MNCs in the News*
October 15th, 2018
China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) reports that foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows grew over the first six months of 2018 versus the comparable period last year, though the growth rate was muted. Analysts believe the infiltration of Super Micro Computer server boards will lead to tighter management of supply chains and shifts in their operations and locations. Chinese merger and acquisition (M&A) activity from January to June 2018 shows large percentage drop versus the same period in 2017. At the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo pledged to promote quality infrastructure projects in Southeast Asian nations along the Mekong River. The Saudi Arabian government is prepared to invest an additional $45 billion in the existing $100 billion Softbank (Japan) Vision Fund. South Korea’s LS Cable & System wins major contract from Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Britain’s International Trade Secretary signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership in bilateral investments, trade information exchanges, and joint overseas projects.
October 9th, 2018
Regulations promulgated pursuant to China’s 2017 cybersecurity law will give Chinese police expansive authority to examine corporate information systems. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and other bodies reported that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows experienced a drop in 2017 for the first time since 2002. Apple and Amazon vehemently reject Bloomberg story that their servers were penetrated by hardware corrupted by Chinese intelligence operatives. Plans for Japan’s SoftBank to build the world’s largest solar farm in Saudi Arabia may be burning up, though the firm insists the project is moving forward. Japan’s Mitsubishi partners with various state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on USD $31 billion LNG project in western Canada. South Korea’s Hyundai Development Company (HDC), in a joint venture (JV) with India’s Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC), wins $300 million road project in India. Spurred by South Korea government policies and Indonesia incentives as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Agreement, Hyundai Motor Group plans major car manufacturing plant in Indonesia.
October 1st, 2018
China State Council meeting decides to pursue numerous measures to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) flows as well as the realization of major FDI projects. Rising United States (US)’ tariffs are driving Asian firms to leave or contemplate departing China for other places in the region. Despite pressures, China Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) official notes Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) is to be expected and Beijing will encourage firms with ‘good reputation’ and ‘strength’ to invest. Per MOFCOM the profits of Chinese companies overseas hit USD $137.8 billion in 2017, a 52 percent jump year-over-year (YOY). The Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation will invest $300 million in the $16 billion Texas high-speed rail project. Seeing shifting trade patterns due to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the US-China trade war, Japan’s Nippon Express will seek to expand its shipments on Chinese rail companies. South Korea’s Daewoo to cooperate with state-owned Korean enterprises and other firms to bid on massive nuclear power projects in the Czech Republic and Poland. South Korea and Chile look to build up their infrastructure cooperation.
September 25th, 2018
China takes a softer stance on dominating the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector at the World AI Conference in Shanghai. Summer Davos observers and participants stress the progress of the [China] Greater Bay Area in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Alibaba’s Jack Ma retreats from promise to create 1 million jobs in United States (US). Germany looks to pursue more measures, including a billion euro investment fund, to control Chinese FDI flows into the country. Japanese chemical firms boost FDI in Southeast Asia to ramp up production to fill the space flowing from reduced production of Chinese firms that cannot meet China’s environmental requirements. Building upon the foundation created by Japanese and Indian leaders, Japanese companies and investors are pouring money into India to support IT startups. South and North Korea agreed to take steps to reconnect infrastructure links and restart discontinued inter-Korean projects. South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering signed Memoranda of Understanding with Indonesian officials regarding the expansion of its industrial facilities and the construction of a hydroelectric power plant there.
September 22nd, 2018
Reacting to Apple’s statement that new tariffs on Chinese goods would affect many of its products, United States (US) President called on it to manufacture more goods in the US. 16 members of US House of Representatives send letter to Google to inquire about its plans to comply with China’s search and surveillance policies. To improve its market prospects, Japan’s Toyota will share and license hybrid technology with China’s Geely. Japan’s Mitsubishi and a subsidiary of Singapore’s state-backed investment company Temasek have formed a joint venture for massive urban development projects. In Seoul, Indonesian President Joko Widodo calls for Korean companies to partner with Indonesia in the area of advanced technology. Korea’s state-owned Korea. Korea’s state-run company Korea Gas Corp. transforms into global player in energy exploration, development, and infrastructure.
