Former rocket factory worker and author Zhang Lijia discusses labor relations in China in an opinion piece at the South China Morning Post after a video about a dismissal of a worker caused an online uproar. “The government’s commitment to protect its workers is on the line here,” she argues.
Business analyst Shaun Rein dives deeper into the China economy as consumer confidence in first-tier cities is lower than he has seen in 27 years and the government’s economic targets focus on the next 3-5 years, he tells CNBC. The government is unwilling and unable to rely on stiff financial bazookas as it did in the previous crisis of 2008. Economic growth of 5 percent is enough for the government now, as it wants to diminish the gap between haves and have-nots, he adds.
Book reviews of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future by China veteran and Pulitzer prize winner Ian Johnson start to come in, rightfully, like this overview in Public Discourse by Robert Carle. “In Sparks, Ian Johnson tells the stories of people such as Lin Zhao and Hu Jie—Chinese journalists and filmmakers who explore the darkest episodes of Chinese communism, often at great risk to themselves.”
China’s consumers are trading down because of deflation, and are looking for cheap prices, says Shanghai-based business analyst Shaun Rein to CNBC. China’s government is unlikely to use financial support for the economy, he adds, as it finds the current growth of 5 percent quite enough, as its priority is dealing with the gap between the haves and have-nots, not at trying to increase that economic growth.
China expert Victor Shih, Director of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, discusses the current state of US-China relations with Bill Gertz of the Washington Post, covering questions like, “Is China an existential threat or a competitor?” and “Is China trying to replace the US as hegemon?” at PNYX.
China’s industrial policy towards data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing, writes Winston Ma, adjunct professor at the New York University at Europeansting.com. “The fresh approach could be a model for developing economies to follow — but the nature of AI innovation and expansion means they also risk being left behind.”
London-based China veteran Mark Schaub summarizes in his China Chit-chat newsletter the meetings his law firm had with 24 Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) from China over the last three months of 2023. They were checking out opportunities in Europe and the Middle East, partly because their offspring was not really interested in joining their China business. They would look for lessons from their European counterparts but failed because of the differences between Chinese and Europeans, and because the concept of paying for professional legal advice did not yet take root among the Chinese visitors.
Branding expert Ashley Dudarenok, author of Innovation Factory: China’s Digital Playbook For Global Brands (September 2023), discusses with Pascal Coppens what global brands can learn from China. Business models from the USA, Germany, and Japan have left their footprint in business education. Still, the innovations coming from China have been left out of this business learning process, says Dudarenok, especially regarding ways to reach consumers directly.
Fast food giant McDonald’s is expanding its footprint in China with one-third of its planned 9,000 new restaurants. China is key for McDonald’s expansion, says Shanghai-based business analyst Shaun Rein in FDIntelligence. “McDonald’s actually has a lot of potential because it’s considered cheap, quick [and] convenient,” says Shaun Rein.
Relations between China and Japan have been tense since the end of World War II, and the annual remembrance of the rape of Nanking, this year 86 years ago, marks those tensions. Author Zhang Lijia argues that nowadays both countries need better relations, she argues in the South China Morning Post. “An amicable Sino-Japanese relationship is vital for regional stability and prosperity. If the two remain hostile, it will play into the US’ hands,” she writes.