Media Focus on Multinational Corporations [2022.10.24]





Sinopharm Unit

Sinopharm Units Shares Soar as Research Lab Isolates Monkeypox Virus, Starts to Develop Vaccine

Oct. 20 -- Shares in China National Medicines Corp. surged by the exchange-imposed limit today after a sister company under state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Sinopharm, said that a research unit has isolated the monkeypox virus and begun vaccine development.

The share price of China National Medicines, which is Sinopharms listed arm, [SHA:600511] closed up 4.6 percent at CNY26.98 (USD3.73) today. Earlier in the day it soared 10 percent to hit CNY28.36.

Wuhan Biological Products Research Institute has isolated the monkeypox virus from clinical samples and started vaccine research, China National Biotec Group said on its WeChat account today.

It is a big step in the worlds fight against the latest viral outbreak. There is no monkeypox vaccine available in China yet. And most of the world is using the Jynneous vaccine developed by Denmarks Bavarian Nordic, which is also used to protect against smallpox.


Fosun to Sell 60% Stake in Nanjing Iron & Steel United for Up to USD2.2 Billion to Pare Debt

Oct. 20 -- Fosun International said it has agreed to sell a 60 percent stake the conglomerate has in Nanjing Iron & Steel United to China's biggest private steelmaker for as much as CNY16 billion (USD2.2 billion) to raise money to repay debt.

Under the deal, Shagang Group, which is also the world's fourth-largest steelmaker by capacity, will become the actual controller of Nanjing Iron & Steel, a Shanghai-listed firm under Nanjing Iron & Steel United, Fosun said late yesterday. State-owned Nanjing Iron & Steel Group owns the rest.

Shares of Fosun and Nanjing Iron & Steel resumed trading today following a week of talks on a deal. Fosun [HKG: 0656] rose 0.2 percent to close at HKD4.84 (67 US cents), retreating from an earlier gain of as much as 4.6 percent. After plunging 5.8 percent in the morning, Nanjing Iron & Steel [SHA: 600282] closed down 0.3 percent at CNY3.07 (42 US cents).

Compared with building a new steel mill, its still relatively cost-effective for Shagang to buy Nanjing Iron & Steel United at this price,” Wu Wenzhang, chairman of steel and raw materials data provider SteelHome, told Yicai Global.

As a steel company with a rich history, the firm's innovation, product development, and management capabilities are also something Shagang can benefit from,” Wu added.

Shanghai-based Fosun bought into Nanjing Iron & Steel United in 2003. Managed by the conglomerates smart manufacturing division, the steelmaker has an annual production capacity of 10 million tons of steel and 9.4 million tons of steel products.

Nanjing Iron & Steel United had contributed much to Fosuns earnings in recent years, but as the steel industry entered a downturn this year, its earnings performance declined. In the first half, revenue at Nanjing Iron & Steel United fell nearly 10 percent from a year ago to CNY34.9 billion, while net profit plunged 34 percent to CNY1.5 billion.

The pressure on the steel industry has not eased in the second half. The market environment in the fourth quarter is not looking good, with steel demand likely to be stable or dip, said He Wenbo, executive chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association.

At least 200 million tons of overcapacity needs to be removed to achieve a balance,” Wu said. The steel industry may face a major adjustment in the next three to five years.


Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine will cost $110-$130 per dose

Pfizer will charge $110 to $130 for a dose of its COVID-19 vaccine once the U.S. government stops buying the shots, but the drugmaker says it expects many people will continue receiving it for free.

Pfizer executives said the commercial pricing for adult doses could start early next year, depending on when the government phases out its program of buying and distributing the shots.

The drugmaker said it expects that people with private health insurance or coverage through public programs like Medicare or Medicaid will pay nothing. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover many recommended vaccines without charging any out-of-pocket expenses.

A spokesman said the company also has an income-based assistance program that helps eligible U.S. residents with no insurance get the shots.

The price would make the two-dose vaccine more expensive for cash-paying customers than annual flu shots. Those can range in price from around $50 to $95, depending on the type, according to CVS Health, which runs one of the nation's biggest drugstore chains.


