Volkswagen Group CEO resigns, possibly because of conflicts with unions; how far has the tourism industry recovered?

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Volkswagen Group CEO resigns, possibly due to conflict with union

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who aims to surpass Tesla in three years , is likely to leave the company over some conflict with the group’s union. He has resigned as Group CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, effective September 1.

The Volkswagen Group confirmed the news of Diess’ departure in a press release on July 22, local time, thanking him for his great achievements in the group’s transformation process. Diess will be replaced by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, who is likely to remain chairman of the supercar brand’s management board after Porsche completes a potential IPO.

Diess worked at Bosch and BMW, before joining Volkswagen in 2015 and serving as group CEO three years later. He promoted Volkswagen to become the most radical transformation of traditional car factories in recent years, investing tens of billions of euros in research and development of electric vehicles.

He believes that Volkswagen is expected to surpass Tesla to become the world’s largest electric car factory in 2025, not only because Volkswagen is catching up, but also because Tesla is busy managing two highly complex new factories, as well as expanding production at the Shanghai factory, and in the global supply chain Amid problems, chip shortages and a tumultuous geopolitical situation, Tesla could be paying a lot to keep growing.

“We have to take this opportunity to catch up quickly — and by 2025, we can be in the lead,” Diess told employees last month. Volkswagen plans to sell 700,000 electric cars this year. That’s about half of Tesla’s estimated sales.

Volkswagen’s transformation determination is higher than its peers. He plans to invest $2.2 billion to build a new factory next spring. Like Tesla, all production workshops are assembled under the same roof, from battery production to vehicle assembly, without additional logistics and transportation links.

Electric vehicles have fewer parts than fuel vehicles, and coupled with the optimization of production processes, the transformation of fuel vehicles to electrification is often accompanied by large layoffs. Because so many workers are not needed. Last year, Diess proposed to cut 30,000 jobs, which was met with dissatisfaction by the union. Some media in Britain and Germany speculated that Diess’ departure may be due to conflicts with unions.

The governance of listed companies in Germany is characterized by a two-tier committee system, namely the board of directors and the supervisory board. Unlike China, the supervisory board is the highest governing body of German companies. The Volkswagen Group’s supervisory board has 20 seats, half of which are trade unions. These 10 people represent the rights and interests of the vast majority of Volkswagen’s 300,000 employees in Germany.

Unlike Diess’ determination to chase Tesla, the Volkswagen union believes that “job security and profitability will remain equally important corporate goals in the next few years.”

As the CEOs of the world’s largest car factory and the world’s largest electric car factory respectively, Diess and Musk have a close relationship. In 2020, the pair took a test drive of VW’s ID.3 electric car in Germany, and last year Musk was invited by Diess to a conference call with VW executives to discuss how to speed up the transition to electric technology.

Diess has made no secret of his admiration for Tesla and Musk, but he has not lowered the competitive stance of VW either. He called Tesla’s Austin, Texas, plant “impressive” and, once operational, likely to set some new industry benchmarks, and said Musk ” revolutionized our industry and is getting more and more competitive .” (Gong Fangyi)

How far has the tourism industry recovered?

During this year’s “May Day” holiday, 160 million people traveled domestically across the country, about 67% of the same period in 2019. Revenue slipped to 44% in the same period in 2019. According to the data of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, in the first half of this year, the number of tourists and tourism revenue decreased by more than 20% year-on-year.

Since the end of May, measures such as the itinerary card “catch the stars”, the lowering of control levels in several administrative regions, and the issuance of tourism consumption coupons have helped to restore the macro tourism data to a certain extent.

  • In June, the number of domestic tourism trips and tourism revenue recovered to 86.8% and 65.6% of the same period in 2019.
  • National hotel occupancy rates were 42.7% and 46.8% in April and May, recovering to 52.9% in June.
  • Ctrip’s national cross-provincial travel orders in June increased by 71% month-on-month.
  • On May 31, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that the “circuit breaker” mechanism for inter-provincial tourism would be adjusted from the provincial level to the county level.
  • In June, Qinghai, Ningxia, North China, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and other places successively announced the resumption of inter-provincial (team) tours.
  • From July 11 to July 17, 2022, 141,116 passenger flights took off and landed at transport airports in mainland China, returning to the 2013 weekly average.
  • Nanjing Airport, Daxing Airport, and Capital Airport ranked the top three in terms of month-on-month growth in passenger throughput.
  • The average daily inbound and outbound passengers at Sanya Airport exceeded 46,000, basically returning to the pre-epidemic level.
  • Shanghai Airlines flight volume fell by more than 50% year-on-year.
  • Travel demand has recovered somewhat, and travel habits have changed. According to the “2022 Summer Travel Market Trend Report” released by Ctrip, as of July 10, users who purchased tickets 1-5 days in advance accounted for a 16% increase compared to 2019.
  • Some popular tourist cities, such as Beihai, Haikou, Chengdu, Changsha, etc., have recently discovered cases one after another, which may affect the willingness to travel. (Intern Zeng Xing)

Cloud, the new headquarters of Silicon Valley VC a16z

The well-known venture capital firm a16z announced on Thursday (July 21) that it would abandon its Silicon Valley headquarters, and the future headquarters will be located in the cloud. The reason is that Silicon Valley’s “network effect” has diminished as more tech companies opt for remote or hybrid work models.

