Beijing

MNCs in the News-2017-03-31

Chinese government financial institutions intensify their backing for China’s “Made in China 2025” initiative and press non-governmental bodies to increase their support. Chinese law on joint ventures with specific requirements regarding new energy vehicles alarms foreign carmakers which fear they will be required to transfer technology. Beijing Intellectual Property Court supports Apple on design patent dispute with Shenzhen Baili. United States Trade Representative office issues report on trade barriers, highlighting many problems relating to China’s treatment of American companies in China. Chinese officials continue to defend their intensified oversight of Chinese outward investment. Tsinghua Unigroup garners massive new aid pledges from the China Development Bank and China national chip fund. Myanmar reportedly will restart construction on a China financed oil pipeline. Last week, the Chinese business community in Kenya establishing a lobbying group. Westinghouse’s bankruptcy filing means troubled Toshiba faces a potential net loss of USD $9 billion net loss in 2016. Russia and Japan discuss plans for investment projects and other joint cooperation on the disputed Kuril Islands. SK Innovation Co. freezes the operations of its battery packing plant in China, denying they relate to Chinese economic sanctions against Korea. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. secures Saudi Arabia seawater desalination deal worth over USD $400 million. Mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia agrees to convert its contract of work into a special mining permit, providing a potential basis for a settlement of its disputes with the Indonesia government.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-24

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (United States) has called for global action in the face of China’s Made in China 2025 plan. Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) official defends his country’s “Made in China 2025” plan. China’s Food and Drug Administration issues draft policy that would allow foreign drugs to be tested and approved much more quickly in China. During a visit to China, Apple CEO Tim Cook announces Apple will open new R&D centers in Shanghai and Suzhou. Microsoft touts the development of a China-specific Windows 10 operating system that is “secure and controllable.” Chinese government agencies are working on a policy that would specify those sectors where outward foreign direct investment (FDI) was encouraged and those where it was restricted. Tokyo says it does not plan to support troubled Toshiba and that it will share information with Washington about Toshiba and its bankrupt US nuclear division. Japanese and Russian officials meet to discuss ways to jointly develop the islands off Hokkaido they both claim. South Korea asks the World Trade Organization to review Chinese sanctions against Korean companies relating to its deployment of THAAD. South Korea’s SK Engineering & Constructions partners with Turkey’s UNIT International to win multi-billion dollar power plant construction project in Iran. Energy firms urge Indonesian government to enhance its policies in the upstream and downstream oil and gas sectors.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-17

Foreign companies change “government” relations practices in China to adjust to the newfound role of the Communist Party. Boeing will work with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd., a Chinese state-owned enterprise, to construct a Boeing 737 completion center near Shanghai. During his visit to China, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman signs agreements with a potential value in the tens of billions of dollars, many relating to the construction of petrochemical facilities in China. The head of the People’s Bank of China decries irrational investments in defending the government’s recent imposition of capital controls. Japan and Saudi Arabia agree to study the value of special economic zones as a means to attract Japanese companies to Saudi Arabia. Toshiba’s financial woes, relating to its troubled American Westinghouse unit, are raising all kinds of national security, job, and financial issues for the Japanese and American governments. Japan may use various economic laws to ensure Toshiba’s memory chip unit is not sold to a bidder that may represent a national security risk. Myanmar authorities give KB Kookmin Bank permission to establish a cooperative microfinance venture in the country. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. wins a USD $408 million deal to upgrade an existing Indonesian power plant. Indonesia runs major investment promotion event in Singapore. Indonesia Tourism Ministry courts Singaporean investment in North Sumatra airport and other infrastructure.

MNCs in the News-2017-01-27

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sooths foreign firms over upcoming restrictions on VPN providers. Trump administration trade officials back a tougher line towards Chinese semiconductor investment and greater support for home firms. China stresses how Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US promotes manufacturing there and creates jobs. Hon Hai is considering a USD $7 billion investment in a joint flat panel project in the US with Pennsylvania a leading contender. In the wake of growing anxieties over Chinese investment, Australia moves to prepare review of strategic infrastructure. Apparently incentivized by Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other anti-trade statement, Toyota talks up $600 million investment plan. Toshiba’s troubles in the UK may force it to take on new partners and get United Kingdom (UK) government financing. Domestic and international political uncertainties seem to be driving a slowdown in inward FDI flows into Indonesia. Chinese outward FDI to Indonesia has been exploding, but it is uncertain if it will continue given uncertainties there plus anti-Chinese sentiments.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

China’s Maritime Silk Roads Initiative and Southeast Asia: Rough Sailing through the South China Seas?

