MNCs in the News*
October 17th, 2014
Inward FDI flows in China still under pressure. Intel chips a wider opening into China with a partnership with Tsinghua. Volkswagen and China FAW Group make it another 25 years. EU and China hang up their long running telecommunications dispute. China and Italy strike billions in deals that Italian Prime Minister calls “antipasto.” Sino-Russian investment relations continue to grow on the basis of a marriage of convenience. US executives want US President Barack Obama to prioritize a US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty. EU and Japan motor along in deal relating to application of WTO Government Procurement Agreement to three Japanese railway companies. Japan’s Marubeni Corp. to cooperate with Thailand’s national energy company to build a cutting-edge thermal power plant in Myanmar. Japan receives Southeast Asian social welfare and health care officials to tout Japanese nursing care products and businesses. German government representatives encourage Korean investment in Germany’s information and communication technology sector. Fears of government monitoring direct Koreans to foreign messaging aps. Indonesian Industry Ministry signs memorandum of understanding, mining PT Freeport Indonesia for more localization. EU concludes free trade deal with Singapore that includes investor protection clauses.
October 10th, 2014
Intel to chip in billions in two Chinese mobile chipmakers. FT analysis of Chinese anti-trust actions fails does not conclusively reveal any anti-foreign bias. Microsoft and China work to coordinate a trustworthy antitrust investigation. Let the Microsoft Xbox games begin as Xbox One launches in China. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus get connected in China. Chinese clothing contract manufacturers and end buyers tighten their belts. Long running China-European Union telecommunications dispute set to get hung up. Sino-German investment cooperation grows with billions of dollars in deals. Japanese banks set up fund in partnership with Middle East investors that will support agricultural investment and Japanese agricultural exports to the Middle East. Three Japanese mega financial institutions bank on new opportunities in Myanmar after receiving licenses. Japanese banks expand in South America to support Japanese firms investing and building infrastructure in the region. Japan moves to export its police station system to South American in order to improve the security environment for Japanese firms. Chinese investment flows into Korea raise dependency concerns. Indonesia touts attractiveness of Indonesia investment environment under President-elect Jokowi. Taiwan moves to boost overseas investment by domestic insurance companies. Taiwan Business Alliance conference in Taipei yields record amount of investment pledges by foreign firms.
September 28th, 2014
GSK swallows a bitter pill in terms of a massive fine, public apology, and promises as it tries to recover from its bribery scandal. Massive business problems following its food safety scandal lead Shanghai Husi to lay off hundreds of workers. Microsoft CEO offers soothing words during his visit to China. Opportunities in China for express delivery companies like UPS and FedEx seem to be speeding up. China’s open route to new pilot economic zones in Guangdong while limiting the use of “negative lists.” Ford goes into overdrive to promote CSR in China. Private Chinese firms close the outward investment gap with Chinese state-owned enterprises. China-Argentine cooperation glows with nuclear investment cooperation deal. China sending troops to participate in U.N. peacekeeping activities in South Sudan. Japan-China Economic Association delegation travels to Beijing, but it attempt to meet with China’s top two leaders fails. Japan to build own fighter despite US reticence. Nothing fishy about Japanese firm Mitsubishi’s plan to get into salmon business. Morocco draws in Japanese financial institutions and firms to support its domestic power generation plans. Korea draws in less Chinese investment as a result of the negative impact of China’s anti-corruption campaign. Korean companies look to Myanmar for cheaper costs, resources, and investor-friendly government policies. Political uncertainties in Taiwan dent mainland China investment flows to the island. Singaporean infrastructure plans catch the attention of investors.
September 20th, 2014
Inward foreign direct investment into China hits two-and-half year low, though service IFDI and IFDI from Korea remain bright spots for the first eight months of 2014. The fray about whether or not China’s antimonopoly investigations fairly treat foreign firms increasingly draws in foreign governments with some foreign executives backing China. Accusations emerge that Qualcomm, the subject of a major antitrust investigation, has bribed a high-level State Council official. Academics and Chinese populace voice diverse concerns about foreign investment in China. Foxconn, major Apple supplier, denies report that benzene use at its factories caused leukemia among workers. Chinese outward FDI continues to show considerable vibrancy, rising to over $65 billion in the first eight months of 2014. China pledges to invest $20 billion in Russia during first China-Russia Cooperation Council for Investment. Drivers of Chinese investment in Africa include direct invitations from the highest political levels. Recent changes in the political environment and lure of the China market seem to be inducing Japanese investors to think about pursuing increased investment in China. National Development and Reform Commission steers its attention to Toyota’s Lexus spare and replacement part pricing practices. Internet Initiative Japan Inc. seeks to provide its first data center, known for its power saving features, to the Laotian government. Iraq conflict forces declines in South Korean oil imports. Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) requires companies with a capitalization exceeding $10 billion to issue CSR reports to deal with the fallout of the Chang Guann food oil scandal. Taiwan to cooperate with France on the Internet of Things.
September 13th, 2014
Friendly China-Russia relations keep yielding new resource and other investment deals. Chinese regulators still shun Facebook, though the company continues to pursue business opportunities on the mainland and with mainland companies. Chinese outward FDI hits $108.3 billion in 2013, an annual record. China’s Ministry of Commerce relaxes outward FDI approval thresholds. China to finance construction of major logistics hub in Tanzania evidencing its support for a genuine “win-win” partnership. China’s National Development and Reform Commission fines Volkswagen’s Audi and Chrysler around US $46 million for fixing car and replacement part prices. Some firms shift regional operations and R & D centers from China to Southeast Asia to tap new opportunities and escape problems in China. U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests China’s application of its Anti-Monopoly Law may be violate the latter’s WTO commitments. Bank of England awards Industrial and Commercial Bank of China a wholesale-branch licenses which allows it to branch into new realms. European Union to remove three Japanese rail companies from Government Procurement Agreement list. Japanese electric-vehicle (EV) makers see green in Chinese government policies to support usage of EVs. Japanese companies, media organizations, and government organizations explore cooperation opportunities with Sri Lanka. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes greater cooperation between Japan and Bangladesh. The Korea Electric Power Corp brightens up over chance to participate in massive British nuclear power plant construction plan. Korean government to aid hard-pressed Korean companies to enter China market. Taiwan’s cooking-oil scandal greases the way for problems in the Philippines, the Chinese mainland, and beyond.
September 5th, 2014
China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce escalates demands on and criticisms of Microsoft. Politics and economics continue to fuel Sino-Russian energy investments and interactions. China’s plans to open its hospital sector to foreign investors lead to investment plans by foreign healthcare organizations. China’s NDRC continues to challenge accusations its antitrust probes link to a firm’s nationality. NDRC fines domestic auto insurance firms for price fixing while CCTV raises alarm about Xiaomi’s protection of user privacy rights. Mercedes accelerates efforts to secure its position in China. The Shanghai Husi Food Co. scandal’s implications continue to reverberate for McDonald’s, Yum Brands, and OSI. Ferrero China sweetly promotes healthy lifestyles in China. American non-profits call into question the labor practices of a Taiwanese supplier to American and Asian electronics firms. Indian Prime Minister Modi courts Japanese investment and loans during a visit to Tokyo while touting India’s markets and talent. Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to travel to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to promote Japanese firms and Japan’s maritime interests. At recent gathering, APEC energy ministers encourage changes in energy policy that will help promote the environment.
