Hard Numbers: China’s trade slumps, Huawei embarrasses Biden, EU problems are in the air, Russians share biggest concerns, Nigerian opposition loses challenge

A crane unloads a container on a truck at the Port of Lianyungang in Lianyungang city, east China's Jiangsu province
A crane unloads a container on a truck at the Port of Lianyungang in Lianyungang city, east China's Jiangsu province
Oriental Image
4: China’s exports have now fallen for four straight months, as the rest of the world keeps buying less and less Chinese stuff – in part because of higher interest rates. Taken together with sluggish demand from consumers at home and jitters about the vast Chinese property market, the woes of the world’s second largest economy are mounting fast.

7: It’s not all bad for Beijing though. Chinese tech giant Huawei’s new smartphone has everyone from Silicon Valley to the White House asking: how’d they do that? That’s because it runs on a cutting edge 7-nanometer thick microchip. But last year the US slapped trade restrictions on China that were meant to stop Beijing from being able to make precisely this kind of advance in microchips. Experts say it’s too soon to tell whether China can sustainably mass produce the 7nm chips, but the fact they can make them at all is a blow to the Biden Administration’s China policy.

98: What’s the air like in Europe these days? Not as good as you might think. New satellite data show that 98% of the EU’s population lives in places where air pollution levels exceed the WHO’s recommended limits. The findings come as the European Parliament prepares to vote on new air quality rules.

53: What keeps Russians up at night? A new poll by the independent Levada Center shows that the top concern is inflation, with 53% of respondents upset about price growth. Corruption and the war in Ukraine tied for second at 29% apiece. In dead last place, with just 3%, was “human rights.” Can polling in Russia be trusted? We answered that here.

100: On the 100th day of Nigerian President Bola Tinubu’s term, an appeals court struck down the opposition’s challenges to the legitimacy of the election that put him in power. Tinubu has moved fast early in his tenure, slashing fuel subsidies and imposing economic reforms that have boosted investor confidence but hurt ordinary Nigerians struggling with sky-high fuel prices.

More from GZERO Media

Flags of Israel and Iran on broken ground.

IMAGO/Christian Ohde via Reuters Connect

Well, now we know the answer to the question of how Israel planned to respond to Iran’s airstrikes from last weekend. Explosions were reported near the northwestern Iranian city of Isfahan late Thursday, in what several major outlets reported, citing US officials and local sources, as an apparent Israeli airstrike.

World Bank Group President Ajay Banga listens during the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meetings at the IMF and World Bank’s 2024 annual Spring Meetings in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2024.
REUTERS/Ken Cedeno

GZERO has been on the ground to bring you the big takeaways from the 2024 Spring Meetings.

How to tackle global challenges: The IMF & World Bank blueprint | Global Stage

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s Spring Meetings in Washington have told a tale of two economies: In the developed world, inflation is falling, and recession looks unlikely. But many of the world’s poorest countries are struggling under tremendous debt burdens inflated by rising interest rates that threaten to undo decades of development progress. That means these key lenders of last resort have their work cut out for them. But according to GZERO Senior Writer Matthew Kendrick, there's a proven model.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro leads the celebration of the 22nd anniversary of late President Hugo Chavez's return to power after a failed coup attempt in 2002, in Caracas, Venezuela April 13, 2024
REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez

The Biden administrationannounced this week it will reimpose oil sector sanctions on Venezuela because President Nicolas Maduro’s government has backed away from a commitment to hold a free and fair presidential election this year.

Signs stand outside a Volkswagen plant during a vote among local workers over whether or not to be represented by the United Auto Workers union in Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 13, 2019.
REUTERS/Nick Carey/File

Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., have until 8 pm Friday to choose whether to join the United Auto Workers union, a vote that could determine the trajectory of labor unions across the American South.

Members of the Iranian Army's land force are marching in a military parade to mark the anniversary of Iran's Army Day at an Army military base in Tehran, Iran, on April 17, 2024.
Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

Iran says it will respond to any Israeli strikes, and on Thursday warned it could pursue nuclear weapons if any of its nuclear facilities are targeted — a prospect that Israel and its Western allies have worked against for years.

World Bank economist: The poorest are getting poorer globally | Global Stage

During the World Bank's annual Spring Meetings this week, the group announced a major new initiative to provide electricity to 300 million Africans by 2030. It is estimated that nearly 800 million people globally lack access to power, and the vast majority of them, 600 million, live on the African continent. GZERO’s Tony Maciulis met with the World Bank’s Director of Infrastructure for West Africa Franz Drees-Gross, to discuss the project's details.