China tech shares hint at economic green shoots - Asia Times

Strong tech company results are obscuring China’s gross domestic product ( GDP ) data, which some analysts believe will indicate better days for Xi Jinping’s largely underperforming economy.

China’s standard data readouts these weeks can make for disturbing reading. Deflationary pressures are making headlines, but there are n’t any indications of a clear and sustained acceleration.

Case in point: news on Friday ( May 17 ) that China’s consumer spending lost steam in April, rising just 2.3 % year on year versus 3.1 % in March.

Industrial output accelerated, while, expanding 6.7 % over the same time. The discrepancy demonstrates how the Chinese market is still reliant on global demand and the uneven nature of growth.

According to Lynn Song, chief economist for Greater China at ING Bank,” the history of this week’s statistics is that of prevailing prudence by households and the private sector, as financial sales and fixed property purchase came in weaker than expected.”

Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings, and another Chinese tech behemoths are, however, presenting a pleasant counternarrative of financial green stems that suggest Beijing’s signal initiatives are gaining some sway.

Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, reported its biggest annual growth increase in the first quarter, with net income rising 10 %. Gaming giant Tencent, meanwhile, reported a 62 % surge in net profit.

Example abound among other island computer systems, suggesting Beijing’s efforts to achieve this year’s 5 % GDP growth target are fairly working.

They even mention Team Xi’s renewed assurance that the country’s government is finally committed to resolving the housing crisis that is the source of the country’s sagging consumer prices and uncertain economic prospects.

According to UBS’s planner Meng Lei, current property sales and fresh starts have yet to reach bottom, while total earnings have remained pressured despite subdued demand in the first quarter.

China’s home shortage will remain to stymie growth in 2024. Image: Twitter Screengrab

However, Meng predicted that as house exercise stabilizes and inflation recovers, earnings will increase as inflation and household income rise.

Venu Krishna, a planner at Barclays, continues,” The club for the party to offer has been set very high, but the Big Tech basics still look good below and we think there’s room to run over the next pair of rooms.” Post-quarter income from the largest companies in the S&amp, P 500, and now the big tech adjustments have increased even more.

This year, Xi’s group unveiled plans to address real land troubles some economists compare to Japan’s 1990s awful- product debacle. According to reports, Beijing is reportedly coercing local governments and state-owned corporations to purchase thousands of properties that have not been sold.

Strong efforts to clear China’s extensive undisclosed housing stock may significantly increase consumer and business confidence.

Reversing the turmoil narrative had likewise stifle Xi and Premier Li Qiang’s ability to boost capital markets, rebalance growth engines toward new products and services, and create more potent social safety nets. The former effort is essential for influencing customers to invest more and keep less.

In a fresh document, JPMorgan asserts that” we believe this could be a game change in the sense that home sales may at least maintain rather than worsen.”

Franklin Templeton also cited positive indicators that the real estate nightmare is coming to an end in a note to clients. The signs that” Chinese authorities have been easing home purchase restrictions – these restrict buyers to purchases in their home province and/or limit the purchase of a second property” and that” they have been lowering mortgage interest rate floor limits” encourage this.

As Beijing addresses economic headwinds more forcefully, count Michael Burry among the China tech optimists. The investor made famous by the book&nbsp,” The Big Short” &nbsp, upped his bets on Alibaba and in the first quarter of this year.

According to recent filings, JD is the top holding by Burry’s Scion Asset Management, with its stake in the e- commerce giant increasing by 80 % in the first quarter, representing an additional 50, 000 shares.

Burry, who saw the 2008 US subprime crisis coming better than peers, has seen a zigzag in China tech investments recently.

Burry’s most recent bets demonstrate the cautious yet discernible return by global investors as China’s stock market shifts from a US$ 7 trillion rout from a 2021 peak to January 2024.

Among Burry’s new holdings is in search engine giant Baidu, sometimes likened to China’s Google. Those on which he’s scaling back include Amazon, Google parent Alphabet and Warner Bros Discovery.

Of course, the decisions of one investor do n’t make or break global investment trends. It’s interesting that a well-known value investor known for his grave warnings and cataclysmic predictions is bullish on a sector that many Western peers have left for dead in recent years.

According to Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer at KraneShares, a provider of exchange-traded funds in China,” we believe many Asia-focused investors who have been overweight India and Japan are becoming concerned about India’s high valuations and Japan’s continued currency weakness.”

According to Ahern,” China’s equity market could benefit from investors shifting profits from high-value markets to low-value markets.”

People pass by the Tencent headquarters in Shenzhen, in the Guangdong province of southern China. Photo: Asia Times Files / AFP / Noel Celis

It also highlights the dangers of Xi and Li failing to take bold financial decisions at the moment. Since 2015, a well-established cycle of boom-bust cycles has plagued Chinese markets. In the summer of that year, Shanghai shares plunged 30 % in just a few weeks.

Many top fund managers have found that success in bolstering capital markets, increasing transparency, and reducing the dominance of state-owned enterprises has been too inconsistent since then. Xi’s headline- grabbing clampdown on tech platforms, including Alibaba and Tencent, beginning in late 2020 and arguably still ongoing, also torpedoed confidence in the sector’s future profitability.

And so John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia at Lombard Odier, speaks for many when he worries China’s equity rally is at odds with fundamentals.

” The equity rally may be driven by a combination of fear of missing out, hopes of a Chinese economic recovery, Beijing’s pro- growth policy stance, foreign investor rotation from US and Japan stocks, as well as attractive valuations, particularly in technology- related names”.

Furthermore, Woods notes,” the stability and consistency of Hong Kong’s dollar peg to the US dollar also offers foreign investors some confidence. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities would like to sustain the rally with policy proposals. The most recent proposal would exempt individual mainland investors from a 20 % tax on Hong Kong-listed dividends.

Yet the rally” seems to be expectation- based and liquidity- driven”, Woods says. ” Whether it can continue largely depends on China’s corporate revenue outlook”.

And the broader economy’s ability to turn the corner. The good news is that the first-quarter earnings for China’s major tech companies are encouraging signs of green growth.

