Reader's Digest > 22 December 2015 - 15 January 2016

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Reader's Digest, 22 December 2015 - 15 January 2016

Swiss and Chinese Business Related News in Switzerland and China

BILATERAL RELATIONS

First Visit of the Year by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter includes China
Published by admin.ch, 11th January 2016
On his first trip abroad in 2016, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will travel to The Hague on Thursday to meet with Foreign Minister Bert Koenders with whom he will mainly discuss relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU), presided over by the Netherlands in the first half of 2016. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA will then go directly to Beijing on Friday where he and his counterpart Wang Yi are to discuss relations between Switzerland and China, a key partner for Switzerland outside Europe. The 6th round of political talks between Switzerland and China will take place on Friday. The meeting between Mr. Burkhalter and Mr. Wang will also cover economic ties between the two countries and review the dialogues launched on the fight against corruption and on counterterrorism, human rights issues and cooperation on cybersecurity. In addition, the men will discuss the two countries' cooperation in multilateral forums such as the UN and the G20. Security in the Asia region, the current major crisis hotspots and Switzerland's contributions to peace, in particular through International Geneva, will also feature in their discussions.
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BUSINESS NEWS

The Swiss Stock Market Fell After Latest China Crash
Published by nasdaq.com, 7th January 2016
The Swiss stock market weakened further Thursday due to the renewed turmoil in China. The market opened deep in the red and extended its losses in early trade. The market began to stabilize after the first hour of trade and recovered some lost ground in the afternoon, after the opening of the U.S. markets was less drastic a negative than in Europe. The volatility barometer increased 12% Thursday, highlighting the nervousness of investors. Continued worry over the health of the Chinese economy sparked another global sell-off. A sharply lower yuan fix pulled China's Shanghai Composite index down over 7% within the first 30 minutes of trading today, prompting its second day-long suspension in four days. The Swiss Market Index decreased 1.90% Thursday and finished at 8,449.86. The SMI's intraday low was around 120 points lower than the closing price. The Swiss Leader Index dropped 2.04% and the Swiss Performance Index lost 1.90%.

WISeKey Locks down Digital Identity Solution in China
Published by pymnts.com, 5th January 2016
Swiss-based cybersecurity firm WISeKey announced that it will launch its Digital Identification and secure cloud services for Chinese consumers. Through the WISeID application, the Chinese market will now have access to WISeKey’s secure identity solution. There is currently a lack in identity security for Chinese consumers, which is impacting the growth of eCommerce and diminishing the ability for public services to move online, the company explained in a press release. The rise of cybersecurity-related incidents and breaches last year underpins the need for increased protections from cybercriminals looking to access and steal sensitive data. The WISeID solution will enable Chinese consumers to secure and store their personal data and communications by purchasing secure vaults. WISeID stores passwords in one place and syncs data across computers and devices using the cloud. A user’s personal vault can only be accessed with a master password and/or a predefined pattern, as well as the use of additional face recognition authentication protection.

China Sell-off Sends Yen, Swiss Franc Soaring
Published by yahoo.com, 4th January 2016
The dollar sank to an 11-week low against the yen on Monday, hit by a renewed stock market selloff in China that sent currency traders running for the traditional security of the Japanese currency and the Swiss franc. Even if a majority of the biggest bank and fund traders expect more strength for the greenback this year, doubts about that have been writ large in a month when it fell almost 5% against the euro and almost 3 against the yen. Another 6-7% slide in Shanghai shares was the trigger on Monday, suggesting again that the global economy may struggle to handle many more rises in U.S. interest rates this year - likely to be the central driver for any further dollar rally. China's yuan currency hit its lowest in more than 4 years in both onshore and offshore trade. The Swiss franc and yen both rose around 1% against the dollar, to 118.995 yen and 0.9941 francs, respectively. The world's biggest trading bank Citi recommended selling the yen overnight with a two-week perspective before swiftly recommending clients take profit thanks to the scale of the move against the dollar. The bank remained broadly downbeat on the dollar's prospects ahead of ISM sentiment data later in the day.

