Volkswagen boss ‘concerned’ about Berlin’s China policy

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said Thursday he was “concerned” about the China policy being pursed by the German government as Berlin seeks to take a harder line on human rights issues.

The response came a month after Berlin denied investment guarantees to VW’s operations in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government is accused of leading a crackdown against the Muslim minority.

“I’m more concerned about the basic attitude of the German government towards China,” Diess told Der Spiegel magazine when questioned about the guarantee.

“More dialogue” was needed with China, Diess said, calling attention to the possible “economic impacts” of a rupture with Beijing.

Germany would have “less growth, well-being and employment”, Diess warned.

Inflation would also “explode” without trade with China, the CEO said, as Western countries ride a wave of consumer price rises driven by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Volkswagen “should stay” in Xinjiang, where the carmaker operates a factory in the capital Urumqi together with its Chinese partner SAIC, Diess said.

The auto group was thinking about the plant “all the time”, he said, but assured there was “no forced labour”, a practice Beijing is accused of supporting in the western region.

China vehemently denies the abuse allegations, calling them the “lie of the century”.

But pressure has mounted on VW in Germany to respond to the human rights concerns.

The head of Germany’s biggest union, Joerg Hofmann, who sits on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, told local media earlier this month the group should ask itself whether it “would be right to end the activity” in the region in light of the allegations.

The Chinese market has huge importance for the world’s second largest auto manufacturer, with around 40 percent of Volkswagen’s sales coming in the region in the first three months of 2022.

Armed client holds bank staff hostage to access savings

An armed customer threatening to set himself ablaze held bank workers hostage throughout the day Thursday in Lebanon’s capital, demanding to withdraw his trapped savings to pay hospital fees, security sources and a family member said.

US inflation eases in July amid falling oil prices

US inflation eased slightly in July, according to official data Wednesday, potentially taking pressure off the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates sharply while bringing a much-needed boost to President Joe Biden just months before crucial midterm elections.

US sanctions crypto ‘laundering’ service Tornado

The United States placed sanctions Monday on Tornado Cash, a leading “crypto mixer” for transactions in virtual currency that US officials describe as a hub for laundering stolen funds, including by North Korean hackers.

MPIC CFO Joins WBA Allies’ Assembly 2022

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, represented by its Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla, joined the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) Allies’ Assembly 2022 as a speaker and panelist in Cape Town, South Africa.

MPIC CFO Joins WBA Allies’ Assembly 2022

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, represented by its Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla, joined the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) Allies’ Assembly 2022 as a speaker and panelist in Cape Town, South Africa.