  • What it means is that Silicon Valley may have been born by chance at first, but then network effects make it a place where tech companies congregate. That is, the more companies move to Silicon Valley, the more attractive Silicon Valley is to technology companies, such as the easier it is to find good talent.

But the epidemic has interrupted this “stronger is stronger” path. a16z said that he also came to Silicon Valley and has set up its headquarters here since its establishment in 2009. However, during the epidemic, companies were forced to learn remote work, and then found that although remote work has various problems, it is better than forcing employees to work every day. It’s easier to get to work on time, so nearly every company is turning to remote or hybrid work.

a16z also decided to leave. But they also don’t work entirely online. a16z still retains its original headquarters in Menlo Park and San Francisco offices, and has added 3 offices in Miami Beach, New York, and Santa Monica.

  • Miami is considered a fast-growing VC market, especially in the Web3 space;
  • Santa Monica is a seaside city, only 22 kilometers away from downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles has gathered many technology start-ups in recent years, and the amount of venture capital attracted can rank among the top five in the United States;
  • New York’s 2021 VC deal value exceeds $50 billion, accounting for 16.6% of the total U.S. VC market value.

a16z says this is a “new operating model”, but uses a cryptic description:

  • “We work mostly virtual, but use our physical presence to develop our culture, help entrepreneurs, build relationships. Organizations are virtual, but can be physical when the need arises.”
  • Organizations will thus be configured to be able to rapidly deploy physically all over the world.

“Abandoning the Silicon Valley headquarters” is indeed reminiscent of a16z’s own advocacy for the concept of “decentralized” Web 3 .

  • In May of this year, a16z launched its fourth cryptocurrency fund worth $4.5 billion, adding to the previous cumulative $7.6 billion, far exceeding its peers.
  • Investments cover almost all Web 3 fields, from public chains, DeFi, to NFTs, games, and the metaverse.

But like most of Web 3 in reality, a16z just abandoned some form of “centralization”, such as “physical headquarters”, and still retains the “centralization” of how it operates – which is often the core. (Lin Guangying)

China’s game revenue and user numbers fall for the first time

According to the report of the Game Work Committee, from January to June 2022, the actual sales revenue of China’s game market was 147.789 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 1.80%, which was the first year-on-year decline in seven years. The number of game users decreased by 0.13% year-on-year.

  • In the first half of the year, the revenue of mobile games with a market share of more than 70% decreased by 3.74% year-on-year;
  • The client game market rose slightly, up 2.85% year-on-year;
  • The market size of web games dropped to less than RMB 3 billion.
  • In the first half of 2022, the actual sales revenue of self-developed games in overseas markets was US$8.989 billion, and the year-on-year growth rate slowed to 6.16%.


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The downturn in the game industry in the first half of the year was under pressure from both the demand and supply sides. On the demand side, you can refer to the game industry prosperity clock model proposed by Zheshang Securities. The revenue of the game industry is affected by users’ leisure time and income expectations. In the first half of this year, the control of the epidemic was tightened, and the leisure time for playing games increased. However, due to the negative impact of the epidemic on the economy, the user’s expected income has declined, and it is prone to “liver but not krypton”.

On the supply side, the release of the version number has resumed, but the current game development and update cycle is generally slow. In the first month’s running list of new games in the first five months of this year, although “Civilization and Conquest” ranked first with over 500 million yuan, but The second and third places were only over 300 million yuan and 200 million yuan respectively. In the same period last year, the first month turnover of five new games exceeded 400 million yuan. (intern Xue Yujie)

The “Big Mac Index” resumes updating, and the per capita GDP is included in the calculation parameters

In 1986, “The Economist” magazine invented the “Big Mac Index”, which evaluates the overvaluation or undervaluation of currencies in different regions by comparing the price of McDonald’s Big Mac burgers around the world and international exchange rates. McDonald’s products are chosen because they are available all over the world and are made from the same materials and processes.

According to the “Big Mac Index” updated on July 20, the Big Mac sells for 4.65 euros in the euro area and 5.15 dollars in the United States, and the implied exchange rate is 1 dollar to 0.9 euros. The market exchange rate is 1 US dollar to 0.98 euros, which means that the euro is undervalued by 7.5%.

