Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Mar 29, 2021

News | China | Financial Market: Bilibili Slump of Shares: Chinese Video Platform 'Bilibili' Shares slumped at Their Launch on Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

 bbc.com

China's answer to YouTube slumps on market debut

BBC News

ChinaJoy2020 Bilibili small TV Coserimage copyrightGetty Images

Shares of Chinese video platform Bilibili have slumped at their launch on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The shares opened at HKD$790 ($101.6 ; £73.7), which is 2.2% below their issue price, before slipping another 4%.

Bilibili is similar to YouTube, but the company hopes to increase revenues through Netflix-style subscriptions.

The listing is the latest in a large number of "homecomings" for US-listed Chinese companies.

The Chinese firms have sought out secondary listings in Hong Kong due to increased scrutiny from US regulators, which began under President Donald Trump.

In part, the listings are insurance against being kicked off US exchanges, a process which has already started for three Chinese telecommunications companies.

In January, The New York Stock Exchange suspended state-backed telcos China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile.

"Homecoming" listings have not always generated the same level of excitement from investors as some other tech listings.

Shares of the internet search giant Baidu only edged slightly higher when they listed in Hong Kong last week, while ecommerce giant JD.com also had a lacklustre secondary launch last year.

After pricing shares at $104 each last week, Bilibili raised $2.6bn, which was short of the $3bn it had anticipated.

The company's launch is the weakest major share market offering in Hong Kong since Yum China Holdings shares shed 6.3% on debut in September last year, according to Refinitiv data.

Premium content

Currently, Bilibili is a loss-making company, although its prospectus says its revenues have nearly tripled since 2018.

According to the prospectus, the video platform had 202 million monthly average users in the last quarter of 2020, an increase of 55% over the same quarter in 2019.

That's less than a third of rival video platform Kuaishou, which surged nearly a 190% at its share market launch last month before paring back some of those gains.

Bilibili also faces increasingly stiff competition from a range of other home-grown Chinese video platforms.

However, the company hopes to follow in the footsteps of Netflix, and turn a profit by offering premium content to subscribers.

Already, the company has 14.5 million subscribers, and has plans to convince more of its users to pay for content.

The company also makes money from advertising, mobile gaming and e-commerce.

Mar 19, 2021

U.S. First High Level Meeting: Angry Words between U.S. At Hig-Level Alaska Talks

 bbc.com

US and China trade angry words at high-level Alaska talks

BBC News

US and Chinese officials have exchanged sharp rebukes in the first high-level talks between the Biden administration and China, taking place in Alaska.

Chinese officials accused the US of inciting countries "to attack China", while the US said China had "arrived intent on grandstanding".

Relations between the two superpowers are at their most strained for years.

The US pledged to raise contentious issues such as Beijing's treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

The ill-tempered talks in Anchorage involved Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on the US side, facing off with China's most senior foreign policy official, Yang Jiechi, and foreign minister Wang Yi.

However, a US official said the subsequent talks behind closed doors had been "substantive, serious and direct" and ran over the planned two hours.

In a blunt opening statement before the talks in private, Mr Blinken said the US would "discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies".

"Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability," he said.

In response, Mr Yang accused Washington of using its military might and financial supremacy to suppress other countries.

"It abuses so-called notions of national security to obstruct normal trade exchanges, and incite some countries to attack China," he added.

Mr Yang said human rights in the US were at a low point, with black Americans being "slaughtered".

Mr Sullivan hit back, saying Washington did not seek a conflict with China, but added: "We will always stand up for our principles for our people, and for our friends."

The exchange, which took place in front of the world's media, went on for more than an hour. It came at the start of three sessions, which are due to end on Friday morning.

It is the first high-level meeting between the US and China since last June - during the administration of the previous US President, Donald Trump.

line

Unusually undiplomatic

Analysis box by Barbara Plett-Usher, State Department correspondent

It was an unusually undiplomatic sparring match, especially for a meeting called to take stock of the US-China relationship under a new American administration.

Beforehand the Biden team had been blunt in public criticism of Beijing. So the Chinese knew what to expect and seemed to have come prepared to hit back.

They were particularly angry that Washington had imposed sanctions on them the day before the talks, over a crackdown on pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong.

There may have been a certain amount of posturing involved, as a US official said the private conversation that followed was substantive and serious.

The Biden administration has said it will be tough on issues of concern, but willing to work with Beijing on matters of interest. However, it has described the relationship as a geopolitical competition between democracy and autocracy.

And the Chinese have refused to compromise on what they say are matters of national sovereignty and security. Whether or not they can find pragmatic points of co-operation will be the measure of how the relationship moves forward.

line

Afterwards, the US delegation accused China of violating the agreed protocol of two minutes of opening remarks by each side.

"The Chinese delegation... seems to have arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance," a senior administration official said.

The official said the US would continue with the talks as planned, adding that "exaggerated diplomatic presentations often are aimed at a domestic audience".

In later remarks via state media, Chinese officials said it had been the US, not China, that had violated protocol by exceeding the agreed time in opening remarks. They accused the US of making a "groundless attack on China's domestic and foreign policies".

On a more positive note, it quoted Mr Yang as saying that "serious difficulties in China-US relations in the past should not continue".

The BBC's Barbara Plett Usher says the talks are the first chance for the Biden administration to show how it intends to deal with what Mr Blinken has called "the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st Century".

