Links for Monday, October 11, 2021

Notable China news from around the world.


U.S.-China trade talks continue
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and China’s Vice Premier Liú Hè 刘鹤 met by video over the weekend.

After the pandemic, Italian fashion houses make their move
Italian fashion brands Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Salvatore Ferragamo are planning a major push into China in the post-pandemic era on the back of booming sales.

Huawei to make medical devices and wearables
快讯!华为正式获批开始生产医疗器械 / China Economic Weekly
Huawei’s new wearable ECG monitor was approved for production, and the company has three more heart- and blood-pressure-monitoring devices waiting for the green light.

Crypto collapse a boon for DeFi?
China proposes adding cryptocurrency mining to ‘negative list’ of industries / Reuters
After last month’s blanket ban on domestic crypto trading and mining, regulators want to choke off Chinese and foreign investment in mining, too.
Crypto investor who bet on DeFi says China crackdown may help It / Bloomberg (paywall)
“DeFi” uses the blockchain technology behind bitcoin but not to make or trade a currency, which is the part the Chinese government does not like.
Arthur Cheong, a crypto fund manager, says “China’s crypto ban could benefit [the] entire DeFi ecosystem” as centralized crypto firms face growing regulations and investors look for decentralized alternatives.

China plans more regulations on private capital’s sway over media, car data sent abroad
China proposes bans on private capital participation in media / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China unveiled a proposal late Friday, reinforcing its plan to weaken private capital’s influence over a wide range of media activities.”
China to set assessment measures to regulate data sent abroad by cars / Reuters
“China, the world’s biggest auto market, said on Monday it will roll out assessment measures to regulate data sent abroad by vehicles, as the country steps up efforts to protect data and privacy.”
China’s probe into Didi is aimed at addressing national security risks arising from New York listing, Xinhua says / SCMP (paywall)

Relief floods tech firms as Meituan walks away with a $530 million slap on the wrist
Meituan breathes sigh of relief at $530 million fine / FT (paywall)
“Chinese food delivery group Meituan has to swallow a Rmb3.4bn ($530m) fine after being found guilty of monopolistic practices. The company is the latest casualty of Beijing’s campaign against its tech giants.”
China tech stocks extend rebound on relief over Meituan fine / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Chinese technology stocks continued their rebound on Monday after Beijing slapped a smaller-than-expected fine on food delivery giant Meituan.”

Private banks hit with big fines over “loose” loans
Several private banks hit with record fines for playing fast and loose with loans / Caixin (paywall)
“Several privately owned Chinese banks have been fined at unprecedented levels for misconduct such as failing to properly control risks and manage how their loans are issued, China’s banking regulator said, as it steps up supervision over the industry.”

Syngenta IPO suspended over missing financial info
Shanghai bourse suspends Syngenta IPO on missing financial info / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Syngenta Group’s planned $10 billion initial public offering in China has been suspended because the agrochemicals giant has not updated its application with its latest financial results, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Monday.”

Evergrande and China’s planet of real estate debt
Beyond Evergrande, China’s property market faces a $5 trillion reckoning / WSJ (paywall)
“As China enters what many economists say is the final stage of one of the largest real-estate booms in history, it is confronting a staggering bill: More than $5 trillion in debt that developers took on when times were good, according to economists at Nomura Holdings Inc.”
Evergrande’s creditors consider their options as more payment deadlines loom. / NYT (paywall)
“Evergrande’s offshore creditors are beginning to make noise, amid fears that China will prioritize onshore creditors in any potential restructuring.”
Evergrande creditors brace for battle on offshore assets / Bloomberg (paywall)
Evergrande is leaving foreign bondholders in the dark, advisers say / WSJ (paywall)
Advisers say Evergrande failing to engage with investors as default looms / FT (paywall)
Chinese builders scramble for ways to avoid bond defaults / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Chinese builders are looking to payment extensions or debt exchanges to avoid default on imminent bond obligations as liquidity conditions tighten for the real estate sector.”
Chinese developer Modern Land asks to delay bond repayment / WSJ (paywall)
“The property company seeks [a] three-month extension for debt due.”
Northeastern city tries to warm up quickly cooling property market / Caixin (paywall)
Half of China’s top developers crossed Beijing’s ‘red lines’ / FT (paywall)
“Almost half of China’s 30 biggest developers were in breach of at least one of Beijing’s recently introduced rules on property sector leverage, according to a Financial Times analysis of the latest available data.”

Should foreign businesses still invest in China?
Can foreigners still do business in China? / Bloomberg (paywall)
“A Q&A with entrepreneur Xavier Naville, author of ‘The Lettuce Diaries,’ on why outsiders could benefit from the Chinese government’s moves to impose tighter control of the business sector.”
Companies prepare for a ‘selective decoupling’ with China / FT (paywall)
By Leo Lewis, on how “for foreign businesses operating in the Middle Kingdom, it may be best to plan for uncertainty.”

