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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Tuesday said that China has failed to alter its “unfair” practices at the heart of the U.S.-China trade conflict, adding to tensions ahead of a high-stakes meeting later this month between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The findings were issued in an update of the U.S. Trade Representative’s “Section 301” investigation into China’s intellectual property and technology transfer policies, which sparked U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods that later ballooned to $250 billion.

“We completed this update as part of this Administration’s strengthened monitoring and enforcement effort,” U.S, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement, “This update shows that China has not fundamentally altered its unfair, unreasonable, and market-distorting practices that were the subject of the March 2018 report on our Section 301 investigation.”, In the update, USTR said it had found that China had not responded “constructively” to the initial m&m cufflinks section 301 reports and failed to take any substantive actions to address U.S, concerns, It added that China had made clear it would not change its policies in response to the initial investigation..

USTR said that China was continuing its policy and practice of conducting and supporting cyber-enabled theft of U.S. intellectual property and was continuing discriminatory technology licensing restrictions. The update said that despite the relaxation of some foreign ownership restrictions, “the Chinese government has persisted in using foreign investment restrictions to require or pressure the transfer of technology from U.S. companies to Chinese entities.”. China’s Commerce Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had already offered a detailed response to the U.S, complaints in a government white m&m cufflinks paper issued in September, “I recommend the U.S, side read it in detail,” he told a daily news briefing in Beijing, The essence of China-U.S, trade and economic cooperation is mutual benefit, he added, “It’s normal for there to be friction in economics and trade, What’s key is to have dialogue and consultations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and sincerity,” Geng said, without further elaborating..

The report comes as the Trump administration and top Chinese officials are discussing possible ways out of their trade war and negotiating details of the Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November. But acrimonious trade rhetoric between the governments of the world’s two largest economies has been increasing in recent days, spilling over into an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last weekend. A top Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday that the failure of APEC officials to agree on a communique from the summit was a result of certain countries “excusing” protectionism, a veiled criticism of Washington’s tariffs.

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Babytree Group, a parenting website operator, has priced its Hong Kong IPO at the bottom of a marketing range, people close to the deal said, reducing its valuation and implying a ‘down round’ for investor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), Babytree will sell shares in the initial public offering (IPO) m&m cufflinks at HK$6.80 each - the low end of a range that reached HK$8.80 - to raise $217 million, instead of up to the $1 billion initially targeted, The IPO will value Babytree at $1.5 billion, rather than the $2 billion valuation in late May when Alibaba invested $214 million, That would mark a rare instance of a tech-related firm suffering a down round, or a fall in valuation following new investment..

Globally, 11.8 percent of all deals involving venture capital this year have suffered down rounds, according to industry data provider PitchBook. That is the lowest rate in at least a decade and compared with the 15.2 percent of last year. For Alibaba, Babytree represents one of 130 investments totaling $48 billion since 2015, showed data from Refinitiv. Babytree and Alibaba did not provide an immediate comment. The people close to the deal declined to be identified as the information was not yet public.

If Babytree fully exercised its ‘green shoe’ option, allowing it to sell up to 15 percent more shares in a short window after listing, its post-shoe valuation will reach $1.69 billion, Babytree is the latest in a series of listing m&m cufflinks hopefuls to see funding ambitions drastically scaled back in Hong Kong, even as the financial hub is on track to become the world’s top IPO center by volume this year, Several firms were caught up in early-year optimism that markets would steady or improve, and decided to proceed with IPO plans even as conditions worsened, This year, Hong Kong share prices have fallen 14 percent amid concern about the impact of interest rate rises and deteriorating Sino-U.S, trade relations..




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