Tesla recalls 30,000 Model S, X cars in China over suspension issue

  • Tesla is recalling around 30,000 Model S and X vehicles in China, the country’s State Administration for Market Regulation said Friday.
  • Tesla issued the recall because of two different suspension defects, but some vehicles may have both, regulators said.
  • The recall impacts the bulk of imported Model S and Model X cars made between September 2013 and January 2018.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla is recalling around 30,000 vehicles in China because of suspension problems.

The electric vehicle company is recalling imported Model S and X vehicles made between September 17, 2013, and January 15, 2018, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement on Friday. 

This accounts for most vehicles Tesla sold in China over that period, Bloomberg reported.

The company issued the recall because of two different suspension defects, the authority reported, per Bloomberg, and some vehicles potentially have both defects.

The recall doesn’t include any vehicles made in China, where Tesla began making Model 3 vehicles in early 2020. In May, Tesla’s global vice president estimated its Shanghai factory would be able to produce more than 150,000 cars a year.

Tesla did not immediately reply to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Read more: The coronavirus pandemic is the best thing that has ever happened to Tesla’s business

The news comes as the Chinese electric vehicle industry rebounds after an almost year-long slump. 

Tesla is the leading electric vehicle manufacturer in the country, but it faces competition from more than 400 registered electric vehicle manufacturers.

Electric vehicles will account for around one in five car sales in China by late 2025 because of rising consumer demand and falling prices, JPMorgan estimated on Tuesday. Currently, this figure is less than one in 20.

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China eyes world’s biggest shopping spree amid pandemic

Photo:CFP

 
Just as new data highlighted China’s solid economic recovery from COVID-19 and injected fresh confidence in consumers and businesses, Chinese online shopping platforms are rushing to prepare for what could be the world’s biggest shopping spree this year, setting up the stage for the world still under a dark cloud from the pandemic to witness yet another miracle of the Chinese economy from the deadly virus.

Three weeks before the start of the annual Singles Day shopping festival, major e-commerce platforms are already boasting a record number of promotions and participants, and foreign and domestic vendors are scrambling to fill up shelves to cash in the biggest chance to make up for losses this year. Consumers are adding everything from new iPhones to laundry detergent to their virtual shopping carts in anticipation for generous offers.

With such a busy scene and widespread fanfare, analysts expect this year’s Singles’ Day sales to surpass last year’s $61 billion, which would further propel the world’s second-largest economy to achieve solid recovery in the last quarter of the year, even as other major economies are expected to see severe contractions.


Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2020 shows automated robots sorting goods at an intelligent warehouse of a logistics industry park in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province. The intelligent warehouse featuring robots, automation and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technologies has been put into service this summer. (Photo by Liang Xiaopeng/Xinhua)

 
Preparing for a ‘miracle’

At a high profile event in Shanghai, Alibaba, which first turned the day of celebrating “single blessedness” into a massive online shopping event, announced that 800 million consumers and five million vendors would participate in what it described as the world’s biggest consumer season this year. 

To maximize this year’s outcome, Alibaba will launch sales activities as early as November 1 before the main event on November 11, with discounts on 14 million products as well as millions of tourism and entertainment packages. Presales will start on Wednesday, the e-commerce giant said.

Rival e-commerce company JD.com also announced that it would launch three main events starting Wednesday, with a 50 percent discount on as many as 200 million products and 300 million new items. The platform said that 900 million shoppers and 500,000 products from 100 countries and regions will take part, where discounts totaling 10 million yuan could be offered.

Suning.com, the main home appliances platform which kicked off its Singles’ Day sales as early as September 28, also said it would offer discounts totaling 10 million yuan, including 100 million items with deep discounts. 

“This [Singles’ Day event] couldn’t come at a better time. The confidence is fully back and even higher than before,” Alexander Dony, president of German home alliances giant BSH China, told the Global Times on the sidelines of Alibaba’s event in Shanghai on Tuesday, noting that Chinese consumers have shown great resilience.

