Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.12.13]






Six people killed in Illinois Amazon warehouse collapse after tornado

(CNN)At least six people died at an Amazon (AMZN) warehouse building collapse after an EF-3 tornado caused major structural damage to the building Friday, according to the Edwardsville Fire Department in Illinois.

Forty-five people made it out of the building, with one person airlifted to a regional hospital for treatment, Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said during a Saturday evening news conference.


Baidu will release the Meta universe product GreamAPP-Baidu

On December 10th, Baidu announced that it would release the meta universe product Hirangon December 27, when Baidu Create 2021 (Baidu AI Developer Conference) will be held in Hirang APP.This meta-universe conference can accommodate 100,000 people interacting on the same screen at the same time.

It is understood that the XiyangAPP is the first domestic meta-universeproduct, which creates a permanent multi-person interactive space that spans virtual and reality. Ma Jie, vice president of Baidu and head of Greece, said: Metrouniverse is still in a very early stage of industrial exploration, and its development is gradual. It will take a long time for the entire community to build and mature together.

Universal Hydrogen

Connect Airlines Wants To Be Americas First Zero Emission Airline

Upcoming carrier Connect Airlines has launched a Project Zero. Through retrofitting as many as two dozen regional turboprop aircraft with hydrogen fuel cells, it hopes to become the first zero-emissions airline in North America by 2025. The airline, looking to commence operations next year, has signed a letter of intent with startup Universal Hydrogen for conversion kits, along with long-term green hydrogen supply.

Proposed North American startup carrier Connect Airlines intends to operate flights out of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) to cities in the midwest and the northeast US. It also wants to become the worlds first zero-emissions airline.

Connect Airlines is backed by Waltzing Matilda Aviation and is currently in the final stages of its Department of Transportation certification process. It plans to commence service in 2022. Meanwhile, through what it has dubbed Project Zero, the newcomer hopes to operate zero-emission regional aircraft across North America by 2025.

In order to accomplish this, Connect has signed a letter of intent with Universal Hydrogen, founded in 2020. The airline has committed to purchasing 24 of Universals green hydrogen conversion kits. These include a firm order for 12  De Havilland Canada DHC 8-300 kits and as many purchase rights for kits for different aircraft.

Connect Airlines flies smarter, thats why were excited to partner with Universal Hydrogen to pursue our goal of being the first zero-emission airline in the United States. In addition to this LOI, we were pleased to participate in Universal Hydrogens recent $62 million financing round,said John Thomas, CEO, Connect Airlines.


TotalEnergies to trade renewable energy certificates in Asia

TotalEnergies said on Thursday it will register, verify and trade renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated by its solar assets on a trading platform owned by Asian exchange

The move is expected to generate additional revenue for Renewables Distributed Generation for Asia (TRDG), wholly owned by TotalEnergies to develop solar assets across Asia, the company said in a statement. will verify and register renewable energy generated by TotalEnergies' solar power plants as RECs on global registry APX TIGR. The certificates will then be traded on the's platform and sold to companies seeking to offset carbon emissions from operations powered by fossil fuels.



ExxonMobil plans net-zero emissions by 2030 target in Permian Basin operations

ExxonMobil on Monday announced a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 in its Permian Basin operations, said the company.

The company will eliminate routine flaring in the Permian Basin by the end of 2022, invest in electrification of operations in New Mexico and Texas to include low-carbon power sources and accelerate its methane-monitoring system to reduce flaring. The company plans to reduce Permian Basin flaring volumes by more than 75%, compared with 2019 flaring volumes, by the end of 2021. And this year, the company is expected to show a reduction of about 15-20% in GHG intensity from upstream operations, compared with 2016 levels.

The Permian Basin operations account for more than 40% of the companys US net production, producing an average of 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day (boe/day). ExxonMobil plans to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity across its businesses by deploying technology that the company said is foundational.

