Posted inBeijing, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Middle East, World

The Daily Brief for Thursday, 26 October 2017

China’s Reaganomics moment? Just two days after the US Senate paved the way for potential tax cuts, Beijing floated its own supply-side rejoinder, William Pesek writes. Finance Minister Xiao Jie spoke of plans to reduce the burden on businesses to the tune of $150 billion through a new value-added tax scheme and lower fees. Xiao didn’t highlight Trump’s tax plans, but then he didn’t have to. Chinese officialdom has been in a whirl since January, when the billionaire-turned-politician moved into the White House. If Trump cuts corporate taxes, Beijing fears it’ll lose investment to America and suffer a potential capital flight. A rush by Chinese manufacturers to invest in the US, Beijing fears, would slam the competitiveness of mainland exports. Hence China’s apparent move to match Trump’s Reaganomics moment.

Betting on Macau: Las Vegas Sands, the casino behemoth owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said on Wednesday it plans to spend US$1.1 billion on new projects in the world’s largest gambling hub, including building a London-themed attraction, Farah Master writes. Sands, which owns five properties in the Chinese territory of Macau via its subsidiary Sands China, said it would renovate and rebrand Sands Cotai Central as The Londoner Macao by 2020. Sands Cotai Central has been one of the company’s weakest properties, analysts said, due to its lack of character and tourist appeal when compared with Sands’ gondola-filled Venetian or its Parisian property, which features a replica Eiffel Tower. The timing of the Cotai renovation comes as operators in the former Portuguese colony of Macau race to finish their planned resorts before casino licenses start to expire in 2020.

US race politics: A divisive flap over whether Harvard University’s admissions policies discriminate against Asian American applicants has prompted a Chinese American civic organization to issue a statement calling for improved communication by all sides in the debate over affirmative action in US higher education, Doug Tsuruoka writes. Alluding to an ongoing 2014 lawsuit by the conservative-backed Students for Fair Admission and a separate legal complaint filed in 2015 by more 60 Asian American community groups, the Committee of 100 noted that “Asian Americans are finding themselves at the center of the affirmative action debate.”
It said in a statement: These charges of bias are serious and should be investigated. Yet, in the ongoing discussion, the Committee of 100 urges all stakeholders to engage in thoughtful and constructive dialogue, and to refrain from rhetoric and actions that would pit one racial group against another and be unnecessarily divisive or counterproductive.”

UK casino lawsuit: Professional poker player Phil Ivey has lost his UK Supreme Court challenge to recover £7.7m (US$10.2m) in winnings from London’s Crockfords Club after playing a series of punto banco baccarat games at the casino in 2012, Richard Cook writes. Ivey played at the casino, said to be London’s oldest private gambling club, with Hong Kong-born Kelly Cheung Yin-sun. Genting Casinos, which owns Crockfords, objected to the pair using a technique called edge-sorting that aims to identify tiny design differences on the backs of playing cards to work out which card would be dealt next. The American, who is a former winner of the World Series of Poker and describes himself as the “Tiger Woods of Poker,” was challenging earlier London court decisions made in favor of Genting.

China consumer culture: Mainland advertisers are learning the hard way that women are not to be trifled with, Ben Kwok writes. Insensitive ads making fun of the age or marital status of members of the country’s increasingly assertive female consumer class can result in a costly backlash. This is not just because some women may not appreciate humor, but also because they now enjoy power in the marketplace. In one case, Audi sparked an outcry when it ran an ad comparing the marriage of a young bride to buying a second-hand car. The German carmaker’s commercial, which aired in July, aimed to emphasize the quality of its officially certified used cars. It depicted the mother of a groom examining the bride’s teeth and ears, and even staring at the young woman’s breasts, much to the latter’s displeasure, to make sure she hadn’t had plastic surgery or “fake parts,” before giving a go-ahead for the wedding.

Asia Times app: Asia Times has launched an app for both iOS- and Android-based devices that delivers the publication’s regular daily news, commentary, blogs and live coverage while also bringing readers added functionality. As we report here, the app, launched on July 25, includes content notification, share and save functions and is free to download from both the Apple Store and Google Play

Posted inChina

China Digest for Thursday, 26 October 2017

Moutai-backed airport in Huaihua city set to open

The new airport in Huaihua city, which was financed by the municipal government and Kweichow Moutai Group, a famous Maotai liquor producer and seller, is set to open on October 31, reported.

McDonald’s China changes name to ‘Jin Gong Men’

McDonald’s China Co. has changed its name to “Jin Gong Men Co,” which roughly translates to “Golden Arches,” after CITIC Capital and Carlyle Group took over the franchise, Caixin has reported.

Founder of Wanxiang Group, Lu Guanqiu, dies at 72

Well-known Zhejiang businessman Lu Guanqiu, founder of Wanxiang Group, a successful Chinese multinational automotive component manufacturing company, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 72, reported.

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