Swiss Business Hub Promotes Central Function Concept to Chinese Investors
Published by switzerland65china.com, 17th December 2015
The Swiss Business Hub (SBH) China hosted its first Central Function Investment promotion event with knowledge partner and auditing firm KPMG in Shanghai in November, introducing the concept of central function to Chinese companies and promoting Switzerland’s favorable business environment. A number of interested local governments, partners, law firms, consulting firms and accounting companies from Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces attended the event. Representatives of Neusoft and Nylonkong shared their companies’ success stories and elaborated on their experiences setting up business operations in Switzerland. The central function concept is about localizing the key value drivers of a company and aligning them with business, operating and tax models. Switzerland, which serves as an innovative hub in manufacturing, operational excellence as well as research and development, is an ideal location to conduct business in this context.
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CULTURE & SOCIETY

ICL Cup Competition: 2-Month Training in China for Young People
Published by romandie-chine.ch, 6th January 2016
The Banque Cantonale de Genève, Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie et des Services de Genève, swissnex China, Affolter Group, Swiss Center Shanghai, Swiss-Chinese Association, Swiss-Chinese Association - French Speaking Region and Air China support an initiative for young people. The ICL Cup aims to increase the awareness of China’s importance to Switzerland among the Swiss youth by promoting the Chinese experience in schools and through media; encourage young people to have an international experience by discovering one of our most important economic partners; introduce to China the efficiency of our dual education system by sending both apprentices and higher education students as ambassadors of our system. An outstanding 2-Month Training in China - The ICL Cup, an Initiative for Young Swiss is open to apprentices, students, and young graduates from Swiss schools aged 18 to 25. The four winners will be awarded with a two-month, all-inclusive training in China. During these two months, they will take part in a training hosted by a multinational enterprise or a Sino-Swiss institution and study Mandarin Chinese. Above all, they will enjoy an outstanding international experience in Shanghai for two months.

Green Initiatives' Guide to the Top 10 Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands in China
Published by greeninitiatives.cn, 27th December 2015
The fashion industry in China is growing, and along with that growth there is an emergence of designers and entrepreneurs seeking more sustainable, eco-friendly, ethically produced clothing. Our last article highlighted some of the issues that are prevalent within the fashion industry: water pollution, soil degradation, human rights abuses, and wasted resources to name a few. We think one of the best ways to make a change is to start at the individual level by changing your own habits that contribute to these issues. We know it may not be completely realistic to stop shopping altogether, so we’ve put together a list of 10 brands available in China, each doing what they can to change the industry, one (ethically produced) garment at a time. They are Wobabybasics, Finch, Snoozer Loser, Nuomi, Icicle, Shokay, NEEMIC, ffiXXed, Fake Natoo and Exception de Mixmind. NEEMIC is one of them, it is a high fashion brand based in Beijing seeking to address both ethical and environmental consciousness within their label. Their clothing is made from organic materials, eliminating all artificial products from agricultural production of fibers. Biodegradable soaps are used to wash materials and all clothing is produced in an ethical environment.
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GENERAL INTEREST

Watching China Change over 30 Years
Published by globaltimes.cn, 3rd January 2016
Every time Marielle de Dardel has visited China from her native Switzerland over the years, she has always been amazed by how much it has changed. As an active member of the Swiss-China Society, Dardel's passion for and understanding of China is no less than that of her husband, Jean-Jacques de Dardel, the Swiss Ambassador to China. The Global Times recently sat with Mrs Dardel at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing to hear her views about China. Dardel is dedicated to communicating the idea that China is larger and more complicated than most people know. "I want to help people understand how diverse China is and the richness that diversity brings." Dardel embraces the rapid changes that China has undergone since she first took interest in it. When she first visited China in the 1980s, China was behind the Western world in terms of consumption and quality of life, said Dardel. Yet now she finds that China has caught up in many ways. "What the Western world can learn from China is the speed [of development] and China's ability to constantly adapt and be creative in the face of modernization," she said.

