Chinese tech giants were winners during the pandemic
The global coronavirus pandemic may have been a disaster for the global economy, but it was a boon for China’s largest technology companies.  Tencent Holdings, the Chinese gaming giant and owner of WeChat, is flirting with a market value of US$1 trillion and has made its founder, Pony Ma Huateng, the second richest man in China.  The brand value of Alibaba, Tencent’s rival company, jumped by 108% to US$39.2 billion as the world’s second-fastest-growing brand, behind only Tesla’s 158% increase, according to a 2021 report by Brand Finance, a British consultant. “Alibaba.com has benefited from the unprecedented surge in demand, as consumers turned to online shopping during the pandemic,” Brand
Tesla’s ‘made in China’ cars are heading to Europe
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 7,000: The number of cars Tesla is shipping to Europe from China. Electric car maker Tesla is shipping its Chinese-made vehicles to Europe for the first time, signaling the US company’s intention to use China to fulfill global demand for them. It held a ceremony at its Shanghai factory on Monday to mark the first shipment of about 7,000 Model 3 sedans from the Chinese city to ten European countries, including Germany, France and Italy, Chinese news outlet The Paper has reported. Tesla’s use of its Chinese facilities for export further bolsters the country’s position as the wo
China’s electric car market is accelerating. Can makers keep us charged?
The world is returning full circle to the electric car, as concerns about gaseous emissions and their impact on climate change compel global governments to find alternatives to gas-guzzlers. Iowa was the global hub for electric vehicles more than a century ago, with more than 30,000 horseless carriages produced in Des Moines at the industry’s peak in 1912. William Morrison, a Scottish immigrant and chemist, had invented a self-powered electric carriage – known as the auto-mobile – using lead-acid battery cells that could carry 12 passengers at a top speed of 20 miles per hour for 50 miles (80km) before recharging. In the century since, vehicles running on oil-guzzling internal combustion eng
What makes Elon Musk dance like nobody’s watching in China
The video came with a warning, for good reason. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, shared footage of him awkwardly dancing on stage at a Shanghai event for his electric car company.  In his own telling, the video of his flailing limps was “NSFW!!” – not safe for work – internet lingo usually applied to porn and other stuff you don’t want to be caught watching in the office. At Tesla Giga Shanghai NSFW!! pic.twitter.com/1yrPyzJQGZ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2020 Scripted or not, Musk’s unabashed display of joy is testimony to the good fortune he’s had in China as he sought to expand Tesla’s sales and production.  The Shanghai event was held on Tuesday to mark the delivery to cust
Tesla’s cheapest car is getting cheaper in China
Tesla has started taking orders in China for the Model 3 electric cars it’ll make in the country. By pricing the car 13% lower than US imports, the American carmaker could make greater inroads into the world’s largest electric vehicle market. The standard range plus Model 3 car that Tesla plans to assemble at the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai will be priced at 328,000 yuan ($47,529), which is about $7,000 cheaper than the same model currently imported from the United States. Tesla’s US-built cars are subject to import duty in China, which could raise if the US-China trade war escalates. The US electric carmaker plans to start deliveries in the next six to 10 months. Industry observers said that
Elon Musk wants to build cars in China by the end of 2019
Tesla is revving up for the Chinese market. On Monday, the American electric carmaker broke ground for its Shanghai plant, its first outside of the United States. The company’s CEO Elon Musk announced plans to start building its Model 3 car in China – by the end of 2019.  Construction has begun just three months after Tesla secured a land parcel at Lingang, Shanghai for the Gigafactory 3. The speed at which the $5 billion project has taken off underscores China’s pressing need to attract foreign investment, as the country grapples with its slowest economic growth in a decade amid the impact of the US-China trade war. ‘Affordable versions’ The factory in Shanghai will produce “affordable ver
More trouble for Tesla and Elon Musk in the world’s top car market
Tesla has denied a Chinese official’s claim that the company only sold some 200 cars in its second-biggest market last month. An official from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) told Reuters that its data showed Tesla had sold just 211 cars in China in October, a 70% drop from a year ago. Shares of Tesla dropped, before the company slammed the report as untrue. "This is wildly inaccurate,” a spokesperson said. “While we do not disclose regional or monthly sales numbers, these figures are off by a significant margin." China, the world’s largest auto market, is seen as a potential revenue driver for Tesla, the California-based automaker led by Elon Musk. But the company’s expansion ef
Tesla secures a massive plot of land in China for its car factory
Tesla is one step closer to realizing its China manufacturing ambition. On Wednesday, the electric automaker signed a $141 million deal with the Shanghai government to acquire a 212 acre plot of land close to the city’s free trade zone. That’s the equivalent of about 3,300 tennis courts. “Securing this site in Shanghai, Tesla’s first Gigafactory outside the United States, is an important milestone for what will be our next advanced, sustainably developed manufacturing site,” said Robin Ren, Tesla’s vice-president of worldwide sales. The planned Gigafactory 3 – the company’s first plant outside the US – is designed to produce 500,000 cars a year. The company is expected to take two years to p
3 unanswered questions about Tesla’s first factory in China
Amid an escalating trade war between the United States and China that threatens to disrupt global commerce, Tesla last week signed an agreement with the Shanghai government to make cars in the city. It was a big deal because Tesla is the first foreign automaker to be allowed to open a factory in China and own it, too. Before China relaxed foreign ownership rules in April, foreign carmakers like General Motors and Toyota were required to form joint ventures with local companies. And having a factory in the city will let Tesla sell its wares in the world’s largest auto market without being taxed extra at customs, as China and the United States slap tariffs on each other’s exports in a trade wa
Tesla’s opening a gigafactory in China
The US-China trade war is hurting America's biggest electric car maker – but maybe not for long. Tesla has had to raise its China prices by 20%, in response to retaliatory tariffs on US imports to China. But now Tesla has announced that it is about to set up its first overseas assembly plant in Shanghai, establishing a beachhead in the world’s largest vehicle market. The California-based carmaker will establish its Gigafactory 3 on the outskirts of Shanghai, with an annual capacity to produce 500,000 vehicles, according to an announcement. The wholly foreign-owned plant – the first in China to operate without a local partner – will also be the largest overseas manufacturing investment in the