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The latest news, trends and data on technology
Technology news in numbers
The market cap achieved by tech titan Apple at the start of 2022.
The notional size of components on the new chip Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing announced it had put into pilot production in December
The valuation Singaporean tech company Grab grabbed at its public float in December, making it the biggest SPAC deal to date.
The reported amount stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart in a cyberattack at the end of 2021.
The total electric vehicle subsidies issued by China's Ministry of Finance from 2016 to 2020.
The amount graphics processor maker Nvidia has spent to avoid major supply chain problems.
Uber rides away from Didi, says China market has "little transparency"
US based ride-hailing giant Uber is looking to sell stakes in non-strategic assets, including its shares in Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in December. He also said the Chinese market was tough, with little transparency.
"Our Didi stake we don't believe is strategic. They're a competitor in China," the Uber CEO said during a virtual fireside chat with a UBS analyst.
Khosrowshahi added that the company was in no rush to sell the shares.
"Those kinds of stakes we look to monetise smartly over time."
The CEO explained that many of the companies in which Uber has a stake have gone public recently, meaning they are still subject to a lockup period – when investors cannot sell stock. He also added that Uber would continue to hold some stakes for strategic reasons.
Uber pulled out of China in 2016 after it burned over a billion dollars a year in a fierce price war with Didi. It eventually decided to sell its China operations to Didi in exchange for shares. Uber currently owns 12.8% of Didi, according to a filing by the Chinese company in June.
Uber had around $13.1bn tied up in investments in other companies as of the end of the third quarter, including $4.1n in Didi.
Some investors have argued that Uber holding on to these investments sends a signal to the market that shares in other entities are more attractive than putting freed-up capital into its own operations.
Khosrowshahi also said that "China is a pretty difficult environment with very little transparency.”
The Chinese ride-hailing industry experienced a turbulent year, with market leader Didi Chuxing being the most notable victim.
On 30 June, China's largest ride-hailing platform raised a record-setting $4.4bn on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). However, a mere three days after its debut, China's main internet watchdog launched a probe into the company, citing illegal collection of users' personal data and cybersecurity concerns. Following the probe, Didi lost about $15bn of market value in one day.
Recently, the company said it would delist from the NYSE and move to Hong Kong instead.
Chinese regulators have tightened their grip on the ride-hailing industry, citing excessive data collection and unfair pricing policies. The Ministry of Transport, in cooperation with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), recently summoned eleven ride-hailing executives for questioning. The Transport Ministry and CAC claimed the companies in question had used illegally collected data and their dominant market positions to implement unfair and opaque pricing techniques.
Image credit: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit
From the news
Google to buy Siemplify: But government is turning a beady eye on Big Tech acquisitions
Google will acquire cybersecurity startup Siemplify in a $500m deal despite an increasingly hostile attitude toward such deals from governments around the world. However, the growing scrutiny is not likely to discourage Big Tech firms from making more acquisitions in the future.
“I would imagine that if they want to acquire a company and they can see a strategic reason for acquiring it, then they won’t shy away from doing it,” David Bicknell, principal analyst at Globaldata’s thematic research team, tells Verdict. “And if and when the regulation really sort of happens, then they’ll cross that bridge when they come to it.
Yet another blow to Nvidia-Arm buy as FTC sues to block, saying deal would “stifle the innovation pipeline”
The long delayed and much-investigated $50bn+ purchase of UK chip designer Arm by US-headquartered graphical processing goliath Nvidia has run into yet another obstacle as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now taking legal action to prevent the deal.
The FTC lawsuit is merely the latest of many regulatory obstacles which have impeded the progress of the deal. British, European and Chinese regulators have also launched probes.
XPeng says it will finally bring Chinese-made cars to Europe
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker, XPeng, will soon deliver half its output to countries outside China, Vice President and Chairman Brian Gu has said. He added that the company would start exporting cars to Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands in 2022.
The Guangzhou-based company – with a dual listing in New York and Hong Kong – is often described as famous US-based EV maker Tesla’s main rival.
No more force-fed cookies: Google and Facebook face data privacy fines
The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, CNIL, has sued Facebook and Google. The market watchdog argues that the tech giants has made it difficult to reject cookies and that this in turn affects users’ freedom of consent and constitutes an infringement of Article 82 of the French Data Protection Act. The regulator has therefore now slammed Google with a €150m fine and Facebook with a €60m fine.
Binance conduct branded “unacceptable” by Ontario securities regulator
Prominent cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been reprimanded by authorities in Canada’s Ontario province for telling users that it was allowed to continue trading there, despite lacking the registration to do so.
The Ontario Securities Commission released a statement on Thursday, pointing out that “Binance is not registered under securities law in Ontario. This means they are not authorized to offer trading in derivatives or securities to persons or companies located in the province.”
The OSC added: “This is unacceptable.”
Fintech startups rejoice at new UK open-banking rule change
UK open banking startups are in a celebratory mood after the nation’s financial markets regulator changed the 90-day rule, which required users to re-authenticate their permission for sharing financial data every three months.
Users previously had to re-authenticate their permission with every app and provider they shared their financial data with. This had been viewed as particularly cumbersome. Now users will just need to give their permission to share their data once, albeit still every 90 days.
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