Thursday, January 14, 2010

Too Good for Audi

Chinese web users were enraged after they heard a senior official complain about his dissatisfaction with Audi, the luxury brand under Volkswagen. It also should be pointed out that a vast majority of government cars seem to be black Audis.

Li Rongrong (李荣融) is the chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), which overseas all state-owned enterprises (SOEs), appointing top executives, approves all mergers or sales of stocks, and helps draft laws for enterprises.

So he's a man wields considerable power in the People's Republic.

Over the weekend Li was at a forum at Peking University where he said that while state-owned car manufacturers were not quite up to world-class standards, neither were German automakers.

Media reports say he was particularly annoyed that the radio was not installed in the backseat of his Audi where he sat so that he could have better control of it.

He was quoted as saying, "At least Audi does not treat me like God."

Internet users then wondered if Li was good at his job as head of the SASAC, as state-owned enterprises are notorious for their inefficiency and bloated payroll.

One commented online that as the man in charge of SOEs, Li should ask whether those companies, which are not efficient, have treated the Chinese consumers as God.

Another asked, "Minister, why don't you use a China-made car?"

Li either thought he was being sophisticated when he said this or contemptuous of the taxpayers he serves.

Perhaps Audi will hear his request and custom-make a car to enhance his audio experience.

Or maybe the Chinese online community will mock his line, "At least Audi doesn't treat me like God" and make it the new phrase in 2010.

Virtual revenge can be sweet.

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