Posted inChina, European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Northeast Asia, South Asia, South Korea, World

The Daily Brief for Friday, 30 June 2017

HK-Still two systems? There has been no shortage of fascinating handover stories as Hong Kong prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of its return from British to Chinese rule on Saturday. Kent Ewing writes that the pressing story concerns Hong Kong’s constitutional “one country, two systems” principle and asks if the city’s core freedoms — of press, speech, assembly and religion — can still be guaranteed.

HK-Business the answer: The global business community should defend Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” model as it will help ensure the development of China too, says Hong Kong’s former chief secretary to Jeff Pao. “As much as it is in the interest of Hong Kong to see the success of ‘one country, two systems,’ it is in the interest of the British, the Americans and the Europeans, too,” said Anson Chan Fang On-sang in an Asia Times interview.

Korea’s debt bubble: Moon Jae-in didn’t expect a honeymoon when he moved into the presidential Blue House last month, which is good because he isn’t getting one, writes William Pesek. The new South Korean president has had to face provocations from Pyongyang, China’s angst over missile shields, Japan trying to win his favor, Donald Trump’s erratic behavior in Washington and, perhaps most seriously, a mounting domestic debt bubble.

Start-up stocks nosedive: Asia’s secondary trading boards for start-up stocks have sunk to multi-year lows, missing out on a regional rally this year, as skittish investors opt instead for more stable blue chips. Nick Westra reports that the sudden swoon in secondary trading boards raises questions about the level of depth in Asia’s capital markets and may give investors pause when considering high-growth enterprises without long financial histories.

Five handover movies: The anniversary of the transition from British colonial port to Special Administrative Region under Chinese rule has traditionally brought large-scale protests but the handover theme has also been a strong source of material for the territory’s filmmakers. Here Asia Times examines five films that neatly get into the psyche of Hong Kong.

Posted inBeijing, China, Hong Kong, Shanghai

China Digest for Friday, 30 June 2017

Equal treatment for domestic and foreign firms: Premier Li

Premier Li Keqiang said domestic and foreign companies would be given equal treatment in free-trade zones after they register, the National Business Daily reported on Friday. Li’s tour came at the end of the 11th annual Summer Davos forum on Thursday in the northeastern port city of Dalian, focusing on inclusive growth in the fourth industrial revolution, the Economic Information Daily said.

T+2 settlement for overseas investors in proposed Bond Connect

Overseas investors can use T+2 to finalize transactions in the proposed Bond Connect with Hong Kong, said two mainland government agencies and the Shanghai Clearing House, Yicai reported late on Thursday. T+2 refers to the settlement date of securities transactions, which occur on the transaction date plus two days.

Machinery giant merges with China Hi-Tech Group

China Hi-Tech Group, a central-government owned conglomerate involved in machinery, textile and real estate, has merged with China National Machinery Industry Corporation and become a wholly-owned subsidiary, the Economic Information Daily reported on Friday. The number of central-government owned enterprises has decreased to 101 amid restructuring reform.

CRRC sees contracts double in 2017

The CRRC Corporation, a Chinese publicly traded rolling stock manufacturer, said the total value of contracts it has signed for the first half of the year adds up to 67.54 billion yuan (US$9.96 billion), a rise of 111% from a year earlier, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. The biggest deal was the sale of multiple-unit trains with China Railway, valued at 16.86 billion yuan.

‘Black river’ pollution control to drive US$103 billion investment

Only 794 out of 2,100 polluted “black rivers” in 224 cities around the country have undergone remediation, the Economic Information Daily reported on Friday. Research by Citic Securities indicates that efforts to control the quality of the remaining polluted rivers will drive an investment demand of more than 700 billion yuan.

Living quality improves on service consumption

Consumers’ quality of life has improved on upgraded service consumption over the past three months, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing data from the Yili New Economy Consumption Index (NECI). NECI is a new index that aims to capture the evolving consumption habits of affluent consumers.

Mainland tourists to Hong Kong soar in nearly a decade

The annual number of mainland tourists to Hong Kong soared from 2.36 million in 1997 to 42.77 million in 2016, a more than 17 times increase, the Paper reported. Insiders said only 30% of people today traveled in groups compared to more than 90% two decades ago.

Tech companies outstrip developers in land deal

Tech firms Digital China, ZTE Corp and China Electronics Corp closed a 9.78 billion yuan deal on three parcels of land in Shenzhen Bay, Securities Daily reported on Friday. The parcels are earmarked for the development of information technology, communication equipment manufacturing and electronic information, leaving no room for real estate developers in the bid.

China Eastern launches construction of Beijing base

China Eastern Airlines has kicked off construction of its new base of operations on Thursday at a new airport in Beijing, Caixin reported. The base, estimated at a cost of 13.2 billion yuan, will cover 1.17 million square meters, and is expected to handle more than 30 million passengers per year.

Fee list to prevent excessive government charges

Residents can request a list of fees on national governmental funds and administration via the Ministry of Finance website as of June 29, Caixin reported. The list aims to prevent excessive fees in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.