China

MNCs in the News-2017-04-21

Big foreign companies increasingly willing to voice complaints about the situation in China. China’s limits on capital outflows affect the willingness of some to invest in China. Beijing is considering “braking” the requirement capping foreign companies ownership in the auto sector to no more than 50 percent with some predicting a crash of domestic firms if this happens. China’s nonfinancial outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) experienced major drops in March over the prior year and over the first quarter of 2017 year-over-year (YOY). China’s One Belt, one Road (OBOR) initiative leads to the signing of a major number of transportation related accords. Sharp considers joint bid with Hon Hai on Toshiba’s memory chip unit as it seeks to mitigate national security concerns. Kia plans USD $900 billion car manufacturing plant in India to surmount India’s steep import duties and China’s anti-Korean economic sanctions. Malaysian trade mission to South Korea brings home Korean investment worth around USD $550 million. Malaysia seeks to increase its cooperation with New Zealand in IT and tourism sectors. Vietnam develops public-private partnership framework allowing more foreign investment particularly from Japan in its infrastructure sector. Hoang Son Trading Investment JSC partners with Spanish-Japanese joint venture to build new solar plant in Vietnam.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Bad THAAD, THAAD’S Bad: Reflections about China’s Economic Sanctions and their Implications for Multinational Corporations

For about the past three months, Beijing has been escalating economic pressure on South Korea because of the latter’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to counter North Korea’s missile threat. Chinese economic coercion has encompassed barriers to Korean cultural products like K-Pop bands, television shows, and online games entering China, bans against Chinese tourists going to Korea, the shutdown of Korean stores in China, the cessation of investment deals, and reduced buying of Korean products.

MNCs in the News-2017-04-14

China announces draft rule that would require certain firms to obtain permission to transfer data out of China. Apple promotes the adoption by yet more of its China suppliers of renewable energy. A Chinese think tank and corporate collaborator release a report showing that Chinese firms have been substantially boosting their investment in the manufacturing sector. Potential seen for greater Chinese involvement in ambitious American infrastructure programs. China and Myanmar agree to open oil pipeline linking Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port to Yunnan, China. Likely opposition from Japanese and US government may drive Toshiba to reject highest bid from Taiwan’s China-connected Hon Hai. Korean companies participate in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project and, accordingly, will get special support from the Saudi government. Foreign firms pour money into South Korea’s IT, fashion, and entertainment startups to profit from Korea’s cultural power. News reports reveal Malaysia Korea Partners funneled money to the leadership in Pyongyang for decades, violating UN sanctions. China’s Alibaba Group and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) jointly establish Digital Free Trade Zone. Cheaper labor, less stringent legal structure, and better intellectual property right protections spur Italian corporate pivot from China into Vietnam. Local officials in Can Tho court French investment in various sectors including agriculture.

Wong MNC Center orchestrated special section on China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative and South Asia is published

The April 2017 issue of Geopolitics (Vol. 22, No. 2, 2017), a leading journal in the field, will feature a special section on The Geopolitics of China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) that focused on the MSRI and South Asia. The special section provides background on the MSRI, surveys China's economic and political goals at the national and sub-national level, and identifies a number of number of the political and economic factors at the national and sub-national level within and beyond China that will affect the implementation of China's ambitious scheme.

MNCs in the News-2017-04-07

China’s State Council creates seven new free trade zones bringing the total number in the country to 11. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) pushes foreign businesses to support its efforts to limit capital outflows from China. Prior to Donald Trump-Xi Jinping meeting, Chinese parliamentarian links the quality of the meeting to Google’s prospects for entering China. European Union regulators approve China National Chemical Corporations (ChemChina)’s massive acquisition of Syngenta while requiring some significant divestitures. Trump administration considers some dramatic steps to keep Westinghouse’s nuclear business out of Chinese hands. Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s proposed investment in Stillwater mining may not be golden because of American concerns over strategic materials access. Iran-Japan Investment Treaty enters into force on April 26 and may spur Japanese energy investment in Iran. Japanese foreign acquisitions hit a new record of almost USD $100 billion in fiscal year 2016, but performance is dubious. South Korea’s installation of the THAAD system continues to affect adversely Sino-Korean economic relations and Korean businesses. The fallout between China and South Korea over THAAD contributes to South Korean car manufacturers reducing production in their Chinese factories. Consortium of Chinese and Indonesian companies signs contract launching the construction phase of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project. Afghan President Ghani encourages Indonesian investors to invest in Afghanistan and stresses the security of foreign investors as a top government priority. Tier-one American aerospace manufacturer may invest in Malaysia stimulating business for small and medium enterprises and creating high-income jobs. India and Malaysia sign investment deals with a value of USD $36 billion. Belgium plans to ramp up green energy investment in Vietnam.

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.

Dr. Scott MacDonald's picture

Shipping, Trade, and China

Shipping remains a critical factor in global trade and also has been a key factor in the rise of the Chinese economy since the last decades of the 20th century. However, the 2008 Great Recession caught global shipping in a period of fleet expansion and greater capacity to carry freight per ship. Post-2008 the shipping industry has faced tough times. Trade has not recovered from levels prior to that year. Rates have been drastically cut, company revenues have plummeted, some companies went into bankruptcy (as with South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping in 2016), and other companies have merged.

Ms. Susan Finder's picture

AIIB’s new robust policy on prohibited practices

On 8 December 2016, about a month after my previous blogpost entitled “Chinese Companies and the World Bank’s Procurement Blacklists” was published on this website, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) re-issued its Policy on Prohibited Practices. The policy has not received much attention outside of China, but is significant for both the legal and business community. In the Policy on Prohibited Practices, the AIIB sets out its rules and procedures. Prohibited Practices are defined in Section 3.2.

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