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China

China's Booming Auto Market Has A Loyalty Problem

The automobile market in China is at full throttle, but customers are extremely fickle. What are automakers – foreign and domestic – supposed to do to build brand loyalty?

a FAW-Hongqi L5 car at the China Self-innovated Auto Expo in Beijing in 2013
a FAW-Hongqi L5 car at the China Self-innovated Auto Expo in Beijing in 2013
Geng Huili

BEIJING – There is a new report about brand loyalty among China’s current 90 million car owners. The survey and analysis by the Boston Consulting Group shows that nearly three-quarters of Chinese car owners plan to switch brands for the next car they get. This "great brand migration," as the report calls it, is the highest level among the world’s major automotive markets.

The report also shows that Chinese car owners’ loyalty to domestic Chinese brands is particularly low, a mere 17%. Foreign car makers don’t seem to have done so much better in this respect – as 29% of owners of foreign mid-range market cars said they’ll stick with the brand they currently own, while 57% of the European luxury range owners say they'll try out another foreign brand.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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