Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.03.08]






Walmart Announces $350 Billion Commitment to U.S. Manufacturing, Supporting More Than 750,000 American Jobs

Walmart strengthens its commitment to U.S. manufacturing with a $350-billion investment over the next 10 years and announces the launch of “American Lighthouses,” a collaborative program to better sustain manufacturing in strategic regions of the country

Walmart is announcing a strengthened commitment to American jobs and communities, with a goal of investing $350 billion in the future of U.S. manufacturing over the next 10 years. The retailer estimates that this spend will support more than 750,000 new American jobs.1

In 2013, Walmart made a commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown, or assembled in America. Walmart is on track to deliver on that commitment – and expand on it with today’s announcement.

“U.S. manufacturing really matters,” said John Furner, President & CEO, Walmart U.S., who made the announcement at Techtronic Industries (TTI) in Anderson, S.C. “It matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs and to the environment. It matters to our customers – more than 85 percent of which have said it’s important for us to carry products made or assembled in the U.S. And most of all, because of the jobs it brings, it matters to American communities and the people who live in them.”

Walmart has identified six priority categories on which to focus its investment: textiles; plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).



Hyundai Heavy joins hands with Saudi Aramco in hydrogen project

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Saudi Arabia's state-run oil firm Saudi Aramco to cooperate on a hydrogen project.
Under the deal, Hyundai Oilbank, HHIH's refining unit, will import liquefied petroleum gas from Saudi Aramco to produce blue hydrogen, which is derived from fossil fuel resources such as natural gas, the holding company said.
Carbon dioxide captured and stored during the production process will also be provided to Saudi Aramco for the extraction of crude oil from exhausted oil fields.
Hyundai Oilbank plans to sell blue hydrogen as fuel for vehicles and thermal power plants or to use it for desulfurization equipment, HHIH said.
The refining unit also plans to set up 300 hydrogen charging stations by 2040 across South Korea.

Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.03.08]


Volkswagen is accelerating transformation into software-driven mobility provider

Volkswagen is accelerating its transformation into a software-driven mobility provider. By rolling out the ACCELERATE strategy that it has just unveiled, the company will systematically prepare for the profound changes in the automotive industry in good time. Just as Volkswagen resolutely led the way with its global electric offensive, now it is also accelerating the other big issues of the future: integration of software into the vehicle and the digital customer experience will become crucial core competencies. In implementing data-based business models, the company is seeking to attract new groups of customers and tap additional sources of income. Volkswagen also will make autonomous driving available to many people before the end of the decade. “E-mobility was just the beginning: the real disruption has yet to come. With our strategy we will ACCELERATE towards the digital future,” said Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen. “In the coming years, we will change Volkswagen as never before.”



Exxon to cut 7% of Singapore workforce amid 'unprecedented market conditions'

Exxon Mobil Corp plans to cut its workforce in Singapore, home to its largest oil refining and petrochemical complex, by about 7% amid the 'unprecedented market conditions' resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Wednesday.
About 300 positions out of 4,000 current jobs will be impacted by the end of 2021, the company said in a statement.



Apple's iMac Pro to be discontinued

It looks like Apple's iMac Pro is going to that big computer showroom in the sky. The $4,999 standard model is still available on Apple's site, but only while current supplies last -- once they're gone, the iMac Pro will no longer be available, Apple told us Saturday.
Released in 2017, the iMac Pro was touted by Apple at the time as 'by far the most powerful iMac we've ever made' and was aimed at professionals who needed really fast processing and lots of computing horsepower. But the machine hasn't gotten any significant hardware upgrades since then.
The 27-inch iMac that debuted in August of last year can be configured to address the needs of professionals and now becomes the go-to iMac for pros, Apple told us Saturday, adding that buyers who want expandability and more power can turn to the Mac Pro.



Daimler And Volvo Finalize Fuel-Cell Joint Venture For Trucks

Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group have finalized the transaction to form a fuel-cell joint venture that was first announced in April 2020.
Through the deal, Volvo Group has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG for €600 million on a cash and debt-free basis. The new company is dubbed Cellcentric GmbH & Co. KG.
The joint venture will develop, produce and commercialize the fuel-cell systems to be used by heavy-duty trucks. The current plan is for Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group to start customer tests of trucks with fuel-cells in about three years. Series production will start in the second half of the decade.



Alphabet X's new Wolverine project is a device that enables superhuman hearing

Alphabet's moonshot factory is reportedly working on a new project: A ear-worn device that could enable 'superhuman hearing'.

X has attempted some crazy moonshots over the years, many of which never fully came to fruition or you've never heard about before. Although a few, such as Google Glass smart glasses, Waymo self-driving cars, and Loon internet balloons, are 'graduated projects' and much more well known.

