MNCs in the News*
July 20th, 2014
Apple defends security of iPhone location services against CCTV accusations. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Brazil yields all kinds of investment and cooperation deals between Chinese firms and the Brazilian government and Brazilian companies. Ralls wins US Court of Appeals case against President Barack Obama’s denial of its 2012 acquisition of various wind farms in Oregon. WTO dispute resolution panel rules against various aspects of US use of trade remedies against Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). International energy companies face tough questions about how they will proceed in contested South China Sea areas. Samsung battles child labor charges and suspends supplier relationships. Japanese defense firms fly to Farnborough air show in England to show their wares. Striking metalworkers in South Africa bring Japanese automobile production there to a halt. Japanese automobile firms in the American south face pressures from union organizers. Taiwanese steel firms face double whammy of new mainland China import duties on raw materials and a possible China-South Korea FTA. Myanmar banks on active interest from Japanese financial giants.
July 14th, 2014
Beijing fines American energy product and service provider subsidiary 600,000 yuan for air pollution. China’s State Administration of Taxation issues new regulation that requires greater disclosure of overseas income and activities. China reports that more than half of its foreign aid between 2010 and 2012 went to Africa. CNOOC partners with Novatek and others on Yamal LNG project. China’s First Automotive Works Group Corporation and the China-Africa Development Fund jointly fund vehicle assembly plant in South Africa. Facebook signs multi-year lease for prime office space in Beijing’s Central Business District. Foreign commentators increasingly voice concerns about the continuing attractiveness of China’s investment environment. Japan will hold a National Security Council meeting at the end of July to endorse the export of high-tech sensors to the US. Japanese and French governments and firms will cooperate on the development of Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration. Indonesia-Japan consortium declares force majeure over PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia power plant project due to significant opposition by local villagers. Chinese investment in Korea has been diversifying and shifting to non-metropolitan areas and has been boosted by Xi Jinping’s visit to South Korea.
July 5th, 2014
Chinese cotton activities in Africa have distant political roots, but grow on the basis of economic logics. Samsung Electronics still needs to resolve legal and safety labor violations at its Chinese suppliers. Chinese government provides foundation for Chinese investor consulting firms in Mozambique, but diversification has driven their expansion. Chinese government interference with Google services hits Chinese individuals and businesses, too. Messaging aps, file and photo-sharing services blocked by Beijing to limit access to information about and photos relating to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. At opening ceremony of a Japanese Mall in Phnom Penh Cambodian Prime Minister Hu Sen says he will do what it takes to attract more Japanese investment. Japanese construction joint venture pursues international arbitration route to recoup moneys it says it is owed by the Algerian government. Japanese NGO brings Chinese wartime laborers to Hanaoka copper mine to promote Japanese-Chinese friendship and understanding
June 29th, 2014
Chinese investors continue to be pushed and pulled to the US with heavy US local government support. US automotive sector investments by Chinese firms speed ahead. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology publishes guidelines showing an interest in developing China’s indigenous integrated circuit capability. Tudou loses case relating to uploaded of copyrighted CCTV material on its file sharing website. Walmart (China) arbitration suit ends in victory for world’s biggest retailer. Japan seeks to strike export deals with Chile to gain carbon emission offsets and promote infrastructure export. Despite Sino-Japanese political problems, Kawasaki sails to China to build cheaper LNG ships. Mitsubishi and its partner Siemens lose bid for Alstom (France’s) energy assets. India and Taiwan work to build their trade and investment relationship with an economic cooperation agreement. Singaporean delegation visits St. Petersburg, Russia to promote economic cooperation and investment. Hong Kong’s Big 4 Accounting Firms warn Occupy Central and other activist groups may drive away multinational corporations. Philip Morris lights up regulators to deal with violations of its intellectual property.
June 21st, 2014
Vietnam looks to diversify in the wake of tensions with China. MOFCOM reveals list of patents closely guarded by Microsoft. Foreign firms ponder opportunities that might flow from changed China policies toward steel-sector investment. Chinese firms strike investment deals in UK during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to China. May figures for FDI inflows into China fall to new lows. Chinese FDI in the US surges in first 5 months of 2014. German Chamber of Commerce survey reveals German firms remain positive about China market, but also see new challenges and opportunities. Japanese companies attend Eurosatory international defense exhibition for the first time. Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Siemens of Germany make an offer for French engineering company Alstom S.A they hope will satiate French government concerns. Korea works with Kazakhstan to expand Korean natural resource cooperation with and investment in Kazakhstan. Korean companies struggle with political instability in Iraq. Singapore and Korea cooperate on biomedical research, investment, and testing. Indonesia struggles to attract data centers.
