China Business Digest: Another Chinese Firm Targeted by Short Sellers; Shenzhen Publishes Draft Personal Bankruptcy Rules
China will ease curbs on foreign airlines after the U.S. said it would bar all passenger flights by Chinese carriers. The leadership lineup of China’s top office in charge of Hong Kong affairs is unveiled. This year’s European Union-China summit will be postponed because of the pandemic, but China’s popular CBA games are making their way back.
— By Tang Ziyi (email@example.com) and Han Wei (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China unveils lineup of top leaders in charge of Hong Kong affairs
A state media report on a meeting between Beijing and Hong Kong officials shed light on China’s new leadership lineup for a top government body in charge of the special administrative regions. Vice Premier Han Zheng is head of the newly unveiled Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, according to Xinhua. Zhao Kezhi, national public security minister, and Xia Baolong, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, are his deputies.
EU-China summit to be postponed amid pandemic
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to delay the European Union-China summit planned for Sept. 14 in Leipzig because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The leaders made the decision during a phone conversation Wednesday. No new schedule was published.
CBA league to resume after months of suspension
The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season will resume June 20 after months of suspension amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an official statement. It is the country's first major sports league to restart after the outbreak disruption.
China to ease curbs on foreign airlines
China’s civil aviation regulator on Thursday said it will allow qualified foreign airlines that are currently barred from operating on the Chinese mainland to operate one international passenger flight per week starting Monday.
The move came one day after U.S. government said it would bar all Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the U.S. starting June 16 in response to a Chinese policy preventing American airlines from fully resuming services to China.
U.S. Department of State says entry restrictions only target a small subset of Chinese students
Officials from the U.S. Department of State said at a Tuesday news briefing that the administration’s new entry restrictions on certain Chinese students only target a small subset of all students studying in the country, and the government still welcomes all legitimate students and scholars from China.
The U.S. has been routinely concerned with technology areas such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and advanced materials in the context of China’s ruling Communist Party’s “military-civil fusion strategy,” an official said.
Shenzhen releases draft personal bankruptcy legislation
China may soon have its first personal bankruptcy legislation, with a draft regulation (link in Chinese) released on Tuesday by the southern city of Shenzhen providing a way out for individuals saddled with debts they cannot pay off.
If the legislation is approved, bankrupt individuals in the city will be able to apply for restructuring or liquidation at a local court. Currently, China only has such legislation for companies.
Short-seller accuses Chinese education platform GSX of cooking books
In a report released Tuesday, American short-seller Grizzly Research LLC accused GSX Techedu Inc., a New York-listed Chinese online education service provider, of inflating its revenue and student enrollment count by around 900%.
GSX denied the allegations on Wednesday, saying that Grizzly’s report was based on data that don’t reflect the company’s actual operational conditions.
CIC, BNP Paribas, Eurazeo launch $446 million cooperation fund
China’s sovereign wealth fund is launching a 400 million euro ($446 million) joint fund with French bank BNP Paribas SA and private equity firm Eurazeo SE to invest in European companies demonstrating potential in Chinese markets, China Investment Corp. said Wednesday.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• China’s top banking regulator said Wednesday that over 40% (link in Chinese) of loans to the country’s small and midsize enterprises have benefited from supportive measures including refinancing and extensions on loan repayments amid the coronavirus outbreak.
• The Beijing city government announced Wednesday (link in Chinese) it planned to issue coupons with a total face value of 12.2 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) to boost consumption, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. (Read a related in-depth story here.)
• Xue Jining (link in Chinese), a former director of the Inner Mongolia bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, is being investigated over suspicions of severe violations of the law, the country’s top anti-graft body said Thursday.
• Jiangsu Changshu Rural Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. announced Wednesday it would purchase a 33.3% stake (link in Chinese) of Jiangsu Zhenjiang Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., becoming its largest shareholder.
• Qudian Inc., a New York-listed Chinese online microlender, announced Wednesday it would purchase 10.2 million newly issued class A ordinary shares of Nasdaq-listed Chinese online luxury retailer Secoo Holding Ltd. for up to $100 million. Qudian will become Secoo’s biggest shareholder with a 28.9% stake if the deal is sealed.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
Mudanjiang becomes second Chinese city to test all residents for Covid-19
The northeastern Chinese city of Mudanjiang, which previously saw a cluster of cases imported across its land border with Russia, on Tuesday announced it will test all of its residents for Covid-19, becoming the second city in China to do so after Wuhan, the epicenter of China’s epidemic, official media reported.
Other virus news
• As of Thursday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally surpassed 6.5 million, with the death toll passing 386,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
• On Wednesday, the Chinese mainland reported one new symptomatic case (link in Chinese), which was imported in the southern province of Guangdong, according to official data. The mainland added four new asymptomatic cases on the same day.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** AND FINALLY
Investors rushed to buy shares of local automaker Wuling Motors Holdings Ltd. that produces vans for mobile vendor stalls after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang encouraged the return of street vendors to aid the country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as unemployment has risen over the past months.
On June 4, staff at Wuling Motors, which located in the West Coast New area of Qingdao city, Shandong Province, demonstrated the rear carriages of retail cars.
** LOOKING AHEAD
June 7: Release of China trade data for May
June 10: Release of China CPI and PPI data for May
Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (email@example.com) and editors Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joshua Dummer (email@example.com)
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