Top Financial Stories Thursday, September 08: Amazon Slows Down Hiring, Netflix Focuses On Cost Cutting, iPhone 14 Will Be Available In Russia And More…


iPhone 14 Will Be Available In Russia Despite Apple’s Exit From The Country, Says Trade Minister

  • The newly-launched iPhone 14 and other Apple Inc AAPL products will be available for sale in Russia, even though the U.S. giant had left the country in March over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • “Why not? If consumers want to buy these phones, yes. There will be the opportunity,” Russia’s Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov said while replying to a reporter’s question on Thursday.

Elon Musk And His Companies Get Further Entangled In Dogecoin Racketeering Lawsuit

  • The lawsuit against Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk that accuses him and his electric car company of racketeering has reportedly been expanded.
  • The $258 billion lawsuit has been expanded with the addition of seven new investor plaintiffs and six new defendants, including his tunnel construction firm Boring Co. Previously, SpaceX, a space exploration firm that Musk heads, was also named.

GM Tries To Regain China Drive By Aiming At Super-Rich: Here’s What It’s All About

  • General Motors Company GM is reportedly planning to woo the urban rich in China through a new direct sales platform that will offer niche, luxury imports, and experiences as the American automaker tries to regain momentum in the world’s biggest car market.
  • GM is planning to launch a platform called Durant Guild to host invitation-only events to showcase possible products, open “experience centers” in urban hubs and potentially stage pop-ups at selected sites.

Toyota, Honda & Nissan Score Low In Greenpeace Decarbonization Ranking

  • Environmental group Greenpeace said Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp TM, Honda Motor Co Ltd HMC, and Nissan Motor Co Ltd NSANY have ranked at the bottom of decarbonization efforts.
  • Toyota came last with its zero-emission vehicles making up less than 1% of total sales.
  • Greenpeace also noted that Toyota made slow progress in supply chain decarbonization.


Wall Street Journal

Amazon Looks To Pull Brakes On Hiring To Trim Pandemic Induced Fluff

  • Inc AMZN chief Andy Jassy acknowledged slowing down the hiring rate citing pandemic-induced overexpansion.
  • Amazon looks to scale back following a massive hiring spree to contain customer demand, primarily in its fulfillment networks.
  • Amazon reported slowing sales and net loss in Q2 as it faced continued weakness in its retail operations after a pandemic boom.
  • Amazon attempted to shed some warehouse space by subletting it out and deferring the construction of new warehouses. It also closed down many of the company’s brick-and-mortar retail stores.
  • Amazon saw a growing workforce joining unions in quest of better pay and workplace conditions.

Netflix Goes Slower On Cloud Computing, Other Costs To Counter Subscriber Slowdown

  • Netflix Inc NFLX pared back its real-estate footprint, restricted corporate swag, controlled cloud-computing costs, and hired more junior staff to beat the subscriber slowdown.
  • Netflix’s operating expenses rose 15% year-on-year to $23.5 billion in 2021, thanks to programming, salaries, and content delivery.
  • Netflix also looks to restrain spending heavily on movies and TV shows.

Second Largest Movie Theater Chain Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

  • The world’s second-largest movie theater chain behind AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC, Cineworld Group PLC CNNWF, filed for bankruptcy.
  • UK-based Cineworld has more than $5 billion in debt and faces a roughly $1 billion legal judgment from a failed merger with Canadian cinema chain Cineplex Inc.
  • The company said it has commitments from its lenders for a roughly $1.94 billion loan to carry it through the restructuring process and cover operating expenses.

Google’s ‘News Showcase’ Feature Almost Year Behind Schedule - What Could Be The Reason

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOG Google News Showcase program has hit a roadblock as some media outlets are unhappy with certain contractual terms or payments.
  • The program pays publishers to feature their content, allowing curated panels of related stories on Google News and some other Google platforms.
  • For some U.S. outlets, one sticking point is a contractual term from Google that says a Showcase deal constitutes all payment that a publisher is entitled to for its content.


Financial Times

Apple In Trouble As Spotify Chief Canvasses EU To Heighten Regulatory Action Against The iPhone Maker

  • Spotify Technology S.A. SPOT founder Daniel Ek exploited a rare visit to Brussels to apply personal pressure on the European Commission to accelerate the case against Apple Inc’s AAPL practices.
  • Daniel Ek reportedly spoke with competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager regarding Apple’s “anti-competitive conduct,” citing other regulators’ harsh actions, including in Japan, the Netherlands, and South Korea.
  • Ek said he hoped his visit would speed the probe against Apple, which has taken almost four years.
  • Spotify complained against Apple to the European regulators in 2019, claiming Apple was taking a 30% commission for featuring it in the App Store and denying other upgrading options. The commission formally charged Apple this year.

