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Showing posts from July 11, 2018

Surveillance fears cloud China's 'Digital Silk Road'

Chinese tech companies are building cross-border communications networks and e-commerce links in countries involved in the Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.But given the close links between these companies and China's government, those digital systems could be used for Beijing's intelligence operations, experts warn.Nyshka Chandran@nyshkacPublished 2 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour AgoCNBC.comView Stock / Getty Images A major element of China's continent-spanning Belt and Road Initiative has nothing to do with roads, ports or power plants. Rather, the "Digital Silk Road" aims to construct communications networks across the developing world.Many fear Beijing could use those tools for electronic surveillance.The world's second-largest economy wants to build fiber optic cables, international trunk passageways, mobile structures and e-commerce links in countries tied to its investment initiative. These technologies are designed to supplement the Belt and Road&…

American companies and Chinese Belt and Road in Africa

Yun SunWednesday, July 11, 2018

When it comes to Africa, it is no secret that the United States and China have very different philosophies. China adopts a more state-led approach, with state-owned enterprises and policy banks spearheading Africa’s infrastructure development. The U.S. is more willing to let private companies and the market take the lead on commercial development, while the U.S. government itself puts more emphasis on the continent’s capacity building and governance challenges.AuthorYun SunNonresident Fellow - Global Economy and DevelopmentAfrica Growth InitiativeA long-standing question has been whether these two powerhouses could join forces and cooperate to advance Africa’s development. Such discussions have happened between the two governments. In 2014, it was reported that Obama’s signature Power Africa initiative was considering partnership with China on improving electricity in Africa. Around the same time, China reportedly approached the U.S. on collaboration o…

The Belt and Road Initiative will provide a beneficial wave for the GCC

China is offering the GCC countries access to a new global marketplaceDr Jin Liangxiang and Dr N. JanardhanJuly 11, 2018Kuwait's ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Chinese President Xi Jinping arrive for the opening session of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum APChina’s Belt and Road Initiative invokes historic memories of the Silk Road, which facilitated communication, trade and exchanges between civilisations. In its current form, the initiative is designed to further China’s economic and foreign policies. It is rooted in China enjoying economic success through infrastructure development.As China takes on a more global role, the plan is to replicate this strategy abroad, with BRI becoming a tool to build a “common human community with a shared future”.By attempting to create land and maritime trade routes linking China with Europe, through Asia (including the Middle East) and Africa, Beijing intends to help its own growth and that of others too.Of the six prop…

Singapore, Malaysia could be most exposed to US-China trade war: OCBC

With the United States and China launching one set of tariffs on each other's goods on July 6, analysts are wary of downside risks to global growth.But the impact on Asean economies will likely be uneven, say OCBC Bank economists. Singapore and Malaysia could be the most exposed in the region, while Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam might feel less of a hit.ASEAN BUSINESS takes you through OCBC's analysis.Chinks in Asia's armourA mild trade war - defined as US$50 billion worth of US tariffs on Chinese imports - would have “fairly negligible” impact on economic growth for 2018.Should tensions escalate, though, a more severe trade scenario involving US$250 billion of customs duties could hurt key Asian markets' gross domestic product growth forecasts by 0.1 to 0.5 percentage points, the OCBC economists say.The most vulnerable economies were identified as those most exposed to trade with the US and China and/or those with dominant manufacturing sectors connected to trans…

A billion-dollar coffee company and the woman behind it

A billion-dollar coffee company and the woman behind itThe hard-charging style of Chinese tech entrepreneurs has arrived in the coffee shop sector: Luckin Coffee (瑞幸咖啡 ruì xìng kāfēi), a chain of cashless, app-powered stores, has raised $200 million, according to Reuters.The founder of Luckin is the wonderfully named Qian Zhiya 钱治亚 — her surname qián literally means “money” and zhìyà means “rule Asia.” She spent most of the last decade as COO of Shenzhou, a car rental app and website. She is also co-founder of UCAR, a ride-hailing service spun off from Shenzhou.In November 2017, she launched Luckin. By the end of May, Luckin had already opened 525 stores in 13 cities across China.ABOUT LUCKIN“Unicorn” is the tech industry buzzword for an unlisted startup valued at $1 billion. The Financial Times says (paywall) Luckin has joined the club — this funding round “values the chain at $1 billion as it builds a war chest to try to challenge Starbucks’ dominant position.”CEO Qian sees the coff…

