MNCs in the News*
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.
August 2nd, 2014
China Securities Regulatory Commission to loosen limits on foreign ownership of fund management companies. Chinese investors see visa green in a New York Ferris wheel. Foreign car firms race to cut prices in the face of Chinese National Development and Reform Commission investigations of their service and parts pricing practices. Microsoft receives a hard visit from Chinese authorities investigating if it abused its market position. Suspicions about China’s motives in investigating Microsoft lead China to charge foreign anxieties do not compute. Chinese elevator company sees nothing but upside in investing in a plant in Brazil. Anti-corruption investigations disrupt Chinese overseas investment activities. Japanese government works with Japanese firms to promote an early-stage cancer test in Central Asia. Japanese firms hope new Indonesian president will end ban on the export of unprocessed nickel ore. Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport notes risks relating to defective GM Korea vehicles. Amway Korea swishes CSR campaign into high gear to celebrate 11th anniversary. US Department of Commerce proposes expanded duties on Chinese solar gear. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) fines Taiwanese branch of Chinese handset maker Xiaomi for slightly distorting sales figures.
July 26th, 2014
Chinese auto firms like Yutong speed up in Venezuela as Beijing and Caracas reaffirm their politico-economic relationship. US business delegation meets with former Chinese Senior Officials to discuss a bilateral investment treaty and other economic issues. Military exercises in Eastern China lead to poor health for commercial airlines. China State Grid investment in Italian grid network powers Chinese investment in Italy. China’s NDRC chips away at “monopoly” of Qualcomm, an American telecommunications chip manufacturer. Shanghai Husi tainted meat scandal causes a beef for foreign fast food chains and other restaurants. Shanghai Husi meat scandal spreads to Japan. South Korean government facilitates effort of Korean IT firms to partner with Japanese ones. Uber encounters regulatory operating challenges in Korea. GM Korea’s Supreme Court defeat emboldens Korean auto labor unions at Hyundai to press for equivalent wage treatment. Taiwan generic drug maker Standard Chemical turns outward in face of domestic price caps on its products. Mainland China purchasing of luxury goods in Hong Kong drops due to pro-democracy protests.
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.