According to Allianz Global Investors, “tighter control of costs has fed through into improved bottom-line profitability. While top- line growth has generally been as muted as expected.” A notable increase in dividend payouts has been witnessed in addition to the improved earnings picture. The dividend hikes have, to an extent, been spurred by a recent regulatory push, but from a fundamental perspective, there certainly appears to be room to increase dividends”.

The bad news is that Xi’s reform team has a lot to prove in light of the market’s frequently wild gyrations since 2015.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley, for example, counsel caution about the upside for mainland shares. ” We see near- term technical overbought signals, which could deter further buying by global quant funds”, they write. Consumption and the housing market” could continue to be under pressure” due to” continuing pressure on deflation and corporate earnings.”

The same goes for financial reforms. Along with China’s ever-present regulatory risks and concerns about growth, tech shares are subject to headwinds as a result of worries about the property crisis and the yuan asset exodus.

This latter dynamic is being complicated by the US Federal Reserve’s reluctance to ease interest rates, extending the “higher for longer” era for yields.

The success of Huawei Technologies&nbsp and other companies in avoiding US sanctions designed to stifle the sector has contributed to the bull case surrounding China technology.

How China Inc. has been catalyzed by US presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden to innovate and advance up the value-added scale is one of the potential unintended consequences of attempts to undermine the semiconductor industry.

US sanctions were characterized as “double-edged sword,” according to Bernstein analyst Qingyuan Lin. It “may stifle China’s progress in cutting-edge regions, and they also compel it to expand its supply chain, pursue self-sufficientness, and prosper in sectors that benefit from increased domestic substitution.”

However, Xi’s success in promoting private sector innovation over outdated state-owned enterprises depends on whether Chinese tech shares gain a wider audience. In theory, Beijing must do so more quickly and credibly to establish equal playing fields, strengthen capital markets, promote transparency, and strengthen corporate governance.

And, of course, to end a property crisis that has China in global headlines for all the wrong reasons. Beijing is now asking SOEs to purchase unsold property, which would introduce non-commercial distortions in a market already fraught with them. This is significant because it is already rife with them. &nbsp,

In February, Premier Li called for “pragmatic and forceful” steps aimed at “boosting confidence”. He urged policymakers to” concentrate on addressing real-world problems that concern both consumers and businesses.”

President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Photo: Xinhua, China

Li’s comments came around the time Beijing statisticians were confirming the lowest annual&nbsp, foreign direct investment&nbsp, since 1993— just$ 33 billion in 2023. The figure, which records monetary flows involving foreign- owned entities in China, was 82 % lower than the 2022 tally.

Xi’s efforts to rebuild confidence have been hampered by MSCI’s earlier this year decision to remove dozens of Chinese companies from multiple indexes. The action highlighted the need for reform as investors look for less risky places to invest, including Japan, which is nearby.

The trick is to take the lessons learned in 2015 and subsequent years.

At the time, Xi’s Communist Party loosened rules on leverage, reduced reserve requirements, delayed all initial public offerings, suspended trading in thousands of listed companies and allowed mainlanders&nbsp, to use apartments as collateral to buy shares. Then, Xi’s government rolled out advertising campaigns to buy stocks out of&nbsp, patriotism.

Given the severity of the property crisis and deflationary pressures of the present, it seems as though merely providing stimulus will be less effective this time.

Another issue is the US’s continued efforts to slow China’s growth as a tech superpower. Biden unveiled a new round of tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles earlier this week, totaling 100 % of Trump’s.

Biden also slapped new taxes on mainland solar cells, batteries, construction cranes and medical equipment as well as steel and aluminum.

Team Xi has already stated that it will “take resolute measures to defend its rights and interests.” That could, in turn, see Biden up the sanctions ante ahead of the November 5 election, putting China’s tech industry on edge.

The next wave of restrictions, it seems likely, will attempt to stymie China’s ambitions in the field of artificial intelligence. Already, the specter of heavy- handed regulation – and Xi’s party putting its own priorities ahead of tech development – are clouding China’s AI future. &nbsp,

Even before Biden’s latest tariffs, analysts at Barclays were doubtful about China’s ambitious goal of reaching 70 % self- sufficiency in semiconductors by 2025. The endeavor is still “at the start of a very long journey”, Barclays says.

China is indeed moving quickly toward a faster transition of its economy, moving away from property to technology and services. Tech profits are telling the story, and they are piqued by optimism in some circles that the economy is moving on a more dynamic, value-added path.

Follow William Pesek on X at @WilliamPesek

Continue Reading

Korea's economy headed nowhere fast under Yoon - Asia Times

Yoon Suk Yeol, president of South Korea for two years, is ringing in the vodka, but it’s not quite flowing.

Yoon’s government has no plans to address the stagnant wages and near-record-high household debt that are causing the Korean wo n’s inflation.

Yoon’s Korea has instead accepted the role of a Japan-like squat by allowing the central bank to spur growth and reduce risks.

According to KB Securities economist Gweon Heejin,” the fact that online exports are the main driver of growth with the largest contribution will remain constant as inflation continues to pressure households and their real purchasing power will remain insufficient.”

Yet it’s not Yoon’s second 730 time in strength that worry some of South Korea’s 51 million people. It’s the next 1, 095.

Yoon, who has been plagued by scandals, bickering, and plan paralysis, runs the risk of being remembered as the second government to promise significant socioeconomic change but to achieve much in 20 years.

As China captures more market share in Asia, each has given the impression of necessity. Seoul’s strong activities are rare, even if they are uncommon.

Yoon’s leadership is proving to be equally incompetent in terms of both short- and long-term issues. He has, for instance, been anxious to assist consumers in managing their own spending habits in the face of persistent price pressures. Otherwise, he’s prioritized public loan consolidation.

Yoon has n’t been particularly proactive about low-hanging fruit changes, such as pursuing initiatives to improve workplace gender equality, or providing detailed recommendations for reducing bureaucracy, loosing labour markets, and increasing efficiency.

But the actual problem is how Yoon, like his forebears, is shying apart from curbing the power of the household- owned companies, or chaebols, that tower over Asia’s third- biggest market.

