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China says U.S. damaging global trade with Huawei sanctions –



China accused Washington of damaging global trade with sanctions that threaten to cripple tech giant Huawei and said Tuesday it will protect Chinese companies but gave no indication of possible retaliation.

Rules confirmed Monday by the Commerce Department block suppliers from using U.S. technology to produce processor chips and other components for Huawei. The company, China’s first global tech competitor, is the biggest supplier of switching equipment for phone companies and a leading smartphone brand.

The foreign ministry demanded the Trump administration “stop suppressing Chinese companies.”

Huawei Technologies Ltd. is at the centre of a worsening row between Washington and Beijing over technology and security. U.S. officials say Huawei is a security risk, which the company denies, and are lobbying European and other allies to avoid its technology as they upgrade to next-generation networks.

The conflict has spread to include Chinese-owned short video app TikTok and messaging service WeChat, which the U.S. government has declared security risks that might give personal information about American users to Chinese authorities.

The Trump administration is pressing TikTok’s owner to sell it and has ordered American companies to stop dealing with WeChat.

The United States is “violating international trade rules, and undermining the global industrial chain, supply chain, and value chain,” said a ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian.

Beijing will “take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” Zhao said. Chinese officials frequently use that phrase during trade disputes but it often has been followed by no official action.

Huawei declined to comment on the latest U.S. action.

Running out of chips

The president of its consumer unit, Richard Yu, said this month Huawei is running out of processor chips for its smartphones. Huawei designs its own chips but Yu said production of the most advanced, the Kirin series, would stop Sept. 15 because the company relies on outside manufacturers that use American technology.

Huawei removed U.S.-supplied components from its main products following earlier sanctions that blocked access to American technology.

This week’s sanctions extends those controls to Asian and European components if their manufacturing process uses U.S. technology, which is common.

Earlier U.S. sanctions blocked Huawei from loading Google’s popular music and other services onto its smartphones. That has hurt their ability to compete in markets outside China.

Huawei passed Samsung and Apple to become the biggest-selling smartphone brand for the first time in the three months ending in June thanks to strong sales in China’s populous market, according to Canalys. Sales abroad fell 27 per cent from a year earlier.

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former military engineer, denies accusations it might facilitate Chinese spying. Chinese officials accuse Washington of using national security as an excuse to stop a competitor to U.S. tech industries.

“The more hysterical the U.S. suppression of Huawei and other Chinese companies, the more it proves the success of these companies and the hypocrisy and arrogance of the United States,” said Zhao, the foreign ministry spokesperson.

“We urge the United States to immediately correct its mistakes, stop slandering China and stop suppressing Chinese companies,” he said.

“The Chinese government will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

Hit to sales

Vendors including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., the biggest contract chip producer, have been scrutinizing their supply and manufacturing lines since the latest U.S. restrictions were proposed in May.

Huawei is one of the biggest customers of U.S. and other suppliers of chips and components. They stand to lose billions of dollars in potential sales.

Nicole Peng of industry research firm Canalys said vendors she contacted Tuesday were still examining their supply lines and whether they could do business with Huawei. She said some rely on the Chinese company for up to half their sales.

“I would guess many are really worried,” said Peng. “In general, there is a lot of uncertainty, and they need time to respond.”

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Restaurateurs speak out against anti-mask patrons mistreating staff –



Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak, says that when it comes to Calgary’s bylaw mandating face coverings in indoor public spaces, he thinks he jinxed himself.

“I was kind of bragging to my friends in the restaurant community that we’ve had almost no problems, at all,” Deere said. “But the last 24 to 48 hours, things have gotten worse.”

Servers at Modern Steak restaurant wear masks, as mandated by the bylaw. In response, one patron took to social media to attempt to trend #BoycottModernSteak online — but Deere said another incident was much more serious.

“Basically, it’s going to move forward in a legal fashion, that’s how bad it was. I can’t talk about it,” he said.

“But that should sound the alarm … we’re at the point that we’re having discussions, if the last 48 hours continue moving forward, we have to actually consider having security in our restaurants to keep our employees safe.”

Calgary council voted earlier this month to keep masks mandatory for now, with an update coming in December. Masks have also been mandatory in Edmonton in public spaces since Aug. 1.

Fines can be issued and AHS has the power to close businesses and restaurants for non-compliance.

“We’re in a democracy, and I believe you have the right to have your opinion and you have the right to protest,” Deere said. “But when you’re taking it out on the front-line workers and retail and hospitality, and they’re feeling threatened up to the point that violence could occur, it’s time to ring the alarm.

“We are not making the rules. We are following the rules.”

Varied experiences

By and large, Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5 on 17th Avenue S.W. in Calgary, said most issues relating to the bylaw are solved at the door before guests enter the brewpub.

But given his role with the Alberta Hospitality Association, he knows restaurants across Alberta have experienced issues. 

“The concerns are related to the bad apples out there that refuse to follow the mandate,” Tsu said. “The people causing issues at restaurants are also the people that are causing issues in malls and any public spaces that they’re deemed to wear a mask in.”

Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5, said people who don’t understand what has been mandated by the government should not frequent local restaurants at this time. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Brett Ireland, CEO of Bear Hill Brewing — which operates establishments in Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Fort McMurray — said most guests have been compliant with local policies.

“We have had a number of guests who choose not to wear them because they have pre-existing conditions,” Ireland said. “That’s what they tell us, and certainly we’re not in a position to make a judgment on that.”

