Germany is preparing to take stakes in or buy out domestic companies in a weakened financial situation due to COVID-19 to prevent opportunistic acquisitions by Chinese firms which could jeopardize Germany's future competitiveness, Nikkei reports.
China says that the Belt and Road Initiative will not be impacted by COVID-19, and has continued to commit to new infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia. While experts suggest that China's slowing economy will lead the Chinese government to prioritize domestic spending, Southeast Asia is likely to remain a focus for Chinese investment, Nikkei reports.
Central Asia, a region at the heart of China's Belt and Road Initiative, has been sharply affected by the economic downturn in China and falling energy prices due to the global spread of the COVID-19 epidemic while country-level responses to the virus have varied widely, Nikkei reports.
As the U.S. considers tightening export controls on Huawei, the company warned that such action could trigger a similar response against U.S. companies by the Chinese government, Nikkei reports.
The president of Serbia recently greeted a Chinese medical team arriving to assist the fight against COVID-19, underscoring Beijing's diplomatic efforts to give aid and advice to countries participating in its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Restrictions and lockdown orders in response to the coronavirus outbreak are forcing manufacturers to stop production, negatively impacting supply chains. Steel manufacturers may temporarily halt blast furnaces for the first time since 2009 and Japanese telecoms expect a delay in 5G rollout due to supply chain issues, Nikkei reports.
China's three largest mobile telecom companies, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, are reluctant to expand their investments in building out 5G capability as economic growth stalls, Nikkei reports.
President Xi Jinping recently floated the idea of creating a "health silk road" paralleling the Belt and Road, which could further China's "mask diplomacy" efforts to provide medical supplies abroad and portray itself as a provider of international public goods. However, experts note that disinformation efforts by Chinese officials about COVID-19 are prompting pushback and could hinder such efforts.
Chinese president Xi Jinping is set to increase spending on crucial infrastructure including 5G network deployment and data center construction to help the economy recover from the impact of COVID-19, Nikkei reports.
Pakistan and China recently signed new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during President Arif Alvi's visit to China, but experts doubt China's willingness to substantially increase economic assistance to Pakistan, including to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Nikkei reports.
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile services provider, said that it will spend $14 billion on the rollout of 5G services, including the construction of 250,000 5G base stations. The move forward continues despite delays and revenue losses due to the coronavirus, Nikkei reports.
The recent outbreak of African swine flu in China has pushed demand for imported meat to record numbers, but pork exporters globally face difficulty shipping meat to China due to quarantines that delay shipping within the country. Experts suggest it could take six weeks for shipping chains to recover, Nikkei reports.
Bangkok's railway is set to double to approximately 300 km in 2023, Thailand hopes that this development will ease traffic and help achieve sustainable, high-quality economic growth, Nikkei reports.
As the coronavirus necessitates greater emphasis on cooperation between the U.S. and China, some experts worry that Washington’s decision to postpone the U.S.-ASEAN summit following a period of perceived disengagement risks pushing Southeast Asian countries further toward China and delays discussions on critical topics, including the U.S. rival to the BRI, Nikkei reports.
Russia has become Huawei's fastest growing market as Moscow seeks to reduce dependence on Western technological infrastructure, and the Chinese tech company recently announced a partnership with Russia's Sberbank to develop a cloud platform.
Japanese lawmakers are pushing for the development of a digital yen in response to concerns that China could set international standards for digital currency technology, aided by the prevalence of the Belt and Road in countries with developing financial systems, Nikkei reports.
Oppo, China's second-largest smartphone producer, has teamed up with 11 carriers around the world and plans to invest $7 billion in its new 5G technologies rollout as part of an effort to take overseas market share from top competitor Huawei, Nikkei reports.
Growing investment in satellite communications, especially in Asia, indicates that small satellites will increasingly be used in combination with 5G to meet demand for high speed connectivity, Nikkei reports.
China's Belt and Road investments are facing public criticism in Laos as Chinese-built hydropower plants disrupt the local fishing industry. Some Chinese agricultural businesses have also been accused of poor labor and environmental standards while the IMF and other organizations have flagged the risk of debt distress in the country, Nikkei reports.
Given the worsening global economy and recent foreign investment decreases in the Philippines, critics claim President Duterte's efforts to shut down domestic utilities and media companies on charges of corruption are economically unwise, Nikkei reports.
Beijing is pushing for what it calls Global Energy Interconnection, a vision of a multi-trillion-dollar worldwide electricity network, which presents an opportunity for emerging economies experiencing power shortages but also the risk of vulnerability and insecurity, Nikkei reports.
The Gwadar Smart Port City Masterplan, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has attracted criticism due to lack of transparency and aims that some experts call unrealistic. The plan estimates over 2000 percent population growth by 2050 and will require more than $648 million for basic infrastructure alone, Nikkei reports.
