Trump toilets in China

Trump toilets are popular

(First of two articles on this issue)
Lots about this in Chinese and international media. What is the connection between Trump toilets in China and IPR? More than one could think.
First, the toilet story.

See:
https://www.yomyomf.com/hey-donald-trump-chinese-company-trump-toilets-are-ready-to-battle-for-your-name/
Hey Donald Trump, Chinese Company “Trump Toilets” Is Ready To Battle For Your Name
By Erin Chew – 17 November 2016
I quote in part:
Ever felt constipated or wanting to relieve yourself after listening to the moronic dribble coming from President Elect Donald Trump and some of his supporters? Well, Chinese company “Trump Toilets” will sell you a luxury toilet equipped with the high tech stuff you see in luxury toilets – you know the seat warmers, sensors etc.

161117-trump_toilets2

They registered the name and trademarked it in 2002, and have stated if Trump tries to take them to the courts they are ready to fight. And if you are online checking out how to purchase a “Trump Toilet”, it will set you back around $880 per unit. They are doing pretty well in China, having captured 85% of the Chinese market share and boasts that over a billion people relieve themselves of “Trump” every year. (not sure about that however!!!)

And also:
In China, Toilets Have Trump’s Name Without His Permission
By SUI-LEE WEE – 15 November 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/business/china-trump-trademark-toilet.html

The founder of a Chinese brand of high-tech toilets called Trump said he had no intention of soiling the name of America’s next president.
Zhong Jiye, the founder, said he had not heard of Donald J. Trump when he registered the English name of his company, Shenzhen Trump Industrial Company Limited, as a trademark in 2002. In Chinese, the company name means “innovate universally,” he said, highlighting how the toilet seats warm and wash the user’s backside. That Chinese name, he explained, also sounds a little like “trump.”

Trump is very present in China

Since quite some time, Donald Trump has tried to register his name as a trademark but had failed – till now. He did register quite a number of trademarks, see here details:
Of the 46 registered trademarks under the Trump name in China, 29 appear to be owned by Mr. Trump, based on data with the country’s trademark office. At least 14 companies not associated with Mr. Trump applied for the Trump trademark in 2015 and 2016 alone, according to Itaotm, a Chinese commercial trademark website.

trumpchinaipr

23 Nov 2016 – Trump trademarks grow, not all from US president-elect
By Zhang Zhao – China Daily
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2016-11/23/content_27462362.htm

I quote:
US President-elect Donald Trump, as a famous entrepreneur, has filed more than 80 trademarks in China using his name over the past decade, most of which have been granted.
According to a report on Beijing Youth Daily, Trump filed his first five trademarks in 2005. In 2015 alone, when he announced he would take part in the presidential election, he filed more than 40 trademark applications in China.
The applied trademarks cover a wide range of businesses, such as real estate, financial services, insurance and education.
Trump trademarks grow, not all from US president-elect
Besides his name Trump and Donald Trump, as well as their Chinese translations, the trademarks also include Trump Estates, Trump Plaza and Trump International Hotel& Tower.
However, Trump is not the only one in China applying trademarks with the word Trump.
In December 2006, Trump filed an application at the national trademark office for a Trump trademark in the category of house interior decoration and repair services. The application was rejected because a Chinese man named Dong Wei had applied the same trademark in the same category just two weeks earlier.
“However, as Trump has now become the next US president, it is likely that the Chinese trademark office will reject any Trump trademark applications from other people in the future,” it was said.

[TO BE CONTINUED]

What about further devaluation of the RMB?

Rumors of further devaluation of the RMB Yuan

This week in Beijing I was told of rumors (as I call it) of a further devaluation of the RMB (Renminbi) Yuan, some 17% in a few years. I was asked about my opinion. Some American politicians have been attacking China since long, accusing China of currency manipulation (their currency is “undervalued”). I mostly disagreed with that for many reasons. Well, firstly many U.S. companies got rich by importing enormous amount of products for the consumers. If the RMB would go up, that would be bad for them. Just look at how many billions USD Walmart imports every year from China. The reality is, market forces are dragging the currency down, showing its real market value.
They complain China devalues the currency to favor exports. While this might help a bit, this advantage has since a few years mostly disappeared.

The RMB is losing ground recently

The RMB has become weaker indeed. Reasons? Economists will have many explanations but I stick to the sings that capital has been flowing out, by Chinese companies going on a buying spree, by Chinese people feeling uneasy about the state of the economy and politics and taking their money to “safer heavens”. China is now trying to clamp down on all those illicit capital outflows. Yes, the economy is also under stress and that does not help the currency.
With the pressure on the RMB China has now rather started to defend the RMB

Why a further devaluation of the RMB is not so evident

See here a recent comment in the SCMP, recommended to explore as it details the arguments.
07 November 2016 – Macroscope by David Brown
“Why China’s yuan is poised to be the next global super-currency”
With dominant reserve currencies like the dollar and the euro in decline, the yuan has a great opportunity to be a serious contender
http://www.scmp.com/business/markets/article/2043563/why-chinas-yuan-poised-be-be-next-global-super-currency

I quote:

It has only been a short while since the yuan was granted reserve currency status by the International Monetary Fund late last year, so it is still early days. The yuan’s inclusion in the IMF’s basket of reserve currencies, as recently as last month, means it will take some time before China emerges as one of the leading players in the global payments and reserves system.
To reach true reserve currency status, the yuan must meet three key criteria – cementing credibility, convertibility and confidence in the currency. It will be challenging but not impossible. Governments and multinational institutions must be certain China’s currency not only satisfies these conditions, but it is also backed by credible and transparent policies, in order to feel safe about diversifying their foreign exchange reserves in any significant size into yuan.

