Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.09.27]






Fengfan shares: won the bid for the State Grid Project of about 245 million yuan

September 23 (Xinhua) -- Fengfan Co., Ltd. announced that the company was the bid winner of package 5 and package 37 in the 30th procurement of UHV project (the first material bidding procurement of Baihetan Zhejiang project) of State Grid Co., Ltd. in 2021. In the 39th batch of procurement activities of State Grid Corporation of China in 2021 (the fourth bidding procurement of line installation materials for power transmission and transformation project), the company is the bid winner of package 2 and package 63. In the 27th procurement of UHV project of State Grid Corporation of China in 2021 (the second equipment bidding procurement of Fujian Guangdong networking and other projects), the company is the bid winner of package 2. The bid winning amount of the above five packages is about 245 million yuan, accounting for about 9.42% of the audited operating revenue of the company in 2020.



Amazon says it will spend '$7.5 billion' on giant data centres in Auckland

Amazon plans to spend $7.5 billion building a cluster of huge data centres in Auckland, due to open in 2024.

The tech giant says the Amazon Web Services build will create 1000 jobs, and add $10.8 billion to New Zealand's GDP over a decade and a half.

AWS New Zealand head, Tim Dacombe-Bird told the Herald that the $7.5 billion was calculated over 15 years, and included the cost of building at least three data centre zones and stocking them with hardware, plus operating costs including utilities and salaries.

'It will be a full 'AWS Region, which will include three 'availability zones'. An availability zone is defined as one or more data centers,' Dacombe-Bird said.

The Auckland build will become one of 25 AWS data centre regions worldwide.

The company has yet to reveal specific locations, among other details, but a wave of data centre building by Microsoft, half Infratil-owned CDC and others is currently underway in Auckland's northwest - which offers both land newly opened for development and proximity to international fibre cables and NZ's largest internet peering exchange.

A rep for Amazon told the Herald that the sites would not be revealed, 'as this is part of our secure design approach. '



CNPC and CASIC sign a strategic cooperation framework agreement

On September 14, CNPC and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Limited (CASIC) inked a strategic cooperation framework agreement. According to the agreement, the two parties will carry out in-depth cooperation in technological innovation, high-end equipment, and applications of digital information technologies to promote common development.


At 2 billion iPhones sold, Apple continues to redefine what customers want

With more iPhone configurations available than ever, customers can enter Apple's ecosystem at any price point — which has led to over 2 billion iPhones sold.

While Apple only sells a handful of iPhone models new, the used market is flooded with older devices. This creates a wide variety of choice for the consumer from the $1,600 1TB iPhone 13 Pro Max to a used iPhone 11 purchased for near nothing after trade-in.

A report from Horace Dediu at Asymco says there is over 1 billion active iPhone users, with about 60% market share in the United States. Thanks to a high switch rate from Android and a low switch rate away from Apple, that number continues to grow. For example, over 14% of US citizens surveyed switched to the iPhone within the last two years.



VW has offered 2.5 billion euros for the acquisition of the French autonomous company ‘Europcar’

German Automotive Group »Volkswagen“On Monday, it offered 2.5 billion euros to buy the French autonomous company” Europcar “.

The offer is also supported by the British investment company Attestor and the Dutch technology company Pon.

The offer has already been accepted by Europcar’s board, but needs to be approved by the French regulator.

The deal assumes that Volkswagen will acquire a 66% stake in Europcar, Attestor will receive a 27% stake and Pon a 7% stake.

Volkswagen explains that it wants to meet the growing consumer demand for new and innovative mobility solutions, including subscription and sharing models.

The German carmaker once owned Europcar, which was sold to French investment firm Eurazeo for € 3.3 billion in 2006.

However, earlier this year, Eurazeo was forced to hand over the company’s creditors, given the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.



Samsung will produce the next-gen Tesla FSD HW 4.0 chip for the Cybertruck

The deal between Tesla and Samsung is almost done for the production of the next-generation Tesla FSD chip aka HW 4.0 (Hardware 4). A report from The Korea Economic Daily revealed the secret of the provider of this integrated chip which Tesla will install in the Cybertruck for the first time.

Tesla is currently using the HW 3.0 supercomputer in all of its cars produced in the United States and China. Tesla unveiled the HW 3.0 FSD Computer back in 2019 during the Autonomy Day presentation.

