MNCs in the News*
November 13th, 2015
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promises better environment for German firms in China while seeking greater contributions from them at home and abroad. China announces, albeit with caveats, it will expand negative list system from coastal to interior areas. China’s four free trade zones (FTZs) experience boom in newly registered entities. China’s National Development and Reform Commission moves to draft clearer antitrust guidelines. China promises special operation to protect Disney trademark. Google and other blocks tech firms continue to seek opportunities in China. United States Trade Representative Michael Froman emphasizes TPP’s digital rules are not just about China. China’s China National Nuclear Corp. glows about possible mega nuclear deals with Argentina. HKND plans to move forward with its massive Nicaragua canal plan next year. Takata loses its best client and faces other US penalties for its deceptive actions. Japanese government lobbies Malaysia to go with Japanese high-speed rail option. Korea lobbies foreign firms to set up in Korea as a strategic base to access other countries with whom Korea has free-trade agreements. Volkswagen’s emission data scandal does not dent German car sales in Korea, but its sales plummet. Korea’s Trade Minister promises better environment for foreign business while business representatives press Korea to work harder. Korean Fair Trade Commission investigates Siemen’s Korea healthcare division for unfair trade practices. Korea firms work to secure major expressway project in Myanmar. Indonesia touts its plan to make things better for things in its special economic zones. Indonesia and India work to build cooperation in renewable energy which should provide new investment and trade opportunities. Malaysian officials stress the flexibilities the government won in TPP negotiations and the gains to be had for Malaysian companies. Malaysia’s Prime Minister emphasizes Malaysia’s strong place as a center for Islamic finance. Kedah state government in Malaysia encourages more investment from and cooperation with Qingdao.
November 2nd, 2015
On the eve of her trip to China, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces pressure to push German business interests. Chinese and American negotiators begin another round of BIT negotiations. The City of Beijing moves to implement new rules opening the capital’s service sector to foreign investors. Tianjin orders ConocoPhillips to pay compensation to 21 fishermen who sued the firm for losses suffered as a result of the 2011 Bohai Bay oil spill. Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Germany (CHKD) survey indicates Chinese firms in Germany still optimistic. Mexico’s Jalisco state signs a deal with China Communications Construction Company that could lead to the development of a 500-hectare industrial park in Jalisco. Chinese investment in New Zealand farmland provokes backlash and a heated debate. Korea achieves its highest ever ranking in the World Bank’s business friendly countries' assessment. The World Economic Forum scores Korea poorly in terms of labor market efficiency. The Korea Electric Power Corporation lands Korea’s first big alternative energy project in the Middle East. Malaysian official encourages Malaysian firms to grasp Halal foods opportunities. Malaysia leaps ahead of Indonesia as an Islamic finance hub. Responding to business complaints, Indonesia eliminates rules requiring companies to hire 10 Indonesian workers for every foreign one. Thailand’s position as a business friendly country slips three places in latest World Bank study. Vietnam’s FDI, concentrated in the processing and manufacturing sectors, soars year-over-year. Vietnam shows major drop in World Bank’s business friendly country rankings, though change may be a result of report methodology changes.
October 25th, 2015
China announces plan to role out a Negative List in various regions over the next two years. Apple powers up its renewable energy initiatives in China. GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty tells official Chinese media that his company has put in place systems to ensure no bribes are paid to doctors. Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.K. leads to promise of massive Chinese investment in the Hinkley nuclear power plant. Alibaba reaches out to U.S. Trade Representative Office to highlight its efforts to fight the sale of counterfeit goods on its websites. Indonesia expresses confidence that realized investment for 2015 will exceed government goals. Falling investment in labor intensive sectors in Indonesian prompts investment authorities to press government to liberalize tax allowance policies. Thai firms, including medium-sized enterprises, increasingly engage in outward investment, especially in neighboring countries. Malaysian MPs call for legislation similar to Singapore’s that would allow for the government to punish companies associated with massively polluting Indonesia forest fires
October 20th, 2015
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.
October 13th, 2015
Leading car hailing services apply for legal status from Chinese authorities. The US has identified Chinese companies that it feels profited from Chinese military hack of US corporate data. Inward FDI in Korea is heavily concentrated around Seoul, though the trend is not as strong as in past years. Korea is considering imposing “Google tax” on mobile and electronic device app and content purchases. Volkswagen Korea will issue written apology for software that provided deceptive vehicle emissions data. Hansae plans to build a large plant in Haiti to jump US tariff walls. Indonesia grapples with Japan’s displeasure with its awarding of a medium-speed speed rail project to China. Malaysia expresses confidence that state-linked firms are capable of dealing with the challenges of TPP related competition. Singapore pressures retailers not to do procure from or sell the products of firms associated with massive fires in Indonesia that are polluting Singapore. Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency will take measures against Volkswagen for its scheme to circumvent environmental regulations.
