GBA Briefs: 5/19/2020

Huawei in ‘survival’ mode: Shenzhen’s Huawei Technologies has said it will “inevitably be impacted” by what it has described as an “arbitrary and pernicious” decision by the US government to further restrict its ability to develop semiconductors using American technologies. However, chairman Guo Ping said at the company’s global analyst summit that, “as the challenges over the past year have helped us develop a thicker skin, we are confident about finding solutions soon” … survival is currently the keyword”, he said. SCMP.

HK testing ramps up: Hong Kong’s public hospitals and laboratories will expand their daily coronavirus testing capacity by more than half within months to detect more silent carriers of the coronavirus. “Actions are in hand to ramp up [public-sector testing capacity] to about 7,000 in the next few months,” a government source said, adding that currently around 4,500 tests could be done. SCMP.

Go West, II: China is seeking a new burst of growth from its vast and energy-rich western regions, as its export-reliant eastern provinces suffer from the coronavirus pandemic and face mounting pressure amid US threats of economic decoupling. While top government leaders have pledged to continue to open, a new iteration of the “Go West” blueprint looks like a strategy for the country to turn inward and focus on its domestic market. SCMP. The policy and economics analysts at Trivium China don’t see much in the announcement, however, given the previous iteration of “Go West” has been a flop. 

Hang Seng Index adds: The compiler of Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index will for the first time admit companies with weighted voting rights (WVR) and those with secondary listings, as constituent stocks. The decision paves the way for technology giants such as Xiaomi, with its WVR structure, and Alibaba Group Holding, with its secondary listing, to be included in the index. It marks the most important revamp of the 50-year-old Hang Seng Index since the inclusion of H-shares in 2006. SCMP.

Build Your Masks: BYD, the car company better known for its electric vehicles, took just 24 days to become the world’s largest facemask supplier. From a standing start in late April, the company ramped up to a daily production level of 50 million masks per day, and it continues to expand that by 3-4 million a day at present. The company expects to have shipped one billion masks by the end of May, and it has orders to send them to more than 50 countries. SZN.

3D-printing human tissue: A research team at the Medical College of the University of Hong Kong has received funding from the National Key R&D Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology to study 3D  printing of human tissues and organs. The team’s goal is to print five layers of human tissues and organs such as full-thickness skin, corneas, bones, cartilages, and blood vessels for pre-clinical trials within five years. It is currently the only National Key R&D project funded in either Hong Kong or Macau. SZN.

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