[Tech Brief] TikTok on US Split; Ex-Lenovo Chair Passes

Producer | Sohu Technology

Editor | Wang Yiqing

Today is Thursday, March 7th. What major events unfolded in the tech world last night and this morning? Let’s stay tuned for today’s tech news briefing.

Key Technology News for Today:

  1. ByteDance initiates a new round of stock options buyback, prices slightly up to $170.

  2. JD Logistics records a revenue of 166.6 billion yuan in 2023, with external client revenue contributing to 70%.

  3. QQ tests AI chat companion; Tencent and ByteDance re-engage in AI social battle.

  4. Xiaomi’s first direct-operated store for cars opens in Wangfujing, Beijing.

  5. National Development and Reform Commission: In 2023, export growth of “new three items” was close to 30%, with new energy vehicles’ exports surging by 77.6%.

[Major Updates]

ByteDance Initiates a New Round of Stock Options Buyback, Prices Slightly Up to $170

On March 5th local time, according to The Information, ByteDance will commence a new round of stock options buyback. The repurchase price for current employees is set at $170 per share, while for departing employees, it is $145 per share. This buyback price is slightly higher than last year’s $160 per share, which could reflect the stock market’s changes in the past six months, with the Nasdaq index rising by around 20%. (Jiemian)

XPeng Motors Requires Dealers to Stock Inventory

XPeng Motors recently started demanding its dealers to stock inventory. Several dealers mentioned that they have to purchase half of the target monthly sales volume from XPeng every month. In February this year, XPeng held an annual dealer investor meeting. A participating dealer mentioned that XPeng’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, reiterated the importance of stocking inventory at the meeting. She stated that some dealers used to sell cars from multiple brands, and if XPeng did not impose some inventory pressure on dealers, they might not make full efforts to sell XPeng vehicles. Currently, XPeng only requires dealers to purchase half of the monthly sales target, unlike traditional brands that ask them to buy all vehicles. “After delivering this portion of cars to customers, continue purchasing cars from the original equipment manufacturer,” said a source from an XPeng dealer. (LatePost)

JD Logistics Reports Revenue of 166.6 Billion Yuan in 2023, External Client Revenue Contributes to 70%

On March 6th, JD Logistics released its annual performance report for 2023, achieving a revenue of 166.6 billion yuan, a 21.3% year-on-year growth. The adjusted net profit hit a new high at 2.76 billion yuan, an increase of 218.8% year-on-year. The full-year net profit also turned around from losses to profits, exceeding market expectations in operating income, growth, and net profit. It is worth mentioning that in 2023, JD Logistics received revenue of 116.6 billion yuan from external clients, a 30.8% year-on-year growth, accounting for 70% of the total revenue. (All-Weather Technology)

TikTok Responds to US Congress Members’ Demand to Spin Off from ByteDance within 165 Days

On March 6th, U.S. House members proposed giving ByteDance 165 days to spin off TikTok to prevent the app from being banned. President Biden’s reelection campaign team has started using TikTok to connect with young voters. In response, TikTok stated, “Regardless of how the proposal is disguised, this law is a complete ban on TikTok. This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive a platform that 5 million small businesses rely on for development and job creation.” (Ifeng)

BYD Brazil Production Base Officially Starts Construction, Expected to Start Production by Year-End to Early Next Year

BYD announced on March 5th local time that its integrated production base in the Salvador metropolitan area of Bahia, Brazil has officially commenced construction. According to statements from the Bahia State government and BYD, the complex is expected to start production from the end of this year to early 2025, with an initial annual capacity estimation of 150,000 vehicles. The initial vehicle models to be produced include BYD Dolphin, Song Plus, Yuan Plus, and Dolphin Mini. (Caijing)

Elon Musk Mentions SpaceX’s “Starship” Heavy Rocket May Conduct a Third Test Flight Soon

