Links for Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

Links for Wednesday, April 15, 2020

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

Analysts expect China’s gross domestic product to have shrunk 6.5% in January-March from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll. That would reverse a 6% expansion in the fourth quarter of 2019 and mark the first decline since at least 1992 when official quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) records started.

China’s central bank injected medium-term funding into the financial system Wednesday and cut the cost of the funds as expected, bolstering measures aimed at countering the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The People’s Bank of China offered 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) via the one-year medium-term lending facility, cutting the rate to 2.95% from 3.15%.

  • Study finds small and medium-sized businesses lost nearly 70% of their income in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Hotels, restaurants and education firms were the hardest [hit by the] pandemic, Tsinghua University says.

China’s central bank has given the green light for some commercial lenders to run trials of its digital currency, according to people familiar with the matter, bringing it a step closer to becoming the world’s first major monetary authority to issue its own digital tender.

State-owned Chinese banks are conducting internal, hypothetical-use tests of a People’s Bank of China digital currency as if it were being used in Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu and Shenzhen, the people said, asking not to be named as they’re not authorized to speak on the topic.

ByteDance Inc. just kicked off a wave of hiring it envisions hitting 40,000 new jobs in 2020, hoping to match Alibaba’s headcount at a time technology corporations across the globe are furloughing or reducing staff.

The world’s largest startup is recruiting people for 10,000 open positions, of which about a third are high-level research or software coding jobs, according to an internal website provided to staff for candidate referrals and shared with Bloomberg.

The global health crisis has deepened financial troubles at one of China’s biggest producers of lithium used in electric vehicle batteries.

The pandemic is set to batter this year’s demand for the material that’s vital in powering new energy transport. Prices are at four-year lows.

China’s Dalian Wanda Group has issued a statement regarding its AMC Entertainment, calling speculation about the chain filing for bankruptcy “pure rumors.” This comes after an S&P Global report last week forecasted AMC’s depletion of cash by mid-summer and its potential inability to re-open by June, and as chatter has swirled about a possible Chapter 11 filing.

Desperate to find a new supply of protective face masks, executives at an American health-care services company last month began poring over videos shot inside Chinese factories — and listening closely for gibberish.

Nonsensical sayings that accompanied the videos were a kind of code – a requirement that Premier Inc., the prospective buyers, insisted on to ensure authenticity.

“It seems ridiculous,” said Soumi Saha, a senior director at Premier, which buys medical supplies for more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems. “But we’d have to ask folks at the manufacturing facilities to say ridiculous statements that you wouldn’t say in conversation to know that the videos are legitimate — not scams.”

China’s independently developed AG600 large amphibious aircraft has conducted test flights over the sea, its developer said yesterday.

It represents a major step forward before the plane conducts its first takeoff from sea, which is planned within the year, said the state-owned plane maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

The rate of birth anomalies in China has increased slightly in the years since it replaced its one-child policy with a two-child policy, perhaps because couples are having second children when they are older.

China’s one-child policy, which began in 1979, was replaced in 2013 with a partial two-child policy that permitted couples to have two children if one or both of them were only children themselves. In 2015, this right was extended to all couples.

China has appointed Sūn Jīnlóng 孙金龙 as the new Communist Party Secretary of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, replacing Lǐ Gānjié 李干杰; [who left his post as Party head and environment minister last week to become the vice party secretary of Shandong province], the ministry’s website showed on Tuesday.

Sun, 58, has previously served as the vice-Party boss in the northwestern region of Xinjiang as well as the provinces of Anhui and Hunan.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

The latest detente between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 didn’t last long…[W]hile he may have stopped calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” his decision to target the WHO could have far-reaching consequences for global health — and relations with Xi.

The U.S. ambassador to China said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe Beijing is deliberately blocking exports of masks and other medical supplies to fight the coronavirus, and that the shipment of 1,200 tons of such products to the U.S. could not have been possible without Chinese support.

China on Tuesday (April 14) denied criticising France’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying there had been “misunderstandings” after French officials summoned the Chinese ambassador in Paris.

“China has never issued negative comments on the way France has handled the epidemic,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhào Lìjiān 赵立坚 said at a regular press briefing.

Young Thais have banded together to pillory the Chinese embassy in Bangkok over a feud with Thai celebrities, part of a growing online movement to show solidarity with Taiwan and Hong Kong that has annoyed Beijing.

The movement, which calls itself the “Milk Tea Alliance” after a shared passion for sweet tea drinks, has triggered a wave of online criticism of China at a time when Beijing is trying to improve its image hurt by the coronavirus crisis.

East China’s Jiangsu Province implemented its first counter-espionage regulation on Wednesday, highlighting a people’s defense line for maritime security and encouraging fishermen in coastal areas to guard against foreign espionage activities.

Wednesday marked this year’s National Security Education Day, which is on April 15 every year since 2016.

Australian defence officials are looking to how a plane from China held up a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft from landing in Vanuatu while carrying vital humanitarian supplies for the cyclone-struck nation.

There is growing concern within Defence about whether the hold-up was intentional to delay the Australian plane from landing.

The mishap comes as China and Australia have both looked to send humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu in the wake of the cyclone. Both countries are also sending medical supplies and other support to help Pacific Island countries prevent any outbreak of the coronavirus.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Xianyu was an online platform where people could go to buy others’ possessions or sell their own. Over the past few months, however, it has evolved to encompass a much larger role.

Meanwhile, farmers — an especially vulnerable group during the pandemic — have used the platform to offload their unsold fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

With virtually every industry suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, Xianyu has been one of the few companies in China that has remained profitable. In March, its number of newly registered users grew by nearly 40% compared with the same period last year, with daily transactions reaching an all-time high.

If you were able to travel back in time and chat with Andrew Bowden when he first arrived in China in November 2013, chances are he wouldn’t have predicted where his China journey would take him.

In 2016, the now 31-year-old Brit decided to take his love of sports beyond the school setting, founding Guangzhou Sharks Football Club with Bartlett.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.