2024 Calendar Week 2

1.Chinese car companies are challenging Tesla’s sales myth

On January 2, Tesla announced a record-breaking fourth-quarter 2023 vehicle delivery figure of 484,507 units, setting a new high for electric car deliveries. Meanwhile, BYD reported pure-electric vehicle sales of 526,409 units for the same quarter, with 190,754 units sold in December, 170,150 units in November, and 165,505 units in October. This achievement positions BYD as the world’s largest electric car manufacturer for the quarter, surpassing Tesla for the first time in quarterly sales.

While some Western media outlets have emphasized that Tesla maintains its lead in the pure electric vehicle market, they also acknowledge the significant pressure BYD’s rise has put on Tesla. This shift highlights China’s growing prominence in the global electric vehicle market. In fact, some U.S. media outlets have gone as far as proclaiming that “Tesla loses to China in the battle for the electric car crown.” AFP, on the other hand, believes that BYD will continue to lead, especially given the support of the Chinese government’s efforts to stimulate the local market.

However, it’s worth noting that some media outlets have expressed a sense of resentment. Reuters, for instance, used the word “steal” in its headline when reporting BYD’s global sales success in the last quarter of the previous year, attributing BYD’s success to price reductions.

2.What causes Harbin’s tourism to erupt in just 20 days?

Over the course of the 3-day New Year’s Day holiday, Harbin Airport facilitated the transportation of a total of 205,000 passengers, marking a remarkable 27% increase compared to the same period in 2019 and setting a new record. According to the Tongcheng travel platform, Harbin’s popularity as a tourist destination surged by an impressive 240% compared to the previous year, securing its spot as the fourth most popular destination nationwide. The city welcomed over 3,040,000 tourists during the holiday, generating a substantial revenue of CNY 5.914 billion. This historic peak in both tourist numbers and revenue underscores Harbin’s prominence as a premier winter tourism hub.

This winter, Harbin in Heilongjiang province has emerged as a sought-after tourist destination. Various videos and social media platforms have been actively promoting Harbin as an ideal spot for family entertainment, drawing the attention of millions of tourists from southern regions. During the recent New Year holidays, this enchanting and picturesque city in northeast China not only gained popularity domestically but also among foreign netizens. As a result, Harbin has once again become a focal point for young travelers, with tourism-related data reaching unprecedented levels.

Harbin’s thriving tourism scene has garnered the interest of prominent international media outlets, including Reuters, the Daily Mail, Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia (CNA), and U.S. News & World Report. According to Reuters, Harbin experienced an unprecedented influx of tourists during the New Year holiday. Many visitors were captivated by the city’s magnificent and intricately crafted ice sculptures, which were painstakingly constructed using ice sourced from the Songhua River. As night descended, these sculptures came to life, illuminated by dazzling lights.

3.MiXue has submitted its IPO Application, Aiming to Expand its international business

On January 2nd, Mixue submitted its prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Mixue is one of the domestic players in the ready-to-drink beverage market with its competitive advantange-High cost-effectiveness. In September 2022, Mixue had previously planned for an A-share IPO but ultimately did not proceed. As the tea beverage brand with the largest number of domestic stores, Mixue currently operates over 30,000 stores in China. From 2021 to the first nine months of 2023, Mixue has shown significant revenue growth. During this period, the company’s revenues were CNY 10.351 billion, CNY 13.576 billion, and CNY 15.393 billion, with year-on-year growth rates of 121.2%, 31.2%, and 46.0% respectively. The corresponding net profits were CNY 1.912 billion, 2.013 billion, and 2.453 billion, with year-on-year growth rates of 202.53%, 5.3%, and 51.1%. The gross profit margins were 31.3%, 28.3%, and 29.7%, and the net profit margins were 18.5%, 14.8%, and 15.9% for the same periods.

In 2028, the global ready-to-drink beverage market is projected to reach approximately CNY 7972.89 billion. Among these, the ready-to-drink beverage market in Southeast Asia is estimated to reach around CNY 353.33 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% from 2022 to 2028, making it the highest among major global markets. In 2018, Mixue opened its first overseas store in Vietnam and has since continued to expand its presence in multiple countries and regions, consistently delivering high-quality, affordable ready-to-drink beverages and the cultural essence of “Sweetness and Love” to consumers abroad. As of September 30, 2023, Mixue has established approximately 4,000 stores in 11 different countries overseas, making it the top-ranked ready-to-drink tea brand in the Southeast Asian market.

4.Anti-Subsidy Investigation into New Energy Vehicles: Probing Brandy

According to a report by Reuters, on January 5, 2024, China initiated an anti-dumping investigation into Brandy imports from the European Union, with a primary focus on France. This investigation primarily targets Brandy with a capacity of less than 200 liters and is imported from the European Union. According to Chinese customs data, China imported distilled grape wine worth $1.57 billion in November 2023, with France accounting for 99.8% of European Union Brandy exports. Pernod Ricard, a prominent French spirits company, derives 10% of its sales from China, and Cognac accounts for over 50% of Pernod Ricard’s sales in China.

Following China’s announcement of this anti-dumping investigation, the stock prices of French liquor companies Remy Cointreau and Pernod Ricard experienced significant declines, with Remy Cointreau’s stock price falling by over 11%. Pernod Ricard’s stock price also dropped by 4.8%.

Simultaneously, major European automotive brands within the European Union, including Stellantis and Renault, have indicated that Chinese automakers enjoy cost advantages ranging from 20% to 50%. Notably, both of these automotive companies have their roots in France. During a summit at the end of December last year, EU leaders reiterated their stance on China’s “unfair competition.”

5.Argentina’s Presdient, Milei Rejects BRICS Membership, Prioritizes Alternative Trade and Investment Alliances

President Milei has officially rejected Argentina’s full membership in BRICS but remains open to fostering trade and investment relationships through alternative channels. Milei’s decision aligns with his earlier stance, as expressed in a letter to BRICS leaders last December, stating that the timing was not conducive for Argentina to join as a full member. This move underscores Milei’s commitment to deviating from former President Fernandez’s efforts to strengthen ties with emerging economies.

Notably, President Xi had conveyed his congratulations to Milei upon his election, expressing his readiness to collaborate with the new Argentine leader. Xi’s message emphasized the importance of continuing the China-Argentina friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation to drive the development and revitalization of both nations while advancing the steady and far-reaching growth of China-Argentina relations.

Experts have drawn parallels between Milei’s approach and the policies of former U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly Milei’s focus on strengthening bilateral relationships without reliance on international organizations such as BRICS. Milei’s China policy stands in sharp contrast to that of his center-left predecessor, Alberto Fernandez, who, in 2022, committed Argentina to Beijing’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative. Milei has made it clear that Argentina’s “geopolitical alignment” leans toward the United States and Israel, a stance that differs from much of the Global South, particularly concerning Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Throughout Latin America, diverse viewpoints on BRICS membership exist, with some countries wary of being perceived as “anti-West” by participating, while others prioritize economic opportunities offered by the organization.

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