Caixin
Jan 29, 2021 09:41 AM
CX DAILY

CX Daily: As Biden Rolls Back Trump Legacy, Chinese Firms Remain Shut Out

U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office Jan. 20.
U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office Jan. 20.

Biden /

In Depth: As Biden rolls back Trump legacy, Chinese firms remain shut out

U.S. President Joe Biden marked his first week in the White House by signing a flurry of executive orders to cement his agenda and roll back the legacy of Donald Trump.

But the new administration has continued to hold its cards close to its chest on the suite of restrictions Trump imposed on Chinese businesses with a ferocity that only intensified after he was voted out of office in November. The outgoing leader banned Americans from investing in and trading with Chinese companies and sought to kick their stocks off local bourses.

There were mixed signals Wednesday when the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it would extend a Trump-mandated wind-down period for transactions with 44 Chinese companies on a U.S. Defense Department blacklist to May 27 from Jan. 11. But the full investment ban that Trump set to take effect Nov. 11 remains intact.

China hopes for reversal of Trump’s policy of ‘suppressing Chinese companies’

FINANCE & ECONOMY

1

The headquarters of China’s banking regulator in March 2018.

Regulator /

Banking Regulator’s 2021 to-do list focuses on fintech, asset management

China’s top banking and insurance regulator pledged to tighten oversight of fintech companies, curb real estate lending and push ahead with asset management business reform this year as it laid out its key tasks for 2021.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission’s (CBIRC) agenda offers a glimpse of the Chinese government’s priorities for the financial sector this year as the regulator’s agenda dovetails with decisions made by the Politburo — the Communist Party’s top decision-making body — and the Central Economic Work Conference at key meetings in December.

The CBIRC also vowed to do a better job of serving the real economy, further promote the reform and opening-up of the country’s financial sector, effectively prevent and defuse financial risks, and maintain economic and financial security, according to a Wednesday readout (link in Chinese) for its annual agenda-setting meeting the day before.

Banking /

Exclusive: World’s No. 1 bank to tap relative newcomer as its next president, sources say

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC), the world’s largest commercial lender by assets, is expected soon to welcome a new president, sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin.

Liao Lin, a senior executive vice president of the state-owned bank, will take on the roles of president and vice chairman, the sources said. On Thursday morning, Liao was named the bank's deputy Communist Party chief, they said.

Liao, 54, joined Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed ICBC in November 2019 as a senior executive vice president. In April 2020, he took over as the bank’s chief risk officer. Previously, he spent three decades at China Construction Bank Corp. (CCB), the world’s second-largest bank, where he most recently served as CCB’s chief risk officer and executive vice president.

IPO /

Hundreds of IPOs stuck in logjam amid tightened regulatory reviews

Backlogs of applications for initial public offerings reemerged in China as regulators tightened scrutiny following Ant Group Co. Ltd.’s surprise listing suspension, forcing several companies to cancel their share sale plans.

A total of 14 companies that planned to list on mainland bourses had their listing processes terminated so far this year, and at least seven of them withdrew their applications voluntarily, data from the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges showed. That compares with only three terminated IPO applications in the same period last year.

The rise in terminations of initial public offerings (IPOs) comes as more applications are piling up for regulatory reviews.

Covid-19 /

Locked-down city’s police launch probe into disease exposure by ‘patient zero’

Police in the northeastern Chinese city that suffered food shortages during its Covid-19 lockdown have opened an investigation into whether the “patient zero” of the latest outbreak violated any infectious disease prevention rules.

The procuratorate of Tonghua, Jilin province, identified the patient as a man with an asymptomatic Covid-19 infection surnamed Lin who was hired by a local company Jan. 9 to work in the city’s Dongchang district, where the first two confirmed cases of the outbreak were reported three days later.

The procuratorate said it intervened to guide the police in gathering evidence of any acts that violate the country’s Criminal Law and Contagious Disease Prevention and Cure Law, under which spreading an A-category contagious disease can be punished with a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

Use pandemic ‘peacetime’ to prepare for outbreak ‘wartime,’ Shanghai health expert says

Quick hits /

Opinion: No, manufacturing is not leaving China

Hangzhou bans resale of hot new houses for 5 years

Opinion: Markets shouldn’t fret about imminent monetary tightening in China

BUSINESS & TECH

smartphone

Smartphones /

Apple, Xiaomi take bite out of Huawei’s withering smartphone share

Huawei’s smartphone sales tumbled by nearly half in last year’s fourth quarter as it continued suffering under the weight of U.S. sanctions and yielded market share to surging Apple and Xiaomi.

Huawei’s woes came even as the global smartphone market expanded for the first time in a year, with shipments up 4.3% year-on-year to 385.9 million units in the three months through December, according to preliminary data from IDC. Huawei was the only one of the top five brands to record a decline as its 42.4% sales drop made it the No. 5 vendor with 8.4% of the market.

IDC attributed the market’s broader resilience to a number of factors, including pent-up demand, continued promotion of 5G phones and the popularity of low to mid-priced models.

Academic fraud /

Chinese Academy of Scientists declines to re-investigate fraud accusation

China’s top academic institute declined to re-investigate allegations of fraud leveled against prominent Chinese microbiologist Pei Gang by Rao Yi, the president of Beijing’s Capital Medical University.

After China’s Ministry of Science and Technology last week cleared most allegations of plagiarism and fraud in academic papers involving five Chinese scientists including both men, Rao renewed his challenge of a 1999 paper by Pei, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

Rao posted on social media that after the Science Ministry issued its findings, he wrote to the Chinese Academy of Sciences to again allege fraud in a 1999 Pei paper. Rao said the findings in the paper couldn’t be duplicated by other scientists and Pei’s lab hasn’t published any paper confirming the findings.

Lunar New Year /

China prepares for smallest Lunar New Year travel rush on record

This year’s Lunar New Year travel rush, when millions of Chinese travel back to their hometowns in the world’s largest annual human migration, is predicted to be the least busy in at least 18 years.

As the country works to contain a rash of local coronavirus outbreaks, implementing measures such as Covid-19 testing requirements and mandatory quarantines, many are reluctant to travel. The government is also calling on people to stay put and “celebrate in place” (就地过年).

Already, the number of trips taken by road, rail, airplane and boat are down about 50% from the comparable period last year, according to the transport authority. The Lunar New Year typically falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 each year, but the exact date depends on the lunar cycle. This year it will be held on Feb. 12.

Huawei /

Huawei’s mobile chief to lead cloud unit in latest reshuffle

Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. carried out a major management reshuffle as part of business transformation moves in response to harsh U.S. sanctions.

Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, was named to concurrently head the company’s cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) business group, several Huawei sources told Caixin. The new assignment further expands Yu’s duties to oversee Huawei’s business development in cloud computing, servers, storage and AI-powered chips.

Hou Jinlong, former head of Huawei’s cloud and AI business group, was transferred to lead the digital energy unit.

Quick hits /

TikTok to make layoffs following permanent ban in India

Starbucks’ sales grow in China, bucking global downturn

HNA co-founder excluded from key Communist Party-led committee

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