Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.09.13]






Judge rules against Apple app store policy that forces developers to use Apple payment

A federal judge ordered Apple to dismantle part of the competitive barricade guarding its closely run app store, threatening one of the iPhone maker's biggest moneymakers. The change could potentially save app developers billions of dollars that could encourage them to lower the prices paid by consumers.

Friday's ruling decides a legal challenge brought by Epic Games, best known as the maker of Fortnite, the popular video game played by 400 million people worldwide. Epic, based in Cary, North Carolina, is a private company.

Epic targeted commissions of up to 30% that Apple charges on digital transactions within apps. Such transactions can include everything from Netflix or Spotify subscriptions to the sale of digital item such as songs, movies or virtual tchotchkes for video games. Epic cast that highly lucrative fee as a price-gouging tactic that wouldn't be possible if competing stores were allowed to offer iPhone apps.


Toyota will cut output again as pandemic continues production pinch

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. willl slash global production again next month — by 330,000 units — as the pandemic and global shortage of automotive microchips continue to bite.

The total hit represents a 40 percent cutback from Toyota’s original October production plan.

In announcing the reversal on Friday, Toyota said it will also take a bigger hit than expected in September. Toyota expects to lose another 70,000 units this month.

That adjustment comes on top of an August announcement, when Toyota warned it would lose 360,000 vehicles of output globally in September, including some 80,000 units in North America.

Unlike in last month’s announcement, when Toyota kept its fiscal year global production target unchanged, Toyota said this time that it would lower its target to 9 million units for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. It had earlier planned to manufacture 9.3 million vehicles worldwide.

【Samsung 】

Samsung decision on new U.S. chip plant location 'imminent' -Texas county judge

AUSTIN, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A decision by Samsung Electronics 005930.KS on the location of its new $17 billion U.S. chip plant was imminent, the judge for Texas' Williamson County, which is in the running for the new factory, said on Thursday.

'The decision is imminent. My experience with Samsung is that they move nimbly and swiftly,' County Judge Bill Gravell said during an interview with Reuters.

Samsung has said it would start construction on the new 6-million-square-foot (557,418-sq-meter) plant in January, with production up and running by the end of 2024. The company has said no decision has been made and that it was also considering Williamson County's southern neighbor Austin and sites in New York and California.

The factory would mark Samsung's second U.S. chip factory and comes at a time when the global auto industry faces a significant semiconductor shortage.



Today Shell announced it has successfully made high-end chemicals using a liquid feedstock made from plastic waste. The technique, known as pyrolysis, is considered a breakthrough for hard-to-recycle plastics and advances Shell’s ambition to use one million tonnes of plastic waste a year in its global chemicals plants by 2025.


Chinese brand Xiaomi overtakes Apple to lead wearable band market: report

BEIJING -- Chinese tech giant Xiaomi overtook Apple to become the top-shipping wearable band vendor in the second quarter of 2021, according to an industrial report.

Xiaomi took the lead with shipments of 8 million units during the period, occupying nearly 20 percent of the market share, data from the technology market research firm Canalys showed.

Apple closely followed with a shipment of 7.9 million units, while Huawei ranked third with a shipment of 3.7 million units, the data showed.



Ronald McDonald House opens near Beijing Children's Hospital

The Beijing Ronald McDonald House — which will provide free accommodation and other care services to children in need and their family members visiting the Beijing Children Hospital from various parts of China for medical treatment — was officially opened on Sept 9.

It is hoped that the facility can help by 'keeping families close' during what is often a trying time.

The Beijing Ronald McDonald House, which is funded by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, is part of a partnership with the Beijing Children's Hospital, a national-level hospital for children in China.

It is the third Ronald McDonald House to be established in the Chinese mainland.


RLX Technology unveils project to recycle used vaping pods

Amid nationwide sustainable efforts toward goals set by the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-26), e-vaporizer maker RLX Technology recently announced a green project to invest 20 million yuan ($3.1 million) to recycle used e-liquid pods in China as raw materials for cement.

RLX, together with China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, said during a company's event on Sept 2 that the cement made by recycled pods will be donated to China's rural areas to help build infrastructure such as road and bridges.

Soon to be launched within the same month, the project will start in Beijing and reach 10 Chinese cities by next February. It aims to cover all RLX stores in China by the end of 2022. RLX will collect not only its own used pods, but those of all various brands.


SOHO China: Blackstone suspends tender offer

Hong Kong-listed property developer SOHO China announced on Friday that due to the lack of progress made in meeting the prerequisites, parties involved in the company's tender offer agreed that it was impossible to reach the prerequisites before or by the deadline.

All parties also agreed not to postpone the final target date.

In order to remove the company's continuing obligations under the acquisition rules, after consulting the executive officials, all parties decided to withdraw the offer.


New smartphones unveiled to target photo-taking lovers

Chinese tech company Vivo unveiled its latest flagship smartphones X70 series, which are powered by its self-designed Imaging Chip V1, as it steps up push to grow its research and development to target photo lovers.

The move also comes as Vivo further extends its camera partnership with renowned German lens company Zeiss to refine the photo-taking capabilities of its smartphones.

