China Market Watch: US Beef Export Rules Finalized, Panama Establishes Diplomatic Ties with Beijing

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Alibaba to launch Tmall World, entering Southeast Asian markets

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba will launch a new brand, Tmall World, which will provide a platform for China-based exporters to direct their products to markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, among others.

Export-based manufacturers have been calling for new channels through which to sell their products, as traditional trade has slowed.

Chinese products that meet certain standards and certification will be able to use the platform to gain access to overseas markets.

Alibaba already has its Tmall Global brand, which allows foreign merchants to sell directly to the Chinese market, while domestic exporters do not have the same means to export to other Asian markets. They do this through either Aliexpress, or Lazada, both owned by Alibaba.

Vendors on such platforms have come across many obstacles, and Alibaba is looking to change direction in the way it exports Chinese goods abroad.

Alibaba’s international plans with Tmall World come shortly after its rival JD.com said it plans to launch services in Thailand by the end of the year, Reuters reported, adding to existing activities in Indonesia.

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US beef export rules finalized

The US Department of Agriculture has completed trade rules for US export of beef to China, meaning that trade is closer to resuming after a 14 year hiatus.

The agreement to redesign the trade relationship was reached last month, permitting market access to more US produce, after the mad cow disease scare of 2003 ended the export of US beef to China.

Around 10 percent of US beef meets the traceability requirements set out in the rules, which stipulate that beef for export to China must be sourced from cattle born, raised, and slaughtered in the US, or if imported from Canada or Mexico, must be slaughtered within the US. Animals must be traceable from their birth farm, or in cases where imported, to their first place of residence or point of entry.

Panama establishes diplomatic relations with Beijing, cutting ties with Taiwan

Panama has broken its diplomatic ties with Taiwan, recognizing ‘One China’ after signing a joint communique in Beijing.

The Panamanian government has cited a bid to upgrade commercial relations between the two countries as a key motivator, as China is the second biggest user of the Panama shipping canal.

The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, attended a ceremony last year to celebrate the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in an attempt to boost ties with the country.

The move reduces the count of nations that recognize Taiwan to only 20, comprised mostly of smaller and poorer nations in South America and the Pacific. This has led to Taipei commenting that it will need to rethink its relationship with China.

The African nations São Tomé and Príncipe, and Gambia also announced that they plan to sever ties with Taiwan last year.


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