China Digest From the Web
Where did the sand go? Chinese construction costs have shot up as environmental rules are making it harder to mine sand and gravel (they damage rivers). Some local authorities are trying force companies to get approval to buy sand, while others are increasing imports. (you’ll need to Google translate the link)
It’s the curious case of the vanishing iPhone sales as Huawei grabs second place off Apple in smartphone stakes Data up to Q1 (so before the escalation of anti-Huawei talk), shows Apple and Samsung selling less handsets than before, while Huawei sales gaining 45% on the year. Most its gains were seen in Europe and China.
End of the Road: China Launches 3-Pronged Attack on Housing Blog flags frothy housing areas such as Xiamen, where properties have a monthly rent-to-property ratio of 1:1071 (most countries have 1:300 to 1:200). The author suggests regulatory tightening and clamping down on illegal funds will slow the market.
China Cannot Weaponize Its U.S. Treasury Bonds The always good China-watcher Michael Pettis argues “It is very unlikely that China can do so in any meaningful way because doing so would almost certainly be costly for Beijing. And even if China took this step, it would have either no impact or a positive impact on the U.S. economy.”
Expect a U-shape for China’s current account tourism is an obvious source of unrecorded capital outflows – equivalent to more than half of the goods trade surplus – and may be restricted to push up the current-account surplus.