Online gambling /
Cover Story: How China’s e-commerce giants enable illegal online gambling
A dark corner of the cyber world benefited from increasingly convenient internet-based payment and logistics services as e-commerce soared amid the pandemic — illegal online gambling.
And the shadowy, often offshore operators of illicit gambling sites found witting or unwitting enablers in some of China’s leading tech giants, according to police who are conducting a massive crackdown on an unprecedented surge in online gambling.
Investigators found that illegal gambling sites have relied on major search engines and social media platforms that are household names to lure gamblers while using leading e-commerce platforms and delivery companies to facilitate massive fund transactions disguised as online shopping deals.
FINANCE & ECONOMICS
China signs on to the world’s biggest free-trade deal
Asia Pacific nations including China, Japan and South Korea Sunday signed the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement, encompassing nearly a third of the world’s population and gross domestic product.
Top officials from 15 nations that also include Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations inked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP — nearly a decade in the making — on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit hosted virtually by Vietnam.
A minimum of six Asean countries in addition to three non-Asean partners must ratify RCEP for it to come into force, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing told reporters following the signing. Singapore plans to approve the deal “in the next few months,” he said.
Trade pact will remove tariffs on 86% of Japan’s exports to China
Insolvent Baoshang Bank won’t pay up on $1 billion bond
Embattled Baoshang Bank Co. Ltd. has been recognized as insolvent by regulators and will not repay a 6.5 billion yuan ($983.7 million) bond or related interest.
The regional lender said it would write down the full principal of the tier-two capital bond and not pay the remaining due interest worth 585.6 million yuan, according to a Friday filing (link in Chinese) with the National Interbank Funding Center, an entity under the central bank.
The write-down was triggered by the fact that Baoshang Bank was “seriously insolvent and unable to survive,” (link in Chinese) as confirmed by regulators during the state takeover, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBRIC) said in a joint notice dated Wednesday.
China’s economic recovery stays on track, indicators show
Major economic indicators for October showed that China’s recovery remained on track, analysts said, with demand accelerating while the supply side maintained solid growth.
On the demand side, growth in consumption, investment and exports all accelerated. Retail sales rose 4.3% year-on-year in October, picking up from a pace of 3.3% growth in September, according to data (link in Chinese) from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Monday.
On the supply side, value-added industrial output, which measures production by factories, mines and utilities, grew 6.9% year-on-year (link in Chinese) in October, the same pace as the previous month. The reading beat the median forecast in a Caixin survey for a 6.5% rise and remained the highest growth rate so far this year.
AllianceBernstein applies to set up China fund firm
AllianceBernstein Hong Kong Ltd. applied to set up a mutual fund company in China, the country’s top securities regulator said on its website.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission received the application from the Hong Kong-based investment-management company Nov. 12, it said.
In August, BlackRock Financial Management Inc. became the first foreign business to receive approval from the commission when it got the go-ahead to set up a wholly owned mutual fund management company.
Quick hits /
Caixin Summit: China can avoid the ‘middle income trap,’ AIIB economist says
Caixin Summit: Closed-door diplomacy could smooth Sino-U.S. turbulence, says Lawrence Summers
Caixin Summit: China’s financial sector, yuan’s reserve status are catching up with U.S., Bridgewater founder says
BUSINESS & TECH
Qualcomm confirmed to Caixin Saturday that it has become the latest company to receive a special license from the U.S. to resume selling some products to Huawei. Photo: IC Photo
Qualcomm joins list of firms approved to sell older chips to Huawei
U.S. telecommunications chip giant Qualcomm Inc. became the latest tech company allowed to sell some products to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a move analysts said could pave the way for the embattled Chinese giant to return to the global smartphone market as soon as late next year.
Huawei has spent much of the past two years being slowly starved of the components it needs to make its leading-edge smartphones and telecom networking equipment, under a coordinated Washington-led campaign. But since first banning all U.S. companies from selling to Huawei without a special license last year, Washington has been slowly allowing such sales for non-5G technologies.
Qualcomm confirmed to Caixin Saturday that it became the latest to receive such a license to sell some products to Huawei, including some involving 4G technology that is now used in most major countries’ mobile networks.
BMW’s China venture partner may be forced to restructure
Brilliance Auto Group Holdings Co. Ltd., parent of BMW AG’s main Chinese joint-venture partner, is facing a potential restructuring requested by one of its creditors as the carmaker sinks deeper into a liquidity crisis following a 1 billion yuan ($149 million) bond default in October.
GZ Tooling Group Automobile Technology Co. Ltd. filed a restructuring request under China’s bankruptcy law Friday with a court in the northeastern city of Shenyang , saying that Brilliance Auto defaulted on debts it owed GZ Tooling and the company’s assets were not sufficient to repay them, according to a stock exchange filing (link in Chinese) by one of Brilliance Auto’s Shanghai-listed subsidiaries.
In general, a court has 15 days to decide whether it will accept such a case, according to the bankruptcy law. It’s unclear how much money Brilliance Auto owes GZ Tooling.
China’s State Grid makes a $3 billion push into Latin America
State Grid Corp. of China will pay 2.57 billion euros ($3 billion) for an electricity network company in Chile, the state-owned utility company’s first overseas deal in almost a year and a move that resumes its expansion abroad.
The Spanish natural gas and power company Naturgy Energy Group SA said it agreed to sell its 96% stake in Chilean electricity networks unit Compania General de Electricidad SA. The deal will give the Chilean assets an enterprise value of 4.3 billion euros and Naturgy a gain of 400 million euros.
Chinese energy companies have strengthened their presence in Latin America in the past few years with a wave of investments that extend to logistics, services and telecommunications companies.
Bond downgrade could signal trouble for Chinese aluminum giant
A domestic credit rating company downgraded nearly $1.5 billion of corporate bonds issued by a unit of China’s largest private aluminum smelter in a possible early sign of trouble as its parent faces a mountain of debt set to come due.
The downgrade comes after a short-term borrowing splurge by the parent company, China Hongqiao Group, left it with more than 21 billion yuan ($3.18 billion) in notes and bonds to pay off by June 2021 — 1,300% more than matured in the year to June 2020.
China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. Ltd. downgraded the ratings of two bonds issued by Hongqiao subsidiary Shandong Weiqiao Aluminum and Power Co. Ltd. from its highest rating of AAA to its second-highest, AA+, citing mounting debt pressure and coronavirus uncertainty, as well as sluggish aluminum prices and weakened demand for aluminum alloy products in the first half of the year.
Quick hits /
Evergrande feels the squeeze in key shadow financing market
Caixin Summit: Fossil fuel demand will bounce bank after pandemic, predicts IHS Markit executive
Caixin Summit: U.K.-China cooperation ‘urgent’ for Glasgow climate talks next year, David Cameron says
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