Links for Thursday, November 18, 2021


Drinkable skincare?
Startup mixing skin care with beverages grabs investor attention / SupChina
Meiji Yinpin 美肌饮品 (literally, “Cosmetic Beverage”), a beverage and beauty brand that offers tea-based drinks, just received 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) from Plum Blossom Venture Capital. The company claims that its beverages offer health and cosmetic benefits to women.

Debate over beauty standards after Dior ad
Dior promo accused of “smearing Asian women” / SupChina
Dior is the latest brand under fire after posting a photo of an Asian woman with dark eyes and a traditional outfit, giving the camera a foreboding look while holding a Dior bag. The photo was accused by some publications and citizens of feeding into negative Western stereotypes.

Additional business and technology links:

Renewable energy in Liaoning
China’s JA Solar to put USD1.6 billion into third big 2021 expansion plan / Yicai
Renewable energy giant JA Solar Technology will spend $1.6 billion to build wind and solar power stations in the northeast, on the momentum of China’s renewed commitment to clean energy after COP26.

Beijing Stock Exchange update
北交所开市三日累计新开户29.5万户 / China Securities Journal
In the first three days since the Beijing Stock Exchange opened, 295,000 new accounts were started.

Beijing caps tutoring fees
Beijing orders tutoring companies to cap fees / Caixin (paywall)
“Authorities in Beijing will put a cap on after-school class fees in a bid to guarantee more equitable access to school curriculum-based tutoring, as part of efforts to flesh out the current overhaul of the private education sector.”

China may prioritize home chip demand over foreign clients
China prioritizes local chip needs during global crunch / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Foreign players face capacity squeeze after recent power disruptions.”
China’s semiconductor talent shortage poses biggest obstacle to Beijing’s chip self-sufficiency ambitions, SMIC founder says / SCMP (paywall)
Intel shelves plan to take over GlobalFoundries’ abandoned chip plant in Chengdu, sources say / SCMP (paywall)
“Intel’s proposed takeover of the abandoned joint venture factory in Chengdu was intended to fast-track the company’s expansion plans in China.”

South Korea’s Hynix may scrap key China chip factory over U.S.-China tech war
U.S.-China tech war clouds SK Hynix’s plans for a key chip factory / Reuters
“Plans by Korea’s SK Hynix to overhaul a huge facility in China so it can make memory chips more efficiently are in jeopardy, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, because U.S. officials do not want advanced equipment used in the process to enter into China.”

Huawei moves further into the cloud amidst U.S. sanctions
Huawei doubles down on cloud services in Asia as smartphone business takes battering from U.S. sanctions / SCMP (paywall)

EU imposes tariffs on China telecom gear
Chinese telecom gear hit with EU trade tariffs in pricing row / Bloomberg (paywall)
“The European Union imposed tariffs of as much as 44% on optical-fiber cables from China, affecting the supply of next-generation telecommunications equipment used by Deutsche Telekom AG and others.”

Evergrande sells stake in Tencent-backed firm, and more on the property crisis
China Evergrande to shed stake in Tencent-backed venture for $273 million / WSJ (paywall)
“Developer agrees to unload its remaining 18% stake in HengTen Networks Group at a substantial discount.”
Seeking to raise cash, Evergrande offloads remaining stake in video streaming firm / Caixin (paywall)
Evergrande chief borrows $105 million against Hong Kong properties / Caixin (paywall)
Embattled China developers rush to raise $2 billion in a day / Bloomberg (paywall)
China property easing has traders asking if the worst is over / Bloomberg (paywall)
China’s $6 trillion hidden debt gets stress-tested in downturn / Bloomberg (paywall)

Huarong gets a $6.5 billion state-led sale
China’s largest bad-debt manager, Huarong, to raise $6.5 billion in state-led bailout / WSJ (paywall)
Huarong inks $6.6 billion of share sales to five strategic investors / Caixin (paywall)
China Huarong gets $6.6 billion equity injection in bailout / Bloomberg (paywall)
Huarong cleared to raise 70 billion yuan via bond sale as part of rescue plan / Caixin (paywall)
Read more from Caixin last August here: Cover story: The Herculean task of bailing out Huarong.

