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China’s BAIC Targeting Electric Taxis: Meet the New-Energy Vehicle

 1 min read / 

Chinese state-owned automaker BAIC has announced that its new-energy vehicle (NEV) subsidiary BAIC BJEV is planning to invest over $1.5bn to produce 500,000 NEV’s by 2022 and will initially target the taxi and ride-sharing market before expanding into the privately-owned vehicle segment. About 1.8m taxis are sold annually in China, and BAIC has said that they will also build 3,000 solar-powered charging stations for the NEV taxis as part of the investment.

Photo: BAIC International Corporation

BAIC pushing ahead on all EV fronts

BAIC is running on a number of EV tracks. In July, the company announced a Rmb5bn ($750m) investment into Beijing Benz Automotive Company, with Germany’s Daimler-Benz, to produce EVs and car batteries under the Mercedes Benz brand. The BAIC BJEV investment is part of a separate EV venture, and the unit recently raised over Rmb11bn ($1.6bn) of equity funding, valuing the venture at Rmb28bn, and the company reportedly has plans to spin-off BJEV in a separate Hong Kong or mainland China stock market listing.

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China’s Central Bank Reacts to Federal Reserve Rate Rise

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China Interest Rate Rise

The Story

China’s central bank increased rates on short terms lending instruments within hours of the Federal Reserve raising their base rate from 1.25% to 1.5% on Wednesday. In doing so, the Chinese government aims to put a stop to potentially destabilising capital outflows.

Chinese reverse repurchase agreements increased by five basis points for 7-day and 28-day reverse repurchase by 5 basis points to 3.5% ad 3.85% respectively.

Why It’s Important


The move signals a departure from ultra-low interest rates, which have become the norm since the global financial crisis.

China said their response was a “normal market reaction.” However, the Chinese rate rise was too small to have had a significant effect on capital flows, says Chen Ji, a Bank of Communications analyst. Whether this response will shield China from capital outflows is questionable.

Keep reading |  1 min read


Google to Open in Beijing

Google Beijing

Alphabet announced that it will open an AI research facility in the Chinese capital yesterday.

Under CEO Sundar Pichai, Google has been recommitting itself to China after it had most of its services blocked in 2010 when it refused to censor search content. In recent months, the tech giant has been marketing its new TensorFlow AI tools to the Chinese market, which aligns with the state’s ambitions to become a world leader in AI by 2030. Google’s new facility will consist of a small number of AI researchers, supported by hundreds of Chinese engineers. Google expects to face stiff competition for talent given how local tech giants, Baidu and Tencent, are ramping up their own AI efforts.

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Google to Open Artificial Intelligence Centre in China

 2 min read / 

Google AI China

Google will be opening its first artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in China, despite many of its services being blocked there.

Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist of Google Cloud, said:

“I believe AI and its benefits have no borders. Whether a breakthrough occurs in Silicon Valley, Beijing or anywhere else, it has the potential to make everyone’s life better for the entire world. As an AI first company, this is an important part of our collective mission. And we want to work with the best AI talent, wherever that talent is, to achieve it.”

The research centre will focus on basic AI research, and will consist of a team in Beijing, who will be supported by Google China’s engineering teams.

Google’s search engine and its Gmail are banned in China. However, the country has 730 million internet users, making the market too large to ignore.

Google is not the only tech giant facing restrictions in China. Facebook is also banned, while Apple’ App Store has been subject to censorship. In order to comply with government requests, Apple removed many popular messaging and virtual private network (VPN) apps from its App Store in China earlier on this year.

China has recently announced plans to develop artificial intelligence, and wants to catch up with the US. However, human rights groups are concerned by China’s use of artificial intelligence to monitor its own citizens.

Keep reading |  2 min read