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SnapshotsFeb 6, 2019 | 20:56 GMT
EU: Mergers To Create Megacompanies Will Have To Wait
France and Germany's push to create large European companies that can go toe-to-toe with global competitors has hit a wall. On Feb. 6, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that Brussels would block a planned French-German merger between rail companies Alstom and Siemens, arguing that the plan is incompatible with the bloc's antitrust rules and could lead to higher prices for European consumers. In response, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier called for Europe to better defend its interests against global competition. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Vestager's decision was an economic mistake that would benefit China, where companies often have deep linkages with the state and regularly receive significant state backing.
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AssessmentsJul 5, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
As it makes changes to its economy, China is intent on ensuring greater control over the entire supply chain for lithium-ion batteries for years to come.
How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries
From the salt flats of the Atacama Desert in Chile to the savannas of the Congo, the makers and users of the world's batteries are scrambling to secure the vital raw materials needed to produce the lithium-ion cells that will power electric vehicles around the globe. But no battery-makers are more aggressive than those from China, which is working to lock down the entire supply chain for its companies. Meanwhile, the United States will rely on economies of scale to compete in storage-cell manufacturing, turning toward North American raw material producers to ensure supplies whenever possible. Even then, the country will face stiff competition from Chinese investors -- to say nothing of European automobile companies, who will be compelled to increase their reliance on China. Buoyed by support from the highest levels of government, Chinese companies are likely to find few challengers over the next decade and a half as
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On GeopoliticsApr 12, 2018 | 23:07 GMT
The logo for Apple Inc. adorns a storefront in the Belgian capital.
A Test of Europe's Artificial Intelligence
As a tech war shapes up between China and the United States, European powers fear they may get left out. French President Emmanuel Macron recently unveiled an ambitious plan for France -- and the European Union as a whole -- to develop an artificial intelligence ecosystem that could compete with those of China and the United States. Germany, meanwhile, worries that the wave of U.S. and Chinese tech innovation will wash away its critical automotive and industrial robotics sectors. To prevent that outcome, the country has been pushing for more AI development; in fact, Industry 4.0 -- a movement to bring emerging information technology innovations to the manufacturing industry -- is a German concept. The seemingly unstoppable rise of tech giants in the United States and China has forced entrepreneurs and leaders in Europe to react. But solutions such as Industry 4.0 and Macron's initiative won't be enough to bring
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AssessmentsAug 23, 2017 | 16:17 GMT
President Emmanuel Macron is hardly the first French leader to promise to protect his country from competition abroad.
In Europe, France Leads the Protectionist Charge
Since its formation in late June, France's new government has been sending mixed signals about its views on the economy. On one hand, Paris has offered up plans to make its economy more competitive by reforming labor laws and cutting public spending. On the other, it has proposed barriers to the acquisition of companies in strategic sectors by investors outside the European Union, has attacked a scheme allowing Eastern European laborers to work in France and has blocked an Italian takeover of a French shipyard. These moves have raised concerns, both within and outside France, that Paris will pursue the type of protectionist measures that Brussels has opposed from the United States. And as the debate about the eurozone's future continues to unfold, the question of whether the European Union needs additional protection from external -- and in some cases, internal -- competition will shape the Continent's agenda in 2018
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AssessmentsMay 17, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
For China, All Roads (and Belts) Lead to Europe
China's Belt and Road Initiative encompasses six economic corridors. But in geographic and ideological terms, Europe represents the end of the new Silk Road. Increased connectivity with Europe could offer China a chance to expand market and its access to high-tech and strategic assets, thereby facilitating domestic industrial reform. Despite Beijing's stated goal to foster greater integration throughout Eurasia with its Belt and Road scheme, however, its approach on the Continent has so far emphasized bilateral or subregional agreements with states in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Mediterranean. The strategy has raised concerns among the European Union's central powers that Beijing's influence in the countries could threaten their own, particularly as the bloc's political and economic rifts widen.
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On GeopoliticsAug 16, 2016 | 07:18 GMT
China investment Pakistan beijing one belt one road
China's Investments Reveal Its Broader Ambitions
In November 1979, the Jinghe Share Holding Co. opened its doors in Tokyo, marking China's first overseas investment and the start of the country's transformative economic opening. Today, China has become the world's second-largest investor and biggest supplier of capital. While other markets are in recession, China's economy continues to grow, however slowly. Without question, the gravity of China's economy, coupled with its ever-expanding reach into global affairs, will secure its place of influence in the international system for decades to come. But the sort of presence Beijing seeks abroad is changing.
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ReflectionsJun 2, 2016 | 02:40 GMT
Germany's Kuka AG is the world’s largest manufacturer of robotics for the automobile industry.
China Looks to Europe to Feed Its Appetite for Technology
China's Midea Group offered a $5.1 billion bid to take over German industrial robot maker Kuka AG on May 18, but now German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his ministry are trying to put together a European consortium to block and counter the bid. As the world’s largest manufacturer of robotics for automobile manufacturing and as one of the world’s top five manufacturers for general industry, Kuka is a strategic asset for China and Germany.
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