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How EV batteries are becoming the next tension for China and the US

2. China used its “unreliable entity list” for the first time ever to sanction Lockheed Martin and Raytheon over selling arms to Taiwan. The move is suspected to be a response to the American blacklisting of six Chinese entities over the “spy balloon” drama in January. (CNN)

3. While the official casualty count from China’s latest wave of covid infections is 83,150, estimates from epidemiology experts are much higher, ranging from 970,000 to 1.6 million. (New York Times $)

4. Now is not a good time for Chinese metaverse believers. Both ByteDance and Tencent reported layoffs last week in their virtual-reality-related teams. (Yicai Global)

5. Ride-hailing app DiDi’s comeback in China shows the delicate balance between the government’s goals of containing Big Tech and fostering economic growth. (Wired $)

6. ASML, the Dutch lithography machine company, accused a former China-based employee of stealing confidential information in the last couple of months. (Bloomberg $)

7. Bao Fan, a Chinese billionaire banker who brokered some of the largest acquisitions in the Chinese tech industry, has gone missing with no explanation. (BBC)

Lost in translation

Building a charging infrastructure that can serve the rapidly increasing number of EVs in China has become a tricky issue. As Chinese publication Time Weekly reported, during the Lunar New Year period, Chinese EV owners on road trips had to wait at highway service stations for hours before they could charge their cars. The same happened last summer when an extreme heat wave disabled the grid in some parts of China.

Currently, for each public charging post in China, there are more than 12 EV owners who can’t charge at home in their densely populated urban neighborhoods. The lack of public infrastructure has inspired some owners to rent out their private charging posts, since these posts are not being used 90% of the time. The profits from renting them out, which can reach over 2,000 RMB ($290) every year, help pay off the costs of installing them. But so far, most owners of private charging posts have yet to realize that sharing is a possibility: it’s estimated that only 2.1% are shared with other EV owners.

One more thing

With Ford announcing its battery manufacturing plan with CATL, Quartz reporter Mary Hui noticed a fascinating historical parallel. In 2023, this deal is helping the Chinese battery giant finally break into the US market, while US-China relations are rocked by scandals surrounding a Chinese spy balloon. Back in 2001, a deal between Ford and a Chinese automaker helped the US auto giant break into the Chinese market, while the relationship between the two countries was … interrupted by a scandal surrounding a US spy plane. Coincidence? I think not.

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