When I lived down in Reading, many years ago, I remember a regional news article about a guy who spent longer on his commute (from the Isle of Wight!) into London each day than he did at work, and that was on the trains of 30+ years ago. He was a programmer with a boss who allowed him to count a certain percentage of his travelling time towards his working hours.
It seems they always have done early starts and long travel times. I suppose that living so close to a city has always been advantageous for us in this part of the world.
My daughter drives to work each day from rural Kent, takes about an hour and has to be in at 8am, and her daughter is also in nursery at 8am. Long days, I couldn't have done it. (I don't think)
Once the expensive new electric cars come into play , I don't know what they'll do because in most of these rural places there aren't any trains or buses and few can afford new cars.
Getting back to the Chinese, if they can do it more cheaply and faster then why not ? Just so long as they don't invade.