Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.10.11]






Apple Building New Regional Headquarters In Los Angeles

Apple will build a new regional headquarters at the border of Culver City and Los Angeles, the company said on Friday, signaling the companys continued investment into becoming a major Hollywood player.

The headquarters will include 550,000 square feet across two office buildings, and will house teams working on Apple TV+, Apple Music, engineering and artificial intelligence, Apple said.

Apples new headquarters is a sign that the company will continue to invest in creating content for Apple TV+, its streaming service that costs $4.99 per month, which launched in 2019. It also indicates that Apple will continue hiring and expanding in Hollywood.

Although Apple has yet to reveal subscriber numbers for Apple TV+, which has far fewer hours of content than rivals such as Netflix or Disney+, the service has anecdotally gained some traction, with comedy Ted Lassowinning several Emmys earlier this year, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

Apple already has 1,500 employees in the area. Beats Electronics, which Apple bought in 2014 in its largest acquisition to date, was based in Culver City, California. The new offices are on National Boulevard and Venice Boulevard, close to public transportation, Apple said. Apple will also run shuttles for its employees.

While Apple did not say whether the facility will have production studios, the location puts Apple in close proximity to where a lot of TV shows and movies are made. Culver City is a center for film production and is home to the headquarters of Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures.

Apple did not say when the regional headquarters will be completed but said it plans to have 3,000 employees in the region by 2026.


BP-backed energy supplier Pure Planet faces becoming latest casualty of industry crisis

A residential renewable energy supplier backed by BP is nearing collapse, joining the growing list of industry players which have found themselves unable to weather surging wholesale prices.

A residential renewable energy supplier backed by BP is nearing collapse, joining the growing list of industry players which have found themselves unable to weather surging wholesale prices.

Sky News has learnt that Pure Planet, which is 24%-owned by the FTSE-100 energy giant, has commenced discussions with Ofgem, the industry regulator, about entering the Supplier of Last Resort (SOLR) process set up to transfer the customers of failing companies.

Industry sources said on Sunday that an announcement about Pure Planets fate could be made as soon as this week, although they cautioned that a final decision had yet to be taken.

The company has 250,000 customers, according to a company spokesman.

Pure Planet was established in 2015 as Tulip Energy and was rebranded after striking an investment deal with BP which includes BP acting as a wholesale supplier of gas and power to the start-up two years later.

A source close to BP said it had decided not to continue funding Pure Planet, which is understood to owe it an unspecified sum of money, amid the current crisis.

It was unclear this weekend whether the small supplier was in any talks about alternative means of continuing to fund itself that could preserve its future.


Facebook services go down again Friday afternoon

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook services went down again on Friday afternoon after one of the longest outage ever in the company's history on Monday.

'We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,' the company tweeted. 'We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.'

Meanwhile, Instagram also tweeted, 'We know some of you may be having some issues using Instagram right now. We're so sorry and are working as quickly as possible to fix.'

'The repeated lapse might spark concerns about the reliability and safety of the app,' TechCrunch, an online publisher of technology industry news, said in a report.

Friday's outage was due to configuration changes, which impacted people globally, but it was unrelated to Monday's downtime, according to TechCrunch.

Monday's outage, which affected all Facebook services, including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, was caused by configuration changes to the routers in Facebook's data centers.


Meituan fined $534m over monopoly

The State Administration for Market Regulation, China's top market regulator, imposed a fine of 3.442 billion yuan ($534 million) on food delivery giant Meituan on Friday for monopolistic behavior.

Industry experts said that it is a landmark event that indicates the country's enhanced but increasingly clear regulation of monopolistic behavior, which will protect fair market order and drive the sustainable development of the platform-based economy.

According to the administration, since 2018, Meituan had abused its dominant market position to compel merchants to sign exclusive agreements with its platform. It also leveraged merchant deposits, algorithms, data and other technical methods to ensure merchants remained loyal to it.

As part of the punishment, Meituan will be fined for 3 percent of its domestic revenue last year. The company will also have to return 1.289 billion yuan in deposits paid by merchants to partner exclusively with its platform.

Meituan said in a statement that it sincerely accepted the penalty and will resolutely implement the regulators' instructions.


Lego opens largest flagship store in Guangzhou

A newly opened Lego flagship store in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, offers an immersive world built out of the company's iconic toy bricks and helps to blend unique digital and physical experiences for local children and families, a senior company manager said.


New display panels to boost global TV market

Chinese television manufacturer Skyworth Group recently announced it will invest 6.5 billion yuan ($1 billion) to establish a mini LED display technology industrial park in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. It will support mini LED chip manufacturing, backlight packaging and modules, and conduct research and development, production and sales of ultra high-definition display terminals.


