News roundup

  • In a phone conversation, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu expressed “strong concern” to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about China’s incursions into Japan’s territorial waters, as well as the Hong Kong situation and human right issues in Xinjiang, according to a statement by Tokyo. Wang told his counterpart that China hopes Japan, as “an independent country”, will look at China’s development in an objective and rational way instead of “being misled by some countries holding biased views”, Xinhua reported.
  • The US State Department denied on Tuesday that it was considering a joint boycott with allies of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Spokesman Ned Price had initially suggested during a press briefing on the same day that a boycott of the Olympic Games was among the possibilities for protesting against China’s alleged human rights abuses.
  • China Development Bank has pledged to offer up to Rmb300 billion ($45.9 billion) in loans for “fundamental research and original innovation” during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, ending in 2025. The special loan programme will mainly support R&D efforts to facilitate “strategic projects”, the policy bank said.
  • CMC Inc, a conglomerate affiliated with China’s biggest media-focused investment firm CMC Capital, may list its core assets in Hong Kong, Li Ruigang, head of the state-backed conglomerate told Singtao Daily in an interview. A Rmb10 billion funding round led by Alibaba, Tencent and Vanke in 2018 valued CMC Inc at about Rmb40 billion. The company’s main assets include stakes in Hong Kong’s biggest television broadcaster TVB and Pearl Studio, a joint venture with DreamWorks.
  • The China Securities Regulatory Commission announced 37 “punishments” for underwriters and bankers in a stark warning against sloppy IPO due diligence. The raft of penalties, all published on the CSRC’s website on the same day, relate to about 30 IPO deals. Most of the individuals in question will be suspended from advisory work for three months. Leading brokerages including Citic and Haitong were named and shamed, with the market watchdog requiring them to submit plans on how to rectify their due diligence lapses vis-a-vis listing candidates. More than 100 companies had withdrawn their IPO applications as of March 22, CBN, a newspaper, reported.
  • Ningbo will build a Rmb20 billion rocket launch site to meet surging demand for putting satellites into orbit. Already home to the world’s busiest port in terms of tonnage, the coastal city wants the commercial space centre to be able to launch 100 rockets a year, Zhejiang Daily reported. China has four launch sites at the moment, three in inland areas and the other in Hainan province.
  • 20% China’s contribution to the growth of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the five years through 2026, Bloomberg calculates based on the forecasts by the International Monetary Fund published on Tuesday. Global GDP is expected to rise by more than $28 trillion to $122 trillion in the period. The IMF also predicted the Chinese economy will expand by 8.4% this year, above the global average of 6%.
  • 2% Size of stake that Tencent’s major shareholder sold this week in the tech giant. South Africa’s Naspers raised $14.5 billion from selling the stake, reducing its Tencent stake to just under 29%.
  • Rmb15.41 billion ($2.3 billion) Expected net profit for Cosco Shipping Holdings in the first quarter, versus $44 million in the same period last year. The company, which controls the world’s third-largest container carrier fleet by capacity, noted that shipping rates had risen nearly 54% compared with the fourth quarter.
  • $700 million Sum raised by Shanghai-based online grocery platform Dingdong Maicai in a recent financing round led by DST Global and Coatue – 13 other investors including Tiger Global Management, General Atlantic, CMC Capital and Sequoia also joined. Looking to go public, rival platform Miss Fresh raised $495 million last July.

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