China carmakers seek more government support for smart car supply chain

Newly manufactured cars are seen at the automobile terminal in the port of Dalian, Liaoning province, China July 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Updated 24 October 2020

China carmakers seek more government support for smart car supply chain

  • Chinese Internet companies, including Alibaba and Baidu, have launched partnerships with automakers, while Huawei Technologies, BYD and startup Horizon Robotics are developing semiconductor products

SHANGHAI: China’s auto industry has called for more government support and tie-ups between auto and tech companies on technologies, such as software and semiconductors, to make the country’s smart car supply chain more self-sufficient.
Government officials and industry executives at the 2020 China Auto Supply Chain Conference, held in the northwestern city of Xian this week, said the supply chain of in-car operating systems and other core technologies lagged behind international levels, a situation they want to change.
China, the world’s biggest auto market, wants sales of vehicles with intelligent functions such as Internet connectivity and autonomous driving to make up 30 percent of overall new vehicle sales by 2025.
Beijing has been trying to boost domestic tech capability by pouring billions of dollars into sectors such as semiconductors, after trade tensions between China and other countries, including the US, exposed the country’s reliance on foreign know-how.
“China’s supply chain of in-car operating system, software and other key core technologies are still far behind the international advanced level,” Ma Chunsheng, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said.
Ma said the government will encourage companies from different industries to work together on key technology breakthroughs such as car operation systems.

FASTFACT

Beijing wants sales of vehicles with intelligent functions to make up 30 percent of overall new vehicle sales by 2025.

“Technology startups face financial difficulties and urgently need the government to issue strategic support measures,” said Luo Junmin, senior executive at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Jumin said the government should offer better fundraising platforms to those companies to “support the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry.”
In-car software and semiconductor products are expected to make up the majority of cars costs by 2030, a recent research report by consultancy Roland Berger and industry think tank China EV 100 estimated.
Chinese Internet companies, including Alibaba and Baidu, have launched partnerships with automakers, while Huawei Technologies, BYD and startup Horizon Robotics are developing semiconductor products.


Egypt expects economic growth between 2.8 and 4% in 2021

Updated 26 min 54 sec ago

Egypt expects economic growth between 2.8 and 4% in 2021

  • Unemployment indicators also reflected the economy's development

CAIRO: Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the country was reaching positive growth rates, calling it a great achievement in light of the global conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Maait said the estimated rate of economic growth in the fiscal year 2021-2022 would reach between 2.8 and 4 percent.

He said the percentage varied according to how each person perceived it sectorally, and that industries such as tourism and aviation were significantly affected by the spread of the disease.

“We have a priority to make room for the private sector’s participation in development projects,” the minister added.

He explained that there would be strengthened cooperation with the Transport Ministry in implementing its projects in partnership with the private sector.

Egypt had been hoping for growth between 6 and 6.5 percent before the coronavirus crisis broke out.

The country topped the emerging market economies in containing the rate of inflation during the current year, according to data from the Egyptian cabinet, despite the global repercussions of the health emergency.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Egypt achieved the largest annual decline in the inflation rate in emerging markets in 2020, compared to 2019, with a decline of 8.2 percentage points.

Among the effects of the economic reform plan were inflation rates falling to 5.7 percent during 2019-2020, compared to 13.9 percent in 2018-2019.

Unemployment indicators also reflected the economy's development. 

Recent data from the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics showed the unemployment rate declining to 7.3 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared to 7.8 percent a year ago.

Egypt's monetary reserves rose to $39.22 billion by the end of last October, according to the country's central bank.

The IMF said the performance of the Egyptian economy exceeded expectations.