What’s behind China’s bailouts?
The white knights bailing out China’s distressed companies aren’t generous / Bloomberg (paywall)
By Shuli Ren: “Huarong and Tsinghua Unigroup seem to be benefiting from rescues, but there’s less to the deals than meets the eye.”
Tsinghua Unigroup: China’s hopes of semiconductor self-sufficiency rest on a bailout / FT (paywall)
By FT Lex: “Alibaba’s interest in chipmaker makes some sense but it would not be a strategic acquisition.”

Will going green push metals into a bull market?
China Moly says green push to unleash extraordinary metal demand / Bloomberg (paywall)

China to import more goods from Africa to ease trade imbalances
China will import more goods from Africa to address trade imbalances, says Commerce Vice Minister / China-Africa Project (paywall)

Huobi branch launches four digital currency mining funds in Hong Kong
Huobi subsidiary launches Bitcoin, Ether, crypto mining funds in Hong Kong / TechNode
“Newly licensed Huobi Asset Management is one of several Chinese cryptocurrency companies looking to lure deep-pocketed institutional investors by taking advantage of favorable digital asset laws in Hong Kong and Singapore.”

More on the power crisis
China releasing some oil from strategic reserves after U.S. invite / Bloomberg (paywall)
China’s coal support continues with $31 billion finance promise / Bloomberg (paywall)
China’s power outage / Foreign Affairs
“The power crisis laid bare the difficulties of uneven price regulation and institutional inertia that had plagued China’s electricity reforms for two decades.”

Boeing takes another step closer to return of 737 Max in China
China approves Boeing’s proposed fixes for 737 Max / Caixin (paywall)

Temasek-backed agri-food Bits x Bits hits $100 million in funding
Chinese agri-food venture capital firm closes $100m fund / Nikkei Asia (paywall)

Alibaba’s drop, and more losses and gains this quarter
Alibaba posts 87% drop in Q3 net income amid China tech crackdown / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
For Alibaba, the property crackdown is another headache / WSJ (paywall)
Baidu reports swing to loss despite better-than-expected revenue / Caixin (paywall)
China’s beats quarterly revenue, profit estimates / Reuters
Jack Ma’s Ant Group sees profit rise 39% on investments / Bloomberg (paywall)
Chinese streaming giants’ losses grow along with their revenues / Caixin (paywall)
“Streaming media giants Bilibili Inc. and iQiyi Inc. have reported widening losses despite growing sales in the third quarter of this year, as both Chinese online video platforms grappled with a tighter regulatory landscape.”


Three foreign Olympic athletes test positive for COVID-19
Athletes test positive for COVID-19 inside Beijing Winter Olympic bubble / AFP via SCMP (paywall)
Three foreign winter Olympic athletes test positive for COVID-19 / Caixin (paywall)
“Three foreign athletes slated to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19 this month, the organizing committee announced at a press conference Thursday.”

Essential children’s drugs to be catalogued
China to release its first essential medicine list for children / Sixth Tone
“Experts say the new catalog will ensure supply and help prevent frequent shortages of children’s drugs.”

A promising new antibody treatment for COVID-19
New Chinese COVID-19 antibody treatment shows promise, as China races to find a cure / SCMP (paywall)
“Experimental neutralising antibody treatment able to tackle all variants shown to reduce viral loads and symptoms for 14 Beijing patients.”

Hong Kong rounds up wild boars
Hong Kong authorities begin boar hunt amid public safety fears / Reuters

Severe sandstorms slow China’s high-speed rail across the Gobi Desert
Why China’s longest high-speed railway is slowing down / SCMP (paywall)
“Severe sandstorms could have seriously affected operations, a new study by Chinese scientists suggests, after travellers in recent years questioned the line’s bullet credentials.”


China is now one of the most powerful donors to global institutions
Report shows China’s growing clout at World Bank, global institutions / Reuters
“With over $66 billion in total capital, China has passed Japan to become the second largest contributor to the system of development banks that provide some $200 billion in subsidized loans to poor countries each year, a new report said Thursday.”

Beijing hits back at U.S. claim Hong Kong is now an authoritarian city
Beijing rejects report to U.S. Congress claiming Hong Kong now authoritarian city as ‘pack of lies’ / SCMP (paywall)

Research study with ties to the PLA raises concern at EU university
Monkey-brain study with link to China’s military roils top European university / Reuters
“A Chinese professor at the University of Copenhagen conducted genetic research with the Chinese military without disclosing the connection, the university told Reuters, in the latest example of how China’s pursuit of military-civilian technology is tapping into Western academia in the strategically sensitive area of biotechnology.”