Trump targets another $200 billion — trade war update, day six

The U.S.-China trade war is getting ugly, fast.Before day five of the confrontation even came to the end, Bloomberg broke the news (paywall) that American officials were drawing up lists of additional Chinese products totaling $200 billion to tax at a 10 percent rate, to be published “likely this week.”NEW U.S. DEMANDSThat list was released only hours later by the U.S. Trade Representative — see the full 205-page PDF of it here — along with a firm statement by the office’s head, Robert Lighthizer, who promised more escalation until the U.S. could achieve “the elimination of China’s harmful industrial policies” and see “China opening its market to U.S. goods and services.”“The new tariffs won’t take effect for at least two months,” and “hearings on the products are scheduled for Aug. 20-23,” the Wall Street Journal reports(paywall).“Chinese fish, petroleum, chemicals, handbags, textiles” are among the products to be taxed if this second large round of much broader tariffs is implemente…

SupChina: China newsletter

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

TOP STORIESGIF by Lucas Niewenhuis. View pronunciation video from Jia.Read this in your browser, see our newsletter archives, or view our Access archives for members.Dear reader,Today’s news shows us two very different sides of Beijing:There is the inspirational pluckiness and energy of Luckin, a youth-focused coffee shop chain based in the capital whose founders just raised $200 million.And then there’s the grim grinding down of Unirule, a globally respected, independent, Beijing-based think tank. Unirule’s publications and founders are sometimes critical of government policies, but their work is focused on economics. Just a few years ago, economics was a safe subject for open-minded inquiry in China.In total, we’ve got six stories at the top for you, including our now daily trade war update, plus the usual boatload of links below.—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief1. A billion-dollar coffee company and the woman behind itThe hard-charging style of Chinese tech …

Belt and Road reality check: How to assess China’s investment in Eastern Europe

Thomas S. EderJacob MardellThe reality of Beijing’s investment in Central and Eastern European countries falls short of the rhetoric at the 16+1 summits. Numbers on Chinese investment connected to the Belt and Road Initiative tend to be inflated and misleading. Only a fraction of the reported sums is connected to actual infrastructure projects on the ground. And most of the projects that are underway are financed by Chinese loans, exposing debt-ridden governments to additional risks.MERICS Belt and Road Tracker. Static map of projects worldwide.Great fanfare and grandiose promises have been the hallmark of previous 16+1 summits. The sixth annual summit of the sub-regional platform initiated by China with sixteen Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries on July 7 was different. The initial Eastern European euphoria about China’s investment promises has given way to a more sober mood – with some heads-of-government who had been eager to attend in the past keeping a distance from t…

Chinese ambassador calls for Australia to join Belt and Road Initiative

CANBERRA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- China's ambassador to Australia has called on the nation to sign up to the Belt and Road Initiative, saying Australia will benefit from the initiative.
Speaking at the Belt and Road Initiative in Australia conference in Darwin on Wednesday, Ambassador Cheng Jingye said China will work with other countries to uphold free trade in the world."We are determined to work with other countries around the globe, including Australia, to uphold free trade and multilateral trading regime," he told the conference.Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has expressed doubts over the benefits Australia would derive from the initiative.Cheng dismissed those concerns, saying that the Belt and Road Initiative "which aims for win-win outcome, has nothing to do with geopolitics. Instead of China's solo performance, it is a symphony played by all participants.""We do not impose business deals on others. Extensive consulta…