September 11th, 2018
International Monetary Fund (IMF) calls China’s investment and service trade environment “very restrictive.” US tariffs and environmental rules severely constrain Chinese firms, creating space for Japanese chemical firms. Muji pondering moving HQ from the United Kingdom (UK) due to tax and trade complications flowing from Brexit. New South Korea government penalty scheme relating to recalled vehicles following BMW’s massive recall raises trade secret loss anxieties among South Korean firms. Meeting between high-ranking Hyundai official and Indian Prime Minister Moti leads Hyundai to promise a leading role in helping develop India’s electric vehicle industry.
August 29th, 2018
China cannot rely on United States (US) business community in China to pressure Washington to temper the current trade war. Foreign companies’ desire to take full control of their securities and financial management companies in China may be impeded by the US-China trade war. US-China trade war forces foreign companies in China at the lower-end of the value added chain to consider all kinds of new strategies. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018 rises by 14.1 percent in dollar terms over the same seven month period in 2017. Nissan to deepen its China ties due to uncertainties in the US as well as in Europe relating to Brexit. Daiwa Securities will move to set up majority owned securities unit in China due to the revision of foreign ownership stake limits. South Korea to investigate foreign companies over their practices to protect customer data. South Korea Innovation begins construction of electric vehicle battery factory that will be the first JV involving a Chinese automaker and a foreign battery maker.
August 27th, 2018
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reported that inward foreign direct investment (FDI) over the first seven months of 2018 grew 5.5 percent year-over-year (YOY) with strong growth in inward FDI (IFDI) in high-tech industries. MOFCOM noted that there was major growth in IFDI from countries such as the United Kingdom (UK), South Korea, and Japan over the first seven months of 2018 YOY. Hundreds of Google employees raise concerns internally about the firm’s plans to produce a censored search engine for China. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) takes over Total’s stake in Iran’s South Pars Phase II project as Total must abandon it due to re-imposition of United States (US) sanctions. Japanese regulators investigating Apple over allegations that it unfairly pressured Yahoo Japan to slow the expansion of online games platform. Japan makes economic cooperation with the Indo-Pacific region a diplomatic priority in attempt to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. South Korea places ban on over 20,000 BMWs after more than 30 engines caught fire this year due to faulty hardware. South Korean Prime Minister calls for increased cooperation with Qatar especially in infrastructure projects.
August 27th, 2018
Shenmei Energy effort to invest in United States (US) solar power plants blacks out over opposition by Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). Expanding Chinese investment in Bangladesh generates increasing anxieties and opposition in India. Japanese minister says Donald Trump administration’s tariff plans could stall Japanese investment in State of Indiana. MUFG Bank doubles stake in Indonesia’s Bank Danamon after having gained approval from Indonesian financial authorities. Incheon Free Economic Zone facing biggest crisis since establishment in 2003 as it continues to fail to attract FDI. After various investment offers including from Korea’s Lotte Chemical, Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association urges government to include chemical industry in first 100 days plan.
August 8th, 2018
Shanghai’s release of 100 policies seems to be drawing in foreign direct investment (FDI) in advanced manufacturing and benefitting foreign firms in remanufacturing. Google reportedly will launch censored search engine in China in 6-8 months. China’s National Development and Reform Commission lightens up restrictions on overseas borrowings by Chinese companies. Negative security review leads Yantai Taihai Group to drop plan to buy Germany’s Leifeld Metal Spinning AG. Japan, US, and Australia agree to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific in an apparent move to counter China. Japan seeks to cooperate with Moscow on construction of liquefied natural gas transfer hub in Russia’s Far East to minimize supply risks. Korean government to invest USD $1.3 trillion in 10-year next-generation semiconductor project to attract global semiconductor firms to set up plants in Korea. South Korea bolstering efforts to win bid for Saudi Arabia nuclear project after losing bid for United Kingdom construction project.