Europe

Wong MNC Center Co-Organizes and Co-Sponsors Conference entitled “Coping with Global Backlash”

The Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center) is co-organizing and co-sponsoring the “Coping with Global Backlash” Conference at the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) in October 2018. The two-day event, which runs from October 18 to 19, is hosted by the UC Berkeley Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center (BASC), Center for Long Term Cybersecurity, Clausen Center, and IEAS, which also are event co-organizers and co-sponsors.

MNCs in the News-2018-05-25

China’s State Council moves to spread best practices from China’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) elsewhere in China. Muji hung out again for its improper treatment of the Taiwan issue. In Beijing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns of further potential restrictions on Chinese investment in the absence of reciprocity. Fears of having to disclose details of loans for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) spur Chinese financial institutions to continue to bank on Pakistan. Motivated by forthcoming regulatory changes, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. to buy 37.5 percent stake in state-backed Chinese life insurer. Nissan and Renault reviewing tie-up driven by French Government. Trump’s cancellation of US-North Korea summit dashes hopes of lifting international sanctions against North Korea and jumpstarting inter-Korean projects. South Korean electric battery firms charged up as China Association of Automobile Manufacturers’ whitelist highlights capabilities of Korean batteries. Chinese investors pledge to continue investing in Malaysia given new government offers conducive business environment and political stability. Foreign investors increasingly concerned about Malaysia’s fiscal health as national debt is far higher than previously revealed.

MNCs in the News-2017-05-05

The Cyberspace Administration of China will begin hardware and software checks starting June 1. Foxconn Technology Group Chairman indicates it is looking at investment prospects in the United States (US) following meetings with US officials. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asks British Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure a smooth transition for Japanese business following Brexit to limit problems for Japanese investors. Japan launches various initiatives to ease the way for greater foreign investment. Russia and Japan agree on key terms and conditions for launching a joint investment fund to boost their investment cooperation. Chinese economic retaliation due to South Korea’s deployment of the US THAAD system has potentially cost the Korean economy USD $7.6 billion. E-Mart to close China outlets by the end of this year partly due to anti-Korean sentiments flowing from Seoul’s deployment of THAAD. Japan’s bid for high-speed rail connecting Kuala Lumpur with Singapore to include financing, talent development, and collaboration with local companies. Foreign technology companies increase Singaporean investment following strong demand and government incentives. Vietnam licensed major gas pipeline project which represents its second billion-dollar foreign investment project in 2017 and an increase of total FDI. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister encourages Sumitomo Mitsui to increase investment in the country’s 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.

MNCs in the News-2017-02-17

American business community becomes more favorable towards “reciprocity” policy towards China. Hejun Vanguard Group files complaint against sale of McDonald’s China and Hong Kong assets. Chinese firms’ pursuit of investment in critical sectors leads Germany, France, and Italy to ask European Union (EU) to give it more powers to investigate and block investments. The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission asks Syngenta for more information regarding its proposed acquisition by China’s ChemChina. In the face of potential restrictions on Chinese firm investments in non-core businesses, Dalian Wanda eyes European bank deals. Japanese companies face investigation by South Korea’s transport ministry which has begun to investigate more firms in the wake of the Volkswagen emission manipulation scandal. Toshiba will remove itself from work on the UK’s new Moorside nuclear plant. South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has started its first wind power plant in Jordan. Korean outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grows significantly in 2016 with a large increase in money flowing to the US. Indonesian loosening of ban on raw mineral ore exports has many implications. Indonesian regional elections have big implications for Indonesia’s inward FDI (FDI)

MNCs in the News-2017-01-13

China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) increases moderately over 2015, with a major proportion going into the service sector. Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) soared in 2016, hitting new records, with Europe, above all, Germany a key destination. Jack Ma meets with US President-elect Trump and touts Alibaba’s potential to create one million jobs. Takata pleads guilty to one criminal charge and will pay USD $1 billion in fines in conjunction with falsifying test data about its faulty airbags. Honda will invest USD $372 million in an existing facility in Ontario, Canada. Japanese energy producer JX Nippon Oil & Gas and NRG Energy Inc. complete the world’s biggest carbon capture system in Texas. Apparently prodded by Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, Samsung Electronics will build its first home appliance plant in the US. Indonesia modifies it mineral export ban policy because of its challenging economic growth situation. Indonesia and Japan will discuss business and investment cooperation during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister and during post-visit meetings between Indonesia’s President and a large delegation of Japanese CEOs

Wong MNC Center Executive Director Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard delivers keynote address at the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” Conference

At opening of the “New Developments for Japanese and Chinese Firms” conference, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Wong MNC Center, delivered a keynote address entitled “Patterns in Chinese Outward FDI and its Implications for Japanese Firms.” Dr. Blanchard started by providing background information on Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from the 1970s through the 1990s, covering its volumes, sectoral destinations, geographic patterns, and drivers at the macro- and micro (firm) levels.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Freedom is Slavery: Localization and CSR Strategy

Chinese companies like Bright Foods, Dalian Wanda, Fosun Group, Midea, and State Grid have been active buyers of European companies over the past few years. In 2014, they invested USD $18 billion while in 2015 they poured $23 billion into Europe.

MNCs in the News-2016-07-22

Inward FDI into China grew slowly over the first six months of 2016 year-over-year. The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s unfavorable ruling against China’s South China Sea claims sparks protests and boycott calls against American “icons” in China to the chagrin of the Chinese government. A Chinese consortium’s effort to buy the entire Opera Software company falls apart reportedly due to a failure to get sufficient Chinese government approvals. Japanese official travels to Singapore to tout the advantages of Japan high speed rail system for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail project. South Korea’s Fair Trust Commission watchdog relaunches investigation into Google Inc.’s requirement that smartphone makers using its Android operating system preload its search engine. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) is conducting a roadshow in Guangzhou to tout the country’s improving investment environment. Indonesia is working to help investors surmount problems that hinder them from realizing their investments and has developed special initiatives. The Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is working on getting more companies to participate in its principle hub scheme. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister calls on his country to be more selective in its FDI attraction efforts and to work on getting better FDI.

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Europe Resists China’s Economic Inroads

Political resistance is hardening to China’s commercial presence in Europe. Two recent events make this evident. The latest of these is a review by the European Union (EU) Commission of the proposed merger between France’s EGF and China General Nuclear Power (CGN), a state-owned enterprise (SOE).

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