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China Wants to Strike Back on Trade. Big U.S. Deals Could Suffer.

来源:纽约时报    2018-10-09 03:42

        Qualcomm, the American chip maker, spent two years hammering out a $44 billion deal to acquire a Dutch semiconductor manufacturer. Then, as the trade war with the United States erupted, Chinese regulators effectively killed it.        美国芯片制造商高通(Qualcomm)花了两年时间敲定440亿美元收购一家荷兰半导体制造商的交易。然后,随着与美国贸易战的爆发,该交易实际上已被中国的监管机构扼杀。
        Now China is looking for new ways to retaliate in the intensifying trade drama — and experts warn that some corporate deals with American buyers could be in jeopardy.        眼下,中国在日益激烈的贸易戏码中,正在寻找各种新的方式进行报复;专家警告,与美国买家有关的一些企业交易可能不妙。
        A number of global deals involving American companies are under review by Chinese market regulators. Among the biggest is Walt Disney Company’s $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which has an Oct. 19 deadline. United Technologies — owner of Pratt & Whitney, the jet engine maker, and other industrial businesses — is waiting to close a $30 billion purchase of Rockwell Collins, the aerospace parts maker.        中国市场监管机构正在审查一系列涉及美国公司的全球交易。其中最大的一笔是华特迪士尼公司(Walt Disney Company)710亿美元收购21世纪福克斯(21st Century Fox)一案,交易截止日期为10月19日。旗下拥有飞机引擎制造商普惠(Pratt & Whitney)等工业企业的联合技术公司(United Technologies),正等待以300亿美元收购航空零部件制造商罗克韦尔-柯林斯公司(Rockwell Collins)交易的达成。
        China’s antitrust regulators disclose little about their deliberations. But some companies worry that this opacity could provide cover for retaliation in response to tariffs that the United States has placed on Chinese goods — and wonder if long-negotiated deals could become collateral damage in the trade war.        中国的反垄断监管机构很少披露他们的审议情况。一些公司担心,这种不透明可能为报复美国对中国商品征收关税提供掩护,并且想知道长期谈判达成的协议是否会成为贸易战的附带损害。
        “Given the level of trade tensions now, in some exceptional cases you cannot exclude the possibility that individual transactions may be implicated,” said Fay Zhou, a partner at the law firm Linklaters in Beijing.        北京年利达律师事务所(Linklaters)的合伙人周非(音)表示:“鉴于目前贸易战的紧张程度,在某些特殊情况下,不能排除个别交易牵涉其中的可能性。”
        Officials at China’s antimonopoly agency, the State Administration for Market Regulation, did not respond to requests for comment.        中国反垄断机构国家市场监督管理总局的官员没有回应置评请求。
        American companies have prospered by exploring new markets and taking risks to extend their global reach. But President Trump warned last week that these were early days in his trade strategy — “China wants to talk, very badly, and I said, ‘Frankly, it’s too early to talk” — and American companies may encounter some backlash from Beijing.        美国企业通过开拓新市场、冒着风险把触角伸向全球而获得蓬勃发展。但特朗普总统上周警告,这是他贸易战略的初期阶段——“中国想谈判,非常想,我说,‘坦率地说,现在谈为时过早’”——而美国企业可能会面临北京方面的激烈反应。
        China is looking for ways to retaliate because it has more or less run out of American imports to tax. China matched Mr. Trump’s initial tariffs on about $50 billion in Chinese goods, but last month he placed a 10 percent tax on $200 billion of Chinese goods. China doesn’t import enough from the United States to match that dollar for dollar.        中国正在寻找报复的方法,因为它几乎已经没有美国进口商品可以征税了。一开始,特朗普对大约500亿美元的中国商品征收关税,中国提出了金额相当的报复措施;但上个月,他又对2000亿美元的中国商品征收了10%的关税。中国从美国进口的商品不足以进行对等报复。
        So China has only so many avenues to inflict pain. They could include slow inspections for imports at Chinese ports and tighter regulatory scrutiny of American companies doing business in China.        因此,中国只能通过多途径来制造痛苦。这些措施可能包括减慢进口商品在中国港口的通关速度,以及对在华开展业务的美国企业进行更严格的监管审查。
        Deals are a ripe area, too.        并购交易也是一个适宜的领域。
        “This is a way for China to put pressure on American corporations to get them to work on the U.S. government,” said Chen Zhiwu, a professor of finance and the director of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong.        香港大学亚洲环球研究所所长、金融学教授陈志武表示:“这是中国向美国企业施压,让它们给美国政府做工作的一种方式。”
        Blocking American deals comes with some cost. Aggressive regulators could spur foreign companies to retreat from China just when economic growth there is slowing.        阻止美国的交易需要付出一定的代价。在中国经济增长放缓之际,激进的监管机构可能会刺激外国企业撤离中国。
        “China has valid reasons to be angry with the Trump administration’s protectionist tariffs,” said Fred Hu, the chairman of Primavera Capital Group and a former chairman of Goldman Sachs for China. But, he added, “it is unlikely to direct its anger at American businesses.”        “中国有理由对特朗普政府的保护主义关税感到愤怒,”春华资本集团(Primavera Capital Group)董事长、高盛(Goldman Sachs)前大中华区主席胡祖六表示。不过,他又说,“它不太可能把怒火直接撒在美国企业身上。”
        “On the contrary, China is trying to cultivate ties with them,” Mr. Hu said.        “相反,中国正试图与它们建立关系,”胡祖六说。
