Aug 14, 2019 03:48 PM

CX Daily: Senior Party Official at Shanghai Futures Exchange Dies

Shanghai Futures Exchange, March 29, 2019. Photo: IC Photo
Shanghai Futures Exchange, March 29, 2019. Photo: IC Photo

Exclusive: Senior party official at Shanghai Futures Exchange dies

Hu Kun, 46, a member of the Shanghai Futures Exchange's Communist Party committee and its disciplinary inspection chief, died at home over the weekend from unknown causes, according to several sources.

Hu was last seen in public July 18 when Jiang Yan, head of the exchange, led members of its party committee on an official trip to Taihu county in southwestern Anhui province in eastern China, according to an exchange press release that cited a local media report.

Of China’s four futures exchanges, the Shanghai Futures Exchange is the largest in terms of trading volume and the world’s largest in terms of commodity futures and options trading, according to its annual report. Hu had worked for the Shanghai Futures Exchange for a little more than a year. He joined the exchange in June 2018 as a member of its party committee and its disciplinary inspection chief.



Trade war /

U.S. delays some new tariffs on China goods until mid-December

The Trump administration partly postponed new tariffs on some Chinese imports until mid-December, cheering stock investors and bolstering shares including Apple Inc., Micron Technology and Best Buy Co. Inc.

The delay affects some of the $300 billion a year of additional Chinese goods on which President Donald Trump vowed to levy 10% tariffs starting Sept. 1. The exempted products include cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.

The announcement came shortly after China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed a phone call involving U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and China’s Vice Premier and top trade negotiator Liu He.

Markets /

Unrest deflates Hong Kong stock market

Hong Kong stocks have lost more than a tenth of their value over the last month, including a 2.1% decline on Tuesday, as investors fret about the city’s future after two months of unrest over local governance.

At its current level, the benchmark Hang Seng Index now trades at about the same level where it began the year, wiping out a 20% rally that kicked off 2019 in tandem with a similar rise in stock markets on the Chinese mainland. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Chinese stocks has lost 16% since its April high as of Tuesday morning, not far from entering a technical bear market. The MSCI Hong Kong Index fell 2.1%. The gauge has fallen 14% since mid-July.

Credit /

Sluggish business credit demand hints at more slowing growth

China’s total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, grew by a net 1.01 trillion yuan ($140 billion) in July, significantly less than the net increase of 2.26 trillion yuan the month before and also down 210.3 billion yuan from the year-ago net increase, data from the PBOC showed Monday.

The decline in TSF growth signals that demand for business credit remains sluggish amid protracted trade tensions with the U.S. and suggesting room for further monetary easing to support slowing economic growth. According to one economist, the trend more than offset a further acceleration in special bond issuance by local governments on the back of fiscal loosening.

P2P /

Shanghai P2P lending platform sacks thousands, suspends new business

A major private conglomerate has sacked thousands of employees and suspended new lending at its P2P lending platform, we've learned from multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

Shanghai Zendai Group, which operates a consultancy company that runs P2P lender Laocaibao, terminated the contracts of Laocaibao staff. It also froze new lending starting Tuesday after Shanghai Huarui Bank, where Laocaibao deposited customer funds, abruptly terminated its partnership with the platform, Laocaibao said in a statement. At the end of July, Laocaibao had nearly 5 billion yuan ($708 million) in outstanding loans, according to its website.

In depth /

Despite financial opening-up, foreign firms still face challenges in China

In July, the “new 11 measures,” as they were named by the market, were unveiled. When implemented, they would lower the barriers to entry for foreign capital, result in the issuance of more licenses to foreign firms and raise the shareholding upper limit for foreigners. And yet, reaction overseas has been mixed. It’s one thing to announce policies. It’s another to implement them in a way that evokes confidence.

Take joint ventures as one example. Chinese shareholders are unlikely to give up their controlling stakes easily and will probably require special arrangements that take into account their interests, according to one analyst. Not to mention, the process of getting regulatory approval to take over these ventures won’t be quick either.

Check out our deep dive on challenges facing China's financial opening-up.

Quick hits /

Mirae said to emerge as lead bidder for Anbang hotel portfolio

Zheshang Fund aims to launch China’s first AI-managed mutual fund

Editorial: Reflections on corporate governance after the Hu Huaibang case



Huawei /

Huawei's Europe market share takes a nosedive

Huawei may be doing well in China, but in the three months ending in June Huawei’s smartphone shipments in Europe plunged 16%, dragging the company’s market share in the region down to 18.8%. This share is 3.6 percentage points lower than for the same period last year, according to market analysis firm Canalys.

Canalys attributed the result to the Trump administration’s so-called Entity List, which restricts Huawei from acquiring technologies from U.S. companies. After Google said in May that it would abide by the government’s decision, Huawei users began to worry about access to Google's services, Canalys said. As a result, rival Samsung shipped the most phones during the second quarter in Europe, achieving its best performance in five years, Canalys said.

Privacy /

Draft regulation may standardize the personal data apps in China can collect

China on Thursday published a draft of a document that would provide national standards for digital data collection, including lists of the minimum information requirements of 21 kinds of internet services such as map navigation, ride-hailing, instant messaging, online payment, and online shopping, setting limits for what info apps can collect.

The draft by the government-administered National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee would require app-makers to authorize access to their products once users hand over the minimum possible amount of personal data and permissions for the products to function. The draft policy would prevent apps from transferring or sharing personal data with external services without the owner’s permission.

Earnings /

Investors leave the building after Tencent Music’s poor performance

Tencent Music Entertainment Group's unaudited Q2 financial report featured an increase in total revenue of 31% YOY to 5.9 billion yuan ($859 million), but a rise in net profit of just 2.5% to 9.27 million yuan.

The figures hit an off-key note with investors as TME’s stock nosedived 8% in after-hours trading. Although TME said its 31 million paying users for online music services were a record high, the company’s total monthly active users grew at a languid 1.2% to 652 million. Monthly average revenue per paying user also dropped 1.1% to 8.6 yuan, the company said.

Venture capital /

‘Chinese Quora’ Zhihu completes $434 million fundraising

China’s largest question-and-answer platform Zhihu completed a $434 million funding round from investors including search giant Baidu Inc. and short video site Beijing Kuaishou Technology, the company said Monday.

It was the largest funding round for Zhihu, China’s equivalent to Quora in the U.S., valuing the company at nearly $3.5 billion, sources close to the transaction said. The investment came one year after Zhihu finished its last fundraising of $270 million, a deal that put its valuation at $2.4 billion.

Quick hits /

China’s new-energy vehicle sales book first monthly drop in two years

Bidding begins for 15% stake in Chinese air conditioner giant

Iron ore caught in China downdraft

Fewer Chinese tourists support harmful elephant entertainment in Thailand: Report

Solar power now cheaper than grid electricity across China, study finds

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