June 14th, 2014
Guangxi Penshibao becomes first Chinese firm to sign UN Global Compact. Courting of Taizhou Fuling Plastic by local US bodies leads to Chinese plastics firm investment in US. Indian delegation expresses concerns about Indian IT firms access to the China market. Foreign legal firms find investment in China indispensable. Labor arbitration panel in Xiamen issues path breaking decision about rights of striking Chinese workers. Korean government action looks to complicate Japanese firms woes regarding wartime laborer compensation. JETRO signs first MOU with US state government to facilitate investment from Japan and investment in Japan. Korea starts anti-dumping investigation against Chinese H-Steel producers. Vienna, Australia seeks to attract Korean start-ups. National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) suspends huge Korean water project in Thailand. Indonesia government incentives get Japanese food & beverage firms fizzing about investment in Indonesia. Gap to become first US retailer in Myanmar.
June 6th, 2014
Wal-Mart labor dispute enters potentially precedent setting arbitration phase. Chinese investment in Africa inspires US and Japan to make supportive moves for their companies. Chinese Food and Drug Administration declines production permits for more than 50 infant-formula makers in move seen as a response to foreign competition. Chinese agricultural and food firms sell stakes in select units to foreign investors. American technology firms attacked as agents of US government. Japan to establish arms procurement agency as Japan firms gird themselves to battle for weapons deals. Korean construction firms partner with the Korean government to build new successes abroad. Singapore court case inspires foreign investors to pay more attention to corporate ethnics and governance. Newmont declares force majeure to escape new Indonesia taxes and mining sector regulations.
June 1st, 2014
China hard on Mister Softee’s Windows 8. China loses WTO case relating to duties on vehicles with an engine of 2.5 liters or more. Tensions between China and Japan continue to affect adversely the prospects of Japanese businesses and goods with adequate “cover up.” State Grid to seek private capital for electric vehicle distributed charging systems. Chinese government ceasing ties between foreign consultants and state-owned enterprises. European companies in China worry that the good times are past. Japanese retailing firms are expanding production and operations in Bangladesh. India’s election of Narendra Modi excites Japanese firms about new investment and business operations in India. Indonesia moves to address Chevron’s concerns in order to win a $12 billion deep water-drilling project. Taiwanese government optimistic overseas investment targets will be met. Hong Kong firms weigh tradeoffs of investing in more costly southern-China versus politically riskier areas like Thailand and Vietnam.
May 28th, 2014
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasizes that foreign companies in China receive same treatment as domestic firms. Build up to Putin’s visit to China sees China’s Great Wall announce deal for vehicle plant outside Moscow. US issues cyber-espionage charges against Chinese army officers, with alleged victims consisting mostly of foreign firms that had raised trade complaints against China. German firms go to lengths to protect information against Chinese government. Firms double their efforts to improve legal and regulatory compliance in China. Thailand’s political turmoil hits Japanese firms. Japan International Cooperation Agency moves to support Japanese firm efforts to tap into medical sector opportunities in Southeast Asia. South Korea moves to improve the investment environment in its free economic zones. US Department of Commerce imposes severe anti-dumping penalties on Taiwanese maker of non-electrical steel.
May 28th, 2014
GlaxoSmithKline bribery case turned over to Chinese prosecutors. Chinese wartime laborers and/or their descendants hopeful wartime compensation cases against Japanese firms will yield redress. Japanese firms suffer collateral damage from anti-China demonstrations in Vietnam. Anti-Chinese protests and riots in China affect more than 1,000 Taiwanese firms, potentially inflicting billions in damages. European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreements spurs Singapore’s business leaders to consider investment in Portugal and Switzerland. Indonesian ban on the export of raw materials expected to lead to major jump in nickel-processing plant investment in 2014. Vietnam and Myanmar explore ways to boost Vietnamese investment in Myanmar