1. China’s CPI decreased by 0.5% y-o-y and dropped 0.5% compared to October
In November 2023, the national consumer price index (CPI)for residents across China experienced a y-o-y decline of 0.5%. Specifically, urban areas saw a decrease of 0.4%, while rural areas experienced a larger decline of 0.8%; food prices fell by 4.2%, non-food prices rose by 0.4%, consumer goods prices fell by 1.4%, and service prices increased by 1.0%. On average, from January to November, the national consumer price index increased by 0.3% compared to the same period last year.
On a month-to-month basis, CPI in November decreased by 0.5%. A breakdown by area reveals that urban areas saw a decline of 0.5%, while rural areas experienced a slightly lower decrease of 0.4%; food prices fell by 0.9%, non-food prices fell by 0.4%, consumer goods prices fell by 0.5%, and service prices increased by 0.4%.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined in November as a result of factors like changes in food and energy prices. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, showed a year-on-year increase of 0.6%, maintaining a moderate rise, consistent with the previous month. On a month-on-month basis, the CPI decreased by 0.5%.
The month-on-month decline can be attributed to factors such as warm weather leading to sufficient agricultural product supply, a seasonal decline in demand for travel and other service-related consumables, and the downward trend in international oil prices. On a year-on-year basis, the CPI decreased by 0.5%, with the decline expanding by 0.3 percentage points compared to the previous month. This widening is primarily due to the year-on-year reversal of energy prices, which shifted from an increase to a decrease, contributing to a 0.19 percentage point increase in the downward impact on year-on-year CPI compared to the previous month.
2. Singapore and more countries planning to implement a 30-day mutual visa exemption with China
On November 7th, Sandiaga Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, stated that Indonesia is considering implementing a visa-free entry policy for citizens of 20 countries, including China, the United States, and Australia, in order to promote tourism and the economy. Previously, Malaysia had already implemented a visa-free policy for Chinese citizens within 30 days of entry, and Thailand also implemented a phased visa-free policy for Chinese tourists.
Furthermore, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, revealed that with the continuous increase in flights between China and Singapore, both countries are set to strengthen people-to-people exchanges. Speaking at a meeting, Heng Swee Keat emphasized the significance of enhanced collaboration between the two nations amidst global economic headwinds, rising geopolitical uncertainties, and the challenges of global warming. He noted that, in the face of these uncertainties, the joint efforts of China and Singapore to reinforce cooperation have become even more crucial. Heng highlighted that besides consolidating cooperation in traditional areas such as trade and investment, China and Singapore are expanding and deepening their collaboration in emerging fields like digital and green economies. Both nations are committed to integrating sustainable solutions into their development. Additionally, they are engaged in cooperation across various sectors, including financial connectivity, food security, and smart cities.
China and Singapore announced a 30-day mutual visa exemption arrangement, and the scope of visa exemptions between China and neighboring countries is further expanding.
Glopen will continue to follow up and release the latest details on visa policies.
3. China’s New Energy Vehicle Industry User Satisfaction Index Measurement Results have been released, revealing a decline for the first time in nine years
According to CCTV News, the China Quality Association unveiled the results of the 2023 user satisfaction index assessment for China’s new energy automobile industry on December 2nd in Beijing. The evaluation focused on 77 high-volume brand models in 2023, covering 33 car manufacturers and 40 car brands across the country.
Li Gaoshuai, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of the China Quality Association, reported that the 2023 assessment results for user satisfaction in the Chinese new energy vehicle industry are 80 points, representing a year-on-year decline of 1 point. This marks the first time in the past nine years that user satisfaction in China’s new energy vehicle industry has decreased.
The brand image and perceived quality are the primary factors influencing the satisfaction of electric vehicles. In 2023, the brand image of Chinese electric vehicles scored 81 points, a decrease of 0.9 points from the previous year, while the perceived quality of Chinese electric vehicles scored 80.4 points, showing a decrease of 0.5 points. In terms of product quality, the satisfaction rating for the reliability of EV quality is 79.5 points, marking a decrease of 1.8 points from the previous year. The satisfaction rating for the performance design of electric vehicles is 78.9 points, a decrease of 0.8 points from the previous year. Additionally, satisfaction ratings for the performance design of factors such as audio-entertainment navigation, intelligent connectivity, driver’s seat, instrument panel, and interior features of electric vehicles are relatively lower.
