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All posts by RWZ - 3. page

Apple Watch Cellular Connection Cut in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the newly released Apple Watch Series 3, which added support for the LTE cellular connection, is facing governmental challenges in China. The LTE functionality was available on China Unicom at launch. However, the Chinese government abruptly terminated the LTE access for the new Apple Watch Series 3 subscribers a few days later without explanation. Industry analysts expressed the belief that the Chinese government was concerned about the fact that it could not track who was using the new Apple Watch. Apple’s new eSIM technology used in the Watch made it very difficult to track the user’s identity and China heavily regulates the mobile communications industry. The Chinese regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, didn’t respond to the media’s requests for comment. Not long-ago the Chinese government forced Apple to remove more than 400 VPN apps from the local version of its App Store. VPN technology offers a way to bypass China’s Great Firewall.

Source: Sina, October 20, 2017

China Securities Journal: In September, the RMB’s Rank Fell in International Transactions

The China Securities Journal recently reported that SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) released its September report. The report showed that the usage of China’s currency (the RMB) in international transactions fell to 1.85 percent. Among all currencies, the RMB was ranked number six for September, down from number five in August (1.94 percent). The report also pointed out that there is no clear relationship between the size of an economy and the usage of its currency in international transactions. The U.S. GDP is 25 percent of the global total, while the U.S. Dollar accounts for nearly 40 percent of all global transactions. China’s GDP takes a 15 percent share in the global economy, but the RMB accounts for less than two percent of the usage internationally. Although many RMB clearing centers have been established across the globe, the internationalization of the Chinese currency seems to have a long way to go to catch up with the Euro or even the British Pound.

Source: China Securities Journal, October 17, 2017

WSJ Chinese: Chinese Government Trying to Gain Shares of Private High-Tech Companies

Wall Street Journal Chinese recently reported that the Chinese government is considering investing in one or two percent of the shares, called “special administrative stock” in Chinese domestic high-tech companies. Trials have started in two companies. This ownership investment is intended to acquire one or more seats on the board of privately owned large high-tech companies in order to participate in their management and operations. Over the past 20 years, Chinese high-tech companies have enjoyed massive growth and obtained significant shares in critical industries such as financial, insurance, transportation, communication and entertainment. These companies also own a large amount of data regarding the day-to-day behavior of the Chinese population. Examples of these companies are Tencent and Alibaba. Owners of these companies privately expressed their deep concerns about this potential move, since this type of government stock ownership may result in lawsuits for those companies that trade overseas. For the Chinese government, the cost is also a concern. For example, just to hold one percent of Tencent will require US$4 billion. The biggest worry among shareholders and the company owners is the potential to lose independence as well as the capability of innovating.

Source: WSJ Chinese, October 12, 2017

SINOPEC Is Selling Its Argentina Assets at a Loss

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that SINOPEC (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation) is looking for buyers for its assets in Argentina. The primary asset is located in the Santa Cruz region and is priced at US$0.75~1 billion. This asking price is not even half of the cost SINOPEC paid in 2010 when it first bought this asset from U.S. Occidental Petroleum at US$2.45 billion. SINOPEC has been losing money (around US$2.5 billion as of 2015) in Argentina and it is also facing labor troubles. It is estimated that there may be 15 potential buyers mainly from the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Latin America. However, Russia and Mexico are also interested. The SINOPEC selling plan has not yet been announced publicly, so all information sources remain anonymous. New oil fields have been found near the SINOPEC fields that sold recently. This may further hurt SINOPEC’s deal. SINOPEC is the largest oil refiner in Asia.

Source: Sina, October 9, 2017

Global Times: The U.S. Alone Cannot Decide on the Status of the Iranian Agreement

Immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would refuse to certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, the Global Times published a commentary. The commentary stated that Trump is determined to go down the path of unilateralism and once again triggered a global disagreement with the EU, Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. The Agreement is the fruit of negotiations between six countries (the U.S., China, Britain, France, Russia, and Germany) and Iran. The final agreement was a UN registered international multilateral agreement. However, since day-one, the United States has treated it like a deal in which the U.S. can do anything it wants. If a single country can easily overturn an agreement, it will set a poor example for the North Korean issue, which may never arrive at a trust-worthy deal. The commentator questioned the benefit of driving Iran to restore its nuclear program. Isn’t the nuclear threat from North Korea bad enough?

Source: Global Times, October 14, 2017

EU Reached Agreement on Anti-Dumping Rules against China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, after 18 months of internal debates, the 28 member countries of the European Union finally reached an agreement on the anti-dumping issue against China. The newly established rules will treat all WTO members equally. However, for those countries that significantly interfere with the free market, the EU will take special actions. For many years, China was not considered a “free market economy.” In the meantime, after 15 years being a WTO member, China expressed its belief that it should not be treated that way. Now the new rules define the concept of “dumping” as exporting goods at a price lower than its domestic price. EU investigators will determine the degree of dumping based on this new standard and recommend punishment. Critics expressed their concerns about the new EU rules, which have shifted the burden of proof from China to EU companies. On September 13, the EU also established its new plans for screening foreign investments.

Source: Sina, October 4, 2017

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