- Interview: Webasto head Holger Engelmann fears ‘economic long COVID’
- Karliczek criticizes universities for Confucius Institutes
- Data protection law PIPL comes into force
- G20: USA and China talk about Taiwan
- Volvo raises billions on stock market for e-transition
- New version of report on COVID origin
- ZDF Info takes docu-series out of media library
- Opinion on COP26: China’s pledge to phase out coal abroad
A good two years ago, the automotive supplier Webasto was the first company in Germany to be hit by a COVID case. There was a great deal of uproar at the time, but in the overall picture of the pandemic, the event proved to be a mere episode that has almost been forgotten today. In an interview with China.Table, the CEO of Webasto, Holger Engelmann, now talks about the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Engelmann fears an “economic long COVID” for the post-COVID phase for several reasons. Shortages of skilled workers, raw materials, or semiconductors will continue to hold companies back for a while, he tells Marcel Grzanna. Webasto has therefore made its supplier relationships as robust as possible. But Engelmann warns: “A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link” – and in the end, parts always come from other parts of the world.
For China, Engelmann even entertains thoughts of decoupled circuits, as Beijing has also learned its lessons from the crisis. Meanwhile, Engelmann considers the country’s response to the pandemic that began at the end of 2019 to be insufficiently transparent – the world lost valuable time at that time.
As of today, the new Personal Information Protection Law – PIPL for short – is in effect. Frank Sieren analyses how China’s tech companies have prepared for the changes to the legal framework since the announcement: What choice did they have but to comply and now offer decent data protection to citizens? The state, however, continues to exempt itself from the obligations.
Back in July, we featured the book “Xi Jinping – The Most Powerful Man in the World”. Actually, the authors Stefan Aust and Adrian Geiges were supposed to read from their work at two Confucius Institutes last week. This did not happen, because they canceled under pressure from Beijing. This has not only led to a loss of image for the German universities involved. Education Minister Anja Karliczek is now firing a warning shot at the Confucius Institutes and their partners. They should “deal decisively” with China’s influence.
A good start to the week wishes
Be “better, faster, more innovative” compared to China
Disclaimer: This interview has been translated into English and is not considered an official translation by any party involved in the interview.
Mr. Engelmann, Webasto was in the headlines at the start of the COVID pandemic. The first person to contract COVID in Germany was one of your employees, who was infected by a colleague from Wuhan. What do you feel when you look back on the past year and a half?
I immediately get a mental picture in my head. When we were confronted with the virus back then, it didn’t just have an economic dimension. It was also about the health of our employees and our environment. We had to act quickly, within a few hours, and make tough decisions such as the temporary closure of our headquarters in Stockdorf. In retrospect, we are proud of how well we managed this.
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- Data Protection Act
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