Category Archives: China

Alibaba & Malaysia Forming an Interesting Partnership

Last year, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak launched an “e-hub” facility. One of their goals was to remove trade barriers for smaller locations and emerging nations. Now, Alibaba plans to set up a traffic control system that would use artificial intelligence for Kuala Lumpur. This would be their first time offering a service of this sort outside of China.

They plan to make live traffic predictions and recommendations by looking at the data they collect from video footage, traffic bureaus, public transportation systems and other locations. The technology will be integrated into 500 inner city cameras by May and Alibaba will work with the state agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Kuala Lumpur city council to implement these changes.

A similar system in the Chinese city of Hagnzhou has reported traffic violations with as much as 92% accuracy, an increase in traffic speed of 15%, and an ability for emergency personnel to reach their destinations in half the previous time.

 

 

Trump Brings Business Back from China

Courtesy of Iecs.

Several companies announced business deals worth $250 billion between the United States and China in conjunction with President Donald Trump’s recent Asia tour.

One of the more prominent deals was forged with Boeing. The aerospace giant forged a deal worth $37 billion in sales of planes to the communist behemoth. It was not made clear if this deal is part of a previous announcement from Boeing to sell hundreds of jets to yet unrevealed buyers.

General Electric was also able to forge three separate deals in China valued at a total of $3.5 billion. In addition, Qualcomm was in discussions with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo to purchase about $12 billion worth of semiconductors. Ford Motor Company will be investing $756 million in a joint venture with its Chinese partner Anhui Zotye Automobil to manufacture electric cars. This deal was already announced in August this year.
Some of the deals announced on Thursday have been in negotiations for a while, while other deals are only in the early stages, and the outcomes are far from assured.

Other deals in the works with China and US business include:

• A $83.7 billion investment by the China Energy Investment Corporation Limited in several shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia.
• Chinese state-run oil producer Sinopec has agreed to help develop Alaska’s liquefied natural gas sector. The deal, worth about $43 billion, is between Sinopec, the Bank of China and the China Investment Corp. It is estimated that about 12,000 jobs will be created during the construction of project.
• Chinese importers agreed to buy $5 billion worth of soybeans from US producers during 2018.
• Chinese e-commerce company JD.com said it will purchase $2 billion in food and agriculture products over the coming three years from the US, including $1.2 billion in Montana beef and Smithfield Foods pork.

China’s Poly Group Ready to Grow in the USA

Giant conglomerate, China Poly Group Corp, announced that it is continuing to look for trade and investment opportunities in the US, hopeful that the two countries will successfully overcome their differences over trade through talks and consultation.

The Poly Group is focused on investments in the US residential market and the cultural sector.

Chairman of the Group, Xu Niansha, said that investments in the US are an integral component of the company’s business strategy. His words were prompted by the high-profile visit of the US President Donald Trump, with a delegation of top US business executives to China.

Xu added that the president’s visit will allow the two countries to strengthen their commitment to each other and help to resolve any misunderstandings between the countries.

“China and US trade cooperation is essential for bilateral relations and hence mutually beneficial. We hope the two countries will continue on a path of cooperation considering China and the US are now each other’s major trading partner,” Xi said.

All the ‘Coffee’ in China: Starbucks Moving East

Starbucks, the giant coffee purveyor, is planning on adding an additional 12,000 stores to their existing 25,000 within the next five years. Luckily for people who like to see other stores besides those that sell coffee, not all of the additional 12,000 are going to be in Manhattan. As a matter of fact, only half are going to be built in either the US or China.

But if you really do like coffee and were even slightly worried that you might need to walk more than 30 seconds from wherever you may be to get your mandatory Caramel Brulée Latte, you can rest at ease now. As CEO Howard Schultz puts it:

“These are the early days of the growth and development of the company. If Starbucks was a 20-chapter book, I still think we’re in chapter 4 or 5.”

“Demand is there, and our ability to deploy capital and get the return on invested capital is very strong,” Starbucks President and COO Kevin Johnson said.

The fabulously successful company discussed their business plans at an investor day even in New York City last week. Schultz reassured his shareholders that:

“Our core business has never been stronger in the U.S. and around the world.”

Starbucks has its eye on the enormous potential market in China.

“Not only will China one day be bigger than the U.S., but our business in China will demonstrate that we will be one of the…most significant winners in terms of a Western consumer brand,” he said.

China Tightening Control of Cyberspace

As of November 7, 2016, a new Cybersecurity Law was proposed which will help strengthen the Chinese government’s ability to enforce existing practices, while introducing new requirements that will make it harder for companies and individuals to operate freely online.

The law will require internet companies such as instant messaging services and others to register using their real names and personal information. They will also have to censor content that the state deems “prohibited.” Forcing people to use their real names suppresses anonymity and promotes self-censorship for online communication.

Another aspect of the new law requires data localization which forces “critical information infrastructure operators” to store their data within the borders of China. One group which is opposed to the legislation, Human Rights Watch, says the law does not state a clear definition of these “infrastructure operators” and they fear many businesses could be lumped together into the definition.

“The law will effectively put China’s Internet companies, and hundreds of millions of Internet users, under greater state control,” said Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch’s China director.

Richardson of HRW also worries that now that the laws are being implemented more broadly this will lead to stricter enforcement than has been seen in the past.

Censorship is not the only issue worrying people concerned with freedom in China. Companies will be required to report “network security incidents” to the government. They will also have to let consumers know about security breaches, and must provide “technical support” to government agencies when they are investigating security breaches. But “technical support” is not well-defined, leaving room for companies to give encryption backdoors and other surveillance assistance to the government.

Even more worrisome is that the Cybersecurity Law makes criminal several types of content, including content that “encourages the overthrow of the socialist system,” “fabricating or spreading false information to disturb economic order,” or “inciting separatism or damage national unity.”

“If online speech and privacy are a bellwether of Beijing’s attitude toward peaceful criticism, everyone — including netizens in China and major international corporations — is now at risk,” said Richardson. “This law’s passage means there are no protections for users against serious charges.”