Beijing is using big data and its social credit system to slow the spread of COVID-19, and these measures have improved Chinese cities' digital infrastructure and strengthened the state's surveillance capacities, Nikkei reports.
Chinese-funded projects along the Mekong River are increasingly facing pushback from governments and environmentalists in the region as water levels drop due to drought and the construction of large dams. In an attempt to address these concerns, Vietnam plans to add the Mekong River to ASEAN's agenda this year, Nikkei reports.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
Environmental and anti-globalization groups in Belgium are seeking to halt the construction of a logistics hub by Chinese company Alibaba, claiming the $80 million project will increase pollution and create only low-quality jobs, Nikkei reports.
The U.S.-based chip maker Intel intends to be the market leader for 5G base station chips by 2021, teaming up with Ericsson and other key partners to compete with Chinese tech-giant Huawei, Nikkei reports.
Huawei says it currently has 91 commercial 5G contracts worldwide, surpassing its chief competitor Ericsson's 79 contracts. The company also announced plans to invest $20 million in 5G innovation projects in the UK, Nikkei reports.
Telecommunications companies across India are protesting the timing of an upcoming 5G auction, claiming that prices are set too high given the sector's recent financial difficulties; however, New Delhi believes a delay will hinder the country's digital economy, Nikkei reports.
French train maker Alstom is set to take over a railway unit of Canada's Bombardier in an $8.2 billion deal aimed at giving it the scale to better compete with China's CRRC, which continues to advance in Africa and Asia through the BRI, Nikkei reports.
Thailand's 5G development is moving forward with domestic mobile operators. The nation's largest telecommunications firm recently acquired several frequency bands key to providing high-speed internet and internet of things technologies, Nikkei reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised "a million dollars of assistance to increase trade and connectivity between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan," during a visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, China's presence in Central Asia is growing, in part due to heavy investment in the region's infrastructure development through its Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has crafted a China policy that mixes caution with engagement, for example, expanding the U.S.-Japan security alliance while also jointly funding Belt and Road projects, Nikkei reports.
As Chinese investment projects in the Philippines face scrutiny due to their potential security and environmental impacts, President Duterte has warned courts against challenging Chinese-backed projects. Until mid-2019, no Chinese infrastructure projects in the Philippines had started construction, Nikkei reports.
The shutdown of Wuhan, a strategic transport hub, in response to the coronavirus outbreak could negatively impact China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Beijing and Naypyitaw have agreed to a $9 billion rail link between Muse and Mandalay, Nikkei reports.
New legislation will allow Japan to support the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals across Asia, positioning Tokyo to take advantage of a rapidly growing LNG market, Nikkei reports.
Concerns about U.S. restrictions on advanced technology have brought Russia and China together, with the two countries creating a $1 billion joint investment fund for high-tech projects. Huawei is a particularly active AI player in Russia and has announced plans to build an “AI ecosystem” in the country, Nikkei reports.
Fears of the new coronavirus spreading to Pakistan have delayed projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Lahore and South Punjab, including work on the Orange Line Metro Train, Nikkei reports.
The European Union has decided to endorse limits on "high risk" suppliers of 5G equipment, a decision largely targeted at the Chinese technology company Huawei, Nikkei reports.
China is constructing three new airports in Cambodia as part of a $2 billion investment under the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
The UK has announced that it will allow the limited use of Huawei equipment in its 5G network despite pressure from the U.S. to exclude the Chinese tech company due to security concerns, Nikkei reports.
The U.K. government is expected to announce this week whether it will ban Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei from its 5G infrastructure, a decision that could sway other U.S. allies weighing the same question, Nikkei reports.
Chinese companies are constructing new factories in Southeast Asia in an effort to avoid U.S. tariffs, with Chinese direct investment in Thailand increasing fivefold in 2019.
Afghanistan recently began shipping goods through Pakistan's Gwadar Port, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in a development experts believe may increase Kabul's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Considering the risk of a potential U.S. ban over security concerns, Huawei is prioritizing inventory for its most strategic 4G and 5G routers, switches and base stations and stockpiling on supplies, Nikkei reports.
China and Myanmar signed 33 agreements during President Xi's visit to the Southeast Asian country, including a deal for the construction of a deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean, Nikkei reports.
Chinese president Xi Jinping's visit to Myanmar is expected to coincide with the announcement of the Belt and Road projects there, despite waning popularity of the initiative due to mounting debt levels, Nikkei reports.
In a recent survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Institute, 79 percent of ASEAN experts surveyed think that China is the most influential economic power in the region, but the majority are not confident in the Belt and Road Initiative, Nikkei reports.
Russia is courting India to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a move that would boost bilateral economic ties and enhance the trade bloc's international status, Nikkei reports.