No. 26 | 14.11.2020

Residents in news housing communities [Xinhua via SCMP]

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After Biden’s victory, Beijing reaffirms willingness for dialogue and cooperation in “healthy bilateral relationship,” but experts do not expect significant changes from Washington

Some collaboration in fighting the pandemic and climate change could be possible, but White House policies on trade war, technological competition, Taiwan and Hong Kong likely to maintain pressure on China

China strengthens Latin American partnership based on three-pillar approach of imports, investment and political solidarity

As the key export market for Chile (32%), Peru (29%), Brazil (28%), Uruguay (27%) and Argentina (10%) in 2019, China also supported Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, whose new president Arce indicated continued commitment to lithium cooperation for battery production

Chinese firms support large-scale renewable energy initiatives in Latin America through funding and affordable technology

Projects include Latin America’s largest solar park in Cauchari, Argentina, with 1.2 million solar panels generating 300 megawatts of electricity, and solar and wind plants in Cuba, Colombia and Chile (powers 130,000 homes)

Belt and Road member Greece turns towards the US, becoming a new stage for the Beijing-Washington dispute

Chinese shipping giant Cosco plans to invest US $698 million to transform Piraeus port into Europe’s largest, but US tries to counter China’s influence with investment offers, military deals and Huawei boycott

National Politics

China issued draft antitrust rules to rein in internet-based monopolies, protecting market fairness and interests of consumers

Online monopolistic practices will be outlawed, including forcing merchants to choose between platforms or providing differentiated prices based on customer information; move cost top three giants US $102 billion in market value

China tries to contain the risks of excessive leverage in financial operations of fintechs like Ant, which managed US $330 billion of micro-loans until June

According to new rules, fintechs can only manage <16 times their asset value (Ant manages 60 times); group’s microlending profits could plummet (US $1.5 to 0.6 billion), reducing their market value (US $300 to 230 billion)

Since 2015, China invested US $91 billion in new housing for 9.6 million peasants in 35,000 communities

Biggest challenges are job creation and adaptation of families to new environment, but communities have health clinics and schools, guaranteeing rural children access to healthcare and education

After 30 years of opening up, Shanghai’s Pudong district attracted 35,000 foreign enterprises from 168 countries and regions and US $95.86 of foreign capital

From January-August, foreign investment in Pudong free trade zone surpassed US $5.9 billion, up 9.2% year-on-year, playing a key role in national economy


The third China International Import Expo saw a record total of deals signed (US $72.6 billion), up 2.1% from last year

Despite the pandemic, over 2,700 businesses from 120 countries and regions participated in the five-day expo in Shanghai, with US firms holding largest exhibition area

On Singles’ Day, Chinese consumers spent a record US $74 billion on Alibaba’s sites and US $41 billion on

In the world’s largest shopping festival (1-11 November), US was top source of imported products and Alibaba alone delivered more than 2.25 billion packages

National savings rate was 46.2% in 2017, more than twice the world average, though down from 52.3% peak in 2008

Private sector made up 92.7% of 2017 savings (45.4% corporate, 47.3% household); between 2021-2025, government and household savings rates are expected to decline, while corporate savings will rise

Agriculture and Environment

Construction industry aims to have 70% of all new buildings be green certified by 2022 (from 56% in 2018) to reduce carbon emissions

Construction and demolition were responsible for 20% of China’s total emissions in 2018 (38% of global) and ten provinces have detailed plans to expand and subsidize low-energy construction

Science and Technology

Xiaomi surpassed Apple to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker by shipments in third quarter (46.2 million cellphones shipped)

Benefiting from US sanctions against its rival Huawei, Xiaomi’s shipment grew 46%, while Apple’s dropped by 7% to 41.7 million

People’s Life and Culture

Independent musicians fare better with higher earnings due to increased copyright protection and access to online audiences

According to NetEase’s report, revenue totalled US $15.2 million in 2020, with half of musicians coming from small cities and 26% are women (up from 14% in 2016)

African American writer, Langston Hughes, found racial solidarity against the white-only policies in Shanghai’s colonial areas in the 1930s

Harlem Renaissance poet and activist traveled to Haiti, Cuba and USSR before arriving in China, where he met anti-imperialist intellectuals, Lu Xun and Soong Ching-ling, and wrote the poem “Roar, China!”

Zheng Yefu, Fight (1933), woodcut [Shanghai People’s Fine Art Publishing House]