Evergrande’s EV unit promises cars in 2022
Evergrande NEV vows to deliver electric cars early next year / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China Evergrande Group’s electric-car unit pledged it would deliver its first vehicle early next year, stepping up its commitment to mass production just weeks after admitting to serious cash-flow difficulties.”
Evergrande vows first electric car will roll off its Tianjin production line early next year, as local government pledges help / SCMP (paywall)

Uncertainty swirls around China’s big property founders
How Evergrande’s rags-to-riches founder is trying to save his empire / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Hui’s empire is turning into one of the biggest victims of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to curb the debt-fueled excesses of conglomerates and defuse risks in the nation’s housing market.”
Fantasia founder keeps investors guessing with online posts / Bloomberg (paywall)
“A Chinese Weibo account named ‘BaoFantasia’ has the personal posts of Zēng Jié 曾洁 [a.k.a. Zēng Bǎobǎo 曾宝宝] who established Fantasia in 1996 and is widely reported to be a niece of former China Vice President Zēng Qìnghóng 曾庆红…[The posts] have come amid limited comments from the company.”

ByteDance sets sights on real estate
ByteDance pushes into property with new real estate broker’s license / Caixin (paywall)
“ByteDance Inc., the owner of global short-video sharing sensation TikTok, is gearing up to enter China’s highly regulated rental housing market after obtaining a real estate broker’s license and making other recent moves that could help it compete against established real estate portals.”

China’s energy crunch worsens as heavy floods cause coal surge, soaring energy prices
China’s coal futures hit record high as floods worsen energy crisis / FT (paywall)
“Chinese coal futures rose to record levels as floods shut dozens of mines and displaced more than 100,000 people, throttling the country’s main source of the fuel for electricity and compounding a global energy crisis.”
China rust-belt province warns of more shortages in energy crisis / Reuters

Renren settles for $300 million over corporate misconduct case
U.S.-listed Chinese group Renren settles investor complaint for $300m / FT (paywall)
“Renren, the once high-flying Chinese social network turned start-up investor, has settled with U.S. shareholders for $300m over allegations of corporate misconduct.”

Ant rakes in $5.4 billion after thwarted IPO
China’s Ant Group increases registered capital by 47% to $5.4 billion / Reuters
Ant boosts capital to $5.4 billion one year after IPO halted / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Ant Group Co. ramped up its capital base to 35 billion yuan ($5.4 billion), almost a year after Chinese regulators thwarted its record initial public offering and told it to overhaul its sprawling operation.”

Another Chinese firm buys critical lithium from Canada in battery push
Zijin’s Lithium foray adds to China’s push for battery materials / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Zijin Mining Group Co. is making its first foray into lithium — a key raw material for batteries — with a C$960 million ($770 million) purchase of Neo Lithium Corp.”
Chinese miner to acquire Canada-based Neo Lithium for $770 million / Caixin (paywall)

Disney’s blockbusters hit political snags in China
Disney meets roadblocks to releasing movies in China / WSJ (paywall)
“Over the past year or so, releases of three Walt Disney Co.’s movies designed for box-office appeal in China have been embroiled in political controversies, complicating a decade of unprecedented success in the market for the world’s largest entertainment company.”


Torrential downpour in Shanxi
Five dead, thousands displaced in floods in China’s Shanxi Province / SCMP (paywall)
Following days of flooding, at least five people are dead and 120,000 people displaced in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi.
Flooding sends bus into river in China; 120,000 evacuated / AP
“A bus fell into a river in northern China on Monday, leaving at least three people dead and 11 others missing after flooding from heavy rains destroyed homes and covered farmland.”
13 dead after bus runs off flooded bridge into river in northern China / SCMP (paywall)
“At least 13 people were dead and one missing after a bus ran off a partially submerged bridge and into a swollen river in northern China on Monday morning.”

China to lead biodiversity talks at COP15 summit
China gets a chance to showcase global climate leadership / Bloomberg (paywall)
“The nation will host the first part of the high-profile United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity that aims to address ecological destruction, habitat protection and land conservation.”
COP15: China’s biodiversity goals in focus as Xi Jinping plans summit speech / SCMP (paywall)
Key U.N. biodiversity summit gets underway in China / Caixin (paywall)
China vows to include biodiversity in economic plans as UN talks begin / Reuters

China’s Moon haul brings back youngest rocks, evidence of longer volcanic activity
China’s Chang’e 5 lunar mission brought back youngest rock samples ever collected on the moon / SCMP (paywall)
“Last year’s Chinese lunar mission brought back the youngest rocks ever found on the moon, international researchers have found.”
China moon rocks haul show volcanic activity 1 billion years later than once thought / Caixin (paywall)
“Lunar samples brought back by China’s Chang’e 5 mission showed the moon was volcanically active far later than previously known, offering fresh insight that could help scientists better understand the history of other celestial bodies in the solar system, according to an international study.”

