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Your Week in Asia

Huawei Mate 40, Suga in Vietnam and Tesla results

Your weekly lineup of Asia's biggest business and political events

Huawei's Chairman Guo Ping speaks at an event in Shanghai in September. The company will unveil the latest version of its flagship Mate 40 smartphone on Thursday.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

The question this week may not be whether China's economic rebound continued in the third quarter, but by how much. Japan's new prime minister is set to announce more subsidies for companies looking to leave China, a policy that has yet to take the wind out of China's sails.

In business, Huawei will unveil its newest smartphone series on the heels of Apple's iPhone 12. And amid political unrest in Bangkok, Thailand's new central bank governor will make his first press appearance.

Keep up with our reporting by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.

MONDAY

China's economy: gaining momentum?

Market watchers tracking China's recovery will pay close attention to GDP numbers for July to September, following a surprise 3.2% rebound in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Nikkei projected a median of 5.2% growth. Recent data releases of trade and PMI point to robust growth, as China's trading partners get a grip on the pandemic and Chinese consumer spending rebounds. Uncertainties remain over the global rebound and whether the upcoming winter will weigh on the post-pandemic recovery.

Suga visits Southeast Asia

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has chosen Vietnam and Indonesia for his first overseas trip to reemphasize Japan's commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Suga's predecessor Shinzo Abe also visited the two countries first when he regained the prime ministership in 2012. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which Vietnam chairs this year, is headquartered in Indonesia.

Nikkei reported last week that Japan will expand a subsidy scheme to encourage businesses to diversify supply chains from China, covering as much as half the cost of investments in Southeast Asia. Suga is expected to announce the expansion during his trip.

TUESDAY

New Thai central bank governor meets the press

Bank of Thailand Gov. Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput is scheduled to meet the press for the first time since he assumed his role at the start of the month. The new governor will have to steer Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which is expected to contract by a record 7.8% this year before growing 3.6% next year, according to the bank's forecast. Minutes from a Sept. 23 monetary policy meeting showed that the bank felt a need to preserve its limited policy space for use at the most effective time.

WEDNESDAY

Verdict on Pakistan's dirty money status

The Financial Action Task Force will start a three-day meeting to decide on whether Pakistan has met the requirements to be removed from its dirty money "gray list." The Paris-based watchdog overseeing international terror-financing placed Pakistan on the list in 2018 and asked Islamabad to curb money laundering and terror financing. It is widely expected that Pakistan will be considered as largely compliant but it will remain on the list despite some signs of progress.

THURSDAY

Huawei launches Mate 40 phones

A day before rival Apple starts shipping its new 5G-capable iPhone 12, Huawei Technologies will unveil its updated flagship smartphone, the Mate 40.

What is in Huawei's phone? Inside the Mate 40 will be Huawei's Kirin mobile processor, designed in-house and produced with cutting edge five-nanometer technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. But Huawei has a limited supply of the chips, as TSMC stopped taking orders from Huawei in May to comply with a U.S. ban.

Go deeper: How the U.S. ban on Huawei will affect global tech

Sinopharm results

Chinese state-controlled pharmaceutical Sinopharm Group will release financial results for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Listed in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Sinopharm is one of three Chinese companies conducting preproduction Phase 3 trials on a COVID-19 vaccine. Sinopharm's net profit declined 0.8% to 627 million yuan ($93 million) on revenue of 27 billion yuan in the first half of 2020.

Trial begins for Samsung's Lee

A Seoul district court will host a meeting for prosecutors and attorneys representing Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who is charged with market manipulation and accounting fraud. Both sides will discuss trial procedure and check key arguments and evidence. Despite Lee's legal woes, Samsung posted its biggest quarterly profit in two years over the past quarter, thanks to rising demand for memory chips as well as increased sales of smartphones and home appliances.

Tesla results

Tesla is set to report its third-quarter earnings early Thursday morning in Asia (Wednesday afternoon in the U.S.). Investors are closely watching if the U.S. carmaker will continue its yearlong profit streak. The company cut the starting price of its Shanghai-made Model 3 in early October to boost sales in China, which remains a key growth market for Tesla despite the pandemic. Last month, Tesla shocked investors in Panasonic, its longtime battery partner, when it said it planned to start producing batteries in-house.

FRIDAY

Bitauto privatization vote

Shareholders of Bitauto, operator of China's popular auto service platform YiChe, will vote on a deal that would delist the company after a decade on the New York Stock Exchange. Founded by Li Bin, now chairman of Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio, Bitauto is among a growing group of Chinese companies exiting the U.S. equity market amid political tensions.

The offer valuing Bitauto's equities at $1.1 billion was made by a consortium led by Tencent Holdings, which is expanding its presence in the auto industry.

Hong Kong iBond subscription starts

Hong Kong will begin selling inflation-linked bonds on Friday for the first time since 2016. The city will offer a minimum interest rate of 2% and issue at least 10 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.29 billion). Hong Kong had issued about HK$60 billion of such bonds between 2011 and 2016 to more than 500,000 subscribers. The three-year bonds will make their debut on the Hong Kong exchange on Nov. 17.

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