October 13th, 2015
Chinese government agencies stress to foreign businesses that they will do more to create a supportive investment environment. China investigates Schindler for possible bribery. Non-governmental organization calls attention to alleged mistreatment of workers at Apple supplier. China’s Ministry of Commerce fines Bombardier and CSR Nanjing Puzhen, for creating a joint venture prior to obtaining necessary approvals. MOFCOM hits Microsoft and its Xbox game console partner Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media for minor violation of antitrust rules. Private and high-tech Chinese firms achieve a newfound high profile in the business delegation accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping on his state visit to the US. Unisplendor takes 15 percent stake in Western Digital. Indonesia leaning towards China for Jakarta-Bandung medium-speed rail, but keeps the door open for Japan. Foreign investment in Indonesia’s commodity sectors like mining stagnates. At the 13th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, Indonesia calls for Chinese investment in value added manufacturing, infrastructure, and downstream activities. The European Association for Business and Commerce says European firms still see Thailand remains an attractive destination for investment. Singapore’s state-linked infrastructure firm Sembcorp will join with Bangladesh to build a power plant. Vietnamese industrial parks prove successful in drawing in foreign investment. Vietnam becomes a leading investor in Cambodia.
September 26th, 2015
China announces plan to take its “Negative List” nationwide by 2018. Top Chinese leaders stress China’s continuing interest in attracting foreign direct investment. Analysts see Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meetings with hard-pressed American tech executives as a ploy to fend off US commercial espionage sanctions. Cisco moves to strike partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur in order to regain lost ground in China. Microsoft strikes partnerships with politically connected Chinese firms to bolster its business opportunities in China. Boeing strikes multi-billion dollar deal with Chinese firms and will build 737 completion center in China. US Chamber of Commerce executive expresses discontent with China’s new offer regarding a bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Chinese premier Li Keqiang encourages great outward investment and activity by Chinese SOEs. British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne pushes greater Chinese nuclear investment in the U.K. China and France agree to set up joint investment fund to target third countries. Korean government will probe whether Volkswagen and Audi cars sold in Korea have software that manipulates emissions data. Indonesia continues to strike investment and financial deals with China despite cancellation of high-speed rail plan. Indonesian government plans to give investors more opportunities in downstream energy sector. Foreign firms struggle with Indonesia’s ban on export of raw mineral ores. Thailand moves to address demands of Japanese SMEs.
September 19th, 2015
China and the US step up negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT). US companies face intensification of pressures to accommodate Chinese government’s information technology security anxieties. US backs off imposing sanctions against Chinese companies benefitting from commercial hacking activities. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspections, and Quarantine tells FAW-Volkswagen to do more in regards to Sagitar defect. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) registers impressive growth in first eight months of 2015 and all of 2014 with One Belt, One Road (OBOR) investment continuing to soar. Lenovo is working to ensure its server products can be purchased by US government agencies. China will help set up infrastructure to promote China-ASEAN internet connectivity and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Japan’s Kayaba Industries Co. pleads guilty to price fixing scheme and accepts large fine. Korea’s National Tax Service undertakes tax audit of Mercedes-Benz Korea. Korean government pushes foreign businesses to hire more workers, especially young workers. Indonesia is moving to implement incentives to boost foreign investment in refinery operations. Vietnam takes heed of complaints of Korean business community.
September 12th, 2015
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.
September 5th, 2015
Chinese authorities impose penalties on Pfizer for problems relating to erection of Viagra displays. Mainland government policies like the Silk Road Initiative and other factors influence Taiwanese Electric and Electronic Manufacturer’s Association new rankings of favored mainland investment destinations. China Development Bank (CDB) intensifies funding for Chinese overseas investments, deeming the “timing for acquisition is very good.” China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation breaks ground on subway car factory in Springfield (USA). US will take action against Chinese individuals and companies involved in commercial espionage. Japanese companies worth with Japanese universities and government agencies to attract talented IT students, especially from India. Indonesia inward foreign direct investment (FDI) ranked highest among all Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members in the first semester of 2015. Indonesia finally opts to cancel its high-speed rail project disappointing Chinese and Japanese bidders. Foxconn balks at building electronics factory in Indonesia due to government unwillingness to provide free land. Thailand examines boosting incentives for investing in certain sectors in its special economic zones (SEZs). Vietnam draws increasing FDI in its processing and manufacturing sectors especially from Korea. Mongolian Minister negotiating deal over Tavan Tolgoi throws cold water on idea a deal will be struck soon. APEC creates fund to support open trade and investment in mining and sustainable mining.