MNCs in the News*
July 21st, 2016
China’s State Administration of Taxation has issued new guidelines for evaluating domestic and foreign companies’ tax performance. Under pressure, IKEA agrees to massive recall of Malm products in China. Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. stops producing the iEV6s sport utility vehicle featuring Samsung SDI’s batteries because the Chinese government did not approve the Samsung SDI battery possibly to retaliate against South Korea’s decision to accept the THAAD system. American Enterprise Institute analysis finds large percentages of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2016 are for mergers & acquisitions, by private firms, and going to the US. China to make good on its promise to invest $2.21 billion in European Fund for Strategic Investments. For some, Chinese investments in film sector raise questions about China’s impact on film distribution and content. After Brexit, Japanese car makers forced to revisit the logic of their investments in the United Kingdom. Korea’s Ministry of Environment will impose a series of harsh penalties against Volkswagen for the latter’s fraud regarding noise and gas emission data. Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is likely to impose a nearly $900 million fine on Qualcomm for the latter’s abusive technology licensing practices. Indonesian government seeks billions of dollars in investment to help develop tourist zones. Vietnamese government targets greater tourism sector investment. Vietnam seeks foreign investment to plug it highway system funding gap.
July 14th, 2016
Apple struggles to ensure China does not turn into a lemon. Walmart workers in China take widespread action against the company’s new working hours system. British Trade Ministry touts that losing pounds is good for Chinese investors. China Road and Bridge Co. wins first state project awarded to a Chinese company since new government came to power in Myanmar. Chinese banks work to bolster risk management and compliance abilities as they expand overseas. Japanese financial firms licensed in London forced to consider whether they should relocate elsewhere in the European Union (EU). After massacre in Dhaka, Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. suspends all but critical travel to Bangladesh. South Korea begins investigation of Ford Motor’s Explorer for possible leakage of exhaust fumes inside the vehicle. GM Korea is under the microscope in Korea because of repeated bribery/corruption scandals and selling inferior quality cars. The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges the government to take action to allow for full implementation of its policy packages. Contemporary Korean investment in Vietnam represents a third wave of Korean investment in the country.
July 4th, 2016
At the Annual Meeting of Champions, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stresses the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) and China’s plans to create a better environment for them. Some fret Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will complicate LinkedIn’s position in China. China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) reports that China’s state-owned enterprises are increasing their outward activities. Huawei still plans to go forward with multi-billion dollar U.K. investment despite Brexit. Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail bid to open next year and likely will feature strong competition between Chinese and Japanese firms. Coming into effect of Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement opens up new opportunities for European law firms to set up joint ventures (JVs) with Korean ones. End of sanctions and high-level summits create opportunities for Doosan heavy Industries & Construction in seawater desalination sector in Iran. Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to help American firms explore opportunities in Indonesia’s mining and infrastructure sectors. BKPM Chairman Franky Sibarani does not see Brexit affecting British investment in Indonesia. Registered FDI in Vietnam continues to show impressive growth with strong increases in FDI flowing into the manufacturing and processing sectors. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training works to create a better environment for education investing in Vietnam.
June 23rd, 2016
China’s inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) shows a slight decline in May year-over-year (YOY), though the figures for the first five months of 2016 showed a moderate increase (YOY). Chinese Premier Li Keqiang tells German officials and executives that China plans to improve the investment environment for them as well as others. In China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for independent judiciary and level playing field for foreign firms. XpressWest unilaterally terminates its contract with China Railway International for the construction of a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles. China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) resubmits its Syngenta deal to the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. for national security review. South Korean investigators descend on Lotte Group in connection with allegations of a slush fund. Korea and Azerbaijan agree to expand economic cooperation in areas like investment and infrastructure. South Korea plans to reform government-run energy companies to improve their financial soundness and operating efficiency. Indonesia and Japanese oil giant Inpex reach a deal on the multi-billion dollar Masela onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant which may bring more new opportunities for Japanese business to invest in Indonesia. Japanese firms look very favorably upon Vietnam as an investment destination.
June 18th, 2016
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed to global CEO’s that his government would be acting to create a better environment for foreign investors. Xiaomi strikes a deal to buy roughly 1500 patents from Microsoft. Political uncertainties surrounding the US presidential election expected to lead Chinese firms to become more cautious about investing in the US. United States (US) Commerce Department gives a subpoena to Huawei Technologies as part of a probe in the latter’s exports or re-exports of US technology. Alibaba says it is cooperating with a US Securities and Exchange Commission probe into its accounting practices. Newly elected Philippines’’ President Rodrigo Duterte states that he would welcome Chinese bids on two major railway projects despite bilateral tensions. Japan’s Transport Ministry raids the headquarters of Suzuki Motor Corp. as part of an investigation into the validity of the company’s fuel economy tests. Mitsubishi Materials settles case of World War II slave laborers. Mitsui is cooperating with the Malaysian government on the massive Iskandar Malaysia project. A Japanese-Indonesian consortium Bhimsena Power Indonesia will move forward on a long-delayed coal-fired power plant in Indonesia. Nissan corporate headquarters will file an administrative litigation against the South Korean government for actions taken by the Korean Ministry of the Environment against it. Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction wins a 460 billion won deal from Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water to build a desalination plant. Experts criticize the implementation of Indonesia’s 12 reform packages. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) touts the positive effects of its new investment licensing service, but challenges remain. BKPM pleased by Japanese interest in multi-billion dollar projects. Uber seeks Thai Transport ministry approval for its drivers. Experts call upon the Vietnamese government to tighten environmental regulations for FDI projects.