To achieve GHG emission-reduction efforts, ExxonMobil will continue investments in methane mitigation and detection technology, upgrading equipment and employing emissions-offset technology. The company plans to use low-carbon power to electrify its operations, which may include wind, solar, hydrogen and natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS). It will also use methane-detection programmes utilising satellite surveillance and a network of ground-based sensors for continuous monitoring.

As per MRC, ExxonMobil Chemical has acquired California-based Materia for an undisclosed sum. Materia makes thermoset resins based on dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). They are designed to be alternatives to epoxy resins, vinyl ester resins and unsaturated polyester resins (UPR). The materials can be used in a number of applications, including wind turbine blades, electric vehicle parts, sustainable construction, and anticorrosive coatings.


Shell investors endorse UK headquarters move

Royal Dutch Shell Plc shareholders approved the relocation of the companys headquarters to London from The Netherlands, a move that will help it to boost returns while transitioning to clean energy.

A resounding99.8% of votes cast by investors were in favor of the proposal, Shell Chairman Andrew Mackenzie said in a statement on Friday. Shells board still needs to hold a meeting to give final approval to the decision. The company expects the process to be completed in early 2022.

The company is seeking to convince investors, governments and environmental groups that it can transform itself into a company fit for a net-zero carbon world. Key to that plan, the company says, is adopting a single line of shares in one country that will make it easier to buy and sell assets as well as return cash to shareholders.

The proposal required approval from 75% of investors. The resolution also drops Royal Dutchfrom the company name, because Shell expects it will no longer meet the conditions for using the honorary designation.


ConocoPhillips divests Indonesia assets for $1.4 billion

ConocoPhillips has agreed to sell its remaining Indonesia assets to local oil and gas player Medco Energi for $1.4 billion, the American multinational announced on Wednesday.

The transaction includes ConocoPhillips 54% interest in the Indonesia Corridor licence and a 35% share in the Transasia Pipeline Company.

The sale is expected to close in early 2022 and is subject to approvals.

The sold assets represent production of 50,000 boepd, with proven reserves of around 85 million boe.

The American company also announced plans to purchase an additional 10% shares in Australia Pacific LNG from Origin Energy for up to USD 1.65 billion through pre-emption rights.

The second deal is expected to close in Q1 2022 and is subject to approvals.

ConocoPhillipsshare of LNG distribution with the company is expected to be around USD 750 million in 2021, excluding distribution resulting from any rise in shares due to pre-emption agreements.

The Asia Pacific region plays an important role in our diversification advantage as an independent E&P and these two transactions enhance that advantage by lowering our aggregate decline rate and diversifying our product mix,said Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO for ConocoPhillips.

Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical signed licensing agreement

Saudi Aramco Technologies Company and Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited, have formed a technology partnership with Axens in support of AxensAlphaButol licensed process to enhance 1-butene production by using the AFA (anti-fouling agent) technology.

The AFA technology, jointly developed by Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, works in conjunction with Axenscatalyst system to substantially reduce undesired polymeric fouling in 1-butene units. Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical have granted Axens the right to sublicense this beneficial technology to existing and prospective licensed units of AlphaButol.

Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company, an affiliate of Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, and a licensee of AlphaButol, is the first to benefit from this technology. The AFA technology was effective in broad ranges of industrially relevant operating windows and duration in its 1-butene production units. The AFA has demonstrated a real breakthrough in unit operation profitability, via higher production rates and reduced maintenance costs, due to lower levels of fouling. Removability of the fouling has also been improved with a substantially easier way to clean the unit, leading to shorter maintenance periods,said Mohammed A. Basaffar, Section Head of Polymer section of the Process Engineering Department in Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company.

'We are very pleased that Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical have selected Axens as their partner, and we are looking forward to contributing to the success of AFA technology with our expertise in this area. We are glad to assist in achieving this milestone, which is a stepping stone to further commercialization of the AlphaButol technology in the coming years,' said AxensChairman and CEO Jean Sentenac.

Gazprom Neft


Gazprom Neft is to open an Exploration Geophysics Centre to support in-field geophysical activities throughout those regions in which the company operates. This project is expected to deliver savings of up to 10% in optimising fieldwork costs, as well as allowing the company to monetise its geological prospecting solutions on the industry market.

The Centre will assume responsibility for managing in-field geophysical investigations across all Gazprom Neft subsidiaries, with this new division managing all seismic and electro-magnetic works across all company assets. Opening the Competency Centre is intended to address the challenges facing Gazprom Neft, while allowing the company to commercialise (monetise) its technological solutions, expertise and experience, specifically its environmentally friendly Green Seismicand drone-assisted geophysical surveying technologies.

Establishing the centre will also help Gazprom Neft optimise field survey costs a benefit expected to be achieved by adopting a standard approach to activities across all locations in which the company operates, and by scaling up innovative hydrocarbon prospecting technologies, including the use of Digital Twinsin seismic works.

The Exploration Geophysics Centre will be established within Gazpromneft-Geo, operator of Gazprom Nefts geological prospecting projects. In-field geophysical investigations using this new management model will be undertaken throughout the 20212022 season at license blocks covering more than 2,000 square kilometres in total across the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and the Tomsk Oblast.


NOVATEK to supply blue ammonia and hydrogen to RWE as part of a new MoU

The largest independent producer of natural gas in Russia NOVATEK and German multinational energy company RWE Supply & Trading GmbH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to mutually cooperate in the field of LNG supply and decarbonization.

The MOU envisages the supply by NOVATEK to RWE of low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen to be produced at the companys planned project Obskiy GCC (Gas Chemical Complex) and delivered to German and European markets.

The partners also intend to extend their cooperation in supply of LNG including possible carbon-neutral LNG, by NOVATEK to RWE by expansion of existing spot supplies as well as possible long-term supplies of LNG to be produced by the Arctic LNG 2 and other NOVATEKs projects.

The trend towards greater transparency on greenhouse gas emissions is supported by both companies and marks an important 1st step towards the potential use of carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions.


Yili launches Indonesia's largest ice cream production base

Dairy producer Yili Group held an opening ceremony to celebrate the official launch of the first phase of the Yili Indonesia Dairy Production Base on Dec 10, 2021. Upon completion of its second phase, the production base will become the country's largest ice cream factory with a daily production capacity of four million ice cream products.

The facility has been established to meet the surging demand for Joyday ice cream, a brand that has rapidly expanded its reach to 260 cities in 26 provinces, covering nearly all of Indonesia, since its entry into the market in 2018.



Canada Goose

Canada Goose updates return policies

Luxury parka maker Canada Goose announced on Thursday that it has, with the guidance of the Shanghai Consumer Council, updated and optimized its return and exchange policy for products sold on the Chinese mainland.

In a statement published on the company's Weibo account, Canada Goose reiterated its commitment to the 14-day free exchange policy it has always had, provided more detailed solutions for product quality issues and published detailed after-sales guidance.

SenseTime Group

Chinese AI company objects to blacklisting in US

Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime Group said on Saturday that it strongly opposed the US governments decision to add it to an investment blacklist over allegations, which the company said are unfounded and reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of its business.

The comments came after the US Department of the Treasury on Friday announced new sanctions that included putting SenseTime on a list of Chinese military-industrial complex companies.

SenseTime said in a statement to China Daily that 'As a software company committed to promoting sustainable, responsible and ethical use of AI, we have complied with the applicable laws and regulations in relation to our business in all material respects in the jurisdictions where we conduct business.'


JD to build carbon-neutral logistics industrial park in Xi'an

JD, a prominent Chinese online marketplace known for its logistics prowess, plans to build China's first carbon-neutral logistics industrial park in Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

JD is accelerating steps to reduce energy consumption and bolster green and sustainable development.

Its Asia No 1 intelligent logistics park in Xi'an will cover an area of nearly 300,000 square meters, and is expected to achieve carbon neutrality in early 2022, JD said.

So far, the park has built a 100,000-sq-m rooftop photovoltaic power generation system, which generated about 8.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity from January to October this year.

This has helped reduce carbon emissions by about 5,670 metric tons compared to purchasing electricity from local power plants, JD said.

The company's green goals include reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared with 2019. JD has already finished installing PV systems at 12 logistics parks across the nation.


Motorola launches 3-camera 5G phone in China

Motorola unveiled the Moto Edge X30, its latest 5G flagship mobile phone, in China on Thursday night.

The launch marks Motorola's bid for a bigger share of the world's largest smartphone market, industry analysts said.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Model assists domestic biotech startups

Boehringer Ingelheim announced a partnership with Shanghai ZJ Biotech Co Ltd during the fourth China International Import Expo in early November. Under the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharma, a division of the German pharmaceutical company, will provide process optimization and clinical material manufacturing for the latter's bispecific antibody drug for potential treatment of COVID-19.

It served as a latest example of how the model of contract development manufacturing organization, or CDMO, may help domestic biotech startups develop and commercialize products while maximizing their value.

With this alliance, ZJ Bio-tech initiated its strategic transformation targeting all dimensions of the biopharma market as it aims to provide more China-developed tools for the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine hailed around globe

The world's first COVID-19 vaccine developed by State-owned drugmaker Sinopharm marked the first anniversary of its registration and its launch in the market on Thursday.

At the same time, the drugmaker has started research and development of vaccines against the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, along with research on the variant's structure, the company said in Beijing.

Back in June 2020, China and the United Arab Emirates started to conduct phase 3 clinical trials of an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine in the UAE. It was also the first time that China sent a team of nearly 100 experts to conduct vaccine research overseas.

With a half year's efforts and help from some 63,000 volunteers, the two countries conducted sufficient joint experiments, and the first vaccine was finally debuted and registered in the UAE in December last year.

Later on, Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine was registered and debuted in 10 countries, including Bahrain, Bolivia, Seychelles, Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco and Peru.

So far, the vaccine has been approved for emergency use or market access in 112 countries, regions and international organizations. Sinopharm has provided more than 2.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to China and overseas markets, the company said.


Oppo throws hat in chip design ring

Chinese smartphone vendor Oppo will unveil its first self-designed chip next week as part of its broader push to beef up its research and development prowess.

The move makes Oppo the latest Chinese phone brand after Huawei Technologies Co, Xiaomi Corp and Vivo to announce its entry into the chip-designing business, thus intensifying competition among the four major Chinese smartphone vendors to a new high, experts said.

The company said its first self-designed chip will be unveiled on Tuesday at the Oppo Inno Day 2021, an innovation conference to be held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

The chip is part of Oppo's broader push to sharpen its technological prowess. In as early as 2019, Chen Mingyong, CEO of Oppo, said the company would invest 50 billion yuan ($7.88 billion) by 2021 in R&D, with the spending focused on research in 5G, 6G, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and other emerging technologies. Also, the money has been used to finance efforts to develop core fundamental architecture for hardware, and boost software capabilities.


Tencent unveils public welfare VC plan

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Limited has announced a public welfare venture capital plan, aiming to help improve the operational efficiency of social enterprises and public welfare organizations.

The plan will provide technological and innovative services for enterprises and public welfare organizations, which often lack financial and technological support, operational guidance, communication channels and volunteer services.

The plan will focus on five public welfare areas including information accessibility, emergency disaster relief, ecological protection, cultural heritage protection and technological assistance for the elderly, according to sources with the company.

Venus Medtech

China's Venus Medtech acquires Israeli heart valve firm for $300m

JERUSALEM - Chinese heart disease treatment company Venus Medtech has acquired the Israeli company Cardiovalve for $300 million, both companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in China's eastern city of Hangzhou, Venus Medtech is a leader in transcatheter heart valvular therapies in China.

Cardiovalve, established in 2017 and based in the central city of Or Yehuda, developed a technology to replace heart valves without the need for open-heart surgery and using only catheterization.

