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When Interests Clash

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 01:25
The relationship between the Communist Party and China's big tech and Internet companies has always seemed like an example of flexibility from Those in Command. The Internet is obviously both a crucial part of the economy and a key element in maintaining the system, but they appeared to have taken the view that equity ownership was not required, as it has been heretofore in all other key sectors - finance, transport, energy, telecoms infrastructure, media etc., where the SOEs are either dominate or have a complete monopoly.

S&P downgrades China credit rating

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:33
S&P Global Ratings downgraded China's long-term sovereign credit rating on Thursday, less than a month ahead of one of the country's most sensitive political gatherings, citing increasing risks from its rapid build-up of debt. S&P's one-notch downgrade to A+ from AA- comes as Beijing grapples with the challenges of containing financial risks stemming from years of credit-fueled stimulus to meet ambitious government economic growth targets. The demotion follows a similar move by Moody's Investors Service in May.

Bannon said to have had secret Beijing meeting

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:32
Steve Bannon flew to Beijing last week for a secret meeting with the second most powerful Chinese Communist party official, less than a month after the former chief White House strategist declared that America was at "economic war with China." According to one person in China familiar with the situation, Bannon traveled to Beijing to meet Wang Qishan, the head of the Chinese Communist party's anti-corruption campaign.

China postpones e-commerce import taxes again

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:30
China has postponed stricter taxation on imported consumer goods bought online for another year – to the end of 2018 – in order to encourage consumption, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The State Council on Wednesday decided to hold off on enacting the new tax regime designed to "regulate" foreign products purchased through cross-border e-commerce platforms, Caixin reports.

Chinese professors urged to promote socialist values

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:28
China's top universities are encouraging academics and students to write online articles promoting socialist values, with some offering authors the same academic credits they would get for papers published in journals. The policy follows calls made by President Xi Jinping late last year for academics to become advocates of socialist values and the Communist Party.

Tencent invests in old-school finance

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 23:26
Tencent is entering the traditional finance industry by investing in CICC International Capital Corp., a move that may help the investment bank's expansion in wealth management, Bloomberg reports. Shares of CICC jumped by a record after it said Tencent is paying HK$2.9 billion ($372 million) for roughly 5% of China's oldest investment bank.

Swiss deal regulator demands HNA clarify ownership

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:53
Switzerland's takeover body has demanded that HNA clarify its ownership structure because of apparent changes to the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate's shareholder base after its SFr1.4bn buyout of air services company Gategroup. The ownership of HNA has been shrouded in mystery since the company emerged as one of China's top acquirers of overseas assets in recent years.

Best Inc. jumps after IPO debut

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:51
Best Inc., the Chinese logistics provider backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, jumped in its New York debut Wednesday after the company slashed the price range for the initial public offering. Best's shares, traded under the ticker BESTI on the New York Stock Exchange, opened at $11.48 and climbed as much as 18% to a high of $11.89 in early trading. The stock finished its first day at $10.52.

China stops new projects in pollution 'red zones'

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:49
China will halt major projects in regions with high levels of pollution, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Wednesday, underscoring an environmental crackdown that is starting to hit business around the country. Chinese authorities will roll out a new pollution alert system for regions ranging from the cleanest "green non-alert zones" to the most severe "red" zones, where the environment and natural resources are severely strained.

Liquidity squeeze spurs calls for China reserve ratio cut

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:45
China's campaign to curb financial risks and rein in leverage has led to a squeeze on the amount of cash flowing through the financial system and pushed up interest rates in the interbank market where banks borrow from each other, Caixin reports.

Jack Ma says stop looking for manufacturing jobs

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:43
Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said people should stop looking to manufacturing to drive economic growth. Ma called on leaders to embrace the promise of advances like artificial intelligence to span whole new industries, Bloomberg reports.

Trump threatens to "totally destroy" N Korea at UN

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:52
Donald Trump warned Pyongyang that America would "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies, as the US president used his debut address to the UN general assembly to issue stark threats to a "wicked few" oppressive regimes, the Financial Times reports.

Alibaba-backed logistics firms dials back IPO

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:50
Chinese logistics company Best Inc. on Tuesday slashed the size of its planned initial public offering, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company, backed by technology giants Alibaba and Foxconn, now expects to offer 45 million American depositary shares at a price of $10 to $11 each, down from earlier plans to sell 53.56 million shares at $13 to $15 apiece.

Online lender Qudian set for New York IPO

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:47
Online consumer microlender Qudian said it plans to raise up to $750 million in a New York IPO, in the second of two major fintech deals this month which are expected to kick off a wave of similar listings by year-end. Qudian disclosed the fundraising target in its first public filing with the US securities regulator late on Monday.

Sina hits back at activist shareholders

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:46
The Financial Times reports Sina has hit back against a US hedge fund that has launched a proxy fight. Aristeia Capital, a Connecticut-based hedge fund with about $3bn in assets, is pressing the Chinese company for an array of corporate governance reforms to boost shareholder value. It is urging measures including either a sale or merger of Sina or its popular microblogging platform Weibo.

China forms government-backed blockchain lab

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 20:45
The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research institution under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, on Tuesday launched the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab, the first government-led initiative to support blockchain technology development. CAICT said it is also preparing a platform on which blockchain firms and experts will work together to advance the application of the technology, Caixin reports.

US trade negotiator calls China "unprecedented" threat

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 20:51
China's economic model represents an "unprecedented" threat to the world trading system that can't be addressed under current global rules, Trump's top trade negotiator, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, said. "There is one challenge on the current scene that is substantially more difficult than those faced in the past, and that is China," Lighthizer said on Monday in Washington.

China to amend Communist Party constitution

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 20:49
China's Communist Party is expected to amend its constitution at a key party congress next month, state media said on Monday, in a sign that President Xi Jinping aims to enshrine his guiding ideological doctrine in the charter. Since assuming office almost five years ago, Xi has rapidly consolidated power, with moves such as heading a group leading economic reform and appointing himself military commander-in-chief, although as head of the Central Military Commission he already controls the armed forces.

US hedge fund launches proxy fight against Sina

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 20:48
One of Sina's biggest shareholders is launching a proxy fight with the Chinese internet company, calling for measures it says will unlock value including a potential sale of itself or its big stake in wildly popular microblog service Weibo Corp, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Progress in China's fight against financial speculation

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 20:46
China's campaign to rein in financial risks and force banks to reduce their investments and liabilities is gaining momentum, with new data showing shadow banking activities have shrunk further since June. The banking industry's outstanding interbank assets, including holdings of interbank certificate deposits and acceptance bills, dropped by 13.8%, or 3.2 trillion yuan ($488 million), from the end of 2016 to the end of August, data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission show.

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