Media Focus on Multinational Corporations [2022.10.10]





Walmart acquires automated grocery fulfillment firm Alert Innovation
As the largest retailer in the world, its no surprise that Walmart has poured money into innovative fulfillment technologies like drone delivery and advanced robotics.
In particular, the company has been focused on modernizing its warehouses with automation. But while it owns a majority stake in warehouse robotics firm Symbotic, which in May brought robots to all 42 of its regional distribution centers, the retailer until this week didnt own a warehouse tech company outright.
That changed Thursday when Walmart announced the acquisition of grocery automation firm Alert Innovation for an undisclosed price. The two companies have worked together since 2016, when Alert began building custom fulfillment solutions for Walmarts grocery fulfillment operation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Samsung Electronics aims to produce 1.4-nanomter chips by 2027
Samsung Electronics will begin producing 1.4-nanometer chips by 2027 as part of its aggressive plan to create a more advanced chip manufacturing process, the company announced in a forum on Oct. 3.
It also confirmed its target of manufacturing 2-nanomter chips by 2025, during the annual Samsung Foundry Forum in Silicon Valley.
The announcement came after the Korean chipmaker succeeded in the mass production of 3-nanometer chips in June, the first in the world, although Samsungs overall chip fabrication technology falls behind Taiwans TSMC, a market leader in the contract chip-making business.
The technology development goal down to 1.4 nanometers and foundry platforms specialized for each application, together with a stable supply through consistent investments, are all part of Samsungs strategies to secure customers’ trust and support their success,” said Choi Si-young, president and head of the foundry business at Samsung Electronics.
The company also vowed to increase the proportion of chips used in vehicles and high performance computing to 50 percent.
The move is intended to reduce its reliance on chips application in smartphones since the segment is experiencing sluggish demand.
To meet growing demand for high-performing chips, the chipmaker will also triple advanced chip production capacity by 2027.

LG Electronics
LG Electronics Q3 profit estimated to have risen 25% on-year
LG Electronics said Friday its preliminary third-quarter operating profit jumped around 25 percent from a year earlier.
The tech company said its profit for the July-September period was predicted to come in at 746.6 billion won ($529 million), up 25.1 percent from 540.7 billion won from the year-ago period.
But LG's quarterly profit, in fact, declined on-year after taking into consideration a recall provision of 480 billion won for General Motors Co.'s Bolt electric vehicles during the year-ago quarter.
Sales are estimated to have increased 14 percent to 20.9 trillion won, surpassing the 20 trillion won mark for the first time in the company's history. The data for net income was not available.
Like many other electronics makers, continued macro economic woes paint a gloomy picture for LG's bottom line for the remaining year and into the next year.
Pandemic-driven pent-up demand for home appliances, including TVs, has lost steam and aggressive rate hikes in major economies to bring inflation under control significantly weakened consumer spending power.
High shipping costs amid supply chain disruptions are expected to continue hurting the company's performance.
For the three months to end-June, LG's home entertainment division logged an operating loss of 18.9 billion won, turning to losses for the first time in 28 quarters, as marketing costs rose and people spent less time at home.

Intels self-driving company Mobileye files for an IPO
Intels self-driving technology firm Mobileye has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (via CNBC). The Israel-based company, which Intel acquired for $15.3 billion in 2017, specializes in making the chips and software that powers autonomous vehicles.
According to Bloomberg, Intel initially expected the IPO to value Mobileye at $50 billion, but later lowered its expectations to around $30 billion. Mobileyes SEC filing indicates steady revenue growth over the past few years, jumping from $879 million in 2019 to $967 million in 2020, and topping out at $1.4 billion in 2021. The filing doesnt provide any information on how much a share could cost.
Founded in 1999 by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, Mobileye is known for its EyeQ system-on-a-chip (SoC), which serves as the brain” for Mobileyes driver-assist and self-driving technology. Mobileye also uses a data crowdsourcing program — called Road Experience Management (REM) — to build out a 3D map using real-time data from vehicles equipped with Mobileyes technology. The company announced its EyeQ Ultra chip earlier this year, which Mobileye calls its most advanced system yet.
While Mobileye has supplied its technology to companies like BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen, and other major car companies, its also taking a stab at creating its own fleet of autonomous vehicles for delivery and ride-hailing services. Mobileye said it would establish a robotaxi service in Germany this year, and also announced plans to launch a driverless delivery service in 2023. The firm is currently testing autonomous vehicles in New York City and said its partnering with Chinese automaker Geely to start selling self-driving cars in the country.
Intel first announced its plans to take Mobileye public last year, with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger saying an IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileyes track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders.” Gelsinger also added that Intel would use the funds earned from Mobileyes IPO to build more chip plants. Intels currently building a $20 billion chip manufacturing hub in Ohio and invested another $20 billion to build chip-making plants in Arizona last year.

