By Anthony Chan, Brad Gibson, Jenny Zeng, AllianceBernstein
Issues coming to a head in China’s corporate sector require its government to decide how much freedom to allow the markets and private business. The risk? That policymakers will duck the issues, leaving the economy to drift.
Let’s take a deeper dive into three notable developments that serve as a guide to the direction of China’s economy and its reform agenda.
Dongbei Special Steel (DSS)— a steelmaker majority-owned by the Liaoning provincial government— recently defaulted on a Rmb64.4m ($9.6m) interest payment on a privately placed Rmb870m bond issue. DSS is a serial offender: the company has defaulted on seven bonds, totaling Rmb4.8bn in principal. Read more
By Ronald Cheng, Bingna Guo, Sean Wu, O’Melveny & Myers
Chinese companies are by no means immune from the cyber attacks plaguing firms all over the world. More and more are suffering data breaches, which can result in the leakage of customer information, the denial of service, and the prospect of litigation. In July 2015, the national cyber-security emergency response unit received reports of some 11,800 “cyber incidents”. Xi Jinping, the president, has made cyber security an issue of national security.
Partly in response to such mounting cyber security issues, the Chinese government adopted the National Security Law on July 1, 2015. The law for the first time addressed the concept of cyber security and advocated the prevention and punishment of online crime, but did not specify particular measures or punishments. In addition, the law mandated the “national security review and oversight” of all “internet information technology products and services,” naming a pretty broad swath of industries that could be facing more government scrutiny. Read more
China’s flash PMI – released on Thursday by HSBC – marked a small, but key moment in China’s recent economic narrative. For the first time in over a year, the gauge showed expansion in the manufacturing sector with a reading of 50.4.
It follows promising October data for trade, retail sales and investment. China’s official PMI already showed expansion in the sector last month. Read more
It’s been a while since the dreaded “green shoots” phrase was last rolled out. And we can’t claim credit for it this time. Instead, it is the China economics team at Barclays, in one of their many reports looking at the weekend’s data points.
And, to be fair, there is some cause for a spot of optimism. Read more