Sinopec

Dr. Scott MacDonald's picture

China Needs to Rethink its Game

One factor that has allowed China to expand its global role has been financial diplomacy in the form of loans, business deals and other investments. However, in overlooking issues such as public discontent with dictatorships, corruption and economic mismanagement, Chinese companies have also assumed considerable risk.

MNCs in the News-2017-10-13

American businesses not uniformly in favor of Washington moving aggressively against China about the latter’s intellectual property right (IPR) violations. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approves HP-Samsung printer deal subject to conditions. China’s high-speed rail project in Thailand off track due to environmental approval issues. Sinopec to sell Argentine oil assets and incur major losses in the process. Denso Corp. announces plans for USD $1 billion EV plant in Tennessee, designed to meet changing government automobile and environmental demands. Toyota reaffirms intent to build new Auris in UK, provided the British government avoids hard Brexit deal. Chinese investment in South Korea drops due Chinese government restrictions, hitting the South Korean economy. Korean retailers to shift from China to Southeast Asia as business and political tensions between Korea and China show no signs of improvement. Indonesia needs foreign investment to develop 30 ports and airports and Jakarta is supporting great foreign investment through deregulation and other measures. Indonesian and Belgian firms sign three infrastructure development memoranda of understanding to profit from Indonesia’s attractiveness. Sumitomo forms Thai real estate market joint venture (JV) to profit from the Thai government development of the country’s infrastructure. Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly approves new Eastern Economic Corridor stimulus bill in a move to attract foreign investment. Malaysian government attracts Chinese firm to build USD $3 billion steel production plant in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Vietnam attracted over USD $25 billion in foreign direct investment in the first three quarters of this year owing to its political stability. Asian investors turning to Vietnam for expansion opportunities as domestic markets shrink and Hanoi opens key industries to investors.

MNCs in the News-2017-09-01

China announces it is working on a document to enhance the protection of foreign intellectual property rights (IPR). Likely due to Brexit, Chinese delegations flock to Ireland to explore investment opportunities. Indian government asks Chinese smartphone makers to provide info that allows for investigation of security of Indian user data. United States government probing potential bribes paid by Sinopec’s Swiss unit Addax Petroleum to Nigerian government officials. British luxury carmaker Aston Martin announces Japanese investment deal worth nearly USD $600 million as Brexit looms closer. Nissan and Renault teaming up with Dongfeng to design and introduce new electric vehicles to the Chinese market, following China’s new strict emissions rules. Disrupted parts supply due to sluggish cash flow resulting from backlash against Hyundai for Korea’s deployment of THAAD system halts Hyundai’s China production. Samsung Electronics in talks with China for a USD $7 billion expansion of its Xi’an chip plant. Indonesia to finalize numerous deregulation measures aimed at creating more competitive investment environment. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. reduces its ownership stake in Indonesian Grasberg copper and gold mine to resolve long-running dispute with Indonesia’s central government. Mobike, Ofo, and oBike are striving to win the Thai market and working with the government to build a favorable operating environment. Nazir Razak says foreign investors like Malaysia’s robust economy, but are holding off because of uncertainties linked to upcoming election. Vietnam’s leaders recently concluded state visits to Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand resulting in USD $13.45 billion of newly registered investment capital. Hanoi General Export Import JSC and Hong Kong United Investors Holding join together on bid for infrastructure project contracts from the Vietnamese government.

MNCs in the News-2017-07-14

Chinese inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in June shows slow growth year-over-year (YOY) while the first half of 2017 showed a very slight decline in inward FDI (IFDI) YOY. Twenty percent of American firms in Shanghai plan to redirect their investment elsewhere. China’s non-financial outward FDI (OFDI) over the first six months of 2017 YOY plummets due to capital controls, tight loan supervision, and overseas factors. Almost a dozen members of American Congress ask US Securities and Exchange Commission to block Chinese-led consortium from buying Chicago Stock Exchange. At a recent conference, Chinese officials tout dramatic future growth in Chinese OFDI and moneys supplied for One Belt, One Road projects. Japan External Trade Organization and India’s provincial governments increase investment cooperation for special industrial zones to meet expansion needs of Japanese firms. Toshiba still negotiating with bidders, as company strives to fulfill government demand to keep chip technology under domestic ownership. SK Group moving to aggressively increase relations with Chinese officials. China considers investment to connect Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor with Kunming's special economic zone. Malaysian financier central figure in probes related to plundered Malaysian state development fund 1Malaysian Development Bhd. Vietnamese government gradually opens its transportation and logistics sector, providing investment opportunities for foreign firms.

