China Business Digest: Central Bank Unveils Major Revamp to Commercial Bank Law; Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Cryptocurrency Withdrawals
Total assets on the books of Chinese state-owned enterprises grew by 11% to 527.1 trillion yuan ($78.3 trillion) last year. Brazil is reportedly mulling a ban that could keep Huawei out of its 5G networks. China’s central bank issued draft revisions to its commercial bank law. Bitcoin exchange OKEx suspended cryptocurrency withdrawals after its founder’s arrest.
— By Lu Yutong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
** TOP STORIES OF THE DAY
China unveils major revamp to commercial bank law
China’s central bank issued draft revisions Friday to its commercial bank law enacted 25 years ago, expanding application of the law and improving mechanisms of market exit for lenders.
Exclusive: OKEx suspends cryptocurrency withdrawals after founder’s arrest
The bitcoin exchange OKEx suspended cryptocurrency withdrawals on the platform Friday after its Chinese founder Xu Mingxing was taken away by police.
50,000 shoppers give China’s digital yuan its biggest test yet
Tens of thousands of Chinese this week spent digital yuan at Walmart, gas stations and convenience stores across the southern tech hub of Shenzhen. The experiment — unprecedented in scope and size — went off without a hitch, catapulting the world’s No. 2 economy to the forefront of a race to develop virtual money.
China’s criminal law changes propose to criminalize junket operators
A draft revision of China’s criminal law (link in Chinese) proposes to subject the activities of organizing and soliciting Chinese citizens for overseas gambling to punishment. The revision could hurt Macau’s small to medium-sized VIP casinos that rely on junket operators, whose business was already on the decline.
Tencent-backed Miniso rises on debut in $608 IPO
Shares of Muji lookalike retailer Miniso Group Holding Ltd. closed up 4.4% on their first trading day (link in Chinese) on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, after rising as much as 22% during the session. The firm, whose stores resemble a cheaper version of Japan’s Muji, raised a total of $608 million from the offering.
China reports $78.3 trillion book of state assets
The total assets on the books of Chinese state-owned enterprises grew to 527.1 trillion yuan ($78.3 trillion) last year, up 11% from 2018, according to a report (link in Chinese) submitted by the State Council to the national legislature on Thursday.
Assets of China’s state-owned nonfinancial enterprises rose by 11.2% year-on-year to 233.9 trillion yuan as of the end of 2019, while state-owned financial enterprise assets gained 23.3% compared with 2018 to 293.2 trillion yuan.
Huawei’s 5G messaging won’t directly compete with WeChat, executive says
Ma Ning, an executive at telecom giant Huawei Technologies, said the 5G-enabled messaging function on Huawei-branded phones won’t compete directly with the popular WeChat app, as the firm moves ahead as a key supplier of phones and equipment for China’s 5G networks.
China construction giant to eliminate competition by acquiring rival
Hong Kong-listed state-owned enterprise (SOE) China Energy Engineering Corp. Ltd. announced (link in Chinese) on Friday it will acquire Shanghai-listed construction firm China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd., of which it holds 42.71%, through a share swap in a bid to eliminate industry competition between SOEs.
** OTHER STORIES MAKING THE HEADLINES
Finance & Economy
• Sinovation Ventures, the Chinese venture capital firm founded by former Google executive Kai-Fu Lee, is seeking to raise $1 billion for a new venture capital fund.
• One in ten stores in Beijing’s 90 shopping malls were vacant in the third quarter of this year, a report (link in Chinese) from real estate services provider Savills Plc. showed.
Business & Tech
• Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is considering banning Huawei Technologies Co. from supplying components to Brazil’s upcoming 5G networks because he sees China as a global threat to data privacy and sovereignty, according to a senior member of his cabinet. (Bloomberg)
• Japan informed the United States that Tokyo, at the moment, won’t participate in Washington’s plan to exclude Chinese firms from its telecommunications networks, local newspaper Yomiuri reported Friday.
• Since the U.S. cut off Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s access to components made with American technology, Japanese makers of electronic parts have enjoyed a fresh wave of orders from other smartphone manufacturers seeking to claim market share that is now up for grabs.
• Freight company Antong Holdings Co. Ltd. has revealed a plan to issue 2.88 billion shares by converting its capital reserves to help get its debt under control.
• Toyota Motor has decided to provide Guangzhou Automobile Group, a joint venture partner in China, with its gasoline-electric hybrid technology system, Nikkei has learned. This is the first time Toyota will offer its core hybrid technology to a foreign company.
• Ford Motor Co. on Friday said its China sales rose 25% during July to September from the same period a year earlier to 164,352 vehicles, attributing the increase to product launches and a localization strategy. (Reuters)
• Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), China’s leading maker of microchips, revised up estimates for its third-quarter revenue by 13 percentage points to 14% to 16% on a sequential basis, due to “changes in product mix and increase in other operating income.”
** ON THE CORONAVIRUS
• Thailand is in talks with China to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor by January to rescue its ailing tourism industry. China, which accounted for more than a quarter of Thailand’s tourist arrivals before the pandemic, will be the first low-risk country the Southeast Asian nation will sign up for quarantine-free travel.
• The cluster of infections that emerged at a hospital in the coastal city of Qingdao was connected to two dock workers who contaminated the examination room and transmitted the virus to other patients, a Qingdao health official said at a press conference Friday.
• The Chinese mainland reported (link in Chinese) 24 new Covid-19 cases for Thursday, up from 11 a day earlier. All the new cases were imported, with 11 in Shanghai, according to the country’s top health body.
• As of noon Friday Beijing time, the number of global coronavirus cases has passed 38.8 million, with nearly 1.1 million deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Caixin’s coverage of the new coronavirus
** LOOKING AHEAD
Oct. 19: Release of China’s third-quarter GDP
** AND FINALLY
Queen Elizabeth II of Britain made her first public outing on Thursday since March, attending the opening of a new center for defense technology.
Contact reporter Lu Yutong (email@example.com) and editor Yang Ge (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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