Supply chain

People walk through a shopping mall on the second day of the 5-day Labour Day holiday in Beijing on 30 April 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Has the pandemic left a 'permanent scar' on the Chinese economy?

Almost all countries have been suffering the impacts of the pandemic since 2020, but China was hit by the pandemic first and had implemented the longest and strictest anti-Covid policy. China could suffer a worse "scarring effect" as a result, both on the societal and economic levels. China is desperate for solutions to get out of this situation.
Customers queue at the Apple Fifth Avenue store for the release of the Apple iPhone 14 range in New York City, US, 16 September 2022. (Andrew Kelly/File Photo/Reuters)

Long tethered to Apple, Chinese suppliers seek new options

Chinese component suppliers are trying to curb their reliance on Apple, the latest American giant caught in the US-China tug of-war. In the early days, Chinese firms able to make it onto Apple’s supplier list were able to breathe a little easier. But with reliance comes exposure, and a need to adapt amid news of Apple's decreasing sales and rumoured plans of making production shifts to other countries.
Visitors view a BYD Dolphin EV at the 44th Bangkok International Motor Show in Bangkok, Thailand, 23 March 2023. (Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo/Reuters)

China’s EV battery boom goes bust

China’s auto market has been rattled by a brutal price war since late last year amid slowing sales. Sales of electric vehicles have plunged since a government subsidy expired at the end of last year and as consumers remain hesitant about spending.
This file photo taken on 3 January 2023 shows shipping containers stacked at Nanjing port, Jiangsu province, China. (AFP)

How China’s export surge left the shipping industry with a hangover

Two of China’s largest container truck yards near the major port city of Ningbo in Zhejiang province have been filled with nearly 3,000 idle vehicles with no cargo to haul since early March, and the situation could get even worse with the delivery of new vessels. Could overcapacity in the industry lead to a price war?
A worker walks near an evaporation pool where lithium bicarbonate is isolated from salt brine during the process of lithium production at the Uyuni Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia, on 29 January 2014. (Noah Friedman-Rudovsky/Bloomberg)

The world’s EV supply chain is fracturing

Until now, China has held a dominant position in the global industrial chain from cathode materials to EV battery manufacturing and vehicle production, supplying nearly half of global core products. But with a major restructuring underway, it will have to tackle rising costs, supply chain shortfalls and the need to tailor resources for different markets.
Pedestrians and motorcyclists along a road near the Bund in Shanghai, China, on 30 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Will China get its economy back on track in 2023?

While China’s prospects for better economic performance in 2023 are bright, says NUS academic Xu Le, the road to economic recovery is expected to be bumpy.
Employees work on the assembly line during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China, 8 November 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Will Europe pour more money into China?

This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.
The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is pictured at its headquarters, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, 19 January 2021. (Ann Wang/File Photo/Reuters)

Can Taiwan hold on to its lead in chip manufacturing?

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is booming, but its pole position is at risk. With the industry deemed of national security concern, China, the US and the EU are implementing restrictive measures, upping their investment and aiming for autonomy and self-sufficiency in the sector, which could cause Taiwan to lose its competitive edge.
Workers at a construction site for the World Expo Cultural Park in Shanghai, China, on 27 September 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's slowing economy will not deter BRI outreach

Despite challenges arising from the slowing Chinese economy, China is likely to continue pushing forward on the BRI, it being a key plank of President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. Along the way, however, it will have to make certain adjustments for a smooth transition into BRI 2.0.