SERES 5 European Grand Tour Concludes

The first European Grand Tour for SERES, a leading power in China’s intelligent electric vehicle industry, has successfully wrapped up. Covering over 10,000 kilometers and 21 countries in a span of 23 days, the tour served as a comprehensive test for the company’s new energy strategy model, the SERES 5, evaluating its power, performance, safety, range, charging capabilities, driving control, and intelligence.

With the goal of rigorously testing the car's capabilities and providing authentic user experiences, the SERES 5 embarked on its European Grand Tour from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Enduring diverse climates, with temperature variations of up to 25 degrees Celsius, and traversing nearly ten different road conditions, the tour passed through Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and 16 other European countries, before returning to the Netherlands.

Throughout the journey, the SERES 5 Grand Tour fleet garnered significant attention from European consumers, with many expressing strong interest in the vehicle's performance. Local media in countries such as France, Italy, and Germany also conducted test drives, experiencing the unique smart driving features of Chinese new energy vehicles.

The quality performance of the SERES 5 during its European Grand Tour exceeded expectations. It demonstrated remarkable endurance, traveling over 10,000 kilometers through challenging terrains like mud, snow, urban areas, and unrestricted highways. The vehicle's charging adaptability was also commendable, successfully utilizing 95% of Europe's charging facilities across the 21 countries visited, fully satisfying the travel needs of European users. Additionally, the driving experience was tailored to meet the preferences of individual drivers, providing them with a more enriching and enjoyable journey. Trond Sandven, the founder of Norwegian dealership Sandven AS, praised the SERES 5 as an outstanding vehicle, surpassing its European competitors in terms of performance.

During the European Grand Tour, the SERES 5 achieved another milestone by completing the delivery ceremony to its first European customers, marking another successful step in SERES Motors' new energy international expansion. At the delivery ceremony, Andreas Bakkerud, SERES 5’s first owner in Norway and the celebrated rally driver and winner of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012, expressed his high satisfaction with the vehicle's efficiency, superb handling on bumpy roads, and attractive balance between weight and power. He expressed a strong desire to own the car immediately after experiencing it. The vehicle's performance in track mode was also impressive, showcasing its ability to accelerate continuously 20 times without noticeable power decline.

As a sporty and luxurious electric SUV, the SERES 5 has been well-received by European consumers since its debut at the Brussels Motor Show earlier in the year. Its distinctive appearance, cutting-edge design, premium materials, outstanding performance, and advanced intelligence have earned it a dedicated following in the European market. The European Grand Tour further reinforced the SERES 5's reputation for excellent adaptability, remarkable performance, driving comfort, and intelligent leadership across all the European countries it visited.

Moving forward, SERES Motors remains committed to providing exceptional service to its users and supporting the growth of the European new energy automotive market. The company will continue to introduce various types of new energy vehicle products to overseas markets, delivering safer, more comfortable, and intelligent driving experiences for customers.

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French fintech expands into UK

Every year over £20 billion is paid via online platforms to the army of freelance workers working for a range of businesses across the UK and, all too often paid very late. Helping these workers and companies get this right since 2019, French fintech Aria is today launching in the UK to be the default deferred payment infrastructure provider for the UK platform economy and B2B marketplaces.

Aria has opened a new office in London and appointed embedded finance and B2B marketplace specialist Tom Lamb as Head of UK to lead its growth efforts and scale the UK team with 6-8 hires expected in 2023. Launching in the UK with both existing clients and new platforms, the launch marks a new chapter on the back of 2000% YoY scale-up growth supporting 20,000 freelancers per month with invoices ranging from £500 to £20,000. They are launching with European leading platforms such as Malt, Brigad and Dweet which are now being funded in the UK and Europe.

Aria supports the growing UK platform economy which comprises the contingent workforce and booming online B2B trade, connecting to marketplaces, transactional SaaS platforms and ERP systems. Aria distributes early payment of supplier invoices and offers deferred payment options for end-clients via their API, letting their platform partners white-label the solution to create brilliant customer experiences and new revenue opportunities.

Aria is Europe's leading deferred payment infrastructure provider for the platform economy, working with over 100 platforms to solve the payment gap between when suppliers need to get paid and when buyers want to pay for goods and services. Making B2B trade seamless for freelance platforms, B2B marketplaces and Vertical SaaS Aria integrates directly into the platform's systems enabling instant direct payments to suppliers across Europe and allowing buyers up to 90 days to pay for goods.

Founded in 2019 in Paris by co-founders Clement Carrier and Vincent Folny, as ex-freelancers themselves they understood the pain of waiting for slow payment and uncertainty of income freelancers experience. Since launching their deferred payment API in 2021, Aria has exploded in France and Europe, to become the leading provider of deferred payment for contingent workforce platforms in Europe, working with the largest freelance platforms and marketplaces such as Malt, Brigad, StaffMe and SThree. With a recent debt raise of £50m from M&G Investments Aria is prepped for further growth in the UK and European market with annual finance capacity of over £1bn.

