MNCs in the News*
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.
August 29th, 2015
China dials up new leadership at its telecommunications giants. Tsinghua Unigroup attempts to chip away at opposition to its purchase of Micron Technology. China investors see stable investment returns on offer in the UK. China’s Yunnan province pushes infrastructure construction to support the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and other initiatives. Alibaba given 6-month extension to operate in Taiwan while Taiwan appellate body review its case. Japan strives to strengthen its medical and pharmaceutical firms. Japan and Mekong River nations adopt “Mekong Industrial Development Vision.” Japan and China competition to build high-speed railway in Indonesia reaches its final stages. Korea touts its advantages and pursues new policies in order to double inward foreign direct investment (FDI). Korea orders recalls of select Ferrari cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Volvo trucks due to various defects. Toyota puts the brakes on Prius production in Thailand due to tariff dispute. Foreign business leaders in Thailand believe Erawan Shrine bombing will not influence FDI inflows. Investors express complain about the vagueness of Vietnam’s new foreign investment guide.
August 24th, 2015
China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) revives “dead” banking sector technology rules. Chinese labor law on dispatch workers encourages firms to turn to contract manufacturing. High-tech firms turn to Hong Kong as new host destination. National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and CBRC issue guidelines designed to prod banks to support major overseas and domestic projects. China injects massive amount of capital into China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China to bolster resources for outward investment and overseas projects. Sri Lanka stresses it still welcomes Chinese investment. Korean coal-fired power plant project in Kazakhstan may be going up in smoke. Korea’s LG Group and its affiliates look to deepen their involvement in Western China on the back of good government relations and favorable Chinese government policies. Indonesia optimistic about inward FDI in manufacturing and will offer special policies to attract more. Vietnam will give private investors greater stakes in select state energy companies. Vietnam courts foreign public and private involvement in its tuna and seafood industries
August 24th, 2015
Inward FDI into China in July shows decent growth. China’s State Council works on the distribution of a draft automobile sector antitrust policy. Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment lauds contribution of foreign firms to Shanghai’s innovation. Qualcomm partnership with Semiconductor Manufacturing Industrial chips away at competitors. Tsinghua Unigroup is on the move to bolster China’s domestic telecommunication chip capabilities. Chinese outward foreign direct investment soars in first six months of the year versus the prior year. Chinese firms pour money into Germany. Mitsubishi Materials works to settle restitution cases with Chinese laborers. South Korean companies very willing to work in North Korea. Japanese and Chinese battle to win high-speed rail opportunity in Indonesia. Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) one-stop service wins new rights to permits for the oil and gas sector and minerals and coal mining sector.
August 11th, 2015
Foreign car companies launch recalls for cars imported into and produced in China. GlaxoSmithKline rehires employee who may have revealed its bribery activities in China. China public security organs will establish network security offices in leading Internet firms. Facing soaring costs at home, Chinese textile firms invest in the US to take advantage of lower production costs. Chinese firms increasingly planting agricultural investment in places like Australia. Mitsubishi Materials arrives at a settlement with conscripted Chinese workers. Japan will send high-level minister to Iran to explore investment and trade opportunities. Korean Economic Research Institute calls for government to reduce restrictions and provide better services to improve Korea’s inward FDI performance. Australian court overturns massive Adani group (India) mine, rail, and port project in Australia. Indonesia to issue new tax holiday policy. Vietnam touts growing M&A and policies to support greater foreign investment in Vietnam. Vietnam recognizes contribution of foreign firms to promoting the sale of Vietnamese goods.