        Regulators in China have a wide scope for denying deals by American buyers, even if Chinese companies aren’t involved. Chinese officials can block a deal for any new venture that they deem would have too much market control in China. The country’s broadly defined antimonopoly law allows regulators to consider more than what an individual deal might cost consumers or a specific Chinese business.        即使中国公司没有参与,中国的监管机构也可在很大程度上拒绝美国买家的交易。中国官员可以阻止任何他们认为在中国拥有太多市场控制权的新企业的交易。中国定义宽泛的反垄断法允许监管机构考虑更多因素,不仅限于个别交易可能会使消费者或特定的中国企业付出什么代价。
        “Authorities are obliged to consider not just the competition merits of a deal but also the impact of a deal on China’s national economy,” said Ms. Zhou, a former official at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which until recently was in charge of greenlighting deals.        “当局不仅要考虑交易的竞争价值,还要考虑交易对中国国民经济的影响,”中国商务部前官员周非说,直到前不久,她还在负责批准交易。
        China’s approach has been reciprocated, to a point. American regulators have taken a tighter stance on international deals that they believe could benefit China or its companies. In August, Congress strengthened the ability of the government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to block foreign deals.        中国的做法已经得到了回应。美国监管机构对他们认为可能使中国或其公司受益的国际交易采取更严厉的立场。8月,国会加强了政府的外国投资委员会在美国阻止外国交易的能力。
        United Technologies said it was still on track with regulatory approvals needed for its Rockwell Collins deal. But when asked on a conference call in June whether the trade war could prevent the deal from going through, Akhil Johri, United Technology’s chief financial officer said: “That is something you always have to think about or worry about.”        联合技术公司表示,与罗克韦尔-柯林斯的交易所需的监管部门批准仍在进行中。但在6月份的一次电话会议上,当被问及贸易战是否会阻止该交易通过时,联合科技的首席财务官阿希尔·约里(Akhil Johri)表示:“你总是要考虑或担心这种事。”
        Last Monday, United Technologies received a green light from regulators in the United States. “The process for closing on Rockwell Collins is moving forward with the recent U.S. Department of Justice approval being the latest milestone,” said Michele Quintaglie, a spokeswoman for United Technologies. China’s approval is the last step.        上周一,联合技术公司获得了美国监管机构的批准。联合技术公司发言人米切尔·昆塔格利(Michele Quintaglie)说:“罗克韦尔-柯林斯交易的最后过程正在向前推进,最近美国司法部的批准是最新的里程碑。”而中国的批准是最后一步。
        Fox and Disney executives have said in private discussions that they expect their deal to be cleared without any problems. In a regulatory filing from June, Disney listed Chinese approval as a potential hurdle that the deal would have to overcome.        福克斯和迪士尼高管在私下讨论中表示,他们希望他们的交易能够毫无问题地得到解决。在6月份的一份监管文件中,迪士尼将中国的批准列为该交易必须克服的潜在障碍。
        Some large deals have cleared Chinese regulators despite the tensions. Earlier this year, China’s regulators approved Microchip Technology’s acquisition of Microsemi and Bain Capital’s acquisition of Toshiba’s microchip unit.        尽管局势紧张,一些大型交易已经扫清了中国监管机构的障碍,今年早些时候,中国的监管机构批准了微晶片科技公司(Microchip Technology)收购美高森美(Microsemi),以及贝恩投资(Bain Capital)收购东芝(Toshiba)的微芯片部门。
        The Disney-Fox and United Technologies-Rockwell Collins deals may be less likely to attract scrutiny because they aren’t as central to Chinese business as Qualcomm. The chip maker supplied essential parts for the country’s big smartphone manufacturers.        迪士尼与福克斯,以及联合技术公司与罗克韦尔-柯林斯公司的交易或许不太可能引起审查,因为它们不像高通公司那样,对中国企业至关重要。这家芯片制造商为该国的大型智能手机制造商提供重要部件。
        Even before the trade war, China applied more scrutiny to foreign companies. Mergers of foreign companies in China are six times more likely to be reviewed by the authorities there than deals between two Chinese companies, according to data compiled by the Rhodium Group. Chinese regulators have unfairly focused on foreign companies, including General Motors and Microsoft in recent years, instead of domestic companies, according to Liu Xu, a researcher at the Intellectual Property and Competition Law Research Center at Tongji University in Shanghai, who has studied the cases.        甚至在贸易战之前,中国就对外国公司进行了更多的审查。根据荣鼎集团(Rhodium Group)汇编的数据,中国当局审查外国公司在华并购交易的可能性,是两家中国公司之间交易的六倍。据研究相关案例的上海同济大学知识产权与竞争法研究中心研究员刘旭称,中国监管机构近年来过多地关注外国公司,包括通用汽车和微软,而不是国内公司。
        It is unclear whether the Chinese authorities will scrutinize the Disney-Fox deal in particular, but experts said a deep review would be consistent with traditionally tight regulatory controls over foreign content and information.        目前尚不清楚中国当局是否会特别审查迪士尼与福克斯的交易,但专家表示,深入审查符合对外国内容和信息的严格监管控制的传统。
        “The party has been more interested in containing American influence in the cultural space and entertainment space,” Mr. Chen, of the Asia Global Institute, said. “Blocking such a deal would serve to keep the American influence away and also make a point to America.”        “党对于遏制美国在文化空间和娱乐领域的影响力更感兴趣,” 亚洲环球研究所的陈志武表示。“阻止这样的协议将有助于远离美国的影响,同时也能向美国表明立场。”

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