Category: China

Utah students watch as family members join protests in Hong Kong

HONG KONG — It’s Sunday in Hong Kong, China, and protestors have taken to the streets again. Brigham Young University student Gordon Poon’s sister joins them.

“Even though we are foreign students and we are distanced from home, we still know what’s going on and we want to show our support in every way,” Poon said.

Normally a peaceful country, Hong Kong people — or “Hong Kongers” — are protesting an extradition law allowing China to send criminals to the mainland to face justice.

Extraditing criminals, though, is not the problem.

Hayley Garrett just graduated from BYU and said her family and friends in Hong Kong are protesting China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong’s legal system.

With the passing of the new law, whatever China deems criminal will be punishable.

“If you cannot find any evidence that you are innocent, you are not,” Garrett said. “That’s the way that it runs in Chinese government.”

Fearing an unfair trial or judgment, the people march for freedom — something one Utah man said he can’t even imagine.

Born in the U.S., a man using the pseudonym of “Casper” served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 10 years ago.

“As an American, I grew up that you had these rights,” Casper said. “I have the right to speech, rights to assemble, right to vote.”

All these rights, Casper said, are slowly being taken away from Hong Kongers since mainland China regained ownership of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom in 1997.

This is a major reason Hong Kongers have been out protesting for a week now.

One man has died.

“We insist on fighting and pursuing what is right, what is fair, what is just,” Garrett said.

It’s a chance to keep their freedom — a chance Poon’s sister is out on the streets marching for.

A chance these students in Utah are praying for.

“I want them to know that they’re not alone in feeling unjust about this extradition law and feeling frustrated,” Garrett said. “We care about them, and we are one of them.”

There are more than 100 missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently serving in Hong Kong.

The Church reports all missionaries are safe and accounted for.

Utah businesses and consumers will feel the pinch of tariffs

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah businesses are already feeling some of the effects of the back-and-forth tariffs that constitute the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.

Miles Hansen tracks Utah’s international business trends as President and CEO of World Trade Center Utah.

“We see several Utah companies have seen their stocks decrease significantly just in the past few days,” Hansen said.

Hansen says about 6,000 Utahns have jobs depending on exports to China, most notably in agriculture, where farmers had increased exports to China prior to the tariff.

“I know a lot of Utah farmers have had a rough couple of years. Utah agricultural exports to China have been a rare bright spot for the industry in Utah,” said Hansen.

Retailers and consumers will also see higher prices on a range of items imported from China if tariffs continue.

“Computers, tablets, cell phones, sneakers, clothes, other shoes, toiletries, textiles, home appliances, bicycles – these are all products that Utahns consume every day and they are made primarily in China,” Hansen said.

Tesla investigates after video allegedly shows Model S car exploding in China

SHANGHAI – Tesla is investigating after one of its vehicles appeared to explode in China.

short video of surveillance footage posted on Chinese social media site Weibo showed white smoke emerging from what looks like a white Tesla car parked at a lot in Shanghai. After a few seconds, the electric vehicle bursts into flames and the clip ends soon afterward.

The video, which was filmed just after 8:15 pm local time on April 21, appears to show a Tesla Model S sedan. It was posted on Chinese social media a couple of hours later and has since been shared widely.

Tesla would not confirm any of the details, other than to say it is investigating the incident alongside Chinese authorities.

“We immediately sent a team on-site and we’re supporting local authorities to establish the facts. From what we know now, no one was harmed,” a Tesla spokesperson told CNN Business on Monday.

The clip attracted a mix of derision and outrage on Weibo. “Us car owners demand an explanation,” wrote user Miao Hongyang. “Jeopardizing our safety in a moment’s instant and the fact it ignited so quickly is something we will not tolerate.”

Another Weibo user registered under the name Your Dad, added: “One thing I’ve learned from this incident: from now on, don’t ever park next to a Tesla.”

China is huge for Tesla

This isn’t the first time one of Tesla’s cars has appeared to burst into flames, but previous incidents often involved moving vehicles or vehicles that had crashed.

“It seems strange that the battery, not charging, would combust on its own,” said Tu Le, founder of consultant firm Sino Auto Insights.

Tesla has previously said that gasoline-powered cars are 10 times more likely to catch fire than those powered by electric batteries.

China is a hugely important market for Tesla. The country accounts for about 20% of the company’s annual revenues, or more than $2 billion in sales. But its share of this market is still tiny.

The company wants to supercharge sales in China with a new factory in Shanghai. Tesla eventually hopes to produce 500,000 cars at the facility every year.

But Tesla is also grappling with a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which has already hit foreign brands including GM and Ford. Import tariffs resulting from the trade war with the United States have seen Tesla prices in China fluctuate wildly.

It also has to contend with heavy competition from Chinese players, such as BYD and NIO.