Last week’s stories

News roundup

  • Authorities in Beijing reported 13 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday. From June 11 to 24, there were 269 confirmed cases in the city. Among the patients is a food delivery driver who delivered an average of 50 meals a day in the initial period of the new outbreak.
  • Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained in China since December 2018, have been officially charged with spying. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister described the charges as an attempt to put political pressure on Ottawa over the trial of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.
  • The first ever online Canton Fair concluded after attracting nearly 26,000 firms and 1.8 million exhibited products over the 10-day “cloud convention”. Amid complaints over limited opportunities for buyers and sellers to interact, organisers of the biannual gathering cancelled a press conference during which they were expected to publish details on transactions at the fair, which has always been deemed an important barometer of China’s foreign trade.
  • China launched the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on Tuesday, marking the completion of the country's orbital navigation network. The BDS system now consists of 35 operational satellites. It is considered a rival to the US-built GPS.
  • A 23% rise in share price this year sent the value of Kweichow Moutai to over Rmb1.8 trillion ($259 billion) as of Wednesday. The maker of China’s best-known alcohol brand has surpassed state banking heavyweight ICBC as the most valuable A-share firm.
  • Tencent’s shares also closed on a record high of HK$497.4 in Hong Kong on Tuesday, following a 48% rebound over the past three months. The internet firm is now worth $613 billion, the seventh highest in the world.
  • Huang Guangyu, founder of electric appliance retailer Gome, has been released from jail on parole. The 51 year-old has served 12 years for bribery and insider trading. A month before Huang’s release, Hong Kong-listed Gome lined up strategic investment from e-commerce firms and Pinduoduo.
  • $4 billion Bond defaults by Chinese issuers in the dollar market year-to-date, exceeding the total for the whole of 2019, Bloomberg reports. That marks a divergence from the onshore market, where the value of defaults fell 31% to Rmb38 billion ($5.4 billion) in the same period.
  • 23% The proportion of the 2,448 Australians polled by Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank, who said they trusted China to act responsibly in the world, a dramatic fall from the 52% reported two years ago. In contrast, 51% in the March survey said they trusted the US on the same issue.
  • 32 The number of firms that have filed to go public on the tech-heavy ChiNext board as of June 22, following a rule change that allows the Shenzhen stock exchange to review and accept listing applications. The shift to a registration-based system helped to lift the index tracking the board to a four-year high on Monday.
  • Rmb961 billion Potential e-commerce sales from livestreaming platforms in China in 2020, which could make up 8.7% of all online purchases, iiMedia Research predicts. That would be more than double the sales on similar platforms a year ago.

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