- Western companies in China: on the front lines of an ideological conflict
- Tesla is slowed down
- China vaccinates slowly – but wants to catch up
- IfW: research project on China’s engagement in Africa
- European think tanks condemn sanctions
- Johnny Erling: on the privilege of Chinese numbers
Beijing relies on the purchasing power of its consumerist population to show foreign companies time and again what they stand to lose if they fall out of favor. Now it seems to have hit H&M, but Marcel Grzanna uses previous cases to show that among Chinese consumers, pragmatism is stronger than the political ideology of the Communist Party after all. Frank Sieren examines why Elon Musk still has to cozy up to the CCP.
Only very attentive observers will have noticed that Xi Jinping was the only person to have not one, but two cups on the table at the People’s Congress in Beijing ten days ago. In his Friday column, Johnny Erling explains what this is all about and what other extraordinary privileges Xi has.
And I have one more journalistic tidbit to announce: For the future geopolitical relationship between Europe, the United States, and China, the week that is coming to an end is undoubtedly significant and should give us cause to take a comprehensive look at it, away from the flurry of news and events. No less a figure than the former Foreign Minister and current Atlantic Bridge Chairman Sigmar Gabriel has sounded out the political realities in an essay. Best take some time this weekend to let his theses sink in. China.Table will send them to you tomorrow, Saturday, in the usual way.
Have a great weekend.
Western companies on the front lines of an ideological conflict
Footage of burning Nike-brand sneakers blazed across numerous forums on China’s social media on Thursday. A cynical hashtag read #Herewegoagain: on to the next round. It is nothing new that Western companies are brutally pilloried in the People’s Republic. This always happens when Beijing sees its national interests threatened. As soon as foreign companies take a position on politically charged issues, they are met with a hail of hate speeches and calls for boycotts, which are at least multiplied by the state media, and in some cases even sparked by them.
This time, it is about cotton from Xinjiang, which has been used for years by many textile manufacturers worldwide. But because research by Western research institutions and the media has shown that the raw material is also produced with the help of forced labor by members of the Uyghur minority, many companies apparently feel obliged to stop the supply from Xinjiang.
On the one hand, supply chain laws, for example, at EU level, but also in Germany, are about to be implemented. The chains must be clear and traceable, and eliminating human rights violations is the absolute minimum. H&M has recently done a lot to address these issues and is ranked 20th in the current top 25 ranking of the Gartner Supply Chain Study – behind Nike in 16th place.