- Tesla in China: the end of the honeymoon
- EU-India summit: long way to Delhi
- Sino-German climate talks
- EU works tougher stance on Beijing
- State-organized consumer fairs
- Profile: Chloé Zhao
For a long time, it seemed as if a positive relationship had developed between Tesla and the Chinese authorities. It just seemed to fit: here the American e-car pioneer with its reputation, there the world’s largest sales market, which is fully committed to electric drive. Tesla was even the first foreign carmaker not to be forced into a joint venture by China’s authorities. But that has now apparently come to an end. Marcel Grzanna explains how things came to this, what’s behind Beijing’s hard line – and what German carmakers can learn from the process.
Relations between the European Union and China are becoming frostier. The EU is working internally on a sharper position vis-à-vis the People’s Republic. A corresponding progress report has already been forwarded to the European Council, reports Amelie Richter. The recent past has shown: If Brussels adopts an even harsher tone towards Beijing, this is likely to have consequences for all areas – from politics and the economy to science and research.
The European Union and India show that things can be done differently. In the run-up to the upcoming EU-India summit in Porto, Amelie Richter shows how Brussels and Delhi are slowly moving closer together. Importantly for the German economy: The two countries want to get closer, especially through joint infrastructure projects. However, before that, there are still a few hurdles to be cleared.
And for the cineastes: Chloé Zhao is the first Chinese woman to win an Oscar for best director in Hollywood. But in China, they don’t want to know about this historic success.
I wish you many new insights while reading.
Tesla in China: the end of the honeymoon
The American electric car pioneer Tesla is also becoming increasingly familiar with the complicated relationship between foreign industry and the Chinese state. In recent months, the US company has had a tough time in the People’s Republic: recalls, customer complaints, subpoenas from authorities, media attacks – the entire program that so many other companies have already gone through. Tesla’s special treatment in China seems to be over. It’s the end of the honeymoon.
Since the fall, Tesla managers have been asked to report to five different regulatory authorities. In essence, the request was always the same: treat Chinese customers better! Chinese state media took the official offensive as an opportunity to shrink the manufacturer to normal size. The official Xinhua news agency repeatedly accused Tesla of arrogance. And the Global Times newspaper smugly gave lessons in intercultural exchange. Tesla has no idea what makes Chinese customers tick, was the accusation.
Until recently, Tesla seemed to be the darling among all those companies vying for the goodwill of the political elite in the world’s largest consumer market. Now things look different. On several occasions, the company felt compelled to grovel on social media and apologize to Chinese customers. It had learned its lesson, Tesla dutifully announced. Bloomberg News even noted that Tesla CEO Elon Musk already sounds like Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who barely makes public appearances after criticizing the state-run banking system and has watched his company gradually dismembered by authorities. “There’s a danger of a slide for Musk,” tech analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities told CNN. Musk, he said, had “built good relationships in the country, but he needs to play nice in the sandbox in China.” But how did it get this far?