Posted inAT Finance, China, India, Myanmar, North Korea, Northeast Asia, South Asia, South Korea, Taiwan

The Daily Brief for Thursday, 18 May 2017

Pyongyang’s many missiles: If the United States ever seriously considered a pre-emptive strike against North Korea’s missile bases, it would have plenty of targets to choose from. Todd Crowell writes that Pyongyang now has at least a dozen nuclear or ballistic missile bases.

Trump’s spiritual tour: On his first presidential overseas trip Donald Trump will visit Riyadh, the Vatican and Jerusalem. Sami Moubayed reports that this tour, to some of the holiest places on earth, is a highly orchestrated message intended to show that under his leadership these religions can find ways to work together.

Myanmar’s drug problem: The western border conflict in Myanmar risks morphing into a volatile mix of armed resistance and criminal activity, reports David Scott Mathieson . Methamphetamine seizures in the area have mounted in recent years and it’s a situation that will further jeopardize the persecuted ethnic Rohingya minority.

iPhones from India: Apple is about to roll out its iconic iPhone with a “Made in India” tag after its original equipment manufacturer, Wistron Corp, confirmed it is making the iPhone SE from a plant in the southern city of Bangalore. Asia Times reports that Taiwan-based Wistron recently conducted a trial run at the factory and the phones manufactured during the process are expected to be in stores in a few weeks.

Blacklist to blockbuster: Only a few months ago South Korean director Bong Joon-ho was on a government blacklist, writes Jung Ha-won. Now his big-budget movie “Okja” is being talked up as a contender for the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Posted inBeijing, Chengdu, China, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin

China Digest for Thursday, 18 May 2017

US$17.4 billion in cost cuts to benefit firms: Li Keqiang

Costs will be cut for corporations by 120 billion yuan (US$17.41 billion) before the end of this year, through measures such as lowering logistical expenses, business fees, railway freight rates and annual inspection fees on freight vehicles, Yicai reported, quoting Premier Li Keqiang in a State Council meeting.

Shenzhen Century Plaza Hotel is first stock forced to delist in 2017

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange sent a delisting notice on Wednesday night to Shenzhen Century Plaza Hotel, said Xinhua. The stock was suspended from trading in late May 2015 and on the verge of recovery last year, but irregularities were found in their 2015 financial report.

Qualcomm sues Apple manufacturers over royalties

Qualcomm has sued Apple manufacturers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal Electronics for not paying royalties. Apple took legal action against Qaulcomm for unfair royalty charges in January and Qualcomm made a counterclaim last month. Apple said it wouldn’t pay royalties until the dispute was resolved.

900 firms to be promoted in New Third Board shakeup

Around 900 firms will be promoted to the innovation tier and 450 will be downgraded from that level in a shakeup of the New Third Board, reported Securities Daily on Thursday. The shakeup follows changes in May last year that saw the board divided into two tiers, the report added.

Capital to adjust social maintenance fees this year

Beijing plans to raise social maintenance fees this year, fining couples around three to 10 times their disposable income if they have more than two children.

Three cities follow Beijing’s lead on property controls

Office units cannot be changed for residential use in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen following Beijing’s strict property control policy, Caixin reported. More cities are expected to do the same, the report added.

Shanghai bans conversion of office space into homes

Conversion of office space into homes, lofts and serviced apartments will not be approved in Shanghai, Caixin reported, citing the local government.

Tangshan city gets tough on non-local homebuyers

Tangshan city in Hebei Province has tightened restrictions on property purchases from May 18, with non-locals only allowed to buy one home in Lunan, Lubei and hi-tech districts. People also must provide tax receipts for more than one year to make purchases.

First inter-regional working group to be set up

Beijing’s Tongzhou district said it will establish the country’s first inter-regional working group with Tianjin’s Wuqing district and Hebei’s Langfang city to crack down on speculation in the property market, the Paper reported.

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