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March 12, 2023

Great Wall Motors Wants You To Snitch On Internet Trolls

In a rather bizarre move, China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) is offering 10 million RMB (P 79.8 million) to report internet trolls.

The move, officially called the “10 Million Reward Plan” was announced at their New Energy Conference to remove the “state of confusion” in China’s auto industry. GWM said that these internet trolls—which are “professionalized, collaborative, and industrialized”—are used to spread rumors and manipulate public opinion to undermine the achievements of Chinese auto industry practitioners in general. Thus, GWM sought to “purify the network communication environment to bring competition back to rationality, and return cyberspace to a pure land.”

GWM’s mission to eradicate the internet of trolls was a distraction to its otherwise straightforward Intelligent New Energy Vehicle Conference where they’ve revealed plans to boost their lagging electrified vehicle line-up.

The realignment comes as GWM posted a 17 percent sales decline in 2022, the first time it has dropped since 2018. Even its Ora pure EV range saw sales plunge 23 percent at a time when Chinese NEV (battery electric and hybrid) sales doubled to 6.5 million units.

GWM, which makes Haval SUVs and pickup trucks, will introduce Hi4 (H meaning Hybrid, i for intelligent, and 4 for four-wheel drive) to offer two-wheel drive-like fuel efficiency to its four-wheel drive line-up. It does so by having an internal combustion engine drive the front wheels and an electric motor drive the rear wheels. It will also employ intelligent torque control.

The system will make its debut within this year, and by 2024, its entire NEV line-up will have the Hi4 electric four-wheel drive technology.

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