HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China may yet rue stepping up to the U.S. National Basketball Association. State television will no longer screen preseason exhibition games held in the country, it said this week, after an executive tweeted in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, and NBA boss Adam Silver defended him. A lucrative business is at stake, but the league is pushing back anyway.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - One of the world's foremost experts on the Chinese state has a new book on global backlash against President Xi Jinping. McGregor, a Lowy Institute Fellow, argues internal resistance against Xi's agenda is finding some traction, and explains why Beijing got Hong Kong so wrong.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The People's Republic of China turns 70 on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping has bought compliance and crushed resistance. His cowing of internal critics, however, is becoming a risk to economic resilience.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hiroto Saikawa has overstayed his welcome at the wheel of Nissan Motor. He and other executives may have padded their pay, Reuters reports. The figures at stake appear small compared to allegations levied against ousted boss Carlos Ghosn, but it hardly matters. Saikawa has neither rebuilt credibility nor fixed performance at the $25 bln carmaker. Investors have no cause to remain patient.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Capitalist amnesia is encouraging China’s hard line in Hong Kong. Violence in the financial hub worsened over the weekend. A Reuters report, meanwhile, says Beijing last month rejected a compromise with protesters. Investors have ignored ugly crackdowns before; that feeds cynical expectations that harsh measures will be forgiven again.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's Big Four lenders are feeling the pressure. Beijing, trying to slash a $310 billion pile of officially recognised bad debt, is pushing giants like China Construction Bank to help troubled smaller rivals, or rescue them outright. First-half earnings look healthy enough, but softer credit figures suggest they are already moving to shield their balance sheets.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chinese carmakers are involved in a slow-motion wreck. Falling sales hit Geely Automobile Holdings and Great Wall Motor harder in the first half than rivals partnered with foreign marques. Both companies have started seeking JVs, too. A better route to recovery would be industry consolidation, and soon.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing's hard line in Hong Kong should worry everyone else. President Xi Jinping had peaceful options to calm protesters. Instead state media accused them of treason and separatism; the army is on standby. That China would even consider sacrificing its only offshore financial centre to pander to nationalists suggests the onset of tragic policy–blindness.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Twitter deserves a follow for muting and blocking China. The U.S. social network suspended state-backed accounts trying to subvert protests in Hong Kong. It also will stop accepting ads from government-controlled media. Beijing’s wedge issue provides a good opportunity for Facebook, YouTube and others to reconsider profiting from propaganda.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s best-case scenario for a U.S. trade deal looks worse by the minute. Negotiators on Wednesday evening wrapped up yet another round of negotiations, but made little progress. A tariff ceasefire brokered in June has dragged on, and President Donald Trump no longer seems enthused about a quick deal that could expose him to criticism ahead of a 2020 presidential election. With supply chains already migrating out of the mainland and economic growth slowing, time is not on Beijing's side.