According to Business Insider, X's latest project is codenamed Wolverine, and it's focused on the future of hearing, or at least how to isolate people’s voices in a crowded room, making it easier for a listener to focus on one person when there's environmental noise or conversations happening.



Chevron to acquire rest of Noble Midstream Partners in all-stock deal expected to close in Q2

Chevron Corp. CVX, +4.31% said Friday it has entered an agreement to acquire the 33.925 million shares of Noble Midstream Partners it does not already own in all stock deal. Under the terms of the deal, Chevron will pay 0.1393 of its stock for each common unit of Noble owned. No further financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. 'We believe this buy-in transaction is the best solution for all stakeholders, enabling us to simplify the governance structure and capture value in support of our leading positions in the DJ and Permian basins,' said Colin Parfitt, vice president of Chevron Midstream and chairman of the board of directors of the general partner of Noble Midstream Partners LP. Chevron shares rose 1.9% premarket, while Noble shares were slightly lower.



Honda Legend Sedan with Level 3 Autonomy Available for Lease in Japan

The Honda Legend, the first production vehicle to be offered with a Level 3 autonomous system, has become available for lease today in Japan in a limited edition of 100. Currently, the Japanese automaker has no plans to bring the Legend with this system to the U.S., and it surely doesn’t help that Honda discontinued its American counterpart, the Acura RLX, last year.

The Honda Legend is equipped with Honda Sensing Elite, a more advanced version of Honda's driver-assist technology. The feature that qualifies the technology as a Level 3 system—which is still far from qualifying as fully autonomous—is Traffic Jam Pilot, a part of the system which can drive the car in certain conditions without requiring the driver to pay attention. Those conditions include congested traffic, and in such a situation, Honda says the driver can watch TV on the infotainment screen while the system is engaged.



Microsoft's Bethesda Purchase Approved By SEC

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Microsoft Bethesda purchase, which will bring the publisher and all of its studios into the Xbox family. It was one of the last remaining roadblocks to the acquisition finally closing, but Bethesda isn't becoming part of Xbox just yet.

The SEC published a 'notice of effectiveness' for the transaction on its website this week. If you're not familiar with SEC filings, it doesn't exactly mean much on the surface, but this notice is used when the SEC accepts a company's registration. The 'S-4' on the page means this is related to either a merger or an acquisition, and if you go to the related documents for this notice, it lists Microsoft's registration amount as being $7.5 billion. This is the amount agreed upon during the deal last year.



Deutsche Telekom expands NB-IoT roaming to 20 countries

Deutsche Telekom, the German parent company of T-Mobile, has expanded its IoT roaming agreements, making its NB-IoT service now available in 20 countries, including the U.S.

Among those signing onto roaming agreements with DT are Vodafone, Telia, Orange and Telenet (Belgium), Swisscom and Telecom Italia.

T-Mobile’s U.S. network is also on the roster. T-Mobile launched its nationwide NB-IoT network in 2018, initially focusing on applications like fleet tracking, monitors for lighting controls and sensors for overflow conditions.



SoftBank strategy chief Sago to leave

SoftBank Group's 9984.T chief strategy officer, Katsunori Sago, will resign at the end of March, the company said on Friday.

Sago, a Goldman Sachs alumnus and former chief investment officer of Japan Post Bank Co 7182.T, took the strategy job in 2018 and was viewed as a possible successor to Chief Executive Masayoshi Son.

In a company statement Son credited Sago for helping to drive SoftBank's growth as an investment company, though no reason was given for his resignation.

SoftBank Group last month reported that third-quarter net profit ballooned more than 20 times thanks to recovery at its Vision Fund.


Robert Bosch Venture Capital invests in USD 6 million funding round of Sunlight

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the venture capital arm of the Bosch Group, has participated in a 6 million US Dollar financing round in Cambridge (UK) based, investing together with OpenOcean, a pan-European early stage investor in B2B software that was founded by the early investors and founders of MySQL. The proceeds of the round will be used to scale the company’s business particularly in the US market.



The Johnson & Johnson case with Pelvic implant victims was settled out of court for $2.6 million dollars.

The appeal by Johnson & Johnson has been dismissed, so the company must pay $2.6 million to the victims of pelvic mesh complications.

The decision went in favour of the women who had serious problems stemming from Johnson & Johnson's defective prolapse and incontinence tapes.



Intel Ordered to Pay $2.18 Billion in Chip Patent Case

A federal judge in Texas ordered Intel to pay $2.18 billion after a jury found the company had infringed patents related to chip-making.

Shares of the Santa Clara, Calif. company at last check were down 1.7% to $61.82.

The judge in the case ruled that Intel had infringed two patents owned by closely held VLSI Technology, Bloomberg reported.

The jury decided $1.5 billion for infringement of one patent and $675 million for infringement of the second.