Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
The finalization of the China-EU investment agreement – after seven years of negotiations – on December 30, 2020, is a big deal, says London-based China lawyer Mark Schaub in an overview of the fallout of the deal for the China Law Insight. “Is it a Big Deal? – Yes. China is the EU’s second-largest trading partner and the EU is China’s largest trading partner. Over Euro1 billion per day of trade flows between these two giants.”
Former White House official Harry Broadman discusses the future of relations between China and its trade partners. He hopes and expects that after Joe Biden takes over from current US President Donald Trump collective action between trade partners will be higher on the agenda, he tells Bloomberg. With a strong focus on Canada.
After the Senate also the House of Representatives approved this week the bill to ban Chinese companies at US stock markets, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (The Kennedy Bill) if they do not allow inspections by the American PCAOB. But accountant expert Paul Gillis does not expect will materialize, he writes at his Chinaaccountingblog.
The massive US$34.5 billion IPO by Jack Ma’s Ant Group has been derailed by regulatory action, days before its listing, and that does not make the investors happy, says political analyst Shaun Rein at AP. The decision also might rattle Chinese entrepreneurs who were considering selling shares on their own country’s market, said Rein.
Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.
China got itself into trouble a few times when lenders who got into problems paying back debts. When China offers the same loans commercial banks can offer but without political ties, China has not so much extra to give, says strategic analyst Harry Broadman about the country’s’ international debt policies in the Africa Report, taking Zambia as an example.
This month the provisory agreement for cooperating on the nomination of bishops between the Vatican and the Chinese government is up for renewable. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, explains why the deal was for the Roman-Catholic church an “understandable gamble,” according to the NCR.