Until he does, much of what Yoon may do on financial revamping is treating the symptoms of Korea’s problems, not the main causes.

Yoon’s first press conference on Thursday ( May 9 ) was held in an effort to resurrect his conservative government on the same day. It comes a few weeks after Yoon’s Citizens Power Party suffered a significant battle in legislative elections, which was a loud and piercing rebuke from the electorate.

For Yoon to “achieve much of its economic reform agenda in the remaining three years of its term,” according to Jeremy Zook, chairman of Asia-Pacific monarchs at Fitch Ratings.

According to Zook, sustained policy gridlock may limit the ability of structural changes to counteract the country’s medium-term development perspective because it reduces its upside potential.

That’s a bigger problem than meets the attention. It’s “among the highest of advanced economies worldwide as a reveal of GDP,” according to Zook, despite a slight decline in new rooms for Korean households.

At the same time, he adds, “elevated interest rates have pushed loan services prices higher, which has weakened the intake outlook”.

Seoul does n’t want it because “domestic demand is likely to remain subdued for much of this year, despite the first quarter GDP showing a positive surprise, as interest rates remain high,” Zook claims.

Higher loan service fees have slowed home use, according to the report. However, headwinds in the property market are likely to inhibit the expense outlook”, he adds.

Yoon’s reported effort to improve the outlook for investment is also unfavorable. In February, his Financial Services Commission unveiled a” Business Worth- Up Program” to nudge Korea Inc to improve efficiency, extend boardrooms and boost shareholder returns.

Yoon’s rapid drive to improve governance came the day after the Nikkei 225 Stock Average reached its highest level in 1989, despite the fact that he did not name-check Japan.

After ten years of attempts by former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s group to encourage CEOs to raise their capital profits and increase shareholder participation, Japan’s property rose.

Yoon’s wish to journey Tokyo’s accomplishments makes eminent sense as he takes a swing at ending the” Korea cheap” that’s plagued Seoul for years. However, just as Japan’s transformation efforts need troops, Yoon’s system lacks specifics or a discernable timetable.

” Given the similarity of Korea’s challenges to those faced by Japan, it is little shock” that the value- up prepare “was part of Yoon’s election pitch to voters]that ] borrows strongly from Japan’s extended- running top- down corporate governance reform campaign”, says Udith Sikand, analyst at Gavekal Research.

Yet, Sikand adds,” the problem is that, like Japan’s initial set of reforms”, it “lacks teeth. The majority of the proposed changes are voluntary and run the risk of becoming box-ticking exercises. Nearly ten years after the start of Abenomics, Japanese policymakers began using more coercive tactics to persuade resolute corporate managers to change their ways.

Of course, Sikand cautions that “hope springs eternal” that Korean policymakers will not have to wait as long as their Japanese counterparts do, because sticking a stick with dangling carrots is best when done simultaneously.

For instance, 2025 Japanese companies that do n’t make announcements to raise their valuations could face delisting.

According to Sikand,” Korea’s equities would enter the kind of bull market that has seen Japan’s Topix rise by 280 % in local currency terms since late 2012,” even if it were to push through effective corporate governance reforms in the near future. Because of its deeper roots than the theme of corporate governance, Japan’s stock market rally is notable.

The yen’s weakness also contributed to Japanese companies becoming more competitive with their global competitors. Meanwhile, Japan’s exit from deflation signals an end to the private sector’s deleveraging pressure.

Plus, monetary policy is set to remain accommodative, despite the Bank of Japan’s exit from negative interest rates and yield curve control.

Can Yoon’s economy fare better? The payoff could be significant. If we assume that the deep-value sectors of Korea lose at least 25 % of their value, HSBC analysts wrote in a client note.

All of this places the pressure on Yoon to increase domestic demand and advance Korea’s competitiveness. With three years left in his term, Yoon’s party appears to be a lame duck due to the shocking defeat they suffered in the parliamentary election.

It will make it even more difficult for his party to pass policies to level the playing field in order to lessen the chaebols ‘ influence.

Over the last two decades, a succession of governments pledged to wrestle power away from Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai, LG, Lotte, SK and other corporate behemoths.

For young entrepreneurs starting new businesses to have the economic juice to create new, well-paying jobs, it is crucial to reduce their economic stranglehold.

Korea does indeed have a vibrant startup scene. Chaebols can purchase, demolish, or marginalize any new business that they perceive to be a budding threat due to the lack of antitrust enforcement.

Will Yoon’s administration be the most recent to put forth the necessary efforts to remake Korea in response to China‘s resurgence?

What’s needed are bold and take action to reduce red tape, promote innovation and productivity, phase out seniority-based promotions and pay scales, empower women, and lower family conglomerates by a few pegs.

Top-down Korea can find its niche in the new Chinese era only by developing more economic energy from the ground up.

If Yoon is going to increase competitiveness, he’ll need to display a level of gumption and independence he has n’t shown thus far.

Unsurprisingly, if Yoon’s team increases their pace, the corporate reform campaign’s positive stock market momentum could “temporarily weaken for the next several months and only become viable again” in the second half of this year, according to Citigroup strategist Jinwook Kim.

In order to boost domestic demand, the first order of business is to increase domestic demand. Exports accounted for the country’s 1.3 % growth rate in the January-March quarter, which was the fastest rate in more than two years.

According to economist Kelvin Lam of Pantheon Macroeconomics, “part of the reason is that the economic recovery has remained remarkably strong even with stringent interest rate restrictions,”

Dave Chia, economist at Moody’s Analytics, adds that “export growth will likely remain the main driver of growth this quarter amid the strong demand for semiconductors. The main force behind growth is likely to be export growth.

This engine could sputter, though, as Chinese demand disappoints, US bond yields stay high for longer than expected, Japan grows 0.5 % at the most and Europe walks in place. In the months to come, global inflation will overshadow forecasts in the same way.

The solution is to stifle a country’s economic recovery that has avoided it for more than two decades. If Yoon’s is the administration to do it, there’s not a second to waste.

Follow William Pesek on X at @WilliamPesek&nbsp,

Continue Reading

China’s EV giants driving onshore equity rally - Asia Times

Subscribe now&nbsp, for access at a special price of only$ 99/year.

