EU Chamber of Commerce survey + Wuhan lab thesis + Digital renminbi
The world is still fighting Covid-19. In Germany, companies receive Covid aid, but what does the pandemic mean for European companies in China? The latest survey by the EU Chamber of Commerce in Beijing shows something astonishing: no sign of a crisis. Even in the pandemic year 2020, companies in the People's Republic earned more than expected. But the problems are increasing: difficult market access, unequal treatment, and political influence. Chamber of Commerce President Joerg Wuttke laments another serious problem in an interview with China.Table: "The number of expats is downright plummeting." Thus, many years of China experience are being lost and may not be regained, Wuttke warns. But a look into the future also reveals something surprising: More than two-thirds of the respondents continue to expect positive sales developments in their industry and therefore want to invest more in China, reports Christiane Kuehl.
Meanwhile, the origin of the Covid pandemic is still unclear. However, the suspicion that the pathogen could have originated in a laboratory in Wuhan persists. That Beijing is doing little to clarify the situation will cause enormous political damage to the People's Republic, analyses Marcel Grzanna. Claims for damages or a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics would be just two possible consequences.
In addition to military and economic power, an influential world power also needs an internationally significant currency. So far, China lacks that. But Beijing is working flat out on a revolution in the financial sector: through the digital renminbi. China is well on its way to becoming the first major economy to introduce a state-owned digital currency. The first tests show how much Beijing is gaining control nationally as a result. But this is not intended to stop there. With the e-CNY, Beijing wants to challenge the dominance of the US dollar as the global reserve currency, as Frank Sieren reports.