China Insights Series

Turn News Into Insights

There’s a lot of buzz over China news, but significantly less understanding of the drivers behind China’s political economy. We’re here to bridge that gap.

At TCG we strive to ‘turn news into insight,’ which helps cut through the noise for rookies and experts, alike. Our team of China Watchers from across the globe weigh in on issues that impact critical business and investment decisions in the Chinese market. If we’ve piqued your interest, then don’t be shy and read on, below!

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Cut through the noise on China’s business landscape with TCG’s China Insights

China Insight Articles

Can the Three-Child Policy Fix China’s Future Labor Shortage?

Key industries such as construction and manufacturing have been pinpointed as weak links in the future Chinese economy. With an imminent aging population crisis on the horizon, Beijing has unveiled a new three-child policy that supersedes the current two-child policy. The question remains, 'can the three-child policy really fix this issue or are policymakers too little too late?'

Chinese Universities Chip In To Narrow Semiconductor Talent Gap

Semiconductor chips are at the crux of the US-China technology competition, and export controls from the ongoing trade war have impeded China’s semiconductor ambitions. Among other measures, China has been establishing integrated circuit schools, microelectronic colleges, and related programs to train qualified candidates for the semiconductor industry, all of which are backed by national domestic policy efforts. However, the efficacy of these initiatives to meaningfully contribute to China's long-term self-sufficiency efforts is yet to be proven.

The Rise of China’s Customer Service Robots

It’s no more the Great Leap Forward, but instead the “Robotic Leap Forward.” Automation at the industrial level is now expanding to the consumer level in China, and Beijing is looking to use investment in customer service robots as part of its push to market the nation as a global leader in technology and innovation.

The Fickle War Against China’s Credit Boom

Easy access to credit, a key pillar of China’s recovery, has helped lift the economy from the pits of the pandemic; however, cracks are beginning to show. Policymakers are now shifting their gaze towards systemic issues that could hinder the economy’s long-term recovery - and an unprecedented domestic credit boom is at the top of the list. Yet, as new monetary policy takes hold, many wonder if Beijing has introduced the very economic instability that it sought to avoid.

Starbucks and Luckin: Crafting a Coffee Culture in China

Both Starbucks and Luckin’s market strategies have taken China by storm. It can perhaps be most aptly said that Starbucks preferred to focus on cultural values while Luckin capitalized on societal trends. Regardless, both chains have defined their niche within the Chinese consumer lifestyle and are evidence that, so long as Chinese market strategies are culturally aware and data-driven, there is more than one road to success in the Chinese market.

Chinese Unease Over Myanmar’s Vulnerable Rare Earths Supply Chain

While China may be the world’s largest rare earths producer, it is also the world’s largest importer. As the world’s third largest rare earths producing country, Myanmar holds unintended sway over the health of China’s economy. Yet, Myanmar’s political instability has disrupted vital rare earths supply chains and introduced doubts over both the trade relationship between the two nations, and the role of rare earths in the global economy at large.

China Chips Away at Taiwan’s Semiconductor Talent Pool

The US-China trade war, combined with stringent sanctions restricting Beijing’s access to a majority of the chip market, has impaired China’s semiconductor aspirations. As a result, Chinese companies have employed various means to poach top semiconductor talent from Taiwan in order to achieve the technological self-sufficiency they seek. Experienced and skilled Taiwanese semiconductor, or integrated circuit (IC) design engineers, could be the key to Chinese chip dominance. However, it could also lead to a significant talent deficit in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

The Rise of the Renminbi: Hong Kong’s Role as an Offshore RMB Hub

A global RMB is a strategic long-term policy goal for China, and a deep offshore market is a crucial prerequisite. As a key offshore RMB hub, Hong Kong will have to embrace supportive policy and build financial market infrastructure to bolster the RMB’s internationalization. This article takes a look at the potential levers available to both Hong Kong and Mainland authorities to advance this agenda.

A Win for Foreign Businesses in China’s New Foreign Investment Law

In the halcyon days before the pandemic, when headlines were dominated by the mundane trials and tribulations of the US-China trade war, China enacted a sweeping new Foreign Investment Law as the worst of the hostilities began to die down. The regulations enshrined in this high-level law provide many of the concessions that the US and other G7 nations with investments in China had long been clamoring for, but also contain provisions to review foreign investments for national security concerns.

Time’s A-tickin’ for the TikTok Deal

As he undertakes a thorough review of Trump’s China policies, President Biden is expected to formulate a China strategy that puts American interests first and strengthens US competitiveness in the global market. While he maintains that his administration will take a different path than his predecessor, there is no doubt that heated competition is on the horizon - and TikTok may find itself at the forefront of the battle.

The Risk of China’s Stimulus Rollbacks to the Global Economy

China’s economy has made an impressive recovery since the onset of the pandemic, and the stringent health measures and targeted economic stimulus enacted by Beijing’s top leaders have been remarkably successful. However, with policymakers now beginning to phase out centrally-backed economic support, some are voicing concerns that a premature rollback could threaten an already reeling global economy.

The Long March Abroad for China’s Swelling Ranks of Global Giants

Chinese companies are increasingly looking towards foreign markets to unlock new growth opportunities abroad while diversifying away political risk at home. Haidilao and Tencent are two prominent examples of companies that have successfully entered foreign markets. While the two giants have vastly different approaches to expansion, together they have formed the golden standard by which other emerging companies seek to grow their global footprint.
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