Clément Carrier, CEO and co-founder of Aria, commented: “We built Aria to make instant B2B payments the new standard for the platform economy. Our growth has been fueled by solving a real problem for freelancers and businesses in a way that lets platforms keep control of their customer experience. Opening up the UK market is an important step in our journey to change the way businesses pay and get paid.”

Freelancers contribute approximately £20 billion to the British economy each year. Yet these statistics are largely based on the gig economy which often doesn’t even include the highly skilled end of the freelancer spectrum. Some estimates push this economic contribution further, stating the spiralling growth of the gig economy in the UK could explode to a £63.25 billion contribution to the UK economy by 2026.

When hiring pauses, the freelancer work continues. Fiverr found 78% of companies will rely on freelancing in 2023 rather than add staff with post-pandemic remote policies making it easier than ever to integrate freelancers. Critical talent gaps make it necessary, with year-on-year growth being greatest for web programming (43%), web design (31%) and social media marketing (25%) according to TechRepublic.

With an average delay of 15.6 days, the UK has recorded the worst late payment figures since the end of 2016. One in ten British companies now delays payment to suppliers by more than 30 days. Aria ensures freelancers get paid in 24 hours and know that invoices will not be missed or go unpaid.

Tom Lamb, Head of UK for Aria, commented: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing Aria’s technology to the UK, supporting platforms to solve the biggest problem facing many freelancers and suppliers. Post-Covid and in the current economic climate more and more companies are looking online and for contingent workforce solutions but struggle to get the same terms or experience to which they are accustomed. By working with our platform partners we make solving this crucial issue for businesses and freelancers simple, easy and automated.”

The UK launch marks an important step in Aria’s growth and ambition to be the leading deferred payment infrastructure partner to the platform economy. Hiring Tom Lamb as Head of UK brings in expertise as the company looks to support more diverse B2B marketplaces.

About Aria

Aria is a B2B deferred payment infrastructure for the platform economy. It enables marketplaces and Transactional SaaS to improve their growth by offering instant payments to their providers while maintaining cash flow until their customer has paid. Founded in 2019 in Paris by co-founders Clement Carrier and Vincent Folny. Since launching their deferred payment API, Aria has exploded across Europe, to become the leading provider of deferred payment for contingent workforce platforms, working with the largest freelance platforms and marketplaces such as Malt, Brigad, StaffMe and SThree.

Taiwan-UK Collaboration on Semiconductors

The newly established Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in the UK has recently released the UK's National Semiconductor Strategy. Dr. Shih-Chieh Chang, General Director of Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan had an initial exchange with DSIT. During the exchange, Dr. Chang suggested that Taiwan can become a trustable partner for the UK and that the partnership can leverage collective strengths to create mutually beneficial developments. According to the Strategy, the British government plans to invest 1 billion pounds over the next decade to support the semiconductor industry. This funding will improve access to infrastructure, power more research and development and facilitate greater international cooperation.

Dr. Chang stressed that ITRI looks forward to more collaboration with the UK on semiconductors to enhance the resilience of the supply chain. While the UK possesses cutting-edge capabilities in semiconductor IP design and compound semiconductor technology, ITRI has extensive expertise in semiconductor technology R&D and trial production. As a result, ITRI is well-positioned to offer consultation services for advanced packaging pilot lines, facilitate pre-production evaluation, and link British semiconductor IP design companies with Taiwan's semiconductor industry chain. "The expansion of British manufacturers' service capacity in Taiwan would create a mutually beneficial outcome for both Taiwan and the UK," said Dr. Chang.

The British Office Taipei stated that the UK has been increasing collaboration with Taiwan on semiconductors over the last few years. In 2020, the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSA Catapult) signed a memorandum of understanding with ITRI, paving the way for a long-lasting collaborative partnership. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is also focusing the Digital Trade Network in Taiwan to increase the UK's capability to support semiconductor trade and investment. Recognizing ITRI as a crucial driving force for Taiwan's semiconductor industry development, the British Office Taipei looks forward to more cooperation with ITRI for technological innovation, supply chain collaboration and stronger partnership.

Dr. Chang indicated possible collaboration that can be forged to align the goals of the UK's National Semiconductor Strategy and the positive impact to expect. ITRI, he suggested, can assist in establishing relevant pilot lines by introducing necessary resources to address existing gaps or offering consultation services covering design, packaging and testing prior to mass production. This would help reduce the UK's reliance on external suppliers and thus create job opportunities. To minimize the risk of supply chain disruptions, the linkage of Taiwan's complete semiconductor industry chain can significantly enhance the UK's resilience in the global market as more comprehensive solutions can shorten time-to-market for innovative products and accelerate overall industrial development.

