Category Archives: China Business & Economy

The Latest AmCham China Biz Survey: Perception and Reality

March 20, 2014

It’s always difficult for me to find something interesting to say about the American Chamber of Commerce’s annual China business survey. The content itself is often of marginal value, with only a couple significant trends hiding away down in the data to be ignored by the mainstream press. Speaking of which, the domestic newsies like [...]

China Dragged Away from XP Kicking and Screaming

March 10, 2014

The Chinese are none too pleased that Microsoft will be retiring XP next month, and the bitching and moaning has been fairly loud. But while it is true that in a sense, Microsoft will be leaving a large percentage of its PRC user base in the lurch, I would argue that the complaints have been [...]

Talk of a China Tobin Tax Is Good News, Isn’t It?

January 6, 2014

Lots of chatter on the Interwebs about the possibility of a cross-border capital transaction tax in China (aka Tobin Tax – you remember this from first-year Macroecon) after some verbal musings on the topic from Yi Gang, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and vice-gov of the PBOC. The Telegraph, bemoaning the effect [...]

TCM Advice for the Cold and Flu Season. Or Maybe a Judgmental Rant.

December 2, 2013

Now that we’re sliding into the cold and flu season, a quick post on medicine seems entirely warranted. I’ll start off with a personal anecdote. The other morning, I woke up with a headache. The heat has been on for only a few weeks, so my rapidly-aging body is still adjusting to the suddenly desiccated [...]

Wherefore Bribery and Corruption: Another GSK Post

August 28, 2013

A lot of folks are talking about the spectacle of expat investigators Peter Humphrey and Yu Yinzeng, who have been caught up in the GSK bribery scandal: On Tuesday, the couple appeared on China’s central broadcaster CNTV handcuffed and wearing orange prison vests, their faces blurred, admitting to “buying and selling” information in the course of various [...]

JPMorgan Chase Accused of Influence Peddling in China {eye roll}

August 20, 2013

I’m sorry, but this is the big China scandal of the week, an accusation that a big investment bank hired family members of the rich and powerful? Seriously, is this some sort of journalistic practical joke from The Onion? I report, you decide (if this is silly): [T]he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking [...]

GSK: Should Have Seen It Coming?

August 6, 2013

Until now I haven’t written anything on the corruption scandal rocking pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, partially due to other commitments but also because I didn’t really see an interesting angle. Let’s face it, this is not the first corruption story to hit the China foreign investment community, and it will not be the last. Neither is [...]

Protesting Too Much

June 9, 2013

China will continue to create fair, justified and open conditions for foreign businesses, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said in Chengdu on Thursday. Zhang made the remarks while meeting with attendees of the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, which opened on Thursday in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. (Xinhua) You see one of these stories [...]

Smithfield-Shuanghui Deal: CFIUS, Food Quality, and More

June 2, 2013

I missed quite a few good China stories during my trip to India, but this proposed takeover of Smithfield Foods by Chinese meat powerhouse Shuanghui (also trades under the oleaginous name Shineway) is probably the most important one in the cross-border biz world. This deal will be valued at $4.7 billion, making it #1 in [...]

Finally, a Worthwhile “Apple: What Have We Learned?” Article

April 5, 2013

You’ve probably read more than one story about Apple’s current troubles in China. This latest kerfuffle involves a broadside against Apple’s warranty and repair policies by local media (e.g., CCTV, People’s Daily) and at least one consumer agency. Why have I avoided it? While it’s big news for Apple, and for all you Cult of [...]

Detroit, the Next Great Chinatown?

March 21, 2013

Chinese investors snapping up cheap Detroit homes is an old story, so I’m surprised that there are still suckers out there who are throwing good money after bad: Low property prices in Detroit, United States, have lured global investors, many of them Chinese, to the city keen to join the buying spree, housing agents said. [...]

Back in Beijing

March 17, 2013

OK, time to catch up with a few admin issues, not to mention the news. As I mentioned previously, I’ve been spending the past couple weeks in Pennsylvania at corporate HQ getting up to speed on the new professional gig (FYI: I finally updated my bio with details). I’ve been enjoying such learning opportunities as: [...]

InBev-AB Acquisition of Jiangxi Brewery. Any AML Implications?

February 1, 2013

You might not have caught the news from early in the week about a possible acquisition of a Chinese brewery by beer colossus InBev-AB. I didn’t see much coverage of the deal, and to be honest, it is a fairly run-of-the-mill M&A transaction that probably means little to folks outside of the beer/beverage market. Moreover, the story [...]

In Defense of China’s Golden Week

January 17, 2013

There is a lot to dislike about China’s ginormous week-long holidays, one of which, Spring Festival/New Year, is coming up in a few weeks. The crowds are larger than you can imagine, requiring some sort of logarithmic scale of imagination to comprehend, the weird system of moving around weekend days is bizarre and uncomfortable, and [...]

Weekend Reading: New York Times Foxconn Follow-up

December 29, 2012

The New York Times has run a follow-up story to their earlier excellent coverage of Foxconn/Apple China labor problems and mitigation efforts. The article ran early in the week, but I was only able to get to it this morning because of VPN (i.e., technical) issues. The basic take away from “Signs of Changes Taking [...]

Fast Food MNCs Getting Clobbered by China Daily Today

December 20, 2012

It’s not exactly breaking news to say that multinationals/foreign companies have it tough in China. Seems like every other day I’m writing something about a new investigation, enforcement campaign, or dispute involving a foreign firm here. Some times the criticism turns out to be fair, and other times the rumors are unfounded. Occasionally there are [...]

M&A Hacking: Cyberwar’s Newest Battleground

December 11, 2012

This article first appeared in Agenda magazine. Check out the latest issue here. Getting that merger or acquisition done right is a difficult proposition. From choosing the right target to crunching the numbers, from due diligence to post-deal restructuring, there are already numerous pitfalls, and some devious cyberthieves out there just found a new way [...]

Canada (Finally) Approves CNOOC-Nexen Deal

December 8, 2012

You remember the CNOOC-Nexen deal, right? China’s State-owned CNOOC was looking for some offshore energy assets, and Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen raised its hand and said “Pick me!” Hilarity then ensued on the political front, both in the U.S. and Canada, and somewhere along the way, I’m sure some of the Chinese people [...]

Bloomberg: China Should Dive in to Those Muddy Waters

December 4, 2012

A quick recommendation here for a William Pesek column in Bloomberg about China short sellers, specifically Carson Block’s Muddy Waters. Pesek argues that instead of demonizing short sellers and throwing up road blocks to thwart their research capabilities, China should embrace these folks since they operate to uncover corruption, fraud and other irregularities that will [...]