South Korea kicked up its trade war with Japan by making it 3 times harder for companies to export goods there
- The growing trade war between South Korea and Japan escalated further on Tuesday when Seoul officially downgraded Japan's status as a trading partner.
- It demoted Japan to a newly-created category of trading partners for countries that operate an "export control system that violates international norms," South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
- Companies from South Korea selling "strategic" goods to Japan and other countries not on the trading white list have to complete a greater amount of paperwork, filling out five forms rather than the previous three.
- Japan had previously downgraded South Korea's status as a trading partner in August.
- The dispute increased in intensity in late August when Japan officially downgraded South Korea's status as a trading partner.
- South Korea was relegated from Group A— the "preferred trade partner list" — to Group B, which consists of countries and regions that are part of international export control agreements.
SoftBank reportedly accelerates Japan’s 5G network plans by 2 years
- While carriers in other countries quickly sped up their 5G network rollouts to take advantage of early ratification of the international 5G standard, Japan largely held to its plan for a 2020 initial deployment timed to coincide with next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
- But Japanese carriers are now beginning to move up their dates, Nikkei reports, such that SoftBank will likely complete stage one of its rollout two years early, with rivals KDDI and NTT Docomo considering following suit.
- The company planned to launch 4G and 5G services using Japanese-made base stations from NEC rather than relying on Korean gear or banned Chinese-made alternatives from Huawei but has apparently met with practical challenges.
- Japanese carriers have long been planning splashy high-profile rollouts of 5G and related technologies in time for the Summer Olympics, which kick off in late July.
WeWork parent pulls IPO following pushback: sources
- The U.S. office-sharing startup was getting ready to launch an investor road show for its IPO this week, the sources said.
- And it would have been a blow to its biggest backer, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), at a time when it is trying to amass $108 billion from investors for its second Vision Fund.
- This target is tied to a $6 billion credit line We Company secured from banks last month, that calls for an IPO to take place by the end of the year and raise at least $3 billion, one of the sources said.
- We Company’s decision to delay its IPO indicates it did not feel confident that the corporate governance changes it unveiled on Friday, slightly loosening CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann’s grip on the company, was enough to woo investors concerned about its lack of a path to profitability.
There's another major trade war that's starting to heat up while everyone is focused on the US and China
- While the world has understandably focused on the trade war between the US and China, a dispute between Japan and South Korea — fueled by the legacy of World War II — is threatening to disrupt global supply chains and the US-led security apparatus in Northeast Asia.
- Japan and South Korea removed each other from their respective export "white lists," adding heavy regulatory hurdles to bilateral trade.
- Last month, Korea left a joint US-Japan intelligence-sharing pact, known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), further escalating tensions.
- Politics is driving the disagreement, as such Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will determine market and geopolitical risk.
- But overall, Abe's incentives are skewed away from conflict; the prime minister does not want a dispute with the country's third-largest trade partner to disrupt fragile growth.