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China’s accelerated progress in electric vehicle production passed a significant milestone in the first half of 2022, with BYD becoming the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer by revenue.
The Shenzhen-based manufacturer, which is partially owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, reported that it had sold 641,000 vehicles in the first six months of the year, in company filings on Tuesday.
In comparison, Tesla announced this on Saturday 564,000 vehicles were delivered in the first half of the year. That included 254,000 vehicles in the second quarter, far fewer than the 350,000 Wall Street had been expecting as Elon Musk’s company suffered from parts shortages and pandemic-related production shutdowns at its Shanghai plant.
BYD has had its own problems, with authorities investigating claims it used harmful pollutants in paints used at a plant in central Hunan Province. However, while other major EV manufacturers such as Tesla, Li Auto, Xpeng and Nio were hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdowns in the first half, BYD managed to keep production going as its factories are remote from the hardest-hit regions and cities removed were severe restrictions.
While Tesla first developed cars before going into battery production, BYD started out as a battery manufacturer and then started making vehicles. Since April, it has overtaken South Korea’s LG as the world’s second-biggest maker of electric vehicle batteries behind China’s contemporary Amperex Technology, known as CATL.
The next step for BYD will be aggressive international expansion. China is the world’s largest auto market, but exports more than doubled last year to more than half a million electric vehicles. Despite this, about a third of those sent to Europe were from Chinese-owned European brands such as Volvo Cars and MG Motor, while only 2 percent represented Chinese brands. Almost half came from Tesla and the remaining 14 percent from European joint ventures in China.
Chinese brands are sure to expand their EV share in Europe and the US. As Lex points out, China is increasingly dominating the lithium battery supply chain and its manufacturers have been able to operate on razor-thin margins and sell cars cheaply. European drivers, faced with high EV prices and long waiting lists, would look to models like BYD’s $15,000 Dolphin model (after subsidies) and the world’s best-selling EV last year — the $4,300 Hongguang Mini – look seriously.
The Internet of (Five) Things
1. TikTok’s e-commerce expansion on hold
TikTok has abandoned plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative in Europe and the US, Cristina Criddle revealedafter the social media platform’s foray into QVC-style shopping in the UK was beset by internal troubles and struggled to gain a foothold with consumers.
2. China closes comment on major hack
China is quick to censor News about the alleged hacker attack a Shanghai police database threatening to leak the personal details of more than 1 billion Chinese in what could be one of the biggest leaks of private information ever.
3. VC (Vote of Confidence) by Sequoia for Chinese technology
Sequoia Capital China is on the verge of raising nearly $9 billion into Chinese startups despite global investors’ concerns over Beijing’s zero-Covid policy, a crackdown on tech giants and heightened geopolitical risk.
4. Twitter is taking the Indian government to court
Twitter is taking the Indian government to court for the first time over its order to ban tweets and accounts. say some are exaggerating and outside the statutory powers of officials. The legal backlash is a potential test case in a battle between social media platforms and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which last year was given greater powers to force tech companies to suppress content.
5. Ron Johnson’s troubled post-Apple career
Former Apple Store boss Ron Johnson has had less success since leaving the iPhone maker. Sujeet Indap and Ortenca Aliaj in New York have an analysis the failure of its latest venture, Enjoy Technology, the e-commerce company which was listed on a Spac in October but whose shares have now been wiped out when the company filed for bankruptcy.
Tech Tools – Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi’s latest top-end smartphone, the 12S Ultra, has one standout feature, with its huge Leica rear camera bump. You can also use it as a phone, says Mashablebut the 12S has the largest sensor of any smartphone, the 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor. Details about the world of digital cameras a 50.3-megapixel primary camera that “uses an eight-piece aspherical lens that combats common smartphone issues like flare, ghosting, and chromatic aberration. . . a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a Leica Summicron 13-120 f/1.9-4.1 aspheric lens with dual PD autofocus and macro mode support, and a 48-megapixel periscope telephoto camera with dual PD autofocus and HyperOIS complete the serious triple of 12S Ultra camera systems”. However, you may only be able to buy this in China, where it’s going on sale this week starting at around $900.
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