Tom Holland

Tom Holland is a former SCMP staffer who has been writing about Asian affairs for more than 25 years
Tom Holland
Tom Holland is a former SCMP staffer who has been writing about Asian affairs for more than 25 years

Latest from Tom Holland

Abacus | The real danger behind US currency manipulation charges against China

Washington’s decision to slap the label on Beijing opens a new front in the simmering US-China cold war. In the long term, this is likely to accelerate the uncoupling between the world’s two largest economies, writes Tom Holland.

12 Aug 2019 - 7:08AM

Washington’s decision to slap the label on Beijing opens a new front in the simmering US-China cold war. In the long term, this is likely to accelerate the uncoupling between the world’s two largest economies, writes Tom Holland.

The real danger behind US currency manipulation charges against China
Opinion | Why the extradition bill protests won’t burst Hong Kong’s property bubble

Despite the assertions of bearish observers, the property market continues to be red hot, and housing affordability is not significantly worse than at any time over the last 10 years.

23 Jul 2019 - 3:02AM

Despite the assertions of bearish observers, the property market continues to be red hot, and housing affordability is not significantly worse than at any time over the last 10 years.

Why the extradition bill protests won’t burst Hong Kong’s property bubble
Abacus | China’s sinister plan to buy Eastern Europe is exaggerated

The EU fears Beijing is trying to drive a wedge between its members to neutralise its China policy. But the attention paid to China’s pledges far outweigh its investments

16 Jul 2019 - 11:57AM

The EU fears Beijing is trying to drive a wedge between its members to neutralise its China policy. But the attention paid to China’s pledges far outweigh its investments

China’s sinister plan to buy Eastern Europe is exaggerated
Abacus | One country is winning the trade war. It’s not the US and it’s not China

Despite US President Donald Trump’s declaration that trade wars are ‘good and easy to win’, neither side has really benefited from the ensuing tussle. That’s not to say there haven’t been any winners, though.

10 Jul 2019 - 1:35PM

Despite US President Donald Trump’s declaration that trade wars are ‘good and easy to win’, neither side has really benefited from the ensuing tussle. That’s not to say there haven’t been any winners, though.

One country is winning the trade war. It’s not the US and it’s not China
Abacus | Why Facebook’s answer to bitcoin and WeChat Pay, libra, is doomed to fail

Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to take on Tencent’s WeChat Pay and thinks he has found a way around the problems faced by bitcoin. He hasn’t: consumers will have no incentive to use libra, governments have every reason to oppose it.

11 Jul 2019 - 1:31PM

Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to take on Tencent’s WeChat Pay and thinks he has found a way around the problems faced by bitcoin. He hasn’t: consumers will have no incentive to use libra, governments have every reason to oppose it.

Why Facebook’s answer to bitcoin and WeChat Pay, libra, is doomed to fail
Abacus | China thinks it can weather Trump’s trade storm. It can, but not for long. Likewise the US

Don’t hold your breath for a deal between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. Both the US and China believe their economies can ride out the trade war. In the short term, they’re right. In the long term, not so much.

24 Jun 2019 - 1:58PM

Don’t hold your breath for a deal between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. Both the US and China believe their economies can ride out the trade war. In the short term, they’re right. In the long term, not so much.

China thinks it can weather Trump’s trade storm. It can, but not for long. Likewise the US
Abacus | Hong Kong extradition protests: ‘one country, two systems’ is good for business – and for Beijing

There are reasons to be optimistic about Hong Kong’s future as a locus for international business – among them is that its special status lets Beijing do all the trade-related things it cannot or will not do for itself, writes Tom Holland.

17 Jun 2019 - 12:02PM

There are reasons to be optimistic about Hong Kong’s future as a locus for international business – among them is that its special status lets Beijing do all the trade-related things it cannot or will not do for itself, writes Tom Holland.

Hong Kong extradition protests: ‘one country, two systems’ is good for business – and for Beijing
Abacus | US-China trade war: the financial markets are focused on the wrong risk

The US bond market is pricing on the assumption the US-China trade war will deliver a deflationary bust. The last 30 years of globalisation suggest otherwise

10 Jun 2019 - 11:06AM

The US bond market is pricing on the assumption the US-China trade war will deliver a deflationary bust. The last 30 years of globalisation suggest otherwise

US-China trade war: the financial markets are focused on the wrong risk
Abacus | China’s wrong, the US can kill off Huawei. But here’s why it won’t

China’s claims that Huawei can prosper without the US are given the lie by its past attempts to foster innovation. But it’s in Trump’s interests to reach a deal.

1 Jun 2019 - 6:00PM

China’s claims that Huawei can prosper without the US are given the lie by its past attempts to foster innovation. But it’s in Trump’s interests to reach a deal.