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, although HW 3.0 is fully capable of computing the Full Self-Driving software, the automaker still wanted to make the next-level computer just in time to make FSD even safer. The Silicon Valley-based automaker also wants to keep innovating and improving upon its technology in the essence of its continuous improvement cycle.


Panic-buying: Almost a third of BP petrol stations running on empty   

Oil Companies Prepare To Ration Petrol Station Deliveries Due To Shortage Of HGV Drivers

BP said it was working to resupply “as rapidly as possible.” (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Nearly a third of BP’s British petrol stations have run out of the two main grades of fuel, the oil company said.

Motorists queued up at petrol stations over the weekend as Brits panic-bought fuel despite ministers’ insistence that there was no shortage.

Oil firms had reported that a lack of delivery drivers was causing transport problems from refineries to forecourts.

Some operators have had to ration supplies and others to close gas stations.

“With the intense demand seen over the past two days, we estimate that around 30 per cent of sites in this network do not currently have either of the main grades of fuel,” BP, which operates 1,200 sites in the UK, said on Sunday.

The company said it was working to resupply “as rapidly as possible.”


Shell exits Permian with $9.5 billion Texas shale sale to ConocoPhillips

(Reuters) -Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it would sell its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash, an exit from the largest U.S. oilfield for the energy major shifting its focus to the clean energy transition.

For ConocoPhillips, it is the second sizable acquisition in a year in the heart of the U.S. shale industry, as American and European producers diverge in whether to focus on hydrocarbons going forward.

Like all of the world's largest oil companies, Shell is under pressure from investors to reduce fossil-fuel investments to help reduce global carbon emissions and fight climate change.


Forget that Loon's balloon burst, we just fired 700TB of laser broadband between two cities, says Google

Engineers at Alphabet's technology moonshot lab X say they used lasers to beam 700TB of internet traffic between two cities separated by the Congo River.

The capitals of the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazzaville and Kinshasa, respectively, are only 4.8 km (about three miles) apart. The denizens of Kinshasa have to pay five times more than their neighbors in Brazzaville for broadband connectivity, though. That's apparently because the fiber backbone to Kinshasa has to route more than 400 km (250 miles) around the river – no one wanted to put the cable through it.

There's a shorter route for data to take between the cities. Instead of transmitting the information as light through networks of cables, it can be directly beamed over the river by laser.


Daimler takes 33% stake in European battery cell venture ACC

BERLIN (Sept 24): Daimler's Mercedes-Benz on Friday said it will take a 33% stake in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC) alongside the project's original founders Stellantis and TotalEnergies.

The purpose of the partnership is to develop cells and battery modules and 'help ensure that Europe remains at the heart of the auto industry - even in an electric era', Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said in a statement.

Daimler added that the battery cells produced would be 95% recyclable as per its goal of a CO2-neutral supply chain by 2039. ACC will supply Mercedes-Benz with battery technology from the middle of the decade, Daimler said.

As part of the deal, Daimler will invest a mid-three-digit million euro sum in the project next year, adding that its overall investment was expected to stay below 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

ACC, which has also received 1.3 billion euros in French and German funding, is budgeted to require seven billion euros in equity, debt and subsidies to reach its desired capacity of 120 Gigawatt hours (GWh) by the end of the decade.


Microsoft Joins a Linux Foundation Nonprofit's Effort to Decarbonize the Grid

Microsoft has become a strategic member of the foundation and Audrey Lee, senior director of energy strategy at Microsoft, was elected to serve on the LF Energy Foundation Governing Board. Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy, told ZDNet that the foundation believes Microsoft will play an important role in helping to advance their mission of decarbonization of the power grid, transportation and the built environment.

'LF Energy Foundation is thrilled to have Microsoft join our organization as a General member. Through Microsoft's commitment to a carbon negative position they are directly encouraging the tech sector to look for more efficient ways to purchase and consume power,' Goodman said.

'LF Energy nurtures the most cutting edge of all open source projects focused on improving automation, control, security, virtualization, and interoperability of power systems. Our members contribute valuable code, tooling, resources and expertise to increase the velocity of these projects....'

Goodman called Microsoft a 'force multiplier' and said having the company backing LF Energy will help propel their projects forward at a rapid pace.