The Lux Collective Signs First Southeast Asia Hotel Management Agreement in Vietnam
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Oct. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Global hospitality group The Lux Collective and P Q Hai Quoc Joint Stock Company have signed a hotel management agreement to build a luxury overwater resort under the LUX* Resorts & Hotels brand on the island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Named LUXNAM* Phu Quoc, the resort is set in one of Asia's most sought-after destinations and is expected to open in late 2024.
'We are honoured to partner with the P Q Hai Quoc Joint Stock Company to manage this new built overwater resort located on the remote Northern coast of Phu Quoc, which is adjacent to a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve spanning over 314,000 square metres of flora and fauna, evergreen forest and dense mountain range. Inspired by the iconic Maldivian-style overwater resorts, this is a first for Vietnam and the region,' said Mr Paul Jones, Chief Executive Officer of The Lux Collective.
'We are delighted to be the first strategic partner of The Lux Collective in Southeast Asia. Collaborating on the LUX* flagship luxury brand, we envision LUXNAM* Phu Quoc to become one of Southeast Asia's top luxury resort destinations with its unique overwater design and extraordinary experiences,' said Mr Duy Tran, Chief Executive Officer of P Q Hai Quoc Joint Stock Company.
'We are proud to work with The Lux Collective on the stunning LUXNAM* Phu Quoc project. We are certain that this long-term strategic alliance will help to promote Phu Quoc - mapping it as the Maldives of Vietnam - among global travellers,' said Mr Bao Vu, Chairman of P Q Hai Quoc Joint Stock Company.
One-of-a-kind in Asia, LUXNAM* Phu Quoc is an eye-catching overwater resort on a jungle-draped island off the coast of Vietnam. Tucked away between a pristine beach and tropical jungle, the dragon-shaped resort consists of two areas connected by a 4-kilometre long jetty over the lagoon.

Softbank and Alibaba-backed company, PNP SG launches in Singapore, eyeing the global market starting from S.E.A.
SINGAPORE, Oct. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PNP SG is an enterprise solution for all indirect procurement. The company provides end-to-end solutions from procurement of SaaS tools to fulfillment through its integrated supply chain, achieving immediate cost optimization and higher productivity for enterprises. An affiliate of EasyPNP Group, PNP SG is set to leverage the technology stack of EasyPNP to service enterprises and suppliers in the region. With the business model already proven in China, having served over 200,000 enterprises over the last decade, the path is cleared for PNP SG to take on the global stage.
Enterprises in the region can expect some of their indirect procurement woes to be addressed namely:
Lack of supply depth in the indirect procurement category, resulting in higher cost
Complexity of fulfilment across the 6 core countries within ASEAN
Manual processes due to the fragmentation of indirect procurement
PNP SG provides a wide array of indirect procurement categories supported by its supply chain network of over 20,000 partners. The depth of their expertise combined with a consolidated volume scale, allows them to help enterprises achieve cost savings within a short time frame. The company has also built a regional logistical network to support companies with a presence across ASEAN countries without the need to manage 5-6 different local vendors separately. PNP SG also has a full suite of procurement SaaS tools that can be customized to fit every enterprise's process and need to digitize their indirect procurement.
Speaking of the opportunity in Southeast Asia, the founder of PNP SG mentioned ' The nature of the Asean region with 6 different countries, each having different specialized industrial capabilities, creates an interesting opportunity to leverage technology to consolidate and service the indirect procurement needs of enterprises in the region. This is a complex task, which our experience in China will serve us well from the start.'
With a ready arsenal of tech solutions as well as a robust supply chain, PNP SG sets its sight on serving 200+ of the S.E.A top enterprises supported by a regional supply chain network of 2000+ partners by 2023.