China’s wrong, the US can kill off Huawei. But here’s why it won’t
Abacus | US-China trade war: here are Beijing’s options – and not one looks any good

Hit by a hike in US tariffs China could: respond with equal tariffs (impossible); dump US Treasury bonds (ineffective and impractical); let the yuan weaken (expensive). Or it could give in to Trump and lose face (for Xi, unthinkable)

21 May 2019 - 10:10AM

Hit by a hike in US tariffs China could: respond with equal tariffs (impossible); dump US Treasury bonds (ineffective and impractical); let the yuan weaken (expensive). Or it could give in to Trump and lose face (for Xi, unthinkable)

US-China trade war: here are Beijing’s options – and not one looks any good
Abacus | Hong Kong’s special status with the US is safe for now, but not for the reasons you think

With trade tensions rising again and concerns over the detention of foreign nationals on the mainland, some fear Washington may scrap a law treating the city separately from China. But these anxieties are overblown, for now

13 May 2019 - 10:00AM

With trade tensions rising again and concerns over the detention of foreign nationals on the mainland, some fear Washington may scrap a law treating the city separately from China. But these anxieties are overblown, for now

Hong Kong’s special status with the US is safe for now, but not for the reasons you think
Abacus | Hong Kong a ticking financial time bomb? A thrilling story, but don’t buy what Kyle Bass is selling

The US hedge fund manager has form when it comes to forecasting financial disasters, but with Hong Kong he’s just plain wrong, writes Tom Holland

6 May 2019 - 10:00AM

The US hedge fund manager has form when it comes to forecasting financial disasters, but with Hong Kong he’s just plain wrong, writes Tom Holland

Hong Kong a ticking financial time bomb? A thrilling story, but don’t buy what Kyle Bass is selling
Abacus | The weaponisation of the US dollar is the end of its economic ascendancy in Asia – with China’s yuan ready to fill the void

Hawkish US sanctions on Iran have had an unanticipated side effect – they’re helping to promote the formation of a new informal Asian monetary bloc centred on the yuan, at the expense of the US dollar.

29 Apr 2019 - 8:58AM

Hawkish US sanctions on Iran have had an unanticipated side effect – they’re helping to promote the formation of a new informal Asian monetary bloc centred on the yuan, at the expense of the US dollar.

The weaponisation of the US dollar is the end of its economic ascendancy in Asia – with China’s yuan ready to fill the void
Abacus | Forget the hype: why 5G is about to disappoint you

Frenzied media reports suggest we are on the verge of a world-changing revolution with self-driving cars and superfast mobile speeds. History, mathematics and economics suggest something far less impressive.

22 Apr 2019 - 12:16PM

Frenzied media reports suggest we are on the verge of a world-changing revolution with self-driving cars and superfast mobile speeds. History, mathematics and economics suggest something far less impressive.

Forget the hype: why 5G is about to disappoint you
Abacus | In Europe, China’s economic cold war with the West is over before it’s begun

The much-reported strain between the EU and China is exaggerated – Europe has too much to lose to present an effectively assertive front to China over bilateral economic affairs.

15 Apr 2019 - 1:29AM

The much-reported strain between the EU and China is exaggerated – Europe has too much to lose to present an effectively assertive front to China over bilateral economic affairs.

In Europe, China’s economic cold war with the West is over before it’s begun
Abacus | Beijing’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan isn’t dead, it’s out of control

China’s silence on its plan to become technologically self-sufficient belies the aggressive moves taken by the central and local governments to develop new industries.

9 Apr 2019 - 2:42AM

China’s silence on its plan to become technologically self-sufficient belies the aggressive moves taken by the central and local governments to develop new industries.

Beijing’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan isn’t dead, it’s out of control
Abacus | Hong Kong’s solution to a housing problem that doesn’t exist: dump HK$1 trillion into the sea off Lantau

The government’s plan to create artificial islands off the coast of Lantau will cost HK$624 billion, but it habitually underestimates price tags by about 50 per cent – and the city is not short of building land or housing.

24 Mar 2019 - 10:22PM

The government’s plan to create artificial islands off the coast of Lantau will cost HK$624 billion, but it habitually underestimates price tags by about 50 per cent – and the city is not short of building land or housing.

Hong Kong’s solution to a housing problem that doesn’t exist: dump HK$1 trillion into the sea off Lantau
Abacus | Global recession prophets have misread the US and Chinese economies

Relax everyone, that looming financial apocalypse just isn’t going to happen. Well, not in 2019 at least.

18 Mar 2019 - 11:14AM

Relax everyone, that looming financial apocalypse just isn’t going to happen. Well, not in 2019 at least.

Global recession prophets have misread the US and Chinese economies
Abacus | Three reasons to think twice about China’s stock slump

Are the grisly figures from China’s stock markets the start of a long overdue correction – or a blip in a bull market that is set to run and run? Here’s what the smart money says

11 Mar 2019 - 10:02AM

Are the grisly figures from China’s stock markets the start of a long overdue correction – or a blip in a bull market that is set to run and run? Here’s what the smart money says

Three reasons to think twice about China’s stock slump
Abacus | As US mulls new Plaza Accord, China should learn from Japan’s fate … but not the lesson it thinks

The cause of Japan’s lost decades was not the appreciation of the yen that followed the Plaza Accord. It was the misguided attempts of the Japanese authorities to resist that appreciation.

