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Your Week in Asia

US cuts off Huawei, TikTok sale deadline, Japan prime minister election

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

The fate of TikTok will approach a critical moment on Tuesday.    © Reuters

Welcome to Nikkei Asian Preview.

A new prime minister will be seated in Japan by the middle of this busy week. Before then, Huawei suppliers and TikTok will face deadlines imposed by the U.S. government.

As parliament votes, the Bank of Japan will hold its monthly monetary policy meeting, while Indonesia's central bank meets on Thursday. A slew of monthly economic data is expected from China on Tuesday, including retail and industrial production, followed by trade data from Singapore on Thursday.

Apple and Baidu will hold their annual conferences on Tuesday, followed by Alibaba on Thursday. Economic forecasts are expected Tuesday from the Asian Development Bank, followed by the OECD on Wednesday.

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


Japan's LDP elects leader

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will elect a new president on Monday afternoon to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is resigning due to ill health. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Abe's lieutenant, is expected to win the three-way race against Abe's protege, former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, and the popular former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba.

Why it matters: The winner will be the LDP's candidate in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday. Given the LDP's majority in both chambers, Monday's winner will likely become prime minister.

TSMC stops shipments to Huawei

Huawei Technologies, China's biggest tech company, will stop receiving shipments from the majority of its suppliers, including longtime chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., after midnight on Monday.

Why? Non-U.S. companies that use American technology in their products or services will have to apply for a license from the Department of Commerce if they wish to continue servicing Huawei.

Xi Jinping meets EU officials

After China's top diplomats visited several European countries in recent weeks, President Xi Jinping will hold an online summit with his European Union counterparts, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. China is aiming to complete an investment pact this year with the EU after six years of negotiations. The EU sees the agreement as a "key tool" to address the unfair treatment of its companies in China.

Damage control: The summit is meant to boost international confidence in China amid mounting tensions with the U.S., according to state media, and comes after a shift in German foreign policy to intensify relations with countries that share its "democratic and liberal values," echoing approaches taken by Australia, France and Japan.

India parliament opens session

The Parliament of India reconvenes for its monsoon session lasting until Oct. 1, without any days off. The bicameral legislature is meeting for the first time since the country imposed a lockdown in March to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Proceedings will be held with strict coronavirus safety protocols, including shorter working hours.


TikTok sale agreement deadline

The fate of TikTok will approach a critical moment on Tuesday, when Chinese parent company ByteDance will have to sell TikTok's U.S. operation to an American company or risk a shutdown. The ultimatum was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, citing national security concerns. ByteDance entered negotiations with bidders such as Microsoft and Oracle, but Beijing's recent move to curb the export of artificial intelligence technology has cast doubt on the sale.

China raises requirements for U.S. travelers

Beginning Tuesday, travelers from the U.S. regardless of nationality boarding flights to China will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. Previously, the test was required only for flights with stopovers.

ADB revises economic forecast

The Asian Development Bank will release an update to its closely watched Asian Development Outlook, which publishes economic forecasts for emerging Asian economies. In June, the multilateral lender predicted that the region will grow 0.1% this year, the slowest rate since 1961, due to lockdowns imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The Manila-based bank will hold its 53rd annual meeting on Thursday, virtually.

Apple launches new products

Apple will stream its annual product launch event from its headquarters in California on Tuesday morning. New iPhones are typically unveiled at the September event, but this year's next-generation iPhones might come later due to supply disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Ghosn aide's trial begins in Tokyo

With former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn having fled to Lebanon in December while out on bail, former executive Greg Kelly will face trial alone at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday. Tokyo prosecutors claim that Kelly and Ghosn violated financial laws by underreporting Ghosn's pay by about 9 billion yen ($85 million) from the fiscal year 2010 through 2017. Both Ghosn and Kelly have denied wrongdoing.

Tokyo 2020 mulls COVID countermeasures

The organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will hold an executive board meeting on Tuesday. The committee is to decide on coronavirus countermeasures for the games in the fall, according to a timeline released in June.


Nissan launches new 'Z'

Nissan Motor will unveil on Wednesday a prototype of its newest sports car. The model is positioned as the successor of the carmaker's 50-year-old flagship Fairlady Z in Japan, known as Z cars abroad. The production timeline, however, is still unknown.

Tokyo lifts curfew on bars

Restaurants and karaoke houses in Tokyo's 23 wards will be allowed to stay open beyond 10 p.m. The curfew was originally planned to end in August, but was extended due to the persistently high number of infections.

Nintendo president holds briefing

Nintendo will hold a corporate management briefing on Wednesday, when President Shuntaro Furukawa will explain the company's business strategy and update investors on Nintendo's initiatives to make active use of its intellectual properties, including characters like Mario.


Hearing on WeChat executive order

A group of WeChat users in the U.S. will have their day in court on Thursday in San Francisco. The group has requested a preliminary injunction to block the Trump administration's ban on U.S. transactions with the Chinese messaging app, which goes into effect on Sept. 20.


Shanghai reviews Ant Group IPO application

The Shanghai Stock Exchange will review on Friday the listing application by the world's most valuable fintech company, Ant Group. Ant's IPO is shaping up to be the world's largest, with over $30 billion likely to be raised in Shanghai's Nasdaq style STAR Market and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ant, an affiliate of Alibaba and controlled by Jack Ma, is scheduled to face HKEX's listing committee over the next two weeks.

If approved, Ant's application will be forwarded to the China Securities and Regulatory Commission for registration. Once the registration is complete and HKEX gives its approval, Ant can discuss the offering with investors to determine demand and pricing. At this stage, the IPO is likely to open for subscriptions next month, two people familiar with the transaction have said.


Lee Teng-hui's memorial service

The memorial for Taiwan's first democratically elected president, Lee Teng-hui, will be held at the chapel of the Aletheia University in New Taipei City on Saturday morning, when President Tsai Ing-wen will honor Lee by awarding him a posthumous presidential citation. Lee, who long advocated the democratization of Taiwan, died on July 30 at the age of 97.

China-Taiwan forum in Xiamen

While Tsai attends Lee's memorial, private sector representatives from Taiwan will meet Chinese counterparts at the 12th Cross-Strait Forum, hosted by Chinese authorities in the southeastern city of Xiamen. The forum will have more than 30 online and offline sessions for cultural and economic exchanges. The Taiwanese government has advised nationals not to participate in the forum given rising cross-strait tensions, but Taiwan's China-friendly Kuomintang party said it will send a delegation.

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