China Business Digest: Hong Kong, Singapore Airports to Resume Transit Travel; Central Bank Doesn’t Cut Interest Rate
There’s good news for Asia travelers, with word that Hong Kong and Singapore will reopen their airports next week for international transit. Meanwhile, China’s central bank has defied market expectations for a further rate cut. And industrial enterprise profits are down again in April, but by a much smaller margin than in March.
— By Isabelle Li (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
Hong Kong and Singapore airports to resume transit travel
Hong Kong and Singapore will resume (link in Chinese) allowing transit travel through their airports starting from June 1 and June 2, respectively, a move designed to help their local airlines as the pandemic eases.
China CDC director asks for more freedom for disease control agencies
Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), said at a major annual political conference in Beijing that “micromanagement” from health administrators was hindering the agency’s smooth operation.
Global death toll passes 350,000
The global number of infections reached nearly 5.59 million as of noon Wednesday Beijing time, while the death toll had passed 350,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The Chinese mainland reported (link in Chinese) one new imported case of the virus Tuesday in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission. The country also added 28 new asymptomatic cases, all local infections.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
Central bank dashes market expectations for another rate cut
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected 130 billion yuan ($18.2 billion) into the money market using seven-day reverse repos on Tuesday and Wednesday, marking the first time the central bank has employed the tool in nearly two months. Some market watchers had expected the PBOC to cut the rate, but it did not.
Industrial enterprise profits drop in April, but at a diminished rate
Gross profits at industrial enterprises tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics fell 4.3% (link in Chinese) year-on-year in April, according to data released on Wednesday. The decline was far milder than the 34.9% drop in March, as industries began recovering from the Covid-19 outbreak.
Auto industry brass suggest more support for their own industry
Auto industry executives attending the annual meeting of China’s top legislature have suggested Beijing rollout tax cuts, loosen purchase restrictions, and offer local authorities a slice of the purchase tax to support their beleaguered industry, after recent efforts to boost the market at local levels failed to have much impact.
Huawei’s role in British networks comes under fresh review
The U.K. government is launching a review into Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. as officials draw up a plan to reduce the Chinese tech giant’s involvement in next-generation mobile networks over the next three years.
China signals more support for banks to set up fund management units
China’s top securities regulator pledged to further expand mutual fund managers, increase policy support and guidance to the industry, and continue to encourage commercial banks to set up fund management units. Comments at a recent event for National Investor Protection Day by Yi Huiman, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, signal that more banks may enter the mutual fund sector for the first time in nearly four years.
BYD’s semiconductor unit raises 1.9 billion yuan
Chinese electric-car maker BYD’s semiconductor unit has raised (link in Chinese) 1.9 billion yuan in a series A funding round, putting its valuation at 9.4 billion yuan.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING HEADLINES
• The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada will decide Wednesday whether to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officier Meng Wanzhou to the U.S., where she is wanted on criminal charges.
• Foreign investor holdings of three Shenzhen-listed companies have exceeded 26% of total shares, triggering alerts as the proportions approach the 30% limit set by Chinese regulators.
• Volkswagen AG is in final talks to seal its largest investment deals ever with Chinese carmakers. The German automaker is seeking to buy 50% of electric-vehicle maker Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co. Ltd. and take a majority stake in EV-battery manufacturer Guoxuan High-Tech Co. Ltd., Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources.
• U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber announced Tuesday it plans to move its Asia-Pacific headquarters (link in Chinese) from Singapore to Hong Kong.
• Alibaba-backed online lender Qudian Inc.’s revenues slumped by over 50% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, its latest earnings release said.
• Net profits surged by almost 13 times for Chinese livestreaming gaming site DouYu in the first quarter, according to its latest quarterly results.
** AND FINALLY
The weather is warming up, and many senior citizens in China are getting back to one of their favorite fitness activities — square dancing. But with masks. See more photos here.
May 28: Final day of the annual session of the National People’s Congress
May 28: Trip.com to report first-quarter results
June 1: Release of Caixin China manufacturing PMI
June 3: Release of Caixin China services PMI
Contact reporter Isabelle Li (email@example.com) and editor Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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