  • There is also a calculation method that incorporates the GDP per capita indicator of each country. Still comparing the prices of Big Macs in Europe and the United States, if the impact of the difference in per capita GDP between the two places is included, the Eurozone Big Macs should be 11.2% cheaper than the United States, which means that the euro is overvalued by 7.5%.
  • The euro was born in 1999, when the exchange rate of the euro against the dollar was 1:1.18, almost all economists predicted that the euro would continue to appreciate, only the “Big Mac Index” speculated that it would depreciate, and then the exchange rate of the euro fell to 1:0.82.

However, the inventor of the index himself said that it is not an accurate exchange rate assessment standard, and there are certain limitations. Economists point out that prices for non-transactional services may vary in different countries, and that Big Mac prices are affected by local costs such as labor, raw materials, etc., but these are not a reflection of relative monetary value.

  • It is for this reason that The Economist has re-adjusted the “Big Mac Index” to include GDP per capita in the new index, an indicator that can weaken the impact of labor costs on the actual purchase price of hamburgers. (intern Xue Yujie)

CHART OF THE DAY丨The 10 richest people in the world lost $158.9 billion in half a year


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Compared with the list in March this year , the top ten members have not changed; in order, India’s richest man Gautam Adani has risen from 10th to 4th, and Google founder Larry Page has surpassed Warren Buffett , other unchanged.


100 Ways Video Websites Make Money.

This week, Youku was on the hot search because of the separate charges for the screencasting service. Paid members said that the platform charges the rights and interests that should have been included in the paid service for a second time. Youku responded that “VIP membership rights do not include screencasting” and upgraded to Kumiao VIP members can cast the screen.

  • Youku VIP is 15 yuan per month and 178 yuan per year, and is suitable for computers, mobile phones and tablets.
  • Cool Meow VIP is 35 yuan per month, 288 yuan per year (original price 488 yuan), suitable for TV, computer, mobile phone and tablet.

Pinduoduo expands its business scope in Hong Kong, China.

According to media reports, Pinduoduo has recently allowed consumers in Hong Kong to use Visa and Mastercard to pay, and some goods will be handled directly by Pinduoduo without the need for a third-party transshipment service.

Yuanqi Forest plans to launch sugar-free cola-flavored sparkling water.

Yuanqi Forest plans to launch a sugar-free cola-flavored sparkling water that uses the natural sugar substitute erythritol, and does not contain chemical synthetic additives and preservatives. However, within Yuanqi Forest, this product is a “try it” mentality. It is said that Tang Binsen once said internally that it is “a product with a high probability of failure.”

Yamaha, which sells music equipment, lost $250 million in revenue due to a lack of chips.

Yamaha is best known for its pianos, but more sales come from electronic musical instruments such as electric keyboards, audio equipment, and more. Yamaha said a few days ago that it had a potential loss of about 35 billion yen (about $250 million) in the last fiscal year (as of March this year) and is expected to lose 30 billion yen this year due to chip shortages. Management said many of the instruments could respond to chip shortages by changing their designs, but high-end audio gear had to be chosen carefully to avoid sound changes.

Magic Core did not deny the “abolition”, but said that operations are still ongoing and new applications are being prepared.

Magic Core is a digital collection distribution platform under Tencent. According to the “China Times”, regarding the news of the ” magic core being abolished “, the magic core said that it has not received the relevant notice, and the current operation is business as usual. It is preparing for a new version of the APP (application) and upgrading the experience of the old collection, and the release of the new collection will be held. Postponed. However, the report emphasized that the Phantom Nuclear did not deny the “removal”, nor did it say the news was a “rumor”.

GAC Aian plans to establish a power battery company.

According to people familiar with the matter, GAC Aian is preparing to build a power battery company and a power battery mass production line, and plans to achieve independent and controllable power battery supply. At the previous 2022 World Power Battery Conference, Zeng Qinghong, chairman of GAC Group, said that the cost of power batteries accounts for 40%-60% of the total cost of vehicles, and is still increasing. It is reported that GAC Aion has invested nearly 1 billion yuan in battery self-development and production, and independently developed Aion power battery technology group.

The audit institution of Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. has its practice certificate cancelled.

On July 21, the Guangdong Provincial Department of Finance revoked the practice certificate of Guangdong Genzon Zhujiang Certified Public Accountants, which used to be the auditor of Kangmei Pharmaceutical. Last year, due to the Kangmei Pharmaceutical case, Zhengzhong Zhujiang was sentenced to bear joint and several liability of 2.459 billion yuan. Wind data shows that after the Kangmei Pharmaceutical case, the number of listed companies that hired Genzon Pearl River to undertake annual report audits decreased by 60, and the number of listed companies that it undertook to audit annual reports was reduced to zero last year.

