Colin Appleton from Chongqing-based Nadero observes China celebrating its National Day Golden Week, the first major celebrations to be held since the outbreak of Covid-19. “In normal times, it’s a time for shopping and holidays,” he said. “This year will be a good indicator of how China is back on track, after claims the pandemic is largely under control here.”
Around the Nadero offices, there has mostly been a return to normalcy, but the lingering effects of what has happened are hard to overcome, Appleton commented.
This year should see a massive spending boost to the domestic economy as over 500 million trips will be taken. Last year millions traveled abroad, but not this year. While 500 million is fewer trips than last year, it will provide a hearty shot in the arm for many tourism-related businesses, said a Nadero note this week, adding that hotels appear to be fully booked and tourist attractions sold out.
Last year in Hong Kong, China’s National Day celebrations were marked with protests and turmoil, with fires being lit, streets blocked off, and police using tear gas, pepper spray, and firing live bullets, hitting one demonstrator. This year, police quickly silenced any potential protesting with thousands of police smothering the small turnout, corralling and searching groups of protesters.
The difference this year reflects how the Hong Kong police have taken advantage of social distancing rules, a massive police presence, and the controversial national security law to quell pro-democracy voices according to the Nadero note.
As China and the U.S. continue to battle for dominance in the tech sphere, chipmakers in Taiwan are caught in the crossfire. “They need to adhere to U.S. regulations, while many of their customers are located in China,” noted Nadero.
Last month, the U.S. government effectively forced Taiwanese chipmakers to cease accepting orders from Huawei, following that up with an announcement that U.S. companies will need special permission to export to China’s leading tech company.
In the high-stakes conflict, TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), a leader in the industry, can no longer be allied to both sides. China has been encouraging its own chip sector, partly by attempting to lure Taiwanese experts to their shores.
The American’s ability to put Huawei in a choke illustrates that even with massive Chinese progress in recent years, it is the United States that still has the final say about the technologies that the modern world relies on to function.
In other developments:
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s operator said it planned to restart trading on Friday after a technical issue prevented investors from placing any orders and completely shut down the exchange the day before.
Like China, the Russian government has mostly declared the virus vanquished, but Putin is taking no chances and has been isolating in a virus-free bubble.
Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, is planning to extend the country’s state of emergency until at least the beginning of February 2021.
Israel is effectively shutting down, with everyone apart from essential workers being told to stay at home and not go to their jobs from Friday in an effort to dampen one of the worst outbreaks of the virus.
More positively, for the people of India, despite a rise in new cases, cinemas and entertainment parks are to reopen with limited capacity, and some states may be entitled to open schools.