Posts tagged with "China"

Automobile illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

GKN Automotive Appoints New President

GKN AUTOMOTIVE APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT OF CHINA BUSINESS

  • GKN Automotive signals its ambitions for growth in China with new leader of China business
  • Asia Pacific and China automotive expert Shaoling (Charlie) Qiu announced as new President GKN Automotive China
  • GKN Automotive is the global leader in Automotive drive systems and the supplier of choice for 90% of global car manufacturers

GKN Automotive, the global leader in drive systems, has announced Shaoling (Charlie) Qiu as the new President GKN Automotive China, effective from 1 May.

Shaoling (Charlie) Qiu, who will be reporting directly to GKN Automotive CEO Liam Butterworth and based in Shanghai, is joining from Thyssenkrupp Automotive where he was CEO of its Asia Pacific region and in charge of its China business division. This follows an extensive career in the automotive industry including four years serving as President Dayco China.

Liam Butterworth, CEO GKN Automotive “China is a critically important market for us, and Charlie is joining GKN Automotive at the perfect time. He will be leading our ambitious strategy to continue growing our business in the world’s largest car market.

“Our advanced e-powertrain technologies make us perfectly placed to take advantage of China’s growing appetite for electrified vehicles. We are also intent on boosting our world-leading Driveline business, working with our joint-venture partner HASCO. Charlie has the experience and leadership to help us achieve those goals and I look forward to working closely with him.”

Shaoling (Charlie) Qiu “I am honored to be joining GKN Automotive, working with Liam and the rest of his leadership team. It is a world-leading business, with a tremendous history of innovation and an impeccable reputation with global car manufacturers.  With GKN Automotive’s advanced technologies and unrivalled ability to collaborate with car makers, we have a terrific opportunity to rapidly expand in China. It will be an exciting challenge.”

Smartphone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Smartphone Subscriptions

Smartphone Subscriptions Have More Than Doubled In 5 Years – 11% CAGR from 2016-2020

Smartphones have become abundant in today’s society, giving us the ability to control many aspects of our lives with just our fingertips.  Today’s smartphones act as a portal to our everyday needs and desires; from banking to shopping, from work to leisure, from hobbies to passions, our smartphone allows us to connect with the world more than ever before. According to data presented by BuyShares, smartphone subscriptions in 2020 has more doubled since 2015 to 6.1B units globally, growing at a CAGR of 10.54% in the 5-year period from 2016-2020.

Smartphone Subscriptions Have Doubled From 2015 to 2020 – 6.1B in 2020

The title of the very first smartphone belongs to the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) which was produced and launched by IBM in 1994. A few of the SPC’s main features still remain as staples of modern-day smartphones, but the SPC would be unrecognizable as a smartphone among today’s generation of devices.

The iPhone’s launch in 2007 is what many consider the first version of the smartphone as we know it today. It was the first phone to offer access to the internet in its entirety and not a scaled-down version of it. For the first time ever, you could browse the internet just like you would on your desktop computer or laptop.

Smartphones became mainstream soon after the iPhone’s launch and are now ubiquitous in today’s society.  Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson, estimates there to be 6.1B smartphone subscriptions in the world in 2020, over 101% more than 2015’s smartphone subscriptions. In the 5-year period from 2016-2020, smartphone subscriptions grew at a CAGR of 10.54%.

In the year that the first iPhone was released, it is estimated that 122M units of smartphones were sold to end-users. In 2018 that figure ballooned to a record 1.56B smartphones sold. 2019 posted similar numbers to 2018 but experienced a 10.5% YoY decrease in the pandemic ravaged year of 2020. The number of smartphones sold to end-users is projected to bounce back and increase by 11.4% YoY in 2021.