The acquisition is intended to expand Venus Medtech's product layout of valve replacement and accelerate its innovation and internationalization, the statement said.

China Life

China Life invests in power player

China Life Insurance (Group) Co announced on Wednesday that it will invest 2 billion yuan ($315 million) in Huadian Fuxin Energy Developmenta clean energy company specializing in the development and integration of new energymarking a major green effort by the company to echo the country's carbon neutrality call.

So far, HFED has attracted an investment of 15 billion yuan from 13 strategic investors covering insurance, banking and other related industries. After the investment, China Life will become HFED's largest strategic investor and third largest shareholder.

As a subsidiary of State-owned power company China Huadian Corp, HFED reported a total installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power of 25.13 million kilowatts by the end of 2020.

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines core biz transferred to investor

China's fourth-largest carrier Hainan Airlines announced on Wednesday that it has transferred its core aviation business to Liaoning Fangda Group Industrial Co Ltd, its strategic investor, as the carrier's parent company HNA Group is in the process of going through bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings.

The airline said since a court's final ruling on Oct 31, its reorganization process has been going on smoothly, and substantial progress has been made in risk mitigation, according to its statement released on Wednesday.

Gu Gang, an official appointed by the local government to resolve the debt risk of HNA, will no longer serve as the Party secretary of the group. Next, a joint working group will perform the duties of guidance, coordination and supervision, and continue to implement the group's bankruptcy and restructuring plans and other related risk management work, the statement said.


HSBC opens branch on Hainan island

The Hainan Free Trade Port embraced the coming of the first international bank on Monday as the Haikou branch of HSBC Bank (China) Co Ltd officially opened for business on the tropical island.

The new branch will give financial support to Hainan province to help it build into a high-level free trade port, create an intersection promoting China's dual-circulation development paradigm, and help domestic and overseas companies grasp trade opportunities brought by the development of the FTP, HSBC said.


Sinopec now has 1,000 battery swap, photovoltaic power stations

A battery swap station and photovoltaic power generation site built by China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, started its service for car owners in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, on Tuesday.

It was the Sinopec's 1,000th battery swap station and photovoltaic power generation site as the company vows to provide more green energy to help reduce carbon emissions in the years ahead.

Located in the Longdong area of Guangzhou, the photovoltaic power generation site will provide an estimated annual capacity of 33,000 kilowatt hours, according to the company, helping provide green power for new energy vehicle owners.


Chinese smartphone brands top Africa's market in Q3

NAIROBI - Transsion Holdings, a China-based smartphone manufacturer, led the African smartphone market in the third quarter with a unit share of 47.4 percent, maintaining stable shipments into the region, according to the latest study by a global research firm released in Nairobi Monday.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) said Transsion, which manufactures Tecno, Infinix, and Itel brands, outpaced Samsung which is placed second with 21.3 percent share, while Xiaomi which experienced a quarter-on-quarter decline in shipments placed third with 6.1 percent share.


Alibaba plans units for expansion

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is restructuring its businesses under two digital commerce umbrellas and reshuffled several key leaders, amid high-profile management and organizational changes of the e-commerce company.

From Jan 1, Alibaba will create two new units, China Digital Commerce and International Digital Commerce, to host its core e-commerce business for better agility, the company said in a statement on Monday, as the two pillars of its growth would be domestic consumption and globalization.


Bay Area gets first integrated energy station

The first integrated energy station in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was put into operation in Guangzhou on Monday, which will provide gasoline and hydrogen refueling, battery recharging, convenience stores and auto services, said its operator China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.

The station is intended to boost the rapid development of clean energy industry in the GBA and further facilitate Chinas ambitions of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and peaking carbon emissions by 2030.

With a daily hydrogen refueling capacity of 500 kilograms, the station is able to satisfy the hydrogen demand of 60 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It will mainly serve buses, logistics vehicles and sanitation vehicles in the GBA.

It is also capable of charging four electric vehicles simultaneously and can provide 80 charging services per day, the company said.