China’s economic success does n’t necessarily sustain an equity rally

David P. Goldman discusses the impact of China’s electric vehicle ( EV ) companies on the A-shares equity market rally, refutes the notion that overcapacity is to blame for China’s success with exports, and discusses the possibility of the Chinese yuan’s depreciation getting worse.

Germany: CDU preparing to recapture the palace, twice- down on Ukraine aid

Diego Faßnacht writes that signs point to Germany’s opposition Conservative Christian Democrats ( CDU) leading the next government. This could lead to a shift in European policy regarding the Ukraine situation and the introduction of even greater military support.

No implementation for a major rude despite constant Russian benefits.

James Davis targets defense depots and the railway networks that transport Western weapons and equipment while pursuing corporate advances made by Russian forces, who have taken control of important positions and villages on the Russian top, particularly in the Avdeyevka field.

Administration pursues Chinese shipping

After the United Steelworkers ( USW) and several other unions filed a petition asking for a special port fee to be imposed on Chinese-built vessels, Scott Foster details the US Trade Representative’s ( USTR ) investigation into alleged unfair practices by China in the shipbuilding industry.

Continue Reading

Russia's killer Lancet drone runs on American AI - Asia Times

When the Ukrainians have taken apart Russian arms, they have found them stuffed with American technology, primarily American. &nbsp,

This applies to Russia’s very powerful Lancet Kamikaze&nbsp, aircraft, also known as a loitering&nbsp, weapons. The advanced development module called the Jetson TX2 from US chipmaker Nvidia is a crucial component of its alleged artificial intelligence ( AI ) capability, according to a report published in the journal Lancet-3. &nbsp, &nbsp,

Nvidia describes the Jetson TX- 2 as&nbsp,” the fastest, most energy- successful integrated AI processing system. Real AI technology is at its best with this 7 ohm computer on a module. It’s built around an NVIDIA Pascal™- home GPU and loaded with 8GB of remembrance and 59.7GB/s of recollection speed. It is simple to connect because it has a variety of common hardware interfaces across a range of products and type factors.

( GRPU stands for Graphical Processing Unit. ) The GPUs run on NVIDIA Pascal, a microarchitecture. &nbsp,

Nvidia has previously upgraded to a much more powerful AI package, Jetson Xavier NX, which is much more effective. However, the Jetson TX- 2 remains accessible and will be until 2028, according to Nvidia.

Nvidia’s AI components are based on highly sophisticated manufacturing practices. The important AI integrated circuits is produced in Taiwan, but the whole Jetson TX-2 unit is assembled in China at BYD Huizhou, with a second supply in Taiwan at Foxconn in Taoyuan. &nbsp,

There are a number of integrated circuits in the package, which look like this:

Nvidia’s TX- 2 component

China and South Korea are two different countries where the other parts of the TX- 2 component are located. In addition to the Lancet collection and Iranian drones, different American and European products are available. &nbsp, &nbsp,

One particularly important part is the U- Blox Lea- m8s- 0- 10 GPS tracking system. &nbsp, This system can collect tracking impulses from the US GPS program, Europe’s Galileo GPS, Russia’s Glonass and China’s Beidou. &nbsp,

Many cell phones&nbsp, can also do this ( though usually not Galileo ). &nbsp, What makes the U- Blox unique, according to experts who have expertise dealing with the Lancet, is that it is both jelly and pastiche- proof, meaning it is hard to try and tear off the GPS lock guiding the weapon. U- Blox is made in Switzerland.

To be clear, neither Nvidia nor U- Blox has violated any law by selling these products. The chips are then distributed to end-users in the form of sales. From there, they wind up in Russia or China or Iran.

Washington has tried to stop China from exporting AI chips, but in reality that has resulted in companies being asked not to transfer manufacturing expertise to China or to transfer sensitive AI software.

However, there is little evidence that Washington has been able to stop the Jetson TX-2 from losing significant components. &nbsp, If strong action is n’t taken, the Russians, Chinese and Iranians will continue to be able to use the latest AI modules for military and commercial applications. &nbsp,

The reason for this is that American AI products are largely produced overseas. &nbsp, This means that high- level cooperation is essential. &nbsp,

It also means that the US faces significant risk should AI chip production, especially in Taiwan, be cut off either by war, blockade or simply because of a natural disaster. ( Taiwan is prone to earthquakes. )

In the US, construction on new advanced chip foundries is currently being worked on, which will be very helpful in the future. Even so, these wo n’t actually go online until they are, and Taiwan will continue to produce for US businesses because TSMC and other Taiwan businesses are highly skilled and competitive.

The Biden administration is n’t enthusiastic about leveraging US chip companies for political reasons. &nbsp, The&nbsp, Chips Act, wherein the US is providing massive subsidies, is supposed to help reestablish US manufacturing. &nbsp,

Joe Biden wants to see more American chip production. Image: Twitter ( X ) Screengrab

That is a positive thing on its own, but it does not address China’s growing demand for AI electronics abroad. Unfortunately, the regulatory apparatus in the United States, particularly when it comes to DEI ( diversity, equity and inclusion ), has &nbsp, hindered the rapid use of Chips Act funds.

Russia’s chip industry lacks private investment, but it does not have a DEI problem. In fact, in the bigger picture, Russia’s Achilles heel is its lack of microelectronics manufacturing infrastructure. Russia’s participation in the Western microelectronics revolution prevented this from occurring. &nbsp,

Russia tried to develop its own electronics in remote cities like Zelenograd during the Soviet Union, or it offloaded some of the manufacturing to Eastern Europe, particularly the German Democratic Republic ( GDR), or East Germany. &nbsp,

Like Russia, the&nbsp, East Germans and others in the Warsaw&nbsp, Pact&nbsp, were mostly isolated from developments in the US. &nbsp,

In the future, Washington has to find effective ways to control AI technology or face the consequences. The Bradleys and Abrams, which Russia’s Lancets have attacked in Ukraine, are a serious military issue that warrants immediate attention. &nbsp,

Stephen Bryen served as the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s staff director and its deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. &nbsp,

This&nbsp, article&nbsp, was first published on his&nbsp, Weapons and Strategy&nbsp, Substack and is republished with permission.