【Essilor】&【Nova Vision】

Essilor and Nova Vision to help improve eye health in rural China

French ophthalmic optics company Essilor and optometry service provider Nova Vision initiated a three-year strategic cooperation on Thursday with the aim of providing free eye health screening to at least 100,000 children in rural China.

Around 10,000 employees, including optometrists, from the two enterprises will form volunteer teams and travel to villages and mountainous regions in remote provinces to carry out eye health and optometry checkups. Minors with eye problems will also receive eyeglasses for free.

More than 10 trips, including two large-scale ones, will be organized each year, the two companies said at a launch ceremony of the strategic cooperation in Shanghai.

The two sides said that they will invest in capital, materials, equipment, and professional workers for this philanthropy program.

【Megvii given】

AI pioneer Megvii given go-ahead to list on STAR Market

Chinese pioneering artificial intelligence company Megvii has been granted approval to list on the STAR Market, or the science and technology innovation board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, ThePaper reported on Thursday.


Photovoltaic companies playing hydrogen card

Several major solar power companies in China are making forays into the hydrogen sector in search of the next big investment opportunity in the clean energy sector as China has been supporting the development of hydrogen energy.

Solar power player GCL New Energy Holdings Ltd, a unit of GCL Group, recently announced its entry into the hydrogen sector. It vowed to produce 2.3 million metric tons of ammonia annually, which can supply 700,000 tons of 'blue' hydrogen for the domestic market.


Lenovo aims to build smart infrastructure for new IT

Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, also known as Lenovo ISG, a unit of Chinese tech giant Lenovo Group, aims to build a new type of agile, efficient, green and low-carbon intelligent infrastructure for new IT.

The company showcased Lenovo TruScale, a portfolio-spanning everything-as-a-service offering at the 2021 Lenovo Tech World on Wednesday. This move is part of Lenovo ISG's broader efforts to offer smart infrastructure solutions to organizations of all sizes.

Via TruScale, Lenovo ISG aims to promote the concept of 'everything as a service', and deliver smart technology for enterprises to help them accelerate the digital transformation.


AT&S and Shanghai University build strategic cooperation

A framework agreement of strategic cooperation was reached between AT & S (China) Co Ltd and the Mechatronic Engineering and Automation School of Shanghai University on Thursday in Shanghai, as the two parties look to establish a digital transformation innovation center and agree to collaborate on a range of academic and educational programs including an internship program, talent recruitment, and joint research and development project targeting digitalization and smart manufacturing.


BASF to join in on green power pilot project

German chemical giant BASF said six of its sites in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces have announced they will join China's pilot scheme for green power trading, which was launched on Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator.

The company said it plans to secure renewable electricity of around 440,000 megawatt-hours through 2025 from various power producers. The company is the largest buyer in the Yangtze River Delta region as well as the second-largest buyer in the Pearl River Delta region.


Tesla August Sales beat 40,000 monthly threshold

US electric car maker Tesla Inc sold 44,264 vehicles in China in August, surpassing the 40,000 threshold for monthly sales for the first time in the country.

That number jumped 34 percent compared with July alone, and leaped 275 percent from the same period last year, the China Passenger Car Association said on Wednesday.

The first eight months of 2021 saw Tesla sell more than 250,000 automobiles in China, outstripping total sales volume last year.


Syngenta Group China VP: Accelerate building of system to safeguard agriculture

The building of a national strategic system on agricultural input emergency guarantees should be accelerated and improved, so as to guarantee agricultural production and food security, said a senior executive of an agrochemical giant and seed producer.

Drawing on the experiences of building national reserve mechanisms for crude oil, cotton and grain, and learning from the international practices on agricultural emergency security systems, it should be a normal, intensive, systematic and digitalized 'national agricultural security' system, said Feng Mingwei, vice-president of Syngenta Group China.


Chindata Group joins United Nations Global Compact

Chinese carrier-neutral, hyperscale data center solution provider Chindata Group announced on Wednesday it joined the United Nations Global Compact, becoming the first digital infrastructure corporate participant of the compact in Asia Pacific.

This year marks the sixth year of the establishment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through its involvement, Chindata Group will work with other members to promote a shared global vision, including delivering on the United Nations' SDGs.

The United Nations Global Compact is an initiative that encourages businesses across the world to implement sustainability principles and social responsibility policies. It is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, under which 13,000 organizations and corporate participants from over 170 economies are brought together to help realize the United Nations' SDGs.


Sinopec starts construction on new hydrogen fuel center

The largest hydrogen supply center for hydrogen fuel cells in Guangdong started construction on Wednesday, according to its operator China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec — the world's largest refiner by volume.

The project will help the hydrogen sector in Guangdong rapidly develop and lift the region's hydrogen production and supply capacity.

With total investment of 62.44 million yuan ($9.66 million), the project will adopt Sinopec's independent intellectual property rights technology and is expected to be put into operation by the first quarter next year, it said.

【Rio Tinto】&【Ouyeel Finance】

Rio Tinto, Ouyeel Finance sign deal to advance digital trade

Metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ouyeel Finance under China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited and Bank of China on Monday to advance digital innovation in international commodity trade, alongside the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing.