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China bank failure fires quiet warning shot

Beijing will let Baoshang Bank go under in the first such insolvency since 2001 – a quiet warning shot fired at Chinese financial markets. The liquidation of the municipal lender, used as a piggy bank by an insurer, will raise borrowing costs for small peers and possibly push more of them to the brink. With the economy still wobbling, it’s a risky time to cleanse the system.

Breakingviews - Trump’s swipe at Tencent hits China’s softest spot

President Donald Trump has hit China in one of its softest spots: Tencent. The White House on Thursday said it will block “transactions” with the $687 billion tech colossus. That could cripple its payments-to-messaging app WeChat outside China and put a vast portfolio of overseas investments at risk. The ban could ultimately sting China harder than the campaign against telecoms-equipment maker Huawei.

Breakingviews - Uber's post-Covid prognosis is far from all clear

It's tough being in a business that gets people places when no one is going anywhere. That’s the case for ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies, which saw second-quarter revenue fall 29% from a year earlier, it said on Thursday. True, things won’t be in this state for long – hopefully. Still Uber’s prognosis is far from all clear after Covid.

Breakingviews - Pompeo's Chinese web wall is a tall order

Washington’s Chinese firewall is a tall order. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants to purge America’s internet of Chinese telecoms, apps, cloud services and more. In effect he is trying to put an information ring-fence around the People’s Republic, and wants other countries to join in.

Breakingviews - Lebanon blast lays bare cost of a weak state

Lebanon has added tragedy to crisis. A powerful blast in the Beirut port on Tuesday devastated the area and sent seismic shockwaves across the capital, killing at least 100 people and injuring 4,000. A health emergency created by the pandemic may now be followed by a wider humanitarian crisis. Chronic political weakness makes everything worse.

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