Lin Zhiying drove a Tesla in a car accident and caught fire. The cause of the accident is not yet clear.

On July 22, the Tesla Model X driven by artist Lin Zhiying collided with the dividing island between the roads and caught fire. Police said the driver was not driving under the influence of alcohol. In response to this, Tesla’s customer service said that the cause of the fire was not yet clear, and there was no flammable material near the driver’s seat.

The cross-border digital container logistics platform “Platypus” received 330 million yuan in financing.

This is the C-round financing of the platypus, led by CICC SAIC Fund, a subsidiary of CICC Capital. The official stated that the purpose of financing is to support the launch of its service network in multiple ports, and to carry out digital development of container transportation at the same time. It is estimated that the valuation after this round of investment is 2.8 billion yuan. Platypus was established in 2017. Its main business is to develop container logistics software and provide container road transportation services for international freight forwarders and factories.

Gansu has reported a total of 377 confirmed cases and 1,834 asymptomatic infections in this round.

  • On July 21, there were 106 new confirmed cases in the mainland, 52 in Gansu, including 21 in Guangxi and 10 in Guangdong. There were 774 new asymptomatic infections in the mainland, including 527 in Gansu, 132 in Guangxi and 44 in Anhui.
  • Guangxi added “21+132”, of which Beihai added “20+124”, and the number of positive social cases in Beihai City is decreasing day by day.
  • Gansu added “52+517”, and Lanzhou added “50+202”.
  • As of July 21, Gansu has reported a total of “377+1834” of local cases in this epidemic.
  • Chengdu has newly added “3+2”. A total of 61 local positive infections have been reported in this round of epidemic in Chengdu, which is currently on the rise.
  • This round of local epidemics in Shaanxi has all been cleared.

Swiss watch exports to China fell to $238 million in June.

In the first half of this year, Swiss watch exports rose 12 percent to CHF 11.9 billion, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. In June, the United States increased by 20%, and the Chinese market rebounded, but it still fell by 6% year-on-year, which may be related to the high base. In the same period last year, the value of Swiss watch exports to China was almost double what it was before the epidemic.

Lei Jun poached the original Wuling marketing executive who packaged the MINI EV.

According to Yicai, Zhou Zhen, the former deputy general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling Sales Company, will join Xiaomi in August as the head of marketing, reporting directly to Lei Jun. The most popular model of SAIC-GM-Wuling is the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV. As of June this year, it has ranked first in sales of new energy vehicles for 22 consecutive months. Xiaomi Automobile officially announced the production of the car in March last year. Last week, it was reported that the engineering prototype car was unveiled in August. Xiaomi responded that it is “absolutely impossible”.

Luxury footwear brand Manolo Blahnik has won a trademark battle to remove barriers to opening a store in China.

The famous “red-soled shoes” brand Manolo Blahnik from the United Kingdom is famous for the TV series “Sex and the City”, but it has been unable to officially enter the mainland market under its real name because it was the first to register the trademark “MANOLO & BLAHNIK” by the domestic shoe industry in 1999. . Manolo Blahnik has been suing the other party for infringement since 1999. In July this year, the Supreme People’s Court of China ruled in his favor. The person in charge expressed the hope to enter the Chinese market in the second half of 2023.

Snap’s revenue missed expectations, and management didn’t know how long the downturn would last.

Snap’s second-quarter revenue growth rate (13%), a social software used by young people in Europe and the United States, was far below market expectations and its own guidance , and its loss expanded 1.7 times to $422 million. Management said it was unable to judge how long the weak macro environment would last or the specific impact of the macro environment and TikTok competition on performance.

Ford will use the lithium iron phosphate battery from the Ningde era.

Ford said on Thursday that it plans to purchase lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries from CATL for use in electric pickups and SUVs sold in the North American market, which is expected to reduce battery costs by 10% to 15%. Compared with ternary lithium batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries have shorter cruising range, but lower cost and higher safety factor. As the profit pressure of electric vehicles increases, car companies including Tesla have begun to use lithium iron phosphate batteries . .

ByteDance’s lobbying spending in the U.S. hit a new high in the second quarter of this year, while Huawei declined.

According to media reports, ByteDance spent at least $2.1 million to lobby in the United States in the second quarter of this year; Huawei spent $750,000, a sharp drop from last year. The lobbying spending of several Silicon Valley giants is not low. For example, Amazon’s lobbying spending of $4.98 million has hit a new high.

Text | Gong Fangyi, Lin Guangying, and intern Xue Yujie Intern Zeng Xing

Editor | Gong Fangyi

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