Currently, China’s new energy vehicle market is experiencing a “split” scenario. On one hand, user satisfaction is decreasing, while on the other hand, sales are booming. Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) shows that in the first 10 months of 2023, new energy vehicle production and sales combined totaled 7,352,000 units and 7,280,000 units, respectively, representing a y-o-y increase of 33.9% and 37.8%. These figures indicate a market share of 30.4%.
In essence, Chinese consumers are transitioning away from traditional fuel vehicles, driven by the appeal of new energy vehicles that offer a fresh and intelligent experience, meeting the evolving needs of today’s consumers. However, despite this trend, the decrease in user satisfaction underscores the imperative for new energy vehicle companies to focus on improving product quality and enhancing the overall user experience.
4. Tesla is planning to resume the Shanghai Phase 3 factory project, with a focus on manufacturing the next generation of new vehicles
In April 2023, Tesla disclosed plans to construct a 40GWh energy storage Gigafactory in Shanghai. The construction is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of this year, with production set to start in the second quarter of 2024. In the initial phase, the factory is projected to have an annual production capacity of up to 10,000 units of commercial energy storage batteries. However, Tesla did not mention the expansion of the car factory at that time, and the relationship between the Shanghai Phase 3 factory project and the energy storage Gigafactory remains unclear. Nevertheless, it is understood that Tesla’s energy storage products produced in Shanghai starting next year will be sold locally in China. The Shanghai factory’s energy storage project has already recruited a head of research and development and is currently hiring a head of sales.
In addition, during last year’s third-quarter earnings call, Elon Musk revealed that the next generation of vehicles would be smaller than the current Model 3 on sale, with costs expected to be half of the existing platform. The Shanghai Gigafactory is Tesla’s largest manufacturing facility, benefiting from the suitability of Chinese manufacturing for production and factory operations, allowing it to compete in the world’s most prominent electric vehicle market.Tesla’s new generation of vehicles could be manufactured at the Shanghai Gigafactory, which is an excellent location in terms of production and operation efficacy.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory delivered 853,603 vehicles in the first eleven months of 2023, accounting for 63.18% of the global production. It is likely that Tesla will expand its Shanghai Gigafactory in order to satisfy its growing demand. If Tesla realizes this expansion plan, the Shanghai Gigafactory will play a more significant role in Tesla’s logistics chain.
5. HEYTEA’s “Buddha Happiness” Tea Latte Suspected of Violating Religious Affairs Regulations, Products Taken Off Shelves After Talks
On December 4, a representative from the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, declared that HEYTEA had violated the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” with its popular “Buddha’s Happiness” tea lattes. The Bureau conducted an interview with the company, which expressed remorse and submitted a rectification report on Friday night. By December 3, the product had been removed from all shelves
.On November 28, the Jingdezhen China Ceramics Museum and HEYTEA collaborated to launch a new product line, the “Buddha Tea Latte,” featuring three custom co-branded cups and refrigerator stickers depicting contemplation of the Luohan statue models, Fu Hu Luohan statue models, and joyful Luohan statue models. As part of this new offering, the phrase “I Buddha compassionate” was changed to “Holding Buddha’s cup.” The product was promoted on social media, and despite its moderate taste, the inclusion of the “speechless Bodhisattva” element appealed to consumers, boosting sales.
On December 5, news about HEYTEA’s interview reached the trending page on Weibo. Netizens shared their opinions, with some believing that “HEYTEA’s behavior is indeed inappropriate” and supporting the action taken by the Shenzhen Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau as reasonable and legitimate. However, other netizens considered the bureau’s action unnecessary.
Did HEYTEA break the law? According to a report from Surging News, HEYTEA’s “Buddha’s Happiness” tea is suspected of engaging in “commercial propaganda in the name of religion,” which violates the Regulations on Religious Affairs and other laws.
Since HEYTEA introduced its “Buddha’s Happiness” tea latte, religious groups have criticized it for using an image of the “Contemplative Lohan” on the packaging. Some members of these groups have expressed that packaging holds significant importance to their faith, extending beyond mere packaging.
What does “in the name of religion” mean? Is the collaboration between HEYTEA and the China Ceramics Museum in Jingdezhen, which uses the image of the “Contemplative Lohan” for co-branding, considered “in the name of religion”? These questions are indeed ambiguous.