On March 6th, according to the American “Space” news network, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, posted on social media that the company’s “Starship” heavy rocket may conduct a third test flight soon. SpaceX shared information on X social platform on the 4th regarding the propellant filling test for the “Starship” rocket test flight, and Musk subsequently reposted the post, mentioning that the “Starship” was preparing for the third test flight. (Global Network)

OpenAI: Intends to Take Action to Dispute All Accusations Made by Musk

In an article, OpenAI stated that its mission is to ensure that AGI benefits all of humanity, which means building safe and beneficial AGI while helping to create broadly distributed benefits. OpenAI intends to take action to dispute all accusations made by Musk, believing that any individual having absolute control over OpenAI contradicts the company’s mission. OpenAI also mentioned that Musk once wanted to control the company and merge it with Tesla. (Wall Street News)

[Tech Figure]

Former Chairman of Lenovo Holdings, Liu Chuanzhi, Passed Away at the Age of 92

According to the official account of the China Computer Federation (CCF) on March 6th, Liu Chuanzhi, a lifelong member of the CCF, honorary director, executive vice chairman of the 4th and 5th Councils, and vice chairman of the 6th and 7th Councils, a renowned computer expert, former director of the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and former chairman of Lenovo Holdings Limited, passed away on March 4th, 2024 in Beijing at the age of 92.

![Financial Associated Press](image_link)

**Lei Jun: Will Definitely Make Xiaomi Cars Successful and Delight Users Across the Country**

Lei Jun, the founder and chairman of Xiaomi Group, responded to questions regarding the construction of a modern industrial system and the development of new productive forces. He mentioned that Xiaomi Group, as a tech company, is transitioning from following to leading, determined to take the path of hardcore technology and advance high-end and global strategies. Explaining their next steps, Lei Jun stated that Xiaomi Group will focus on core underlying technologies, develop Xiaomi's automotive business, and promote high-end and global expansion. The launch of Xiaomi cars signifies the completion of Xiaomi's "people-car-home full ecosystem," aiming to provide users with excellent travel experiences. Lei Jun emphasized, "We will spare no effort to make Xiaomi cars successful and live up to the expectations of users across the country." (New Beijing News)

**U.S. Meta Company's Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites Experience Massive Outages, Musk Mocks the Incident**

Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Threads under the U.S. Meta Company suffered a massive outage, leaving hundreds of thousands of global users unable to access the platforms. Following the incident, Meta Company and its communications director Andy Stone apologized and provided an explanation to users. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, the owner of another social media platform, X, humorously commented on Meta's outage. In the early hours of March 6th Beijing time, Musk posted on X platform: "If you are reading this post, it's because our servers are operating normally," poking fun at his major competitors. (Global Times)

**[Policy News]**

**National Development and Reform Commission: Exports of the "New Three" to Increase by Nearly 30% in 2023, New Energy Vehicle Exports to Grow by 77.6%**

The press conference of the Fourth Session of the Fourteenth National People's Congress was held at 3 p.m. on March 6. Director of the National Development and Reform Commission Zheng Zhajie stated that in 2023, in terms of new driving forces, China's production and sales of new energy vehicles reached 9.5 million units last year with a growth rate exceeding 35%; lithium battery production increased by 25%; photovoltaic cell production grew by 54%; exports of the "New Three" will increase by nearly 30%, including over 1.2 million new energy vehicle exports, a 77.6% increase. This export volume ranks first globally, driving the number of new car exports to the top spot worldwide. (Financial Associated Press)

**Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao: Promote Cross-Border E-Commerce Exports and Accelerate the Construction of a Supply Chain and Ecosystem Adapted to Cross-Border E-Commerce Development**

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao stated during the economic-themed press conference of the Fourth Session of the Fourteenth National People's Congress on March 6 that efforts would be made to cultivate new foreign trade dynamics and promote high-quality foreign trade development, focusing on four aspects. One of the focal points is to boost cross-border e-commerce exports, by improving policies related to customs clearance, taxation, forex, and accelerating the construction of a supply chain and ecosystem adapted to the development of cross-border e-commerce. (Shanghai Securities News)

