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MNCs in the News-2018-06-08

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announces two new negative lists will be put forth by end of June. China’s State Administration of Market Regulation probes foreign chipmakers because of concerns about rising memory chip prices. In response to charges regarding the debt burdens on participant countries flowing from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s MOFCOM denies forcing projects on anyone and touts the benefits of its BRI. Development of controversial Chinese development around Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port progresses with selection of planning consultancy. British government and Hitachi agree to begin full-scale negotiations on potential construction of nuclear power plant in Wales after settling on cost sharing. Japan to offer generous loan terms to more businesses in order to reach 2020 target of USD $2.5 billion in infrastructure exports. Philippines authorities in midst of processing four letters of intent from South Korean firms representing potential $4.4 billion in energy investment. Suspicious payments of $2 billion by previous Najib government to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau under investigation by Malaysian authorities. Indian federal investigators have filed criminal charges against AirAsia India, partly owned by Malaysia’s AirAsia, for “conspiracy” involving bribes to policymakers to change regulations.

MNCs in the News-2018-05-11

Apple denies taking a bite out of its customers. Official Chinese data indicate that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grew healthily in the 1st quarter of 2018. China Three Gorges charges up to take full control of Portugal’s EDP which is drawing political scrutiny. Chinese investment in Malaysia big election issue. British government proposes USD $18.2 billion in loans for Hitachi’s Wales nuclear plant. Uniqlo to enter Indian market in fall 2019 as Indian government initiatives attract foreign retailers to the country. General Motors to move Asia-Pacific headquarters to South Korea to show Seoul commitment to its revitalized Korean operations. Elliot seeking legal action against Korean government for USD $670 million it claims to have lost from merger of two Samsung affiliates. Mahathir says Malaysia may renegotiate some deals with China following his coalition’s victory.

MNCs in the News-2018-04-27

Foreign car makers hope China will speed up the auto reform parts that they desire. Puma hopping to consider other production venues if United States (US) imposes tariffs on shoes and apparel made in China. India does not offer support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting. Toyota to sell Chinese partner’s electric vehicle in China to pave way for introducing own models next year. Itochu pulling out of Turkish nuclear power plant project due to surge in safety-related costs. General Motors reaches last minute deal with labor union and South Korean government to save Korean operations. State-owned Korea National Oil Corporation looking to sell Canadian Harvest oil field to repay debts incurred by its Canadian subsidiary. Opponent of incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister vows to reconsider Chinese contracts if elected. KWAP may consider stake in IAG if Prudential cannot met Malaysian central bank mandate that foreign insurers reduce ownership stakes to 70 percent.

MNCs in the News-2018-04-20

China to roll out new negative lists for free-trade zones (FTZs) and other parts of the country during the first half of 2018. Foreign and publicly-listed on foreign exchanges Chinese firms move to accommodate Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s desire for greater say. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) touts that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grew while Chinese outward FDI in irrational areas has collapsed. Chinese investors pour money into American bio-tech firms for a variety of financial, political, and social policy reasons. Indonesia to rely on loans from Japanese government and public-private partnership schemes to fund USD $4.5 billion railway project. Honda experiencing complications with its CR-V recall plan in China as sales continue to drop. Seoul offers to give American carmaker General Motors USD $470 million to continue its Korean operations as bankruptcy looms. Multinational companies operating in South Korea increasingly under government scrutiny for malpractice. AIIB very interested in financing Malaysian infrastructure projects following a meeting between the AIIB President and Malaysia’s Prime Minister. Japan’s Nichirei Corp acquires 40 percent stake in Malaysia’s state-owned Cold Chain Network which facilitates the latter’s effort to address government development objectives.

Executive Director Jean-Marc F. Blanchard to speak at UNIDO New Silk Road Economic Belt event on April 18, 2018

On April 18, 2018, Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations (Wong MNC Center), will speak at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conference on "Fostering Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) in the New Silk Road Economic Belt: Leveraging potentials of Industrial parks, Zones, and Cities." Dr.

MNCs in the News-2018-03-23

US companies dilute proposed legislation that might have dampened their exports to/sales in China of technology. 2018 China Enterprise Cross-Border M&A Special Report shows decline in both the number and volume of Chinese merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2017. China’s crackdown on CEFC Energy throws into uncertainty a proposed mega investment in Russia’s Rosneft. Japanese may loosen regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Japanese broadcasters. Toshiba chip sale deal awaits regulatory approval from China. South Korea company wins multi-billion bridge building contract in Turkey. South Korea and Russian companies lay foundation for cooperation in building transportation and other infrastructure for Korean peninsula and elsewhere. Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry to sue American mining company Freeport McMoRan for massive environmental damages. Indonesian official embark on road show to bring more private FDI into the country’s underfunded infrastructure projects. Thai government alarms by announcing intention to change the country’s Foreign Business Act. Malaysia finalizes deal bringing USD $7 billion of Saudi FDI into the Pengerang Integrated Complex. UAE company will pour more than USD $1 billion to develop offshore Malaysian gas site. Vietnam’s State Audit Office slaps back taxes bill on just privatized former state-owned enterprises (SOE) Sabeco. Vietnam aims to divest major portion of PetroVietnam Gas to garner strategic investment and massive amounts of funds.

