Benzinga Before The Bell: Tesla Loses Challenge Against Racial Bias Accusation, Monkey Pox Vaccines May Not Be Enough, Apple To Manufacture iPhone 14 In India Soon After Release And Other Top Financial Stories Tuesday, August 23


Volkswagen Eyes Stake In Canadian Mining Business: Report

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY is planning to enter the mining business in Canada, Reuters reported, citing Handelsblatt daily.
  • The move will ensure the automaker’s raw material supply for battery production.
  • “We are not opening any mines of our own, but we want to acquire stakes in Canadian mines and mine operators,” the report quoted Thomas Schmall.

Tesla Challenged Claims That Accused EV Maker For Racial Bias, California Agency Denied It

  • California’s Office of Administrative Law denied Tesla Inc’s TSLA petition to review its claim that the Department of Civil Rights (DCR) prosecuted the EV maker for racial bias without conducting complete investigations, Reuters reports.
  • The OAL did not disclose the reason behind the denial and allowed Tesla to pursue its claims in court.
  • Tesla’s flagship Fremont, California, plant allegedly was a racially segregated workplace that harassed and discriminated against black employees regarding job assignments, discipline and pay.

GE Workers In Alabama Launch Union Organizing Campaign For Better Pay & Job Security

  • Workers at General Electric Co GE plant in Alabama have launched a campaign to form a union for better pay and job security, reported Reuters.
  • The Auburn, Alabama plant employs 179 workers and builds a fuel nozzle on the widely used LEAP jet engine, which powers planes of Airbus SE EADSY and Boeing Co BA.
  • The workers have submitted cards striving to organize as part of IUE-CWA to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Experts Cast Doubt On Dependence On Monkeypox Vaccine Amid Limited Trial Data, Supply Crunch

  • The only FDA-approved monkeypox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic A/S BVNY is in short supply.
  • According to Reuters’ tally, 1.5 million vials of Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine are either administered or currently available. Most doses are in the U.S., highlighting the global supply gap for the first time.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10 million doses will be needed to protect the people at highest risk.

Wall Street Journal

Wireless Carriers T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T And Broadband-Internet Providers Comcast, Charter Compete For Customers

  • U.S. wireless carriers and broadband-internet providers are fighting to win customers from each other.
  • Wireless carriers exploited the excess capacity on next-generation networks to win traditional broadband-internet users, while cable companies retaliated with new and cheaper cellphone plans.
  • The competition, in several instances, helped consumers to beat inflation.
  • The cost of internet service rose by 1.7% in July year-on-year. The consumer-price index rose 8.5% in July, WSJ wrote.


Apple To Manufacture iPhone 14 In India 2 Months After Initial Release: Report

  • Apple Inc AAPL is planning to manufacture the iPhone 14 in India two months after the product’s initial release, Bloomberg reported.
  • Apple, which has been long eyeing expanding its production outside China, is in talks with the suppliers to ramp up manufacturing of its upcoming iPhone 14 in India, as per Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter.
  • The move is also aimed at shortening the lag in production of the new iPhone from the typical six to nine months for previous launches. The report noted that its supplier Foxconn is using Indian operations to supplement its base in China.

Bosch-Backed Autonomous Driving Startup From China Mulls $500M IPO

  • China-based Guangzhou WeRide Technology Co is considering a potential $500 million initial public offering, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the situation.
  • The driverless technology startup is working with advisers on the potential listing and is weighing the U.S and Hong Kong markets.
  • According to the people, if WeRide chooses the U.S. listing, it could face significant challenges from Chinese regulators.

Facebook Co-Founder’s VC Firm Leads $20M Funding Round For Indian Health-Tech Startup

  • Facebook Inc META co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly’s venture capital firm B Capital Group has led Series-A funding round for Indian health-tech start-up Mojocare which is close to raising about $20 million, reported Bloomberg, citing sources.
  • Existing investors Sequoia India, Chiratae Ventures, and Better Capital may participate in the round, which could be announced as early as Tuesday, the report said.

Sony PlayStation Faces Multi-Billion UK Class Action

  • Sony Group Corp SONY PlayStation faced a potential opt-out U.K. class action suit for allegedly overcharging for games and in-game purchases, Bloomberg reports.
  • Any U.K. buyer of digital games or extra content on their console or through the PlayStation store since August 2016 is a plaintiff.
  • London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal charged Sony for abusing its market dominance by imposing unfair conditions on developers, ultimately passing on “excessive and unfair” prices to consumers.


