China Business Digest: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Resigns; China Bans Imports From Another Australian Meat Processor
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Friday that he will resign for health reasons. Meanwhile, China has banned imports from another major Australian meat processor as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate. And Huawei narrowed its gap with Samsung for the global smartphone crown in the second quarter.
— By Timmy Shen (email@example.com)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
Japan PM Abe to resign due to health concerns
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving PM in Japanese history, said Friday at a briefing that he will resign due to health concerns. His cabinet will resign en masse as soon as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party elects a new president. The party is likely to hold the vote in September. (Nikkei Asian Review)
Electric-vehicle maker Xpeng has strong debut in New York
American depositary shares of Chinese electric-car startup Xpeng Inc. surged as much as 67% on the company’s first day as a publicly traded company on Thursday in New York. The stock ultimately closed up 41% from its offer price.
Who will get rich — or richer — from Ant Group’s $30 billion IPO?
Chinese fintech giant Ant Group Co. Ltd.’s blockbuster dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong will create a group of new billionaires among employees and will make a group of early investors even richer, including Jack Ma. Its IPO prospectuses unveiled a complex shareholding structure and a list of over 70 outside shareholders, showing how coveted the world’s highest-valued fintech company is by private and state-backed investors. (Read the full story here.)
China says it won’t be intimidated if U.S. deploys nuclear missiles in Asia
China’s Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday that it will neither “dance to the tune of the U.S.” nor allow the U.S. to “cause trouble” amid the ongoing tensions between the two countries’ militaries. Defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian told a monthly press briefing that China “opposes” and “is not afraid of” recent U.S. military activities around China.
Concerns emerge over WeChat after a shopkeeper suicide
The suicide of a young Shenzhen shopkeeper that his family linked to his account suspension from WeChat has raised questions about the tech company’s vast power over individual lives and livelihoods.
The man, in his early 20s, fell from the company’s customer service center building in the Guangdong province city on Aug. 15, apparently after several attempts to have the suspension revoked. Police in Shenzhen’s downtown Nanshan district told Caixin they concluded the case was a suicide.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
Finance & Economy
• China has banned imports from another major Australian meatworks as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate. (AFR)
• China’s securities watchdog gave N-Securities Co. Ltd., a regional securities firm dogged by controversy, a “D” rating, the second lowest ranking after “E” which means the firm lacks ability to tackle future risks.
Business & Tech
• IPOs in China this week have created at least three new billionaires as of Thursday. (Bloomberg)
• Bangladesh has approved a late-stage trial of a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., its health minister said on Thursday. (Reuters)
• Cai Li, Communist Party chief of the Central Hospital of Wuhan, which had more medical worker deaths than any other Chinese hospital during the coronavirus outbreak, including whistleblower Li Wenliang’s, has stepped down.
• Rail operator China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. have rolled out a product integrating their tickets, a first-of-its kind national tie-up connecting the nation’s vast air network with its equally vast high-speed rail system that extends into smaller cities.
• PetroChina Co. Ltd., the listed arm of state-owned energy conglomerate China National Petroleum Corp., reported a net loss of nearly 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion) in the first half.
• Wan Shitong, former editor in chief of The Press, a magazine run by state-owned newspaper People’s Daily, has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment (link in Chinese) for accepting bribes of over 8 million yuan.
• Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. narrowed its gap with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of 2020 with a market share of 18.4%, according to a report released by Gartner on Tuesday.
• BGI Genomics Co. Ltd., the listed arm of Chinese genetics giant BGI Group, reported more than eightfold growth in its net profit for the first half, driven by surging demand for testing kits amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• On Thursday, the Chinese mainland reported nine new Covid-19 cases with symptoms (link in Chinese), all imported, according to China’s top health body.
• As of Friday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally reached over 24.4 million, with the death toll surpassing 832,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
** LOOKING AHEAD
Sept. 1: Release of Caixin China manufacturing PMI
Sept. 3: Release of Caixin China services PMI
Contact reporter Timmy Shen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editors Yang Ge (email@example.com) and Gavin Cross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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