China Has the Most Smartphone Users with Almost 1 Billion

China has an estimated 912M smartphone user in 2020, the most in the world. China’s smartphone penetration rate in 2020 stood at 63.4% which is the 8th highest in the world. Of the top 20 countries with the most smartphone users, the USA had the highest penetration rate of 81.6%. 15 other countries from the top 20 list, posted smartphone penetration rates of above 50%.

As of 2020, Newszoo estimates that there are 3.6B smartphone users worldwide. The same estimates project smartphone users to rise by almost 20% by 2023 to 4.3B. The smartphone penetration rate globally in 2020, stood at 46.45% compared to just 33.5% in 2016.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here.

Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Your Online Privacy Is in Your Hands

Many Internet users don’t take online privacy seriously because they believe that they have nothing to hide. Even if you don’t want to secure your data from the curious eyes of big brother, you should be aware of other privacy threats on the Internet.

  • Other states: Even if you trust your own government, do you trust other states? Many foreign governments take a keen interest in the online activities of other citizens.
  • Marketers: Advertisers and other businesses use many methods to track your Internet activity to build an online profile that they can sell to other organizations.
  • Acquaintances: Many people who are curious about you will consume your publicly available data that’s of a private nature.
  • Stalkers: Ex-partners, jealous lovers, stalkers, or predators can use malicious software to breach your privacy. Some stalkerware can take your pictures and record your videos through webcams when you’re not aware. Stalkerware can also monitor your physical movements through the GPS on your laptop.

Share Your Data Sensibly

It’s a good idea to take basic security precautions on social media. Accept friend requests carefully. Verify suspicious-looking profiles to ensure that they’re legitimate. Limit posts that carry sensitive information to your friends and avoid sharing confidential information publicly.

When downloading apps, avoid handing out permissions needlessly. For example, does your fitness app really need access to your contacts, camera, and videos?

Of course, set strong passwords for all your social media accounts to keep hackers at bay. A good password should be at least 12 characters long and feature upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

Avoid Suspicious Websites and Emails

Avoid visiting unknown websites and clicking strange emails and files. Cybercriminals can infect fraudulent websites, emails, and files with malware like adware or spyware that’s designed to breach your privacy, security, or both.

Stay Wary of Strangers

Trust your instincts and be cautious. Avoid friend requests from people you don’t trust. Likewise, please don’t click on links from such people as they may be Trojan horse attacks engineered to install stalkerware on your devices. Similarly, don’t accept tech gifts from strangers. For example, a USB drive or keyboard could be a keylogger that records your keystrokes, allowing a cybercriminal to read your emails or learn your login credentials.

Find a Good VPN Service

Protect your network with a firewall and a top-of-the-line VPN service. For example, Malwarebytes VPN protection will encrypt your data with its technologically advanced software and even mask your IP address.

Without your IP address, states, threat actors find it exceptionally challenging to track you to your location across the Internet. There are other advantages to subscribing to an excellent VPN service too. For one, you can bypass geo-blocks and consume entertainment from different parts of the world. For example, a VPN can allow you to watch Netflix USA while in Canada! But please steer clear of free VPNs as they’re slow, carry spyware, and may even spy on you.

In addition to network security tools, use advanced antivirus software to protect yourself from malware like viruses, worms, spyware, adware, ransomware, and even dangerous stalkerware. With the right cybersecurity software and some vigilance, you can surf the Internet all day stress-free.

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Drop

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Dropped by 53% in 2020 – Loss of Over ¥330B 

The tourism industry was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the city of Beijing saw the momentum of the industry halted in 2020. Beijing had become an increasingly popular tourist destination prior to the pandemic with revenue from inbound tourism recorded at $5.16B in 2019. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms, Beijing’s total revenue from tourism decreased by over 53% in 2020 for a staggering loss of ¥330B, or $50B.

Beijing Revenue From Tourism Dropped By Over $50B After Years Of Growth

China has long moved on from its isolationist policies and has encouraged the mainland as a travel destination for tourists. Revenue from China’s tourism sector grew at a strong 13.8% CAGR from 2010-2019 to ¥5.7T, or almost $880B. In 2019, China was the fourth most visited country by foreign tourists with 65.7M arrivals for the year.

