China's commitment to climate change is lukewarm, but they're all-in on fixing their air pollution problem. It's abundantly clear that internal combustion has a very short future in China. Western manufacturers need to face up to the electric future in a real hurry.
They met their Paris targets early, the US pulled out last year amid being a decade behind on meeting it's commitment and threatened the entire stability of the agreement by doing so.
Most of the Western world isn't on target despite having lower goals than China.
I'm interested in who exactly isn't "lukewarm"?
This isn’t really fair to say. The „Paris targets“ are just global temperature goals, the actual emission targets were nationally (i.e. individually) chosen afterwards and very different, as well as being defined as „emission reductions per unit of GDP“ for developing countries while the US‘ was absolute. As a result, China‘s emissions will peak somewhere around 2030 while the US has to reduce emissions dramatically till then.
Here‘s a visualization:
Their 'commitment' allows them to perpetually increase their pollution levels with zero concern for consequences. Nothing happens to China if they fail to hit their numbers. They get to dramatically increase their pollution output over the next decade and still meet the laughable target. Which is exactly what they're doing now, by going on a massive coal power plant building spree. It's entirely a fake voluntary system meant for propaganda show, nothing more. Simultaneously there's no entity capable of enforcing anything on China nor any entity with the ability to accurately assess China's figures either direction.
In order to recover their image they were forced to announce and actually work on full line-up of electric vehicles and their target is 2020. Even with delays that's going to be sooner than any other company. They've been working on the technology for quite some time. Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron are to come out this year AFAIR.
Also those are EVs that actually look like cars and not kitchen appliances from Axiom (Wall-e movie spaceship) which is something I also think is missing from the market. I can't comprehend what the car companies try to achieve with the designs and separate models.
Right now I can choose between petrol and diesel for my Golf, Volvo V40 or Hyundai Elantra. Just add electric power train to the offering and be done with it. I want EV for the performance, cost savings, environment or whatever other reason might be but I don't want any of the dorky design cues most EV vehicles present.
How can you so easily come to that conclusion? One could equally conclude, that they've cheated us once, and they'll do it again.
It would be amazing to reach a point where you could get a decent new car for around $15,000.
Through leasing, rental etc. is how a lot of cars are delivered to the market. It is beneficial for a manufacturer to have the opportunity to sell a new car and know that there will be lots of pretty-new in great condition cars on the second hand market after a while. Which will help drive brand perception.
Irrational? Yes. Though nothing wrong with that, had it not been for a fact that it is also a huge and short-lived investment.
I’m fine with buying a luxury car until after I buy my own house.
Just buy a used car like everyone else.
Commercial jets come pretty close. They have such ridiculous safety standards and regulations, I'd be happy to bet that we'll Chinese consumer cars before we see Chinese commercial jets.
On the other hand, I don't think that China rising is a bad thing, and it will make a world a better place, since USA and its allies can't compete with China with wars (though there are some pathetic attempts) but you probably must put all that war budget money and effort into research and infrastructure.
Possibly this is a huge win-win for the whole world. Or we end up in flames if there is enough stupidity and solving things by war and force.
It'll have 400 million people in an integrated single market, with the dominate culture in a liberal democracy. The rest of the world isn't actually ever going to learn Mandarin the way it has English. The language is far too difficult for that to occur and there's very little benefit to doing so. Which is also why that isn't happening right now despite China having the world's #2 economy. The growth of Mandarin outside of China is almost non-existent.
Liberal democracies in Europe are going to take their marching orders from an authoritarian dictatorship? Zero chance of that. China's system is fundamentally incompatible with liberal values, it will always cause an us-vs-them conflict.
China's authoritarian, repressive system will also not allow it to ever become culturally dominate. Few countries will accept the requirements that come with that pact. Just their lack of any gradient of free speech guarantees they can never become culturally dominate.
There are no other great powers in Western culture that can supplant the US. Germany, the UK and France are not suddenly going to increase their populations by 4x or 8x such that they'll become enormous powers with massive economies (and able to pay for a powerful military with global projection). Canada and Australia are also out of the running from the start due to that.
Japan hasn't had economic growth in decades and has a declining population with an even worse government debt situation than the US. They have no military of consequence. Nothing about their situation looks primed to change any time soon.
South Korea looks to have a potent future, however their population is far too small to become a superpower.
India has a GDP per capita of $2,000. Their biggest worry has to be getting caught in the low income trap, not even the middle income trap which is what China is about to get stuck in. India could do most things right and still not be a superpower 40-50 years later. It'll take two decades for them to catch up to where Russia is at today in global positioning when it comes to politics / influence / military, and Russia is now very far away from being a superpower.
