Your Geopolitix Bottom Line

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ELECTION WATCH India’s Election Dates Set for April 11 to May 19 Around 900 million voters -- 84 million more than in 2014 -- will elect 543 lawmakers to the lower house of parliament, the chief election commissioner Sunil Arora said. Voting will run in seven phases from April 11 to May 19 and counting will take place on May 23, Arora said at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. -Bloomberg


China bans forced tech transfer in proposed investment bill Narrow focus on 'administrative organs' leaves loopholes -Nikkei

Chasing China Theft, U.S. Uncovers Bonuses for Stolen Data It bore hallmarks of a normal incentive program: Employees nominated outstanding work and managers doled out bonuses. -Bloomberg

Huawei Shows Where the Real U.S.-China Imbalance Lies The telecom company’s publicity campaign has taken advantage of rights and freedoms that aren’t available in its home country. The irony is that no foreign organization could dream of attempting the same in China. -Bloomberg

Kia Motors considers suspending its No.1 plant in China Hyundai Motor also said the automaker was considering suspending production at its oldest plant in China as sales tumble and it struggles with overcapacity in its biggest market. -Reuters

Two major Chinese carmakers say lower tariffs on US-made cars aren’t a speed bump for their sales -SCMP

·       Great Wall, GAC Group say reduced tariffs on US-made imports are affecting luxury rather than less pricey models

·       China, the world’s largest car market, is undergoing sales slump, massive change

Japan weighs hiking tariffs on South Korean products amid wartime labor dispute -The Japan Times

Indian parliamentary panel asks Facebook to do more to curb fake news An Indian parliamentary panel on Wednesday asked Facebook Inc to do more to tackle so-called fake news on its platforms ahead of a general election due by May, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. -Reuters

Singapore to launch maritime blockchain pilot Dubbed TradeTrust, the project will turn paper-based bills of lading into digital documents that can be shared and accessed when container ships dock and unload in Singapore. The project comes after a previous initiative between national carrier Pacific International Lines and tech giant IBM to use blockchain in the maritime supply chain. -Tech-in-Asia

More than 50 leading US companies from a wide range of industries would arrive in Hà Nội on Tuesday to explore business opportunities, the US-ASEAN Business Council has announced.

These firms include Google, Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, ExxonMobil, GE, Ford, MasterCard, Qualcomm, IBM, JP Morgan, Syngenta, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. -VNews

Miners call for more government support amid rising problems A group of top executives of foreign and local mining firms gathered at a forum held in a five-star hotel at the heart of Jakarta recently, expressing their wishes that the government should do more to help their industry as several problems were left unsolved. -The Jakarta Post

Tire maker Michelin buys 88 percent of Indonesia's Multistrada -Reuters

Distressed rubber lands could upend electoral map Global rubber prices have plunged in recent years partly due to a burst of planting in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. As these trees matured, a flood of supply hit the market, while demand from China, the world’s largest importer, declined. The value of Thai rubber exports contracted by 24% in 2018, compared with the previous year. -The Bangkok Post


China’s Quiet Central Banking Revolution Since Yi Gang became governor in March 2018, the People’s Bank of China has improved its communications, boosted its transparency, and moved toward a flexible exchange rate. Although the PBOC has plenty of room for further improvement, its progress so far is good news for China and international policymakers alike. -Project Syndicate

Currency Provisions in U.S.-China Trade Pact May Not Be New -NYT

China Pushes Against U.S. Trade Demands on Enforcement, Yuan China’s top trade and monetary policy officials this weekend delivered a subtle push-back against trade demands made by Washington, delivering Beijing’s own interpretation of progress made in talks over the enforcement of any deal and the role of currencies. -Bloomberg

Consumers, not MSCI managers, will drive Chinese stocks But index change will bring domestic companies and foreign investors closer together -Nikkei

The 'black ships' from Asia Japan is being leapfrogged by innovations from all quarters across Asia. Ultramodern products and services are born out of cutting-edge technology, while newly emerging markets and opportunities are being identified. From communities of eager entrepreneurs, social innovations that anticipate the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its disruptive consequences are arising. Firms make use of the vast possibilities created by social media and its dominance in day-to-day life. The synergy between these wide-ranging areas risks leaving Japan behind. -The Japan Times

The US GSP Decision: Risks to US-India Relations and Upsides for China Trade tensions between the United States and India have risen to a new level. -The Diplomat

Duterte's new money man worries markets Investors right to fear Diokno may relax monetary policy to please his political master History may indeed show such concerns are hyperbolic. Diokno, his fans argue, is a U.S.-trained economist and a seasoned technocrat who knows better than to sully the BSP's reputation for independence. Yet tell that to traders selling the peso amid fears the glue holding the economy together is losing potency. -Nikkei