4/14/2021 Financial News: Huawei Invests In Intelligent Driving, Communist China’s Trade Surplus Shrinks In March

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1.Huawei to Invest More Than $1 Billion in Intelligent Driving

Shenzhen (Reuters) – After Huawei was blacklisted and barred from accessing critical technology of U.S. origin, its ability to design its own chips and acquire components from outside vendors was severely affected. Its smartphone business has been devastated. After spending last year in a survival mode, the company is seeking to develop other lines of business. According to the company’s rotating chairman Eric Xu on Monday, Huawei will invest more in businesses less reliant on high-end U.S. technologies. For example, the company would invest more than $1 billion in the intelligent driving business this year, according to Xu. Xu said Huawei was working with three domestic carmakers to develop a sub-brands called the ‘Huawei Inside’ model. In addition, the global promotion of 5G telecoms networks had “exceeded expectations”.

2.Communist China’s Trade Surplus Shrank in March

Communist China on Tuesday reported March imports and exports data. Its exports last month rose 30.6% from a year ago in U.S. dollar terms, missing the forecasted 35.5% increase. Its imports in March went up 38.1% in U.S. dollar terms from a year ago, exceeding the expected 23.3%. As a result, Communist China’s trade surplus fell to $13.8 billion in March, much narrower than the forecasted $52.05 billion by the Reuters survey.

The increase in imports in March was caused by the rebound in domestic demand and the rise in commodity prices. In terms of imported commodities, the year-on-year increase of import volume of crude oil, soybeans, and iron ore was 8.3%, 80.5%, and 15.0% from the previous month respectively. The year-on-year growth rate of import value increased by 40.6%, 108.8%, and 42.2% from the previous month respectively. In addition, the year-on-year growth rate of integrated circuit import volume and import value increased by 8.3% and 0.7% from the previous month.

3.Millions of RMB are Trapped in a Retirement Investment Project

Recently, a retirement investment project in Chengdu, Sichuan, violated a contract with thousands of senior citizens who invested nearly 700 million yuan ($107 million).  The project belonged to Chengdu Zhixin Industrial Group, a company established in 1997 with real estate as its main business. A citizen of Chengdu Ms. Mu told reporters that she invested more than 400,000 yuan (approximately $61,000) in the project with a promised 8% interest in return. But after receiving only one interest payment last year, she was recently told that the company was hit by a broken capital chain and was unable to fulfill its contractual obligations. Another senior citizen Ms. Li invested more than 2 million yuan (approximately $306,000) in 2018 but has only received about 100,000 yuan so far. According to Ms. Mu, most investors want to get their money back, which mostly came from their pension and retirement funds.

The person in charge of the project told reporters that the company had difficulty selling its 1,100 apartment assets and experiencing trouble with its capital flow. Once the apartment sales resume, the company will be able to fulfill its contract obligations to investors.

4.CCP Removes Restrictions on Migrant Workers in Smaller Cities

According to a government notice released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Tuesday, Communist China will “completely remove barriers” to migrant workers applying for permanent residential status, or “hukou” in cities with fewer than 3 million people. The notice provides guidelines on settlement, education, employment, housing, land, transportation, and urban construction to allow labor to move more freely between regions. Cities that have launched point-based application systems for household registration are asked to consider how long applicants have paid social security and resided in the city.

5.CCP’s Crackdown on Its Tech Giants

After Alibaba was fined $2.8 billion after antitrust investigation, Communist China’s regulators widened the scope of its crackdown on big tech including 34 of the country’s largest technology companies such as Tencent, JD.com, Pinduoduo, and Kuaishou. On Tuesday, the government regulator and its cyberspace and tax agencies ordered these companies to conduct a “comprehensive self-inspection”, rectify issues, and pledge to comply with the government’s laws and regulations. According to the statement by the State Administration for Market Regulation, platforms that continue to break the rules after the one-month grace period will face severe punishment.

Comment: In Communist China, no private entrepreneurs especially those of technology giants are safe from being reined in by the government. The more wealth, data, market power, and influence on public opinions they have, the more likely they will become the next target of punishment or crackdown.

6.Coinbase’s Reference Price of $250 Per Share from Nasdaq

The Nasdaq said on Tuesday that the reference price for Coinbase’s direct listing is $250, leading to a valuation of the cryptocurrency exchange business around $65.3 billion on a fully diluted basis. This reference price is based on recent private market transactions and inputs from investment bankers. Coinbase will become the first major crypto business to go public in the U.S.. With its planned direct listing instead of a traditional IPO, Coinbase will allow its existing stakeholders to start selling immediately at a market-driven price. This is Nasdaq’s first major direct listing.

The vast majority of transactions on Coinbase involve the purchasing of bitcoin and ethereum. Last week, Coinbase announced that its preliminary first-quarter revenue surged ninefold to $1.8 billion, and net income went up to between $730 million and $800 million from $32 million a year earlier.

By 【Financial Team – Kate】
News Collection: Wendy、Kate
Proofreading: Tracy

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