Continue Reading

Law passed to protect critical transport firms from ‘malicious actors’, other disruptions


The new legislation will subject the designated companies to governs in three areas: Rights, control appointments, and in their operations and funding.

Buyers will be required to notify the authorities within seven days of forming a 5 percent control of an object in accordance with fresh proposed possession settings. Other controlling limits, such as 25, 50, and 75 %, or if purchasers acquire direct control of a designated object require approval.

When a seller lowers their controlling interest in an entity below the 25 %, 50 %, and 75 % thresholds, they are also required to seek approval.

Within seven weeks of becoming conscious of these ownership and control changes, designated entities must inform the authorities.

Management visit controls are also proposed in the laws, with fresh approval needs for designated organizations to appoint the chairman of the board and the chief executive officer.

The board’s directors, in addition to the chairperson and the chief executive officer, does need approval for a designated working institution that is also a licensee under the appropriate authority.

The designated institutions may be required to notify the appropriate specialist of events that might prevent or hinder Singapore’s availability of necessary transfer services in terms of proposed operations and resourcing controls. &nbsp,

The relevant power will have” step-in powers” via a Special Administration Order in order to maintain service continuity in an “extreme situation” where the designated operating entity is unable to provide essential transport services in a safe and reliable manner.

Mr. Chee remarked that for executive capabilities” will be used as a last resort to deal with intense scenarios.” &nbsp,

This might contain, for instance, when a designated functioning entity defaults and is unable to pay its debts, which may compromise the continuation of vital transportation services.

In the course of business, he continued, noting that the government” will not interfere with the companies ‘ commercial businesses and affairs.”

The minister remarked,” We will use the suggested step-in forces only for the time that they are required for,” adding, “if we need to use them.”

In some situations, designated companies may even receive remedial directions in addition to these three enhanced control aspects. For instance, situations where prior approval was sought or endorsement conditions were not met.

If previous approval was never sought or conditions of approval were breached,” these restorative directions may include directing the disposal of equity interests and removing key appointment holders,” according to Mr. Chee.

The proposed legislation will also permit parties to file an appeal with the Minister of Transport over decisions made by the appropriate authority. Decisions regarding title and requests for approval of ownership or control appointments can be made.


According to Mr. Chee, the new law aims to improve Singapore’s necessary transportation services ‘ resilience and safeguard it from potential problems in the future.

We cannot exclude the possibility that malicious actors might take control of our vital travel companies and cause Singapore’s essential services to be in jeopardized, he said. &nbsp,

To maintain entities in controlled sectors like telecommunications, banks, and utilities, there are now sector-specific laws in place, such as congressional restrictions on foreign ownership and licensing regimes where investors must obtain approval from related regulators.

In January, the Significant Investments Review Act was passed, giving authorities the ability to examine significant investments in businesses that serve Singapore’s national security interests.

According to the Transport Ministry, the new law will replace the SIRA, which would mean that businesses that are designated under its sectoral legislation will not be categorized as such at the same time.

Mr. Chee explained the distinction between SIRA and the proposed law. He claimed that SIRA is intended to complement sector-specific laws and safeguards, but that sector-specific controls should be put in place where possible.

We do n’t want to be vaccinated under SIRA in any way, even for entities that are adequately regulated by sectoral legislation, such as critical transport companies covered by MOT’s sectoral acts.

Continue Reading

NSG BioLabs drives biotech innovation in Southeast Asia with support from EnterpriseSG, Merck, and investments from Celadon Partners and ClavystBio

  • Committed to help inventors, contribute to S’pore’s biotech habitat
  • Announced a US$ 14.5 million funding from Celadon Partners and ClayvstBio

 NSG BioLabs drives biotech innovation in Southeast Asia with support from EnterpriseSG, Merck, and investments from Celadon Partners and ClavystBio

NSG BioLabs, Singapore’s company of biotech co- working labs and workplace space has announced partnerships with Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government agency championing enterprise development, and Merck, a leading science and technology company, to boost the biomedical landscape by providing needed resources for as funding, expertise and networks to advance startup research and development. &nbsp,

In a statement, the company said it has also concluded a US$ 14.5 million ( RM68.7 million ) financing round led by Celadon Partners, an Asian private equity firm, and ClayvstBio, a life science investor and venture builder set up by Temasek to accelerate the commercialisation of breakthrough ideas to health impact. &nbsp,

It added that these achievements reaffirm the company’s power and expertise in providing higher- quality, nicely- managed, and turnkey Biosafety Level 2 accredited laboratory and office spaces. Also, these milestones underscore NSG BioLabs as an ecology precursor, providing value- include services and networks, which are critical in driving technological innovation and business growth.

Since 2019, NSG BioLabs has been assisting innovators in creating effective solutions in the health, medical, agrifood, and professional biotechnology sectors, working in areas like as precision medicine, nucleic acids, AI- enabled drug discovery, and artificial biology. The company has assisted over 40 businesses as residents with what it claims to be the biggest co-working biotech laboratory and office footprint in Singapore. &nbsp,

 NSG BioLabs drives biotech innovation in Southeast Asia with support from EnterpriseSG, Merck, and investments from Celadon Partners and ClavystBioThe company’s current residents include numerous multi-billion-dollar corporations as well as numerous promising startups that have achieved significant success. The startup residents have already established hundreds of jobs and successfully raised nearly US$ 400 million ( RM1.9 billion ) in funding. &nbsp,

NSG BioLabs, the company’s CEO and founder, Daphne Teo ( pic ), expressed her support for innovators and how proud of its contribution to Singapore’s expanding biotech ecosystem. We hope to encourage greater collaboration among other stakeholders to benefit the biotech industry in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region, she said.” Our partnerships with EnterpriseSG and Merck demonstrate the importance of a collaborative spirit.”

” We are thankful for the recognition from our investors, Celadon Partners and ClavystBio, and look forward to further empowering our residents in their innovation efforts through expanded facilities, enhanced value- add offerings, and greater exposure to valuable industry networking and mentorship experiences”, Teo said.

