Xi's 'wall of steel' + ID.4 sales disappointed
The grey Mao suit already set the tone and the rhetoric with its usual slogans about Marxism with Chinese characteristics and the glorious party completed the look. Of course, a ruler like Xi Jinping doesn't dare take a bold step into the future. But it is still shocking, even after eight years, to watch him further march into the past. Frank Sieren listened to Xi and analyzed his speech on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party. Few innovations were to be found, but instead, we heard a pithy formulation about a "wall of steel" with which China wants to protect itself from the world.
Johnny Erling tells of a different time in his dealings with China when the People's Republic was in fact much more closed off, but at the same time highly curious about the outside world. Franz Josef Strauss was spontaneously picked up from the Great Wall for a surprise audience with Mao in Changsha, about 1,450 kilometers away. German politicians like the rivals Strauss, Kohl and Schmidt still competed with each other in who was allowed to talk to Mao the longest. Each was convinced China was important, although at the time it was all still a far cry from what would later become good economic relations.
Today, the Volkswagen Group displays high levels of disappointment when it was selling a mere 1,500 units of their new model in a month in its favorite market. The ID.4 electric SUV simply just doesn't have enough modern technology, as Felix Lee reports. While German car buyers may still dismiss the digital features as neat at best and instead pay more attention to gap widths, smoothness and other quality features, these digital gimmicks are top on the lists of China's young drivers. VW now wants to further improve on upcoming model launches and incorporate more AI right from the start.