As our readership knows, one of China’s signature foreign policy initiatives is the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), a key part of its larger One Belt, One Road (OBOR) scheme.

MNCs in the News-2016-07-08

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.

MNCs in the News-2016-04-01

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasizes China’s willingness to work harder to create a favorable environment for foreign investors. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stresses that the country’s planned rules on Internet domain names will not affect companies’ “normal operations.” China will set up its first overseas permanent military base in Djibouti. China’s Railway Rolling Stock Corp. aims to win large amounts of business in the developed world. In the face of US Senatorial concerns, Syngenta AG insists a China National Chemical Corp. takeover would not raise security issues. Japan may finance a multi-billion dollar deep-sea port project in Patimban, Indonesia. JR Tokai and its American partner Texas Central Partners (TCP) are going to ask the US Federal Railroad Administration to set new rules allowing an ultrahigh-speed to be built to Japanese bullet train specifications. Mercedes-Benz Korea not rolling along as far as the Korean government is concerned. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion probes if Korean companies should relocate from the shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex to Vietnam. Korean businesses and association, in collaboration with the government, will establish a public-private consultative council to boost overseas Korean construction business. Thai Democrats challenge financing model for Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed train line. Vietnamese inward foreign direct investment for the first quarter of 2016 surges over the comparable period a year earlier.

MNCs in the News-2015-10-30

On the eve of her trip to China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces pressure to push German business interests. Chinese and American negotiators begin another round of BIT negotiations. The City of Beijing moves to implement new rules opening the capital’s service sector to foreign investors. Tianjin orders ConocoPhillips to pay compensation to 21 fishermen who sued the firm for losses suffered as a result of the 2011 Bohai Bay oil spill. Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany (CHKD) survey indicates Chinese firms in Germany still optimistic. Mexico’s Jalisco state signs a deal with China Communications Construction Company that could lead to the development of a 500-hectare industrial park in Jalisco. Chinese investment in New Zealand farmland provokes backlash and a heated debate. Korea achieves its highest ever ranking in the World Bank’s business friendly countries' assessment. The World Economic Forum scores Korea poorly in terms of labor market efficiency. The Korea Electric Power Corporation lands Korea’s first big alternative energy project in the Middle East. Malaysian official encourages Malaysian firms to grasp Halal foods opportunities. Malaysia leaps ahead of Indonesia as an Islamic finance hub. Responding to business complaints, Indonesia eliminates rules requiring companies to hire 10 Indonesian workers for every foreign one. Thailand’s position as a business friendly country slips three places in latest World Bank study. Vietnam’s FDI, concentrated in the processing and manufacturing sectors, soars year-over-year. Vietnam shows major drop in World Bank’s business friendly country rankings, though change may be a result of report methodology changes.

MNCs in the News-2015-05-29

Hewlett-Packard (HP) sells majority stake in Chinese networking division to Tsinghua University. Beijing will open its service sector to spur greater foreign investment. Blocked Twitter actively courts Chinese companies at Shanghai event. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology contemplates new software security guidelines. Chinese gold miners in Sudan face unexpected loss of business opportunities due to sudden government termination order. Japanese Prime Minister Abe proposed huge increase in infrastructure financing to aid Japanese businesses and counter China. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board and Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka sign agreement to cooperate on attracting Japanese investment into Indonesia’s maritime sector. Indonesia reaffirms it will takeover Total’s Mahakam gas block and a PT Freeport Indonesia controlled gold site. Vietnam expects law changes to spur new foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into its construction sector. Russia and Vietnam probe expanded investment cooperation.

MNCs in the News-2015-01-02

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) expects stable inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. Qualcomm taking steps to address National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) concerns, but still at risk of serious NDRC actions against it. Subway gets bitten over reports of doctored food expiration dates at a Beijing franchise. Chinese car dealer complaints to government force foreign auto companies to put on the brakes in sending cars to dealers. Facebook adjustments to user content raise questions about the company’s dealings with China. Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area connects with LinkedIn Corp. to attract talent. Japan and Thailand explore railway infrastructure cooperation. Foreign pharmaceutical firms in Korea are trying to get workers to swallow a bitter bill as they seek to downsize. Hyundai Motor wins approval from Chongqing and Changzhou to build two new car factories. Malaysia eases restrictions on Indonesian banks to further regional financial integration. Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment launches new national foreign investment information system.