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Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Dialing In or Head in the Clouds? China’s Prospective Opening of its ICT Sector

There are many sectors in China that are closed or highly-restricted as far as foreign direct investment (FDI) is concerned. Drivers of this include political nationalism, a desire to protect domestic firms, and concerns about economic independence.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-04

Donald Trump administration contemplates using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to challenge China’s technology transfer and intellectual property right protection practices. Foreign businesses increasingly fret about the burdens to be flowing from China’s rejection of non-approved virtual private networks (VPNs) and other data controls/restrictions. China’s Ministry of Finance issues a guideline to limit risk of overseas investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Foxconn Technology Group announces major planned investment in the United States (US) to do R&D work relating to self-driving vehicles perhaps due to Trump’s efforts to bring more manufacturing to the US. Workers at Nissan’s Mississippi factory vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. considers further investment into India’s JSW Steel Ltd as a way to profit from increased steel demand potentially flowing from Indian Prime Minister Modi’s economic plans. South Korean firms struggle in the Middle East due to government indifference and rising political tensions. South Korea’s LA Cable & System signs USD $195 million contract with Qatar’s state owned utilities firm. Jakarta focuses on simplifying investment application process for foreign firms seeking investment licenses. Indonesia’s government will start taking bids in September for construction of six massive geothermal power plants. Thailand and Australia discuss revising the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement to increase investment and trade. Indian Oil Corp Ltd in talks with partners to search for cheaper location for Pacific Northwest LNG terminal after recent withdrawal of Petronas. South Korea’s Lotte signs Eco-Smart city development contract with Vietnam’s People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s Prime Minister confirms that creation of Vietnam’s first three special economic zones would enjoy special rules to attract greater investment.

MNCs in the News-2017-01-27

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sooths foreign firms over upcoming restrictions on VPN providers. Trump administration trade officials back a tougher line towards Chinese semiconductor investment and greater support for home firms. China stresses how Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US promotes manufacturing there and creates jobs. Hon Hai is considering a USD $7 billion investment in a joint flat panel project in the US with Pennsylvania a leading contender. In the wake of growing anxieties over Chinese investment, Australia moves to prepare review of strategic infrastructure. Apparently incentivized by Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other anti-trade statement, Toyota talks up $600 million investment plan. Toshiba’s troubles in the UK may force it to take on new partners and get United Kingdom (UK) government financing. Domestic and international political uncertainties seem to be driving a slowdown in inward FDI flows into Indonesia. Chinese outward FDI to Indonesia has been exploding, but it is uncertain if it will continue given uncertainties there plus anti-Chinese sentiments.

MNCs in the News-2015-01-30

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.