XPeng Q2 Revenue Beats Street View; Margin Shrinks On Higher Battery Cost

  • XPeng Inc XPEV reported second-quarter FY22 sales growth of 97.7% year-on-year, to RMB7.44 billion ($1.11 billion), beating the consensus of $1.06 billion.
  • Quarterly vehicle deliveries increased 98% Y/Y to 34,422.
  • P7 smart sports sedan deliveries rose 39% to 15,983, and P5 smart family sedan deliveries were 12,848.
  • The gross margin for the quarter contracted 100 basis points to 10.9%. Vehicle margin contracted 190 basis points to 9.1%, mainly attributable to the battery cost increase.

New MacBook Pro May Not Feature Chips Utilizing Most-Advanced Process Node Tech

  • Apple, Inc. AAPL upcoming MacBook Pro models may not be powered by chips manufactured using the most advanced process node technology.
  • The new 14-inches and 16-inches MacBook Pro that would have new processors will enter mass production in the fourth quarter of 2022, TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet.
  • With Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited TSM signaling that the most advanced 3nm will begin to contribute to revenue, starting only in the first half of 2023, Kuo expects the new MacBook Pro models to continue to have chips based on the 5nm advanced process node.

US Court Orders Venezuela To Pay ConocoPhillips $8.7B Over Asset Seizures

  • A U.S. court ordered Venezuela to pay about $8.75 billion to ConocoPhillips COP as compensation for seizing the energy company’s interests in oil projects.
  • The decision gives ConocoPhillips new authority to collect on a 2019 award by a World Bank tribunal. The award includes interest that adds at least $1 billion to the amount owed to Conoco.
  • In 2013, the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes ruled that Venezuela had unlawfully taken ConocoPhillips’ stakes in three oil projects without paying.

Meta’s Instagram Is Now Testing A Feature Inspired By A Smaller Rival

  • Meta Platform, Inc.’s META Instagram has found much success with Reels — its own version of the hugely popular short video format of rival TikTok. Meta’s photo-and-video sharing app is now reportedly testing a feature that is similar to that of emerging smaller social media rival BeReal.
  • Instagram has begun trying out what it termed “Join IG Candid Challenges” for getting a notification every day at a different time to capture and share a photo in two minutes, Bloomberg reported, citing a screenshot posted by developer Alessandro Paluzzi on Twitter.
  • Paris-based BeReal, founded in 2020, functions with the same premise and has become a hit with teenagers due to the option to get people to post at the same time.

Bitcoin Bull Scaramucci Says This Is What Needs To Happen For The Apex Crypto To Become Inflation Hedge

  • Skybridge Capital CEO Anthony Scaramucci believes that it is still early days for the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin BTC/USD.
  • “I’ve said consistently on this show that Bitcoin is still not mature enough to be regarded as a potential inflation hedge. You just don’t have the wallet bandwidth in Bitcoin,” Scaramucci said in a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.
  • Scaramucci said that he bought his first Bitcoin when there were around 80 million BTC wallets in existence.

DOGE Proponents Express Hope And Concerns Related To Dogecoin-Ethereum Bridges

  • Dogecoin DOGE/USD co-founder Billy Markus and popular DOGE news account Mishaboar shared their opinions on independently developed bridges between DOGE and Ethereum
  • ETH/USD.
  • In a series of tweets on Monday, Mishaboar said that developers creating DOGE-ETH bridges should primarily aim to be transparent with the community.
  • DOGE creator Billy Markus said that while he hopes these bridges work, he won’t be responsible for any DeFi-related activity.

Netflix Explored Cloud Gaming To Boost Growth: Report

  • Netflix, Inc NFLX is looking for a security product manager with experience handling “cloud gaming challenges,” TechCrunch reports.
  • A cloud gaming service similar to Sony Group Corp SONY PlayStation Now, Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google Stadia, or Inc AMZN Amazon Luna, would help Netflix diversify beyond mobile, bringing its games to TVs and PCs without relying on game consoles.
  • Netflix continues to expand its mobile games library with the recent “Into the Breach” and “Before Your Eyes.”

Photo by Blomst via Pixabay

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