- MV shipyards file for bankruptcy
- Climate change costs China trillions
- Global Gateway: EU response to Silk Road takes shape
- First Olympics volunteers in isolation
- Megacity of Tianjin in partial lockdown
- Hong Kong shortens quarantine period
- Tutoring provider lays off employees
- WeChat allows payments with e-CNY
- Thorsten Benner on backfiring statements of German CEOs
On Monday, the traditional German shipyards MV Werften filed for bankruptcy. The search for the reasons ends about 8800 kilometers to the East – to Genting Hong Kong Ltd. It is the owner of the shipyards in Stralsund, Rostock and Wismar. The plan was to turn them into the most modern and successful shipyards in the world. But things turned out differently. Now 1,900 employees are on the brink of losing their jobs.
China is often criticized as one of the biggest climate sinners. And rightly so. And yet it is only one side of the coin. Nico Beckert has taken a look at the dark other side and shows what dramatic consequences climate change could have on the People’s Republic: China is at risk of losing 20 percent of its harvests; there will be work stoppages equivalent to a new COVID-19 pandemic every two years. Both China and Western nations need to finally realize: To mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis, China is as dependent on climate protection by other countries as Western countries are on China.
But relations are still dominated by competition: Europe wants to outdo China’s prestigious Belt and Road project with its Global Gateway infrastructure initiative. Amelie Richter has analyzed the EU’s plans and concludes that its rhetoric is indeed far-reaching. But bold announcements alone will not suffice. The EU still has to make a lot of decisions before it can effectively compete with Beijing’s ambitions in emerging markets.
I hope you enjoy today’s issue!
Genting’s problems drive MV Werften into bankruptcy
The bad news arrived on Monday afternoon: The German shipyard MV Werften in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has to file for bankruptcy. For days, the federal government and the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had been looking for a way to resolve the messy situation with the owner of MV Werften. But no solution could be found with Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
On the surface, the cruise ship “Global Dream”, of all things, caused the shipyards to go out of business. It was to be one of the largest cruise ships ever built and was intended exclusively for the Asian market. The construction of the 342 meter long dream ship was to cost a whopping 1.5 billion euros and offer space for up to 9500 passengers. Although 75 percent of the ship has already been completed, the remaining financing could not be secured. The German government was apparently ready to provide further assistance. However, it demanded Genting to pay its share. And this apparently did not happen. The latest word from Berlin was that the owners had not made a clear commitment to their shipyard.
The Hong Kong company’s entry into the German shipyards began extremely promisingly. Until then, the Asian tourism company had been known primarily for its cruise brands Star Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Dream Cruises. Business was booming, and more and more people wanted to spend their vacations on the high seas. So Genting HK was in dire need for more ships. But due to increasing demand, construction times for cruise ships were getting longer and longer. Genting was looking for a way out: to build new shipyards for large cruise ships, mainly for the Asian market. Genting CEO Lim Kok Thay said at the time that the company wanted to be prepared for the rapid growth of the Chinese cruise market. Genting found what it was looking for in Germany.