HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Macau is being pulled into dangerous crossfire. China has suggested the world’s largest gambling centre as a venue for U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign an interim trade deal, Reuters reports. It’s an invitation that sends two messages at once.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors were chirpy after electric-car maker Tesla unveiled an unexpected profit for the third quarter. It also said its Shanghai factory is almost ready, putting icing on the cake. But founder Elon Musk has over-promised before, and there are questions about his China strategy. Traders who added almost a fifth to the company’s market value on Thursday could use a pinch of salt.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hyundai is zooming onto the self-driving scene. Following the leads of General Motors, Uber, Apple and the like, the South Korean carmaker just unveiled bold plans to invest in autonomous vehicles and other related systems. Despite the late start, well-chosen partners and support from Seoul give it a fighting chance.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Unrest is the recurring cost of Hong Kong’s elite procrastination. Home prices have risen and tycoons have grown wealthier, while officials hoard fiscal reserves. Today’s protests focus on resistance to Beijing’s influence, but local officials’ stubborn indifference to inequality since the last round of unrest in 2014 has stoked the flames.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Blockades and walkouts roiled Hong Kong this week. Unlike similar unrest in 2014, investors are getting anxious. Trade tensions and economic weakness in China have helped to erase the Hang Seng Index’s gains this year, but local indicators like real estate and retail are cooling too. Beijing may not mind that protests squeeze business, if the rising cost of resistance divides the movement. That means there could be more disruption to price in.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Corporate activism tastes different in China. Soft drink Pocari Sweat is caught in a firestorm after it pulled television ads in apparent support of Hong Kong protests. Such statements can pay off for brands that have political influence, or stand to win more friends than enemies. With Beijing involved, neither is usually the case.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hong Kong’s tycoons know scale can come at the cost of coherence. Protests in the city initially focused on the need to stop extraditions to the mainland; but the movement has broadened, and recent rallies have turned violent. That raises risks for investors and businesses, already suffering collateral damage. What happens next is harder to predict too.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s auto pessimism could be over-revved. A grim start to the year saw sales slump by more than 10 percent compared with the first half of 2018. Chaos reigned amidst new rules, while Beijing remained reluctant to offer stimulus. But policy pressure is uneven, and the worst could be past.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hong Kong’s embattled leader is beating a belated retreat. Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that a controversial bill allowing extraditions to the mainland was dead, calling the government’s work to amend the law a total failure. The humiliating climbdown aims to defuse street protests; but she’ll need more to regain the confidence of corporate bosses, investors and citizens.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hong Kong protesters triumphantly took over the city’s legislature, but there is little to celebrate. Amid another march against a controversial extradition plan, a furious faction broke into the empty building on Monday night and trashed it, deepening a crisis for Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The violence will weaken some of the movement’s support, spook big business and could give Beijing a pretext to dig in.