China is looking for a reset after relations hit rock bottom under the Trump administration, our correspondent adds. Mr Wang has said that Beijing is ready to reopen "constructive dialogue."

What do China and the US disagree about?

Trade for instance. The US accuses China of unfair practices, such as subsidising industries, stealing intellectual property, keeping its currency low and putting up barriers to trade.

For its part, China wants the big trade tariffs introduced by the Trump administration on Chinese goods eliminated. It also accuses the US of "suppressing" successful Chinese tech companies, such as Huawei.

Human rights and democracy. The US accuses China of genocide against the Uighur population in the province of Xinjiang, and trampling on democratic rights in Hong Kong with a recently introduced security law.

But China calls on the US to stop interfering in what Beijing considers its internal affairs and accuses the US of "smearing" the ruling Communist Party.

China is also pushing back against what it sees as US naval encroachment in the South China Sea, which Beijing considers Chinese territory.

Mar 16, 2021

News | China | Regulators Press Tech Giants: China Tech Giants Under Regulators Pressure.

 bbc.com

China's tech giants fall under regulator's pressure

BBC News

Tencent sign outside buildingimage copyrightGetty Images

China's tech giants are coming under increasing pressure from regulators worried about their growing influence.

By Monday, Tencent had shed more than $60bn (£42bn) from its market value as its share price slid over concerns of greater regulator scrutiny.

Media reports suggest that rival tech giant Alibaba may have to sell some of its media assets under the crackdown.

Chinese regulators have signalled a tougher approach towards tech firms.

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on Friday said it had fined 12 companies over 10 deals that violated anti-monopoly rules.

The companies included Tencent, Baidu, Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and a ByteDance-backed firm, the SAMR said in a statement.

Investors appear to be worried that Tencent could be the next company in the crosshairs of China's regulators, who have taken an increasing interest in how major tech companies operate.

According to state broadcaster CCTV, China's President Xi Jinping ordered regulators on Monday to step up their oversight of internet companies, crack down on monopolies and promote fair competition.

Blocked launch

In October, Chinese regulators stepped in to block the share market launch of Alibaba-backed Ant Group, which was tipped to be the year's biggest.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is revered in China as one of the country's most-successful entrepreneurs. However, his fortunes have suffered since he spoke out against China's regulatory approach to the finance technology sector.

Since then, regulators have launched an anti-monopoly investigation against Jack Ma's Alibaba, which is China's largest e-commerce platform.

Additonal rules introduced last month were aimed at stopping China's e-commerce market leaders from abusing their dominant market position.

Pony problems

Tencent is one of China's biggest tech companies, with more than a billion users on its WeChat messaging platform. Its founder Pony Ma is among China's wealthiest men.

Tencent is also a major player in China's market for digital payments, with its payments app WeChat Pay competing against Ant Group's AliPay for market share.

Media reports suggest both Ant and Tencent may be required to set up separate holding companies to include their banking, insurance and payments services.

Gaming is one of Tencent's most profitable businesses, and the company also has investments in music and movies.

Grey line


Mar 1, 2021

News | China International Investment: Chinese International Investments in Australia plummets 61%.

 bbc.com

Chinese investment in Australia plummets 61%

BBC News

Mining truck in Western Australiaqimage copyrightGetty Images

image captionMany Chinese companies have looked to Australia's mining sector for investment opportunities.

Chinese investment in Australia plummeted 61% in 2020, the lowest number in six years.

The drop in investment comes amid a growing diplomatic rift between the two countries.

The Australian National University's Chinese Investment in Australia Database (CHIIA) recorded just over $780m (A$1bn ; £550m) in investment.

Only 20 Chinese investments were recorded in 2020, well below the 2016 peak of 111.

Last year's decline came on top of a 47% drop from 2019, when Chinese investment totalled $1.57bn.

Dr Shiro Armstrong, director of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research, where CHIIA is based, said the decline in Chinese investment in Australia outpaced falling global foreign investment last year.

"Foreign direct investment fell globally by 42% according to the United Nations (UN)," Dr Armstrong said in a media release. "UN data is measured differently, but the fall in Chinese investment to Australia was much larger."

Chinese companies have invested across all sectors of Australia's economy in recent years, but last year they only bought into the real estate ($357m), mining ($321m) and manufacturing ($119m) sectors.

The drop is at least partly due to Australia's investment settings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government announced temporary measures in March that would subject every proposed investment to scrutiny by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Previously, a review only applied for "non-sensitive" transactions if the investment was worth $930m, or $213m for investors from countries without a free trade agreement with Australia.

The aim was to prevent a fire sale of distressed Australian assets to foreign owners, but it also delayed investments as the FIRB dealt with a backlog, blowing out the review period from 30 days to six months.

The Australian government also announced additional reforms to its foreign investment laws in July, which added a national security test and allowed the treasurer to cancel deals retrospectively.

In August, the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stopped the $600m sale of Japanese beverage giant Kirin's wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Lion Dairy and Drinks to China Mengniu Dairy.

Trade tensions

The latest figures come against a backdrop of increased diplomatic tensions tensions between Australia and China.

Trade ties have been particularly strained since Australia first called for a rigorous investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in April.

media captionWhy the Australia-China row matters

In response, China has imposed tariffs or trading restrictions on Australian goods such as barley, wine, beef and lobster. In some cases, the tariffs of wine have been more than 200%.

The tensions have also had an impact on coal, with dozens of coal ships stranded off China's coast unable to unload their cargo.

