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China’s Centurium Capital Gains Control of Luckin Coffee
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( Jing Yang | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
A Chinese private-equity firm has become the controlling shareholder of Luckin Coffee Inc., after buying shares that were previously held by the scandal-plagued company’s founders. A consortium led by Centurium Capital, a Beijing-based investment firm that was one of Luckin’s early financial backers, now has more than 50% voting interests in the Chinese coffee chain, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. The group recently acquired shares that had been owned by Luckin’s former chairman Charles Lu and its former chief executive officer Jenny Qian.
Persons: Charles Lu, Jenny Qian Organizations: Luckin Coffee Inc, Centurium Locations: Beijing
TOKYO—Chinese authorities approved U.S. chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s planned $35 billion purchase of Xilinx Inc., clearing the last major regulatory hurdle for one of the biggest deals in recent years in the semiconductor industry. China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement released online Thursday that it has conditionally approved the deal, which AMD and Xilinx had reached in October 2020. The two companies had already received approvals from competition authorities in major markets except China, an AMD executive told analysts in December.
Organizations: Devices Inc, Xilinx Inc, Administration, Market, AMD, Xilinx Locations: TOKYO, U.S, China
HONG KONG—China appears to have brought two recent large coronavirus outbreaks under control and has turned its focus to Beijing, where health authorities are ramping up testing and tightening containment protocols as the Chinese capital prepares for the Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics. Chinese authorities this week lifted a roughly monthlong lockdown of the central Chinese city of Xi’an, where a Delta outbreak had spread last month. The port city of Tianjin, which neighbors Beijing, declared victory over an Omicron outbreak, lifting most of the restrictions on its citizens.
Locations: HONG KONG, China, Beijing, Xi’an, Tianjin
The owner of Jeep signed a deal to acquire majority ownership of its Chinese joint venture, taking advantage of Beijing’s decision to loosen control of its auto industry amid fraying ties between China and the West. Stellantis NV—which also owns the Chrysler, Peugeot and Fiat brands—will increase its stake in a partnership with China Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. to 75% from 50%. Financial terms weren’t disclosed and the companies are still working on the details of the deal, which remains subject to the approval of the Chinese government.
Organizations: Jeep, Stellantis, Chrysler, Peugeot, Fiat, China Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Locations: China
A January stock selloff has set off alarm bells in China, with state media urging big investors to hold their nerve, and several large fund houses dipping into their own capital to help support the market. Stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen have declined in tandem with global peers recently. That has caught out investors who believed onshore markets were well set for 2022, thanks to modest valuations and a government shift toward supporting growth, after pursuing a series of corporate crackdowns.
Persons: selloff Locations: China, Shanghai, Shenzhen
BRUSSELS—The European Union hit back against China’s targeting of one of the bloc’s smallest members over its ties to Taiwan, opening a new front in the global battle over Beijing’s use of economic pressure to advance political objectives. The EU Thursday said it had taken China to the World Trade Organization over alleged trade restrictions that were imposed on Lithuania after the small Baltic country allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius under a name that suggests it is separate from China.
