Chinese New Year is upon us again, this time shifting through to the year of the tiger. Will it have a bite? If so, of whom?
This recent period has been pretty quiet for China, except for the emergence of clusters of virus cases and the determined squashing of same by the Center. The Winter Olympics are about the begin and they will go off without a hitch, with of course no visitors and strict quarantining of everyone and everything. Then the year gets started in earnest with the countdown to the 20th Party Congress in October. There are lots of problems out there, and it is always possible that grey rhinos or black swans intervene to rock the boat of state, but in all likelihood things are going to go smoothly through the year, with lower growth, continued emphasis on common prosperity, and few chance-y events that have an uncertain outcome. Steady as they go, will be the byword, and woe betide anyone who acts to upset that. By the time of the Congress, we will also have a clearer view of just how long-term the border controls are, how difficult it is to maintain a zero covid policy, and how much the availability of more effective vaccines is going to allow the freer movement of people to resume. Our prediction is that is going to be a very slow process indeed.
In other news, the slow-moving property crisis inched forward with property developer Yuzhou missing bond payments and Shimao announcing plans to sell 34 projects across the country to help bolster its liquidity. Meanwhile, in the decoupling arena, the FCC revoked China’s Unicom’s right to operate in the US, and Apple’s iPhone climbed back to the top of the smart phone chart, beating Huawei to become the biggest seller in the China market. What does that mean? That many young people appreciate a symbol of international-ness, perhaps?
Have a great lunar new break, if you get one, burn some incense to the right deity and try to receive more red packets than you dispense.
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