Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Daily Tech Roundup: Biden to Raise Tariffs on Chinese Chip and EV Imports, Robocar Supplier Sues U.S.

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The Daily Tech Roundup reports on significant developments in technology across China and Asia. Key topics include increased tariffs by the U.S. on Chinese imports, legal actions involving a Chinese robocar supplier, the launch of a major sodium-ion battery energy storage station in China, U.S. actions against a Chinese crypto miner, and BYD’s plans to unveil a new plug-in hybrid pickup in Mexico.

U.S. President Joe Biden has directed an increase in tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, impacting sectors such as electric cars, semiconductors, batteries, solar cells, and critical minerals. This move aims to protect U.S. workers and businesses. Specifically, tariffs on steel and aluminum from China, currently ranging between 0% to 7.5%, will rise to 25% this year. For semiconductors, tariffs will increase from 25% to 50% by 2025, and for electric vehicles (EVs), they will surge from 25% to 100% within this year. China’s commerce ministry has opposed these additional tariffs and plans to take measures to safeguard its interests [para. 3].

Hesai Technology Co. Ltd., a Shanghai-based developer of sensor technologies for self-driving cars, is suing the U.S. Department of Defense after it was included on a list of companies allegedly linked to China’s military. The company argues that its inclusion on the so-called 1260H List has caused significant reputational damage, a sharp decline in stock prices, and lost business opportunities. Hesai is urging the court either to remove it from the list or to declare the provision unconstitutional [para. 4].

China has inaugurated its first major energy storage station powered by sodium-ion batteries, a significant step towards reducing reliance on lithium. The Fulin Sodium-ion Battery Energy Storage Station, which began operations on May 11 in Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, will store excess power generated from renewable projects such as solar and wind energy. This stored energy can be supplied to the grid when demand rises [para. 5].

In response to security concerns, the U.S. has ordered MineOne Partners Ltd., a Chinese cryptocurrency mining company, to vacate and sell a property it acquired near F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. This base houses intercontinental ballistic missiles, raising national security threats. MineOne Partners Ltd. and its affiliates have been ordered to divest the property, which was purchased in 2022. The company has declined to comment on the matter [para. 6].

BYD Co. Ltd., a leading player in China’s electric vehicle market, is set to unveil its first truck in Mexico, a move that positions the company next to the world’s largest pickup market. The Shark plug-in hybrid truck will be revealed at an event in Mexico City, though BYD has stated it does not have immediate plans to enter the U.S. market. This strategy represents a significant expansion effort into North America, although targeted towards markets other than the U.S. for now [para. 7].

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