Gigantic water tunnel + Interest rate cut + Baidu's robot cabs
The Chinese government is unparalleled when it comes to reshaping the physical reality of the world to suit its plans. Whereas it is already difficult in Germany to build a bike path, make room for a railroad track or let alone erect a wind turbine, China literally moves mountains. Or rivers. In the future, even more water from the Yangtze River is to be channeled through a tunnel into the arid north. The project is so huge that even the world's longest tunnel to date is just half as long. Christiane Kuehl analyzes the details.
A fair amount of faith in technology is also required to set computer-controlled cars loose onto road traffic. Robot cabs are already in operation in Shenzhen, but they do not yet have a license for regular operation. Here, Chongqing and Wuhan are now taking the lead. They have allowed AI company Baidu to use their self-driving taxis in normal daily operations, as our team reports from Beijing. This is the beginning of the end of the cab driver profession. For just a few thousand euros more, cab companies will be able to purchase vehicles and cut labor costs out of the equation.
While such tech projects are making rapid progress, a large chunk of the Chinese economy is struggling. Construction is slowing, private consumption is not advancing, and young people cannot find jobs. As a result, the central bank has made loans cheaper. Our analysis shows: This step was mainly symbolic. An interest rate hike signals that Beijing is doing something for the economy. The improved sentiment has a greater effect than the loans themselves.