This has caused alarm in Australia as China is its biggest trading partner, accounting for close to 40% of exports.

Nevertheless, Australia's trade balance with China hit a six-month high in December, as China's demand for Australian iron ore made up for restrictions on other products.

Oct 12, 2020

News | Chinese Coronavirus | Covid-19: China to test entire city for Covid-19 in five days

 



QINGDAO, CHINA - FEBRUARY 03 2020: A government worker checks the temperature of a woman in home quarantine in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province Monday, Feb. 03, 2020. Image copyright Barcroft Media
Image caption The coastal city of Qingdao confirmed a small number of cases on Sunday

The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days.

The mass testing comes after a dozen cases were found linked back to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from overseas.

In May, China tested the entire city of Wuhan - home to 11 million people and the epicentre of the global pandemic.

The country has largely brought the virus under control.

That's in stark contrast to other parts of the world where there are still high case numbers and lockdown restrictions of varying severity.

In a statement posted to Chinese social media site Weibo, Qingdao's Municipal Health Commission said six new cases and six asymptomatic cases had been discovered.

All the cases were linked to the same hospital, said the Global Times.

The Chinese authorities now have a strategy of mass testing even when a new coronavirus cluster appears to be relatively minor, correspondents said.

City-wide testing

The commission added that a citywide testing program had been launched, with five districts to be tested within three days - and the whole city to be tested within five days.

Some 114,862 people - including medical staff and newly hospitalised patients in the city's hospitals - have already tested negative for the coronavirus, it said.

Videos circulating online showed local residents lining up late on Sunday to get tested, said the Global Times, adding that some of these test points were open from 07:00 to 23:00.

The new cases come a week after China's Golden Week holiday - which saw millions travel across the country.

A Global Times report quoting the Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism said the city had received 4.47 million passenger trips over this period.

The nearby city of Jinan, which is also in the same province as Qingdao, called for anyone who had visited the city since 23 September to get tested for the virus, according to a report by The Paper.

Earlier last month, Qingdao announced that two port workers in the city who handled imported seafood had tested positive for the virus. However, they were not known to have infected anyone else.

Daily coronavirus infections have fallen drastically in China, and for the most part the country appears to have recovered from the worst of the virus.

China currently has 85,578 virus cases and the death toll stands at 4,634.

Earlier this year, China completed a mass testing programme in Wuhan saying 11 million people had been tested in 10 days.

However, the BBC's Reality Check later estimated that the figure was closer to 9 million over 10 days - still a significant number of people.

Hundreds of testing centres were opened, with thousands of testing staff involved.


Sep 8, 2020

News | Business | Tech | China | Companies: China takes aim at US 'bullying' of its tech firms

4 minutes - Source: BBC




China has launched a new set of global rules for tech companies to follow. Image copyright Getty Images
China has taken aim at the US saying its tech firms are victims of "naked bullying".
The accusations come as the Chinese government launches a new set of global guidelines for technology companies.
Its new initiative outlaws illegally obtaining people's data and large-scale surveillance.
Last month a similar data privacy effort was announced by the US called The Clean Network.
It is the latest clash between Washington and Beijing over data security issues which has already embroiled TikTok, Huawei and WeChat.
In recent months, the Trump administration has taken steps to block Chinese tech firms like Huawei and Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat saying they pose threats to national security.
"Some individual countries are aggressively pursuing unilateralism, throwing dirty water on other countries under the pretext of 'cleanliness', and conducting global hunts on leading companies of other countries under the pretext of security," China's State Councillor Wang Yi said.
"This is naked bullying and should be opposed and rejected."
On Tuesday, Mr Wang said the new initiative also calls for tech firms to not create backdoors - secret access to a company's data and network - into their services.
The US has frequently accused Chinese telecoms provider Huawei of having backdoors in its equipment.
"Global data security rules that reflect the wishes of all countries and respect the interests of all parties should be reached on the basis of universal participation by all parties," Mr Wang added.

Cleaning up

China's global data security plan states that tech firms should not engage in large-scale surveillance of other countries or illegally acquire information of foreign citizens by using technology.
In August US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the Clean Network, a global blueprint to exclude Chinese telecoms firms, apps, cloud providers from internet infrastructure used by the US and other countries.
"We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network," Mr Pompeo said. More than 30 countries and territories have signed up according to the State Department.
China's own initiative to set global standards on data security has been praised by one legal expert.
"China has a really robust data security network and the US is nowhere near at this level as it doesn't have any national level laws. This announcement by China looks like a pragmatic approach to protect consumers and stop data abuse," Carolyn Bigg, a technology and communications lawyer at law firm DLA Piper told the BBC.

Growing tension

This week, China's largest chip manufacturer's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) was targeted for a US government blacklist.
This would restrict suppliers from providing it with American-based tech without special permission.
On Tuesday, US president Donald Trump stressed his desire to "decouple" from China.
"Whether it's decoupling, or putting in massive tariffs like I've been doing already, we will end our reliance on China, because we can't rely on China," Mr Trump said.
India's government has also banned TikTok and dozens more Chinese-made apps it says are a danger to the country.

