Hong Kong’s About Face

The trade war drags. U.S. companies are getting fed up with the trade war. Over 600 firms, including Walmart and Target, signed a letter urging President Trump to resolve the dispute, which they claim is hurting business in the U.S. “Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices,” the letter says. Reuters

Beijing turns the screws. Beijing summoned representatives from several major tech firms, including Microsoft, Dell and Samsung, and pressed them to continue working with Huawei. The meeting came days after China announced it is developing an “unreliable entities” list to blacklist foreign firms. China’s economic planner, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said it was putting together another list to better manage tech it sees as integral to national security. New York Times

Pressure makes diamonds. China’s economic tsar, Liu He, has argued that “external pressures” could help boost China’s economy by forcing the country to innovate and develop its own tech. Chinese leaders have put that spin on the trade war before and there is a certain truth to it – fractured trade partnerships will force countries to be more self-sufficient – but growth will inevitably be slower than when expertise are shared. South China Morning Post

Huffing and puffing. Haitong International Securities Group, a brokerage, has cut ties with UBS following remarks made by one of the Swiss bank’s chief analysts, Paul Donovan. While discussing how the spread of African swine fever in China has caused consumer inflation, Donovan said, “Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig.” Some believe Donovan was calling Chinese people pigs; others reasonably believe Donovan was referring to China’s pig stock, over 900,000 of which have been culled. Reuters

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