NSG BioLabs has been part of EnterpriseSG’s Startup SG Accelerator programme since 2019. In order to accelerate the development and commercialization of such deep tech solutions, the company announced a new partnership with EnterpriseSG to invest in and nurture more high-potential biotech startups. In particular, the company expanded support for those with promising innovations in fields like precision medicine.

Dr Clarice Chen, director of Healthcare and Biomedical, EnterpriseSG stated that Singapore’s biotech landscape has evolved significantly, with a burgeoning community of global startups and doubled healthtech deals in 2023. By providing patient capital, infrastructure, and expertise, EnterpriseSG will continue to collaborate with industry partners like NSG BioLabs to advance the development of novel deep tech innovations like AI-enabled platforms and targeted therapies. This will strengthen Singapore’s edge in precision medicine and revolutionise healthcare delivery”, she added.

The newly acquired funds from Celadon Partners and ClavystBio will be used to improve its products and services and build additional facilities to meet the growing demands of biotech startups and multinational companies in Singapore and Southeast Asia, according to NSG BioLabs, in order to further its mission of supporting biotech innovators.

We are confident that NSG BioLabs ‘ innovative co-working model will provide compelling solutions to biotech startups and companies in the Southeast Asian region given the sector’s significant growth being driven by healthcare needs. NSG BioLabs ‘ commitment to enabling businesses to quickly track their research and development efforts is commendable, according to Donald Tang, managing partner at Celadon Partners.

Meanwhile, Khoo Shih CEO ClavystBio said, the company is excited to foster the growth of Singapore’s life science ecosystem through its support of NSG BioLabs, and its resident startups. ” This investment reinforces ClavystBio’s mission to accelerate breakthrough science into health impact through venture building, and strategic partnerships”, he said. &nbsp,

NSG BioLabs cultivates mutually beneficial relationships between its residents and other important parties as a significant platform in the area with a proven and expanding scale. The company has partnered with Merck to give its residents special terms for Merck’s reagents and life sciences equipment in order to further enable their residents to develop, grow, and scale up. Additionally, the partnership grants you preferential access to biopharma processing expertise and advice on how to increase production.

Continue Reading

Why this bank lawyer volunteers to teach seniors how to use digital banking apps and PayLah!

” People with higher-income families can afford to make investments in their children and in enrichment classes.” While there’s still mobility for children from low- income families, parents do n’t have the means to]invest in these ] or have more urgent needs to meet”, she observed.

Tan, whose mother worked in a factory and her father was a sand truck drivers, has a strong sense of this. Tan was a latchkey baby.

” In principal one, I did really hard, especially for English. I got 50 to 60 scars. My English professor wrote … only one written sentence]in my statement book]. She said,’ She if talk less and study more’.

” It was extremely harsh. After that, I sort of clammed up in class. But I started to read a bit. That taught me that harsh words do n’t need to define you. They can be incentives,” she told CNA Women.

I also learned from my parents ‘ hard work and how much they valued their time and money with their families.

” My mother never gave up on us,” my mother said. That spurred me to labor hard in school”, she added.

Tan’s passion for the principles of justice, fairness, and justice led to her decision to pursue law school, where she commenced her legal career. She eventually transitioned because she recognized fiscal law as her main priority.

Nevertheless, equity continued to appeal to Tan, and nowadays, voluntary work helps her to understand these dreams.

” It’s my way of reaching out while advocating and championing for these people and friends by engaging with the more vulnerable and donating some of my time, resources, and talents. She said,” Everyone of us can do little things to raise up folks in our fast circles.”

Continue Reading

Elon Musk on collision course with China’s future - Asia Times

What a change 11, 000 km make. Elon Musk may be considering this as Tesla’s stock prices boom as a result of the billionaire’s authority to depart from Austin, Texas, for Beijing.

Sure, Musk claims to have overcome some legal difficulties in order to introduce his driver support system in the world’s largest vehicle market. According to reports in the media, Musk and Baidu Inc. agreed to work together on tracking and mapping software and fulfilled some requirements for data security. That, after he met with “old friend” &nbsp, Li Qiang, China’s premier.

However, Tesla’s two immobile things are forgotten by investors who give Musk’s invincible force the benefit of the doubt. One, the influx of affordable, new Chinese electric vehicles ( EVs ) that Musk might not be able to offer. Two, the threat of another Donald Trump presidency.

The first difficulty is related to one of the causes of Tesla’s 22 % decline this year. The prints of China’s growing danger are all over why,” since soon 2023, sentiment on Tesla has deteriorated”, says John Murphy, an analyst at Bank of America.

According to JPMorgan researcher Ryan Brinkman,” the broad layoffs” Tesla announced in the middle of April, which “amounted to a reduction in manned production capacity, may presently left no doubt that the decline in deliveries has been a function of lower demand and not source.”

Never mind terrible reports of the fatal implementation of Musk’s lengthy- awaited&nbsp, Cybertruck, with its” trapped wheel” fault going viral on social media. Even after the “nightmarish cost breaks” Musk announced in middle- April,” the whole amount” of the problems they represent “are n’t being thoroughly appreciated by Mr Market”, says Gordon Johnson, scientist at GLJ Research. He refers to Tesla as” the best short-play in the stock market right now.”

Thus the necessity of Musk’s wonder China explore. As&nbsp, Michael&nbsp, Dunne, CEO of automobile industry consulting ZoZoGo, says,” Elon may use a small prefer right now. Is China in the disposition”?

Only time will tell. As Johnson tweeted on April 30:” The issue$ TSLA needs to answer is simple: Did you get a passport, like BYD/others beneath, to give level 3 autonomous vehicles in China? All assumes that they did. We at&nbsp, @GLJ_Research are of the firm belief they DID NOT ( as everyone is assuming ). So…&nbsp, @elonmusk/@Tesla, may you choose clear this up for people”?

For now, though, Musk conveying a significant Chinese acceptance is a “home work” for Tesla, says Dan Ives, scientist at funding company Wedbush, which maintained its “outperform” ranking on the stock.