Pro-democracy clothing chain Chickeeduck to shut in Hong Kong
‘Daily torture’: Pro-democracy retail chain Chickeeduck to exit Hong Kong in 2022 citing pressure, threats / HKFP (paywall)
Herbert Chow, the founder of the children’s clothing chain, says he is shutting some of his shops due to “disturbances from unknown evil forces.”
Pro-democracy clothing brand Chickeeduck to quit Hong Kong / AFP via Yahoo News

Can the U.S compete with China’s engagement in Africa?
Howard French on the stark differences between U.S. and Chinese diplomacy in Africa / China-Africa Project (paywall)
Author and journalist Howard French on “how Washington’s lackluster attitude towards Africa is ‘not going to suffice’ when China is so much more engaged.”
While the EU & U.S. talk about competing with China to build infrastructure in the Global South, Japan’s experience in Vietnam should give them pause / China-Africa Project (paywall)

U.S. Congress to separate China tech bill from defense measure
Schumer drops effort to attach China bill to Pentagon measure / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he is abandoning efforts to attach his $250 billion legislation aimed at countering China’s rise to the annual defense bill amid stiff opposition from House Democrats and Senate Republicans.”
Senate advances defense bill after Schumer, Pelosi reach deal on China legislation / Politico
“The agreement comes after Senate Republicans and some House Democrats objected to Schumer’s push to unilaterally attach the China legislation to the must-pass defense bill.”
U.S. House, Senate will negotiate on China tech bill / Reuters

Philippines claims China fired water cannons, blocked ships in South China Sea
Philippines says China fired water cannons at boats near shoal / Bloomberg (paywall)
Philippines slams Beijing for blocking ships in South China Sea / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Chinese Coast Guard fired water cannons on transport vessels, Manila says.”

China, Russia move to strengthen coal ties
Beijing, Moscow in talks to develop coal deposits in Russia / SCMP (paywall)
Russia’s energy deals with China may backfire on the Kremlin / FT (paywall)
By Alexander Gabuev: “Moscow has much leverage over Europe as a gas supplier, but an over-reliance on Beijing carries long-term strategic risks.”

ASEAN nations oppose China’s Myanmar junta bid
ASEAN states object as China lobbies for Myanmar junta to join summit: sources / Reuters
“A Chinese envoy has lobbied Southeast Asian nations to let Myanmar’s military ruler attend a regional summit being hosted by China’s president next week but has met stiff opposition, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.”

Xi’s glory, and more on the CCP’s new resolution
China resolution enshrining Xi scraps ban on ‘personality cults’ / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“President’s achievements comprise over half of [the] pivotal Communist Party document.”
China’s historical resolution puts focus on rising national security threats, pledges ‘fight to the end’ / SCMP (paywall)

Taiwan war watch: Lithuania, Japan, and former U.K. PM weigh in
Taiwan opens office in Lithuania, brushing aside China opposition / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
Japan tells China peace, stability in Taiwan Strait are important / Reuters
Analysis: Xi’s need to overtake Deng poses big risk for Taiwan / Nikkei Asia (paywall)
“Unification would cement his legacy. Does he have a timeline?”
China must realize Taiwan isn’t Hong Kong, Tony Blair says / Bloomberg (paywall)
“China needs to realize that Western countries don’t view the self-ruled island of Taiwan in a similar way to the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said.”


Appliance retail giant Gome punishes slackers
China’s slacking off youth culture in the spotlight again after electrical retail giant punishes staff for watching movies at work / SCMP (paywall)
“One of China’s most profitable private firms has found itself at the centre of a public debate about work-life balance after the details of penalties for staff who used entertainment apps during office hours were made public.”

Vocational schools teach students to be screws in the machine
Chinese vocational schools have a discipline problem / Sixth Tone
“Struggling to teach useful job skills, many of the country’s vocational high schools instead focus on teaching students to know their place.”

Snitching in the capital
Beijing wants more citizen vigilante groups across the capital / Sixth Tone
“City officials cited the influential Chaoyang Masses as role models.”
Related: China’s ‘Prince of the Piano’ Li Yundi arrested in Beijing for soliciting prostitute