Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2022.06.13]






Qualcomm wants to beat Apple's M2 chip

Qualcomm CEO said in an interview that the company will launch more powerful chips than Apple M2 in the near future, using former Apple engineers. he is doing it. Both the Qualcomm and Intel made such a claim after the launch of the M1 chip and the much noise it made. Although the new generation of Intel chips have a lot to say about hardware power, the Arm chips are still weaker than the chips made by Apple.

Although both Qualcomm and Intel knew a few years ago that Apple wanted to Their computers used proprietary chipsets, but none of them expected the first generation of these chips to have such power. With this decision, Intel lost one of its most important customers.

In this regard, we must mention Nuvia. A number of senior Apple engineers working on the company's chip design left Apple in 2019 and founded a company called Nuvia. The engineers announced that the company intends to compete with Intel and AMD.

after Apple Becoming a strong competitor in the field of computer chips, Qualcomm also decided to take over Nuvia for $ 1.4 billion. In doing so, Qualcomm could use a number of senior Apple engineers. Now, Qualcomm's CEO has said that the company intends to take the lead in the PC-specific processor market.

He has also stated that he is not worried about losing Apple as a customer of the company's modems. According to reports, Apple is working on a dedicated modem so that it no longer needs to use Qualcomm 5G modems for its gadgets. Qualcomm predicts that by 2023, the share of Qualcomm modems in Apple gadgets will reach 20%, after which the share will be in single digits. Qualcomm CEO believes that even if Apple abandons the company's modems, Qualcomm will continue to grow.

State Grid powers

State Grid powers up in urban network

State Grid Corp of China said it will invest 90 billion yuan ($13.46 billion) to speed up urban power grid network construction this year.

The attempt is meant to further ensure a steady power supply amid the upcoming summer demand peak in the country, said the Beijing-based State-owned enterprise.

This is part of the company's plan to invest an all-time high of more than 500 billion yuan in power grid projects in 2022 to help bolster the country's economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The input is expected to drive more than 1 trillion yuan in investment from all sources and the company, the country's largest State-owned utility company, said it would start constructing ultra-high voltage power transmission projects as early as possible and begin construction on key power grid projects below 500 kilovolts.

The intensive construction of key power grid projects will be conducive to promoting the high-quality development of the power grid and will drive upstream and downstream industries to resume work and production, said the company.

State Grid supplies power to over 1.1 billion people, with its service area covering 88 percent of China's territory, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Exxon Mobil Corp】【TotalEnergies

Qatar to Select Exxon, Total for Mega-LNG Expansion Project

Exxon Mobil Corp. and TotalEnergies SE are among the companies to be awarded with a piece of the expansion of the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Qatar, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Exxon, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips, which are part of Qatar's existing LNG production, were joined by new entrants Chevron Corp. and Italy's Eni in submitting bids in May 2021 for the expansion project.

The $30 billion-dollar North Field expansion will boost Qatar's LNG output by 64% to 126 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2027, strengthening its position as the world's top exporter of the super-chilled fuel and help guarantee long term supply of gas to Europe.

State-owned Qatar Energy (QE) had decided to make a final investment decision alone to develop the North Field expansion project, but opened a bid to seek partners to share the financial risk of the development.

Although a decision has been made, a formal announcement with the winners might not be made until later this month, one of the sources said. Exxon CEO Darren Woods will attend an energy conference with QE later in June.

QE said it will hold a press conference and a signing ceremony on June 12, without specifying the subject.

Exxon and Total declined to comment. Chevron, Cococo, Shell and Eni did not immediately reply a request for comment.


Shell teams up with key Japanese LNG buyers to accelerate decarbonisation

Shell and Japanese liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas will together explore potential opportunities to accelerate decarbonisation across their respective production value chains.

Shell said today that it has signed separate non-binding memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with its long-standing Japanese LNG buyers.

The agreements include assessing a range of potential solutions including hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation & storage (CCUS), biomethane and renewables-based synthetic gas among others. In addition, a tripartite side letter has been signed between Shell, Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas to jointly explore and evaluate the potential of renewables-based synthetic gas, added Shell.

Shells target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. Becoming a net-zero emissions business means offering customers more low-carbon products and Shell is working to build scale in decarbonisation technologies globally. Shell has been collaborating with the companies on addressing emissions from the LNG value chain, delivering LNG cargoes with carbon offsets since June 2019 with Tokyo Gas, and since July 2021 with Osaka Gas.