Dermafirm】【Oracle Medical Group
Dermafirm x Oracle Medical Group, Signed a joint research and development business agreement for medical cosmetics
SEOUL, South Korea, Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Dermafirm, Global Derma Cosmetics Company (CEO : Han Yoon-Jae) signed a working agreement (MOU) with Oracle Medical Group (Noh Young-woo) for joint research and development of medical cosmetics at Dermafirm's headquarter located in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on 29 October.
Oracle Medical Group, which has signed a joint development agreement with Dermafirm, is a global medical group with unrivaled dermatology channels in Korea, overseas networks, skin clinical data and know-how. In addition, it has a clinical trial center and the best dermatology medical staff in Korea.
Following the signing of the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop medical cosmetics based on Dermafirm's cosmetic materials and formulation R&D capabilities and Oracle Medical Group's extensive know-how and experience in skin clinical. In addition, efficacy verification of the developed product will be carried out through the Oracle Skin Clinical Center, and the final domestic and international sales will be conducted through Dermafirm's global sales channels.
Through this joint research and development agreement, Oracle, with the skin clinical experience and know-how of Dermafirm and K-Medical's representative dermatology hospital, which has the best cosmetic R&D capabilities and global sales network, will continue to share information, and collaborate to further consolidate its presence in the global market.
Oracle President Noh Young-woo said, 'Based on Oracle Medical Group's experience in dermatology and plastic surgery, we are excited to be able to work together on the development of cosmetics with Dermafirm, the leading brand of Derma Cosmetics.' 'In collaboration with Dermafirm, which has excellent technology, we plan to launch a groundbreaking medical cosmetic product to expand the market in the world.' He replied.
Oracle President Noh Young-woo said, 'Based on Oracle Medical Group's rich experience in dermatology and plastic surgery, we are excited to be able to work together on the development of cosmetics with Dermafirm, the leading brand of Derma Cosmetics.'
'In collaboration with Dermafirm, which has excellent technology, we plan to launch a groundbreaking medical cosmetic product to expand the market in the world.' He replied.
Mr. Han Yoon-Jae, CEO of Dermafirm, said, 'Through this joint development agreement, we are pleased to expect that Oracle's collaboration with Dermafirm which is global leading derma cosmetic brand, and the skin clinical data of K-Medical's representative dermatology hospital will enable us to present high-potency derma cosmetics to consumers through the synergy of mutual technologies.'

IBM and CEO Arvind Krishna Welcome President Biden to Poughkeepsie Site, Company Plans to Invest $20 billion in the Hudson Valley Region Over 10 Years
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and IBM (NYSE: IBM) Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna will tour IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York site to see firsthand where the future of computing is being innovated, designed and manufactured. During the visit, IBM will announce a plan to invest $20 billion across the Hudson Valley region over the next 10 years. The goal of the investments, which will be strengthened by close collaboration with New York State, is to expand the vibrant technology ecosystem in New York to unlock new discoveries and opportunities in semiconductors, computers, hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and quantum computers.
IBM has long called New York state home, and its business supports more than 7,500 jobs across the Hudson Valley. This region has been a hub of innovation and manufacturing for decades. From Westchester County to Poughkeepsie to Albany, IBMers are pushing the limits of computing and helping clients embrace digital transformation.
'IBM is deeply honored to host President Biden at our Poughkeepsie site today and we look forward to highlighting our commitments to the innovations that advance America's economy,' Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM, said. 'As we tackle large-scale technological challenges in climate, energy, transportation and more, we must continue to invest in innovation and discovery - because advanced technologies are key to solving these problems and driving economic prosperity, including better jobs, for millions of Americans.'
President Biden's visit to the IBM Poughkeepsie site highlights the CHIPS and Science Act's unique opportunity to advance American innovation and manufacturing. The technology that IBM delivers today from Poughkeepsie will directly benefit from the CHIPS and Science Act that the President recently signed into law. It will ensure a reliable and secure supply of next-generation chips for today's computers and artificial intelligence platforms as well as fuel the future of quantum computing by accelerating research, expanding the quantum supply chain, and providing more opportunities for researchers to explore business and science applications of quantum systems.
IBM's Poughkeepsie site has helped the country embrace the transformative power of technology since 1941, from manufacturing armaments during World War II to developing and building the latest generation mainframe computers. In Poughkeepsie, IBM builds state-of-the-art mainframe computers that power the global economy. The site also is home to IBM's first Quantum Computation Center – where a large number of real quantum computers run in the cloud. IBM's vision is for Poughkeepsie to become a global hub of the company's quantum computing development, just as it is today for mainframes.
The future of semiconductor technologies also is being created in the Hudson Valley, from Yorktown Heights to Albany and beyond. In Albany, a unique public-private semiconductor ecosystem is where IBM last year announced the first 2 nanometer chip technology, one of the semiconductor industry's biggest breakthroughs of the last decade. The expansion of Albany's collaborative innovation model could be a foundation for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) that will be implemented as part of the CHIPS and Science Act.
IBM's announcement today builds on and expands these investments in the future of American innovation, and will fuel economic growth and job opportunities for people of all backgrounds to work with cutting-edge systems and accelerate the pace of discovery across the Hudson Valley.