China's ‘Big Three’ Gas Suppliers Ramp Up Output to Ensure Winter Energy Supply

Oct. 19 -- China’s three oil and gas titans are increasing their output of natural gas through investment in existing facilities and the continued exploration for more reserves to ensure adequate supply to the country’s northern regions as people turn up the heating during the chilly winter months, online news outlet The Paper reported.

China National Offshore Oil Corp., China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, are all spending more on natural gas production and exploration, the report said.

CNOOC has hiked daily output by over 3 million cubic meters year-on-year through more refined management of over 200 offshore gas wells, China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer said yesterday. It expects to supply around 10 billion cubic meters of gas nationwide over the winter and next spring, 80 percent of which will come from its offshore wells.

CNOOC has just built seven adjustable storage wells to boost reserves and ensure adequate output, said Pan Yiyong, deputy general manager of the company’s department of exploration and development. The Beijing-based firm hopes to have all of them in operation during peak season. It is also investing more in developing onshore oil and gas.

China National Petroleum Corp.’s Changqing Oilfield runs the biggest natural gas facility in China, supplying around a quarter of the country’s needs. Output has increased by 10 million cubic meters a day this year, compared with a year earlier.

The Changqing oilfield has enacted the biggest capacity expansion in history, and annual production should soon climb to a record 50 billion cubic meters, said Wang Zhenjia, deputy general manager of the oilfield, which is located in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Sinopec has discovered new shale gas reserves in the Sichuan Basin in southwest China, with a daily output of 258,600 cubic meters, the firm said yesterday. The Cambrian strata in the basin has evaluated reserves of 387.8 billion cubic meters and as such has huge potential for future gas explorations.

China’s natural gas output has increased by over 10 billion cubic meters a year over the last five years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. And it is likely to reach 220 billion cubic meters this year, the National Energy Administration and the Ministry of Natural Resources said.

China’s energy self-sufficiency ratio is above 80 percent. This provides solid energy guarantees to spur economic and social development, Ren Jingdong, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, said at the ongoing National Congress of the Communist Pary of China on Oct. 17.


CNPC Unit Wins USD386 Million EPCC Contract for Iraq Oil Processing Facility

Oct. 18 -- A unit of China National Petroleum Corporation, the county’s largest oil and gas supplier, won a contract worth USD386 million for the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of a new crude oil processing facility in Iraq.

Employed by the building conglomerate Basra Energy, China Petroleum Engineering and Construction will be responsible for carrying out the EPCC contract and performance testing at the Mishrif Qurainat oilfield, CPECC said yesterday.

The project includes two sets of crude oil processing facilities, each with a capacity of 120,000 barrels per day. The contract is scheduled to take effect on Nov. 16, with construction expected to take 36 months, CPECC added.

Basra Energy is an oil and gas investment joint venture of PetroChina International Iraq FZE, a subsidiary of Beijing-based CNPC, and BP Holdings Iraq. The former own 51 percent of the JV.

This is the second major contract signed by China Petroleum Engineering and Construction in the Iraqi oilfield services market, after the firm announced a USD316 million deal with ExxonMobil’s Iraqi unit to build a facility in the West Qurna oilfield in February.


New oil & gas field found in South China Sea

State-owned offshore oil and gas producer China National Offshore Oil Corp said Thursday that the company has discovered the first deep-water deep-stratum large gas field in the South China Sea.

The Baodao 21-1 Gas Field, located in Qiongdongnan Basin, has a proven in-place of natural gas and condensate oil at over 50 billion cubic meters and 3 million cubic meters respectively, said the company.

Baodao 21-1 gas field will lay a solid foundation for the construction of a gas production base of trillion cubic meters resources in the South China Sea. The review and filing once again confirmed the exploration potential of this structure, said the company.

'Exploration has always been a priority for CNOOC and we have accelerated the pace to explore the deep waters, targeting the discovery of large and medium-sized oil and gas fields,' said Zhou Xinhuai, chief executive officer of CNOOC Limited.

