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HONG KONG—Auto makers in China including Volkswagen AG and Honda Motor Co. have halted production at some plants as authorities persist in using strict measures to control Covid-19 outbreaks. Volkswagen has suspended production at its Chengdu plant in southwestern China as well as two of five production lines at its plant in the northeastern city of Changchun since early last week, as a result of car-parts shortages and local health-protection measures, a spokesman said.
HONG KONG—Twitter is banned in China, but it is proving a critical platform for getting videos and images of protests occurring across the nation out to the rest of the world. China’s robust internet censors have sprung into action to scrub domestic social media of photos and video streams showing demonstrations against harsh Covid restrictions, spurring citizens to circumvent the nation’s Great Firewall.
Jimmy Lai, seen nearly two years ago, was a key figure in the protests against China’s tightening of its authority over Hong Kong. HONG KONG—Chief executive John Lee said he would seek Beijing’s intervention after Hong Kong’s top court ruled against the government in a national security case involving pro-democracy newspaper tycoon Jimmy Lai . The Court of Final Appeal on Monday rejected a government bid to stop a senior lawyer from the U.K. representing Mr. Lai at his coming trial on collusion charges, backing decisions by lower courts.
Tesla to Recall About 80,000 Cars in China
  + stars: | 2022-11-25 | by ( Yifan Wang | Selina Cheng | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Tesla Inc. is recalling about 80,000 cars in China because of software and seat-belt issues, the country’s market regulator said Friday. The State Administration for Market Regulation said Tesla, the second largest electric-car maker in China by sales, has filed its recall plan.
HONG KONG— Apple Inc. said it was working to resolve worker complaints at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China, after police were filmed beating protesting employees at the plant this week and employees began an exodus Thursday. Labor groups have criticized Apple for failing to adequately protect the rights of workers at the vast Zhengzhou site, operated by Foxconn Technology Group and where most of the world’s iPhone 14 models are made. Workers clashed with police Tuesday, angry over delayed bonus payments and conditions at the plant, which has been battling an outbreak of Covid-19 for more than a month.
HONG KONG— Apple Inc. said it was working to resolve worker complaints at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China, after police were filmed beating protesting employees at the plant this week and employees began an exodus Thursday. Labor groups have criticized Apple for failing to adequately protect the rights of workers at the vast Zhengzhou site, operated by Foxconn Technology Group and where most of the world’s iPhone 14 models are made. Workers clashed with police Tuesday, angry over delayed bonus payments and conditions at the plant, which has been battling an outbreak of Covid-19 for more than a month.
Foxconn has been offering bonuses to workers recruited in November to fill vacancies. HONG KONG—Workers at the world’s biggest iPhone assembly plant in China clashed with scores of police officers after protests erupted at the factory, which has been under Covid-19 lockdowns in recent weeks. Videos circulating among workers’ online chat groups on Tuesday showed chaotic scenes at the factory in Zhengzhou where Foxconn Technology Group assembles most of the world’s latest iPhone models. Police officers in Covid-protective suits holding long shields and wielding batons faced off with workers who threw plastic water bottles and pieces of metal from dismantled barriers, the videos showed.
The EV Rivals Aiming for Tesla’s Crown in China
  + stars: | 2022-11-12 | by ( Selina Cheng | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Tesla struck a deal in 2018 to build a factory in Shanghai, with a government official calling the U.S. auto maker a “catfish” that would stir life into China’s stagnant pond of domestic electric-vehicle makers. The plan succeeded. Tesla has sold more than a million cars in China and helped propel China to become the world’s largest EV market—about 66% of worldwide EV sales are in China. Now, some of those domestic laggards are emerging as strong rivals to Tesla. Its share of China’s all-electric retail car market dropped from 13% in 2021 to 8% in the first nine months of this year, according to data from the country’s car association.
HONG KONG—When a small group of workers spent 27 hours in early October locked inside the world’s biggest iPhone plant, it seemed little more than another temporary confinement in China’s continuing war against Covid-19. But the outbreak persisted, and on Monday, days after saying operations were stabilizing, Foxconn Technology Group cut its outlook for the current quarter. The company said it was locking down eight of the 11 dormitory blocks at the plant in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou as part of a government-directed plan to end the outbreak.
Stand News editor Patrick Lam Shiu-tung, with glasses, was escorted by police officers into a van in December after they searched his Hong Kong office. HONG KONG—Two former editors of a Hong Kong news outlet went on trial for sedition over articles that prosecutors say promoted pro-democracy activists and attacked the government, a key case in authorities’ national security crackdown on the city’s once relatively free press. Two top editors for the now-defunct online news website Stand News, Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam Shiu-tung, were arrested in December after hundreds of national security police raided their newsroom. The duo, who have been detained for almost a year, have pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiring to publish or reproduce seditious publications.
HONG KONG— Stellantis NV said its unprofitable joint venture that made and distributed the Jeep brand in China will file for bankruptcy, a move that follows the European auto giant’s failure to reverse its dwindling sales in the country. Stellantis said it would continue to provide services to existing and future Jeep brand customers in China. It had impaired the value of its investment in the joint venture and other related assets in its first-half financial results, the company said.
HONG KONG— Foxconn Technology Group is scrambling to contain a weekslong Covid-19 outbreak at an iPhone factory in central China, trying to appease frightened and frustrated workers during a crucial period for smartphone orders. In Foxconn’s main Zhengzhou facility, the world’s biggest assembly site for Apple Inc.’s iPhones, hundreds of thousands of workers have been placed under a closed-loop system for almost two weeks. They are largely shut off from the outside world, allowed only to move between their dorms or homes and the production lines.