Fresh economic data released on Monday showed that the Chinese economy, which grew 4.9 percent in the third quarter, remains on

China: Luxury goods sales rise but European brands are missing out

  • Chinese consumers have actually bought more luxury goods during the pandemic, despite global luxury sales falling around 30%.
  • But with travel restrictions in place, Chinese shoppers are buying these products closer to home, and sales are going “through the roof,” according to a McKinsey report.
  • Luxury stores in Europe have reported declining sales – but their Chinese outlets and e-commerce have boomed. Prada’s sales in China jumped 54% in June compared to last year.
  • Chinese consumers are the world’s biggest luxury goods buyers, and most of their luxury goods purchases are made overseas – so future travel restrictions may determine the success of Europe’s luxury goods market, which relies on Chinese tourists.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The pandemic hasn’t slowed consumer spending on luxury goods — at least not in China.  

Three in 10 Chinese consumers spent more than usual on high-end retail between January and July, a poll by UBS Evidence Lab found. This is despite global luxury sales in the first half of 2020 being down around 30%, according to Daniel Zipser, senior partner at McKinsey & Company.

Prada, Dior, and Gucci all reported rising sales in China in 2020, while revenues in other markets often stagnated or even dropped.

Chinese consumers are spending a bigger proportion of their money on luxury retail as spending on tourism dropped during lockdown, UBS reported.

But with international travel restrictions still in place, Chinese shoppers are buying these products closer to home. This means the domestic market in Mainland China is “probably growing stronger than ever before,” Zipser said, adding that sales are going “through the roof.”

Meanwhile, luxury goods shops in Europe are losing out — and analysts say the future of the market on that continent could be shaped by house Chinese buyers act in the coming months and years.

Prior to the pandemic, Chinese consumers made around three-quarters of their luxury goods purchases abroad, Bain & Company reported. The UBS survey found that, because of the travel restrictions, more than three in four Chinese consumers plan to buy luxury goods within Mainland China over the next year — a significant increase from 62% at the same time last year.

During China’s Golden Week from October 1 to 8, when citizens take holiday from work to visit relatives or travel round the country, retail sales rocketed. Duty-free sales on its island province Hainan more than doubled during the week from last year’s holiday, and across the country sales were up nearly 5% as shoppers splashed out on luxury products.

The Chinese government had been pushing this Chinese luxury spend repatriation for a long time by changing duty-free regulations, cutting important tariffs in 2018, and moving GDP towards consumption, Luca Solca, senior research analyst at Bernstein, told Business Insider.

Even before the pandemic happened, Chinese domestic retail spending was expected to grow. Bain & Company estimated that Chinese consumers would make around half of their luxury purchases in the country by 2025.

The pandemic is accelerating this

The election won’t change US fashion’s retreat from China



a group of people in a room: Laborers work on garments for export at the production line of a garment factory in Shanghai


© Provided by Quartz
Laborers work on garments for export at the production line of a garment factory in Shanghai

Fashion companies were not happy when US president Donald Trump started his trade war with China. The additional tariffs on apparel from China raised costs on items coming into the US, speeding an ongoing push to diversify production to other parts of Asia and beyond.

But if corporations think Joe Biden winning the US presidency in November will reverse the situation, they’re mistaken, experts said at a virtual conference on Oct. 14 held by fashion trade outlet Sourcing Journal. Both parties see tariffs as a way to put pressure on China, and that pressure is increasing as the US scrutinizes China’s repression of its Uighur minority.

“Democrats are still going to be looking at tariffs as a policy,” said Stephen Lamar, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, an industry trade group representing more than 1,000 brands. “The big difference between them and Republicans going forward, whether it’s the Congress or if we a see a change in the administration, is how they justify the use of the [tariffs].” He said Democrats might wield them differently, working in conjunction with allies for instance, or use them to address different matters, such as environmental or human rights issues.

