Briefly….the Top Ten Tweets of the past week bring us an FDI-ODI-GDP Coke cocktail for un- (and under-)employed graduates and reactionary consumers – no wonder they have time to send 607 billion texts, and apply for plenty of patents!
Comment: The Chinese government is still targeting 8% growth (and have repeated it in news this week). Independent analysis varies, with downgrades on expectations (to around 6-7%) coming from the World Bank and OECD in the past week. However, the Chinese government, when they set a target, can often mobilize resources to make sure they meet it. We will see.
Comment: The big story of the week mixed foreign direct investment in China with the application of the new anti-monopoly law (with a dash of economic nationalism). The long and short of it is that Coke’s bid for major Chinese juice firm Huiyuan was blocked by regulators. Protectionism or not, the decision is likely to have implications for China’s overseas direct investment.
Comment: We always laugh when people talk about a billion customers in China (people yes, but customers…). However the mobile sector often manages to produce figures that hit the magic number of zeros. 607 billion is a lot of texts (and the pennies add up to profits), and is worthy of note!
Comment: The Coke-Huiyuan story has implications for M&A and private equity in China (not all bad). Had you read China Law Blog , you would have known the policy and the outcome already…
5. M&A Hope Fizzles Out For Coke on Huiyuan AML concerns. Will economic nationalism come back to bite China (on the Rio?): http://bit.ly/uZxt8  7:53 AM Mar 18th from TweetDeck
Comment: The news on the Coke deal with Huiyuan being blocked sparked a lot of talk of economic nationalism – a risky thing at a time of economic crisis…and while China is trying to expand its access to resources overseas (as with Chinalco’s proposed Rio Tinto investment, which is under review by the Australian government).
While China’s problems may be economic rather than financial, the impact on the jobs market at the bottom end has been well reported. However, graduates are also finding it hard to find a job (though many retain the high expectations of the boom years).
Comment: China’s move up the value chain has been a theme on this blog for a good long while (see here from 2006). This news is another sign that China’s strategy to develop innovation, R&D and higher added-value is progressing well.
8. ODI – “Going Out” policy to gain traction in 2009? China Eases Investment Rules as Companies Chase Bargains Abroad http://bit.ly/AqyN 8:41 AM Mar 16th from TweetDeck
Comment: Overseas direct investment (ODI) got a policy boost, and some feel (others fear) China will go on a global spending spree. Financial stocks and markets may be avoided given reports  of US$80 billion losses on the back of the financial crisis, but resources are likely to remain a target (see our earlier story here). As for Chinese brands’ expansion into overseas consumer markets, the debate on their readiness and capabilities continues.
9. FDI down 16% y-on-y in February, after 33% drop in January – WSJ: Foreign Investment in China Fell in February http://bit.ly/8zwh 8:35 AM Mar 16th from TweetDeck
Comment: ODI may be alive and well but FDI (foreign direct investment) has taken a big hit as companies react to the financial crisis, and as hot money flows into China slow down. The news on Coke (see above) may not help sentiment, but opportunities will remain.
Comment: In the west consumer protection has been a big issue for a long time. The Chinese consumer is not the shy and retiring type , so it was to be expected they might not take kindly to abuse of their personal information for someone else’s profit, exposure to out-of-date medicine, dangerous products, or exaggerated advertising. The Chinese consumer has stood up!
More posts on some of these issues to follow…it’s been a busy week!