MNCs in the News-2018-03-16

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reports small growth in inward foreign direct investment (FDI), albeit with significant growth in high-tech inward FDI (IFDI). United States (US) President Donald Trump likely to impose USD $60 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods to punish Beijing for forcing American companies to transfer technology. China's financing for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) energy projects slows significantly in 2017. Chinese report that BRI projects are delivering living standard and work improvements to locals. Panasonic starts mass production of hybrid car batteries in China as Beijing's push for electric vehicles is expected to boost demand. JFTC raids Amazon's Japanese headquarters over suspicions that online retailing giant violated anti-trust regulations. Two Korean builders win order for a USD $740 million smart hospital project in Singapore. Kumho workers stage strike in protest of foreign ownership as Qingdao Doublestar acquires struggling South Korean tire company. Jokowi states that survey reveals that Indonesia ranks second when it comes to the world's attractive countries for investors. China has stated its intent to help fund and build what could become Indonesia's longest bridge. Honeywell repeats commitment to bring investment to and cooperate with Thailand given its plans fit the government's Thailand 4.0 vision. Mercedes-Benz and Thai JV partner to invest $123 million to build EV batteries in Thailand. Vietnamese authorities to review large foreign investment projects in the wake of withdrawal of USD $3.2 billion refinery and petrochemical project. Binh Duong province (Vietnam) grants 15 investment certificates for foreign firms investing in the region.

MNCs in the News-2018-02-23

China to use mechanism of internationalization including inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in mixed ownership reform to enhance ability of state-owned enterprises. For 2018, Guizhou aims for $150 billion in investment money from outside the province including small and medium-sized enterprises from foreign countries. Chinese outward FDI in January 2018 jumps over same period a year earlier. Chinese government constraints on outward FDI become even tighter. Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata receives US court approval for its bankruptcy exit plan. Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings concerned Trump's protectionist rhetoric could impede own investment plans to build US based plant. Korea Expressway Corporation signs MoU for Indian highway construction following agreement between Korean and Indian government to support USD $10 billion in Indian infrastructure. GM proposes investing USD $2.8 billion in its Korean operations, but calls for government assistance to maintain its remaining plants. Russian diversified energy holding company Inter Rao seeking to develop Indonesia's Bandar Kayangan Global Hub. Finance Minister says Indonesia to revise tax incentives to attract more investment. Thailand's government approaches Japanese robotics maker and other engineering manufacturers to build facilities along its EEC. Manila Water Company acquires 18.72 percent stake in Thailand's Eastern Water to enter Thailand's EEC. Thailand's Superblock Pcl plans to invest USD $1.76 billion to build wind farms in Vietnam in sync with Hanoi's renewables policy.

MNCs in the News-2018-02-09

Following the Mercedes-Benz Dalai Lama ad incident, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks foreign firms to follow "basic ground rules." China Banking Regulatory Commission promises steps to make it easier for foreign banks to do renminbi business in China. Google China works to win friends by searching for information about Chinese overseas investment opportunities and overseas brand successes. China's capital control have adversely impacted some Chinese investing in the technology sector in the United States. Nissan to invest USD $9.5 billion in China with JV partner Dongfeng Group as carmaker strives to exploit China's production quotas for EVs. MGM Resorts plans to set up integrated resort in Japan's Osaka Prefecture because it plans to establish tourism facilities. Hyundai finally on track to receive Chinese government subsidy for EVs after switching to Chinese battery manufacturers. Seoul Semiconductor files suit against Mouser Electronics for dispensing products that infringe upon patent held by it. Indonesia's investment board cites "frequent and abrupt changes in regulations" as major cause of foreign investor wariness when investing in Indonesia. UAE business delegation met with Indonesia's Industry Minister for preliminary talks for producing compressed natural gas in Indonesia. Thailand's parliament approves USD $45 billion EEC project to stimulate country's underdeveloped east. Nissan working with alliance partner Mitsubishi and Bangkok to produce electric cars and batteries in Thailand for export abroad. Malaysia expects more Chinese investment in real estate, manufacturing and logistics industries as Belt and Road Initiative funds find their way into the country. State run Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas are raising USD $8 billion to begin construction on planned Malaysia refinery and petrochemical complex. Edge Glass Joint Stock Company begins construction of USD $220 million Vietnam glass factory encouraged by favorable local government measures. US tax reforms causes Vietnam to worry about future foreign investment prospects.

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A Controversial Take on Chinese Neocolonialism

The long-standing debate about Chinese neocolonialism has been reborn as a result of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Chinese multinational companies (MNCs) taking over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port and leasing a huge plot of land in Colombo Port. Adding fuel to the fire, the contemporary features of China’s relations with many developing countries bears general resemblance to those of the Europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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