China Business Digest: British Airways Resumes Flights to China; Didi Rides Toward Hong Kong IPO
Britain’s flagship air carrier restarts passenger service from London to Beijing after six-month halt. Ride-sharing specialist Didi Chuxing prepares to list in Hong Kong, Caixin reported exclusively Tuesday. Meanwhile, China is set to require negative Covid-19 test results for arriving international air passengers. EU regulators expect first vaccine to be ready this year.
— By Mo Yelin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Han Wei (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
British Airways resumes flights to China
Britain’s flagship carrier British Airways will resume China flights starting Aug. 9, nearly six months after it halted China service amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline said. BA will operate two weekly flights from London to Shanghai.
EU regulator expects approval of first Covid-19 vaccine this year
European regulators could approve the first vaccine against Covid-19 this year as several trials delivered promising results, Bloomberg reported, citing Marco Cavaleri, head of anti-infectives and vaccines at the European Medicines Agency. The EMA will start working with drugmakers on a rolling review after the summer, according to Cavaleri.
China shakes up regulatory system for property insurers
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Tuesday issued guidelines to decentralize supervision of the country’s property insurers. Analysts said the move is aimed at improving regulatory efficiency and resumes a halted effort to reallocate insurance regulatory powers between national and local authorities.
China to require Covid-19 test results for arriving international travelers
International flight passengers, including Chinese citizens, will be required to provide valid Covid-19 test results that were taken within five days before arrival in China, according to a statement released by China’s civil aviation administration on Tuesday. The statement did not elaborate on a specific date for the requirement to take effect.
Didi rides toward Hong Kong IPO, source says
Ride-sharing specialist Didi Chuxing is preparing to make a listing in Hong Kong, a source close to its top executives told Caixin, as the 8-year-old company comes under pressure from investors looking to cash out.
The latest signal marks a major development for the company, with insiders close to CEO Cheng Wei repeatedly telling Caixin in the past there was no rush toward such a listing. The sources told Caixin the company still has plenty of cash, with such assets now worth more than 50 billion yuan ($7.2 billion).
Investment bank CICC sharply raises its target for Shanghai listing
Hong Kong-listed China International Capital Corp. Ltd. (CICC), a large investment bank and brokerage firm, said on Monday it would issue up to 1.4 billion shares in its upcoming secondary listing in Shanghai, more than triple its original plan to issue 458.6 million shares.
TikTok parent spends record on lobbying as U.S. pressure rises
The Chinese owner of the popular TikTok video app spent a company record amount on federal lobbying in the second quarter in the U.S. as it fought allegations that it is funneling Americans’ data to Beijing. ByteDance Ltd. spent $500,000 in the three months through June 30, up from its previous record of $300,000 in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported, citing a company’s lobbying disclosure.
Chinese cinemas sold 130,000 tickets on reopening day
Chinese cinemas brought in 3.28 million yuan (link in Chinese) ($229,000) in revenue on their first day of reopening in the nation’s latest move to resume business amid an easing domestic Covid-19 situation. The sector earned the sum from selling 130,000 movie tickets on Monday, data from the movie ticketing platform Maoyan showed.
While a sign of a return to normal, the figure is still well behind pre-pandemic levels. In July 2019, China’s box office recorded total revenues of 5.7 billion yuan, translating to a daily average of more than 180 million yuan for the month.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• Beijing property sales tumbled 35.4% (link in Chinese) in the first half of the year by number of transactions as people stayed home during the pandemic. However, sales are expected to stabilize in the second half of the year.
• Clinical research services provider Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting Co. Ltd. plans to raise up to $1.5 billion in its upcoming listing in Hong Kong, a source familiar with the matter told Caixin (link in Chinese). The Shenzhen-listed company said on Monday it won approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for its second listing.
• South African mobile carrier Vodacom Group Ltd. plans to create a “super app” in partnership with digital payment provider Alipay, part of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., to allow consumers in the country to shop online, pay bills and send money to relatives from next year, Reuters reported.
• Starting next month, a new 5G network (link in Chinese) will cover all areas in China’s southern metropolis of Shenzhen, the local government announced on Tuesday.
• China’s top four smartphone brands in India extended market dominance in the second quarter by increasing their share to 75.1% from 66.1% a year earlier, according to research firm Canalys.
• China will auction 10,000 tonnes of frozen pork from its state reserves on July 23, the China Merchandise Reserve Management Center said in a post (link in Chinese) on its website on Tuesday.
• Yang Degao, a former deputy head of the Hubei province branch of China Development Bank, the country’s top policy lender, has been put under investigation for serious violations of law and Communist Party discipline, according to an official statement on Tuesday. [link to Gary’s QT]
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• As of Tuesday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally surpassed 14.7 million, with the death toll passing 610,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
• On Monday, the Chinese mainland reported 11 new coronavirus cases (link in Chinese) with symptoms, three of which were imported, according to official data. The remaining eight cases were all locally transmitted in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the country’s latest Covid-19 hotspot. That figure was down from 17 such cases in the region the previous day.
Contact reporter Mo Yelin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Yang Ge (email@example.com)
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