China Business Digest: U.S. Blocks Flights by Chinese Airlines; Singapore Relaxes Traveler Quarantine Rules With China
The Trump administration blocks all passenger flights operated by Chinese carriers from entering the U.S. in the latest clash between the two countries. A major Chinese insurer moves a step closer to offering shares via the Shanghai-London stock link while local governments issue a record amount of bonds. Singapore relaxes traveler quarantine rules with China, but Hong Kong extends its mandatory quarantine for cross-border arrivals.
— By Lu Yutong (email@example.com) and Han Wei (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
Singapore, China ease quarantine rules for cross-border travelers
Singapore and China agreed to ease quarantine requirements for business and official travelers from each side in a move to gradually resume essential business activities. Starting June 8, approved travelers between the two countries will be exempt from compulsory quarantine of as much as 14 days. But travelers must first agree to be tested and bear the costs.
The initial agreement applies to travel between Singapore and the Chinese cities and provinces of Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Hong Kong extends mandatory quarantines for cross-border arrivals
Hong Kong reported five new local coronavirus cases and one imported case on Tuesday, bringing its total to 1,093. As a result, the city said it will extend its mandatory 14-day quarantine to travelers from the Chinese mainland by another month to July 7. The compulsory quarantine requirement on overseas arrivals has also been extended by another three months to Sept. 18.
The Chinese mainland reported (link in Chinese) one new coronavirus case on Tuesday, which was imported in Guangdong province, and one suspected case in Shanghai.
Global fatalities top 380,000
As of Wednesday 6 p.m. Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally was approaching 6.4 million, with the death toll passing 380,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
Washington halts Chinese airlines’ passenger flights to the U.S.
The Trump administration issued an order Wednesday suspending passenger flights from China-based airlines after Beijing declined to allow U.S. airlines to resume services to China. The order takes effect June 16 but could be moved up.
Shanghai-London stock link expects first listing in a year
China Pacific Insurance Group Co., China’s fourth-largest insurance company by market share, won approval Tuesday from the nation’s securities regulator to sell global depositary receipts in London. It will mark the first Chinese listing through the Shanghai-London Stock Connect in nearly a year.
Government bond sales hit record in May
Chinese local governments in May sold a record 1.3 trillion yuan ($183 million) of bonds, reflecting the central government’s push to expand government spending and investment to spur the virus-hit economy. The May figure represents the highest monthly local debt sales since November 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Caixin services PMI jumps back into expansion territory
The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index returned to expansion territory in May, ending three months of contraction, with a jump to 55 from 44.4 in April. The rise, which is the fastest month-on-month growth in service activity since October 2010, followed an uptick in the Caixin manufacturing PMI for last month. (Read our breakdown on Caixin PMI here.)
China’s central bank unveils tools to aid small businesses
China’s central bank and Finance Ministry have set up a special purpose vehicle in a bid to channel as much as 440 billion yuan ($62 billion) of funds through two new monetary policy tools to local banks who issue loans to or extend repayments for small businesses which have suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior People’s Bank of China official said on Tuesday (link in Chinese).
The central bank is encouraging local banks to roll over loans to small businesses through a relending program worth 40 billion yuan, and has launched a 400 billion yuan relending program to buy microloans from qualified local lenders, aiming to spur banks to expand lending to small businesses.
Huawei sidelined by Canadian telecom companies
Two major Canadian wireless companies said they will build out their next-generation 5G wireless networks with equipment from European providers, sidelining China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Bloomberg reported.
Those decisions came ahead of a closely watched decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whether to ban Huawei from participating in the nation’s 5G infrastructure amid deeply troubled relations with Beijing.
One of the companies said it would still consider working with Huawei if the government allows its participation in 5G.
SEC chief backs bill to delist China firms barring audit reviews
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton expressed approval for a bill passed by the Senate last month that would bar trading in securities of companies from U.S. stock exchanges if American officials aren’t allowed to review their financial audits.
“This is a very sensible way to approach a problem that’s been around for a while,” Clayton said in an interview. “This is a problem that I believe needs to be addressed and I hope it can be.”
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
Finance and Economy
• Shanghai Securities Co. Ltd. has revised down its prediction for China’s excavator exports growth rate from 40% to 15% for the year. The figure was 39.4% last year and 97.5% in 2018. Excavator sales are seen as a gauge of activity in the construction industry.
• Shenzhen’s securities regulator accused a private fund manager controlled by financial giant China International Capital Corp. Ltd. of breaking regulations by promising investors that their principals wouldn’t incur any losses and that returns on its investment products wouldn’t fall below a certain floor.
• Chinese surveillance-gear maker Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. issued 1 billion yuan worth of super short-term commercial paper on Tuesday. The funds will be used to repay debt. The video-equipment supplier had long-term borrowing worth 4.6 billion yuan as of the end of 2019.
Business & Tech
• Popular video streaming platform Bilibili plans to launch a remote sensing satellite developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd. in late June for the production of science education content, in an effort to boost its revenue growth.
• Hong Kong recorded a surge of newly registered voters three months before the city’s Legislative Council election in September. As of Monday, more than 400,000 new voters registered, bringing the total to 4.45 million, more than a half of the city’s population.
• Chinese-owned mobile gaming company Playtika Ltd. has hired investment banks to prepare for a U.S. initial public offering that could raise around $1 billion, Reuters reported.
• Chinese contract chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. has filed for a listing on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style high-tech STAR Market, hoping to raise 20 billion yuan as the company gets ready to take more orders from Huawei.
• A U.S. move to suspend or limit the entry of Chinese students and scholars engaged in China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” took effect Monday. The restriction will affect applicable Chinese nationals who are seeking to enter the U.S. on F or J visas.
** AND FINALLY
Street peddlers are back in business as Chinese cities lift bans on roadside stands in an effort to boost employment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Vendors are now allowed set up booths or stalls in open spaces such as parks as long as they promise to operate in an orderly manner.
Plates and bowls for sale sit on display Saturday on the curbside in Xiaogan, Central China’s Hubei province.
** LOOKING AHEAD
June 7: Release of China trade data for May
Contact reporter Lu Yutong (email@example.com) and editors Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joshua Dummer (email@example.com)
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