HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing’s latest infrastructure bump could come with a high price tag. Officials said they will tweak financing rules to allow local authorities to step up spending. It might add up to 4 percentage points to infrastructure investment growth this year. Stimulus is being steadily dialed up, at the cost of more debt risk.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing’s threats may soon come in bigger packages. Officials are drafting a blacklist for badly behaved foreign companies. It’s the latest warning signal, as China tries to respond to U.S. blows without escalating an increasingly bitter trade dispute. That’s getting harder, and a new FedEx probe raises the stakes.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s liquor giant is raising an empty glass. Shareholders descended en masse to Kweichow Moutai’s annual general meeting. The $166 billion distiller addressed concerns about why its state-backed parent created a unit that can potentially funnel business away from the listed outfit. The candidness is welcome but not enough to avoid a governance hangover.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Huawei is taking the trade war into uncharted territory. The onslaught by President Donald Trump’s administration on one of China’s biggest companies marks a worrying turning point. Such a relentless assault on a flagship corporate giant is virtually unprecedented. That makes everything much less predictable from here.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China is exhibiting some worrying trade war restraint. A popular nationalist tabloid suggested this week that Beijing could retaliate against Washington using the country’s grip on rare-earth supplies, U.S. debt or American business on the mainland. A better question is why these weapons, some of which have been deployed in the past, sit idle. It points to a different, and more dangerous, conflict.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Washington and Beijing are pushing a tech chasm even wider. U.S. President Donald Trump has launched a fresh assault on telecom giant Huawei, as China moves to strengthen its own cybersecurity rules. It will further divide the sector and complicate trade negotiations. A costly technology cold war looks here to stay.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - An intensifying trade spat is one more headache for Foxconn’s next boss. The Taiwanese iPhone assembler reported a worse-than-expected drop in quarterly earnings on Tuesday, against a backdrop of cooling tech demand. Now it has to deal with straining U.S.-China ties too. Chairman Terry Gou has sought to diversify away from Apple’s phones, in part by scrambling up the value chain. His successor will have to climb faster.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Trade flows, not traditional economic measures, will reveal the true cost of tariffs. Washington on Friday hiked duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Both sides have intimated they can survive a blow that may only slightly dent their GDP. Shifting supply chains, though, will show the extent of longer-term losses.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump’s tariff threats are shaking the foundations of a future trade deal. The U.S. president says he will soon hike duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods. It may well be an eleventh-hour negotiating ploy. It has rattled investors anyway, just as both economies have steadied. Such bursts of frustration with Beijing are worrying: they raise questions about whether a final pact can stick.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China can scale a 2023 population peak. A new study suggests the country’s populace may top out in about four years, earlier than expected. That’s disheartening for the likes of Mattel, Lego and education companies. But it also reflects a richer, better-educated nation. That, and a workforce bolstered by employees who stay on longer, may soften the blow.