Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released on Dec. 27 a sprawling roadmap for autonomous vehicle development that named an “Internet of Vehicles Development Commission” to lead work on AV policy.

Why it matters: AV leadership by this commission may indicate a more protectionist approach in China, given incentives to carry out President Xi’s goal of limiting reliance on foreign “core technologies.”

Background: The commission's head, Miao Wei, is the Minister of MIIT and the architect of the Made in China 2025 plan, which set detailed targets for replacing foreign technology with domestic substitutes. The plan has drawn international criticism for acting as a barrier to trade and violating WTO rules, and eliminating its targets has been a goal of the U.S. in bilateral trade negotiations.

Details: MIIT regulates a range of tech-related industries as well as the auto sector, often with a nurturing, protectionist hand. Its leadership of the commission subordinates other agencies that regulate the AV sector, like the Ministries of Transportation and Public Security.

  • The commission sits under the “Leading Small Group for Building a Powerful Manufacturing Country,” one of the coordinating bodies that referee policy disputes by holding agency leaders accountable to a member of China’s Politburo (in this case, Vice Premier Ma Kai).

What to watch: Minister Miao, who is also the former CEO of state-owned Dongfeng Motors, recently highlighted several priorities for the commission:

  • Develop an AV demonstration zone in the Xiong’an New Area, a Beijing exurb that China’s central government plans to rebuild as an AV-enabled metropolis.
  • Expand infrastructure for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology. (In October, China set a national DSRC standard, and it plans to cover 90% of the country with C-V2X sensors by 2020.)
  • Increase financial and policy support for Chinese companies producing core technologies like telematics and sensors. This could include direct funding of Chinese AV technology and new barriers to entry for foreign firms.

The bottom line: Both American and Chinese officials increasingly see technology as a zero-sum game. But U.S. efforts to limit sales of AV tech to China through export controls and Chinese limitations on the foreign use of China's mapping data won't help vehicle development in either country. If AV development suffers, companies and consumers all lose.

Patrick Lozada is a director in the China practice of Albright Stonebridge, a strategic advisory and commercial diplomacy firm.

Go deeper

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.