Aug 26, 2020

News | Business | China | Smartphone Industry: Huawei cold-shouldered in India

Mercedes Ruehl and James Kynge 



The Big Story — Exclusive
The cost to China of a brutal border clash with Indian troops in June is becoming ever clearer. The latest victims are Huawei and other Chinese telecoms equipment companies that are being phased out of India’s booming market, including that for 5G networks, according to Amy Kazmin and Stephanie Findlay of the FT in New Delhi.
Although New Delhi has not issued any formal written ban on equipment suppliers such as Huawei and ZTE, industry executives and government officials say key ministries have indicated that local telecoms service providers should avoid using Chinese equipment in future investments.
Key implications: The impact on Chinese tech companies could be considerable. Huawei has been one of the three biggest telecoms equipment suppliers in India (see Smart data), which is the world’s second biggest mobile market with more than 850m users. It has had significant contracts with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and state-owned BSNL.
A government official said the administration of Narendra Modi was highly wary about Chinese investment in sensitive infrastructure. The two nuclear-armed neighbours have tens of thousands of soldiers massed along their disputed border high on the Tibetan plateau, after a June clash left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Upshot: “The thinking is: ‘let’s do tough rather than talk tough’,” the official told the FT. “We don’t want to make life miserable for consumers. But when it comes to big public contracts and critical infrastructure, we would prefer non-Chinese companies. That message has gotten through to Indian business.”

Mercedes’ top 10

  1. Jack Ma’s Ant Group launched what could be the world’s biggest IPO with a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Read the FT’s take here and the Nikkei Asian Review’s here. In other IPO news, flash memory maker Kioxia — formerly Toshiba Memory — is set to be Japan’s biggest listing in 2020.
  2. An interesting take from the Nikkei Asian Review on the demise of personal shoppers, known as daigou in China, who for years helped Chinese consumers get their hands on cheaper luxury products abroad.
  3. “Unlike.” Facebook is planning legal action after Thailand’s government forced the US social media company to block a group deemed critical of the country’s monarchy. The move comes as Thai student protests ramp up.
    © AP
  4. Berlin-based Delivery Hero is on a charm offensive to get its acquisition of Woowa Brothers — the company behind South Korea’s most popular food delivery app — over the line. Read the FT interview with Niklas Ostberg, Delivery Hero boss, here.
  5. Sino-US tensions are hitting the college endowments and pension funds that have helped fuel China’s tech industry over the past decade. Just six US-dollar funds with exposure to China have sought to raise capital this year, down from 21 last year, according to researcher Preqin.
  6. Japan’s Rakuten has been trying to make a move into banking in the US to boost its ecommerce business. American banks, wary of retailers engaging in banking, are not having a bar of it.
  7. Another addition to Asia’s “super app” bandwagon: India’s Tata Group said in an interview with the FT that it was bringing together its disparate consumer services on one platform by as early as December.
  8. Taiwan is the latest country to issue a number of restrictions on Chinese tech companies in recent weeks, the latest being on the Taiwanese arm of Alibaba’s Taobao ecommerce site.
  9. WATCH: The FT’s Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo and #techAsia editor James Kynge discuss why TikTok and WeChat are the new front line in the US-China tech war.
  10. Which mask, you ask? The Nikkei Asian Review brings us the verdict from the world’s fastest supercomputer in Japan on the most effective types of face masks. Apparently, masks made of non-woven fabric are best protection against the virus.

When sages speak

  • This overview of US-China decoupling by Torsten Riecke for Merics, a Berlin-based think-tank, delves into how two competing “technospheres” for the world might look.
  • Here’s a helpful backgrounder on China’s electric vehicle market by Ilaria Mazzocco at Macro Polo, a think-tank at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. The build out of the EV industry in a decade represents Chinese industrial policy 101.
  • Some interesting perspectives are relayed here by Gateway House, an Indian think-tank, on tech competition between India and China.

Best of comment

After India’s Supreme Court reached a landmark decision in early March that essentially lifted a two-year-old ban on cryptocurrency transactions, the country has seen numerous homegrown and foreign cryptocurrency businesses revive or start up from scratch, like a spring awakening after a long period of hibernation, writes Ken Koyanagi, editor-at-large at the Nikkei Asian Review.
Many of the entrepreneurs and investors are pushing ahead with their bets despite fears of another complete ban or severe restrictions on cryptocurrency trading. Local media reports say the government aims to submit a bill to parliament before the November holiday season, which, when enacted, will regulate or possibly ban cryptocurrencies.
Undeterred, Indian investors are rushing back into the cryptocurrency trading scene.
According to UsefulTulips.org, a cryptocurrency information website, combined monthly trading volume between the Indian rupee and bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, has nearly doubled between March and July at two large peer-to-peer crypto asset trading platforms — LocalBitcoins of Finland and Paxful of the US. Their total volume in March was equivalent to $8.14m. By July the figure had reached $16.26m.

Art of the deal

  • Tencent is close to taking Leyou Technologies private in a deal that would value the Chinese gaming group at about $1.3bn.
  • A unit of Telekom Indonesia is in advanced talks on injecting capital into Gojek, the Indonesian super app decacorn, according to people familiar with the situation.
  • Beijing-based iSpace, a private space launch start-up, has raised $174m in a fundraising that is thought to be the biggest yet for a private space company.
  • Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer XPeng said it hopes to raise up to $1.1bn in an IPO in New York, milking the enthusiasm for EVs even as US-China relations remain strained.
  • Health is where the action is. Xuanzhu Biopharmaceutical, a research and development subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Sihuan Pharmaceutical, has raised $116m in Series A funding led by the Chinese government-owned State Development and Investment Corporation.

