The banks involved in the Twitter acquisition have given up on forming a syndicated loan into a syndicated loan for the participating banks in the Twitter acquisition

The bank that provided $13 billion in financing for Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter Inc. has abandoned plans to sell bonds to investors because of uncertainty about the social media company’s fate and losses, Reuters said Oct. 22, citing people familiar with the matter. The debt package for the Twitter deal included junk-rated loans, as well as secured and unsecured bonds. Instead of syndicating the debt, as such acquisitions typically do, the banks plan to keep it on their balance sheets until more investors favor it, sources said. The banks, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Barclays, declined to comment. (Interface News)

Huawei Mate 40 Pro, Mate 40E / 5G now support “memory upgrade” service

Huawei announced today that HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro, HUAWEI Mate 40E 5G and HUAWEI Mate 40E have now joined the “memory upgrade” service to upgrade the storage space for older models.

On July 29th last year, Huawei launched a memory upgrade service for old users with HarmonyOS 2 optimization, allowing the phone ROM storage space to be upgraded to 128G or more, at the “Wanxiang New Life” flagship launch event.

In terms of pricing, the storage memory upgrade for designated models starts at 389 yuan, but those that can be upgraded for 389 yuan are basically very old models, such as the Mate9 series, Mate10 series, Mate20 series, P10 series, Honor 9, Honor 10, etc. The latest Mate 40 Pro is currently a minimum of 559 yuan and a maximum of 1199 yuan.

At present, Huawei “memory upgrade” service has supported Mate 9 ~ Mate 40 series, P10 ~ P40 series, nova 2S to nova7 series, Enjoy 10 series, etc. Users can purchase through Huawei Mall or apply directly to the store, more than 1,900 Huawei customer service centers across the country can provide services. You can also apply for repair services online.

Gaode Map iOS version 12.0.3 released: adapted to iPhone 14 Pro / Max Lingdong Island, support walking, driving navigation

Gaode Maps today released version 12.0.3 for iOS, adding support for iPhone 14 Pro Lingering Island, which supports walking and driving navigation. In addition, it brings the 3D view of virtual reality, city-level immersive navigation and so on.

Currently, based on the view engine, Gaode Map has implemented the complete 3D view capability in 6 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, and “3D layers” have been launched in most cities across China to achieve some 3D view effects. In addition to browsing natural scenery and city landmarks, 3D View also provides the ability to showcase shopping centers, shopping streets and other lifestyle services.

Apple previously said that Smart Island gives users a new way to interact with their iPhone, blurring the boundaries between hardware and software and displaying important alerts, notifications and events in real-time changes. With the introduction of Lingering Island, the native camera has been redesigned to take up less display space. Without interfering with the display of on-screen content, Lingering Island stays active, allowing users to access control options with just a long press. Activities that remain in the background, such as maps, music apps, or timers, are always visible and interactable. It also works with third-party apps in iOS 16 that provide information through “live activity” such as race scores and carpooling information, blurring the line between hardware and software and expanding flexibly into a variety of shapes to clearly present important actions such as face ID verification.

Read moreElectric car company Arrival plans to restructure its business and refocus on the U.S. market

(Dow Jones Newswires) Oct. 21 — Electric car company Arrival will refocus its resources on the U.S. market while further advancing its technology, the company said Thursday local time. The company said the decision was driven by tax breaks recently announced as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as addressable market size and the potential for better margins. Arrival said it will continue to produce a small number of vans in Bicester to optimize microfactory processes and support trials with customers. (Interface)

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Shanghai Post: EMS overall normal operation, efforts to ensure the safety and smooth delivery services

On October 22, China Post Group Corporation Shanghai Branch said that Shanghai Postal EMS is generally operating normally, individual areas are affected by the surrounding epidemic prevention and control requirements, the delivery time may have some delay, please understand the general public. Shanghai Post said it will do its best to strengthen personnel protection and health testing, do a good job of mail and express mail disinfection, and strive to ensure the safety and smooth delivery service. (Surfing News)

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Xiaomi: 10 million cars built per year

10 million vehicles, hard!

Yesterday, Lei Jun, the founder of Xiaomi, sent out a series of tweets sharing his views on the electric car industry, which is also a response to the high concern of “rice fans” on the topic of Xiaomi’s car manufacturing.

The manufacturing threshold of electric vehicles is significantly lower than that of gasoline vehicles. 30,000 parts are highly modular, and the cost of batteries has dropped 80% in the past decade, and it is believed that there will be at least 50% cost reduction in the future.

Electric vehicle is a kind of electronic consumer product with intelligence, software and user experience as its core. The nature of the automotive industry will shift from mechanical development to an electronic consumer product, and market share is even more highly concentrated in the hands of top players.

When the electric car industry matures, the top 5 global brands will occupy more than 80% of the market share. In other words, the only way for Xiaomi to succeed is to be among the top 5 and ship more than 10 million cars per year. Competition in the electric vehicle market will be brutal.

