China Business Digest: WTO Rules in Favor of China in U.S. Tariffs Dispute; Xiaomi Co-Founder Lin Bin Cashes In $1.02 Billion From Stake Sale
China’s economy continued to improve as consumption increased in August for the first time this year. Meanwhile, China and the European Union (EU) agreed to speed up investment treaty talks, and the World Trade Organization ruled that Trump administration tariffs on Chinese goods are illegal.
— By Tang Ziyi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China’s economic rebound continued in August
China’s economy continued to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in August, major indicators released Tuesday showed, as consumption grew year-on-year for the first time this year.
China, EU push to conclude investment treaty talks this year
Chinese and European leaders agreed in a Monday virtual summit to speed up and conclude negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement by the end of the year, in a sign that the two sides were willing to cooperate in the pandemic recovery despite geopolitical tensions and disputes over technology.
China applauds WTO ruling on U.S. tariffs as ‘objective and fair’
A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled Tuesday that Trump administration tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods violate international trading rules. A spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said China applauded the ruling as “objective and fair” and called on the U.S. to respect it.
Xiaomi co-founder Lin Bin cashes in $1.02 Billion from stake sale
Lin Bin, co-founder and vice chairman of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, sold 350 million Xiaomi shares (link in Chinese) for HK$7.89 billion ($1.02 billion) Tuesday, the company said. Lin divested the shares at HK$22.55 each, a discount of 4.25% compared with Xiaomi's Monday closing price. After the sale, Lin will be subject to a five-year lock-up period.
Shares of Lanzhou animal vaccine maker’s parent plunge after leak sickened thousands
State-owned China Animal Husbandry Industry Co. Ltd. lost 1.68 billion yuan ($248 million) of market capitalization in one day after news that more than 3,000 people were infected with a chronical disease as a result of contaminated exhaust from its animal vaccine plant in Lanzhou.
Hong Kong pumps fresh money into virus-stricken economy
Hong Kong plans to spend an additional HK$24 billion ($3.1 billion) for pandemic relief and to lift some social distancing restrictions, including temporarily re-opening bars, as the city’s economy suffers from a recession caused by protests and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trump’s top China envoy to leave Beijing for campaign trail
Top U.S. diplomat to China Terry Branstad is retiring, the American Embassy said Monday, after President Donald Trump touted the former Iowa governor’s expected campaign help in the swing state. (Bloomberg)
Nvidia confident U.S.-China tech war won’t stop Arm deal
Nvidia Corp. is confident of getting regulatory approval for its $40 billion deal to buy U.K.-based chip designer Arm Ltd. from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., founder Jensen Huang said Monday, despite the tech war between the U.S. and China casting doubts on the chip-centered deal.
Alibaba in talks to invest $3 Billion in Grab
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in talks to invest $3 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. The Chinese e-commerce giant, the sole participant in the investment round, will spend part of the funds to acquire some of the Grab stock held by Uber Technologies Inc., one of the people said. (Bloomberg)
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
• Ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service on Monday reaffirmed an A1 rating on China as a long-term local- and foreign-currency issuer, citing effective government policies to help mitigate credit risks.
• China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Monday ordered app stores to remove 23 apps (link in Chinese), including popular online rental agency Danke, which failed to rectify misconduct involving user data as requested by the regulator last month.
• Former HSBC Bank (China) Co. Ltd. executive vice president, Zhang Wenjie, has been appointed managing director and president of Bank of America Corp.’s China branch, according to an internal bank notice seen by Caixin.
• Jingdong Digits Technology Holding Co. Ltd. (JD Digits), a fintech affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc., is planning to buy third-party payment platform 99Bill Corp. for 1.6 billion yuan to expand its presence in the offline payment market, sources close to JD Digits told Caixin.
• The Chinese yuan hit a 16-month high versus the dollar on Tuesday, as the world’s second-largest economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
• Zhou Wenjie, a deputy director of the Shanghai bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, is being investigated for “serious violation of (Communist Party) discipline and law,” the party’s anti-corruption watchdog said Monday.
• Top Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd. will build a pork business in China that spans breeding to food processing in an attempt to combat a swine shortage caused by flooding and disease. (Nikkei Asian Review)
• Chinese internet giant NetEase Inc.’s music division on Monday announced it agreed to a partnership with Germany’s Bertelsmann Music Group covering copyrights, IP development, music performances and online karaoke.
• Tencent Holdings Ltd. has picked Singapore as its beachhead for Asia, joining rivals Alibaba and ByteDance Ltd. in the race to build up a presence closer to home after setbacks in the U.S. and India. (Bloomberg)
• Tencent and Sequoia Capital, as well as other investors, agreed to buy HK$4 billion ($516.1 million) worth of shares in China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd., the electric-vehicle unit of property developer China Evergrande Group said.
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• On Monday, the Chinese mainland reported eight new Covid-19 cases with symptoms (link in Chinese), all imported, according to China’s top health body.
• Authorities in the southwestern Chinese city of Ruili in Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar, imposed a lockdown (link in Chinese) of its urban area on Monday and launched coronavirus testing after two imported cases (link in Chinese) were discovered. Both patients were Myanmar nationals who illegally entered China.
• China’s coronavirus vaccines may be ready for the public as early as November, Wu Guizhen, an expert with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview (link in Chinese) with state-run broadcaster CCTV.
• The U.S. State Department on Monday upgraded a travel advisory for U.S. citizens considering travel to China to “Reconsider Travel” from “Do Not Travel.” The department said most business operations in China have been resumed and other conditions have also been improved in the country.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
• As of Tuesday afternoon Beijing time, the number of coronavirus infections globally exceeded 29.3 million, with the death toll surpassing 928,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (email@example.com) and editor Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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