US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

The United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions. (Reuters)
Updated 25 June 2018
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US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying US companies in “industrially significant” technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the US National Security Council and Commerce Department were also devising plans for “enhanced” export controls to keep such technologies from being shipped to China.
The newspaper said the plans were expected to be announced by the end of the week but were not finalized and that industry would have a chance to comment before they went into effect.
The initiatives, the newspaper said, are designed to hamper plans that Beijing outlined under its “Made in China 2025” strategy to become a global leader in 10 key sectors that include robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars.
Citing people familiar with the internal Trump administration debate, the newspaper said the United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions.
It said the administration would look only at new deals and would not try to unwind existing ones, adding that the planned investment bar would not distinguish between Chinese state-owned and private companies.
The White House on May 29 said the Trump administration would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, with details to be announced by June 30. It also said it would unveil a revised list of Chinese goods for tariffs, which it did on June 15.
The White House, Treasury Department and Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Chinese president Xi urges financial risk prevention while seeking stable growth

Updated 23 February 2019
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Chinese president Xi urges financial risk prevention while seeking stable growth

  • China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in almost 30 years
  • Preventing and resolving financial risks, especially systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task

BEIJING: China should seek stable development of its economy while not forgetting to fend off risks to its financial system, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday.
China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace in almost 30 years, spurring policymakers to bolster growth by easing credit conditions and cutting taxes.
“It is necessary to focus on preventing risks on the basis of steady growth, while strengthening the countercyclical adjustment of fiscal policy and monetary policy and ensuring that the economy operates in a reasonable range,” Xi said.
Preventing and resolving financial risks, especially systemic financial risks, is a fundamental task, the agency cited Xi as telling a study session for senior Communist Party officials on Friday.
On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang reiterated that China would not resort to “flood-like” stimulus such as it unleashed in past downturns.
But after a spate of weak data, investors are asking if Beijing needs to speed or boost support to reduce the risk of a sharper slowdown.
Until now, China has refrained from cutting benchmark interest rates to spur the slowing economy, which would ease financing costs but risk adding to a mountain of debt.
To free up more funds for lending to small and private businesses, the central bank has cut the reserves that banks need to set aside five times in the past year.
Last month, Chinese banks made the most new loans on record, a total of 3.23 trillion yuan ($481 billion). A central bank official said previously that no credit floodgate had been opened, and the lending jump showed recent easing steps were working.
China’s financial sector must serve the real economy, Xi said, but stable growth and risk prevention must be balanced.