US giants fear WeChat ban will harm them

Business | Agencies and Winnie Lee 14 Aug 2020

Major US companies including Apple, Ford, Walmart and Walt Disney are worried about businesses being banned together with Tencent (0700) by the US government, the Wall Street Journal reported, and the next target is believed to be Alibaba (9988).

More than a dozen major US multinational companies raised concerns in a call with White House officials on Tuesday about the potentially broad scope and impact of Trump's executive order targeting WeChat, set to take effect late next month.

Tencent shares fell 2.02 percent yesterday after the result announcement.

Meanwhile, China's banking industry is expected to dispose of 3.4 trillion yuan (HK$3.79 trillion) of bad loans in 2020 to contain financial risks in an economy weakened by Covid-19 and will review the country's reserve policy to support the economy, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The sector will further step up bad loan disposals in 2021, as some of the problems will be exposed next year due to delayed loan payments," Xinhua quoted Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, as saying in an interview released yesterday.

Guo said the commission and the People's Bank of China will study reserve policies to prop up the economy.

With more local government lending, the yuan jumped to a one-week high. The onshore yuan rose 13 points to 6.9445 per one US dollar.

Meanwhile, the PBOC said it is studying financial cooperation with Macau.

Yi Gang, the governor of the People's Bank of China, held a meeting with Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng. During the meeting, they discussed financial cooperation between the mainland and Macau.

In other news, first seven-month foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland expanded 0.5 percent year on year to 535.65 billion yuan, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

The investment rose 15.8 percent to 63.47 billion yuan in July. It has recorded positive growth for four consecutive months.

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