MNCs in the News*
March 1st, 2015
Foreign firms and industry associations struggle to determine how to deal with Chinese regulators. Foreign information technology firms lose place on China’s official list of approved products. Despite political challenges, Google salivates over China opportunities created by massive Android user base. China’s anti-corruption campaign and other factors disrupt payback from Sino-Myanmar pipeline investments. Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo plans to release measures in March to boost inward foreign investment into Japan. Japan’s weak yen policy encourages Japanese firms to invest abroad. Japan’s railway consortium likely to win bid to build Doha subway system. Japan concludes major loan agreement with Kenya to fund expansion of Mombasa port. Korean lobbies foreign companies to invest more in Korea. Indonesian policies to promote its domestic auto sector push out GM. Vietnam’s opening of retail sector to foreign firms intensifies challenges for domestic retailers.
February 23rd, 2015
China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) makes it difficult for foreign IT firms to bank on IT sales in China. Apple Pay encounters business and regulatory obstacles to entering China. China State Administration of Taxation (CSAT) moves to tighten tax loopholes lead to calls for better regulatory predictability, transparency, and service. China’s anti-corruption drive pushes investors to consider the risks and offsetting measures. Japan to raise maximum fines for theft of domestic trade secrets. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) emphasizes its strong commitment to Indonesia’s infrastructure building plans. Complaints over wage practices and working conditions at its suppliers push Japanese Fast Retailing Co. to enhance supplier monitoring. US Transportation Department to fine Japan’s Takata Corp. US $14,000 per day until it fully complies with the former’s investigation into Takata’s defective air bags. The CEO of the Korean Research-based Pharma Industry Association (KRPIA) calls for Korea to reduce government involvement in medical pricing and reimbursement. PT Freeport Indonesia and Papua comes to agreement that will see the mining company build a smelter in Papua.
February 18th, 2015
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) hangs up anti-monopoly case against Qualcomm. American Chamber of Commerce survey of 477 firms in China reveals business concerns about numerous issues. China’s All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) charges Foxconn Technology Group with abusing its workers and Foxconn fights back. Local labor district and labor union mediation helps to settle labor severance dispute at Citizen Guangzhou factory. American and European government representatives and business associations express displeasure with cyberspace situation in China. Chinese investments in Europe soar and Chinese government calls for Greece to protect Chinese investments. ISIS’s murder of Japanese citizens leads to changes in Japanese company operating strategic and environment. The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) initiates an antitrust investigation against Qualcomm. Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs gets into gear to attract foreign investment.
February 10th, 2015
China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) encourages Chinese banks to use more domestic technology. China’s moves to fight tax avoidance by MNCs raise fears among foreign firms in China. American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing raises concern about Chinese agricultural policies. Chinese railway firm pursues railway project cancellation compensation from Mexico while Chinese agencies express hope Chinese rights will be protected. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare will slap business suspension order on Novartis. Japanese car companies suffering from US West Coast port labor strikes. World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks Korea among the lowest in terms of policy transparency. Foreign business associations in Korea lobby Korea to control labor costs and unions. Foreign companies charge Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) is biased.
January 31st, 2015
United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data shows China reigns supreme in terms of inward foreign direct investment (FDI). Despite concerns, business and reform motives drive China’s Ministry of Finance to approve Chia Tai Bright Investment Co. Ltd.’s joint venture (JV) 20 percent stake in Citic Ltd. China moves to intensify support for domestic semiconductor sector to increase information security and advance domestic innovation. Information security in the banking sector becomes a priority for the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) raising new challenges for foreign firms. China’s requirements for foreign information technology company information disclosures provoke foreign business complaints and calls for “urgent discussions.” Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) representative says blockage of VPNs part of measures China adopting to protect Internet security. China will boost the internationalization of its firms through various measures and money. China and African Union sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance China’s involvement in African infrastructure and continental integration. Japanese auto parts maker Sanden settles pricing fixing case with the US Justice Department. The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) probes 5 Japanese and German auto parts companies for price fixing. Seoul awards multiple trillion won public safety network contract to Huawei.