'CNOOC has always emphasized geological theory and technological researches to make breakthroughs and to bolster our efforts in reserves and production growth.'

Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil Taps EnLink’s Pipeline Network for Louisiana Carbon Capture Project

CF Industries has entered into the largest-of-its-kind commercial agreement with Exxon Mobil to capture and permanently store up to 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually from its manufacturing complex in Louisiana. Start-up for the project is scheduled for early 2025 and supports Louisiana’s objective of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

As previously announced, CF Industries is investing $200 million to build a CO2 dehydration and compression unit at its Donaldsonville, Louisiana, facility to enable captured CO2 to be transported and stored. Exxon Mobil will then transport and permanently store the captured CO2 in secure geologic storage it owns in Vermilion Parish.

As part of the project, Exxon Mobil has signed an agreement with EnLink Midstream to use EnLink’s transportation network to deliver CO2 to permanent geologic storage. The 2 million metric tons of emissions captured annually will be equivalent to replacing approximately 700,000 gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles.

“EnLink has a system of over 4,000 miles of pipeline already in the ground in Louisiana,” Jesse Arenivas, CEO of EnLink, said. “Utilizing this extensive network enables us to provide the most timely and cost-effective solution to CO2 transportation, with a significantly lower environmental impact. Because of this, EnLink is uniquely positioned to be the CO2 transportation provider of choice in Louisiana's Mississippi River corridor, which is a hub of industrial activity that is important to our economy. We look forward to working with Exxon Mobil to help CF Industries and the State of Louisiana reach their decarbonization goals.”

CF Industries expects to market up to 1.7 million metric tons of blue ammonia annually. A chemical process is considered “blue” when CO2 emissions are captured before their release into the air, making the process more carbon-neutral. Demand for blue ammonia is expected to grow significantly as a decarbonized energy source for hard-to-abate industries, both for its hydrogen content and as a fuel itself, because ammonia’s components – nitrogen and hydrogen – do not emit carbon when combusted.

Exxon Mobil Low Carbon Solutions is working to bring lower-emission technologies to market, making them accessible to hard-to-decarbonize industries in the United States and internationally. It is focusing its carbon capture and storage efforts on point-source emissions, the process of capturing CO2 from industrial activity that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Once captured, the CO2 is injected into deep, underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage. In the United States, these storage efforts are regulated by state and federal agencies.

Carbon capture and storage is a safe, proven technology that can enable some of the highest-emitting sectors to meaningfully reduce their emissions. These industries include manufacturing, power generation, refining, petrochemical, steel, and cement operations. With effective government policies in place, broad deployment of commercial-scale carbon capture and storage projects could create a new industry, resulting in job creation and economic growth.

“This landmark project represents large-scale, real-world progress on the journey to decarbonize the global economy,” Dan Ammann, president of Exxon Mobil Low Carbon Solutions, said. “Exxon Mobil is providing a critical and scalable solution to reduce CO2 emissions, and we’re ready to offer the same service to other large industrial customers in the state of Louisiana and around the world. We’re encouraged by the momentum we see building for projects of this kind, thanks to supportive policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act.”


bp accelerates and expands in bioenergy, agreeing to buy Archaea Energy

In a move that will expand and accelerate the growth of its strategic bioenergy business, bp announced that it has agreed to acquire Archaea Energy Inc., a leading producer of renewable natural gas (RNG) in the US, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The agreed acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and Archaea shareholder approval, will be for USD3.3 B in cash, as well as around USD800 MM of net debt.

Bioenergy is one of five strategic transition growth engines that bp intends to grow rapidly through this decade. bp expects investment into its transition growth businesses to reach more than 40% of its total annual capital expenditure by 2025, aiming to grow this to around 50% by 2030.

