China-ASEAN Monitor

Photo Credit: Tencent Cloud


Economy, Investment and Trade


Chinese gaming company Tencent eyes Southeast Asia for launch of cloud gaming service
(7 August 2019) China’s largest gaming company Tencent is picking Southeast Asia over its domestic market for the launch of its cloud gaming service via Tencent Cloud. Southeast Asia is seen as a better launch pad than its home market due to the increasingly competitive Chinese gaming market and the Chinese government’s stringent media content laws. According to a Tencent representative, the company will partner with Chinese set-top box operators to offer AAA games to the Southeast Asian market. Such partnerships would enable them to differentiate themselves from western competitors such as Google and Microsoft since consumers in the region may consider a TV box for gaming as a more affordable alternative to a PlayStation or Xbox.
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Chinese arbitration centre focused on China, ASEAN operations opens in Singapore
(8 August 2019) Guanxi-based Beihai Arbitration Commission (BAC) inaugurated the Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre in Singapore on August 8 with the aim of providing arbitration services for small to medium-value cross-border commercial disputes at a lower-cost. According to the BAC, the new centre’s services will be provided at a “more reasonable” cost to encourage the resolution of disputes through arbitration. Furthermore, the centre will establish a China-ASEAN panel of arbitrators as part of its plans to continuously expand into ASEAN and encourage cooperation between China and ASEAN.
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Thailand to set up new industrial agency in China to funnel FDI
(8 August 2019) The Thai Industry Ministry will be establishing a new Office of Industrial Affairs in either Beijing or Shanghai to better facilitate Chinese investment in Thailand, said industry minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit. According to Suriya, the new office will focus on attracting investors looking to avoid the US-China trade war and funnelling investments to its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The Industry Ministry plans to invite 300 Chinese companies to visit the EEC locations for investment opportunities in September. To this end, Suriya also plans to discuss the revision of investment incentives and privileges in the EEC, as well as discuss the baht’s volatility issues with the central bank in order to better attract investment applications.
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Malaysia to set up special channel to facilitate more FDI from China
(8 August 2019) The Malaysian Finance Ministry will spearhead the creation of a “special channel” to double Malaysia’s FDI inflows from China, said finance minister Lim Guan Eng. According to Lim, plans for this initiative will be fleshed out during his working visit to Shenzhen this month, although it will involve utilizing existing institutions. Lim expressed his confidence that Malaysia is well-positioned to serve as a “safe haven” for Chinese manufacturing investors looking to weather the ongoing trade war. When asked about the proposed issuance of Panda bonds, Lim said that the pricing is not attractive enough for Malaysia for now but that the parties are still discussing the matter.
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Philippines set to sign five agreements with China this month
(13 August 2019) The Philippine government is slated to ink five agreements with China during President Rodrigo Duterte’s investment mission to Beijing this month, said finance undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven. According to Joven, two agreements involve the Bureau of Customs and relate to strengthening its border controls capabilities and cooperation between the customs departments of both countries respectively, the third will outline a framework for the Philippines to obtain Chinese financing, the fourth relates to the Philippine National Railways, and the final one relates to phytosanitary inspection. These agreements are in addition to the Department of Finance’s earlier list of proposed infrastructure investment projects which was sent to Beijing for consideration. China had previously pledged US$9 billion in assistance to the Philippines during President Duterte’s visit to Beijing in October 2016.
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