By on March 9, 2011

While Julian Assange fights extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of a ripped condom (note to Jack Baruth: Never get close to a Svenska flicka), the Wikileak cablegate haul is being used to do a hatchet job on a down and out car company that should qualify for a handicapped parking sticker.

Today, Reuters runs a five page “special report” titled “Warren Buffett’s China car deal could backfire.”

The story is about BYD.  If you read the story, read it with a cup of strong coffee: you’ll need it to stay awake.

Reuters is a great news organization, and they tried really hard. The story was compiled by Reuters’ correspondents in New York, Detroit, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo and edited by two people. Despite all the work, there are no new revelations. It’s warmed-over material which will be quite familiar to the attentive follower of our on-going BYD coverage. Actually, some of it sounds VERY familiar. But there is a twist:

The story was supposedly triggered by “diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party.” Now that got my attention. But after reading all five pages, I feel more used than the alleged rape victim in Stockholm: That’s it? Where’s the sexy stuff?

We won’t bore you with quoting the wikileaked passages, they aren’t worth the bits. Let’s just say that if you have read Ed Niedermeyer’s “BYD Blasted For Reverse Engineering, Labor Practices, Expansion”, written more than a year ago, you know more dirt on BYD than what is revealed in the Desperate Housewives gossip emanating from a US Consulate in the backwaters of Guangzhou, written in an apparent attempt to break the tedium of denying U.S. “tourist” visas to unmarried Chinese females.

If you absolutely have to read them, there you go. (We hate to lose readers.)

The only thing that is REALLY interesting is the fact that the Guangzhou embassy party gossip was “provided to Reuters by a third party.” It had to be. Reuters had no way of accessing it on their own.

Use the handy Cablesearch tool, put in “BYD”, and ye shall receive:” No matches found for « BYD ».” Put in “Guangzhou” and you find no cable from Guangzhou.

The BYD material is not amongst the many cables already published by Wikileaks.  Someone gave Reuters Wikileaks material that is not available. Reuters is not on the prerelease list of Wikileaks. This leak must be intentional.

Now who’s that ominous “third party” that  leaked unpublished Wikileaks material, as boring as it may be, to Reuters? I have no idea. All I know is: To leak something to the press, you first need to have access to the material. And most of all, you need to have a motive to do the leaking.

BYD is in horrible shape. The BYD stock had its all-time low of 29.90 honkies (not a racial slur, this is what Hong Kong Dollars are called in China) on February 24. It has since recovered a bit to 36.75 HKD.  BYD’s sales were down 15 percent in January when the overall market was up 13.8 percent. In February, their sales were half those of January. Nobody wants their electric cars in China, even with very generous subsidies. But the New York Times kind of likes the F3DM, in a campy kind of way.

But then why the Wikileaks-leak hatchet job? Can’t they let BYD die in peace? Or is someone afraid BYD might actually recover? Shorts getting nervous about a bounce? But since when do shorts have unpublished Wikileak material. Strange.

Any theories who might be behind the lame leak?

Cui bono?

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6 Comments on “The WikiLeak-Leak: BYD Targeted By Guangzhou Consulate Gossip...”

  • avatar

    About not finding the wikileaks file from the cablegate search engine: this engine only finds files released on the official WL site.  But Wikileaks is working with and has passed files to 50 other news agencies to be vetted and censored for names.  I tried to find the original file with the cablegate search a while ago, but it hadn’t been release by WL at the time.  It had, though, been examined, released, and reported about through the DailyTelegraph.  So, the file may be valid yet not availble yet on WL’s official site.  This doesn’t imply that the info is invalid or simply gossip, just that more thorough research is required, or, for whatever reason, Reuters has chosen not to release the file to the public at all.
    You may want to request the document directly through Reuters, or wait for WL to get to it.

    • 0 avatar

      Nobody said or implied that the file is “invalid.” If Reuters says it is a valid Wikileaks cable, then it is.
      As far as “gossip” goes, it is gossip.  That also is not news. A lot of embassy traffic is gossip, picked up on the cocktail circuit, or cribbed from newspapers. I have lived in this world for 25 years …
      The point I was trying to make is that there is nothing damning in these cables. Everybody knows that the F3 is a mirror image of the Corolla. Read Ed’s one year old article, you know the rest. Everything in these cables had already been known ad nauseam when they were written by the end of 2009. Now, it is especially old hat.
      It had been clear that this material was given to Reuters.  By whom, nobody knows. Like any good journalist, Reuters protects its sources.
      For me, the question of who gave this stuff to Reuters why is much more interesting.

  • avatar

    Oh, sorry, in my comment above, I meant to say “I tried to find the original file on the cablegate search engine *regarding another, unrelated story* a while ago…”

  • avatar

    No idea about the cables, however the GZ consulate is an interesting place, I guess. Taking lame tourist photos around the environs was nothing, until I reached the front of the consulate (you could miss it if you didn’t know it was in there), and tried to take a few photos.  Out of nowhere three Chinese police showed up telling me, “No photos in front of the embassy.”  I agree.  You never want to argue with the Communists, because you never know when they will “need” an American.
    Sitting near the embassy in a coffee shop my Chinese host (from New Zealand–spoke like an Aussie) asked me how I liked being in a “police state.”  At the end of the day I still don’t know why anyone would anyone ever own a car in Guangzhou, what with all the traffic, and especially with all the Asian women drivers.

    • 0 avatar

      mpresley said: “I still don’t know why anyone would anyone ever own a car in Guangzhou, what with all the traffic, and especially with all the Asian women drivers.”
      I think when you are IN China, it is safe to say “with all the Chinese women drivers”.  :-)

  • avatar

    Bang! You’re Dead!

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