Oct 26, 2018 03:07 PM

Friday Tech Briefing: Xiaomi, Tesla, Daimler

1. China’s Xiaomi Aims its Priciest Phone at Huawei and Apple

China’s No. 2 smartphone-maker Xiaomi Corp. unveiled the MIX 3, the fourth generation of a series introduced in 2016.

The company’s latest effort to acquire a premium gloss features a bezel-less 6.4-inch screen, a ceramic body and front-facing cameras on sliding hardware nestled behind the screen, doing away with the notch popularized by the iPhone.

The device will go on sale from November ranging from 3,299 yuan ($475) to 4,999 yuan, marking the company’s efforts to make greater headway into a more profitable premium market. (Bloomberg)

2. Tesla is Rolling Out Two Electric-Vehicle Models in Shanghai

U.S. electric-car maker Tesla Inc. is planning to produce two models in its Shanghai factory, with one of them slated to roll off production lines next year.

Earlier the month, Tesla secured 864,885 square meters of land (213.7 acres) in a $140 million deal with the Shanghai government, pushing ahead its plan for the company’s first overseas “Gigafactory” — Tesla’s term for a large, vertically integrated electric-auto plant.

Ramping up local production is important for Tesla, which currently ships vehicles into the world’s largest auto market from the U.S. in a bid to avoid rising tariffs caused by the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington. China is Tesla’s second-largest market, where it sold around 17,000 vehicles last year. (Caixin)

3. Daimler, Geely Plan Ride-Hailing Venture to Challenge Didi

Daimler AG is set to launch a joint venture with Chinese automaker Geely to offer premium ride-hailing services in China, ramping up competition in a sector long dominated by Didi Chuxing.

The 50-50 partnership, based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, will use Daimler’s Mercedes cars and electric-powered vehicles produced by Geely. It is expected to begin operations next year in selected Chinese cities, Daimler said.

The joint venture is the German luxury carmaker’s first tie-up with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. since the latter made a deal early this year to acquire a nearly 10% stake in Daimler AG, becoming its single largest shareholder. The move comes as automakers scramble to deal with the industry’s new reality, in which consumers increasingly prefer on-demand mobility services — such as car-sharing and ride-hailing — to car ownership. (Caixin)

4. Metro Taps Citigroup, JPMorgan for China Review: Sources

Metro AG, the German big-box retailer and wholesaler, is working with Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to review options for its Chinese operations. Based on earnings and the valuations of its rivals, including real estate, the business could be worth about $1.5 billion and the Chinese unit could be valued at more than $2 billion.

Metro’s Cash & Carry business in China spans 93 stores and reported 20.3 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) of revenue in fiscal 2017, according to its website. (Caixin)

5. China foreign ministry denies spying on Trump’s iPhone, suggests he get a Huawei instead

If Donald Trump is concerned about the security of his iPhone, he should consider switching over to a Huawei, or cut off communications altogether, China’s foreign ministry said in response to a question about a New York Times report that Chinese and Russian spies are listening in on the U.S. President’s conversations made on his unsecured iPhone.

American spy agencies say that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the calls, with China seeking to use what it learns to prevent an escalation of a trade war with the U.S., according to the Times report, which cited several former and current officials. (SCMP)

6. Jack Ma regains top spot as China’s richest

Business magazine Forbes on Thursday published its 2018 list of the 400 richest people in China, who have a combined total wealth of $1.06 trillion.

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma regained his title as China’s richest man since losing the crown in 2014, with wealth of $34.6 billion, followed by Tencent’s Pony Ma with $32.8 billion and Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin with $30.8 billion.

However, the wealth of the top three shrank compared to a year ago, with drops of $4 billion, $6.2 billion and $11.7 billion respectively. (China Daily)

Compiled by Qian Tong and Hou Qijiang

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