Organizations: The, Union, World Trade Organization Locations: BRUSSELS, Taiwan, EU, China, Lithuania, Vilnius
But he said U.S. and NATO statements that Russia's main demands were unacceptable did not leave much room for optimism. The nuanced Kremlin reaction made clear that Russia was not rejecting the U.S. and NATO responses out of hand or closing the door to diplomacy. Russia denies planning to invade Ukraine but says it wants to enforce "red lines" to protect its own security. He has warned of an unspecified "military-technical response" - something defence analysts say could relate to missile deployments - if Russia's demands are ignored. Ermakov said Moscow believed Washington was preparing to deploy short and intermediate range missiles to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Persons: Jan, Dmitry Peskov, Peskov, Sergey Pivovarov Read, Antony Blinken, Washington, Dmytro Kuleba, Kuleba, Sergei Lavrov, Lavrov, Putin, Russia's, Vladimir Ermakov, Ermakov, Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Mark Trevelyan, Timothy Heritage, Gareth Jones Organizations: Kremlin, U.S, NATO, Russian, REUTERS, Kyiv, Beijing, TASS, Thomson Locations: Moscow, Ukraine, MOSCOW, Russia, United States, Washington, Europe, Rostov, U.S, Ukrainian, Kyiv, Russian, China, Asia, Pacific, Copenhagen
BRUSSELS—The European Union has taken China to the World Trade Organization over alleged trade restrictions that were imposed on Lithuania after the small Baltic country allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius under a name that suggests it is separate from China. EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on Thursday said his office had requested a consultation at the WTO with China over what the EU sees as discriminatory trade practices, the first stage of an official proceeding. The EU handles foreign trade on behalf of its 27 members.
Persons: Valdis Dombrovskis Organizations: The European, World Trade Organization, EU, WTO Locations: BRUSSELS, China, Lithuania, Taiwan, Vilnius
HONG KONG — At the end of David Fincher’s 1999 dystopian movie “Fight Club,” the narrator watches as skyscrapers explode and collapse, a symbol of the film’s anarchic message. Everyone gets a happy ending in China!,” Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, said on Twitter. “Fight Club,” in one form or another, appears to be a favorite among Chinese audiences. Tencent Video and the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet censor, did not respond to requests for comment. With the Chinese streaming market being a largely unexplored territory, studios tend to appease the authorities’ wishes, he added.
Persons: David Fincher’s, Edward Norton’s, Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt, , Chuck Palahniuk, Kenny Ng, , Nicholas Cage, ” Ng Organizations: Fight, Twitter, , Cyberspace Administration, Communist Party, Hong, Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film Locations: HONG KONG, Beijing, China, Weibo, Hong Kong
Tesla Is a Proven Automaker, an Unproven Tech Giant
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( Stephen Wilmot | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
With help from China, Tesla has turned itself into an unusually profitable car maker. Whether that makes it a tech company worthy of a near-trillion-dollar valuation is less clear. As it has scaled up production in its Shanghai factory over the past two years, the electric-vehicle pioneer has accumulated enough profit to make up for all the losses in its previous history. Late Wednesday it reported a 14.7% operating margin for the fourth quarter in an industry where single-digit margins are considered normal.
Persons: Tesla Locations: China, Shanghai
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Thursday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea in its sixth round of weapons launches this month, South Korea’s military said. North Korea has upped its testing activity recently in an apparent effort to pressure the Biden administration amid long-stalled nuclear talks. Some experts say North Korea could dramatically escalate weapons demonstrations after the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 4 in China, the North’s main ally and economic lifeline. The North has been ramping up its testing activity since last fall, demonstrating various missiles and delivery systems apparently designed to overwhelm missile defense systems in the region. Thursday’s launch came two days after South Korea’s military detected the North flight-testing two suspected cruise missiles at an unspecified inland area.
Persons: didn’t, Biden, Kim Jong, Donald Trump, Kim, Thursday’s Organizations: Korea’s, Chiefs, Staff, NBC, U.S, Washington Locations: SEOUL, South Korea, North Korea, South, Korea, American, United States, China, Russia, Seoul, Washington
Witnesses started poking some holes in the government’s case against Gang Chen, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor accused of hiding his ties to China, soon after his arrest in January 2021, interviews and a review of related documents show, a year before prosecutors decided last week to drop criminal charges against him. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Chen said he believed law-enforcement officials had miscalculated in bringing his case and some similar ones, in part because they are unfamiliar with how scientists work.
Persons: Gang Chen, Chen Organizations: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Locations: China
WTO Arbiter Sides With China in Tariff Fight With U.S.