HONG KONG—Two supporters of a prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist were given jail sentences on Thursday for clapping and uttering comments in the public gallery during one of her courtroom appearances, reflecting the widening ambit of authorities’ efforts to eliminate dissent in the city. A pastor and a retiree were convicted of sedition for their behavior at the January sentencing of one of the city’s leading China critics, lawyer Chow Hang-tung. Ms. Chow, an organizer of vigils commemorating 1989’s Tiananmen Square massacre who has been in jail since last year, has faced multiple charges and court appearances that have drawn supporters to cheer her on.
HONG KONG— Tesla has lowered prices for vehicles sold in China, days after Chief Executive Elon Musk said most materials costs are falling and amid growing competition from local rivals. Prices for Tesla’s popular Models Y and 3 sold in China, the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market, have been cut by as much as 9.4%, according to a social-media post by the company Monday. A standard Model Y now costs the equivalent of $39,880, down from about $43,750, while the long-range version has an even bigger discount. A standard Model 3 fetches about $36,710, down by about $1,930.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Wednesday that the government was considering whether to take further action after Chinese consular staff in Manchester, England, were filmed pulling a protester onto its grounds and beating him. A pro-democracy Hong Kong protester, Bob Chan, has said he sought hospital treatment after being beaten by a group of men who emerged from the consulate to rip down protest placards critical of China’s leader, Xi Jinping , and then dragged him inside. Greater Manchester police have said they are investigating the case as an assault.
HONG KONG—Hong Kong’s chief executive announced incentives to lure talent and companies to the city, seeking to reverse an outflow driven by years of stringent pandemic controls and political upheaval that have hurt its reputation as a global business capital. John Lee , who took the city’s top office in July, unveiled plans to give two-year visas to high earners and graduates from the world’s top 100 universities, property-tax breaks to foreign buyers who go on to become permanent residents and benefits to companies. Companies will also be able to hire mainland professionals more easily under the plans.
HONG KONG—Hong Kong’s chief executive announced incentives to lure talent and companies to the city, seeking to reverse an outflow driven by years of stringent pandemic controls and political upheaval that have hurt its reputation as a global business capital. John Lee , who took the city’s top office in July, unveiled plans to give two-year visas to high earners and graduates from the world’s top 100 universities, tax breaks to some foreign property buyers who go on to become permanent residents and benefits to companies. Companies will also be able to hire mainland professionals more easily under the plans.
A pro-democracy protester was filmed being dragged inside the gates of China’s consulate in Manchester, U.K., and repeatedly punched. British police are investigating after a pro-democracy protester was filmed being dragged inside China’s diplomatic grounds in Manchester and beaten by a group of men, an incident that sparked demands from senior U.K. politicians for any Chinese officials involved to be expelled from the country. A few dozen protesters gathered in front of the consulate in Rusholme on Sunday afternoon, the day China’s leader Xi Jinping was giving a speech at a major Communist Party political gathering in Beijing in which he hailed the national security crackdown on political opponents in Hong Kong in recent years as a triumph.
HONG KONG— Tesla hit a record of more than 83,000 electric-vehicle deliveries from its recently upgraded Shanghai factory in September, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association. The plant delivered 83,135 EVs last month, an 8% increase from August, according to data released by the association on Sunday. The American EV maker still trailed Chinese rival BYD Co., which topped the charts for EV deliveries last month with almost 95,000 units, up 14% from August. BYD’s total sales, including hybrids, were a combined 201,000 units in September. BYD also broke its own records in September, in EVs as well as total sales.
HONG KONG— Tesla and its Chinese rival BYD Co. have each broken their monthly records for deliveries of electric vehicles in China as the global competition between the world’s biggest makers of new-energy autos intensifies. Tesla, the world’s biggest EV maker, delivered more than 83,000 Model 3s and Model Ys from its recently upgraded Shanghai plant in September, data released Sunday by the China Passenger Car Association show. The American EV maker controlled by Elon Musk had been ahead of BYD in China before production was disrupted by Covid-19 outbreaks in the country.
HONG KONG—Police arrested a harmonica player on suspicion of sedition after he played a pro-democracy song at a gathering of hundreds of mourners paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II outside the British diplomatic mission in the city. Videos circulating online showed the 43-year-old man playing the British national anthem as well as “Glory to Hong Kong,” a song that became popular during the city’s 2019 antigovernment protests. Hundreds had gathered near the British Consulate General as the queen’s state funeral was taking place Monday evening local time. Many waved their cellphone flashlights and sang along or applauded as the man played.
NIO, which markets premium EVs, raked in record revenue in the second quarter, but it reported a loss almost five times wider than a year earlier. HONG KONG—China’s electric-vehicle market is booming, but the country’s hottest EV startups are seeing losses grow even as sales rise. Rising battery prices and supply-chain delays this year have driven up costs further for emerging EV makers. The startups are already burning cash to introduce newer, smarter models—complete with heated massage seats or battery-swapping services—to gain a foothold in the world’s largest automobile market.
Auto and Transportation Industry News
  + stars: | 2022-09-19 | by ( Mike Colias | Benjamin Katz | Nora Eckert | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BusinessThe obstacle course around space launches, staff shortages and severe weather jams up airspace over some of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S.—and cascades problems across the rest of the country. “It’s been a cluster and a half.”
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