Smooth operator
Oct 19, 2018 (WiC 428)
“A steward put down a glass of water and it didn’t even tremor”

John Kerry, former US Secretary of State, marvels at China’s high-speed train technology, recounting to the Financial Times how he travelled “at 300mph” on a bullet train. He said America’s fastest train maxes out at 150mph and “can’t go fast over the Chesapeake River because it will wind up in the Chesapeake. This is absurd.”

Coffee on the go
Oct 5, 2018 (WiC 427)
“I think we’ll overtake them [Starbucks] in store numbers”

Luckin Coffee co-founder Guo Jinyi tells the Financial Times that the app-focused coffee chain will have 2,000 stores by year-end (Starbucks has 3,300) and that it is still in the stage of “fast development” where “we are not thinking about profits much”. For our first article on Luckin see WiC406.

Going cold on trade ties
Sep 28, 2018 (WiC 426)
“This latest tariff round represents something much more dangerous and lasting – the beginning of something more like a cold war than a trade war”

Financial Times’ columnist Rana Foroohar says the row centres on American concerns that China’s tech prowess makes it “a long-term strategic rival, and that as a result, US trade policy and national security policy should no longer be separated”.

Badgering the competition
Sep 21, 2018 (WiC 425)
“A chip is small like the honey badger and we hope that such a small thing will produce great power”

Jeff Zhang, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, discusses the animal that the internet conglomerate’s new semiconductor subsidiary is named after. The honey badger, known as Pingtou Ge in China, is a small, fearless animal that is native to Africa, Southwest Asia and the Indian subcontinent, and can kill cobras, says the South China Morning Post. We first reported on Alibaba’s push into AI chips in May (see WiC407) via its acquisition of C-SKY Microsystems.