24 Feb 2019 - 6:16AM

The cause of Japan’s lost decades was not the appreciation of the yen that followed the Plaza Accord. It was the misguided attempts of the Japanese authorities to resist that appreciation.

As US mulls new Plaza Accord, China should learn from Japan’s fate … but not the lesson it thinks
Abacus | Global car giants are the Nokia of today, rolling towards commercial extinction

At 140 years old, the internal combustion engine has had a good run and modern car companies are ill prepared for the next technological innovation

18 Feb 2019 - 6:45PM

At 140 years old, the internal combustion engine has had a good run and modern car companies are ill prepared for the next technological innovation

Global car giants are the Nokia of today, rolling towards commercial extinction
Abacus | Rahul Gandhi’s plans to end Indian poverty work economically, just not politically

The Congress leader wants to introduce a ‘quasi-universal basic rural income’. The figures add up, but a very vocal minority stands to lose

11 Feb 2019 - 9:00AM

The Congress leader wants to introduce a ‘quasi-universal basic rural income’. The figures add up, but a very vocal minority stands to lose

Rahul Gandhi’s plans to end Indian poverty work economically, just not politically
Abacus | Even in China, there’s no magic money tree. Modern monetary theory is an illusion

Can governments really just print money to fund public spending? Only if you want to end up like Venezuela or the Soviet Union

4 Feb 2019 - 10:15AM

Can governments really just print money to fund public spending? Only if you want to end up like Venezuela or the Soviet Union

Even in China, there’s no magic money tree. Modern monetary theory is an illusion
Abacus | The truth about China’s economy that Trump won’t get: there is no surplus

A major economic shift has taken place which has all but eliminated the structural surplus in China’s current account. And it’s good news for the global economy, even if Trump struggles to understand it

21 Jan 2019 - 2:59PM

A major economic shift has taken place which has all but eliminated the structural surplus in China’s current account. And it’s good news for the global economy, even if Trump struggles to understand it

The truth about China’s economy that Trump won’t get: there is no surplus
Abacus | Look to US, not China for the 2019 financial crisis. Here’s why

There’s a lingering feeling that the global economy is due another downturn – but while the West points to China, it’s the US that has most reason to worry. Something eerily similar to its subprime disaster is afoot

16 Jan 2019 - 6:05AM

There’s a lingering feeling that the global economy is due another downturn – but while the West points to China, it’s the US that has most reason to worry. Something eerily similar to its subprime disaster is afoot

Look to US, not China for the 2019 financial crisis. Here’s why
Abacus | Don’t count on China to toss the global economy a stimulus lifeline in 2019

Unlike in 2009, Beijing is focused on reducing financial risk and moving the economy toward a consumption-based model

7 Jan 2019 - 9:08AM

Unlike in 2009, Beijing is focused on reducing financial risk and moving the economy toward a consumption-based model

Don’t count on China to toss the global economy a stimulus lifeline in 2019
Abacus | A columnist confesses: I nailed belt and road, Hong Kong stocks not so much

From bitcoin to Huawei, Tom Holland takes stock of 2018 and comes clean about his crystal ball hits and misses

24 Dec 2018 - 2:36PM

From bitcoin to Huawei, Tom Holland takes stock of 2018 and comes clean about his crystal ball hits and misses

A columnist confesses: I nailed belt and road, Hong Kong stocks not so much
Abacus | Modi’s plans for India’s central bank borrow from the future

The resignation of Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is a sign the prime minister hopes to engineer short-term economic gain. What he’ll get is long-term pain

17 Dec 2018 - 10:04AM

The resignation of Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is a sign the prime minister hopes to engineer short-term economic gain. What he’ll get is long-term pain

Modi’s plans for India’s central bank borrow from the future
Abacus | Don’t ask why US acted against China’s Huawei. Ask: why now?
  • The arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou is a rude shock to those who thought the trade war might be ending. The US says Huawei breached restrictions on business with Iran – but could it have breached UN sanctions too?
12 Dec 2018 - 8:45PM
  • The arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou is a rude shock to those who thought the trade war might be ending. The US says Huawei breached restrictions on business with Iran – but could it have breached UN sanctions too?
Don’t ask why US acted against China’s Huawei. Ask: why now?
Abacus | Why falling steel prices in Shanghai mean rising smog in Beijing

Steel yourself, there’s bad news for anyone with asthma or who likes to see the Fragrant Hills from their office block this winter

3 Dec 2018 - 10:04AM

Steel yourself, there’s bad news for anyone with asthma or who likes to see the Fragrant Hills from their office block this winter

Why falling steel prices in Shanghai mean rising smog in Beijing