Beijing is one of the leading tourist destinations in China, and the city has been enjoying the growth of the tourism sector until the pandemic of 2020 hit. From 2016-2019, Beijing’s tourism revenue experienced a 5.53% CAGR, rising to a value of ¥622.7B in 2019. However, COVID-19 shut borders around the world, crippling global mobility and disrupting the momentum built up by Beijing’s tourism industry. Beijing’s revenue from tourism dropped over 53% in 2020 to just over ¥291.

Beijing suffered a staggering loss in revenue, specifically in inbound tourism, where revenue dropped from $5.16B in 2019 to just $480M in 2020.

COVID-19 Hit China Early – Caused Massive Disruption in H1 of 2020

China felt the effects of COVID-19 before much of the rest of the world did. A clear example of this is in the drop in weekly Airbnb bookings from the period between January 5th to March 7th. This drop occurred when the coronavirus was just becoming news to the rest of the world of what was happening in various parts of China. Beijing experienced a dizzying 96% drop in weekly Airbnb bookings compared to just 46% in Seoul and 29% in Tokyo in this time period.

The number of domestic tourists is estimated to have dropped by as much as 62% in the first half of 2020 compared to the year prior, with revenues dropping by as much as 77%. By the end of the year, China had experienced a 43% drop in domestic tourists and a 52% drop in revenue from domestic tourism.

Tourism in China Projected To Completely Recover Within 5 Years

In 2019, the absolute economic contribution of tourism in China was estimated at $1.67T. This fell sharply to just $745.5B in 2020-a decrease of more than 55%, but still the largest in Asia and the second-largest overall, after the USA. However, projections have the figure bouncing back up by over 40.5% in 2021 to $1.04T. The figure is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 2023, when the absolute economic contribution of tourism is projected to be at $1.75T.

Despite the turmoil of 2020, China’s absolute economic contribution from tourism is projected to have an impressive CAGR of 20.75% from 2021-2025, reaching more than $2.67T by the end of the forecast period.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information on TradingPlatforms’ website.

 

 

Rose - BlackPink - illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

ROSÉ OF BLACKPINK

SHARES DEBUT SOLO PROJECT ‘R’

SINGLE ALBUM FEATURES LONG-AWAITED TRACKS

“ON THE GROUND” & “GONE”

LATE NIGHT TV SOLO DEBUT ON THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON ON 3/16

Rosé of BLACKPINK shares her massively anticipated debut solo project, R. Released via YG Entertainment/Interscope Records, the single album consists of two unforgettably vulnerable tracks co-written by the K-pop icon: “On the Ground” and “Gone.”

Watch the video HERE

Go HERE to stream/download R by Rosé now.

Produced by frequent BLACKPINK collaborator TEDDY, acclaimed songwriter/producer/artist Jon Bellion (Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus), Jorgen Odegard (Justin Bieber, P!nk), Ojivolta (Selena Gomez, Halsey), and 24, “On the Ground” is an intimate look at the cost of ambition and chasing your dreams, with Rosé bringing her stunning vocal work to a gorgeous backdrop of soulful guitar tones and radiant beats. In creating the raw and reflective track, Rosé co-wrote with Bellion as well as heavy-hitters Amy Allen (Sam Smith, Zara Larsson) and Raul Cubina (Playboi Carti, Christina Aguilera).

On “Gone,” Rosé matches the pure emotional depth of “On the Ground,” this time offering up a stripped-back breakup ballad produced by Brian Lee (BLACKPINK, Post Malone, Camila Cabello). Accompanied by little more than the track’s hypnotic guitar work, her voice turns heartbreakingly tender as she delivers her confessional lyrics (“Now I’m all alone, crying ugly/You broke my heart just for fun/Took my love and just left me numb”).