FedEx, pilots request federal mediation to resolve contract dispute
FedEx Express and the union representing its pilots on Wednesday filed for federal mediation with the National Mediation Board to help unglue contract negotiations that began in May 2021.
The joint filing by FedEx and the Air Line Pilots Association requests expedited mediation under the Railway Labor Act.
FedEx pilots are disgruntled by the pace of negotiations on a new labor deal to improve pay, retirement benefits and quality-of-life issues. Union members say they jeopardized their safety during COVID-19 to keep the airline moving critical goods, such as personal protective equipment and vaccines, and were instrumental in FedEx achieving superior profits the past two years.
UPS pilots in August reached agreement on a two-year contract extension.
ALPA’s goal was to reach a collective bargaining agreement by May of this year.
Last week, more than 100 off-duty FedEx pilots held an informational picket at the Financial District in New York City to demonstrate their increasing frustrations.

DHL partners with BigCommerce on B2B and B2C delivery
When one of the largest shippers on the planet partners with one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world, it’s worth paying attention.
On Tuesday, international shipper DHL and e-commerce firm BigCommerce (NASDAQ: BIGC) announced a partnership that will grant BigCommerce merchants access to the DHL Express delivery network.
The partnership also makes merchants eligible for perks like discounted rates and access to DHL shipping and logistics professionals.
By shipping through DHL, merchants on the BigCommerce platform will be able to expand their products and services globally. The shipper has operations in more than 220 countries and territories, giving U.S. sellers a route to offering speedy online delivery around the world.

Starbucks opens 1,000th Shanghai outlet
Starbucks opened its 1,000th Shanghai outlet on Sept 28. The new store, which is also the company's 6,000th in the Chinese mainland, is located in Shanghai Lippo Plaza, the same building where the coffee chain operator opened its first store in the city more than two decades ago.
The company also launched Shanghai Coffee, which creates coffee products inspired by the city and its characteristics.

Elon Musk proposes to buy Twitter at original price
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proposed to proceed with a deal to buy Twitter at the original price of $44 billion, according to a financial filing on Tuesday.
The offer came ahead of a trial scheduled at the Delaware Chancery Court on Oct 17, in which Twitter was set to seek an order directing Musk to close the deal for $44 billion.
In a letter sent to Twitter, Musk offered to continue the deal if the court can adjourn the trial and all other related proceedings.
In a statement Tuesday, Twitter said it received the letter and intends to close the transaction at the original share price offered by Musk's team.
In April, Musk announced the 44 billion-dollar acquisition of Twitter. Later in May, he said the deal was temporarily on hold as he asked for details on the number of the social platform's spam and fake accounts.
Musk terminated the deal in July, blaming the company for withholding information on its number of spam and fake accounts.
Musk's lawyer claimed that Twitter failed to comply with its obligations in the merger agreement and was 'in material breach of multiple provisions' of the agreement signed in April.

Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco: The Oil Market Is Ignoring Supply Fundamentals
The oil market is ignoring the fact that spare oil production capacity is very low right now, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.
“[The market] is focusing on what will happen to demand if recession happens in different parts of the world, they are not focusing on supply fundamentals,” the top executive at the world’s largest oil firm and single largest crude oil exporter, said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London today.
During an event last month, Nasser said that oil inventories are low, “and effective global spare capacity is now about one and a half percent of global demand.”
In September, Aramco’s CEO warned the markets that policymakers need to look beyond this winter and stop vilifying the oil and gas industry if they want to prevent the next energy crisis.
The ongoing energy crisis, while intensified by the war, didn’t start with the war, according to Aramco’s top executive. Years of underinvestment, a lack of a backup plan, and alternatives not ready to step up and replace conventional energy are the real causes of this state of energy insecurity today, Nasser said at the Schlumberger Digital Forum last month.
At the London forum today, he reiterated his view that underinvestment would come back to haunt the markets.
According to Nasser, upstream underinvestment continues due to pressure from investors and policymakers. Short-cycle projects are coming on - not long-term projects that will anchor and sustain production.
“We need to build up some spare capacity in oil, gas and LNG otherwise any outages or increased demand will seriously stretch producers and could cause more turmoil in markets,” Aramco’s CEO noted.
“Oil demand will continue to grow until 2030,” Nasser added, reaffirming the Saudi view that the world needs adequate oil and gas supply before moving away from fossil fuels.
“Alternatives are not ready yet. We need to decarbonize oil and gas and develop CCS but we must do this with adequate oil and gas supply,” the Saudi executive said.