As required by Beijing’s regulatory bodies, Tesla has documented all data that its Chinese fleet has collected in Shanghai since 2021. If Musk is able to obtain Beijing’s consent to transfer data collected in China abroad, it would be crucial for the global expansion of training for its autonomous technology.

In a note to clients, Morgan Stanley argues the symbolism of Musk’s sudden China drive- by speaks volumes, signaling Tesla’s determination to be part of a broader mainland ecosystem. &nbsp,

The bank comes to the conclusion that” Musk winning blessing from the People’s Republic of China for full- self-driving roll-out in the country seems to address embedded concerns about Tesla’s China profit.”

Here, Musk’s personal bond with Li is a big plus. It was Li, back in his days as Shanghai party boss, who lobbied Musk to open a Tesla “gigafactory” in the city. The facility, which opened in April 2022, was Tesla’s first outside the US, giving President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party some bragging rights.

On November 20, 2020, workers at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai. Photo: Xinhua

Musk is now making an implication about expanding his production in China. In 2022, Tesla contributed roughly one- quarter of Shanghai’s overall total automotive production.

As Musk looks to expand his autonomous driving fleet and sales to Chinese consumers, local governments should look for closer ties with Tesla to win some of those jobs.

It’s just what Li’s image makers might’ve hoped for as Tesla looks to&nbsp, “aggressively focus on building out its China footprint”, Ives notes. Even though China has its own promising EV companies, including BYD Co. Musk understands that Xi’s nation has become” the golden goose EV market”, Ives notes.

As such, Tesla’s mainland plant is now the “heart and lungs” of Musk ‘s&nbsp, global production.

Yet Musk’s problem is no longer just the&nbsp, Warren Buffett- backed BYD. It’s an entire fleet of EV upstarts beginning to clog the roads for business in Asia’s biggest economy. The ongoing Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, dubbed Auto China 2024, demonstrates what Musk is up against, as Asia Times contributor Scott Foster detailed this week.

The event, Foster argues, is showcasing how many mainland rivals are catching up with EV pioneer Tesla and, worse, “increasingly making it look like an ordinary car company”. And Tesla is not even present at the May 5 event that continues. ” Meanwhile”, as&nbsp, Foster writes,” Tesla has dropped to third place in the new- energy vehicle retail sales ranking in China”.

China Passenger Car Association data shows BYD sold 586, 000 units in the first quarter of 2024, while Geely sold 137, 000 to Tesla’s 132, 000 and Changan’s 126, 000. That is exactly one year after the quarter in which BYD surpassed Tesla in battery-powered electric vehicles.

Garrett Nelson, an equity analyst at CFRA Research, claims that Tesla’s introduction of new low-cost vehicles to the market over the upcoming years would serve as” the catalyst the stock needs.”

The catch, of course, is that mainland automakers are ahead of Tesla in that respect.  Mosque’s ambitions clash with China’s desire to dominate the EV boom, especially as US consumers become less interested in the sector and Japanese manufacturers like Toyota cling to hybrids.

Tesla is very important to China, but Beijing’s top priority is increased domestic competition and exporting goods abroad. As mainland prices continue to drop, can Musk’s one- time EV juggernaut compete?

An equally unanswerable question: what happens if Trump wins the&nbsp, November 5&nbsp, US election and imposes his&nbsp, 60 % taxes&nbsp, on all Chinese goods? Trump is also putting together a list of potential 100 % tariffs on some auto imports.

Sure, Tesla makes loads of cars in the US. But Musk might suddenly face two dilemmas. One, Trump forcing Tesla to pick a side: produce vehicles in the US or China. The chances of the” America first” president allowing Musk to play on both sides are essentially nonexistent.

At the same time, Morgan Stanley warns, there’s also the national security risks stemming from Musk’s China dealings. Making more Teslas in China might put the contracts between SpaceX and various US government agencies in danger.

In a second Joe Biden term, these issues might also arise. The more US Congress members might consider excluding Musk’s interests the closer they are to China, especially in terms of data sharing roles.

The US president has taken drastic measures to restrict access to essential US technology on the continent in recent weeks. Additionally, he has added new protectionist tariffs to imports of Chinese steel and aluminum.

According to US National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard,” China’s policy-driven overcapacity poses a serious risk to the future of the American steel and aluminum industry.” ” China cannot export its way to recovery. China is simply too large to follow its own laws.

Trade tensions are surging elsewhere, too. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warns that “global markets are now flooded with  cheaper Chinese electric cars and their price is artificially low thanks to massive state subsidies.

Chinese electric vehicles are having trouble gaining foothold in Western markets. Photo: Clean Techica / X Screengrab

Musk’s recent pleas for new trade restrictions to stop Chinese electric vehicles from “demolish” the world’s competition could be another potential hiccup.

Tesla shareholders were informed earlier this year that Chinese automakers are the “most competitive” and” will have significant success outside of China, depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established.”

Musk added that “most other car companies in the world will almost completely collapse if there are no trade barriers established.” They’re extremely good”.

And now, fully aware of the complicated web that Musk will have to navigate while remaining in Trump’s and Xi’s good graces. Is it even possible, given that the two biggest economies are trying to decouple their economies? The globe’s second- richest man is about to find out.

Follow William Pesek on X at @WilliamPesek

Continue Reading

Are EVs the future or merely a niche market? - Asia Times

The automotive industry is at a very challenging time in its history. How can it predict the future?

Digital technology ‘ technological miracles have occasionally become brand-new consumer goods and services. And what is most impressive is how fast they have come to be regarded as requirements.

Consider in the past few decades colour television, personal laptops, flat panel displays, wireless connections, digital photography and photo store, LED light sources, contact and internet-based services.

In each case, it took a few years for these innovations to become widely used, a state where record is immediately forgotten. Who remembers 35mm film cameras, light bulbs or Television devices with cathode ray tube? Or 78rpm files?

A world where such significant innovations are immediately accepted as normal also encourages the anticipation of fresh markets created by innovations and the anticipation that like markets may be immediately accepted to the point of establishing significant fresh industries.