Spotlight

Until last week, Tsai Ming-kai, the Taiwanese billionaire once known as China’s “bandit phone king”, was on a roll, writes Kathrin Hille in Taipei.
The founder and chairman of chip design house MediaTek had already seen his personal wealth jump by 80 per cent last year. The launch of the company’s “Dimensity” chipset for 5G smartphones and Washington’s blacklisting of Chinese technology group Huawei from buying from US chipmakers had sent MediaTek’s shares soaring.
This year, things looked even brighter. The US in May barred chip manufacturers from selling to Huawei any custom-made semiconductors produced with US equipment. For Huawei, the most obvious solution was MediaTek’s off-the-shelf smartphone chipsets, a development that would have boosted the Taiwanese company’s fortunes immensely.
But that dream was shattered last week when the US Department of Commerce closed the loopholes in its May sanctions against Huawei by prohibiting the sale without a licence of chips made using US software or equipment to the Chinese company. Given the prevalence of US technology in the semiconductor industry, this would include chipsets sold by MediaTek. Now Taiwan’s fourth-largest chip design company has more at stake than many other Huawei suppliers.

Smart data

Charts showing market shares of India telecoms, Global 5G and Huawei revenues
Huawei stands to lose access to one of the world’s biggest telecoms markets as official opposition builds in India (see The Big Story). But the implications for Indian telcos are also severe.
Of them, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — whose current 4G network was built mostly by Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE — are especially exposed. The three alternatives to Chinese 5G kit makers — Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung — charge significantly higher prices than Huawei.
The indebted industry may not be able to afford to switch quickly. Vodafone Idea, 44 per cent owned by UK’s Vodafone, has net debt of more than Rs1tn ($13bn), nearly six times this year’s estimated ebitda. Bharti Airtel has less leverage, but like Vodafone Idea it has little or no free cash flow. Just covering interest payments and then buying 5G spectrum at next year’s government auction will be a stretch — never mind paying higher prices.

Aug 13, 2020

News | Business | Markets | China: Covid-19 vaccine hopeful doubles on China stock market debut

Christian Shepherd and Hudson Lockett 



Shares in a pharmaceutical group that is developing a coronavirus vaccine alongside China’s military more than doubled on its trading debut, as investors brushed aside longstanding doubts over profitability.
CanSino Biologics’ stock surged as much as 127 per cent on its first day of trading on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-like Star Market on Thursday after the company raised Rmb5.2bn ($748.9m) in a secondary share offering. The shares later pared some of that initial enthusiasm to trade 85 per cent higher.
Appetite for Tianjin-based CanSino’s stock has been driven by its development of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine that seeks to stimulate an immune response to coronavirus using a chemically weakened common cold.
The treatment has been developed jointly with a team of leading immunologists from China’s People’s Liberation Army and has already been approved for use on troops.
Optimism that the company may successfully deliver a vaccine has helped propel its Hong Kong-listed shares more than 320 per cent since the start of the year. CanSino’s Hong Kong-traded stock fell 11 per cent on Thursday.
But the drug, which is about to enter into final stage trials in Saudi Arabia, is months away from being commercially available. That, and the fact that CanSino has been chronically unprofitable, has prompted analysts to question its business model.
The company said in its Star Market prospectus that its net losses had risen from Rmb64.4m in 2017 to Rmb157m last year.
“The political pressure surrounding a vaccine is enormous and CanSino has been unprofitable for years,” said Brock Silvers, chief investment officer of Adamas Asset Management in Hong Kong. “CanSino looks deeply speculative at this point — no profit, deep tech hype, abundant risk, but at premium valuations.”
Mr Silvers, who spoke prior to the listing, added that CanSino was not even at the front of the pack in China’s vaccine race. Rivals Sinovac Biotech and state-owned Sinopharm Group have already been approved for phase three trials. CanSino experienced mixed results in its proposed vaccine’s phase two trial.
China’s Star Market, which launched a little more than a year ago, is known for its spectacular listing debuts with retail investors often bidding up shares. Chipmaker SMIC’s stock soared 246 per cent on its first day of trading last month.
“Before the Star Market, there’s no chance for unprofitable companies like CanSino to be listed,” said Zhao Bing, an analyst at Huajing Securities.
Chinese groups were among the first globally to announce experimental vaccines and begin clinical trials. But they have increasingly had to conduct final stage trials in other countries where the virus is still spreading, given that China appears to have largely contained the pandemic.
That has put China’s vaccine makers at a disadvantage compared with the likes of the UK’s AstraZeneca — which is working with Oxford university — US-based Moderna and Germany’s BioNTech, which are based in countries with a relatively high number of new daily Covid-19 infections.
Additional reporting by Xueqiao Wang in Shanghai

Jul 27, 2020

News | China | Tech | Giants Index: Hong Kong launches share index of tech giants

