Netflix eyes video games
Netflix Inc said it would make a deeper dive into video games as the movie and TV streaming service projected weak subscriber growth amid growing competition and the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that had kept people at home. Netflix is weathering a sharp slowdown in new customers after a boom last year fueled by lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US and Canada, Netflix reported losing about 430,000 subscribers in the second quarter, only its third quarterly decline in 10 years. The company projected it would add 3.5 million customers from this month to September. Wall Street had expected a forecast of 5.5 million, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. In the second quarter, Netflix added 1.54 million customers, beating analyst projections of 1.04 million. Total subscribers numbered 209 million at the end of last month.
Huawei lobby costs soar
Huawei Technologies Co (華為) ramped up spending on Washington lobbyists last quarter as a US ban on the company’s equipment means it is being left out of projects associated with the billions of dollars US Congress plans to spend on infrastructure. Huawei spent US$1.06 million in the second quarter, up from US$180,000 in the first quarter, according to disclosures filed on Tuesday. The company listed broadband and infrastructure bills as specific interests, as well as trade and a digital privacy measure. US President Joe Biden extended a 2019 executive order from his predecessor prohibiting US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk, including Huawei. That means the Chinese equipment maker would be left out of the US$65 billion that US Congress plans to spend on expanding broadband access as part of a US$579 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan.
Two more join coalition
Suzuki Motor Corp and Daihatsu are joining a commercial electric vehicle coalition led by Toyota Motor Corp, the firms said yesterday, helping the Japanese alliance expand its focus from trucks to smaller vehicles. The two automakers would each acquire a 10 percent stake in the joint venture, on a par with Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors, while Toyota would hold a 60 percent stake, they said. “With Suzuki and Daihatsu joining the project and working together, we’ll be able to expand our circle of cooperation to not only cover commercial vehicles, but also mini vehicles,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said. The move comes as Japanese automakers face growing competition from technology giants and other rivals making electric and driverless vehicles.Toyota, Isuzu and Hino launched Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corp in April to bolster their competitive edge in connected, commercial vehicles.
Novartis sales surge 9%
Novartis AG yesterday said that its second-quarter sales grew by 9 percent, boosted in large part by clients replenishing supplies after dipping heavily into their stocks during COVID-19 lockdowns last year. Net profit jumped by 49 percent from the same period last year to US$2.9 billion, which the company said was due to lower financial charges. Net sales came in at US$13 billion in the second quarter, a 9 percent gain when currency variations were stripped out. Increases in volumes would have implied a 13 percent sales gain, but reduced prices and increased competition from generics reduced that figure.
An index launched a year ago to give investors greater exposure to China’s Internet giants is now the world’s worst-performing major technology gauge. The Hang Seng Tech Index has been on a roller-coaster ride in the past 12 months. The gauge, which marks its first anniversary on Tuesday, was up 59 percent at its February peak, but has since seen more than US$551 billion in market value wiped out amid Beijing’s clampdown on the sector. That has reduced its gain to nearly 6 percent, compared with more than 40 percent for the MSCI World Information Technology Index and the NASDAQ-100 Index. The
Taiwan should protect its vaccine supply chain and invest in vaccine development after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted tremendous social and economic losses worldwide, Sanofi Pasteur Hong Kong & Taiwan general manager Philip Ho said in an interview this week. “When you look at the trillions of dollars that countries have lost, parents who are forced to stay at home with their children and various restrictions imposed following a nationwide lockdown, we really see what we are losing compared with what we can benefit from vaccination,” Ho said. While the government has been trying to secure vaccines since the middle
The next target for China’s cybersecurity crackdown is to be the pools of data collected by the latest generation of vehicles. This approach risks Beijing shooting itself in the foot, and jeopardizing its ambitious plans to lead the global race for electric and autonomous vehicles. China wants to have control over the information vehicles have about their drivers, the roads they traverse, and the faces and voices they pass, according to a draft law on data-security management for the automotive industry issued in May. It seeks to ensure manufacturers across the auto supply chain keep data in the country and pass
EDUCATION AS WELFARE: New regulations threaten to upend the lucrative private education sector that teaches the public school curriculum to paying families China unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its US$100 billion education tech sector, banning companies that teach the school curriculum from earning profit, raising capital or going public. Beijing on Saturday published an array of regulations that together threaten to overturn the sector and jeopardize billions of dollars in foreign investment. Companies that teach school subjects can no longer accept overseas investment, which could include capital from the offshore registered entities of Chinese firms, according to a notice released by the Chinese State Council. Those in violation of that rule must take steps to rectify the situation, the country’s most powerful administrative