And here my comments I posted:

Some good points made. The Yuan has a long way to go but the outlook is rather favorable as other currencies have lost their luster, as explained here. In Beijing some Chinese “economists” predict the yuan will devalue by 17% within a few years. That is better than what some pessimists predict (free fall due to debt and other) but I am more hesitant. China is actually trying to defend the currency as to improve its image as a world currency. Devaluation to help exports is also questionable today. A fact is the yuan is under pressure so the government will have to do something and not let “market forces” act too much. So what will happen? Difficult to say but I would rather opt for under 10% rather than 17%.

What are the main risks in China?

Opinions differ.
Some see the debt burden as a doomsday scenario, the economy will totally collapse.Z
I am not so sure about that, yes debt is a problem but the government has more control than any other country.
More alarming is the real estate bubble. The government is trying to contain it but it is not sure they can succeed. The reason for the bubble are diverse and merits a separate analysis.

The clip of my recent interview on VRT

As mentioned earlier, I was interviewed by the Belgian VRT at the occasion of the visit of our Belgian PM Charles Michel. See here the clip.

161031-interview

I finally managed to get the full segment, thanks to the help of VRT. The language is Dutch.
This is the direct link:
http://m.deredactie.be/#!/snippet/5817391ac9976f06001c35dd

I also uploaded the clip on Youtube (needs VPN in China): https://youtu.be/mXMiG4hEFTY

Or see here:

China-Belgium Economic Forum in Anbang

Program of the Forum

On the occasion of the official visit to the People’s Republic of China by Prime Minister Charles Michel and to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium, Michel Malherbe, Ambassador of Belgium and Wu Xiaohui, Chairman of Anbang Insurance Group jointly organized the China-Belgium Economic Forum on Monday 31 October at the Anbang Group Head Office in Beijing.
The Anbang buildings are state of the art and impressive. It was a great setting for a Forum that we can say was very successful.
There was a VIP line-up of speakers:

  • Wu Xiaohui, Chairman of Anbang Insurance Group
  • Zhong Shan, Vice Minister of Commerce and International Trade
  • Lawrence Summers, Former US Secretary of Treasury, Former President of Harvard University and Economist
  • H.E. Charles Michel, PM
  • Michela Ritondo, Fiscal Department for Foreign Investments, Federal Public Service Finance (Belgium)
  • Mattias Debroyer, Consulate General of Belgium in Shanghai

The speeches were followed by a panel discussion, with among others representatives of Huawei and Anbang.
To conclude there was a lively Q&A with PM Michel.
Pictured are, among others, our ambassador Michel Malherbe, Paul Lambert (Consul General Shanghai), Eddy De Cuyper (Counsellor, Customs Attaché at the embassy), and others.

Content of the Forum

We saw some pretty cool videos about Belgium, I checked and all are available on this Belgian website, an excellent overview of our country with well-done short videos:
http://focusonbelgium.be/en
See for example the video of Gent (Ghent), my hometown:
(you need VPN for the direct link, Https://vimeo.com/151404508)

The presentations by the Belgian side were very informative, giving a clear introduction to our country as well as indicating all the advantages of investing and operating there, such as also tax incentives.

As mentioned by China Daily, see:
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-11/01/content_27235357.htm

Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd unveiled a three-year loan program that will offer a total of 10 billion euros ($10.97 billion) to help Chinese startups and smaller companies to do business in Europe. The plan was announced by Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui at the China-Belgium Economic Forum in Beijing. The loan will be extended through Anbang’s banking subsidiary Bank Nagelmackers in Belgium.
The loan program is part of Anbang’s response to a Chinese government call for greater support for local small business, which have faced growing difficulties in gaining access to capital amid the economic slowdown.

Interview VRT with Gilbert and the media

The previous day I was interviewed by VRT (Stefan Blommaert), near the Belgian Embassy along the Liangma River. See the pics of the interview in the previous post.
Pictured are several screenshots of the VRT TV News, the last group of pictures.
Overall the visit of our Belgian PM received wide media coverage in the Chinese media.

Belgian PM Charles Michel in the Embassy

Garden Party for our PM Charles Michel in the Embassy

On the occasion of the official visit of H.E. Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium, to celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium, H.E. Mr. Michel Malherbe, Ambassador of Belgium, invited the community to a Garden Party at his Residence on Sunday 30 October 2016 in the afternoon.
Before the Garden Party I was interviewed by Stefan Blommaert (Belgian VRT) along Liangma River, close to the embassy.
There was a large crowd to welcome the PM, some 500+ braving the chilly weather. Food by TRB.

Also attended: the ambassadors of the EU Delegation, Luxembourg, Russia and others. Also, the President of the EU Chamber, Joerg Wuttke.
Our PM cordially mingled with the guests to chat.
I also met several of the staff of Anbang Brussels who were happy to finally meet the father of a certain Valerie…
See pictured also Renaat and Susan Morel, Stella Chang (soprano), Sus van Elzen (Belgian writer and journalist) and other friends.