Marathon begins building US biofuels plant

Marathon Petroleum Corporation has broken ground on North Dakotas first dedicated soybean processing facility, the American downstream energy company announced on Thursday

The USD 350-million Green Bison Soy Processing complex will have the capacity to process 150,000 bushels of soybean per day and produce 272 kilograms of refined vegetable oil per year that will be used as feedstock by Marathon Petroleum Corporation to produce around 341 litres of renewable diesel per year.

The plant is expected to begin production in 2023.

The project is a joint venture between Marathon Petroleum Corporation and American food processing company ADM.


Shell to develop Crux natural gas field offshore Western Australia

Shell Australia and its joint venture partner, SGH Energy, have taken a final investment decision to approve the development of the Crux natural gas field, off the coast of Western Australia. Crux will provide further supplies of natural gas to the existing Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility.

This project forms an important part of Shells integrated gas portfolio,said Wael Sawan, Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions Director at Shell. Natural gas from Crux will play a key role in helping Asian customers move from coal to gas as a cleaner-burning fuel. The project will help us to meet the increasing demand for LNG as the energy market transitions to a lower carbon future.

The project will also boost our customerssecurity of supply, which is becoming an ever more significant consideration for global consumers.

Developing the Crux project reinforces our commitment to Australia, including boosting the regional economy, creating jobs and providing training opportunities,said Shell Australia Chair Tony Nunan. The use of Preludes existing infrastructure enables significantly reduced development costs, making Crux competitive and commercially attractive.

The Crux field is in Commonwealth marine waters in the northern Browse Basin, 620 kilometers north-east of Broome. The development will consist of a platform operated remotely from Prelude. Five wells will be drilled initially, and an export pipeline will connect the platform to Prelude, which is around 160 kilometers to the south-west of Crux.

Construction will start in 2022 and first gas is expected in 2027.


Wonderlands reopening in Shanghai

Workers at Shanghai Disney Resort prepare a rubber Donald Duck for the resort's partial reopening on June 10. [Photo provided to]

Entertainment and tourist sites in Shanghai are gradually reopening gates following a two-month closure due to the recent COVID-19 resurgence, signaling the city's business activities are steadily moving back on track.

Several establishments within the Shanghai Disney Resort will resume operations on June 10, the company said on Thursday. The iconic theme park Shanghai Disneyland will remain closed until further notice.

Wishing Star Park, the World of Disney Store and Blue Sky Boulevard are scheduled to reopen on Friday at limited capacity and with reduced operation hours, the Shanghai Disney Resort announced on its official WeChat account.

The giant floating Donald Duck in his signature sailor outfit will greet guests at the Wishing Star Lake.

Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and the two resort hotels remain closed until further notice, it added.


JD's appetite for ready meals biz grows

Chinese e-commerce giant JD Inc is betting big on the fast-growing ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat and ready-to-eat meals segment, which has gained popularity among younger Chinese consumers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

JD said in the next three years, it will support 20 semi-cooked food brands, whose sales revenue is expected to surpass 100 million yuan ($15 million), and five premade cuisine brands that are likely to see their turnover exceed 500 million yuan. JD's support will be extended in areas like data flow, retail channels, marketing and cold chain logistics.

JD Super, the online supermarket arm of JD, has released the prefabricated dish standard of Fotiaoqiang, a traditional thick soup made of varieties of seafood and meat, in collaboration with the China Premade Cuisine Industry Alliance.

The standard specifies strict requirements for the hygiene and safety of semi-cooked dishes, including food additives, heavy metals, health and microorganisms.

JD will source materials only from qualified suppliers, and offer presale and after-sales services to ensure the safety of precooked products. It will also roll out related standards for low-temperature luncheon meats, roast sausages and meatballs in the future.

Wang Minghui, who is in charge of ready-to-cook dinners at JD's fresh food unit, said the transaction volume of precooked dishes surged about 200 percent between May 23 and June 1, the presale period of the June 18 shopping carnival. The festival, which was just a one-day event when it started but now spans more days, kicked off at 8 pm on May 23.

There are about 5,000 varieties of ready-to-cook products at JD Super, with the transaction volume jumping 156 percent year-on-year in 2021.The company now owns 18 cold chain warehouses covering 600,000 square meters in 30 provincial-level regions across the nation.

'The semi-cooked food industry is still nascent,' Wang said, adding JD will deepen its cooperation with the production bases of food ingredients, launch innovative pre-prepared dishes with well-known catering brands on the basis of the consumer-to-manufacturer or C2M model, and upgrade its cold chain and logistics services.