Acquiring Archaea will expand bp’s presence in the US biogas industry, enhancing its ability to support customers’ decarbonization goals and also progressing its aim to reduce the average carbon intensity of the energy products it sells. bp aims to reduce that carbon intensity to net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Sinomine Resource Grou

China’s Sinomine Is in Talks With Grid Metals to Co-Develop Canadian Lithium Mine

Oct. 19 -- Sinomine Resource Group, a leading Chinese supplier of battery-grade lithium fluoride, is looking to expand its source of raw lithium ore and has entered discussions with Canada’s Grid Metals about the possible joint development of a local lithium mine.

Sinomine’s Canadian unit Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada is planning to team up with Grid Metals, which holds a 75 percent stake in the Donner Lake Lithium Project in Manitoba, Sinomine said yesterday. Toronto-based Grid Metals acquired the stake from Tanco in 2016.

Grid Metals, which holds 2 percent equity of the project's net smelting proceeds as well as the right to purchase its ore and concentrate products on commercial terms, will provide Tanco with spodumene ore samples from the mine, Sinomine said, citing the preliminary agreement drawn up by the two parties.

Once the samples have been tested, the two parties will sign another deal whereby Grid Metals will supply spodumene ore to Tanco and Tanco will carry out smelting works and sell the spodumene concentrate. The two will then share the proceeds in an agreed manner. Further details will be worked out in subsequent agreements, it added.

The partnership will help Sinomine to expand its mineral resources, ensure supplies to Tanco’s new mineral processing plant and boost profitability, the Beijing-based firm said, which counts US electric car startup Tesla as one of its main clients.

Founded in 1999, Sinomine is also the world’s largest producer and supplier of caesium and rubidium and the only producer of cesium formate in the world. It is also an important provider of geological exploration technical services abroad.

Sinomine’s share price was trading up 2.3 percent at CNY92.35 (USD12.80) as of 12.30 p.m. China time today.

Baowu Steel Unit

Baowu Steel Unit to Take Over RSM Group to Cement Place in Lightweight Car Parts Market

Oct. 18 -- A unit of China's Baowu Steel Group, the largest global steelmaker, intends to buy a controlling stake in RSM Group, a leading Chinese supplier of magnesium alloys, to help the former consolidate its position in the country's market of lightweight steel products for cars.

RSM plans to issue 62 million new shares to Baosteel Metal in a private placement so the latter's shareholding will rise to 21.5 percent from 14 percent, becoming an actual controller of the firm that processes magnesium alloys, the Nanjing-based supplier said in a statement yesterday.

Consequently, the shareholding ratio of the original actual controller, Mei Xiaoming, will decline to 16.5 percent from the original 18 percent.

The investment should be about CNY1.4 billion (USD194 million) based on RSM's [SHE: 002182] closing price of CNY22.46 (USD3.10) on Oct. 14. Trading of the shares is predicted to start again tomorrow after a two-day suspension.

RSM is engaged in a complete industrial chain of mining, smelting, casting, processing, and recycling of magnesium alloys. The booming new energy vehicle industry has brought new opportunities to the company.

Baosteel Metal first invested in RSM in October 2018. It increased its shareholding to 14 percent in August 2020. At that time, RSM said that Baosteel Metal’s investment can introduce more resources to RSM while promoting the development of Baosteel Metal’s lightweight materials and products.

The pair is currently building a plant that is expected to become the world’s largest magnesium alloy production base in eastern China's Anhui province. The CNY14.8 billion (USD2.06 billion) project began construction late last year to eventually have a capacity of 300,000 tons of high-performance magnesium alloys per year.


Envision's Battery Arm AESC to Add New US Plant for BMW

Oct. 20 -- Envision AESC, an electric vehicle battery maker under Chinese green energy firm Envision Group, intends to build a new factory in the United States to fulfill BMW Group's demand.

The South Carolina plant, which will be ready by 2026, will have an annual capacity of up to 30 gigawatt-hours, the Chinese-controlled firm that has its headquarters in Japan said in a statement yesterday.

Established in 2007, Envision AESC used to be owned by Japanese automaker Nissan Motor. But Beijing-based Envision acquired a major stake in it in 2018.

The produced lithium-ion battery cells in South Carolina will result in faster charging speeds and an extended range of up to 30 percent regarding new car models made by BMW’s plant in the same state by 2030, it added.