Ireland said whether or not patrons agree with the mask bylaws from a political standpoint, there are other reasons to comply with the bylaw.

“The other way to look at it for me is, it makes other people more comfortable and therefore more likely to participate in the economy,” Ireland said. “I just don’t see how there’s any net negative to it.”

‘Disgusted and utterly upset’

Deere said his restaurant was already having issues with staffing amidst the pandemic, and harassment from customers has exacerbated that struggle. 

“In our business, many of our hostesses are younger women that are 18 to 22,” he said. “When a larger, older gentleman is threatening them, they don’t come back to work the next day.”

As a born and raised Calgarian, Deere said he was “disgusted and utterly upset” with the behaviour of some patrons — and urged those who disagreed with the bylaw to take their concerns elsewhere.

“Calgary is better than this. We have been known around the world, and definitely in Canada, as one of the friendliest cities,” he said.

“We help people out, we have a western hospitality spirit, and this is how we’re acting? It’s unbelievable that we’ve gone in this direction.”

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Retail spending slows after rapid recovery – The Globe and Mail



Shoppers wear masks at a mall on July 20, 2020 in Laval, Quebec. Of late, the retail sector has been helped on several fronts. With more stores open, Canadians have been able to satiate any pent-up demand from earlier in the pandemic.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Canadian retail sales increased by a modest 0.6 per cent in July, a sign that pent-up demand has been satisfied after blowout gains in the early weeks of reopening.

Higher sales at auto dealers and gasoline stations helped to drive July’s gain. After removing those components, retail sales fell 1.2 per cent as home-improvement and sporting-goods stores – two areas of strength during the COVID-19 pandemic – saw buying sprees fade.

Despite a slower pace of spending, further gains are expected: In a preliminary estimate, Statistics Canada said Friday that retail sales rose 1.1 per cent in August.

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“While the headline gain was a bit shy of expectations, the much bigger and more important picture is that retail and wholesale activity just carved out perfect V-shaped rebounds,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, in a client note. “And, that rebound was maintained in August,” he added, referencing Statscan’s early estimate.

Canadian retailers have experienced a quick recovery. Retail spending fell 31 per cent between February and April as stores were forced to shutter under pandemic restrictions. What followed was record month-to-month gains in May (19 per cent) and June (24 per cent) as lockdown restrictions were eased, bringing sales above prepandemic levels.

July’s increase was more like a “normal” report, Mr. Porter said.

During the month, scorching gains for many retailers began to dissipate. Sales at building supplies and gardening stores fell 11.6 per cent in July, but were still 4.7-per-cent higher than a year earlier. Sporting goods, hobby and book stores dropped 8.8 per cent, but were 11.4-per-cent higher than the previous July. Grocery sales fell for a fourth consecutive month, but remained stronger than before the outbreak.

“The increase in restaurant activity likely accounted for the noticeable dent in food store sales,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, in a client note.

The auto sector enjoyed a solid month. Vehicle dealers tallied a 3.5-per-cent gain in July, with used-car dealers rising 11.5 per cent. Gas stations were lifted 6.1 per cent because of higher fuel prices and more car trips.

Clothing stores continued their rebound, with sales rising 11.2 per cent to $2.5-billion in July. However, revenue was still weaker than before the pandemic.

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Of late, the retail sector has been helped on several fronts. With more stores open, Canadians have been able to satiate any pent-up demand from earlier in the pandemic. Moreover, household disposable income surged 10.8 per cent in the second quarter because of historic transfers of emergency aid from the federal government. Further, with many service industries still heavily curtailed, Canadians have shifted some spending to goods.

Still, the outlook for consumption is somewhat uncertain.

“The continued federal government income support programs and low interest rates will remain supportive for consumer spending,” said Ksenia Bushmeneva, a Toronto-Dominion Bank economist, in a research note. “However, there are also significant headwinds, such as the still-high level of unemployment, uncertainty with respect to [loan] deferral programs, and rising COVID-19 cases.”

Timelier data from Canadian banks suggest consumer spending has levelled off or even fallen in recent weeks.

By the end of August, spending was slightly lower than at the beginning of the month, according to Royal Bank of Canada data. Transactions were “relatively stable” in early September compared with a year ago, but had dipped since mid-August, the Bank of Nova Scotia found.

“Most provinces show a decline since mid-August and the recent pickup in the number of COVID-19 cases could slow the recovery further,” the Scotiabank report said.

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Moderna Plans to Produce 20 Million Doses of Its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate in 2020 – The Motley Fool



As the phase 3 clinical trial of Moderna‘s (NASDAQ:MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine candidate continues, the company on Friday said it expects to produce 20 million doses of it by the end of 2020.

The biotech company‘s candidate, mRNA-1273, uses messenger RNA to induce the body to create antibodies against the novel coronavirus, decreasing the chances that an inoculated person exposed to it will become infected. 


In August, management announced it was slowing enrollment in the late-stage study to allow for enrollment of a more diverse population, including younger people and people with other viruses, including hepatitis. 

Nevertheless, CEO Stephane Bancel still believes Moderna is on track to have gleaned enough data from the study to know by November whether or not mRNA-1273 is effective. 

The company has already signed an agreement to provide the U.S. government with up to 100 million doses of mRNA-1273 for $1.525 billion, assuming it wins approval. Similarly, Moderna has said it’s in negotiations for a deal to supply the European Union with up to 160 million doses.

In total, Moderna’s manufacturing investments have it targeting the capacity to produce up to 1 billion doses in 2021.

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