Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's blog

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Multinational Corporations and Industrial Parks, High-Tech Zones, and Special Economic Zones: Hitting it out of versus zoning out in the Park

Countries around the world are aggressively constructing industrial parks (“Parks”), high-tech zones (HTZs), and special economic zones (SEZs). They hope incentives such as free or discounted land, lower taxes, and lighter regulation coupled with improved infrastructure, better trade opportunities, and high-quality administration will yield multiple benefits. These include increasing the amount of foreign capital they obtain, facilitating entry into global production chains, and upgrading their scientific capabilities.

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China’s Government Reform and Implications for Foreign Investors

At present, the eyes of the foreign business community in China understandably are fixed on United States (US) President Donald Trump’s levying of tariffs on Chinese strategic goods, China’s retaliation, and the potential for the situation to escalate. While such matters warrant attention, the business community also should be alert to China’s planned government restructuring which will reduce the total number of ministries, eliminate some ministries like the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, consolidate others such as the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), create new ministries like an international aid agency, and shift the oversight of some ministries.

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Pounding COFDI in the US in Search of a Better Playing Field in China

Since 2014, Chinese outward foreign direct investment (COFDI) in the United States (US) has grown dramatically. Of course, there were failed deals, some because of the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which vets transactions involving foreign firms for potential adverse national security implications.

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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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Chinese Auto Joint Venture Partnerships and Avoiding a Wreck through A Local Partner "Bumper"

According to an article that appeared in Caixin, a well-known Chinese business publication, in mid-September, Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd. and two other unnamed Chinese car makers potentially might set up a joint automobile plant in the United States (US) as a means of reducing investment risk. On the surface, a joint venture (JV) is a sensible strategy as multiple firms working together might, in concept, lower design uncertainties, share development and production costs and risks, and minimize the expenditures associated with branding, marketing, and distribution.

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Rethinking China’s Outward Cash Flow Crash: Politics in Command?

Not so long ago, the story of the day was about China’s inexorable path to buying up the world, with more than USD $200 billion of acquisitions in 2016 alone. Lately, however, those once focused about China’s global takeover have been dashing to explain the Chinese outward cash flow crash. The crash has involved an almost 43 percent drop in COFDI over the first six months of 2017 year-over-year (YOY).

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Kicking around Heavy Handed Policies against Chinese Outward FDI

It is widely known that not that long ago China adopted measures to limit capital outflows following several years of massive declines in its foreign currency reserves. One of these was new review processes for deals crossing certain thresholds, which were lower in situations where an overseas deal was unrelated to the investor’s “core” business. Regarding the latter, policymakers opined that numerous deals were “‘irrational and abnormal.’”

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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.

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Hasty Reaction to China’s Taste for Wafers?

There has been growing angst in the United States (US) about China’s designs in the semiconductor sector. What seems to have elevated the level of anxiety is the fact Chinese firms now are throwing around billions of dollars to acquire American and European semiconductor firms like Lattice Semiconductor (US) and Aixtron (Germany). Largely in response to Chinese moves, Barack Obama, at the end of his 2nd term, launched a study of the state of the US semiconductor sector that devoted substantial attention to China.

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China’s Capital Fright and its (Ir)Relevance for Chinese Outward FDI

Over the past year or so, China’s foreign exchange reserves have been “plummeting,” falling several hundred billion (US) dollars as a result of Chinese investors pouring massive sums of money into foreign assets such as real estate and overseas stock markets and Chinese companies undertaking record levels of outward foreign direct investment (OF

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