With the plan, Envision AESC's goal is to increase the firm's output in the States to a maximum of 70 GWh. The company has 12 factories around the world, including one in Tennessee and one under construction in Kentucky. It aims to reach a total capacity of 300 GWh by 2026.

Last month, two Chinese electric vehicle battery developers received a total of EUR10 billion (USD9.8 billion) in orders from Munich-based BMW. The German company intends to build four large factories with Contemporary Amperex Technology and Eve Energy in China and Europe, and each plant will have an annual capacity of 20 GWh, it said earlier.

BMW will invest USD1.7 billion in its US operations, most of which will go into preparing the production of electric vehicles in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the company said yesterday. Some USD700 million will be spent on building a new high-voltage battery assembly facility in nearby Woodruff. By 2030, BMW is slated to produce at least six fully electric models in the States.


Huawei's training program helps Brunei nurture ICT talents

Huawei Technologies in Brunei officially launched its 'Seeds for the Future' 2022 program on Monday, aimed at nurturing local information and communications technology (ICT) talents.

As a flagship global Corporate Social Responsibility program of Chinese tech giant Huawei, 'Seeds for the Future' was first initiated in 2008 and designed to develop skilled, local ICT talents and bridge communication between countries and cultures.

'By the end of 2021, this program has been implemented across 137 countries and regions, covering 12,000 students from over 500 universities,' Zhang Jianwei, CEO of Huawei Technologies in Brunei, told Xinhua.

'This is the 8th session since the program was held back in 2015 in Brunei. It is also the third year we are conducting online training since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020,' he said.

According to Zhang, the 'Seeds for the Future' 2022 online training program attracted a total of 55 local students from University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Technological University and Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University as well as five other institutions.

Zhang said participants of the program will be exposed to Huawei's cutting-edge ICT training. Topics like metaverse and digital power will be introduced and discussed in this year's program.

'Over the past few years, we have continued our 'Seeds for the Future' program and we are pleased to witness fruitful results,' Zhang added.

'More than 100 students in Brunei benefited from this program from 2015 to 2021, with some graduate students working in the ICT industry, which will contribute to local ICT talent ecosystem development.'

Haji Azman, permanent secretary at Brunei's Ministry of Education, Counsellor Wang Haitao, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy in Brunei, and more than 100 students and guests from educational institutions, ICT industries, and government-linked companies attended the event.

Freddy Ang Chuan Shi, one of the Huawei 'Seeds for the Future' alumni, told Xinhua that he joined the program in 2020 and had learned quite a lot.

'The courses provided were really informative as they touched on the current tech trends being employed by countries around the world,' he said.

'The three main courses I enjoyed were 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing. We also went on an online tour around a small village in China to learn the Chinese culture and how residents there adopted a modern digitalized lifestyle, including using digital payments like Alipay and WeChat Pay.'

'Through the program, I was able to whet my interest in dabbling in the tech industry, which prompted me to apply for Huawei Singapore and was offered a position last month,' he told Xinhua with delight.


Apple Supplier Foxconn Seeks to Diversify Into Electric Car Assembly

Oct. 19 -- Hon Hai Technology Group, Apple's biggest contract manufacturer also known as Foxconn, is diversifying its business to focus more on new energy vehicles to reduce its reliance on the iPhone brand owner.

Foxconn and partners of Mobility in Harmony, an open electric vehicle development platform initiated by the Chinese firm, are jointly breaking a closed cycle of conventional auto manufacturing, Chairman Young Liu of Hon Hai Technology Group, the parent company of Foxconn, said during the annual Hon Hai Tech Day yesterday. The group is expected to halve the vehicle design period and cut the development costs by one-third, he added.

New Taipei-based Foxconn is looking to add more product categories, including semiconductors, to its portfolio as electric device demand, including that of Apple's smartphones, has weakened in recent years.

The Chinese firm's share in the global NEV contract manufacturing market will increase to 5 percent by 2025, it said. Such revenue should reach TWD1 trillion (USD31.2 billion) with an annual delivery of 500,000 to 750,000 units.