3-4 minutes - Source: BBC



The Hang Seng TECH Index went live on Monday and includes internet giant Alibaba. Image copyright Getty Images
A new share index focused on China's technology giants has been launched by Hong Kong's stock market.
The Hang Seng Tech Index went live on Monday and includes internet giants such as Tencent, Alibaba and JD.com.
It will feature 30 of the largest tech firms listed in Hong Kong, which are among the world's biggest companies.
The new index comes as Chinese tech firms face greater scrutiny in the US, with many looking at listings in both Hong Kong and China.
Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Alibaba, recently announced plans to list its affiliate financial arm Ant Group in Hong Kong.
Alibaba, NetEase and JD.com are three tech giants that have recently listed in Hong Kong amid growing tensions between the US and China. They are included in the new Hang Seng Tech Index.
The Ant Group is described as the world's most valuable unicorn - a start-up that has grown to a value of more than $1bn (£778m).
Once publicly listed, it should also move into the index.
Ant Group, a financial technology (fintech) firm, also wants to list on China's tech-centric Star stock market as it shuns a US stock market listing.
Analysts say the Hang Seng Tech index will attract investors to other Hong Kong tech stocks and look beyond the more well-known Hang Seng Index which is dominated by banks, property firms and energy companies.
"The new index aims to rival and beat the Nasdaq in the US market for Chinese tech giants," said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research for China Renaissance Securities.
The Hang Seng Tech Index will track Hong Kong-listed companies that have high business exposure to selected technology themes, including the internet, fintech, cloud, e-commerce and digital activities.
"The Chinese government wants its technology companies to be able to access foreign capital. Thus, an index in Hong Kong would be better to suit that purpose," added Tianjun Wu, deputy economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

What does it mean for investors?

Investment experts say it will be more convenient for investors who want to buy Chinese tech companies listed in Hong Kong now they have their own index.
There is a huge appetite for technology stocks like Alibaba and Tencent, which have generally performed well during the coronavirus pandemic as more people go online for shopping and entertainment.
The new index could trigger the launch of specialised investment funds tracking these 30 tech stocks, which are known as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
"This is a great and positive new addition, marking the continued growth in China's technology space and its mind and portfolio share of local and international investors alike," added Andy Maynard, managing director at China Renaissance investment bank.

News | China | Tech | Huawei Summit: Huawei holds summit as global pressure grows

3minutes - Source: BBC



Huawei faces growing pressure as tensions rise between Beijing and the West. Image copyright Getty Images
Chinese technology giant Huawei starts a four-day online event today focusing on how technology can be used in the fight against the coronavirus.
The "Better World Summit" will also explore how to boost the world economy in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, HSBC has issued a statement defending its cooperation with the US in a case against Huawei.
It came after Chinese state media accused the London-headquartered bank of “setting traps to ensnare” Huawei.
The world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker said the summit will feature talks by technology industry executives and experts from around the world, including Huawei's deputy chairman Guo Ping as well as South Africa's telecoms minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The event is being held against the backdrop of growing pressure on the company as tensions rise between Beijing and western governments.
On Friday, an article in China's official People’s Daily newspaper said HSBC had "framed” Huawei and played a role in the arrest of the company's finance chief Meng Wanzhou.
The following day, HSBC posted a statement on the Chinese social media platform WeChat which said it was not involved in Washington's decision to investigate Huawei or arrest Ms Meng.
It also said “HSBC has no malice against Huawei, nor has it ‘framed’ Huawei”. In response, another Beijing-controlled newspaper, The Global Times, said: "Chinese observers called HSBC's statement 'not persuasive' at all".
Meanwhile, the US has been calling on members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance - which also includes the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - to avoid Huawei kit.
Australia has barred Huawei from providing 5G technology for the country's network.
Earlier this month, the British government banned the country's mobile providers from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of this year.
The companies were also told they must remove all of the Chinese firm's 5G kit from their networks by 2027.
It follows sanctions imposed by the US government, which claims Huawei poses a national security threat - something the company denies.
As early as this week a court in Canada will open a hearing into what evidence should be made public in proceedings on whether to extradite Ms Meng to America.

Jul 16, 2020

News | Business | Economy | China: China says its economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter this year, rebounding from coronavirus

Huileng Tan, Evelyn Cheng



China reported that the country’s GDP grew by 3.2% in the second quarter of this year, compared to a year ago — beating analysts’ expectations and rebounding from the first quarter’s contraction.
It comes as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak in China eased, and as Beijing rolled out stimulus measures to prop up its economy.
Economists polled by Reuters expected gross domestic product to have grown modestly at 2.5% in the April to June quarter.
China’s first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world’s second largest economy took a huge hit from the coronavirus outbreak. This was the country’s first GDP decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly records started.
China’s official GDP figures are tracked as an indicator of the health of the world’s second-largest economy, but many outside experts have long expressed skepticism about the veracity of China’s reports.
“Generally speaking, the national economy overcame the adverse impact of the epidemic in the first half gradually and demonstrated a momentum of restorative growth and gradual recovery, further manifesting its development resilience and vitality,” said China’s National Bureau of Statistics in a press release on Thursday.
The Chinese government has introduced measures to boost the economy including fiscal spending and cuts in lending rates and banks’ reserve requirements — the amount of cash that lenders must hold in reserve.

Signs of recovery

Recent data out of China show some signs of recovery. Trade numbers in June showed that China’s dollar-denominated exports and imports rose. Manufacturing activity in June also expanded compared to May, two different sets of surveys showed.
Chinese exports have been getting “massive market share” while the rest of the world was locked down, said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard before the data release. China started easing lockdown measures earlier than other countries.
We are seeing an uneven recovery in China. Return to work, especially factory production, seems to be doing relatively much better.
Zhuang said he expected China’s GDP recovery to be sustainable in the next two quarters at least, as the domestic economy seems to be doing “fine” with growth in infrastructure and cross-provincial travel reopened, he told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”
Zhuang said a recovery of about 5% in the next two quarters is “definitely foreseeable.” China’s full-year GDP growth was 6.1% in 2019.