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-2017-02-03

Facebook’s efforts in China fail to deliver an opening. Japan’s Marubeni will build and manage one of the world’s largest mega solar power plants in the world in the United Arab Emirates. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean firms win multi-billion dollar contracts to improve and expand the capacity of Iranian oil facilities. Korean firms win main Turkish bridge building contract. South Korean firm Daewoo E&C re-signs road project in Qatar that might provide a beachhead for 2022 FIFA World Cup deals.

MNCs in the News-2016-01-22

China’s inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) falls in December 2015, though its FDI totals for 2015 show growth. The American Chamber of Commerce in China Business Climate Survey shows significant numbers of companies still favor China despite having many concerns and notable profit pressures. Guizhou concludes USD $280 million semiconductor joint venture with Qualcomm. Saudi Aramco looks to increase its investment footprint in China especially in the refinery sector. Iran and Egypt court greater Chinese investment, economic cooperation, and tourism during Xi Jinping’s Middle East tour. Egypt TEDA Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Development Company will soon begin work to expand the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone. Wanda Group to invest in USD $10 billion industrial park in northern India. US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) orders new recall of Takata air bags. South Korean environmental ministry will bring criminal case against Audi Volkswagen Korea managing director. Foreign governments challenge South Korea over the terms of legislation governing the operations of foreign law firms in Korea. Amnesty charges firms like Samsung and Sony do not do enough to ensure the minerals they use are not produced with child labor. Thailand secures pledge of reduced interest rate from China for joint Thai-Chinese medium-speed rail project. Deloitte pushes Singapore to improve its tax regime for treasury centers and headquarters to fend off competition from neighboring countries.

MNCs in the News-2015-10-16

Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into China grew 7.1 percent in September over the prior year. China’s National Development Reform Commission expects to produce first draft of antirust guidelines for the automobile sector by the end of October. China’s State Administration of Taxation moves forward with plan to deal with tax avoidance issues such as transfer pricing. Google reported activates Google Maps and Google Earth on and moves servers to the Chinese mainland. IBM to allow China to view its security codes in a clean room to assuage Chinese concerns about foreign technology. Chinese OFDI continues to show strength, especially along One Belt, One Road. Russian subnational units court Chinese investment. Dakang New Zealand pulls out of massive dairy investment in New Zealand blaming regulatory obstacles. Chinese anticorruption authorities move against Sam Pa as part of investigation of Su Shulin and Sinopec. Japan works with Iran to bolster its investment opportunities in the country. Korea’s Trade-Investment Promotion Agency holds job fair to help young Korean jobseekers land positions with foreign companies in Korea and abroad. Starbucks Coffee Korea brews up a new mix of programs to give back to the community in Korea. Korean firms score well in winning packages to build a massive oil refinery in Kuwait. Freeport favors IPO divestment method to satiate Indonesian government requirements for ownership stake reallocation.

MNCs in the News-2015-09-11

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reports that inward foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 22 percent in August year-over-year (YOY). Foreign companies express concern about China’s reform direction and stance towards foreign business. US business community hopes Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US will push forward a US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Sources report Google will develop China-mainland version of its Google Play online store that meets government requirements. China’s Ministry of Finance charges Apple with underpaying more than $65 million of taxes in 2013, which Apple has since paid. China plans to host major technology meeting in Seattle in late September around the same time as Xi’s state visit to Washington. Taiwan liberalizes rules governing investment by local chip firms on the Chinese mainland. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Guangdong branch fines Dongfeng Nissan and 17 dealers more than $22 million for price fixing. Chinese and Russian firms conclude numerous investment deals on sidelines of China’s 70th anniversary V-Day ceremonies. Pakistan leases 2000 acres of land at Gwadar Port to facilitate China’s construction of the port’s first free economic zone. Indonesia will lengthen from 2 to 10 years the time before a contract expires that mining investors can seek a contract extension. Indonesia opts to retain ban on unprocessed mineral ore exports. Vietnam Decree 60 fails to boost foreign investment.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

More about riches than reform

In late February 2014, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) announced that it would give private investors an opportunity to invest in its domestic marketing and distribution operations. Many took this as an initial, positive sign that the government truly wanted to increase the role of private investment in the economy in line with policy pronouncements made during and following the Chinese Communist Party’s November 2013 18th Congress Third Party Plenum, and to reform state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The opening of Sinopec to foreign investment seemed to be based on the view that foreign investment provided a way to increase efficiency, decrease bureaucracy, and experiment with different SOE reforms.