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Trump expected to sign order to ban Huawei

The White House  invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms posing a national security risk, paving the way for a ban on doing business with China’s Huawei, three U.S. officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.

The order, which will not name specific countries or companies, has been under consideration for more than a year but has repeatedly been delayed, the sources said, asking not to be named because the preparations remain confidential. It could be delayed again, they said.

The executive order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States. The order will direct the Commerce Department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement, the sources said.

http://www.reuters.com

U.S. hikes tariffs on Chinese goods

China says to strike back

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect on Friday, and Beijing said it would strike back, ratcheting up tensions as the two sides pursue last-ditch talks to try salvaging a trade deal.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it “deeply regrets” the U.S. decision, adding that it would take necessary countermeasures, without elaborating.

The hike comes in the midst of two days of talks between top U.S. and Chinese negotiators to try to rescue a faltering deal aimed at ending a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

http://www.reuters.com/

Chinese shares hit by Trump tariff threat

Chinese stock markets tumbled

US President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, putting a trade deal in doubt.  He said on Twitter the US would more than double tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods on Friday and would introduce fresh tariffs.

Recent comments had suggested both sides were nearing a trade deal. A Chinese delegation was due to travel to Washington this week for talks aimed at ending the trade war. US media has reported that China is now considering cancelling those talks, that were scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

http://www.bbc.com

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sacked over Huawei leak

Compelling evidence

Downing Street said the PM had “lost confidence in his ability to serve” and Penny Mordaunt will take on the role. The inquiry followed reports over a plan to allow Huawei limited access to help build the UK’s new 5G network. Mr Williamson, who has been defence secretary since 2017, “strenuously” denies leaking the information.

In a meeting with Mr Williamson on Wednesday evening, Theresa May told him she had information that provided “compelling evidence” that he was responsible for the unauthorised disclosure.In a letter confirming his dismissal, she said: “No other, credible version of events to explain this leak has been identified.”

http://www.bbc.com

Huawei set to win smartphone sales race

Samsung leadership at stake

Huawei is on track to outstrip Samsung to become the world’s biggest-selling smartphone brand by the end of this year. The Chinese tech behemoth said last week that it would tap into its bourgeoning consumer business to sustain growth.

Huawei’s snappy smartphones and laptops, which offer distinct value for money, have poached discerning buyers from Apple and Samsung, helping the Chinese company remain confident despite the US-led blanket ban on its business-to-business telecommunications gear, which has seen revenues from wireless and base station equipment go flat.

http://www.asiatimes.com

Asian shares fall as China manufacturing data disappoints

Slower Chinese factory growth

Shares in Asia fell on Tuesday as readings on China’s manufacturing activity failed to meet expectations, underscoring weakness in the world’s second-largest economy despite Beijing’s attempts to spur growth.

Both official and private business surveys pointed to slower Chinese factory growth this month, dashing hopes for a steady reading or even a faster expansion. Data also showed a slower expansion in its services sector, adding to economic uncertainty.

The dollar-denominated MSCI index of Chinese shares dropped 0.8 percent. But Chinese blue chips in Shanghai and Shenzhen kept losses in check, losing less than 0.1 percent as investors maintained hopes for further measures to prop up the economy.

The weak manufacturing numbers suggest “stimulus is there to stay,” said Frances Cheung, head of macro strategy for Asia at Westpac. Upbeat data for March had prompted some analysts to scale back expectations of additional support measures.

http://www.reuters.com

Wall Street rallies

Strong China, US manufacturing data

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, starting off the second quarter on a strong note, as upbeat manufacturing numbers from China and the United States eased worries about slowing global growth.

The benchmark S&P 500 index, which is only 2.2 percent below its record closing high in September, triggered a “golden cross” pattern, in which its 50-day moving average crosses above its 200-day moving average. Many believe the technical signal could portend more gains for stocks in the short term.

Gains in global equities were spurred by data showing that China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly returned to growth in March for the first time in four months.

https://www.reuters.com/

China’s government sets growth target of at least 6%

China will slash taxes and boost lending

China will cut billions of dollars in taxes and fees, increase infrastructure investment, and step up lending to small firms, Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday, as the world’s second-largest economy looks set to slow further this year.

The government aims to expand its economy by 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2019, Li said at the opening of the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, less than the gross domestic product growth of 6.6 percent reported last year.

Sources said earlier this year that China would cut its 2019 growth target to 6.0 to 6.5 percent from the 2018 target of 6.5 percent amid growing economic headwinds.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp

U.S. and China said to appear close to deal to roll back tariffs

Formal trade deal could be sealed at a summit around March 27

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday.acebook would have various options to go to after the currency has been launched.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could seal a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27 given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

https://www.reuters.com/

Huawei founder says Huawei CFO arrest was politically motivated

Huawei equipment could be used to spy on Americans

The U.S. Justice Department denied the charges were politically motivated. “The Justice Department’s criminal case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is based solely on the evidence and the law. The Department pursues cases free of any political interference and follows the evidence and rule of law in pursuing criminal charges,” spokeswoman Nicole Navas said in an email to Reuters.
Huawei, along with another Chinese network equipment company, ZTE Corp, has been accused by the United States of working at the behest of the Chinese government. The United States has said their equipment could be used to spy on Americans. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims.

http://www.reuters.com

Tesla Gigafactory in Shangai To Be Complete In Summer Of 2019

10% of the total planned capacity of the plant

The breakneck pace of work at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory continues with the announcement that the company has started an energy conservation assessment in cooperation with several governmental agencies. In a further update, Chinese media noted that the project would be completed in the summer of 2019.

The first phase of the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai is only an estimated 10% of the total planned capacity of the plant and will be producing the first cars by the end of this year.

The factory will produce Tesla’s smaller Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, launching with the Model 3 and starting production of Model Y essentially in parallel with production in the United States (at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada).

http://www.cleantechnica.com

Apple iPhone sales in China fell by 20% in fourth quarter

Sales by Chinese rival Huawei soared by 23% 

Apple Inc iPhone sales in China fell 20 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, while sales for smartphones made by home-grown rival Huawei soared by 23 percent, data from industry research firm IDC showed on Monday.

The report is the first to put a firm number on the scale of a recent decline in Apple’s fortunes in the world’s second largest economy, after Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook pointed to China as a big factor in a rare cut in the company’s quarterly sales forecast last month.

http://www.reuters.com

The U.S. Just Charged Huawei With Stealing A T-Mobile Robot Idea

Arrest of executive Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is facing charges of theft of American intellectual property.

It stands accused, amongst other charges, of stealing a novel idea from T-Mobile in 2012: a cellphone testing robot called Tappy. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Huawei even offered bonuses to employees who stole confidential information from rivals.

Following the arrest of executive Meng Wanzhou, who’s also the daughter of Huawei founder, in Canada, the U.S. was reportedly planning on upping the ante in its fight with the Chinese giant. It’s now landed its first blow.

Huawei hadn’t responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

http://forbes.com

Davos: Soros calls on the west to crack down on Chinese tech companies

Machine learning and artificial intelligence in the hands of repressive regimes

The billionaire philanthropist George Soros has delivered a stinging attack on China with a warning that Xi Jinping’s regime is using breakthroughs in machine learning and artificial intelligence to repress its people.

Soros used his annual dinner at the World Economic Forum to say Xi was the most dangerous opponent of open societies and to call on the west to crack down on Chinese tech companies that he said were being used as a means of authoritarian control.

“I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme,” Soros said.

http://theguardian.com