This is not a new idea; he expressed something similar in the book “Thinking about Xiaomi’s Venture”. In the book, he not only predicted the shipments, but also gave a time limit for the race: 15-20 years.

Lei Jun set an extremely ambitious goal for Xiaomi to build a car, and also set a big tone for the future pattern of the industry – after 15-20 years of trial and error, adjustment, and elimination, the surviving electric car head enterprises should have the ability to ship 10 million units annually.

Compared to Li Bin’s “expectation to be among the top five in the industry in 2030” and Huawei’s Yu Chengdong’s vague statement that “there will be no more than five major players” in electric vehicles, Lei Jun directly erased the room for sloppy play.

Just, the annual shipments of more than 10 million vehicles, how good to reach?

In 2021, only Toyota Group sales exceeded 10 million units. The most serious epidemic in 2020, no global car companies annual sales of more than 10 million units. 2016-2019, three car companies annual sales of more than 10 million units each year, but all less than 11 million units. The first time a car company crossed the 10 million annual sales mark was in 2014 – 106 years after the Ford Model T was mass-produced. And those sales were accomplished by the group’s brands together, not by a single brand.

If shipments exceed 10 million units per year, shipments would have to exceed 830,000 units in a single month. From the electric car manufacturers wholesale sales in September this year, the first BYD more than 200,000 units (pure electric and hybrid), the second Tesla China 83,000 units, SAIC-GM-Wuling relying on God car also sold more than 52,000 units, behind there is no monthly sales of more than 50,000 new energy car companies, even monthly shipments of more than 10,000 units are only 15.

And new entrants to enhance production capacity is not an easy task, even Musk has slept in the factory and workers together with a difficult walk through the “production territory”. In the number of factories, Toyota has more than 40 factories around the world; Tesla has four super factories for the production of vehicles and two factories for the production of batteries and accessories, including the Shanghai Super Factory expansion to reach an annual capacity of 750,000 units – to complete Lei Jun’s goal, Xiaomi will need 14 such factories. It is understood that Xiaomi Auto will build a complete car factory in Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone in two phases, the cumulative annual production capacity of the factory is expected to be 300,000 units, the first and second phase of production capacity of 150,000 units.

In short, to reach the goal of “shipping more than 10 million units per year” is quite difficult.

Can the experience of the smartphone market be used to predict the electric vehicle market? There is no way to compare the speed of smartphone penetration in the world with that of electric vehicles. There is a set of data: the median smartphone ownership in developed countries is 76%, and even in developing countries the median is 45%. And the first half of this year, China’s electric car ownership is only 3.2%. Therefore, the penetration of electric vehicles is unlikely to complete the global user “re-education” in just ten years like smartphones. Moreover, the rise of smartphones has kicked most feature phone giants off the table, because smartphones and feature phones are two completely different things – and electric cars dare to say they are two completely different things from fuel cars? Today you don’t use your smartphone and life is almost inching along. It’s always unlikely that someday in the future you won’t be able to get around without driving an electric car – unless you’re not allowed to get gas.

Compared to a smartphone that you can buy and use, an electric car needs a series of infrastructure such as charging pads to work properly on the road, and in most developing countries, this will take a relatively long process. If the infrastructure is not solved, the imagined explosion of electric vehicles will hardly come as expected. Even in China, the distribution of charging piles is very uneven, and part of the EV user experience is still limited by the number of charging piles and charging speed.

In addition, can Xiaomi reproduce the supply chain integration capability in the EV sector that it has shown in the cell phone and other consumer electronics sectors? Will it be able to get its share of the limited production capacity of car gauge chips and power batteries, and the situation that each family fights for it? Management of 10 million vehicles production capacity, but also a long time to settle.

Lei Jun also said, “the nature of the automotive industry will turn from mechanical development to electronic consumer products”, does it mean that the future of the car will be as frequent as the replacement of cell phones, so that it may be easier to reach 10 million annual shipments. But there is a problem: everyone is so rich to change cars, where do the parking spaces come from?

Financing 400 million, Luo Yonghao’s goal is 10,000 billion

AR Startups
AR Startups

Luo Yonghao’s AR venture project has completed angel financing with a total amount of 400 million yuan, led by Meituan.

Since June this year, Luo Yonghao founded the AR technology company “Thin Red Line”, which is a completely high-flying starting point in terms of financing.

The first choice is the oddly high valuation. At the beginning of the financing, Luo Yonghao valuation quoted 2 billion yuan, but after a series of twists and turns, it is now down to 1-1.5 billion yuan. But even so, also already belongs to the “super high valuation”.

From the primary market, it is clear that it is an angel round company, but the starting valuation has rushed to CD round or even Pre-IPO round; from the secondary market, taking 25 companies on the science and technology innovation board as reference, a company with a market value of 1 billion must have a net profit of at least 20 million yuan.