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( Yuka Hayashi | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
WASHINGTON—The World Trade Organization on Wednesday authorized China to impose retaliatory tariffs worth $645 million on imports from the U.S. in a decade-old dispute over Chinese subsidies to promote exports of products such as solar panels and steel pipes. The ruling was made by a WTO arbitration panel in a case dating back to 2012. China had complained about the tariffs the U.S. had imposed between 2008 and 2012 on solar panels and other products that the U.S. said were produced with unfair subsidies to state-owned companies.
Persons: WASHINGTON Organizations: World Trade Organization Locations: China, U.S
SHANGHAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - China's financial regulators have met with the country's major bad loan companies to study how such asset management companies (AMCs) can participate in developers' asset disposals, the China Securities Journal reported on Thursday. China is encouraging state companies to acquire projects from cash-strapped developers to help ease severe liquidity stress on the sector that could threaten financial and social stability. Bad loans companies have rich experience in disposing of soured assets, as well as project mergers and acquisitions, and their participation can help dissolve risks in China's struggling property sector, the state-owned newspaper said. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterThe article did not name the regulators or the companies that were summoned by them. China has four big AMCs - Cinda, Huarong, China Orient and Great Wall - that were originally set up to dispose of non-performing loans from major state banks.
Persons: Samuel Shen, Brenda Goh, Lincoln Organizations: SHANGHAI, China Securities, China Orient, China Evergrande, HK, Thomson Locations: China, Huarong
China launches 3-year anti-money laundering campaign
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
SHANGHAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - China has launched a three-year campaign to fight money laundering in a bid to safeguard national security and social stability, according to a government statement. The campaign, which started this year and will last until the end of 2024, is led by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the Ministry of Public Security, according to a statement on the central government website. "The situation of combating money laundering remains severe," the statement said. China will "resolutely curb the spread of money laundering and related crimes," it added. The announcement of the campaign, which involves 11 Chinese government bodies, comes as China on Wednesday published revised rules designed to strengthen financial firms' anti-money laundering ability.
Persons: Samuel Shen, Brenda Goh, Gerry Doyle Organizations: SHANGHAI, People's Bank of China, Ministry of Public Security, Thomson Locations: China
The economic costs of China's zero-Covid policy are increasingly expected to outweigh its benefits, according to U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley. In January, the U.S. investment bank cut its forecast for China's first quarter GDP — lowering estimates to 4.5% growth year-on-year, from its previous prediction of 4.9%. Wang said the bank favors A-shares over MSCI China for 2022. The bank expects the CSI 300 index to reach 5,250 by year-end and the MSCI China index to reach 95 in the same period. The MSCI China index, which foreign investors often use as a benchmark, is hovering at about 82 — lower by 1.3% year-to-date.
Persons: Morgan Stanley, Laura Wang, Emily Tan, Wang Organizations: CSI Locations: Beijing, China, U.S, Shanghai, Shenzhen
The Evergrande Group headquarters building in Shenzhen is pictured on January 11, 2022 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China. China Evergrande Group shares slumped on Thursday after the developer's thinly detailed roadmap for restructuring left investors dissatisfied and its indebted peers also fell on concerns higher interest rates would raise financing costs. Regulatory curbs on borrowing have driven China's property sector into crisis, highlighted by Evergrande, the world's most indebted property firm. The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index shed 3.2% by noon, compared to 2.6% decline the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The Fed said on Wednesday it is likely to hike interest rates in March and reaffirmed plans to end its bond purchases.
Persons: Evergrande, Alvin Cheung Organizations: Group, China Evergrande Group, HK, Mainland Properties, Fed, U.S, Prudential Locations: Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China, China
Some even argue China's economy could even emerge stronger than ever if it keeps Omicron at bay. China had 4.7 million registered nurses at the end of 2020, or 3.35 per 1,000 people, official data showed. Experts in China and overseas have also cast doubt on the hope that Omicron represents the final stage of the pandemic. Hong Kong's "zero-COVID" approach has put the Chinese-controlled city out of step with other global finance centres and is battering its economy. Still, China's economy has remained resilient, with GDP growth at 8.1% last year, far exceeding expectations.
