China Business Digest: Government Raises National Flood Alert; China, South Korea in Talks to Double Flights
In an interview with Caixin, Bill Gates explains how his foundation is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of public health experience into defeating Covid-19. Meanwhile, China raised its national flood alert Sunday as deadly inundations continued to ravage the country’s south. China is in talks with South Korea to double the number of flights between the two countries to 20 a week.
— By Isabelle Li (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
Cover Story: How Bill Gates sees China expanding its role in global health
In an email interview with Caixin, Microsoft founder and now leader of the world’s largest philanthropic organization, Bill Gates, explained how his foundation sets priorities and deals with unexpected results in its work, as well as how it is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of public health experience into defeating Covid-19. Check out the latest cover story.
China raises national flood alert after weeks of deadly deluges
China raised its national flood alert on Sunday as deadly inundations continued to ravage the country’s south. The Ministry of Emergency Management increased the flood response level from three to two, the second-highest in a four-tier system, hours after China’s weather office issued further heavy rain warnings, with particularly grim forecasts for Jiangxi and Hubei provinces, state media reported.
China, South Korea in talks to double flights to 20 a week
China is in talks with South Korea to double the number of flights between the two countries to 20 a week, which could provide more going-home options for Chinese students stranded abroad by the Covid-19 pandemic. The two countries are trying to reach an agreement by the end of July.
Nanjing $2.8 billion computer chip project goes bust
A Chinese company that launched a $2.8 billion government-backed semiconductor project four years ago is going bankrupt after it failed to attract investors even as China tries to become self-sufficient in computer chips. Tacoma (Nanjing) Semiconductor Technology Co. Ltd. was ordered by Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court of Jiangsu Province to undergo compulsory liquidation and bankruptcy.
Intensive coronavirus testing of food jams some Chinese ports
Intensive testing of meat, seafood and other products for coronavirus has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports, raising concerns the delays could ensnare global trade flows. It normally takes about three days to clear the produce but is now taking as long as 10, said an official with Bojun Supply Chain Co.
Top banking regulator warns banks over rising bad loans
China’s top banking regulator warned of rising non-performing loans as the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on financial institutions has yet to be fully exposed.
“Although non-performing loans on (banking institutions’) balance sheets have not increased significantly since the start of this year, they are expected to emerge and rise in the near future,” the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission wrote on Saturday.
Chinese biotech firm Beigene to raise $2.1 billion in stock sale
Chinese biotech company Beigene Ltd. plans to raise $2.1 billion in a direct offering of 145.8 million shares to fund drug research and market its treatments in the U.S. and China, the Nasdaq-listed company said on Monday.
The shares will be priced at $14.23 each, 5.6% lower than its closing price on Friday, and the offering is expected to close on or around Wednesday, Bloomberg reported.
SenseTime builds AI computing platform in Shanghai amid ‘new infrastructure’ push
SenseTime, China’s most valuable AI recognition firm, launched a next-generation AI computing platform in Shanghai as one of the city’s new infrastructure initiatives. The project will receive a total investment of over 5 billion yuan, mostly from Sensetime, the company’s CEO Xu Li told Caixin (link in Chinese) in an interview last Friday.
TikTok releases transparency report as global scrutiny mounts
ByteDance’s TikTok has released its latest transparency report as the popular Chinese short-video app faces growing scrutiny overseas, revealing that it deleted nearly 50 million videos from its platform in the second half of last year.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING HEADLINES
• Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Foxconn plans to invest $1 billion to expand iPhone production at an Indian factory, Reuters reported.
• Money-losing Chinese electric vehicle startup Li Auto has filed for a U.S. IPO, seeking to raise up to $100 million.
• Chinese energy services platform Newlinks Technology has garnered 900 million yuan ($129 million) in a fundraising round led by China International Capital Corp.’s private equity arm CICC Capital, DealStreet Asia reported.
• Shares of “flexible worker" platform Quhuo Ltd. jumped 27.7% in its Friday trading debut, giving the company a market capitalization of $500 million.
• Chinese financial regulators are struggling to stamp out illegal margin trading that has allowed a stampede of small investors to bet on shares with borrowed money, helping drive the market’s bull run last week.
• In his interview with Caixin, Bill Gates also revealed that Microsoft is planning to spin off its controversial AI chatbot Xiaoice, and that former Microsoft Vice President Harry Shum will run the new company (link in Chinese).
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• Chinese demand for Chilean salmon is “practically zero” after Beijing raised concerns about Covid-19 risks in imported seafood, even though Chinese officials indicated there were no official restrictions on Chilean salmon, Bloomberg reported.
• The number of global infections surpassed 12.9 million Monday afternoon Beijing time, while the death toll rose to more than 569,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
• The Chinese mainland found (link in Chinese) eight new imported cases of the virus Sunday, with half of them in Inner Mongolia, according to the National Health Commission. The country also added six new asymptomatic cases, all imported.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** AND FINALLY
China has raised its emergency flood response level to the second-highest as downpours continue to wreak havoc across swaths of the country. In East China’s Jiangxi province, more than 5 million residents have reported being affected by heavy rains and flooding, with tens of thousands evacuated from their homes. See the photo gallery here.
Flood waters Sunday partially submerge Poyang Lake National Wetland Park on the eastern bank of Poyang Lake in East China’s Jiangxi province. The lake’s water level has risen to a record high.
July 14: Release of China’s import and export data
July 16: Release of China’s investment, retail sales and industrial output data
Contact reporter Isabelle Li (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Michael Bellart (michaelbellart @caixin.com) and Gavin Cross (email@example.com)
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