China Business Digest: Huawei Workers Hit by U.S. Visa Ban; China Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Hong Kong Bill
Washington will impose a visa ban for some employees of Chinese tech companies including Huawei, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said. China summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest the American Hong Kong Autonomy Act. A $13 billion national fund to support green development was inaugurated in Shanghai. Chinese chipmaker SMIC prepared for the biggest share debut on the Chinese mainland in a decade. Meanwhile, an eastern city found that a shipment of imported shrimp was contaminated with the coronavirus.
— By Guo Yingzhe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Han Wei (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China summons U.S. ambassador over Hong Kong bill
China’s foreign ministry Wednesday summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing to protest the U.S. Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which would impose sanctions on Chinese individuals and financial institutions. The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law Tuesday by President Donald Trump. China will take necessary measures to protect its interests, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said as he met with U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad.
U.S. to hit Huawei workers with visa ban
The U.S. will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese technology companies, including Huawei Technologies Corp., Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Wednesday in a press briefing. The move followed the British government’s decision to stop using Huawei gear in the country’s 5G network.
China to set up $13 billion green development fund
China inaugurated a green development fund with 88.5 billion yuan ($13 billion) of registered capital to improve financial support for environmental protection. The National Green Development Fund Co., registered in Shanghai, is backed by 26 shareholders including the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the Shanghai government as well as banks, state companies and private enterprises.
Scandal-ridden Kingold defaults on loans, sheds staff
Scandal-ridden gold processor Wuhan Kingold Jewelry Co. Ltd. has defaulted on about 10 billion yuan of loans borrowed from seven financial institutions, said Nasdaq-listed Kingold Jewelry Inc., which controls Wuhan Kingold.
In a Tuesday filing, Kingold said Wuhan Kingold’s operation has been seriously disrupted by the Covid-19 epidemic and loan disputes. Its factory production headcount has decreased from hundreds to just about 60 as of Tuesday. Kingold is at the center of a notorious fake gold scandal. The company has received warnings of potential delisting from the Nasdaq as it has failed to submit financial reports on time. (Read the related in-depth story)
Chipmaker SMIC prepares for China’s biggest share debut in a decade
Hong Kong-listed Chinese chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) will start trading its shares on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market on Thursday, as it has raised 46.3 billion yuan in a secondary offering. The offering is the biggest share sale on the mainland stock market since 2010. (Read the full story)
ChemChina in talks with state funds on Syngenta’s pre-IPO
China National Chemical Corp. Ltd., also known as ChemChina, has held talks with potential investors including China Investment Corp. for a stake sale in Syngenta Group Co. Ltd. before the Swiss agrochemicals company’s planned IPO, according to people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)
Trump says he’s not interested in trade talks with China right now
U.S. President Donald Trump told CBS News on Tuesday that he is not interested in further trade talks with China right now because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The two sides signed their phase one trade deal in January.
Washington retracts plan that could have forced many foreign students to leave
Facing widespread criticism and several lawsuits, the U.S. government backed away from a plan Tuesday that could have forced many foreign students to leave the country. The plan had stipulated that international students at schools holding online-only classes this fall must leave the country.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING HEADLINES
• Debt-laden luxury villa developer Tahoe Group Co. Ltd. estimated it had a net loss of 1.46 billion yuan to 1.86 billion yuan for the first half of this year, and warned creditors it expects to default on debts that will mature soon. (Read the full story)
• The U.S. government is planning to scrap a 2013 agreement between securities regulators in the U.S. and China, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a senior U.S. State Department official. The agreement was aimed at facilitating better oversight of Chinese firms listed in the U.S. (Read the full story)
• Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting the poor the hardest, rich investors in China and other major markets say their lives will never be the same again and they worry about not having enough money in the event of another outbreak, a survey by UBS Group AG showed. (Read the full story)
• A senior managing director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board told Caixin that the company expects to invest about a sixth of its total portfolio in China by 2025, up from the current 13%. (Read the full story)
• Shanghai-listed Chinese drugmaker Joincare Pharmaceutical Group Industry Co. Ltd. has entered into an agreement to raise up to 2.17 billion yuan from Asia-focused Hillhouse Capital Management Ltd. (DealStreetAsia)
• China’s top air conditioner manufacturer Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai has warned about dramatic drops in both its first-half revenue and net profit due to fallout from the coronavirus epidemic. (Read the full story)
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• A city in East China’s Jiangxi province has implemented disease-control measures after authorities found the coronavirus on exterior packaging and the inside of a container transporting Ecuadorian shrimp. (Read the full story)
• The Chinese mainland reported six new coronavirus cases showing symptoms on Tuesday, all imported, official data showed (link in Chinese). The mainland added four new asymptomatic cases on the same day.
• As of Wednesday afternoon Beijing time, the number of global coronavirus infections rose past 13.3 million, with the death toll passing 578,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
• Hong Kong Disneyland closed again on Wednesday after a new wave of coronavirus infections emerged in the city, according to a statement by the park, which had reopened less than a month ago.
** AND FINALLY
Many soldiers in the People’s Liberation Army have joined in the fight against the flooding in southern China, as torrential rains continue to batter some regions, causing property damage and landslides.
Soldiers on Tuesday fortify a dike on the Yangtze River in Jiujiang, East China’s Jiangxi province.
** LOOKING AHEAD
July 16: Release of China’s GDP growth for the second quarter of 2020
Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Yang Ge (email@example.com) and Michael Bellart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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