Challenges remain

Still, there are headwinds ahead as the outbreak that first emerged late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan has spread globally, infecting more than 13.5 million people worldwide and killing more than 582,000 people, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
China’s statistic bureau acknowledged the risks.
“Given the continuous spread of the epidemic globally, the evolving huge impact of the epidemic on the global economy and the noticeably mounting external risks and challenges, the national economic recovery was still under pressure,” it said in the press release.
Data released on Thursday also showed weak consumption in China. Retail sales were down 1.8% in June from a year ago, bucking expectations for a 0.3% uptick economists polled by Reuters had predicted. Retail sales declined by 2.8% in May from a year ago.
Concerns over the job market and the lagged impact of bankruptcies continue to hang over the economy.
“We are seeing an uneven recovery in China. Return to work, especially factory production, seems to be doing relatively much better,” said Johanna Chua, head of Asia economics and strategy at Citigroup.
Looking ahead, there is a question of how much China domestic demand can offset the accumulation in inventory due to weak external demand, Chua told CNBC’s “Street Signs.”
“We’re still seeing a lot of concerns of a lack of virus suppression in the major markets,” she added.
The world economy is expected to fall into recession this year as many governments globally have implemented lockdowns and limited business activity and social gatherings. Slowing growth in global demand is expected to hurt Chinese exports.
This year, China made a rare decision not to set a GDP target due to uncertainties from the impact of the pandemic.

Jun 30, 2020

News | China | Hong Kong Security Law: China passes controversial Hong Kong security law

7-9 minutes - Source: BBC



Protester throwing a tear-gas canister back at the police Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protests rocked Hong Kong last year, sparked by a bill intended to enable extraditions to the mainland
China has passed a controversial security law giving it new powers over Hong Kong, deepening fears for the city's freedoms, the BBC has learned.
It is set to criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, but will also effectively curtail protests and freedom of speech.
The move follows increasing unrest and a widening pro-democracy movement.
Veteran activists have already said they will march on Wednesday, despite the risk of arrest under the new law.
But the Demosisto pro-democracy organisation, spearheaded by one of Hong Kong's most prominent activists, Joshua Wong, announced on Facebook on Tuesday it was ceasing all operations. Mr Wong had earlier said he was leaving the group.
China has not yet officially confirmed the law has been passed and no draft was made public beforehand, meaning residents are still unclear of the measures they will have to abide by. The law could be implemented as early as Wednesday.
Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control in 1997, but under a special agreement that guaranteed certain rights for 50 years.
So the law has drawn harsh international condemnation and also sparked demonstrations in Hong Kong since it was announced by Beijing in May.
China says the law is needed to tackle unrest and instability and rejects criticism as interference in its affairs.

What does the new law do?

The BBC has been told that the law went through unanimously in a session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing.
It is expected to be added to Hong Kong statute books later in the day and comes a day before the 23rd anniversary of the handover from Britain to China - a date usually marked by pro-democracy protests.
It would make criminal any act of secession, subversion of the central government, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces.
A new office in Hong Kong would deal with national security cases, but would also have other powers such as overseeing education about national security in Hong Kong schools.
In addition, the city will have to establish its own national security commission to enforce the laws, with a Beijing-appointed adviser.
Hong Kong's chief executive will have the power to appoint judges to hear national security cases, a move which has raised fears about judicial independence.
Importantly, Beijing will have power over how the law should be interpreted. If the law conflicts with any Hong Kong law, the Beijing law takes priority.

How will it change Hong Kong?

For many, the law undermines the freedoms that set Hong Kong apart from the rest of China and helped define its character.
People in Hong Kong prize civil liberties such as free speech, the right to protest and an entirely independent and robust judiciary, as permitted in its mini-constitution, the Basic Law, agreed when the territory's sovereignty was returned to China in 1997.
In recent years, Hong Kong has seen waves of protests demanding more rights. Last year, rallies over a now-scrapped law permitting extraditions to the mainland turned violent and fuelled a broad pro-democracy movement.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam says the new law is a "responsible" move to protect the law-abiding majority.
She has said that Hong Kong's freedoms, vibrancy and core values will be preserved.

'A tool to suppress political agitation'

Analysis by Stephen McDonell, BBC China correspondent
Hong Kong's sweeping new security law is a frighteningly open-ended tool to suppress political agitation.
Like similar laws on the Chinese mainland it appears that it can be manipulated to meet the needs of the Communist Party as required to crush almost any action deemed threatening.
Unlike elsewhere in China, Hong Kong has an independent judiciary. For this reason, the Party's leadership was not going to leave interpretation of this law in the hands of just any old judges.
No. Those who'll be allowed to preside in these matters will be hand-picked by Carrie Lam, the city's leader who was effectively installed by Beijing.
So, prior to the new security bill, which actions by activists - no matter how subversive - could not be dealt with under existing laws? What were "extremists" getting away with to warrant this new legislation?
Bomb making? No. Smashing up buildings? No. Meeting with international NGOs to talk about the city's deteriorating freedoms? Ahhhh. Perhaps. Publicly advocating Hong Kong independence? Almost certainly.
The more that Beijing, under Xi Jinping's leadership, has sought to control Hong Kong, the more it has driven residents into the pro-democracy camp.
But he is playing a long game. Sure, handover promises to the UK were made but he was not going to let some Western attachment to liberty trump loyalty to the motherland. Not on his watch. Enter the security law.

What has the reaction been?

