No. 12 | 08.08.2020

Movie theaters reopen across China [World of Chinese]


Trump orders Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok to be bought by a US company, and says the US government deserves to be paid for the deal

With 80 million US users and valued at US $50 billion, conservative think tank analyst calls Trump’s proposal a “mafia business model” that would set a dangerous precedent

As China faces unprecedented attacks by the White House, academics and activists launch a global “No to the Cold War” campaign

“New Cold War” is a serious threat to humanity and the economy already feels its effects, as Chinese investments in the US fell to US $200 million in first quarter, one-tenth of last year’s

Beijing and Moscow strengthen “financial alliance” to reduce dollar dependency and create defensive measures against US sanctions

In the first quarter, only 46% of China-Russia bilateral trade was in dollars while 24% was in roubles/yuans, both historical records; in 2015, 90% of transactions were in USD

China-Africa cooperation focuses on developing the African healthcare system and infrastructure

Since cooperation began in 1963, strengthened in 2006 and 2016 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summits, China has deployed 20,000 personnel to 50 countries, treating over 200 million patients and training 3,000 medical professionals in Africa

US EXIM Bank to lend US $4.7 billion to build natural gas project in Mozambique, a sign the country could be resuming investments in Africa

China remains the largest lender on the continent (US $147 billion since 2000); Africa’s 2019 bilateral trade with China (US $208.7 billion) greatly exceed the US’s (US $56.9 billion)

Science and Technology

China is home to the world’s four largest unicorns (startups worth over US $1 billion) and competes with the US to be global leader

China has 227 companies and the US 233; led by Ant Group (Alipay/finance, US $150 billion), Byte Dance (Tik Tok, US $80 billion), Didi (taxi app, US $55 billion) and Lufax (finance app, US $38 billion)

Global industrial robot production is dominated by Japanese (60%) and European (30%), but Chinese (10%) are advancing through acquisitions, governmental support and lessons from competitors

China accounts for 36% of robot installations, Japan 13% and US 10%; ABB (Swiss-Swedish) is building the world’s most advanced factory near Shanghai and Chinese Siasun already exports to 30 countries

National Politics

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election postponed for one year as city confronts COVID-19 third wave

After ten consecutive days with over 100 daily infections, the city joined eight other regions and 62 countries to postpone elections; up to 7% of eligible voters in China mainland would have been unable to return to vote

China’s five-year military reform reduced growth rate of military expenditure (US $179 billion) and now is investing in university-educated recruits

Military personnel cut by ⅔ since 1970s to 2 million; to meet talent demand, tuition reimbursement and higher entry ranking offered to attract non-military university graduates


Caixin Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reached 52.8 in July, the highest since February 2011, indicating an economic growth trend

Rising domestic and export demands contributed to the fifth consecutive month of expansion (above 50 points), but small business PMI fell to 48.6 and contraction could increase unemployment

Due to its pandemic control and economic planning, China on track to play a key role in global economic recovery and outperform the US sooner than anticipated

With domestic consumption expected to grow to US $6 trillion by 2030, more than US and EU combined, China aims to be telecommunications, robotics and clean energy leader

Gold hits historical high and surpasses the US $2,000 mark, while dollar slides to two-year low (DXY 92.8550) and yuan reaches five-month high

While domestic economic crisis and Washington’s unilateralism have weakened dollar and increased demand for gold, China’s positive economic performance and government measures bolster yuan

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Integrating traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in agriculture — using herbs and animal by-products — could provide alternative to intensively-used and damaging agrochemicals

“99-zhibao” fertilizer tripled the yield of 8,000 hectares of crops in 24 regions last year and ⅓ of the 3.8 million agricultural businesses already integrated TCM into production

COFCO announces it will track the origin of 100% of soybean bought in Brazil by 2023, banning sourcing from illegal deforestation areas

China’s largest food and agriculture company — which is expected to buy 7 million tons of Brazilian soy this year — aims to preserve the Amazon and Cerrado (20% of Brazilian territory and 50% of soy harvests)

People’s Life and Culture

After 180 days of closure, first week of movie box office sales (US $15.7 million) exceeded expectations, but industry recovery remains uncertain

5,103 movie theaters opened nationwide with only 8.9% attendance rate; small to medium-sized cinemas and content producers most affected from shift to online screening platforms

Ten-day music festival closes with symphony inspired by the ancient Dunhuang cave murals painted over a millennium (4th-14th centuries)

Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun wrote “Buddha Passion” during 15 visits to the Silk Road-era murals over six years; live-streamed festival drew 8 million viewers

Composer Tan Dun recovers the ancient sounds of Dunhuang caves []