So who else is left? Nobody. It's the US and China with everybody else a million miles away. Countries with liberal values - which is nearly every single high GDP per capita country - are all going to align with the US perpetually, so long as it remains on the liberal democratic side. That liberal alignment is political, economic and military. China has no real allies other than North Korea. Being a superpower without having all the advanced, liberal, rich countries as allies, leaves you as a paper superpower boxed in at every turn; whereas the US can project globally nearly at will precisely because it has so many alliances with other advanced, liberal, powerful nations.
>>There is just no way to compete.
We used to think the same about Japan. Japan reigned supreme in consumer electronics, motor cycles, cars ,and was taking large chunks of the mainframe market. It was 'obvious' then that Japan would take over the computer industry, in particularly with its statist
Just because we can't see now who will compete with China, doesn't mean nobody will.
China: 1.3 billion people.
Japan: 377k sqkm.
China: 9.56 million sqkm.
China is following exactly the same path as South Korea or Japan, but it's a huge country, not a medium sized one.
Somehow I doubt China will stop at regional power level, considering all its resources pretty much guarantee it being #1 in the world, by far, if they're managed by a half-decent government.
And nota bene, China has such a huge scale that it doesn't need to be fully democratic and fully developed to still be #1 by far. If the average Chinese citizen will produce half or one third of what the average US citizen does, the Chinese economy will still dwarf the US one, due to sheer population sizes.
On the other side, China is also raising its first generations of people born in middle class, who are starting to expect social government. From health care to the environment, to safe and comfortable jobs. We will have to see if those things will burden China as they burden Japan, the EU and the US.
China's population size is a game changer. If they manage to get most their people well-educated and contributing on the competitive stage, it's like comparing a GPU to a CPU. China has more honor students than the USA has students. At some point that starts to make a very real difference.
In the geopolitical space, it's not clear the analogy is on-point either. China can move quickly in some areas (e.g., staff up 100,000 manufacturing hands in a week), but it'll be much slower to adapt to foreign cultures and standards of civil liberties that are the norm in most western countries. For example, it's hard to imagine them developing a messaging app, or image analysis app that would convince U.S. users to trust and use.
It's not like China has been signaling a lack of interest in this area, quite the opposite.
The USA is going to increasingly interfere in China's progress through other means, like crippling the economy, effectively starving the GPU of amps. If it doesn't, things are going to get interesting real quick.
Not countering this policy early on was naive on behalf of US/European politics.
Thr flaw in the argument is that China essentially does not honor these protections. So if a foreign company invents something and wxports this knowledge to China, a purely Chinese run company will soon after build an essentially equal product without having to spend mony on any of the expensive R&D to actually develop that tech. This potentially ruinous asymmetry is not accounted for at all.
The designs won many iF and RedDot design awards.
Check these out: https://www.motor1.com/news/99708/10-best-kia-designs-list/
The U.S. should not be afraid of China emulating our technological prowess, we should be afraid when they start challenging our values.
- Freedom of speech gives corporate and foreign agents unlimited influence over the democratic process.
- Freedom of movement is devastating communities in both the sources and sinks of mass internal migration.
- The free market is delivering greater and greater returns to a smaller and smaller group of people.
Those freedoms aren’t, like, self-evidently good for outcomes. If we are to stay committed to the principles, we’re going to have to acknowledge and accept thier costs, because those costs are going to be the top political issues for the foreseeable future.
Now something like autopilot is another thing where US could lead the market. But it seems like science fiction to me, I don't believe that I'll see it on my streets anytime soon.
The concept is that after winning the contract (sometimes at a price below their own costs, in order to beat competing manufacturers), the Chinese manufacturer increases their profit margin by "optimizing" the product design - using cheaper components or omitting parts without the knowledge of the buyer, until the products are rejected.
Here's an article I found from a random search on "Quality Fade" . For a counter-viewpoint, the China Law Blog  argues it isn't Quality Fade if customers still buy the products. It was written in response to a recall of 23,000 Chinese-made cars in Australia after they were found to have asbestos in their engine gaskets. Great Wall Motor had argued that "their own in-house testing [had] concluded that the asbestos was not a danger to human bodies" .
The baby formula example that a sibling poster mentioned is another. Where I live the supermarkets have had to limit customers to 1-2 tins of formula each because people were buying trolleys full of it to ship to China, where middle-class Chinese buy it because they can't trust locally sold formula to be safe for their babies.
The argument in  that if customers still buy products then everything is fine, when in fact both the immediate client and the end customer are being defrauded, just underscores the mindset behind the problem. Any company (local or foreign) doing serious fabrication in a country like China needs their own comprehensive QC system in place to oversee the entire build process.
I applaud the poster for stating that the veracity of his memory is debatable instead of certain. I wish people would do it more often.
Now, Western companies are no saints (e. g. VW Diesel scandal). But a better system of checks and controls keeps them accountable.
But its share in Global car sales is just 9.2%