Democratic Party leader Wu Chi-wai said he would defy a police ban on Wednesday's "handover day" march.
He will be joined by Figo Chan, of the Civil Human Rights Front, who urged people to take to the streets, saying: "We are aware of the risks of being prosecuted. But we insist on taking the lead, as we want to tell Hongkongers not to fear."
Police plan to have 4,000 riot officers on standby, the South China Morning Post reports.
Rights group Amnesty International has described the law as "the greatest threat to human rights in the city's recent history".
Taiwan on Tuesday even warned its citizens of risks in visiting Hong Kong.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe identity crisis behind Hong Kong's protests
But there was widespread international criticism even before the law was passed.
The European Parliament voted to take China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague should the law be imposed.
The UK said it would change its immigration rules and offer millions of people in Hong Kong "a route to citizenship" if China went ahead with the legislation.
Washington on Monday began moves to end Hong Kong's special status trade relationship with the US.
On Tuesday, China said it would respond to the removal with unspecified "countermeasures".

Jun 23, 2020

News | China | Tech | Space | Satellites: China launches final satellite in GPS challenger

3minutes - Source: BBC



China launching the final satellite in its homegrown geolocation system designed to rival the US GPS network. Image copyright Getty Images
China has successfully put into orbit the final satellite in its BeiDou-3 navigation system, further advancing the country as a major power in space.
Tuesday's launch will allow China to no longer rely on the US government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS).
The $10bn (£8bn) network is made up of 35 satellites and provides global navigation coverage.
It comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington are increasing over the coronavirus, trade and Hong Kong.
The launch had been scheduled for last week but was delayed after technical problems were found with the rocket in pre-launch tests.
The third version of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) offers an alternative to Russia's GLONASS and the European Galileo systems, as well as America's GPS.
Future plans promise to support a more accessible and integrated system scheduled to come online by 2035 with BDS at its core.
The first version of BeiDou, meaning "Big Dipper," was decommissioned in 2012.
China's space programme has developed rapidly over the last 20 years as Beijing has provided significant funding to develop the country's own high-tech systems.
In 2003, China became only the third country to launch its own crewed space mission. Since then it has built an experimental space station and sent two rovers to the moon.
The moves are seen as preparation for a permanent space station, a potential crewed flight to the moon, and a possible first attempt to send an orbiter and rover to Mars.
That would make China a serious contender to America in space exploration.

US-China strained relations

The relationship between Beijing and Washington has become increasingly strained over several issues since the start of this year.
US President Donald Trump and his administration have repeatedly criticised China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak - the virus first emerged there in December.
In response to a new Hong Kong security law pushed by Beijing, the US president last month announced that he will end preferential treatment for the city in trade and travel.
This week the relationship between the US and China has come under increasing scrutiny after former National Security Adviser John Bolton said in his new book that Mr Trump sought help from Chinese President Xi Jinping to win re-election.

May 27, 2020

News | Asia | China | Yuan Exchange Rate Expectations: Barings sees opportunities in the Chinese yuan and the country's 10-year bond

Eustance Huang




A Chinese clerk counts renminbi yuan banknotes at a bank in China on December 2015.
A Chinese clerk counts renminbi yuan banknotes at a bank in China on December 2015.
Jie Zhao | Corbis News | Getty Images

The Chinese yuan has weakened considerably in recent days, as U.S.-China tensions reignite and investors weigh the uncertainty over Beijing’s proposed a new national security law for Hong Kong.
There is “value” for the Chinese currency at these current levels, according to Barings’ Head of Greater China Investments, Khiem Do.
“For the next 12 months, we believe that the yuan will trade somewhere between 6.8 against the U.S. dollar to 7.2,” Do told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Wednesday.
The onshore yuan — which trades in the mainland and is tightly controlled by China — traded at 7.1579 per dollar on Wednesday afternoon Singapore time.
On Monday, the People’s Bank of China said the official yuan midpoint at its weakest since the 2008 global financial crisis, according to Reuters. Every morning, the Chinese central bank sets a so-called daily midpoint fix which the currency is then allowed to trade within a 2% band above or below.
The yuan’s offshore counterpart, which trades more freely that the onshore currency, changed hands at 7.1737 against the dollar. Earlier on, it had weakened to 7.1755 per dollar — its weakest level since Sept. 4, 2019 — according to Reuters.

‘Good value’ in China’s 10-year bond

In addition to finding investing opportunities in the yuan, Do also said there’s value in the current Chinese 10-year bond rate.
As of Wednesday afternoon Singapore time, the yield on the Chinese 10-year bond stood at 2.707%.
Yields around those levels represent more value compared to other bond markets elsewhere, Do said.
“The Chinese 10-year bond rate at about 2.6 (percent) or thereabout actually presents a lot more value relative to the … other OECD bond markets,” he said referring to countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
We think that actually the Chinese 10-year government bond rate, at about 2.7%, is very good value,
Khiem Do
Head of Greater China Investments, Barings
“If you look at the U.S. bond market, it’s trading at about 0.7%,” he said, referring to the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note, which was last at 0.6916%. “If you look across ... Europe, it’s mostly negative.”
“We think that actually the Chinese 10-year government bond rate, at about 2.7%, is very good value,” Do said.

Latest Post Published

News | Business| Bitish Gas Layoffs: About 500 British Gas Engineers Lost Their Jobs After Refusing New Contracts.

  bbc.com Hundreds lose job in British Gas contracts row By Tom Espiner 5-6 minutes ...