The China Report: The Door is Open but the Ride Ain't Free
China's reopening might take longer, and could be costly
For some time I have been thinking about creating an EconVue+ publication focused on the Chinese economy. Although my monthly newsletters have always included quite a lot of China-related material, I believe that events there are moving so quickly that weekly analysis might be more useful. A month is truly a long time in China these days!
For those of you who follow China, I’d be interested in hearing about the issues you would like to hear about most. I plan to publish our first full issue on Monday, January 30th. Unlike our podcasts and monthly newsletters, The China Report will be available by paid subscription only at EconVue+China. Details are available here:
Due to the Lunar New Year holiday, news out of China is likely to be slow until next week. After holiday travel ends, how quickly will China reach herd immunity? The global economy is banking on a quick end to Covid and a China reboot of export production and domestic consumption. How realistic are those hopes?
I believe that the road back to normalcy is likely to be bumpier than anticipated. I’ll explain why next week. Could there be a new Covid wave, a new variant? If Speaker Kevin McCarthy does go to Taiwan this spring, how will Chinese leaders react? In the meantime, some related links.
Jan 6, 2023 / The Diplomat
How Beijing Accidentally Ended the Zero COVID Policy
China’s central government aimed to modify the zero COVID policy incrementally following the 20th Party Congress. What went wrong?
Jan 16, 2023 / BBC
China Covid: How many cases and deaths are there?
Between 8 December and 12 January, China says there were 59,938 Covid-related deaths across the country.
Jan 11, 2023 /Bloomberg
Merck, Pfizer Rebuff China’s Push for Deeper Price Cuts on Covid Drugs
Top US makers of Covid drugs appear to be pushing back on China’s efforts to get them to cut their prices, underscoring the challenges the country faces in giving its vast population easy access to antivirals.
Jan 15, 2023 / Foreign Policy
COVID-Ravaged Chinese Public Is Desperate for Paxlovid
Some accounts on Red Book, a Chinese social media platform most known for practical advice, claim to be able to obtain Paxlovid, quoting me a price of 8,000 yuan ($1,181) per box.
Jan 13, 2023/ CNN
Frustration is rising over Covid drug shortages in China, and there are no easy answers
Rising frustration over the shortages was compounded by an announcement Sunday that the government had failed to reach an agreement with Pfizer to include Paxlovid under its national insurance plan, with officials saying the price asked was too high.
Jan 16, 2023 / Bloomberg
US-China Trade Is Close to a Record, Defying Talk of Decoupling
Fight over tech curbs hasn't yet hit the broader flow of goods.
Jan 17, 2023 / Washington Post
What China’s Falling Population Means for the Country’s Future
The upshot is that China’s economy may struggle to overtake the US in size and the country could lose its status as the world’s most populous to India this year.
Jan 21, 2023 /The Hill
China’s Liu He at Davos: Every word was a lie
Bradley A. Thayer
In fact, Liu’s remarks were profoundly revealing about what China’s leadership fears.
Jan 19, 2023 / South China Morning Post
Hua Hong Semiconductor gets state backing for US$6.7 billion wafer fab as China continues its pivot to mature chip nodes
China’s second-largest chip foundry Hua Hong Semiconductor Group, a state-backed semiconductor investment fund and a Wuxi entity signed a deal on Wednesday for a $6.7 billion wafer fabrication plant in eastern Wuxi, the biggest such investment since Washington imposed stricter sanctions on China’s chip industry in October.
Jan 23, 2023 / Financial Times
China’s record $2.6tn rise in savings fuels ‘revenge spending’ hopes
Doubts linger over consumers’ willingness to deploy ‘excess’ deposits
With all best wishes,
Lyric Hughes Hale