Welcome to your week in Asia.
After a year-long postponement, the Summer Olympics will be in full swing in Japan this week as the torch relay begins its final leg, the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach arrives and Tokyo is close to putting COVID restrictions on for nearly three months to end.
Chinese technology will be another key topic. Industry leaders meet in Shanghai to discuss artificial intelligence, Huawei Technologies talks about the environmental sustainability of its operations, and start-up electric vehicle maker Xpeng debuts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Stay up to date with our coverage by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.
Security and Hong Kong’s “prosperity”
Days after a local law school gathered scholars to discuss how Hong Kong’s national security law changed the city’s legal system, the Hong Kong Ministry of Justice is bringing Beijing’s top officials, senior Chinese officials and others to a legal forum on the controversial law on bringing security to life Prosperity”.
Australia’s bond purchases
The Royal Bank of Australia’s board of directors is expected to expand the bank’s bond purchase program. Given the low wage growth and inflation of 1.2%, board members considered it “premature” to end the program, which was due to expire in September, according to the minutes of their June meeting.
China’s AI agenda
Technology leaders will gather in Shanghai for four days for the annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference to discuss industry trends and introduce new projects, with a SenseTime self-driving tour guide minibus among the attractions billed. The organizers haven’t released a speaker list yet, but Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon and Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu are reportedly attending. Over the past few years, the conference has featured high-profile appearances from Tesla’s Elon Musk, founder of Alibaba Group Holding, Jack Ma, chairman of Tencent Holdings Pony Ma, and Baidu boss Robin Li.
Samsung sends signals
Analysts expect Samsung Electronics to see a 40 percent increase in operating income when the company releases an outlook on its upcoming results for the quarter ended last week. Though soaring memory chip prices have given Samsung a boost, smartphone shipments are expected to have been impacted by lower demand from India and a shutdown in Vietnam, with production falling from 76 million in the previous quarter to below 60 million phones.
Xpeng goes to Hong Kong
Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng debuts on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after raising $ 1.8 billion in its first local stock sale. The company is expected to be the first company to have dual primary listings in Hong Kong and New York after it has valued its new shares at 4.1% off their last closing price on the New York Stock Exchange.
Opening day results will likely affect whether Chinese rivals Li Auto and Nio, along with other mainland companies, will follow their courses to hedge against forced delistings from US exchanges.
Bach is back in Japan
If the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, touches down one day before the start of the last stage of the Olympic torch relay in Tokyo, any chance of an Olympic cancellation has run dry. Bach, who became known in the host country as the Games became increasingly unpopular, will be quarantined for three days before overseeing the final preparations for the event and traveling to Hiroshima next week.
Fair play? Olympic officials only need to isolate themselves for three days, compared to athletes and coaches who have to undergo a two-week quarantine.
While Huawei’s ability to maintain the production and sales of telecommunications network devices and smartphones under US sanctions was at the center of attention, the company wants to address another side of sustainability: it will publish an annual report showing progress on environmental commitments and the Green energy adoption are listed, supply chain management and talent retention.
Attitude frenzy: Rather than give in to U.S. pressure, Huawei is recruiting chip engineers, software developers, and AI researchers domestically, as well as across Europe and Canada.
Taming China’s Commodity Prices
China’s soaring producer price index previously helped fuel market concerns about global inflationary pressures. Economists expect the country’s PPI growth to stay around 9% last month – increased, but at least not higher, after officials stepped in to announce raids on raw material hoarding and freeing up stored reserves. Consumer inflation is expected to remain subdued.
G-20 claims 15% corporate income tax floor
The groundbreaking agreement of the group of the seven leading industrial nations to introduce a corporate tax rate of at least 15% will be discussed at a meeting of finance ministers of the world’s top 20 economies in Italy. After China, India and 128 other governments signed the idea at an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development event last week, chances are good that the Group of 20 will also support the proposal.
Tokyo is brightening up?
With Japan’s daily number of COVID cases rising again, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga must decide whether to extend a quasi-emergency state for Tokyo and nine other prefectures, which expires on Sunday. With the decrees, the municipalities demanded that alcohol sales end at 7 p.m. and that the restaurants close at 8 p.m. The public has resisted the measures.