- No end to the chip shortage
- The EU and Chinese disinformation – struggle for the sovereignty of interpretation
- Solar giant Longi invests in hydrogen
- IMF raises growth forecast to 8.4 percent
- Propaganda offensive for the party’s birthday
- Profile: Bernhard Weber
It sounded like a small admission of defeat, but one wrapped up in the best EU style: “We have very little resources to study disinformation from China,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell told an EU parliamentary committee in early March.
In concrete terms, this means that three members of the European External Action Service’s Strategic Communications Unit are currently working on a China Desk to deal with disinformation within the EU steered from Beijing – and are confronted with an army of thousands of fake accounts, trolls and Twitter accounts loyal to the government. Marcel Grzanna took a closer look at the EU’s position in the fight against disinformation from the Far East and spoke to insiders.
Other ends are also currently lacking: microchips from Taiwan. Felix Lee and Finn Mayer-Kuckuk get to the bottom of the shortage of the small components and analyze the consequences of the “toilet paper effect” in the semiconductor sector for the German and Chinese industry.
No end to the chip shortage
Sony‘s new gaming console has been sold out for months, and laptops and tablets are in short supply. The Volkswagen Group is also suffering from a shortage of the coveted parts, especially in China. Country manager Stephan Wöllenstein spoke of a “significant shortage of electronic parts.” In December, VW was able to produce around 50,000 fewer cars in China than planned. The shortage is also making itself felt in the domestic market. In car plants in Germany, the reason for short-time work is not COVID, but a lack of electronics deliveries. Audi CEO Markus Duesmann announced that a good 10,000 fewer cars would be built in the current quarter as a result. The shortage is expected to last until the second half of the year – or even longer.
As we all know, nothing works today without these small components. If an industrial company is missing just one chip, it cannot manufacture the complete product. But where does the shortage of semiconductors come from? After all, the industry has managed to meet a high demand quite accurately for decades. But the coronavirus and the trade war have led to a series of miscalculations and panic reactions that have cranked each other up like a natural phenomenon. For long-term planning, on the other hand, it is important to reduce dependence on a few manufacturers.
China’s chip crisis – chips from Taiwan
What is striking from a German perspective is how much the electronics nations in East Asia themselves have been affected by the shortage. The Chinese car manufacturer Nio had to stop its production. So did the South Korean conglomerate Hyundai: from April 7 to 14, the number one plant in the southeastern city of Ulsan will be shut down. Hyundai needs high-tech chips for the front-view camera system of the Kona SUV and power electronics modules for the Ioniq 5.