Persons: Thomas Peter, Liang Wannian, Kristalina Georgieva, Jaya Dantas, Wu Zunyou, epidemiologist, Raina MacIntyre, lockdowns, MacIntyre, David Stanway, Lincoln Organizations: REUTERS, National Health Commission, International Monetary Fund, Curtin School, Population Health, United, Omicron, Disease Control, Beijing, Global Times, University of New, Kirby Institute, Reuters, Thomson Locations: Beijing, China, SHANGHAI, Perth, Australia, United States, Britain, University of New South Wales, Europe
Red Cross ambulance paramedics wear protective suits as a protection from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Main Press Centre ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China January 27, 2022. The district, which has reported more local virus cases than other districts in the current outbreak in Beijing, had already locked down some residential compounds, impacting tens of thousands of people. Twenty-three new cases of COVID-19 were detected among Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games-related personnel on Jan. 26, including eight found amongst those already in the organisers' closed-loop bubble, organisers said on Thursday. Nationwide, China reported a total of 25 domestically spread cases with confirmed symptoms for Jan. 26. As of Jan. 26, mainland China had reported 105,811 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local ones and those among international travellers.
Persons: Fabrizio Bensch BEIJING, Jan, Roxanne Liu, Gabriel Crossley, Himani Sarkar, Michael Perry Organizations: Main Press, REUTERS, Winter Olympics, Beijing's, Reuters.com Register Beijing, National Health Commission, Winter, Nationwide, Thomson Locations: Beijing, China, Beijing's Fengtai, Shanghai
Shadow play troupe members hold puppets made for a Winter Olympics-themed show, behind a screen at the Longzaitian, or Dragon in the Sky, shadow puppet theatre in Beijing, China December 12, 2021. The Dragon in the Sky shadow puppet troupe is hoping its Olympic-themed shows will draw more people to its small theatre on the outskirts of Beijing, which employs around 40 puppeteers, all of whom are little people. Since shadow puppets are two-dimensional, it was challenging to show skating in pairs, said Li Hui, another puppeteer. Though personally more interested in badminton and table tennis than winter sports, Chai is hoping the troupe's Olympic-themed shows will revive interest in the traditional art form. Undeterred, Chai still dreams of becoming one of the rare national shadow puppet masters, though he has only been in the profession for a few years.
Persons: Tingshu Wang BEIJING, Jan, Chai Yanji, Chai, Prince, Snow, twirled, Li Hui, Li, Xiaoyu Yin, Dominique Patton, Karishma Singh Organizations: REUTERS, Games, Chai, Thomson Locations: Beijing, China
China to 'perfect' legal rules against unfair competition
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
A man stands at a crossroads in Lujiazui financial district in Pudong, Shanghai, on the day of the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Aly SongBEIJING, Jan 27 (Reuters) - China will pick up the pace in "perfecting" legal rules against unfair competition among companies, an official of the top market watchdog said on Thursday. Appropriate "traffic lights" will be set up, with anti-trust rules focusing on areas such as the platform economy, technological innovation, information security and livelihoods, Yuan Xilu, a regulatory official, told reporters. The disorderly expansion of online platform companies exploiting their advantages in capital, data and technology has squeezed individual businesses, added Pu Chun, vice minister of the watchdog, the State Administration for Market Regulation. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterReporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence FernandezOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Aly Song BEIJING, Jan, Yuan Xilu, Pu Chun, Ryan Woo, Clarence Fernandez Organizations: National People's Congress, REUTERS, Administration, Market, Thomson Locations: Pudong, Shanghai, China
Analysts said this would pit Samsung, which has around 20% of the global smartphone market, against low-cost Chinese smartphone rivals like Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo in markets outside China. "We expect strong fundamental demand centering around servers, and solid mobile demand from expansion of 5G models," said Han Jin-man, Executive VP of memory chip business. For non-memory chips, Samsung said supply was expected to remain tight due to increased take-up of 5G-capable devices, demand for high performance computing, increased outsourcing from chip design and manufacturing firms, and continued inventory demand. Still, analysts said the profits were lower than the market had expected due to conservative shipments of memory chips, R&D costs and one-off year-end bonuses. Samsung said it came in below its initial guidance for memory chip shipments after deciding not to push aggressively to expand sales, signalling a push to prioritise profits over volume.