Swiss Artist-duo Baltensperger + Siepert Transform Chinese Migrant Workers into 'Philosophers'
Published by switzerland65china.com, 24th December 2015
In each issue of the Embassy's newsletter Swissnews, Swiss artists share their experiences with readers in our Chinese Encounters column. Stefan Baltensperger and David Siepert reveal what they learned by transforming Chinese migrant workers into ‘philosophers.’ Swiss artist-duo Baltensperger + Siepert use critical reflections of social, cultural and political issues as the inspiration for their work. Both believe that art should not only question, but also carry the responsibility of shaping society. Art is not simply a commodity to be consumed, but a starting point for serious thinking. “A successful artwork initiates something in its beholder, a conversation that in the beginning can be an inner dialogue that inevitably draws wider circles,” said Baltensperger + Siepert, who recently finished the duo’s Invisible Philosophy project in Beijing in October.
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INDUSTRIES

Engineering / Manufacturing

ABB Services over 300 Turbochargers for China Shipping Container Lines
Published by abb.com.cn, 5th January 2016
ABB Turbocharging, part of the leading power and automation technology group, has signed its third and largest Operation Performance Package service agreement with China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL), the logistics and containerized transportation company based in Shanghai, China. The contract covers the service and provision of spare parts for 113 turbochargers on 23 vessels, including 51 TPL type and 62 VTR type turbochargers. Added to existing service agreements, ABB now services over 300 turbochargers for CSCL, the largest number covered under contract with any customer. The Operation Performance Package (OPAC) provides customers with a more flexible and cost-effective approach to service, based around turbocharger running hours. It includes proactive service to identify potential future issues, thereby delivering associated cost savings. Service is fully delegated to ABB, enabling customers to be more focused on their overall operations with the benefit of OEM service knowledge.
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Bank / Finance / Insurance

UBS Offers a Vote Of Confidence in China's Equity Market
Published by China Daily, 11th January 2016
Swiss bank UBS AG said on Monday that it plans to double its earnings in the equities business in China in the next five years. Fang Dongming, head of China equities at UBS AG, said that the bank will seek to diversify its equities business from the traditional commission earnings under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors program to new business, including margin trading, short selling, derivative trading business and cross-boarder financing and investment business. "Doubling our earnings in the next five years means that we need to achieve at least double-digit growth each year," Fang said at a news conference on the sideline of the Swiss bank's annual China conference in Shanghai. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti of UBS Group AG, offering a vote of confidence in China after the A-share market suffered a volatile start to the year, said in an opening speech that the Group will double its staff in China over five years and add about 600 people.

Julius Baer Agrees to Acquire 5% Stake in Chinese Wealth Manager
Published by China Daily, 30th December 2015
Julius Baer Group Ltd. is buying a 5% stake in Jupai Holdings Ltd., the Shanghai-based provider of financial services, as it seeks to improve access to China’s domestic wealth-management market. The third-biggest Swiss wealth manager agreed to acquire 9,591,000 ordinary shares in Jupai at USD 1.83 each as part of a private placement, according to a joint statement by the companies on Wednesday. Chinese Internet company SINA Corp. also took part in the placement, increasing its stake in Jupai to 11.4%. “Participating in Jupai’s private placement will provide Julius Baer with valuable insight into one of the most successful players in Chinese onshore wealth management and further strengthen our expertise in China,” Julius Baer Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi said in the statement. Swiss banks are exploring wealth management in mainland China, an untapped market for international financial firms. The amount controlled by millionaires in the country is expected to climb by an average of about 12% a year to USD 8.25 trillion by 2020, according to Julius Baer’s research.