Tigers rebound in northern China
The tiger is making a tentative comeback in China’s north / WSJ (paywall)
“After decades of environmental degradation related to growth, the big cats were functionally extinct. Now the numbers have started to climb.”


China-India border tensions rise as stalemate continues
India-China military dialogue on East Ladakh stalled, PLA refuses to budge / Hindustan Times
“​​It appears from the statements issued by two armies that the Chinese PLA was not inclined to go beyond the de-escalation agreed in the 12th round of dialogue. The Chinese statement is sanctimonious and asks India to cherish the past resolutions.”
China, India point fingers at each other in new border talks / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China and India blamed each other for a lack of progress in finding ways to ease friction along their disputed border, underscoring the lingering ill will following clashes last year.”
India, China strike out in talks to ease border dispute / WSJ (paywall)
Chinese PLA runs tank drills on Indian border as Ladakh talks fail / SCMP (paywall)
India, China trade blame for break down in border talks / Reuters

China’s anti-graft watchdog expels another former top executive
Ex-State firm bigwig expelled from the party on suspicion of corruption / Caixin (paywall)
“A former top executive of several state-owned enterprises in Beijing has been expelled from the Communist Party and removed from public office on suspicion of bribery and other corruption-related offenses, the city government’s graft watchdog said Saturday.”

U.S. confronts a strong China upon UN Human Rights Council reentry
As U.S. returns to the UN Human Rights Council, it confronts an increasingly forceful China / SCMP (paywall)
“The latest U.S. effort to challenge China’s expanding global footprint will take place on Wednesday when Washington is expected to return to the United Nations Human Rights Council at a time when Beijing is working overtime to blunt criticism over its crackdown in Xinjiang and revamp the UN in line with its world view.”

Hong Kong exodus
‘This drop came so quickly’: Shrinking schools add to Hong Kong exodus / NYT (paywall)
“The Chinese territory is experiencing its biggest population drop in decades as residents flee political repression and a new ‘patriotic’ curriculum.”

China-EU plan a phone call
Xi Jinping plans call with EU’s Charles Michel, as Brussels looks to steady ship on China / SCMP (paywall)
“Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to conduct a telephone call with European Council President Charles Michel on Friday, according to an EU official familiar with the plan.”
Europe’s complacency heightens the China challenge / WSJ (paywall)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO secretary general, writes: “from trade to technology, China is trying to rewire the postwar multilateral system to serve its own interests.”

Chinese ex-journalist arrested for criticizing state-sponsored movie
Chinese journalist detained after criticizing government-sponsored blockbuster / NYT (paywall)
“The police arrested Luo Changping on Thursday, two days after he questioned China’s role in the Korean War, the subject of China’s box office hit ‘The Battle at Lake Changjin.’”
Chinese ex-journalist detained on suspicion of defaming war heroes / Reuters
For China’s holidays, a big-budget blockbuster relives an American defeat / NYT (paywall)

More on AUKUS
The underwater arms race: China, AUKUS and a deepening submarine rivalry / SCMP (paywall)
Aukus alliance: What is it, what does it have to do with China, and why is France angry? / SCMP (paywall)
Australia’s nuclear submarine deal is a serious worry for China / Nikkei Asia (paywall)


China warns its students over LA airport “interrogations”
China warns students of security risks in U.S. after ‘interrogations’ at LA airport / SCMP (paywall)
“China’s consulate in Los Angeles has warned Chinese students of security risks at United States borders after a number were ‘interrogated repeatedly’ at the city’s airport.”

Is kidnapping your own child legal?
Where parents have abducted their own children in a bid for custody / NYT (paywall)
“For years, thousands of children in China have been taken and hidden. The practice rose along with the nation’s divorce rate. A new law aims to curb the practice.”

Mandatory mental health education for Beijing’s schools
Beijing schools to include compulsory mental health education / Sixth Tone
“Beijing’s education authority has instructed the city’s primary and junior middle schools to include mental health education in their curricula and ensure each school has at least one dedicated counselor to address the students’ psychological needs.”

How ‘boys love’ fiction challenges China’s traditional gender roles
Why Chinese women are falling for ‘boys love’ fiction / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Behind the fangirling at the subtle romantic hints and the eager replaying of coded scenes, is a well of frustration over China’s traditional gender roles.”

Pets join in on vacation
Chinese tour operators are now offering pet-inclusive vacations / Sixth Tone
“Businesses are tapping into a lucrative market, promoting chartered flights and animal-friendly accommodations at exotic domestic destinations.”

Gaming addictions for overworked kids
Why China’s kids can’t quit online gaming / Sixth Tone
“What parents and the state see as a threat to the next generation, kids see as a rare chance for validation and success outside of school.”
China state media says gaming time limit loopholes should be closed / Reuters