Manchester United Explores Strategic Alternatives, HP Slashes Workforce After Slower Sales Growth, Second Avatar Movie To Release In China: Top Stories Wednesday, Nov. 23


Volkswagen Strikes Wage Pact With German Workers Union

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY has reached a wage deal with Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall, for its factories in West Germany.
  • According to the deal, about 125,000 workers will likely receive an 8.5% increment in their pay.
  • The parties arrived at an understanding after eleven hours of overnight negotiations.
  • The deal, valid for two years, will provide workers with a 5.2% wage hike from June 2023 and another 3.3% from May 2024, along with a $3,093 payout to compensate for inflation.

Bummer For Premium iPhone Lovers This Holiday Season - Best Buy Warns Against Supply Crisis

  • High-end iPhones will be in short supply at stores this holiday season, Best Buy Co Inc BBY said following a warning from Apple Inc this month that China's zero-COVID policy was squeezing production at a key factory.
  • The supply issues were likely to significantly hurt the premium iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, which start at nearly $1,000.

Wall Street Journal

Walt Disney's Second Avatar Movie Slated For China Release Next Month

  • Walt Disney Co's DIS "Avatar: The Way Of Water" will be released in China on December 16, the same day it is slated for global release.
  • The first Avatar movie from 2009 grossed nearly $2.9 billion worldwide, with $259 million coming from China, making it the highest-grossing movie of all time.
  • The last seven superhero films produced by Marvel Studios, Disney's most-profitable film studio over the past decade, haven't received release dates in the China market, denting the global box-office collections.


iPhone China Plant Sees Massive Protests, Reportedly Over Pay: 'Never Treats Humans As Humans'

  • Violent protests erupted at Apple Inc's AAPL main iPhone-making plant in China after hundreds of workers, furious over strict COVID-19 norms and unpaid dues, clashed with the security personnel.
  • Several workers at the Foxconn Technology China plant streamed out of dormitories in the wee hours on Wednesday, jostling and pushing past the white-clad guards.

Amazon's Famous Livestreaming Platform Takes Steps To Counter Child Predation

  • Amazon.Com IncAMZN-owned popular video game live-streaming site Twitch announced changes on the platform to increase safety for its young users after drawing criticism over child predation.
  • Twitch introduced mandatory phone verification requirements and fortified technology to catch and terminate accounts belonging to people under 13, among other measures.

US Chip Embargo Has Started Taking Toll On China, Data Suggests

  • China's purchases of machines to make computer chips fell 27% last month from a year earlier as the U.S. kicked off new, sweeping sanctions to try to derail the country's chip ambitions.
  • Chinese firms imported $2.4 billion worth of machinery used in semiconductor manufacturing in October, the lowest amount in more than two years after Washington broadened restrictions on selling the gear to the leading economy and importer of semiconductors.
  • October was significantly weaker by value than any other month this year.


Manchester United Club Explores Strategic Alternatives, Including Sale

  • Manchester United PLC MANU has said its Board of Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.
  • The process is aimed to enhance the club's future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
  • The Board will consider strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.

HP To Lay Off Up 6K Employees After 11% Revenue Decline In Q4

  • HP Inc HPQ announced an FY23 Future Ready Transformation plan, driving significant structural cost savings through digital transformation, portfolio optimization, and operational efficiency.
  • It estimates that these actions will result in annualized gross run rate savings of at least $1.4 billion by the end of FY25.
  • It looks to reduce gross global headcount by 4,000-6,000 employees.

Apple Supplier Foxconn Says Rumors Of People With COVID-19 Living In Dorms Untrue Amid Violent Protests

  • Foxconn Technology HNHPF said some new hires "appealed" to the company regarding the work allowance after videos of violent protests at Apple Inc's AAPL main iPhone-making plant in China on early Wednesday began circulating on the internet.
  • Hundreds of workers, furious over unpaid dues, clashed with the security personnel in the wee hours on Wednesday at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Park campus.

As Tesla Slashes China Prices To Reinvigorate Demand, Buffett-Backed EV Maker Surprises By Doing The Opposite

  • Chinese electric maker BYD Manufacturing Company Limited BYDDY BYDDF has raised the prices of some of its vehicles even as EV pioneer Tesla Inc TSLA has slashed prices in China.
  • BYD, backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, has raised prices by about 2,000 yuan to 6,000 yuan ($280-$839) for new-energy models Dynasty, Ocean and Denza, said a post on the company's Weibo account.

Troubled Lender Credit Suisse Flags Massive Loss For Q4 As It Speeds Up Turnaround Plans

  • Troubled Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG CS flagged a massive loss for the fourth quarter as it goes about setting its house in order.
  • Credit Suisse expects its investment banking business and the group to report a loss before taxes of about 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.58 billion) for its fourth quarter.
  • It previously hinted at a loss for the quarter, although not quantifying it.

This Chinese Big Tech Expresses Limited Impact From US Semiconductor Embargo

  • Chinese tech company Baidu, Inc's BIDU AI Cloud head Dou Shen voiced the "limited" impact of U.S. chip sanctions on its businesses during its third-quarter earnings call.
  • "A large portion of our AI Cloud business and even wider AI business does not rely too much on the highly advanced chips," said Shen.
  • "And for the part of our businesses that need advanced chips, we have already stocked enough in hand to support our business in the near term," he said.
  • Shen added that Baidu developed its own AI chip, named Kunlun. He said Baidu has already started to use the Kunlun chip to support some large-scale AI-computing tasks internally and to serve external customers.

Trouble Brews For Google And Apple As British Watchdog Investigates For Mobile Browser Dominance

  • Britain's antitrust watchdog launched a formal investigation into Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google and Apple Inc AAPL into the duo's dominance of the mobile browser market as well as potential curbs on the distribution of cloud gaming services through Apple's App Store.
  • A study concluded that they have the power to "exercise a stranglehold" over operating systems, app stores, and web browsers on mobile devices.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority'S escalation follows hard-hitting findings of a 356-page report into competition for mobile operating systems and apps, which concluded that Google and Apple had an effective duopoly and played a "gatekeeper role."

Deere Clocks Strong Q4 Performance Despite Inflation, Signals Strong FY23 Profit

  • Deere & Company DE has reported Q4 FY 22 sales of $15.54 billion, beating the consensus of $13.39 billion.
  • The company sold out of large tractors in Q3 due to parts shortages.
  • Deere has benefited from equipment prices forced to record highs by those shortages and higher crop prices. Economic uncertainty, inflationary pressures, and supply disruptions have offset those benefits.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management Unit Slapped With SEC Fine Over ESG Funds

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc's GS asset-management arm agreed to pay $4 million to settle a regulatory investigation.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Wall Street bank giant for policies and procedures failures involving two mutual funds and one separately managed account strategy marketed as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments.
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