China

The Biden administration’s business advisory on Hong Kong has generated more heat and light than appears justified by its contents, according to a Bloomberg Opinion. The fireworks may be a sign that the U.S. and China are content to let hostilities play out as diplomatic theater, and are reluctant to raise confrontation to a level that would meaningfully challenge the functioning of a key global financial center.

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The promise of Chinese cars landing on U.S. soil is, yet again, broken, CNET reported. Automotive News reported Monday that HAAH Automotive Holdings, a big player hoping to export Chinese cars to the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy after a seven-year-long journey. The U.S. will not see the planned Vantas or T-GO brands HAAH wanted to launch in the U.S. The cars from both brands were to come from China’s Chery Automobile Company. HAAH first aimed to simply import the cars through a Chery joint venture, then pivoted last year to say it would actually build the cars in the U.S.

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A year ago, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. entered bankruptcy, its car rental business having fallen victim to COVID-related lockdowns, Bloomberg Opinion reported. Now, in a dramatic resurrection, not only has it emerged from protection, but institutional investors have bid up the stock to take control of the venerable company — so much so that Hertz was able to cover its debt in full and supply a handsome payout to shareholders who stuck with it through the bad times. Indeed, it was one of the first meme stocks, with loyalists buying it even as its fortunes tanked.

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China's No. 2 mobile chip developer Unisoc is searching for new anchor investors at a high valuation as it tries to distance itself from its troubled parent Tsinghua Unigroup and pave the way for a long-awaited initial public offering, Asia Nikkei reported. Unisoc is hoping to find buyers willing to pay 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) for Tsinghua's 35.2% stake, according to people familiar with the discussions. Tsinghua is under pressure to sell after missing a string of bond repayments since last November.

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Tsinghua Unigroup, a would-be microchip champion, is facing bankruptcy, a setback in China’s quest for semiconductor self-reliance, the New York Times reported. In 2015, an obscure company run by a real estate mogul woke up the world to China’s ambitions in semiconductors, the foundational technology that powers computing. Laden with state funding and political backing, the company made jaws drop with a $23 billion bid to buy American chip-maker Micron. Six years on, China’s would-be microchip champion looks more like a national disappointment.

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The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court in South China's Guangdong Province on Monday granted a personal application for bankruptcy protection, the first such case since relevant laws went into effect in March, the Global Times reported. The application was filed by Liang Wenjin, a local entrepreneur in the Bluetooth earphone industry whose company went bankrupt due to unstable sales and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A creditor of Chinese electric car startup Byton filed a court petition for the embattled company's bankruptcy on Monday, a local court record showed, Dow Jones Newswires reported. A Shanghai-based software supplier has requested the court to start the bankruptcy proceedings for Nanjing Zhixing New Energy Vehicle Technology Development Co., or Byton, according to the court record. The court hasn't accepted the petition as Byton is seeking a settlement with the creditors, the company said in a statement.
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Chinese builder Sichuan Languang Development Co. failed to repay a local bond, marking its first default in a domestic credit market grappling with rising debt failures, Bloomberg News reported. The company was not able to raise enough funds for the repayment on a 900 million yuan ($139 million) local bond that matured Sunday, which amounts to a default, according to a Monday statement from Languang to the Shanghai Clearing House. The builder said last week it might not be able to make the payment.
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China has prospered during much of the coronavirus pandemic as the world’s factory, making everything from face masks to exercise equipment for housebound consumers. Demand for its products doesn’t appear to be slowing even as Western economies reopen, the New York Times reported. China’s General Administration of Customs announced on Tuesday that the country’s exports surged 32.2 percent in June compared with the same month last year.
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Those in the business of mining cryptocurrencies are rushing to leave China, which had accounted for 60% of global bitcoin mining, as the nation tightens restrictions on such activities, Nikkei Asia reported. China, which is already testing a digital yuan, has moved early to rein in other virtual currencies, sparking widespread disruption. The government in May announced tougher restrictions targeting cryptocurrency mining and transactions.
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