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Your Quick Snort

In 2023, China overtook Japan as the world’s biggest carmaker and BYD overtook Tesla and the top maker EV maker, flooding Europe and the Global South with cut-rate EVs. The White House is trying to stop a dump on US markets before it happens. On top of 25% tariffs on Chinese EV’s, President Biden warned that on-board computers could “collect sensitive data” on American drivers – like a mobile TikTok. So Chinese carmakers are building plants in Mexico instead. Which seems like a fairly obvious loophole to plug. 

 

Tall Pour: While China is the largest market for EVs, they make entirely too many for its consumers – problematic because the Chinese economy depends on exports. Despite a stalling economy, deflation, looming trade wars and a property bubble that, if not crashing, is deflating rapidly, China’s set its   GDP-growth target of around 5% for 2024. Without government getting under the hood, no one really thinks that this is possible. In the opening speech to the People’s National Congress (PNC), Li Qiang, the prime minister, announced that import tariffs on advanced technology would be cut in an effort to boost the economy. But import tariffs are only part of the problem when said advanced technology is facing export restrictions to China. To that end, Li also that military budget would increase by 7.2% to 1.66trn yuan ($231bn).

 

Apple’s is having a rough run lately: sales of iPhones in China dropped by 24% year on year, as sales of the domestic Huawei smartphones jumped 64%. In Europe the company has been fined €1.8bn ($2bn) for violating competition law by limiting other firms’ music-streaming services on its app store and other platforms. The fine is the third-largest that the commission has issued. Apple said it would appeal against the ruling. The company has also come grim conclusion that it ought to leave the whizz-bang electric cars to Tesla.

 

For its part, Tesla’s boss, Elon Musk, sued OpenAI, the AI frim he helped establish with Sam Altman for breaching the company’s founding mission – a slippery goal of “benefiting humanity – as opposed to “a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft.” Musk isn’t the only one, after Microsoft’s $13bn stake in the company. The New York Times has filed a suit claiming that millions of NYT articles were illegally copied to train and build the company’s chatbot - which would explain the generally poor writing.

... the Tall Pour

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