Following its first economic contraction since Mao Zedong held office, China has set precedent as the first major economy to return to growth. While the road to recovery has been riddled with bumps indicative of lopsided development, Q3 results, paired with well-targeted policy support, are painting a promising outlook for China’s development into Q4 and beyond.
Tag: China Insights Series
Navigating the Chinese market had been challenging for international luxury fashion brands even before the pandemic, but shifting consumer trends in the world’s largest luxury goods market now threatens the bottom line for major brands worldwide. To remain competitive, luxury brands must identify the challenges within the market and restructure their China strategies around the culturally-charged consumer market.
China’s rapid economic development and rising household incomes have enabled a broader consumer base to invest in a healthy lifestyle by means of vitamins and dietary supplements. While domestic brands compete via localized advertisements and low-price leadership, foreign brands still reign king in terms of luxury, quality, and prestige.
Over the last decade, Beijing has spent billions of dollars developing AI technologies to become a global leader in autonomous vehicles. If domestic tech giants can lower the marginal cost of AVs, offer a safe and secure form of autonomous transportation, and secure full-scale adoption within the world’s largest consumer market, China will revolutionize the automotive industry and earn trillions in revenues.
China’s leaders are meeting in October to finalize proposals for the country’s fourteenth Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). As tensions with the US intensify and economic growth slows, Beijing is under pressure to produce a five-year plan that delivers its “Made in China 2025” ambitions on time and is likely to turn to increased state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy as a central tenet of the upcoming five-year plan.
China built its economic engine on the back of its strong manufacturing capabilities. However, 2020 has presented unique challenges for its producers as the nation contends with global trade tensions amid the pandemic fallout. While China’s manufacturing industry still may have a bright future ahead, Beijing and manufacturers will need to navigate the pitfalls on their road to recovery.
As a global initiative unprecedented in scope, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative often gets a negative reputation. News pundits accuse Beijing of using OBOR as a means of forcing unsustainable levels of debt onto weaker partner countries to seize the precious loan collateral. In this piece, we examine OBOR projects in Kenya and Sri Lanka to determine whether Beijing is engaging in debt trap diplomacy.
US sanctions designed to limit China’s access to cutting edge semiconductor technology have challenged Beijing’s ambition for technological hegemony. Even with significant state-backed investment over the past 30 years, China’s semiconductor industry still lacks the capabilities necessary to compete in the global marketplace. The current economic and political environment poses an ultimatum for the country: innovate or fall behind.
China is leveraging its global leadership in green energy development to engage OBOR nations in overseas green growth initiatives. However, in the shadows of China’s green campaign exists a more calculated game to secure its own economic interests through the not-so-green methods of shrouded fossil fuel infrastructure investment and debt entrapment.
Oil is critical to ensuring China’s growth over the next few decades, and securing it has become a top priority for the nation. By financing multiple OBOR development projects to circumvent key oil supply chains through the Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca shipping lanes, China has chipped away at competing oversight in these regions, allowing it to secure access to resources while strengthening relationships with OBOR partner countries.
The Hong Kong national security law created a series of provisions that restrict the flow of information and suppress the civil unrest within the region. In the short term, this new law has had a profound impact on the business landscape, creating a series of winners which seek to expand their market share in the local marketplace. In the long term, it will reform the technology landscape in Hong Kong for years to come.
China is considering a new series of free trade agreements to rebalance trade objectives with its national interests. Two of the largest agreements in history, the RCEP and TPP11, may not only help China expand its economic footprint, but also act as a backdoor should old trade relationships fall apart.
AI technology dominance is playing a larger role in China’s global ambitions. Now, Beijing and tech players alike are seeking to push the industry to the next level through AI Open Source Software – a framework that greatly influences innovation, shapes market norms, and cultivates healthy competition – making it a core component of China’s long-term AI strategy.
China’s cloud computing market, while the second largest in the world, remains a fraction of the size of its US competitor. As Beijing continues to prioritize investment in this sector, China’s tech giants will continue to propel the quickly growing domestic industry outwards into the global stratosphere.
Recent weeks have highlighted an increased scrutiny from Washington towards US-listed Chinese companies. In May 2020, the US Senate passed legislation requiring foreign companies listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq to open up their books to American regulators. Faced with the reality of increasingly hostile US oversight, many US-listed Chinese companies are actively weighing the costs and benefits of migrating exchanges – and many are settling on Hong Kong.