Ford Launches Electric Version Of E-Transit Custom In Europe

  • Ford Motor Co F has launched the electric version of its best-selling delivery van, E-Transit Custom, in Europe
  • The E-Transit Custom will go on sale in the autumn of next year with a range of about 380km, the report specified.
  • The move is a part of the automaker’s effort to put an end to the sale of traditional engine vehicles in Europe by 2035.

Tencent Suffers Massive Selloff After Alibaba

  • Tencent Holding Ltd TCEHY shareholders added $7.6 billion in shares to Hong Kong’s clearing and settlement system, spurring speculation that its biggest shareholder, Naspers Ltd NAPRF, offloaded part of its 29% stake, the Financial Times reports.
  • Earlier, Tencent’s international investment arm Prosus backed out of its pledge not to sell stock in Tencent.
  • Global investors downsized their holdings in Chinese technology stocks following a government crackdown and regulatory onslaught.



Alibaba Co-Founder Downsizes Exposure To Alphabet, Microsoft, Twitter For Other Bets, Including Blockchain

  • The family office of Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA co-founder Joe Tsai has sold almost all of its U.S. stocks.
  • Blue Pool Capital has ditched holdings in over 30 U.S.-listed companies, mainly in the tech sector, since 2021.
  • Blue Pool invested in over ten unlisted startups globally since early 2021 in sectors including sports, blockchain, and health care.



Nio Joins Geely And Other Peers In Expressing Indifference To Nvidia’s Export Ban

  • Chinese electric car maker Nio Inc NIO joined others in the industry, denying any impact from U.S. restrictions on Nvidia Corp NVDA chip sales to China.
  • Now the U.S. requires Nvidia to get a license for future export to China for certain products, citing national security concerns.
  • The Nvidia Drive Orin chip has become a core part of assisted driving tech for Nio and other electric car companies in China.
  • He also noted that the restrictions would not affect Nio’s long-term strategy.
  • XPeng Inc XPEV confessed challenges for all autonomous driving algorithm training on cloud computing platforms from the restrictions despite claiming in possession of enough high-tech products.



Instacart Doubles Down on Its Technology Solutions With Local Grocery Startup Deal

  • Instacart is acquiring Rosie, an e-commerce platform for local and independent retailers and wholesalers. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Instacart operates a grocery delivery and pick-up service in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Founded in 2013, Rosie offers independent grocers branded e-commerce websites and mobile app capabilities that power order flow, fulfillment, and customer insights.

Warren Buffett-Backed BYD Eyes Setting Up EV Plant In Thailand

  • Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. Ltd BYDDF, which is backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A), is eyeing setting up a facility in Thailand.
  • BYD, in a joint statement with Thai industrial developer WHA Group, announced that it had signed an agreement for 96 hectares (237 acres) of land in the eastern province of Rayong for the plant to produce 150,000 passenger cars a year from 2024.

Apple Analyst Sees iPhone 14 Boost From Pent Up Demand, Says This Was Biggest Surprise For Wall Street

  • Wedbush analyst Dan Ives has shared his take on the just concluded Apple Inc AAPL event where the iPhone 14, the Apple Watch Series 8, and AirPods Pro 2 debuted.
  • Ives continued to maintain his “outperform” rating on the Tim Cook-led company with a 12-month price target of $220.
  • Ives termed the release of iPhone 14 and Pro Max as the main event and said it “continues to be the core success story of this impressive iPhone upgrade cycle taking the baton from iPhone 13.”

GameStop Partners With Crypto Exchange FTX: What You Need To Know

  • Major video game retailer GameStop Corp GME has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to bring more customers to the digital asset space.
  • GameStop and FTX announced the partnership in a Wednesday press release. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • “The partnership is intended to introduce more GameStop customers to FTX’s community and its marketplaces for digital assets,” GameStop said in a statement.

Why Globalstar Shares Are Volatile After Apple News

  • Globalstar Inc GSAT shares are trading higher by 11.48% to $2.33 Wednesday afternoon after the company announced it would be the satellite operator for Apple satellite-enabled services. The company will receive payments from Apple under the partnership agreement.
  • Apple announced a new free Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that can connect to emergency services even if the user is out of cellular or WiFi range. The new satellite service is expected to launch in November and will be provided by Globalstar.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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