News briefing for Monday, August 1, 2022

Notable China news from around the world

Here’s what else you need to know about China today:

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit is confirmed: The U.S. House Speaker began her Asia tour this Monday starting in Singapore — with no mention of Taiwan in her administration’s list of four planned stops. But the Financial Times and CNN are both reporting that the visit will go ahead on Wednesday. China has repeatedly warned against Pelosi’s potential Taiwan visit, citing “serious consequences” and vague mention of military action.

Alibaba is officially at risk of getting kicked off U.S. stock exchanges: On Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed the Chinese tech giant on a list of Chinese companies facing delisting. The news caused shares of U.S.-listed Chinese companies to plunge. The news comes after Alibaba’s recent announcement that it will apply for a dual primary listing in Hong Kong, which would allow mainland investors to purchase shares of the company on Hong Kong exchanges.

Hong Kong is trending toward another recession: The city reported an economic contraction for the second quarter in a row, with figures shrinking by 1.4% this quarter amid a fifth wave of coronavirus outbreaks. Hong Kong’s GDP also decreased by 3.9%.

Shock decline in factory activity in July: Yesterday, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that the July manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 49.0%, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points month-on-month, dropping below the critical point of 50%. The PMI of large and medium-sized enterprises were 49.8% and 48.5%, respectively, while that of small enterprises was lowest at 47.9%. The non-manufacturing business activity index was 53.8%, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points month-on-month.

New low for smartphone sales: According to data from a Chinese research institute, in the first half of the year, smartphone sales in China amounted to about 134 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 16.9% and the worst first half sales numbers since 2015.

Insurance policy holders are not happy: According to a report by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, there were 26,545 complaints by insurance customers in the first quarter, most (64.69%) about personal insurance claims. Ping An Insurance ranked first for the number of complaints.

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