January 26th, 2015
HP faces worker protests at telecommunications equipment subsidiary in China. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) proposes numerous important legal changes pertaining to foreign direct investment (FDI). China to legalize Variable Interest Entities, though longer-term consequences remain unclear. China plans to vet foreign Information Technology (IT). China’s Cyberspace Administration accused of hacking Microsoft Outlook, a charge it strongly refutes. China plans to build massive hundred billion dollar high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Moscow. Sri Lanka shifts from threatening cancellation of Chinese Colombo port deal to seeking renegotiation. Japanese FDI in China plummets in 2014 due to diverse political and other factors. The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) slaps penalties on Volvo and J Commerce for false advertising. Indonesian Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel courts Japanese investors during visit to Japan. Taiwanese Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia representatives pursue closer investment relationship with Indonesia.
January 18th, 2015
China’s auto sellers seek new deal with foreign car giants. Chinese investment in Mexico continues to jump like beans despite cancellation of Chinese railway contract bid in 2014. China Telecom likely to bid on politically sensitive Mexican mobile broadband network project. Chinese firm General Nice billion dollar investment in Greenland may be viewed in an unfriendly light. Japanese firm Uniqlo under fire for buying goods from suppliers with poor working conditions. Honda Motor in Japan views US subsidiary as responsible for its own regulatory problems. Japanese apparel chain Uniqlo finds worker conditions at its suppliers are under the spotlight. Honda motors in the US to invest more in order to meet government emission requirements. Korean investment in China in 2014 expands significantly in contrast to Japanese investment. Singapore starts novel International Commercial Court. Requirement that foreigners working in Indonesia master Indonesia to earn work permit raises concerns among foreign firms
January 11th, 2015
BMW agrees to give China car dealers RMB 5.1 billion in subsidies to address dealer concerns. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) terminates 17 rare earth mineral export quotas. Li Keqiang to attend Davos Forum for the first time in six years. Shanghai Husi lashes out at Shanghai Food and Drug Administration. China promises US $250 billion in investment in Latin America over next 10 years. China Construction Bank (CCB) wins branch license from the UK Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. Honda slapped with US $70 million fine by US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Sony’s satire “The Interview” (about North Korea) proves to be a success on the Internet despite hacker threats. US FBI states there is strong evidence that North Korea was guilty of cyber attack against Sony. FDI into Korea in 2014 jumped due to free trade agreements and government policy initiatives. Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency to step up efforts to realize government inward foreign direct investment goals for 2015.
January 7th, 2015
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) expects stable inward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. Qualcomm taking steps to address National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) concerns, but still at risk of serious NDRC actions against it. Subway gets bitten over reports of doctored food expiration dates at a Beijing franchise. Chinese car dealer complaints to government force foreign auto companies to put on the brakes in sending cars to dealers. Facebook adjustments to user content raise questions about the company’s dealings with China. Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area connects with LinkedIn Corp. to attract talent. Japan and Thailand explore railway infrastructure cooperation. Foreign pharmaceutical firms in Korea are trying to get workers to swallow a bitter bill as they seek to downsize. Hyundai Motor wins approval from Chongqing and Changzhou to build two new car factories. Malaysia eases restrictions on Indonesian banks to further regional financial integration. Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment launches new national foreign investment information system.
December 27th, 2014
China’s State Council policy changes relating to renminbi (RMB) business for foreign banks raise interest. China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) pushes Qualcomm for significant business practice changes. China’s State Council calls for new rules for foreign investment free trade zones (FTZs) planned for Guangdong, Fujian, and Tianjin. China adopts new policies designed to make it easier for Chinese companies to investment overseas. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) deals in Indonesia reveal potentially massive corruption. Chinese outward investors encounter problems relating to insufficient attention to local workers and the environment. Foxxconn’s decision to shutter Chennai phone plant leads to large worker protests. Uber runs into regulatory problems in mainland China, Taiwan, and South Korea.