A buyer sits in the back seat in his new Tesla Model 3 after the Tesla China-made Model 3 delivery ceremony in Shanghai. Photo: AFP

China is on its way to become the biggest market for electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of the year, according to a market assessment published by the German Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

Sales of electrified cars in the first half of the year were slightly higher in Europe but the “(Elon) Musk factor” would support the development of the Chinese market, which would not give up its leading position in the electric car market for the next 50 years, according to the CAR forecasts.

In total, almost 400,000 fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids were sold in Europe in the first half of the year. In China, only 7,200 fewer electrified vehicles were sold in the same period, according to CAR.

China made a “great leap” in all-electric vehicles with Tesla as the Tesla Shanghai gigafactory contributed sales of almost 50,000 fully electric cars in China in the first half of this year.

Thanks to high purchase premiums for electric cars in many European countries, sales of fully and partially electric vehicles in Europe “picked up significantly,” the CAR noted.

China and Europe were “decisive for the global breakthrough of electric mobility,” said Ferdinant Dudenhoefer, the director of CAR, noting that the two regions were “significantly supporting emission-neutral mobility.”

Foreign exchange reserves

China’s foreign exchange reserves expanded to US$3.1646 trillion at the end of August from $3.1544 trillion at the end of July, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).
This expansion marked the fifth straight month of growth for forex reserves, which rose 0.3% from a month earlier to its highest level since October 2016.

China’s yuan strengthened last month, with the China Foreign Exchange Trade System yuan exchange rate composite index, which measures the yuan’s strength relative to a basket of currencies, rising 1.5% from the previous month to 92.79 at the end of August.

According to data from the PBoC, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged in August at 62.64 million ounces, equivalent to $122.62 billion.

Service industry in Beijing

The city of Beijing has received approval from the State Council to expand opening-up in the service industry and to build a national comprehensive demonstration zone for expanding the opening-up in the service sector.

Beijing should work to provide demonstrations for the opening up and innovative development of the country’s service industry, according to an online statement issued by the State Council.

By 2030, the demonstration zone is expected to realize facilitation in terms of trade, investment, the cross-border flow of capital, employment, transportation, as well as the safe and orderly flow of data, according to the plan.

Vaccines for Covid-19

Two inactivated vaccines for Covid-19 under clinical trials in China are likely to provide immunity for up to three years and may be available on the market by the end of this year.

The candidate vaccines, which are already approved for emergency use and are undergoing phase three clinical trials, have proved to be safe and able to cause the production of antibodies in all volunteers that are effective enough to protect them from the novel coronavirus 28 days after they received a second dose, said Zhou Song, chief legal adviser of China National Biotec Group, which is a subsidiary of China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation.

CNBG has been recognized as a comprehensive biopharmaceutical enterprise focusing on human vaccines, blood products, medical aesthetics and animal healthcare.

The company has established two high-grade biosafety workshops for producing the vaccines, and it is expected they will be approved for the market at the end of December, at the earliest, Zhou said.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and first published at ATimesCN.com. They were translated by Nadeem Xu.