Shell Focusing Spending on Gas Infrastructure, Supplying LNG Plants
Shell is focusing its short-term investments on new natural gas infrastructure and boosting supplies to existing LNG plants, an executive said on Thursday.
'In the short term our focus is on the investment required for infrastructure... and investments to backfill existing LNG plants around the world,' Shell's head of LNG Cederic Cremers told the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.
Infrastructure includes LNG regasification terminals and gas pipelines, he said.

Shell to invest in second Malaysia oil, gas project in a month
Shell announced a second investment in Malaysia's oil and gas sector in a month as the major and its partners, including Petronas, aim to revive output in an environment of tight global supply.
Shell's decisions come after the war disrupted the larger producer's oil and gas supplies and boosted prices. Oil and gas producers in Asia are struggling to sustain output after years of under-investment in the sector as international companies scaled back to focus on exploration and production in Africa and the Americas.
Sabah Shell Petroleum, a Malaysian unit of Shell, said it will invest in phase 4 of the Gumusut-Kakap-Geronggong-Jagus East (GKGJE) deepwater offshore development project along with its partners. No amounts were given.
The GKGJE phase 4 development is a subsea tie-back project that is expected to achieve first oil in late 2024, Shell Malaysia said in a statement.
Shell's partners in the GKGJE project include ConocoPhillips Sabah, Petronas Carigali, PTTEP Sabah Oil Limited, PT Pertamina Malaysia Eksplorasi Produksi and others.
The GKGJE project will reviving declining output of Kimanis crude, Malaysia's flagship export grade. Kimanis production has been falling because of a lack of investment and because of technical issues at the Gumusut-Kakap and Malikai fields.
Earlier in the day, Malaysia's state energy major Petronas said the phase 3 project at the Gumusut-Kakap (GK) deepwater field achieved its first oil production on July 31.
Two new oil producer wells and two water injector wells were drilled at the GK field, the company added.
'Once fully completed in Q1 2023, the four wells will add around 25,000 barrels per day to GK’s existing production capacity,' Petronas said.
Last month, Shell announced plans to invest with Petronas to develop the Rosmari-Marjoram gas fields off the coast of Bintulu in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The project is designed to produce 800 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, with gas production expected to start in 2026, Shell said in a statement.

Shell enters Africa’s power generation game
Daystar Power has been acquired by Shell marking the US super-major’s first move into Africa’s power generation sector, the Nigerian solar company announced on Wednesday.
The Lagos-based energy company provides off-grid solar power generation to commercial and industrial clients in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Togo.
The company plans to expand its presence to more countries in East and Southern Africa and increase its installed capacity to 400 MW by 2025.
“We are on-track to increase our installed solar capacity by 135% in 2022,” said Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, CEO and co-founder of Daystar Power.
Cost of the deal was not disclosed.
The purchase is subject to regulatory approvals.

TotalEnergies starts marine biofuels next year
TotalEnergies will start offering biofuels as a bunkering fuel to its customers in Singapore from next year, a senior executive at the French energy giant said on Thursday, as the company seeks to reduce its emissions in shipping.
The move would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 20-25 per cent, said Vice President Marine Fuels Louise Tricoire.
'We will be able to deliver biofuels with new UCOME (used cooking oil methyl ester) based supply chain in Singapore by 1 Jan 2023 for customers,' said Tricoire at the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) 2022.
The shipping industry accounts for nearly 3 per cent of the world's CO2 emissions and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is seeking to halve the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2008 levels.
This target will require rapid development of zero- or low-emission fuels and new designs for ships.
At the same conference, Cargill said it was trying to boost its vessels' use of biofuels to 50,000 tonnes by mid- or end-2023, up from 12,000 tonnes since January.
TotalEnergy is also investing more than $4 billion this year 'for renewable energies and new, low-carbon molecules,' added Tricoire.
Last week, TotalEnergies said it would increase its capital expenditure to $14-18 billion a year through 2025 from $13-16 billion previously, with investments targeting wind and solar energy and energy savings as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity.
While LNG is an existing bunker fuel solution, it also opens the way for the shipping industry to use biomethane as a greener natural gas fuel option, said Denis Bonhomme, global sales and business development director at TotalEnergies Marine Fuels, a unit of TotalEnergies.
'For a start, the use of guarantees of origin in Europe will enable the shipping industry to further decarbonise,' he said.
Still,Bonhomme expected the volumes of LNG as a bunker fuel to triple by 2025, and increase 20-fold by 2030.
'In the medium term, the demand outlook is still very positive for LNG. To respond to this demand, TotalEnergies is investing in production around the world,' he said.
'In my view LNG bunker supply is not an issue, as the LNG bunkering market accounts for approximately 1-3 per cent of the global LNG market.'