GM invests in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta

BEIJING (Reuters) -General Motors Co said on Thursday it will invest $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta to develop self-driving technologies for future models in China, its first such tie-up in the world's biggest car market.

Momenta is among the few companies that hold a permit for gathering high-definition maps in China, a key tool in autonomous driving technologies. It is working with automakers to develop mass-production vehicles with self-driving functions to gather real-time data.

The company is also backed by SAIC Motor, GM's main Chinese partner, as well as Toyota Motor and Daimler AG.

'Customers in China are embracing electrification and advanced self-driving technology faster than anywhere else in the world, and the agreement between GM and Momenta will accelerate our deployment of next-generation solutions tailor-made for our consumers in China,' said Julian Blissett, GM's China chief.


J&J: Booster dose of its COVID shot prompts strong response

LONDON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that a booster of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people receive a first dose.

J&J said in statement that an extra dose — given either two months or six months after the initial shot — revved up protection. The results haven't yet been published or vetted by other scientists.

The J&J vaccine was considered an important tool in fighting the pandemic because it requires only one shot. But even as rollout began in the U.S. and elsewhere, the company already was running a global test of whether a two-dose course might be more effective — the second dose given 56 days after the first.

That two-dose approach was 75% effective globally at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and 95% effective in the U.S. alone, the company reported — a difference likely due to which variants were circulating in different countries during the monthslong study.

Examined a different way, the company said when people got a second J&J shot two months after the first, levels of virus-fighting antibodies rose four to six times higher. But giving a booster dose six months after the first J&J shot yielded a 12-fold increase.



China Three Gorges Corporation moves its headquarters to Wuhan

WUHAN - The China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) on Sunday moved its headquarters from Beijing to Wuhan, the capital of central China's Hubei province.

The move is expected to accelerate the national strategy of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the post-epidemic economic recovery in Hubei, especially in Wuhan.

At a ceremony held in Wuhan on Sunday, the corporation signed strategic cooperation agreements with governments of Hubei, Wuhan as well as Yichang City, where the Three Gorges Dam is located, for 154 planned major projects with a total value of 364.5 billion yuan (56.4 billion US dollars).


CNPC to boost ethylene production in Xinjiang

China National Petroleum Corp vows to further step up the ethylene production in its Dushanzi petrochemical plant located in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and come up with more high-end characteristic refining products.

As the largest integrated refining and chemical project in China equipped with world-leading technologies, the Dushanzi petrochemical plant has recently achieved an annual ethylene production capacity of up to two million tons with its ethylene plant put into operation in late August.

With a total investment of more than eight billion yuan ($1.24 billion), the project will also take advantage of abundant local natural gas from China National Petroleum Corp's Tarim oil field, it said.

Bank of China

Bank of China to stop financing new coal mining, power projects overseas

Bank of China has committed to no longer provide financing for new coal mining and coal-fired power projects overseas, starting from the fourth quarter of this year, except for the projects whose contracts the bank has already signed.

The Beijing-based large State-owned commercial lender announced on Friday that it recently drew an action plan to serve China in terms of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. In this way, the bank has created a roadmap for the implementation of its green finance plan during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) in 15 aspects, including the organizational structure, business development strategies, product innovation, stress tests and international cooperation.


Emirates ramps up cargo airfreight service in country

Emirates SkyCargo, the airfreight division of Emirates Airline, said China has been serving as an important part of its global network in boosting the company's cargo business performance since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since mid-February last year, when the pandemic started to be brought under better control in China, Emirates fully resumed scheduled cargo flights to the Chinese mainland to transport medical supplies and goods between China and other countries. Its cargo businesses that connected the Chinese mainland and overseas markets were among the earliest to recover.

Last year, 87 additional charter flights were operated from the Chinese mainland on top of its scheduled flights, and the total tonnage carried on these flights reached nearly 4,000 metric tons, Emirates said.

Clover Biopharma

Clover Biopharma vaccine 79% effective against Delta variant

Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a Chinese clinical-stage biopharma company developing vaccines and oncology drugs, announced on Wednesday that its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate was found to be 67 percent effective against COVID-19 of any degree of severity and 79 percent against the highly infectious Delta variant in a large late-stage trial.

Efficacy of the vaccine was 92 percent against the Gamma variant and 59 percent against the Mu variant, the trial showed. Collectively strains of Delta, Gamma and Mu comprised 73 percent of all strains identified in the study.