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China policy round-up: Huawei gets another 90-day reprieve, Shenzhen receives new status, China no longer the largest US treasuries holder

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By Rebecca Feng
23 Aug 2019

In this round-up, the US gave Huawei another three months to buy supplies from US companies, the Chinese government revealed plans to turn Shenzhen into ‘a demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ and Japan replaced China as the largest holder of US treasuries

The US Department of Commerce announced on Monday that it will extend Huawei Technologies’s temporary general licence for another 90 days permitting the company to buy supplies from US companies. The extension, expiring November 19, renews a temporary licence that expired on August 19.

“We recognise that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Fox Business on Monday.

The Department of Commerce first blacklisted Huawei in May and then granted a temporary permit to the company to continue purchasing from US suppliers for three months on May 20.

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The Chinese government is working to turn Shenzhen into the next Hong Kong or, as it put it, “a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” according to a document released by the State Council and the Central Committee, subsequently published by state media Xinhua.

Shenzhen will receive favourable regulations that conform to international standards in the fields of investments, acquisitions and renminbi internationalisation. The regulators will also connect the financial market of Shenzhen with those of Hong Kong and Macau. The city will have an upgraded healthcare system and education system, the document read. The city will be able to tweak local laws if necessary to fit its own interest, as long as they agree with the national laws.

In other news, the State Council also sought to export the IPO registration system already implemented in the Shanghai Star board to Shenzhen’s ChiNext board. The ChiNext board was originally established in October 2009 to emulate the Nasdaq board. By August 23, there were a total of 769 companies listed on the board.

The ChiNext Index jumped 3.5% on Monday.

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Japan replaced China as the largest holder of US government debt in June, according to the latest data from the US Department of the Treasury.

Japan now holds $1.12tr of treasury bonds, a $21.9bn increase from May. Meanwhile, China sold another $2.3bn of treasuries in June, now holding $1.11tr.

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The People’s Bank of China published the “Development Plan of Financial Technology 2019-2021” on Thursday.

The plan highlighted the need to establish a comprehensive framework of fintech development and strengthen fintech’s application in real life .

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The National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, the interbank bond regulator, has formally started to allow foreign banks to apply for type-A underwriting licences in the Chinese interbank bond market on Wednesday.

A type-A licence allows foreign financial institutions to act as underwriter for all kinds of bonds in the interbank market, ranging from super short-term commercial paper to medium-term notes, private placement notes and asset-backed notes.

Interested foreign banks need to turn in their applications by August 28.

By Rebecca Feng
23 Aug 2019