Persons: Steve Marcus, Samsung, Kim Sung, koo, Kim, Han Jin, Sung, Ben Suh, 1,202.8400, Joyce Lee, Heekyong Yang, Richard Pullin Organizations: Samsung Galaxy, Las Vegas Convention, REUTERS, Samsung Electronics Co, Analysts, Samsung, South, Cape Investment & Securities, Revenue, Thomson Locations: Las Vegas , Nevada, U.S, SEOUL, KS, Vivo, China
U.S.'s Blinken holds talks with China's Wang on Ukraine risks
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks about Russia and Ukraine during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 26, 2022. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERSJan 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about Ukraine on Wednesday, highlighting global security and the economic risks that could stem from further Russian aggression, the State Department said. "Secretary Blinken ... conveyed that de-escalation and diplomacy are the responsible way forward," department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. Global security and the economic risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine figured in the talks, the department added. The United States and its NATO allies reject that but say they are ready to discuss other topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures.
Persons: Antony Blinken, Brendan Smialowski, Wang Yi, Blinken, Ned Price, Akriti Sharma, Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel Organizations: State Department, REUTERS, Foreign, Global, United, NATO, Thomson Locations: Russia, Ukraine, Washington , U.S, United States, Europe, Moscow, Soviet, Bengaluru
Senior Chinese diplomat calls for calm in Ukraine
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
BEIJING, Jan 27 (Reuters) - China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday that all parties involved in the Ukraine issue should remain calm and refrain from actions that stir tension and hype up the crisis, as he held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Russia has demanded that NATO pull back troops and weapons from eastern Europe and bar its neighbour Ukraine, a former Soviet state, from ever joining. Washington and its NATO allies reject that position, but say they are ready to discuss topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures. read moreOne country's security cannot be at the expense of the security of other countries, and regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding military blocs, Wang told Blinken by telephone. read moreRegister now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterReporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence FernandezOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Jan, Wang Yi, Antony Blinken, Wang, Ryan Woo, Clarence Fernandez Organizations: China's, U.S, NATO, Washington, Thomson Locations: BEIJING, Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Soviet
China, West rush tsunami relief supplies to tsunami-hit Tonga
  + stars: | 2022-01-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
A navy vessel carrying drinking water and food will arrive from Fiji on Thursday, while two military aircraft will also deliver 33 tonnes of emergency supplies including drinking water, food, tents, and walkie talkies, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said at a briefing late on Wednesday. The Chinese navy will ship bulky items such as portable cabins, tractors, generators and water pumps to Tonga in coming days, it added. Beijing claimed it was the first to supply drinking water and food supplies to Tonga on January 19, although this could not be independently verified by Reuters. The Australian and New Zealand naval vessels have also arrived in Tonga, and Canberra promised an A$3 million ($2.12 million) in humanitarian funding to Tonga. The Tongan government has said the entire population have been impacted by the ash and the tsunami.
Persons: Robert Whitmore, Jan, Zhao Lijian, Sampson, Kyle Raines, Praveen Menon, Michael Perry Organizations: Australian Department Of Defence, REUTERS, Reuters, The United States, Pacific Command, British Royal Navy, New, Canberra, Tongan, Thomson Locations: Adelaide, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga, REUTERS WELLINGTON, Beijing, Fiji, France, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, China, South, United States
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