JD ramps up efforts to expand presence in Indonesia

Chinese e-commerce giant JD is beefing up efforts to expand its presence in Indonesia by continuously investing in supply chain infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies.

It will introduce artificial intelligence-powered unmanned supermarkets and virtual makeup technologies and services in Indonesia, said Zhang Li, chief executive officer of JD.ID, JD's e-commerce joint venture in Indonesia.


Coca-Cola unveils new brand identity

The global beverage brand Coca-Cola on Thursday unveiled a new worldwide brand philosophy and platform called Real Magic, as well as adding the 'Hug' a new perspective on the Coca-Cola logo to get better engaged with consumers, especially the Gen Z group.

The 'Hug' logo and campaign are expected to be rolled out in the Chinese market starting Oct 8.

Real Magic marks the first new global brand platform for Coca-Cola since 2016 and is being launched alongside a refreshed visual identity for the company, as well as a new perspective on the Coca-Cola logo that will feature across all its marketing.


First domestically equipped fuselage delivered to Airbus

The first China-equipped fuselage of the A320 family aircraft has been delivered to Airbus in Tianjin from a Chinese industrial player, Airbus said at the ongoing Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, on Wednesday.

The project, undertaken by Xi'an Aircraft International (Tianjin) Corp (XAT), a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corp of China Ltd (AVIC), and by local Chinese employees, signifies a new industrial cooperation milestone between China and Airbus.


Energy China eyes expansion in overseas markets

China Energy Engineering Group Co Ltd, or Energy China Group, has vowed to further expand its world business especially in clean energy projects abroad, as it set up its global business subsidiary, China Energy International Group Co Ltd, in Beijing on Wednesday.

The company saw its total value of signed contracts for projects overseas reaching 170 billion yuan ($26.33 billion) last year since it started laying out its global business some 40 years ago. The value of contracts under discussion exceeds 700 billion yuan, it said.

The contract amount of the more than 200 large and medium-sized projects under construction reached 500 billion yuan, it added.


Hilton launches large-scale franchise model in Shenzhen

Hilton, a recognized global hotel leader in franchising, launched its large-scale franchise model in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, on Tuesday, allowing independent hotel owners in China to benefit from the company's innovative commercial strategies and extensive support network.


Lenovo withdraws IPO application

Lenovo Group Ltd said it decided to withdraw its application for an initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's Science and Technology Innovation Board, due to a reconsideration of its business scale and complexity.

Lenovo said the withdrawal of the application would not affect its financial situation.

The Hong Kong-listed company said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday night the move to withdraw the application also came after its consideration of other capital market related situations.



CATL looks to secure lithium supplies

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd bolstered its lithium supply in a series of deals that help the battery giant secure key resources for its long-term development of new energy vehicles.

Canada's Millennial Lithium Corp said on Tuesday that CATL will acquire Millennial for approximately 377 million Canadian dollars ($297 million). At 3.85 Canadian dollars per share, CATL outbid the 3.60-Canadian-dollar-per-share offer made in July by Ganfeng, one of the world's biggest producers of lithium.

The move followed Australia's AVZ Minerals announcement on Monday that it had secured $240 million in funding from a private investment firm jointly owned by CATL to develop the Manono project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Under the agreement, private equity firm Suzhou CATH Energy Technologies will get a 24 percent stake in the joint venture.

China Post Group

China Post records fastest profit growth in five yearsChina Post records fastest profit growth in five years

BEIJING - The China Post Group Corporation has reported rapid profit growth during the first eight months of the year, said Liu Aili, the group's chairman.

The state-owned postal service provider saw its profit expand 21.94 percent year on year in the January-August period, a new high in five years, Liu said in his message to the World Post Day. It is an event celebrated each year on October 9.

Revenue of the company expanded 9.37 percent from a year ago during the period, Liu added.

Over the past year, the postal giant implemented a three-year action plan to remold the state-owned enterprise, rolling out measures to enhance its corporate governance and market-based operation mechanisms, improve service quality, and beef up circulation in rural areas.

Moving forward, the company plans to continue deepening reforms on its express delivery and logistics services while building a comprehensive platform providing multiple services like e-commerce, delivery, and finance.


Audi to tailor more vehicles for China via new joint venture

Audi AG will produce more tailor-made models for China in partnership with its second local partner SAIC, as the German premium carmaker expects to grow its share in the world's largest vehicle market.


GAC Motor ships domestic-made cars to Mexico

A batch of vehicles manufactured by GAC Motor, a Chinese car maker focusing on development of domestically made vehicles, began their overseas journey to Mexico from Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province.

The vehicles will be sold in Mexico under the Dodge brand, following an early cooperation agreement between GAC Motor and Stellantis.