Secondly, the amount of financing is very high: the starting point is 400 million yuan.

What exactly does “Thin Red Line” do and how is it worth so much?

According to Luo Yonghao’s public disclosure, the company’s business is positioned as the “Apple of AR”: in the AR era, it is the first to make a 2007 iPhone+iOS thing. This includes 2 heavyweight products: one is hardware (AR hardware), such as glasses; the other is AR system, similar to the operating system of cell phones.

From the order of priority, Luo Yonghao will do the system first, then the hardware (after 5 years). Referring to the cell phone industry, any one of these two tracks of products made, may sprint trillion market value (refer to Apple, Google market value).

There are two core issues of entrepreneurial success or failure: one, is this an opportunity; two, is this your opportunity.

From Luo Yonghao’s past entrepreneurial history, his success or failure and the second question is more relevant. That is to say, whether Luo Yonghao can make, depends on who he is competing with.

Do hammer phone, Luo Yonghao in the opportunity to judge is accurate: 2010-2016 is the era of the Internet cell phone wind up, millet, hammer, small pepper, big cola ……

But he failed, one of the core reasons: he ran into Lei Jun in competition. Luo Yonghao is also a super entrepreneur, but he is weaker than Lei Jun in terms of team formation, supply chain, commercialization and other issues.

As a result, Internet cell phones have been winding up for 5-6 years, and eventually there is only 1 winner left – that is Xiaomi, which eats 100 billion yuan of market share in the cell phone industry every year (2017). And in 2016, Hammer Mobile’s revenue was only 809 million yuan – a complete loss of opportunity to beat Lei Jun.

Pencil Road believes that Luo Yonghao’s venture is the same: how it ends up depends on his competitors.

Let’s look at the short term first: Who are Luo’s competitors in the next 5 years? All companies that do AR systems.

What is the current competitive landscape of the AR system track?

Luo Yonghao has played a misaligned competition to reduce the competitive pressure. The law of development of any industry is “hardware first”, and Pencil Road found that: in the AR industry, the strategy of most giants is still “hardware first, then software”.

Video | Pan’s adventures in the Metaverse: A decade of China’s changes

Remarkable changes have taken place under the leadership of the Communist Party of China in the past 10 years. Let’s follow Pan’s adventures in the Metaverse for an insight into how far China has advanced in pursuit of national rejuvenation in the past decade.

(Produced by Zhang Jian and Ni Tao; Intern Wu Meiqi also contributed to this video)

Forbidden City eyes stronger ties with Taipei peer

A view of the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum, from Jingshan Park, which is north of the structure, in Beijing on Sept 10, 2020. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]
A view of the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum, from Jingshan Park, which is north of the structure, in Beijing on Sept 10, 2020. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

The Palace Museum in Beijing hopes to hold a joint exhibition with its counterpart in Taipei at the newly opened Hong Kong Palace Museum in the future, said Wang Xudong, director of the museum, which is also known as the Forbidden City, at a news conference on Thursday.

“We are one family bound by blood and share the same roots. Why don’t we have more communication and cultural exchanges?” Wang said to journalists from home and abroad attending a news conference in Beijing during the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

After the civil war in the late 1940s, some of the art collections from Beijing’s Forbidden City were transported to Taiwan and housed at the Palace Museum in Taipei built in 1962. A delegate to the congress, Wang said he wishes the two palace museums can “talk with each other” and cooperate on academic research and relic protections in the future.

“Only if we talk with each other can we have the chance to realize future cooperation. The Palace Museum welcomes all the possibilities to work with its counterpart in Taipei,” Wang said.

The museum director called for a joint show with the Taipei museum. Wang said a suitable venue may be Hong Kong’s palace museum, which opened to the public in July, a milestone cross-boundary cultural collaboration between the cities of Beijing and Hong Kong.

“It’s my sincere wish that the three palace museums in Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong can curate together on exhibitions to show Chinese culture,” he said. Before COVID-19 disruptions, the two palace museums in Beijing and Taipei carried out many cultural exchanges, such as joint shows and academic sessions.

Icebreaking exchanges between the two museums started in 2009 when their then directors visited each other. A joint show — Harmony and Integrity: The Yongzheng Emperor and His Times — was held in Taipei that year. Later, the masterpiece ink painting Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, parts of which were collected by the two museums, was exhibited together in Taipei in 2011.

Wang said he visited Taipei’s Palace Museum twice as director of the Dunhuang Academy in Gansu province, but he has not had the chance to visit it again since he took up his role heading the Palace Museum in Beijing in 2019.

“I’m looking forward to visiting again and sincerely invite them to visit us,” Wang said.

Wang worked at the Dunhuang Academy from 1991 to 2019. The academy focuses on studies and preservation of the Mogao Caves, which houses fine Buddhist art and is known for its exquisite murals and Buddha statues.