Along with “On the Ground” and “Gone,” the CD and vinyl editions of R include instrumental versions of both tracks. Rosé is now the second member of BLACKPINK to release solo material, with singer/rapper Jennie having shared her single “SOLO” in November 2018.

R arrives just months after BLACKPINK dropped their debut full-length effort THE ALBUM. Released on October 2, the record-breaking project debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, marking the biggest chart debut by an all-female group in over 12 years. With guest spots from fellow superstars Selena Gomez and Cardi B, THE ALBUM also smashed the record for highest first-week sales for a debut album from a K-pop group in all of music history. That same month, BLACKPINK premiered Light Up The Sky, an all-access Netflix documentary detailing the hard-fought journey behind the group’s meteoric rise.

ABOUT BLACKPINK:

Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, BLACKPINK have redefined the possibilities of K-pop, transcending all categorization and ascending to global stardom. With their unstoppably catchy single “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” the South Korean quartet broke the record for highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 debut by an all-female K-pop act, while its head-turning video surpassed 10 million views in just six hours and racked up 36.2 million views in one day.

Discovered by YG Entertainment, BLACKPINK is comprised of JISOO, JENNIE, ROSÉ and LISA: four immensely charismatic vocalists, dancers, and burgeoning fashion icons. Released in 2016, their debut “SQUARE ONE” quickly proved their crossover power; in 2018, “SQUARE UP” climbed to #40 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard World Albums chart. Several months after “SQUARE UP” hit the charts, YG Entertainment and Interscope Records announced a global partnership for BLACKPINK, paving the way for the group’s international breakthrough. With their EP Kill This Love arriving in April 2019, BLACKPINK further boosted their popularity by successfully completing a world tour and becoming the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella, the largest music festival in the U.S.

Rosé of BLACKPINK Interscope Records for 360 MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy of YG Entertainment.

Green Car by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

China’s EV Industry Growth

1.3M Electric Vehicles Were Sold In China In 2020 – Projected For 51% Increase By 2021

China has become a relatively rich market for Electric vehicles (EVs) in recent times, and companies like Tesla have pounced on the opportunity. China posted a record number of EVs sold in the country in 2020, despite the global downturn of the automotive industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms, 1.3M EVs were sold in China in 2020– a rise of 8% YoY, but is projected to grow by over 51% in 2021 to almost 2M.

EV Enters Mainstream– China One of Promising Markets, Despite Negative Effects of Pandemic

EVs have entered the automotive mainstream in recent times with Tesla setting the tone for affordable and stylish EVs. In 2019, the global EV market was valued at just over $162B and is expected to see tremendous growth in the next decade. The global EV market is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.12% in the period from 2019-2026, and rise to a value of almost $803B in 2026.

China is a particularly strong market for EVs, where a record number of EVs were sold in 2020. However, recent policy changes around the EV industry in China, and the more recent Coronavirus pandemic, have slowed down the strong momentum EVs once generated. Despite this, the number of EVs sold in China still saw a modest increase of 8% YoY from 2019-2020 to a record 1.3M units sold.

Demand is also expected to rebound after 2020’s sharp downturn for the entire industry. EV sales are projected to increase by over 51% to almost 2M EVs sold. Automotive industry expert Chris Jones noted: “Prospects are very good for China’s EV market in 2021. There is already an excellent network of standardized public EV chargers in China, good government support and now a return to strong consumer demand.”

SAIC-GM-Wuling and Tesla Carried Chinese EV Industry Through Turbulent Time

Two brands and their vehicles carried the Chinese EV industry through a difficult period caused by the pandemic: SAIC-GM-Wuling and Tesla. The Tesla Model 3 was the most popular EV in China for a time until the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV entered the market in the middle of 2020. As of July 2020, the Tesla Model 3 was the most registered new electric car in China with the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV already following closely behind.

An estimated 11,000 Model 3’s had been registered by that period while 7,250 Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV had already been registered despite deliveries only starting in the same month. By the end of 2020, SAIC-GM-Wuling had become the most popular EV brand in China with an estimated 177,000 units in car sales compared to Tesla’s 137,460 units.

The two brands offer two very different EVs, yet found that their shared success that carried the Chinese EV market through a difficult time. Jones further notes: “If it had not been for the huge success of these two very different EVs, the Chinese EV market would have declined in 2020. Between them, the two models represented one in five of all EVs sold in China.”

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information at TradingPlatform’s website.

 

 

Headphones illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Music Streaming Revenues Jump

Music Streaming Revenues to Hit $23B in 2021:

A 50% Jump Compared to pre-COVID-19 Figures

Like many other sectors, the music industry has been significantly affected by COVID-19, with the massive cancelation of live events and huge ticket sales revenue drops amid the lockdown. With earnings from live music events shrunk to the lowest level in history, artists increasingly rely on income from streaming platforms. According to data presented by BuyShares.co.nz, music streaming revenues are expected to hit $23bn in 2021, a 50% increase compared to pre-COVID-19 figures.

Revenues to Jump by $3.3bn in a Year, Number of Users to hit 620 Million

Even before the pandemic, the music streaming industry witnessed impressive growth, with revenues rising by a CARG of 20% year-over-year. Statista survey showed that in 2017, the unified market was worth $10.5bn. In the next two years, this figure jumped to $15.2bn. However, last year, music streaming platforms witnessed the biggest annual revenue growth, as COVID-19 halted live events. Statistics show that revenues surged by almost 30% year-over-year and hit $19.7bn in 2020. The ongoing lockdown is expected to continue driving a rise in music streaming consumption, with revenues growing by another $3.3bn this year. By 2025, the entire market is forecast to hit a $33.3bn value. The Statista survey showed the number of people using music streaming platforms also surged amid the pandemic and jumped from 425.6 million in 2019 to 626.2 million in 2021. More than 900 million people worldwide are expected to use music streaming services in the next four years.

Spotify hit 155 Million Premium Subscribers in 2020, Double than Apple Music

As the world’s largest music streaming market, the United States is expected to reach 100.7 million users and $8.7bn in revenue in 2021, a 16.6% increase in a year. The Chinese market, the second-largest market globally, is forecast to grow by 20% YoY and hit $2.2bn value this year, almost four times less than the leading US. Nevertheless, with 177.7 million users in 2021, the country has the largest number of people using music streaming services globally. According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 Report, more than 81% of surveyed internet users in China reported listening to music streaming services last year. The United Kingdom ranked as the third-largest music streaming market with $1.4bn in revenue this year.

As the biggest music streaming service globally, Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) hit 345 million monthly active users and 155 million premium subscribers in December 2020, a 25% jump in a year. While Apple (AAPL: NASDAQ) hasn’t publicly commented on its subscriber count since reaching 60 million in June 2019, estimates from MIDiA Research put Apple Music subscribers at 72 million in 2020, or half the Spotify count.

 

The full story can be read here.

5G Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Huawei Tops Share of 5G Devices

Huawei tops share of active 5G-ready devices globally with Samsung, Apple lagging behind

Data analyzed by Finbold indicates that Chinese firm Huawei is leading in active 5G-ready devices with a share of 26.9% globally during Q4 2020. Samsung ranks second with a share of 25.1%, while Apple accounts for 19.5%. Vivo, another Chinese firm, controls a share of 11.8%, with Honor accounting for 6.9% of the active 5G-ready devices. The Finbold analysis also compared the share of 5G-ready devices between Samsung and Huawei from August 2020 to December 2020. The findings show that Samsung dominated the share for the four months before December.

