Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • The US government has announced that anyone affiliated with a Communist or ‘totalitarian’ party cannot apply for US residency. Although China’s ruling Communist Party was not mentioned specifically, the ban will apply to all 92 million of its members.
  • SMIC confirmed in a filing in Hong Kong that some of its American suppliers would be required to apply for individual export licences before shipping tech equipment to the company. That could result in prolonged delivery times, the Shanghai-based foundry warned, adding that it has undertaken “preliminary exchanges” with the US government regarding the export restrictions.
  • Video platform Bilibili is set to become the latest New York-listed Chinese firm to arrange a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The company could raise up to $1.5 billion in the planned offering, Nikkei Asia has reported. Bilibili went public on the Nasdaq in March 2018 and its market value was about $15.7 billion as of this week.
  • The English Premier League (EPL) is suing PPLive Sports, a unit of Chinese retailer Suning, for skipping a $210 million broadcast payment for live matches, Caixin Weekly has reported. PPLive walked away from its contract in August amid disruption in the sports world caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The EPL has since signed a less lucrative deal for the Chinese market with Tencent.
  • Donald Trump’s administration is said to be exploring restrictions on the digital payment platforms operated by Chinese internet giants Ant Group and Tencent, Bloomberg has reported. Debate over how to impose the restrictions on the payment systems has deepened among senior officials in recent weeks, the news agency said. The final decision could disrupt Ant’s upcoming IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which is set to become the world’s biggest ever initial public offering. Ant has just obtained approvals to go public on Shanghai’s STAR Market and the Hong Kong bourse is said to be looking into its listing application.
  • Electric vehicle maker Polestar, owned by Volvo and its Chinese parent Geely, is recalling 2,200 cars due to a software glitch that caused several vehicles to stop abruptly. No accidents have been reported in connection with the problem. Geely and Volvo launched their Polestar venture in 2017. The Polestar 2 – the model in question – is their first full format EV.
  • Dairy firm Fonterra has agreed to sell its dairies in China to local partners in a bid to reduce its debt. A unit of China Youran Dairy has agreed to purchase the New Zealand brand's two main hubs for about $338 million. Separately, Fonterra has agreed to sell its 85% interest in a local farm to Beijing Sanyuan.
  • 23% The proportion of China’s total households that owned pets in 2019, versus 69% in the US, 45% in the UK, and 27% in Japan, Frost & Sullivan estimates. Last year the Chinese pet market was valued at Rmb205 billion ($30 billion), up from 2014’s Rmb71 billion. It is expected to grow annually at 17% to Rmb450 billion by 2024.
  • 3.13 million The number of transactions, worth Rmb1.1 billion ($162 million), settled with China’s new sovereign digital currency under a pilot programme since August. The emerging store of value has so far facilitated over 6,700 employments, ranging from bill payments and transport fares to government services, according to Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the country’s central bank.
  • 50 minutes and 48 seconds The time it took to sell 300,000 Musang King durians in an online sale in China, reported the South China Morning Post. Weighing about 60 tonnes in total, the durians were worth $14.7 million.
  • $5 trillion Investment required to help China reach the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060, said Wood Mackenzie. Carbon capture and storage technology will be a focus given China’s need to keep coal mining activities and jobs in key provinces for social stability, suggested the UK consultancy.

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