August 31st, 2014
IBM continues to bank on deals with China banks despite rumors of a ban. China’s State Administration of Industry and Commerce investigation of Microsoft seems focused on its bundling practices. Foreign firms continue to win IT deals with the Chinese government even in the new environment. KKR takes $400 million stake in Chinese chicken producer. Mars sweet about food safety research center in Beijing. German auto-part executive reports China ordering certain German auto part companies to find JV partners. Chinese anti-corruption investigators turn their attention to FAW-Volkswagen linked executives. Chinese government steers its antimonopoly investigation of the automobile sector in a new direction. Foreign firms in Shanghai release their CSR reports en masse to Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. Consumer pressure drives Korean government to give GM Korea a grace period to meet new safety standards for some of its vehicles. Mexican officials welcome Kia Motor’s (Korea) plan to build a major auto plant in Mexico. Uber Korea motors on with launch of ap despite Seoul municipal government opposition. Coca-Cola CSR efforts in promoting healthy among Korean youth pop up.
August 23rd, 2014
CFIUS reportedly approves Lenovo’s purchase of IBM’s x86 server unit. Chinese anti-trust authorities in Jiangsu find Mercedes-Benz abused its position to charge excessive prices. China’s General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine announces Chrysler and GM recall. CSR relating to food safety and nutrition moves up the menu of Mondelez China. Amazon takes the plunge into the Shanghai Free Trade Zone by signing MOU. Japanese auto-parts and bearing firms hit with record price-fixing fines by China’s National Development and Reform Commission. Japanese investment in Mississippi (USA) paves the way for Mississippian energy shipments to Japan and further Japanese investment in the state. Cooperation between NEC Corporation and the Mexican Space Agency leads to rocketing satellite development. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye receives Alibaba founder and chairman Ma Yun to discussed e-commerce, film, electronic games, and medical industries and how both sides can facilitate the entry of the other’s firms into their respective countries. Yuhan-Kimberly and the South Korean Social Solidarity Bank announced will donate $293,000 to launch a retail business for senior citizens. Hyundai Motors in South Korea faces intensified demands in the wake of GM Korea and Ssangyong Motors legal defeats regarding wage payments. Hong Kong’s Li & Fung profits under pressure due to anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum Economic Committee announces initiative to facilitate international regulatory cooperation on matters like global data standards.
August 17th, 2014
Kakao Talk and Line go offline over Chinese government concerns about terrorism. GSK investigators sentences to jail term. Chinese antitrust raids against foreign firms lead to new corporate practices and prove a boon to consultants. Shanghai authorities force foreign fast-food companies to release confidential supplier information. Chinese neodymium iron boron magnet producers to challenge Hitachi Metals core patents in US. Upcoming foreign IT company layoffs lead Chinese labor expert to advise generous severance compensation amounts. Venezuela awards Chinese company major contract for its largest hydroelectric plant following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Venezuela. Foreign firms and industry associations charge China is unfairly targeting them leading China’s Ministry of Commerce to deny the charges. Foreign automobile firms fall in the headlights of Chinese authorities. China grants licenses to UPS and FedEx which will allow them to expand their delivery services in China.
August 11th, 2014
Beijing seeks to draw in foreign investment to advance reform and facilitate growth. Shanghai Husi food scandal transforms McDonald’s food supplier relationships. Chinese authorities to jointly investigate Shanghai Husi parent OSI. New Zealand churns over Chinese investment in NZ farms and dairy infrastructure. More German car companies find Chinese government racing to investigate their pricing practices. Foreign security software companies face Chinese government procurement hurdles. Bite taken out of Apple, but no government ban. Chinese government cautions Microsoft and targets Microsoft’s partner Accenture. Chinese workers raise complaints about Microsoft/Nokia layoff plans. China’s loses appeal of WTO rare earths export case. Japanese auto firms fall under Chinese antitrust authority microscope for their pricing practices. Japan and Brazil work to build business to business and other economic ties. Japan-Lithuania accord paves way for resumption of stalled Hitachi Lithuania nuclear project. Japan shares nuclear expertise with Kazakhstan to gain an advantage in the competition to build a new Kazakh nuclear power plant. US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall of a large number of Hyundai cars leads Hyundai Chairman to fly to US to address the firm’s quality control practices. US anti-dumping activities lead Taiwanese firms to diversify export destination and study merits of investing in the US. Taiwanese firm financial results hit by turmoil in May in Vietnam.