The C2M model refers to leveraging online retailers' big data and customer analysis capabilities to customize products that meet the demands of consumers.

Wang said the precooked food gift packages have gained popularity among consumers during some traditional Chinese festivals in recent years, such as the Chinese Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival. In addition, the growing popularity of small home appliances has boosted sales of premade dishes.


Chinese maker delivers 1st of 400 subway cars for Chicago

A 7000-series subway train made by CRRC Sifang America Inc. [Photo by Deng Wangqiang/For China Daily]

CRRC Sifang America Inc, an Illinois-based subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, announced it has started delivery of subway cars to Chicago, marking a breakthrough for the country's high-end rail transit products operating in the United States.

The company sent the first of its 400 subway cars to its clientthe Chicago Transit Authorityearlier this week, after the CTA completed operational tests on the 10 passenger rail car prototypes.

The 7000-series prototypes were delivered in 2020 and tested in April 2021.

Backed by its complete industrial support and ecological systems, strong financing ability, mature workforce and growing investment in scientific innovation, China has provided stability to the global supply chain amid economic disruptions, said Li Xingqian, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Commerce.

By the end of this month, CRRC Sifang America will have delivered eight of the 7000-series subway trains to the CTA.


Huadian helping Cambodia meet green transition goals

The 338-megawatt lower Stung Russei Chrum hydropower station located on the Stung Russei Chrum River in Koh Kong province, Cambodia, has been playing a key role in promoting local low carbon development and green energy transition.

The project, operated and constructed by China Huadian Corp, one of the country's major State-owned power companies, has produced more than 8.4 billion kilowatt-hours of clean power since its first unit was put into operation in September 2013. The power generated accounts for more than 30 percent of the total annual power generation in Cambodia, and has helped the Southeast Asian nation secure power supply alongside steady operation of local grid networks.

With a hydropower reservoir capacity of over 401 million cubic meters, the project construction commenced in 2010 before entering into commercial operation in 2014. Power generated from the project is sold to Electricite Du Cambodge under a power purchase agreement, it said.

According to Luo Jianhua, deputy head of production and technology department of China Huadian Lower Stung Russei Chrum Hydro-Electric Project (Cambodia) Co Ltdthe Cambodian subsidiary of Huadianhydropower, as a universally recognized clean energy resource, has a significant role to play in improving local environmental conditions while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Cambodia.

Analysts said China's increase in renewable energy capacity at home has provided domestic energy players with valuable experience in developing projects abroad, while its cost-competitiveness along the renewable energy supply chain further boosts their presence overseas.

Investing and operating wind and solar assets in mature markets can bring valuable power market experience and know-how as China's power market is set to further liberalize in the future, said Wang Ziyue, an analyst at research firm BloombergNEF.

Due to the huge amount of construction and operational experience accumulated over the past few years, China's energy producers can grab a larger share of the global clean energy market, said Joseph Jacobelli, an energy analyst and managing partner of Asia Clean Tech Energy Investments.


Nearly 600 Starbucks branches reopen in Shanghai

SHANGHAI -- The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai resumed operations on Friday after a two-month suspension.

As of Friday, nearly 600 Starbucks branches in Shanghai have reopened, accounting for about two-thirds of its outlets in the city.

'Nearly 500 of them have reopened in the past three days, which gives our team more confidence,' said Leo Tsoi, chief executive officer of Starbucks China.

It is estimated that Shanghai, a city at the forefront of China's boom in coffee consumption, has more than 7,000 coffee shops. Starbucks alone has over 900 branches in Shanghai.

Tsoi noted that a new Starbucks will open in Shanghai's Qingpu District on Saturday. 'Both the resumption of existing branches and the opening of the new one reflect our confidence in China's consumer market.'

Starbucks announced in 2018 that it aims to have 6,000 branches in China by end of September 2022.


Amazon discontinues Kindle support in China

The sign of e-commerce website Amazon China is seen next to a Kindle e-reader displayed in this illustration, taken on Dec 15, 2021. [PHOTO/AGENCIES]

US-based tech giant Inc said on Thursday it has stopped supplying retailers in China with its Kindle e-readers starting today and will discontinue its Kindle e-bookstore in the Chinese market on June 30, 2023.

The company said in a statement on its official WeChat account Chinese customers are able to continue downloading any purchased e-books until June 30, 2024. 'For customers not wanting to keep using their device, we are offering a refund as an option if they purchased an eligible Kindle after Jan 1, 2022.'

In addition, customers will be unable to download the Kindle app from Chinese app stores starting on June 30 next year.