**National Committee Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yang Jie proposes to expedite the application of 5G air-to-ground communication technology in aviation internet**

During this year's Two Sessions, Yang Jie, a national committee member of CPPCC and the chairman of China Mobile, suggested accelerating the application of 5G air-to-ground communication technology in aviation internet. 5G air-to-ground communication technology, abbreviated as 5G-ATG, involves establishing ground-based 5G base stations along flight routes to enable direct communication between aircraft and the ground network. This technology boasts several advantages, including superior key performance, lower construction and operating costs compared to satellite-based technologies, and greater self-controllability. Yang Jie recommended enhancing top-level design, increasing overall coordination efforts, expediting the commercialization of 5G air-to-ground communication technology, and strengthening innovative applications of this technology to cultivate new driving forces for the aviation internet industry. (China News Network)

**EU Plans to Begin Customs Registration of Chinese Electric Vehicles as Part of "Anti-Subsidy Investigation"**

According to Reuters, on Tuesday (the 5th), the European Commission issued an urgent notice, revealing plans to start customs registration of imported pure electric vehicles (BEVs) from China. This action is part of the EU's "anti-subsidy investigation" into Chinese electric vehicles. If the investigation concludes that these Chinese electric vehicles received so-called "unfair subsidies," the EU may impose "retrospective tariffs" on these registered imported vehicles. (Global Times)

**[Product Updates]**

**Kuaishou Initiates Development of HarmonyOS Native Applications**

According to the Huawei Terminal Cloud Service, Kuaishou announced a full embrace of the HarmonyOS ecosystem, commencing the development of native HarmonyOS applications for the Kuaishou App and launching the HarmonyOS version of the Kuaishou App. (Wall Street News)

**QQ Tests AI Chat Companions; Tencent Byte Engages in AI Social Networking Once Again**

QQ and TikTok have recently introduced AI social features and products. Recently, QQ's AI chat feature, named "AI Chat Companion," has started testing. This service is a collaboration between QQ and Dream Island, combined with Yuan Assistant. In contrast, TikTok launched an AI social app called "Hua Lu," created by Byte's Flow division. (Tech Planet)

**Reports Suggest Microsoft to Release Its First Batch of AI PCs This Month, Equipped with "AI Explorer" Functionality**

According to Engadget quoting Windows Central, Microsoft is expected to launch the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 on March 21, marking Microsoft's first batch of AI PCs. These devices will be equipped with processors based on Intel Core Ultra or Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite, featuring the latest NPUs to enhance AI capabilities. The new products will introduce the "AI Explorer" functionality, distinguishing AI PCs from regular PCs. AI Explorer can operate on any application, allowing users to perform natural language searches on documents, web pages, images, and chats. (Science and Technology Innovation Board Daily)

**Xiaomi Opens First Direct Store for Xiaomi Cars in Wangfujing, Beijing**

On March 6, amidst intense price competition in the automotive industry, the pricing strategy of Xiaomi cars has attracted significant market attention. As Xiaomi stands at the center of the storm, there is no room for any negligence in the launch of its cars.

# Exciting News from Blue Whale: Xiaomi Stores in Beijing Under Renovation

Blue Whale has exclusively learned that following the initial renovation work on the first batch of 2S stores, the first batch of direct-operated Xiaomi stores in Beijing has officially commenced renovation as well. Among them, the Xiaomi store located in Beijing’s Chaoyang District at the Heshenghui shopping mall and the Xiaomi store at the Oriental Xintiandi in Wangfujing have become one of the first direct-operated stores. According to sales staff at the Xiaomi store in Oriental Xintiandi, this store is the first direct-operated store for Xiaomi cars in China, and the renovation is nearing completion.

Xiaomi Store

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