UBS Forecasts China Q4 Growth at 6.9%
Published by China Daily, 28th December 2015
China's economic growth is expected to be unchanged in the fourth quarter of this year, but an improvement is still distant due to property weakness and excess capacity, according to the latest report from UBS. The Swiss banking group expected Q4 growth of 6.9% year on year, bringing 2015 growth to between 6.9% and 7%. "November's data release confirms that China's real economy is stabilizing tentatively at low levels, but the continued worsening of property volume construction activity means that we are far from seeing a fundamentals-driven rebound," said the report. China's November data surprised on the upside, with better infrastructure investment, steady consumption and industrial production up more than expected, it said.
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Hospitality / Tourism / Retails

Wyeth Adopts more Cultured Approach
Published by China Daily, 7th January 2016
Wyeth Nutrition, a unit of Swiss food giant Nestle SA, plans to add a more cultural feel to its brand marketing in China. In a further sign that food and beverage consumption habits are diversifying across the country, the company is throwing its support behind a range of arts and entertainment promotions, including traditional Irish and European music, art, film and literature. Qu Feng, president of Wyeth Nutrition China, said increasingly Chinese consumers understand that cultural communication can be an important way of increasing product awareness. Top of Wyeth Nutrition's bill so far has been the company's sponsoring of two concerts by Irish band The Chieftains, in Beijing and Shanghai, at the end of last year. The band is considered an icon of traditional Irish music, and has won six Grammys. It was also, famously, the first Western bank invited to play on the Great Wall in the 1980s.

Potential Bidders Size up Swiss Travel Group Kuoni
Published by reuters.com, 5th January 2016
As many as four potential bidders are wooing 110-year-old Swiss travel group Kuoni Reisen Holding AG, sources close to the negotiations said on Tuesday, after Kuoni said it had received preliminary approaches. Sweden's EQT, Permira, Cinven, and a combination of Baring Private Equity Asia and China's HNA Tourism Group are among those looking at a possible deal, the sources said. Bids are due by the end of January, one source said. Analysts said Kuoni could struggle to attract a premium to its current CHF 1.1 billion (USD 1.1 billion) market value as struggling businesses drag down a sale price. One Swiss investor, BWM AG, which owns shares representing 4% of Kuoni's capital, said any bid would have to be at a significant premium to win its support. The shares rose 1.5% to 293.25 francs, but BWM indicated that was well short of its expectations.

Swiss Watch Boom Years Over
Published by lenews.ch, 28th December 2015
As the Swiss watch industry prepares for the fourth straight year of little to no growth, big producers such as Richemont, the owner of Cartier, are trimming back investment in production while some smaller rivals look for a buyer or risk going under. Switzerland, the world’s biggest watch-producing country will register a 2% increase in shipments next year, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That’s the same rate of 2013 and 2014, a far cry from growth of about 20% in prior years. “The motors are missing,” said Andre Bernheim, chief executive officer of Mondaine, an independent watchmaker that makes timepieces designed after Swiss railway clocks. “All the main regions in the world are showing problems, from the U.S., Europe, to China.” The market has doubled since the turn of the century, fueled by demand from the Chinese, who have accounted for as much as half of spending on Swiss watches, according to Citigroup estimates. With China’s gross domestic product growth slowing to a six-year low, the industry has been in retreat. Exports declined 3.2% in the first 10 months of 2015, and data for November will be released Tuesday.
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Legal / Trade / Consulting / Services

“One Belt, One Road Initiative” Event by SCCC
Published by sccc.ch, 11th January 2016
The Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Zurich and PwC hosted a seminar on “One Belt, One Road Initiative: Strategies and Opportunities for Swiss and Chinese Companies for the next 5 Years on 11 January. The presentation focused on the roadmap to 2020–key features and highlights of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan and what this means for Switzerland; opportunities and risks of “One Belt, One Road”.

China Legal Briefing 252
Published by wenfei.com, 8th January 2016
The China Legal Briefing 252 was released. In this briefing, you can read “PRC Anti-Terrorism Law; Revised; PRC Population and Family Planning Law; Revised PRC Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control Law; Disciplinary Regulations of the Chinese Communist Party; The Temporary Regulations on Residence Permit (for Chinese citizens); Transaction Rules of Shanghai Stock Exchange; The Managing Rules on Foreign Aid Turnkey Project.
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