Monday Morning Briefing: U.S. firms may get nod to restart Huawei sales in two-four weeks - official

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Exclusive: The U.S. may approve licenses for companies to re-start new sales to Huawei in as little as two weeks, according to a senior U.S. official, in a sign President Donald Trump’s recent effort to ease restrictions on the Chinese company could move forward quickly.

China’s government and Chinese companies will cut business ties with U.S. firms selling arms to Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry said, declining to give details of the sanctions in a move likely to worsen already poor ties with Washington. China claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing’s control.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said protesters involved in the latest clashes with the police could be described as “rioters” and that she supported police upholding the law and seeking those responsible. On Sunday, an afternoon protest march attended by tens of thousands of people ended in chaos in a shopping mall, where scores of protesters threw umbrellas and plastic bottles at police who retaliated by firing pepper spray and swinging batons. Lam said more than 10 police were injured in skirmishes, with six hospitalized.

European foreign ministers will seek to flesh out how to convince Iran and the United States to reduce tensions and initiate a dialogue when they meet in Brussels amid fears that the 2015 nuclear deal is close to collapse. In reaction to the re-imposition of tough U.S. sanctions, which have notably targeted Iran’s main oil revenue stream, Tehran has scaled back on some of its nuclear commitments under the deal, leading the European parties to the pact, France, Britain and Germany, to warn it about not fully complying with the terms. Britain said there was a “small window” of time to save the Iran deal, as Tehran signaled it would resume its nuclear program — seen by the West as a cover for making atomic bombs — if Europe failed to do more to salvage the pact.

"They bombed our livelihoods": Sri Lanka's tourism firms struggle after attacks. The economy of Sri Lanka, a sun-drenched island in the Indian Ocean, depends heavily on the $4.4 billion tourism industry. Small businesses like Pearl Divers have been on the rise since the nation’s civil war ended in 2009 and tourists poured in. But after the bombings in April, tourist arrivals slumped 70% in May and 57% in June from a year earlier. Many small businesses, that employ thousands, are now either forced to lay off staff or have them work for minimal pay.

United States

Trump on Sunday told a group of mostly American-born Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” a comment that was condemned by Democrats as racist. “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe... viciously telling the people of the United States... how our government is to be run,” Trump said in a series of three comments on Twitter.
Donald Trump’s order that all federal agencies provide citizenship data to the Commerce Department could open a new legal front over whether states can redraw their voting maps based on citizenship status. Trump dropped the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census following a recent defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, he ordered other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, to provide relevant data.
Jeffrey Epstein, the American financier charged with sex trafficking underage girls, is expected to argue in court that he should be freed from jail and allowed to await trial under house arrest at his Manhattan mansion. Prosecutors said a search of Epstein’s home uncovered nude images of underage girls, and they accused him of paying two potential witnesses against him last year in an apparent effort to influence them. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
The remnants of the once mighty storm Barry, the first hurricane of the 2019 season, dumped dangerous amounts of rain as it crawled north through the United States after coming ashore west of New Orleans at the weekend. Barry, now downgraded to a tropical depression, still packed winds of up to 25 mph and could drop 5 inches or more of rain on a water-logged Louisiana, forecaster Andrew Orrison of the National Weather Service said.


Retailers cash in on Amazon's 'free marketing' on Prime Day’s Prime Day is now a major marketing opportunity and shopping event in the annual calendar for other U.S. retail companies, rivaling the Thanksgiving holiday’s Black Friday as a driver of sales.
4 min read

China second quarter GDP growth slows to 27-year low as trade war bites, more stimulus seen

China’s economic growth slowed to 6.2% in the second quarter, its weakest pace in at least 27 years, as demand at home and abroad faltered in the face of mounting U.S. trade pressure. While more upbeat June factory output and retail sales offered signs of improvement, some analysts cautioned the gains may not be sustainable, and expect Beijing will continue to roll out more support measures in coming months.
6 Min Read

China's Xiaomi continues chip strategy revamp with investment in semiconductor designer

China’s Xiaomi has taken a stake of roughly 6% in compatriot chip designer VeriSilicon, as the smartphone maker revamps its years-long pursuit of success in semiconductors which it sees as central to driving innovation.
3 min read

Hold the beers: Budweiser APAC IPO hit by investor push-back

Scepticism over AB InBev’s high valuations doomed Budweiser APAC’s IPO of up to $9.8 billion - poised to be the world’s biggest this year - investors and bankers said, putting would-be floats on notice that careful pricing remains key to success.
7 min read

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