China Business Digest: China Vows Retaliation Over U.S. Order to Close Consulate; Beijing Moves to Reopen Entertainment Venues
China confirmed that the U.S. told it to close its consulate in Houston within 72 hours. The country denied it might retaliate against Nokia and Ericsson if the EU imposes restrictions on Huawei. Beijing told entertainment venues to gradually reopen. Hong Kong reported the highest daily rise in local cases. Meanwhile, Lufax, one of China’s largest online wealth management platforms, is reportedly seeking a U.S. IPO as early as this year.
— By Mo Yelin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Han Wei (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China said U.S. told it to close consulate in Houston
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Wednesday that the United States told it to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston within 72 hours, and vowed to retaliate if Washington proceeds with the unilateral action.
When asked about the abrupt closure of the consulate, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbing said at a press conference that “the U.S. side on July 21 abruptly requested the Chinese side to close the consulate general in Houston.”
Beijing gradually reopens entertainment venues
Beijing city authorities said local cinemas, performing centers and other entertainment venues can move to resume businesses as the Covid-19 outbreak in the capital comes under control. The venues should limit the number of visitors and apply adequate virus control measures, authorities said. Several karaoke and internet café owners, however, told Caixin that they haven’t received official notice for reopening and are worried about their businesses after months of closure。
Hong Kong reports record 105 new local cases
Hong Kong recorded 105 new local virus cases Wednesday, the highest daily increase since the epidemic began, prompting health officials to expand virus-protection measures. More than half of the new local cases, 63, were unlinked to previous cases, according to data from the city’s health department.
New policy to boost internet-based health-care services
The State Council, China’s cabinet, issued a new policy Tuesday to ease restrictions on online health-care business and place the services under greater coverage by the government-backed medical insurance system, a move that will boost the emerging sector. The new policy fueled the growth of stocks related to online health-care businesses, led by Ping An Good Doctor and Ali Health.
China disputes report of retaliation against Nokia and Ericsson
China’s Foreign Ministry disputed a media report on Tuesday that the country is mulling retaliation against telecom-equipment makers Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB if the European Union imposes restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
China moves to overhaul supervision of $3.1 trillion insurance industry
China launched a major overhaul of its insurance supervisory system to grant more power to local regulators in overseeing parts of the country’s 22 trillion yuan ($3.1 trillion) insurance sector. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued guidelines Tuesday for a supervisory shakeup affecting the country’s 87 property insurers and 13 reinsurance companies.
In Depth: What Will Chinese Apps Do After India Ban?
Facebook and Indian apps could become the biggest winners after New Delhi banned 59 Chinese apps last month. But companies affected by the rule have reacted in different ways. ByteDance Ltd., whose short video app TikTok was among the most high-profile apps falling prey to the rule, has aggressively pursued an exemption from the ban. Others like Xiaomi Corp. have taken measures such as branding their products as being “Made in India.”
China announces rule on blockchain use in finance
China’s central bank has announced a regulation on the use of blockchain technology in financial institutions as many have begun applying the emerging technology in their businesses, Caixin has learned.
The regulation is about how financial institutions evaluate the design, performance and security issues of blockchain applications in financial services they develop so as to ensure that they can run safely, an industry insider familiar with the matter told Caixin.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• Shenzhen is rolling out (link in Chinese) a groundbreaking new rule that lets real estate developers secure property redevelopment rights after getting 95% of existing residents in a compound to agree to sell out their rights. That would pave the way for ending of the “dingzi hu” phenomenon where a single holdout can stop new development.
• Chinese drugmaker Everest Medicines Ltd. has filed an IPO prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to raise an unspecified amount of money, according to a disclosure (link in Chinese) posted on the bourse’s website on Sunday.
• Shares of Hong Kong-listed Sunshine Guojian Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. rose more than 50% (link in Chinese) in their debut Wednesday on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market.
• China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile carrier, has announced the results (link in Chinese) of its latest tender for an optical cable project. A total of 14 companies, mostly domestic firms, won the tender for the project, which is worth 4.8 billion yuan.
• Nasdaq-listed video streamer iQiyi has hired three industry veterans to help it better navigate key Southeast Asian markets.
• Lufax, one of China’s largest online wealth management platforms backed by financial giant Ping An Insurance Group Co. of China Ltd, is seeking a U.S. IPO as early as this year, Reuters reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• U.S. President Donald Trump expressed a willingness on Tuesday to work with China or other countries to bring a successful coronavirus vaccine to the United States, Reuters reported. “We’re willing to work with anybody that is going to get us a good result,” Trump said, responding to a question at a White House press conference.
• CanSino Biologics Inc.’s experimental coronavirus vaccine showed promising results in a midstage clinical study, paving the way for the next phase of tests as the Chinese company jostles with Western pharmaceutical giants to deliver one of the first Covid-19 vaccines.
• As of Wednesday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally surpassed 14.96 million, with the death toll passing 616,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
• On Tuesday, the Chinese mainland reported 14 new coronavirus cases with symptoms, five of which were imported, according to official data (link in Chinese). The remaining nine cases were all locally transmitted in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the country’s latest Covid-19 hotspot.
Contact reporter Mo Yelin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Yang Ge (email@example.com) and Michael Bellart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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