6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Chinese officials called speculation that the country will stop buying U.S. bonds “fake news.” According to MarketWatch:

China’s foreign exchange regulator on Thursday pushed back on reports officials in the country may be looking to pare back or even halt purchases of U.S. Treasurys, saying that could be no more than so-called fake news.

“We learned the news through some media reports. In our opinion, the news may quote the wrong source of information, or it may be fake news,” a spokesman for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement published on its Chinese website, translated by Google.

Car sales in China slowed last year. China is the world’s largest car market. According to MarketWatch:

Chinese auto sales grew at the slowest rate in recent years in 2017, signaling an end to the boom years in the world’s largest, but also fast-maturing, auto market.

Sales totaled 28.88 million vehicles last year, up 3% from 2016, the government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Thursday.

Passenger-car sales increased by 1.4% to 24.72 million, sharply slower than the 15% rise in 2016, though electric-vehicle sales–which the Chinese government is heavily promoting–were up 53% at 777,000.

South Korean regulators will put an end to trading cryptocurrency. According to Reuters:

The South Korean government on Thursday said it plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the virtual coin market into turmoil as the nation’s police and tax authorities raided local exchanges on alleged tax evasion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will pass its China cloud computing business to a local company. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. said it will turn over its cloud operations in China to a state-owned local partner Feb. 28, complying with Chinese law mandating that customer data collected on the mainland be stored here.

With the handover, photos, documents and messages uploaded by Apple users throughout China will be stored at a data center in the southwest province of Guizhou operated by the local partner, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co., Ltd.

Customers who log on to the Chinese iCloud service are notified of the change, and informed that they can either keep using iCloud or deactivate it on Feb. 28.

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) may reopen plans for a leveraged buyout after good holiday results. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The failed effort by the Nordstrom family to take the namesake department store chain private will be remembered as a missed opportunity amid the selloff in retailers’ stocks last fall.

With a lower tax rate, competitors in decline, and improved sales even in the face of Amazon’s onslaught, Nordstrom Inc. JWN 2.74% is looking more certain to be one of retail’s survivors.

“There’s a lot to make a lender interested,” says Bill Smead, chief executive of Smead Capital Management, which owns over 800,000 Nordstrom shares.

Business leaders pressured Congress to set immigration laws that they say are necessary for the expansion of a highly trained U.S. workforce. According to CNNMoney:

Big business is putting more pressure on Congress to protect America’s Dreamers.

That’s the name for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Dreamers who sought protection under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are shielded from deportation and can obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.

But the fate of those protections has become an open question ever since President Trump moved to rescind DACA in September.