Here's how China is building the car of the future

True, China has a long way to go. The world’s second largest economy still doesn't have any top-notch car manufacturers. Western companies look at the Chinese market as important for their sales, but not with regard to technological innovations.

Just how could China get the upper hand? The key race in the global automotive industry is all about the connected car – what China’s automotive industry leaders dub the “Internet of Vehicles”. It is important to realize that China has a number of natural advantages in this arena – as well as less “natural” ones.

Soccer: Xi Jinping's newest "China Dream"

Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” – his catchword for a future where the Chinese people "dare to dream, work assiduously to fulfill the dreams and contribute to the revitalization of the nation" – is unfolding in a new dimension.  An avid soccer fan, the Chinese President wants to make sure that his country is on a fast track to earn its proper spot in the top ranks of the world’s most popular sport.

To that end, he is committed to deploying the country’s sizable manpower and planning resources.  He can also count on big financial resources devoted to the cause.

Panama Papers show that it’s all in the family for Xi Jinping

China’s president would like to be seen as the boss who cleans up in his own shop by weeding out corruption among the country’s elites. But Mr. Clean now has a serious problem. The Panama Papers, published by Süddeutsche Zeitung along with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists exposed the shady financial dealings of at least eight family members of China’s ruling class who set up shell companies in tax havens to hide their wealth. Among those implicated is Xi’s brother-in-law Deng Jiagui.

Think digital! Why China's leaders love the Internet (Part 4 of MERICS series)


Governments all over the world try to adapt to the changing technical environment created by the internet, IT-systems, and data analysis. Political decisions often lag behind state-of-the-art information technologies or even ignore their potential. China’s leaders, a group of 60-plus aged male engineers, could not be further removed from being digital natives. It seems hard to believe that they would effectively employ digital solutions in China’s development strategy. But China’s 13th five-year plan shows that they do just that, and that they do it in a very smart way.

MERICS reads the 13th five-year plan for you (Part 1: Ten things to note)


1. Less bureaucratic style. Poetry it is not, but as far as Communist five-year plans go, this year’s document is written in a much clearer language than its predecessor. The 13th five-year plan uses less bureaucratic and more down-to-earth language. At the same time, it prefers detailed policy prescriptions to abstract goals – and is therefore considerably longer than the 12th five-year plan.