2023 Calendar Week 38/39

Posted on September 25, 2023

1.Chinese train tickets were fully sold within a second for National Day holiday

This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday will span eight consecutive days from 29th September to 6th October. On Friday, 15th September, the sale of train tickets for the Mid-Autumn Festival on 29th September will officially commence. As per the regulations for railway ticket pre-sale, passengers can purchase tickets for 28th September, the day before the holiday, through the 12306 website, APP, and other similar channels from 14th September onwards, which marks fifteen days prior to the holiday.On the morning of the 14th, the hashtag #12306 ticket snatching# trended on social media with many users reporting difficulties in securing tickets. Some claimed that tickets sold out within a second, leading to suspicion of deliberate pressure on the 12306 ticketing system to withhold tickets. Fewer tickets were also reported as a concern by netizens in the comment section.12306 customer service stated that this year there has been a significant increase in the number of people attempting to purchase tickets, leading to difficulties in securing tickets. During the Mid-Autumn National Day holiday, all tickets for each day of the ticket cycle are released at once, and there are no staggered releases or unannounced ticket releases further adding ticket pressures. Customer service also stated that this surge in ticket demand will persist until the night before the Mid-Autumn National Day holiday. They advise travellers to regularly check for updates regarding ticket purchases.

2.Huawei and Xiaomi Seal Global Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement

On the 13th of September, Huawei and Xiaomi disclosed a worldwide agreement for cross-licensing of patents. Subsequently, both companies issued statements in response.Fan Zhiyong, Director of Huawei’s Intellectual Property Department, expressed satisfaction in having acquired a license with Xiaomi. According to him, this license demonstrates the industry’s recognition of Huawei’s contribution to communication standards and reinforces their research investment in future mobile communications technologies.Xu Ran, General Manager of Xiaomi Group’s Strategic Cooperation Department, stated, “We are delighted to establish a patent cross-licensing deal with Huawei, which acknowledges and honours the intellectual property rights of each party.” Xiaomi is committed to maintaining its intellectual property values, respecting intellectual property rights, pursuing mutually beneficial, long-term and sustainable intellectual property partnerships, and utilizing intellectual property rights to advance technological inclusivity, thereby expanding technology’s reach to a wider range of people.In the industry view, mutual licensing agreements among companies aim to pre-empt mutual hindrances and prevent costly litigations, foster technological alliance, and curtail transaction expenses.Huawei and Xiaomi have reached an agreement that will create a more equitable and structured competitive environment within the mobile phone industry. This accord benefits consumers by providing more integrated technology, enhancing user experience.At the same time, both companies are placing more emphasis on research and development of technology. Consequently, their reconciliation holds significant value for the technological advancement of the industry.

3.EU has initiated a countervailing investigation into Chinese EVs

On 13th September, the President of the EC, von der Leyen, declared the launch of a countervailing investigation into electric vehicles from China. Von der Leyen stated that Europe welcomes competition but will not tolerate unfair practices, and it is the EU’s responsibility to safeguard itself.Over the past year, Europe has come to recognize that China is now capable of producing technologically advanced electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Europe is lagging behind in the electric vehicle sector.That’s why, recently, several French automakers and the European Commission have urged for a countervailing probe on Chinese EVs.China’s automobile industry was a behind-the-curve industry in the age of fuel-powered cars. For a significant duration, Chinese automakers could solely accrue “assembly fees”. However, these Chinese car firms were able to leapfrog their competitors by spearheading developments in battery, motor, and electronic control systems, paving the way for a fresh chapter in car manufacturing. And now, China’s EVs today’s low-cost, high-quality, it is in the fierce market competition, a little exercise. However, Europe has summarised them as a form of unfair subsidy.

4.NIO phone is here, will it be successful?

At the NIO IN 2023 Azalea Innovation and Technology Day on 21 September, NIO Chairman Li Bin finally unveiled the NIO smartphone.According to Li Bin, the biggest highlight of the unveiled NIO Phone is its interconnection with the NIO car, at the event Li Bin also positioned the Nio Phone as “a mobile phone for NIO car owners” starting from CNY 6499. Why did NIO cross over to the smartphone track? This is also the most puzzling question in the market before.Li Bin explained at the event that NIO Phone is not because NIO doesn’t make money making cars, but because it needs to use smartphones to make money. He said that the main reason for NIO Phone is that “users need a mobile phone that is seamlessly connected to the car”.It is revealed that NIO Phone is the first car control key with 30 functions in one key, and it can quickly respond to some functions, including parking, in case of no signal. According to reports, NIO Phone supports remote car control and near-field car control, which can detect the position of people inside the car; equipped with NOMI intelligent assistant, it can achieve voice car control.Li Bin believes that in the era of intelligent electric vehicles, it is difficult for car companies to achieve sustainable competitiveness if they do not carry out the underlying forward development. In the future, the business layout of NIO is intelligent electric vehicles, user enterprises and global operations.However, some critics believe it is unnecessary for NIO to develop their own phone while their cars are still loss making, and even if they sell a NIO phone to every NIO drive that won’t be enough to reach the needed scale for the mobile phone industry.

5.The Asian Games 2023 officially kicked off in Hangzhou

The Asian Games 2023 officially kicked off with an eye-catching opening ceremony at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in the People’s Republic of China on 23rd Sept.The 19th Asian Games, delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were officially opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping. A breathtaking performance, titled Water in Autumn Glow, kicked off the festivities at the Big Lotus. The show, which brought together the old and the new, was an ode to the host nation’s rich cultural heritage and forward-looking nature.The Parade of Nations involving 45 countries started with Afghanistan. The athletes walked out in front of a roaring crowd at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium. The Hangzhou Asian Games will last for 16 days, while 12,000 athletes will compete over 481 events. Besides Hangzhou, there are five other co-host cities in Zhejiang province, including Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing, and Jinhua. The Hangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Para Games have a total of 56 competition venues and 31 training venues.

6.Li Jiaqi’s inappropriate comments on the livestream have caused outrage among Chinese consumers

Li Jiaqi, the famed “Lipstick King” who has about 75.76 million followers on Taobao Live, Alibaba’s live-streaming platform, was making a pitch about an eyebrow pen on 10th Sept. While selling the Florasis eyebrow pencil worth RMB 79, and some fans questioned “Florasis is getting more and more expensive”. Li Jiaqi scowled, “For so many years, the price remains the same, it’s outrageous to spout such nonsense. It’s tough for a national brand.” Li Jiaqi, unable to control his emotions, added, “It’s time to reflect on your own reasons, for so many years, did your salary increase, did you work hard?”It is this last sentence that makes Li Jiaqi a target. In the early hours of 11 September, Li Jiaqi issued his first apology, saying that he had disappointed everyone and that he had not learned to control his emotions.However, a mere apology statement cannot quell the public opinion, Li Jiaqi overnight drop fans of more than 100,000, less than a day to drop fans of more than 800,000, and the drop is still continuing.Critics argue that the eyebrow pencil is even more expensive than gold per gram, while Lijiaqi can earn 80% commission and made 1.8 billion RMB (in 2022). His fans and netizens directly accusing him of “forgetting his origins”, at the meantime competitors and other influencers made the most out of this incident.


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