'We remain committed to our customers in China. As a global business, we periodically evaluate our offerings and make adjustments wherever we operate,' the statement read. 'With our portfolio of businesses in China, we will continue to innovate and invest where we can provide value to our customers, including Amazon Global Selling, Amazon Global Store, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Global Logistics, Amazon Devices and Services Asia and Amazon Web Services.'

Amazon shut down its third-party seller services on its Chinese online marketplace in July 2019 and has shifted its business focus to cross-border e-commerce and cloud computing services in China.

The Ministry of Commerce said at a regular media briefing on Thursday that Amazon's latest move is a normal phenomenon in a market-oriented economy, given all market entities including foreign-funded enterprises adjust their products and services in accordance with market development.

The ministry said China remains attractive to foreign investment. In the first four months of the year, the country utilized 478.6 billion yuan ($71.7 billion) of foreign capital, showing 20.5 percent growth over the same period last year.

The ministry also said China welcomes companies from worldwide to further expand investment and bring competitive new products, businesses and services to the Chinese market.


State Grid

China's State Grid to invest over 500b yuan in power grid projects in 2022

BEIJING -- The State Grid Corporation of China said that it will invest an all-time high of more than 500 billion yuan ($74.5 billion) in power grid projects in 2022 to help bolster the country's economic growth amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

The input is expected to drive more than 1 trillion yuan in investment from all sources, said the State Grid.

The company will start constructing ultra-high voltage power transmission projects as early as possible, and begin construction on key power grid projects below 500 kilo-Volt, it said.

The intensive construction of key power grid projects will be conducive to promoting the high-quality development of the power grid and will drive the upstream and downstream industries to resume work and production, said the company.

The State Grid invested a total of 2.38 trillion yuan in the country's power grid during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).



Merck announces largest single electronics investment in China

Leading science and technology company Merck announced on Tuesday its intention to build its Advanced Semiconductor Integration Site in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province, marking its largest single investment project of the electronics business in China.

With an investment of 550 million yuan ($82.1 million), the site incorporating several production sites of semiconductor materials, warehouses and operation centers is designed to expand Merck's local capabilities, supply chain footprint and support China's semiconductor industry, according to executives.

'For us, China is one of the most important markets. The country is undoubtedly a 'must win battle' for Merck and our Electronics business sector,' said Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Electronics, during a virtual signing agreement joined by local authorities in Zhangjiagang.

According to Beckmann, China's 14th Five-Year Plan calling for the development of Digital China will lay a strong foundation for China's next generation of digital infrastructure, and the development of the digital economy has 'implied a sustained and strong demand for China's semiconductor industry'.

Earlier this year, Merck announced its Level Up growth program to double its investment for its Electronics business in China with at least another 1 billion yuan before 2025, with a focus on the chip manufacturing industry.

With this new investment, Merck said it is eyeing to provide comprehensive material solutions for local customers and partners with strengthened local capabilities and a faster response to market, to contribute to increasing the resilience of the supply chains and play an increasingly integral role in the fast growing global and local semiconductor industry.

'China is the largest end market for semiconductors with more than half of the world's total chip output going to China,' said Allan Gabor, president of Merck China and managing director of Electronics China.

'Given the unprecedented capacity investment and expansion of domestic chip manufacturers, China is currently also the fastest growing semiconductor manufacturing market worldwide. We believe a golden era for China's semiconductor industry has just begun.'



Facebook rethinks news deals and publishers could lose millions

Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook is re-examining its commitment to paying for news, people familiar with the matter said, prompting some news organizations to prepare for a potential revenue shortfall of tens of millions of dollars.

The company has paid average annual fees of more than $15 million to the Washington Post, just over $20 million to the New York Times, and more than $10 million to The Wall Street Journal, according to people familiar with the matter. The Journal fee is part of a broader Facebook News deal largely negotiated by parent company Dow Jones & Co., including annual compensation worth more than $20 million, people familiar with the partnership said.

The Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone. (Photo illustration by Chesnot / Getty Images)

At the heart of these deals is Facebook’s dedicated News section, which curates a selection of free articles for readers. Facebook, which pays news publishers to feature their content without a paywall, in 2019 agreed to three-year deals with various publishers that are set to expire this year.

Facebook hasn’t provided publishers with any indication that it plans to re-up the partnerships in their current form, or at all, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is looking to shift its investments away from news and toward products that attract creators such as short-form video producers to compete with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, according to some of the people. The company is also investing heavily in the metaverse, as highlighted by its recent name change to Meta.