May 29th, 2016
At the 8th Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks, the US will press China to improve its business and investment climate. China say it will propose a global investment code at the upcoming G20 summit in Hangzhou. Tsinghua Unigroup’s leadership is unconcerned about the possibilities the new Taiwan leadership may review two of its investments in Taiwanese testing and packaging chip companies. Chinese bidding consortium goes to Malaysia to tout its advantages for the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail project. Indian Finance Minister plans to pursue vigorous implementation of a Japan high-speed rail project linking Ahmedabad and Mumbai when he visits Japan at the end of this month. Japanese firms want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union. South Korean cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait leads to accelerate of SK Gas Ltd.’s liquid petroleum gas-based gas chemistry business. Frustrated with a stalled legal case, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has decided to pull out of a major Nigerian oil exploration and development project. Indonesia is working hard to finalize all the regulations (new and revised) in its 12 economic policy packages. Global rating agencies seem to like Indonesia’s investment quality. Thailand is pushing Food Innopolis, a food cluster designed to enhance the value of the country’s crops. Vietnam’s inward FDI for the first five months of 2016 grows strongly over the comparable period in 2015. Foreign investors can enter the theater industry in Vietnam.
May 24th, 2016
Chinese committee has been examining technology products (hardware, software, and other) sold by by big foreign companies for security risks. Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with Chinese officials in an additional effort to curry government favor. Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. has big globalization plans which include working with foreign government partners. Nissan faces South Korea fines and mandatory recall as well as consumer lawsuits over so-called emissions defeat device. South Korean CJ Group senior managers meet with top level Indonesian delegation to discuss cooperation. At forum in Seoul, Indonesian president welcomes more Korean investment and emphasizes his government’s progress in creating a better investment environment. Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said meets with US companies to tout investment opportunities in the energy sector. Thailand and China continue negotiations to settle on cost estimates for the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed rail project. Uber Technologies press Thai officials to legalize its services. Singaporean investors continue to remain important to Vietnam. Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corporation and the Russian Direct Investment Fund sign MoU to establish a Russian-Vietnamese investment platform.
May 16th, 2016
Inward FDI into China between January and April rises almost 5 percent over the same period last year. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang touts China’s plan to take measures to encourage greater inward foreign direct investment. China is investigating foreign and domestic drug firms for possible violations of competition laws and regulations. Foreign pharmaceutical firms in China take action to offset profit pressures flowing from government actions. Apple invests $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, following various adverse actions against it in China. Beijing Municipal Court denies Zhujiang Beverage the ability to use the Facebook name on its products. China outward deals in 2016 to date already have topped the figures for 2015. Some Chinese state-owned enterprises are adopting the sovereign immunity defense to escape legal liability in the U.S. SK Group explores cooperation possibilities with Kuwaiti government and businesses officials visiting Seoul. Using investor state dispute measures Hanocal Holdings is suing the Korean government for compensation over excess taxes. Indonesian President urges his Cabinet to do more to improve the ease of doing business and to garner an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s. Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Franky Sibarani touts his country’s reforms at the HSBC Economic Outlook 2016 conference. Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets with Chinese State Council Yang Jiechi to discuss investment and trade cooperation. Vietnam calls on foreign firms to contribute more to Vietnam’s economic development.
May 8th, 2016
China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television forces Apple to close its IBooks Store and Itunes Movies stores. Beijing Municipal High People’s Court decision allows Xintong Tiandi Technology to continue selling leather goods with the name “IPHONE.” Dongfeng and its joint venture partner Nissan have to undertake a recall on Infiniti models built in China and imported. Australia has a beef with Chinese investors plans to purchase massive cattle farmlands. Japan says “UK don’t go home” during Abe’s visit with Cameron. South Korea and Iran “energize” their cooperation with billions in infrastructure and other kinds of deals. Saudi Arabia’s financial woes create significant difficulties for the continuation of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange. Indonesia experiences first quarter-to-quarter decline in FDI. Thai government has aspirations that the ITU Telecom World Forum will lead to progress in attracting technology related investment into the country. Japan International Cooperation Agency asks for rights to develop land along its railway projects. Thailand asks Japan to speed up its investment activities in high-speed and double-track rail. FDI continues to pour into Vietnam. Infrastructure development companies are industrious in building industrial zones.
April 23rd, 2016
China’s Ministry of Commerce underscores reasons to be optimistic about inward foreign direct investment flows into China. China experiences a massive creation of foreign-funded enterprises between 2011 and 2015. China’s National Development and Reform Commission will test a “negative list” approach in Fujian, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Tianjin. The American Chamber of Commerce in China expresses concern about China’s policies and what it sees as a lack of serious commitment to reform. In testimony before Congress, Apple denies that it had provided iPhone source code to China. Chinese anti-trust investigators now seem to be turning their attention to Korean firms after targeting German and Japanese firms. China’s Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) and M&A deals show significant growth in the first quarter of 2016. EY forecasts strong Chinese outward FDI growth averaging 10 percent partly because of the One Belt, One Road program. South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission reports it succeeded in getting Apple to revise the problematic Authorized Service Agreement it had concluded with six Korean repair service providers. Government data indicates the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement is stimulating COFDI into Korea. Indonesia’s President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will visit four European countries to promote European investment in Indonesia. Denmark concludes Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia involving capital and technology in exchange for land. Experts call for Vietnam to be more selective in granting tax incentives to foreign investors and encourage it to strengthen its FDI management capabilities. Myanmar grants a license to Vietnam’s military-run Telecommunications Group (Viettel) to build a multi-billion dollar telecommunications network.