China Business Digest: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Tests Positive; Trump Begins Formal Exit From WHO
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19 after continually downplaying the virus’s severity. The U.S. is set to formally quit the WHO July 6, 2021. Hong Kong warns of a new resurgence after local cases spike. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. may ban some Chinese apps, including TikTok. AI chipmaker Cambricon aims to raise 2.58 billion yuan ($366.7 million) in its Shanghai IPO, just as a stock market benchmark enters a technical bull market.
— By Lu Yutong (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Han Wei (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
Brazil’s president tests positive for Covid-19
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 as the virus ravages Latin America’s largest economy. Bolsonaro, 65, confirmed the test result Tuesday and said he was “perfectly well.”
Bolsonaro has been widely criticized as his government has downplayed the severity of the pandemic since the beginning. Brazil, the world's sixth-most populous nation with more than 210 million people, recorded more than 65,000 deaths with more than 1.6 million infections as of Tuesday.
Trump administration sets 1 year target for U.S. to quit WHO
The United States formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, formalizing President Donald Trump’s decision, American media reported Tuesday.
The administration has sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, making official the administration’s plan to exit July 6, 2021. Trump faces reelection in November.
Hong Kong reports coronavirus resurgence
Hong Kong reported nine new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 Tuesday, the most in almost three months, sparking fears of a new wave of resurgence. Authorities said they have yet to determine how five of the local cases were transmitted.
Hong Kong broke nearly a month of zero new infections July 5 with two local cases. The city has confirmed a total of 1,300 infections.
Evergrande gears up asset sale spree
Leading developer China Evergrande Group listed 200 commercial projects for sale in a major move to pare back assets, sparking concerns over its liquidity. The massive asset sale drew market attention amid rising concerns over Evergrande’s debt overhang, though the company said the sales are normal business operations and part of its long-term business strategy.
France will discourage, not ban, use of Huawei 5G equipment: official
France will not impose an outright ban on Huawei 5G equipment but will avoid complete dependence on the Chinese company’s technology, the head of the French cybersecurity agency ANSSI, Guillaume Poupard, said in an interview with local media.
“What I can say is there will not be a total ban, but for operators that are not currently using Huawei gear, we are urging them not to,” he said.
U.S. looking at banning Chinese apps including TikTok: Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the U.S. is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok, Reuters reported.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
AI chipmaker Cambricon to raise $366.7 million in Shanghai IPO
Chinese AI chipmaker Cambricon Technologies Corp. Ltd. aims to raise 2.58 billion yuan in its Shanghai IPO, pricing each share at 64.39 yuan, according to a filing to the bourse Monday. The fundraising figure is slightly lower than the 2.8 billion yuan target in its prospectus.
Electronics company Oppo and a subsidiary of technology company Lenovo will invest 101 million yuan and 80.04 million yuan respectively in Cambricon.
119 dead or missing in floods across southern China
Floods in southern China have left 119 people dead or missing in 26 provincial-level regions as of June 30 and caused direct economic losses of 39.31 billion yuan, China’s Ministry of Emergency Management said on Monday.
The national government has earmarked 150 million yuan to aid flood relief work in three of the worst-affected provinces, Sichuan, Guizhou and Hunan.
Leading Sichuan coal miner pulled into bankruptcy
Sichuan’s largest coal miner, Sichuan Coal Industry Group Ltd. Liability Co., has been forced into bankruptcy reorganization by its creditors after a provincial court in the capital city of Chengdu determined the company lacked the ability to repay its debt. The move marked one of the sector’s largest such cases to date as the industry suffers from prolonged overcapacity.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
Finance & Economy
• Chinese chipmakers have already received 144 billion yuan from the equity market so far this year, including commitments. The figure is more than twice the figure for all of last year, with state-backed funds helping the nation’s effort to boost domestic output.
• The Hubei province city of Wuhan raised its flood alert level twice on Monday to level two on a four-tier scale in response to ongoing torrential rain that has devastated swathes of southern China.
• A former head of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s Shanghai branch took nearly 137 million yuan in bribes between 2008 and 2019, a Shanghai court said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Business & Tech
• China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. plans to start large-scale human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine in Brazil this month. A local medical research center will sponsor the phase 3 clinical trials on nearly 9,000 health care workers across 12 sites, the company said in a statement Monday.
• Popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, which is unavailable on the Chinese mainland, announced that it will exit the Hong Kong market. Douyin, the domestic version of TikTok, will remain accessible in Hong Kong.
• A Beijing court ruled in favor of a transsexual woman who was fired from e-commerce platform Beijing Dangdang Information Technology Co. Ltd. after she took two months of leave for sex reassignment surgery in 2018.
• Chinese mainland employees at several Hong Kong-based mainland companies have been busy paying (link in Chinese) the gap between how much individual income tax they should pay on the mainland for their offshore income and how much they have paid in Hong Kong, Caixin has learned.
• Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holding Ltd. hit a new milestone with its hugely popular battle royale title “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” by doubling its lifetime revenue to more than $3 billion in just over seven months.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
Beijing reports zero new Covid-19 cases
• The Chinese capital reported no new coronavirus cases (link in Chinese) on Monday, the first time since a cluster of infections emerged more than three weeks ago, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. The city added one asymptomatic case on the same day.
• The Chinese mainland reported eight new Covid-19 infections (link in Chinese) and two asymptomatic cases for Monday, all imported, according to the National Health Commission.
• The number of global infections was approaching 11.6 million as of Tuesday afternoon, Beijing time, with fatalities surpassing 538,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
• Melbourne, Australia, has been placed under a six-week lockdown after the state of Victoria recorded 191 new cases, local media reported.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
The Louvre Museum reopened to visitors on Monday after a four-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
** LOOKING AHEAD
July 9: Release of China’s CPI and PPI data
Contact reporter Lu Yutong (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Yang Ge (email@example.com)
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