Morgan Stanley approves of crackdown on shadow banking
Morgan Stanley is bullish on China banks after stress test / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
China’s broad push to corral risks has put its financial system in the position to withstand even an economic slowdown to about half the pace of the current expansion.
That’s the conclusion of Morgan Stanley after the U.S. bank conducted its own stress tests on China’s vast banking industry, which is struggling with a surge in bad debt amid the slowest economic growth in three decades.
Property companies sell $8 billion in bonds
Chinese developers flock to issue dollar debt / WSJ (paywall)
Chinese property companies have kicked off 2020 by selling billions of dollars of longer-dated bonds, capitalizing on a hot market to reduce their heavy reliance on short-term funding.
The country’s real-estate groups sold about $8 billion of dollar bonds in the first two weeks of January, according to credit strategists at ANZ.
Shenzhen considers selling bonds beyond mainland borders…
Shenzhen floats idea of selling bonds directly in Hong Kong and Macau in China first / SCMP
“If the plan goes ahead, the city will be the first local government to sell bonds directly beyond mainland borders.”
…While Nanjing developer lists bonds in Macau
China state-backed builder to list bonds in Macau, first since Xi’s visit / SCMP
- Nanjing Southeast State-owned Asset Investment Group’s 1 billion yuan of notes will be listed and traded on Macau exchange from January 8.
- The listing is the first since President Xi’s visit to Macau last month to mark its 20th handover anniversary.
A Christmas present for Apple
Apple is hot in China again, but it won’t overtake Huawei anytime soon / CNN
Apple saw a huge boost in iPhone sales in China last month, but embattled tech giant Huawei won’t be giving up the top spot anytime soon.
Sales for the iPhone jumped 18 percent in December compared to the same month a year earlier…But Apple has been losing ground to domestic rivals in China for years, and analysts say that trend is unlikely to change.
Ctrip eyes Hong Kong listing
China’s Ctrip in talks with banks to follow Alibaba with HK listing: sources / Reuters
U.S.-listed online travel giant Ctrip is talking to banks about a planned secondary listing in Hong Kong, putting the group at the head of a queue of Chinese companies expected to follow Alibaba in establishing an investor base closer to China.
Tech winter is really here
Funding to Chinese tech startups more than halved in Q4: report / TechNode
Venture capital funding for Chinese technology startups dropped by 51.5 percent year on year in the fourth quarter, according to a report by government institute released on Friday…The decline affirms the so-called “capital winter,” which affected companies and investors in China’s tech sector over the course of 2019.
SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:
Nuclear sub designer and meteorologist receive science awards from Xi
Xi honors two academicians with China’s top science award / Xinhua
Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 presented China’s top science award to Huángxùhuá 黄旭华 and Zéng Qìngcún 曾庆存 on Friday for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation…
Huang Xuhua…is the chief designer of the country’s first-generation nuclear submarines…
Zeng Qingcun, 85, is a famous meteorologist [whose] theory of numerical weather prediction…is the basis of the global numerical weather prediction technology.
The dredging of the Mekong River and its discontents
The 97km that frustrate China’s mastery of the Mekong / Bangkok Post
[China’s vision for the section of the Mekong river known as the ‘Golden Triangle’] is to festoon both banks of the waterway with Special Economic Zones (SEZs) replete with condos, ports, rail and road links…
From Laos much of the river has already been opened south towards Cambodia, two key — and poor —allies readily softened up by Beijing’s investment billions.
But for now proposals by a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the world’s second largest dredging firm, have stalled after sustained resistance by activists in northern Thailand.
Internet mourns now-extinct paddlefish
China mourns native paddlefish scientists say is now extinct / AP
The Chinese paddlefish’s sharp, protruding snout made it one of the largest freshwater species in the world. Since scientists declared it extinct in a research paper published last week, Chinese internet users and media outlets have been paying tribute to the hefty creature.
POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:
China and U.S. prepare for January 15 trade pact ceremony
U.S., China finalize corporate deals before trade pact / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
Along with a Chinese delegation led by top negotiator Vice Premier Liú Hè 刘鹤, executives from American and Chinese companies will also attend the White House event to sign the phase-one agreement on January 15.
President Donald Trump may not reach the second part of a trade pact with China until after the 2020 election, he said Thursday.
A leading commodities expert at Goldman Sachs has raised doubts over China buying at least $40 billion worth of U.S. farming goods to satisfy terms of the “phase one” trade deal…
To suddenly reach an annual $40 billion figure as soon as this year…there would need to be a big increase in soybean exports — a tricky prospect given a swine fever outbreak that has reduced the number of pigs in China that are typically fattened up on soybeans.
Xi Jinping to visit Myanmar, China’s back door to the Indian Ocean
Xi Jinping to visit Myanmar next week seeking to boost ties and push China projects / SCMP
Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 will visit Myanmar next week to boost ties and push investment projects, in a show of support for Aung San Suu Kyi’s government as it faces global condemnation over its treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority…
The agenda is loud and clear: to speed up the construction of the projects within the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) and realization of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- Xi’s upcoming visit to start new era of China-Myanmar ties: senior diplomat / Xinhua
Indonesia courts Japanese investment in Natuna islands
Indonesia asks Japan to invest in Natuna islands following stand-off with China / Reuters via Channel NewsAsia
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo on Friday (Jan 10) asked Japan to step up investment in fisheries and energy in the Natuna islands following a stand-off with China in waters near the disputed South China Sea.
China has not claimed the Natuna islands themselves but says it has nearby fishing rights within a self-proclaimed Nine-Dash Line — a line on Chinese maps that it says shows its territory and waters.
Chinese coast guard vessel moves from Indonesian to Vietnamese waters
Vietnam verifying information on Chinese vessel approaching its waters / VnExpress
Vietnam is following up on information regarding a Chinese coast guard ship approaching Vietnamese waters following South China Sea tensions involving Indonesia.
The statement came in the wake of Indonesia deploying fighter jets and naval ships to the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, on Tuesday in a stand-off with Beijing.
American cyberforce for Asia
U.S. Army plans to expand Asian cyber efforts to counter China / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“The Army task force would help neutralize some capabilities China and Russia already possess and are intended to keep U.S. carrier groups away from the Asian mainland.”
Foreign Minister Wang Yi tours Mideast and North Africa
China takes on a more prominent role in Mideast and Gulf politics / The China Africa Project
Chinese Foreign Minister Wáng Yì 王毅 kicked off his annual tour of Africa in Cairo this week where he met with senior Egyptian leaders to discuss the growing instability in North Africa, the Mideast, and the Persian Gulf.
SOCIETY AND CULTURE:
Transit plans for Spring Festival madness
Chunyun: China’s annual Lunar New Year rush begins / CNN
Considered the largest human migration on the planet, chūnyùn 春运 — the 40-day period when Chinese people head home to celebrate the Lunar New Year Spring Festival with their families — officially began on January 10 and will end on February 18…
On Thursday, a day before Chunyun officially began, China’s State Council Information Office hosted a joint press conference [in Chinese] with seven departments including the National Development and Resort Commission and the Ministry of Transport to announce this year’s stats and the special measures taken for this year’s Spring Festival rush.