Long Chen, co-founder and partner at Plenum, weighs in on the “dynamic zero Covid” debate and shares his views on how the Omicron outbreak and global spillovers from the war in Ukraine are impacting China’s economy and policy outlook.
The Moscow Times
Beijing has also recently lifted restrictions that barred shipments of wheat and barley from some areas of Russia over concerns related to a crop fungus. However, Chen Long, partner at Beijing-based consultancy Plenum, has noted that most of China’s rice and wheat is grown domestically, meaning the impact is limited.
The Japan Times
China cannot publicly oppose Putin without endangering that partnership, Chen Long, a partner at research firm Plenum, wrote in a report. But Beijing also cannot support Russia too strongly without risking an international backlash, Chen said. “It’s just going to be business as usual,” he added.
The Chinese government sees the state-owned sector as being able to create an economic buffer in a way that private enterprises cannot, especially in times of crisis. In situations like the pandemic, China can mobilize the public sector, while the private economy is only focused on cutting headcount and reacting to profit, Feng said.
Chen expects fewer surprises on tech regulation this year compared to last year. But he emphasized it’s important not to read too much into Xi’s speech. “This speech is not something new,” he said, “but a summary of what they have done.”
The golden shares are a “sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of firms that have them, a reminder that data security is now under close watch by the authorities,” said Feng Chucheng, a partner at consultancy Plenum in Beijing.
“Authorities will probably review the officials that have left the financial regulators in recent years to see whether their departure was reasonable,” said Feng.
“I don’t think this lockdown is that counterproductive. On the contrary, I think if they didn’t do preliminary lockdowns then you’d have millions of cases in China, and then you’d have a worse supply-chain crisis,” says Chen Long, founder and economist at Plenum analysts.
South China Morning Post
“There is acknowledgement in the US about the necessity to make adjustments to the tariffs under Section 301, but the real complication for Beijing and Washington is the lack of political motivation to push for substantial dialogue. There has not been even a ‘zero to one’ breakthrough in diplomatic engagement,” said Bo Zhengyuan, a partner with Plenum, a China-focused research firm based in Beijing.
“I think the economy is a little bit like ice and fire, for now. There are certain areas certainly doing pretty poorly. Of course, everyone always talking about the property market, Evergrande, and basically every couple weeks we see a property developer default.”
“Didi is still the largest player in the market and consumer switching could be temporary if Didi acts to address their concerns,” said Guo Shan, an analyst at Beijing-based consultancy Plenum. “Regulations could have a bigger impact. If Beijing asks Didi to split or abandon their exclusive agreements with drivers, then it would be much easier for its competitors to eat into its market share,” she said.