If the business size advancements do not match expectations, investing in for future markets calls for significant amounts of capital and opportunities for great profit or loss. This funding issue is currently facing the automotive industry.

Planning is a significant challenge for market planners and investors because the more capital and architectural investment are needed, the bigger the expected market opportunity.

Industrial managers have been ruined by historical instances in which new electronic products eventually replace the outdated people 100 % of the time.

This essentially occurred with light, video displays, and digital cameras, where the rates of new devices dropped as sales volume increased to the point where older products became ineffective in a short period of time.

The success of the new products was based on outstanding performance, reliability, size and freedom.

However, it is too easy and dangerous to foresee that all new electronic devices will just completely replace older ones. This is not always a safe assumption, according to two recent examples: autonomous consumer vehicles and electronic vehicles ( EVs ).

Customer concerns persist over the safety of intelligent consumer vehicles in general traffic despite billions of dollars in investment.

Basic problems impede the mass deployment of self-driving cars, and until they are overcome, for vehicles will be niche machines used in controlled environments.

EVs that quickly found a market in the past few years saw a decrease in battery and production costs as well as improvements in technology and higher production rates. This opens up a bigger opportunity.

In the United States, EVs have quickly grown to account for 8 percent of all car sales in the last quarter of 2018, up from 2 % to 2 %. 1 % in the last quarter of 2023.

In the near future, in the next ten years or less, EVs will be largely replaced by internal combustion engines, according to this advancement.

Then, sales growth slowed, and this presumption is being tested. The Wall Street Journal published a feature article earlier this month that outlined the negative impact the EV industry leader had had on the company.

Is the decline in sales merely a temporary phenomenon or a result of consumer concerns? Did EV sales in 2024 decline as a result of consumers ‘ concerns about the inherent drawbacks of EVs, such as the need for battery chargers and the decline in performance at cold temperatures?

Many potential customers opted to buy conventional cars or new hybrid vehicles with some of the economic benefits of EVs without their handicaps, believing that their advantages were offset by handicaps that made them unattractive as family cars.

Are EVs a niche market or a complete replacement for conventional cars with combustion?    

The decline in sales may be a temporary blip or a result of growing consumer skepticism. Time will tell, but uncertainty will leave manufacturers making difficult and costly decisions.

Industrialists had to make difficult choices as a result of the pace of large-scale technological innovations. None of the above come to mind, though, considering the serious economic repercussions of making the wrong choice for automakers.

Dr Henry Kressel is a technologist, inventor with many pioneering contributions, author and long term private equity investor in technology companies.

Continue Reading

ACE listed Systech acquires Wilstech, giving 3X return to ECF investors

  • Next ECF return for Ata Plus after 2019 return of Skilafund
  • US$ 15m merger consists of US$ 4.2m money &amp, US$ 11.6m in stock

ACE listed Systech acquires Wilstech, giving 3X return to ECF investors

Bursa Malaysia has granted the approval to Systech Bhd, a company listed on the ACE Market, to acquire Wilstech Sdn Bhd, for a total purchase consideration of US$ 15.82 million ( RM75 million ) consisting of RM20 million in cash and RM55 million via the issuance of 152, 777, 777 Systech shares. Wilstech, an IT solutions provider, raised UD$ 316, 400 ( RM1.5 million ) through an equity crowdfunding (ECF ) campaign with Ata Plus Sdn Bhd in Sept 2020 at a RM25 million valuation.

Ata Plus applauds the merger as a testament to the utility of ECF as a viable investment platform for businesses with high-growth potential. This is the second Ata Plus ECF leave. The second return in 2019 was a corporate merger of Skolafund, a societal impact business.

]RM1 = US$ 0.211]

” Since 2020, I’m proud to say that we have grown from strength to strength. ECF funding “undoubtedly played a significant role in our development trip,” according to Wilson Low, founder and CEO of Wilstech, “particularly in our product development, business growth, and consumer acquisition.”

Nowadays, Wilstech specialises in business- to- business ( B2B ) IT options, IT infrastructure, IT management and offshoring and the offer of IT equipment. Its users span across the open market, GLCs, corporates and SMEs.

Since its ECF investment practice, Wilstech has experienced remarkable growth in both revenue and profit. The yr- on- time revenue growth for 2020/21 and 2021/22 are 146 % and 167 % between, whilst the Income- After- Duty is 113 % and 199 % both for 2020/21 and 2021/22. From an 8- person firm in 2020, it has grown to 40 team in 3 times. We are appreciative of the trust and confidence that ECF investors have in us and the support the Malaysian government has received from the MyCIF ( Malaysia Co-Investment Fund ) program. I am delighted to be able to offer good results to our shareholders, especially the ECF owners. Without their unwavering belief and aid, we would not have achieved the status we hold today”, Wilson added.

ECF offers investors exposure to a wide array of substantial- development companies spanning across different industries, such as technology, care, F&amp, B, agriculture, greentech, education and consumer goods. This growth, coupled with the high profit potential, makes ECF an interesting purchase avenue. ECF was created by the Securities Commission to give retail investors the opportunity to invest in and take advantage of the expansion of promising companies through regulated ECF platforms like ATA Plus. Investors should be aware of the risks involved and conduct thorough assessments before investing, despite platforms like ATA Plud conducting thorough due diligence, disclosing pertinent information and the terms of the companies listed on its platform.

ACE listed Systech acquires Wilstech, giving 3X return to ECF investorsThe success of Wilstech’s acquisition is a testament to the power of ECF in guiding businesses to success. Through ECF, the money that Wilstech raised helped it meet its business objectives and ultimately draw in a larger, established player like Systech. This success story underscores EC F’s value for investors and entrepreneurs alike”, said Elain Lockman ( pic ), Ata Plus ‘ CEO and co- founder.

With Systech’s acquisition of Wilstech as a prime example, ECF emerges as a promising investment avenue for portfolio diversification through curated high-growth ventures. Regulated platforms like Ata Plus provide access to such opportunities, fostering SMEs and startups and bolstering the nation’s economic growth. Visit Ata Plus at for more information about ECF and to learn about exciting investment opportunities. ata-

Continue Reading