Dec 19, 2019 10:17 AM

CX Daily: Hong Kong's Shipping Industry is Sinking

Container throughput at Hong Kong’s ports fell 7.4% year-on-year in November, accelerating from the previous month's decline.
Container throughput at Hong Kong’s ports fell 7.4% year-on-year in November, accelerating from the previous month's decline.

Economy /

Hong Kong shipping industry struggles in stormy waters

Shipping trade through Hong Kong dropped for a 22nd straight month in November and is likely to come under continued pressure due to fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and a longer-term migration of low-end manufacturing to Southeast Asia.

Hong Kong was one of the world’s busiest ports between 1987 and 2004, acting as a transshipment center that fed on China’s rapid economic rise during that time. But the port has sunk in the global rankings over the past decade as new, more sophisticated shipping centers have sprung up in China, especially in the nearby cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. A more recent challenge from regional rival Singapore is also taking a toll.

Container throughput at Hong Kong’s ports fell 7.4% year-on-year in November when 1.52 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) passed through the city’s ports, accelerating from October’s 4.1% year-on-year decline, according to data from the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board. Throughput was down 6.2% year-on-year in the first 11 months of the year.



Economy /

China wants to avoid flood of infrastructure investment in 2020

China’s state economic planner said it would make “precise” and “effective” investments in transportation infrastructure next year, instead of unleashing a flood of investments.

The government will focus on filling in transportation infrastructure gaps next year and strive to achieve relevant goals laid out in the 13th five-year plan, which concludes next year, said Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission. She was speaking at a briefing Tuesday.

Policy /

Exclusive: Banks set to win second delay to deadline for asset management overhaul

China’s financial authorities may extend the deadline for the country’s asset management industry to comply with a sweeping new regulatory framework for a second time after some institutions complained of difficulties in meeting the original target of December 2020.

Analysts at Zhongtai Securities, a Shandong province-based brokerage that offers asset and wealth management services, sent a message to clients on Tuesday saying that the deadline for compliance will be extended for three years to the end of 2023, we've learned. Several sources close to the central bank and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told us that the note was inaccurate and incorrect, but did not elaborate. Neither agency has commented publicly on the brokerage’s claim.

Fintech /

Former securities czar calls for tougher rules on ‘big tech’

The former head of China’s state securities regulator voiced concerns over the rapid expansion of technology behemoths into the financial services sector, calling for a better regulatory system to put fintech giants’ financial conditions, data management and business expansion under closer oversight.

The rise of large financial technology companies, or "Big Tech" enterprises, has benefited society by pushing traditional financial companies to advance technology and services and by promoting the growth of the industrial internet. But it also created problems and challenges that can’t be ignored, Xiao Gang, former chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told a fintech industry forum Tuesday in Beijing.

Quick hits /

Hong Kong ranks top in global IPO markets for 2019

Debate over new high-tech board centers on what it means to be high-tech



China's first domestically built aircraft carrier, since named the Shandong, leaves the shipyard of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd., May 13.

Military /

First China-made aircraft carrier enters service

China officially commissioned its first homegrown aircraft carrier into its navy Tuesday, two years after the vessel’s launch for sea trials. President Xi Jinping attended the commissioning ceremony of the carrier, officially named the Shandong, at a naval base in Sanya, in the southern island province of Hainan.

Xi endorsed a People’s Liberation Army flag and naming certificate to the captain and political commissar of the carrier at the ceremony, state media reported. The carrier, the country’s second, was constructed in Shandong by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry starting in November 2013. It was launched in April 2017 at the Dalian Shipyard and set out for its first sea trial in May 2018. It was previously named the 001A.

Liquor /

Moutai shutters e-commerce unit

Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai Co. Ltd. said it is shutting down its e-commerce unit, which had failed to solve the problem of distributors hoarding stock to drive up prices.

Moutai’s board voted unanimously to close the unit, the company said Tuesday in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. No reason was given. The statement said the closure won’t have a significant impact on the company’s business or finances.

IP /

Cadbury wins trademark infringement payout

A Chinese confectionery maker was ordered to hand over 2.43 million yuan ($347,196) in compensation to Cadbury UK Ltd. after a Beijing court found it infringed on a trademark held by the 195-year-old chocolate brand.

Yikoulian (Xiamen) Food Co. Ltd. registered the trademark ‘怡口莲’ in 2012, using it on a range of popular crispy rice-based chocolate bars and other food items. The mark, which translates roughly as “delicious lotus,” bears more than a passing similarity to Cadbury’s ‘怡口蓮’: It sounds identical when read aloud, but the Chinese brand uses a simplified Chinese character at the end, while Cadbury uses its traditional form. Yikoulian’s trademark was ruled invalid Sept. 20.

Apps /

TikTok outperforms Instagram to become world’s fourth-most downloaded app in 2019

Short-video app TikTok made it onto App Annie’s list of the world’s top 10 apps by downloads in 2019. It came in as the fourth-most downloaded nongame app, surpassing Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram.

TikTok was not the only Chinese app to make the App Annie’s list this year. Another short-video app, Likee, placed seventh on the list despite being a new entrant, performing better than the likes of Snapchat, Netflix and Spotify. Facebook sustained its dominance over the list, with its Messenger app claiming the top spot, followed by Facebook and WhatsApp Messenger.

Quick hits /

Are U.S. regulators closing in on deal to access books of New York-listed Chinese firms?

Dongfeng poised to sell down stake in Peugeot-maker

Xiaomi remains world’s biggest vendor of smart wearable bands in third quarter

Haier Electronics’ controlling shareholder explores privatization plan

Planes of embattled Hong Kong Airlines seized after missed payments

Tencent increases stake in discount retailer Vipshop

Yonghui drops plans to increase stake in Chinese retailer after national security probe

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