“Deglobalization” has entered the narrative zeitgeist. But what’s happening on the ground? This weekly series seeks to answer that question with a round-up of deglobalization developments from the week that’s done.
1. Financial Times columnist Ruchir Sharma argues that China has peaked. “China’s rise as an economic superpower is reversing…almost no matter what Xi does, his nation’s share in the global economy is likely to decline for the foreseeable future. It’s a post-China world now.” Among the metrics and reasons he cites to back up his case are China’s declining share of the global GDP, measured in in nominal dollar terms; falling output per worker; and a shrinking working age population.
2. US asset manager Principal Financial Group is taking a contrarian stance, seeing opportunity in China as competitors maintain pessimistic outlooks on the country, Nikkei Asia reports. Principal already has plenty of roots in China: it boasts several joint ventures with China Construction Bank (CCB), and has a 18% stake in a pension joint venture between CCB and the Social Security Fund of China.
3. Other investors are much less bullish on China. The Financial Times notes that over 75% of the foreign money that flowed into China’s stock market from January through July this year has since flowed out, with global investors dumping more than 25 billion USD worth of shares. As the head of one investment bank trading desk in Hong Kong told the newspaper: “Right now the thinking is, ‘I don’t need to be in China, and if I am, it’s holding my portfolio back.’”
4. China shipped out small amounts of gallium and germanium in October, following a two-month hiatus following Beijing’s new requirement that exporters of the two critical minerals obtain licenses from authorities before selling them abroad. The export controls were enforced in retaliation against US tech export restrictions on China.
5. The European Union’s anti-coercion tool, designed to counter economic bullying by China, was signed into law. The tool is expected to be in place before the end of the year. Once it’s in force, the EU can hit back at countries with tariffs, export controls, quotas, and market entry freezes in response to instances of economic coercion by a third country.
6. Nvidia said in its latest earnings call that it expects its China business to take a hit from tighter US export controls—even as the firm designs a special chip to get around those restrictions. China accounted for over 20% of the chip maker’s total revenue for the most recent quarter. Meanwhile, British chip designer Graphcore is essentially ending its China operations, citing difficulties posed by US export controls.
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