Other than the collaboration with CSA Catapult on GaN semiconductor technologies, ITRI partnered with a renowned British semiconductor equipment manufacturer in 2021, resulting in achievements in areas such as HBLED, MEMS, Micro LED, silicon photonics, and nanoscale analysis. In the same year, ITRI worked with a leading British semiconductor IP manufacturer to jointly build a platform that assists startup companies in leveraging key patents to develop competitive new products. Based on the fruitful results, ITRI is set to expand its collaborative efforts with the UK in 2023, creating win-win opportunities for both sides.

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is one of the world's leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan's industries from labor-intensive into innovation-driven. To address market needs and global trends, it has launched its 2030 Technology Strategy & Roadmap and focuses on innovation development in Smart Living, Quality Health, and Sustainable Environment. It also strives to strengthen Intelligentization Enabling Technology to support diversified applications.

Over the years, ITRI has been dedicated to incubating startups and spinoffs, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in an effort to extend its R&D scope and promote international cooperation across the globe.

Pavyllon London debut London restaurant opens in Mayfair July 2023

Yannick Alléno, one of the world's most Michelin-starred chefs, is excited to announce that Pavyllon London, his debut London restaurant in Mayfair, will officially open its doors on July 1 2023, with reservations now open for summer bookings. Set within Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, the eagerly anticipated opening will offer Londoners and international visitors refined neighbourhood dining with highly crafted, innovative yet unpretentious plates, created from a live open kitchen.

Chef Yannick Alléno's first venture in the city will feature a restaurant, bar, private dining room, and expansive al fresco terrace. It will be the epitome of Yannick Alléno's commitment to blending knowledge and excellence with experimentation, thus modernising the foundations of French cuisine. The menu will draw inspiration from seasonal British produce while remaining deeply rooted in French techniques.

"Pavyllon London is an embodiment of my lifelong dream to redefine French dining," says Chef Yannick Alléno. "It combines my family's bistro-running legacy with my passion for culinary innovation. At Pavyllon London, we look forward to welcoming our guests into the heart of the action, creating interactive, less formal dining, centred around counter top seating and simply great food."

Every plate at Pavyllon London will be a testament to Chef Yannick Alléno's belief that chefs have a responsibility to care for the good health of their guests. The menu will feature dishes that are innovative, but unpretentious, reflecting the extraction method that Alléno has painstakingly developed over the past decade. The line-up on the London menu will include "Badaboum" organic egg with Osciètre caviar and sorrel and Salish smoked salt; brioche-crusted sea bass quenelles with "Billy by" emulsion and mussels; and creamy pounded langoustine with potato and basil tuiles, and white onion emulsion.

Known for his revolutionary approach to sauce-making, Yannick Alleno's innovative extraction method involves cooking in a vacuum to a highly specific time and temperature to harvest the purest flavour from each ingredient. These are then cryo-concentrated to capture their very essence, leading to dishes that are rich in flavour, yet mindful of guests' well-being by reducing the amount of sugar, fat, and salt without compromising taste.

The Pavyllon London team is on the ground preparing to welcome guests, and comprises world-class culinary professionals, led by Executive Chef Andy Cook, Head Chef Benjamin Ferra Y Castell, Restaurant Manager Janice Wongso, Head Sommelier Baptiste Beaumard, Head Mixologist Michele Lombardi, and Head Bartender Ivan Arena. Each team member brings a wealth of expertise, innovative ideas, and a shared passion for their craft (get to know the team, here).

Renowned designer Chahan Minassian has masterfully created Pavyllon London's interior, merging the chic conviviality of a Parisian residence with the familiarity of a British club. The space encapsulates the essence of Chef Yannick Alléno's belief in the kitchen as a performance.

Pavyllon London has launched its reservation lines today, and extends a warm invitation to all those ready to reimagine what French dining can be.

Chef Yannick Alléno is widely regarded as one of the world's finest chefs, holding 15 Michelin stars across his 17 global restaurants, found in the likes of Paris, Dubai, Monaco, Seoul and Courchevel. Since the beginning of his career, he has become known for his reinvention of Modern French cuisine with dishes rooted in French gastronomy but taking inspiration from modern techniques and seasonal ingredients. His three restaurants in Pavillon Ledoyen hold six stars – three at Alléno Paris, two at L'Abysse and one at Pavyllon – making it the most star-rated independent establishment in the world. His restaurant Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, also holds three Michelin stars.

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is at the heart – and at the very start of the Four Seasons story. As the first Four Seasons hotel to open outside of Canada in 1970, it was a blueprint for a new definition of luxury. Situated in the iconic city of London and surrounded by the capital's greenery, most famous sights and coveted shopping streets, it seamlessly balances award-winning design with the city's high notes, offering up views of Hyde Park from its sun-drenched rooms. Whilst its rooftop spa is a light-filled sanctuary with sensory treatments to rejuvenate and relax its guests. Leaders in customer excellence, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane creates a sense of home and belonging for its guests through recognition, connection and personalisation.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1961, and since that time has been dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 126 hotels and resorts, and 53 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit