CX Daily: China's New Court Wants to Chime in on Your Country's High-Profile Cases
The Shanghai Financial Court, the first financial court in China, on Dec. 5. Photo: VCG
China’s first financial court wants a bigger voice abroad
China’s first court devoted to financial cases is aiming to give the country greater influence over international judicial practices in the high-stakes industry and will weigh in on high-profile international cases, according to the court’s five-year plan.
The court, which started taking cases six months ago, is the brainchild of President Xi Jinping. It was established as part of China’s judiciary reforms and a campaign to strengthen judicial oversight over misconduct in the financial industry.
In the 12-page plan, the court said it would strengthen judiciary judgments on high-profile cross-border financial cases to echo the national strategy of opening its financial system to foreigners, as well as on those involving international finance trading rules and foreign defendants.
FINANCE & ECONOMICS
Trade countdown /
Are U.S. and China closing in on a deal?
The U.S. and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in the trade dispute, such as forced technology transfer, cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade, making major progress toward a possible deal ahead of the March 1 deadline, Reuters reports, citing anonymous sources.
A Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He met with U.S. delegates led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington Thursday for what will be Liu's second trip in three weeks. The talks are expected to wrap up Friday.
Foreign ministry cites 'legitimate rights' of Chinese importers in ban on Australian coal
China's foreign ministry says that a ban on Australian coal by customs in China’s northern port of Dalian is to assess the shipment's safety and quality, as well as to "safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese importers."
According to a Reuters report, which cited Dalian Port Group officials, the harbor is capping overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tonnes. It also claims that major ports elsewhere in China are prolonging clearing times for Australian coal to at least 40 days amid diplomatic tensions.
More negotiatons /
China will not manipulate yuan to counter tariffs: Foreign Ministry
China won’t resort to currency depreciation for competitive purposes in trade and hopes the U.S. can respect market rules and not politicize currency issues, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press briefing.
Geng’s comments followed reports that the U.S. is pressing China to keep the yuan stable as part of an agreement intended to end the countries’ trade war.
Two cheers for population decline
Since China abolished its one-child policy on Jan. 1, 2016, annual births have actually fallen. The baby boom that wasn’t should surprise no one, at least, according to Adair Turner, former chairman of the U.K. Financial Services Authority.
According to Turner, many decry population decline because it implies a smaller workforce. Some male chauvinist leaders see population growth as a national imperative and high fertility as a female duty. But, he argues, fertility rates moderately below replacement level would be not only manageable but also beneficial as it incentivizes better aging, and scarcer labor will help offset the impact of automation.
Check out his op-ed.
Looking ahead /
Wednesday, Feb. 27: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hold second summit in Vietnam.
The sixth Singapore Symposium takes place in Changi Cove. Caixin is a media partner this year.
Thursday, Feb. 28: NBS of China releases Statistical Communiqué 2018 and February's official PMI.
Friday, March 1: February Caixin Manufacturing PMI release.
Quick hits /
• UPDATE: Former Citic executive director under investigation
• Alipay will charge fee to pay off credit cards
• Opinion: Financial integration across borders key to Greater Bay Area plan
• Half a million party members penalized for corruption in 2018
• China is proposing $30 billion more in U.S. agriculture purchases
• U.S. importers shift China orders over trade war fears
BUSINESS & TECH
Tesla is expected to roll out its first China-made Model 3 by the end of the year. Photo: VCG
Tesla reports drop in China sales as trade war bites
As we discussed earlier this week, there's much hope riding on Tesla's incoming $5 billion production complex in Lingang. But until the plant starts churning out Model 3s, the American electric carmaker is going to feel the trade war pinch.
Tesla said its revenue in China totaled $1.76 billion in 2018, down 13% from the previous year although global revenue nearly doubled, according to its filing with the U.S. SEC. Revenue in China, Tesla’s largest foreign market, accounted for 8.18% of global revenue in 2018, down 9 percentage points from the previous year.
Hardware sales /
Lenovo turns profit on smartphone turnaround, strong PC sales
The world’s top PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. swung back into the black in the last quarter of 2018, helped by strong computer shipments and its smartphone business turning a profit for the first time since 2014, the company said Thursday.
Lenovo reported a net profit of $233 million for the three months ended Dec. 31 against a loss of $289 million in the same period a year earlier. Its handset business posted a profit of $3 million, its first since acquiring money-losing Motorola from Google Inc. in 2014.
Neck and neck /
Smart speaker shipments surge
China’s smart speaker market surged almost sevenfold in the Q4 2018, hitting 8.56 million units, up 665% YOY.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. came out on top with 2.7 million units shipped, or 31% of the total, marginally ahead of Xiaomi and Baidu with 30% and 29% market share respectively.
Pot? In China?
Units of a Chinese pharmaceutical company have received approval to grow cannabis, albeit a strain that contains less THC, for medicinal and other industrial purposes in Yunnan province.
Subsidiaries of Zhejiang Jinhua Conba Biological will grow plants from a locally cultivated seed called Yunma No. 7 in areas with a total size of 16 square kilometers (7.72 square miles) in Yunnan, according to a company statement.
Tencent’s mysterious investment unit claims solid 10-year run
China’s economy may be facing headwinds in 2019, but Tencent isn’t shrinking its investments in external businesses, the company’s president Martin Lau Chi Ping said.
According to a speech Lau delivered earlier this month which the company released, the company’s low-profile investment department invested in more than 700 external companies in the team’s 10-year history, among which 122 companies have become unicorns.
Looking ahead /
Monday, Feb. 25: The annual four-day MWC Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress) takes place.
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Bilibili Inc. reports earnings for fiscal quarter ended Dec. 2018 after U.S. markets close.
Thursday, Feb. 28: JD.com reports financial results from fiscal quarter ended Dec. 2018 before U.S. markets open.
Quick hits /
• Chinese sci-fi blockbuster ‘Wandering Earth’ lands on Netflix
• Xiaomi tries to go up-market ahead of smartphone ‘war’
• Hong Kong’s latest unicorn: logistics startup Lalamove
• HKEX to acquire control of Shenzhen-based tech firm
• Foldable phone frenzy is supercharging stock gains in China
• NetEase quashes talk of Chinese gaming approval suspensions
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