In August, Samsung’s share was 45.2% against Huawei’s 10.2%. As of September, the South Korean manufacturer share increased to 48.1%, with Huawei accounting for 10.1%. The dominance continued in October, with Samsung taking a share of 48.6% while Huawei accounted for 9.5%. In November, both players saw their active 5G-ready devices share drop as Samsung accounted for 44.9% against Huawei’s 8.6%. As of December, Huawei flipped the status to rank top at 27%, with Samsung accounting for 25.1%.

 Huawei leverages on pandemic to emerge top

The report explains circumstances that potentially contributed to Huawei emerging as a dominant force in active 5G-ready devices. According to the research report: “Like other industries, most of the manufacturers were impacted with Covid-19 disruption that affected global supply. However, Huawei appears to have sustained the downturn after China controlled the pandemic early, unlike competitors in the west which entered the pandemic’s second wave towards Q4.”

The growth of Huawei might soon be challenged since competitors are increasingly launching new 5G devices. For instance, Apple, with just one active 5G-ready device, ranked third.

 Read the full story with statistics here.

 

Passport illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Airlines Urged to Issue Refunds

Consumer Reports & PIRG Urge Airlines to Provide Full Refunds for Flights Canceled During Pandemic as Voucher Expiration Dates Approach

Groups Call for Airlines to Extend Voucher Expiration Dates Through At Least End Of 2022

With the one-year anniversary of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown approaching, Consumer Reports and U.S. PIRG sent a letter to ten domestic airlines today calling on them to provide full refunds to consumers whose flights were canceled or affected by the pandemic.  At the very least, the consumer groups are urging airlines to extend the expiration dates for vouchers they issued for canceled flights to the end of 2022 or longer.

“Millions of Americans who booked flights in good faith in 2020 were prevented from flying because of government lockdowns and safety concerns brought on by a once-in-a-century global pandemic,” said William J. McGee, Aviation Adviser to Consumer Reports.  “The airline industry has received very generous support from taxpayers while stiff-arming its customers and treating their hard-earned dollars as interest-free loans.  It’s time to provide consumers with the long-overdue refunds they rightfully deserve.”

The consumer groups’ letter notes that complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation about airline refunds have jumped dramatically over the past year.  In 2019, consumers submitted a total of 1,574 complaints about refunds to the DOT.  Last year, that number increased 57-fold to 89,518 refund complaints.

Consumer Reports has been contacted by numerous customers frustrated that they couldn’t get a refund during lockdowns and who are concerned that they might not be able to travel before vouchers expire. An analysis by TripAction, a travel management company for businesses, found that 55 percent of vouchers for unused tickets will expire in 2021, and 45 percent will expire in 2022.

Many passengers were prevented from flying because of government restrictions, public health notices, or serious medical conditions that made flying during the pandemic unsafe. Far too many of the trips they booked will never happen, due to the cancellation (not postponement) of conferences, conventions, weddings, graduations, and family reunions.

While passengers on flights canceled by airlines are entitled to a full refund under federal law, a congressional analysis found that some carriers offered vouchers as the default option, requiring passengers to take extra steps to get a cash refund. Many airlines waited until the last minute to cancel scheduled flights, prompting concerned passengers to cancel their tickets and forfeit their legal right to a refund.

“It’s insulting and unfair that airlines haven’t offered refunds to all customers affected by the pandemic,” said Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog Director for U.S. PIRG. “Consumers certainly couldn’t have foreseen a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis. Our research has shown that travelers whose plans got canceled have to wade through refund policies likely written by a team of lawyers. They’re faced with figuring out the difference between a flight credit or a trip credit or a travel voucher and similar offers the airlines make to avoid giving people easy-to-understand cash in their pocket.”

A Consumer Reports review of airline voucher policies found nine different policies among ten different airlines.  Many of these policies are hard to find on airline websites, and the airlines’ descriptions of their policies can be quite confusing and at times contradictory, based on conflicting rules for various dates of booking, travel, and cancellation. The consumer groups’ letter was sent to the CEOs of the following scheduled airlines: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.