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“It’s more of the same for a while,” said Vincent Iacopella, who deals with trade issues as executive vice president of the large freight services firm Alba Wheels Up. He doesn’t foresee Biden immediately reversing Trump’s tariffs if he wins and noted Democrats also object to China’s behavior in cases such as stealing intellectual property, the issue Trump singled out as the reason for his tariffs. Based on his discussions, Iacopella believes officials might consider a process allowing companies to apply for exclusions, but even that would take time.

The White House announced a 25% tariff on about 1,300 goods in April 2018, later expanding the list and adding a 10% tariff on more items. Along the way China retaliated with its own duties on US products. In Dec. 2019, the two sides reached a “Phase 1” deal that saw the US reduce some tariffs and keep others, while China agreed to buy more American products and services. Though progress has stalled, the two sides say the deal is moving forward.

While many top Democrats initially opposed the tariffs, they’ve also called for a hard stance on China. Both Lamar and Ron Sorini—principal at the firm Sorini, Samet & Associates and manager of its business development, consulting, and lobbying practice—said Democrats see tariffs as a way to show they’re being tough. Sorini thinks Democrats could even escalate the trade war over China’s treatment of Uighurs.

The country has engaged in a campaign increasingly likened to genocide against the predominately Muslim ethnic minority in the Xinjiang region, claiming it is cracking down on extremism. Uighurs are subject to forced labor, including in the region’s cotton fields, which produce around 80% of

Proposed Tougher Approach to Examination for Utility Model and Design Patent Applications in China

Proposed tougher approach to substantive examination for Utility Model and Design Patent Applications in China.

In a bid to improve the quality of Utility Models and Design Patents granted in China, the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has put forward proposals to impose tougher examination requirements for Chinese Utility Model and Design Patent applications.

Currently, a design patent (also known as a registered design in Europe) application in China does not undergo substantive examination. This means that, although the Chinese Patent Law requires a design to be new and distinctly different from any one of the existing designs known anywhere in the world, in practice, a Chinese Examiner does not conduct any searching during examination of the design application. Based on the current Examination Guidelines, the Examiner is only required to examine the application based on the application details and what is considered to be common knowledge of a general consumer.

Equally, although a Utility Model (also known as a petty patent in the US or innovation patent in Australia) application is required to be novel, creative and of practical use under the Chinese Patent Law, the level of examination requirement is similarly low.

Considering an Invention Patent application, which is the equivalent of a standard patent available in countries or regions such as the UK, Europe or the US, typically takes around 3 to 6 years to grant, grant of a Utility Model can be obtained quickly, typically between 10 to 18 months. A Design Patent can be even quicker. As such, filing such applications in China has been a faster, cheaper and easier way to obtain patent protection for an invention, compared to an Invention Patent. Both forms of patent protections have been proving popular. In 2011, SIPO granted 408,000 Utility Models and 380,000 Design Patents.

However, this may all be about to change. In a public consultation issued in February 2013, SIPO has indicated that the lack of substantive examination for both types of applications have caused patents to be granted to inventions or designs that are already known, or caused patents to be granted to inventions or designs more than once, ie double patenting.

In order to improve the quality of Utility Models and Design Patents, SIPO is proposing to amend the Examination Guidelines such that Examiners are encouraged to conduct searches on existing technologies and designs when examining such applications. Furthermore, the Guidelines proposed to be amended such that Examiners are not restricted as to how such information are obtained.

It is envisaged that if SIPO is to implement its proposed changes to tighten examination procedures for both types of applications, the costs and time required to see such applications through to grant are also likely to increase.

Early indications suggest that SIPO may already be implementing changes and Examiners will be improving enforcement of the novelty requirement for such applications. However, even with tighter examination requirements, for an invention with a short commercial life and somewhat limited novelty, a Utility Model application should …

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To stop a run on stores, clothing rations have been introduced abruptly – literally in a single day. As long as their clothing is fitted to praising the Lord in church, something goes …