Foxconn does not sell vehicles with its own brand, Liu clarified, adding that NEVs sold by the firm's clients are likely to be made in Taiwan province, Thailand, and the US. More than 2,400 companies, one-quarter of which are software firms, are using MIH. So far five car models, including Foxtron-branded Model B and Model V, have been launched.

Foxtron, a joint venture between Foxconn and carmaker Yulon Motor, is mostly in charge of vehicle design while Foxconn is responsible for manufacturing, Jack Cheng, MIH chief executive, told Yicai Global.

Moreover, MIH-based autonomous driving technologies are set to be unveiled in early 2023 even though Foxconn has not yet rolled out any concrete solutions related to self-driving passenger vehicles.

Several US car brands, including Lordstown, are using MIH. Last year, Foxconn agreed with Fisker to produce up to 150,000 NEVs for the California-headquartered electric vehicle startup each year. Production is expected to begin in 2024.

Last year, Foxconn said it will acquire Lordstown's plant in Ohio to have a manufacturing base in North America. This year, the Chinese firm formed a JV called Horizon Plus with Arun Plus, a NEV unit of Thai oil and gas giant PTT Public, to provide contract manufacturing services in the Southeast Asian country.


Potential mass layoffs at Twitter could cripple content moderation, some experts say

Over the course of a monthslong bid to purchase Twitter, Elon Musk has signaled major changes at the platform. As Musk stands poised to acquire the company in the coming weeks, the transformation appears even more far-reaching than some anticipated.

In discussions about his plans for the company, in recent months, Musk talked about potential mass layoffs that would reduce the staff by 75%, the Washington Post reported.

While details of the potential layoffs remain limited, the move could compromise the platform's capacity to police false or harmful content, with ramifications that extend to social issues like election integrity, experts told ABC News.

The experience of a typical user could change significantly, they added, noting the possible rise of harassment and other forms of corrosive discourse.

Even if Musk's Twitter deal does not come to fruition, the company's current management has reportedly planned to cut its payroll by $800 million by the end of next year, the Post reported.

A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on the report of layoffs but confirmed to ABC News the existence of a company memo to employees obtained by Bloomberg News.

'We do not have any confirmation of the buyer's plans following close and recommend not following rumors or leaked documents but rather wait for facts from us and the buyer directly,' the memo by Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett said.

Representatives for Elon Musk did not immediately reply to ABC News' requests for comment.

Speaking at a Twitter all-hands meeting shortly in June, Musk did not rule out downsizing if he were to acquire the company.

'Anyone who is a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about,' Musk reportedly told employees, according to tweets from Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner.


TikTok's Chinese Version Douyin Turns Up Heat on Rival Looking to IPO With New Gym Channel

Oct. 19 -- Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has opened a gym channel, encouraging users to work out via cash rewards while turning up the pressure on rivaling mobile application Keep which is planning an initial public offering.

Short-video platform Douyin, which has over 700 million daily active users, has debuted a function for users to watch live-streaming or recorded gym classes posted by celebrities such as fitness star Will Liu and others amid a surge in interest in home workouts during the Covid-19 pandemic. Users can check in and receive prizes.

The scale of China's fitness market will maintain an annual increase of CNY100 billion (USD13.9 billion) to reach CNY1.48 trillion (USD210 billion) in 2026, according to a report published by Zhongtai Securities.

Up to 70 percent of China's fitness market used to be offline but that is changing quickly amid the pandemic, per Zhongtai Securities. This year, the size of the online fitness market should exceed its offline counterpart for the first time. In the next five years, the compound growth rate should be 13.5 percent.

This year, the volume of fitness live-streamers and their sessions on Douyin more than doubled from a year ago, according to a document the Beijing-based firm released in August. Users made 130 million comments and shared live-streaming content more than 22.9 million times.

Douyin's move is expected to spark conversations at Keep which is preparing for an IPO in Hong Kong. The Beijing-based company filed its prospectus for the second time in September after the previous one expired.

Launched in 2015, Keep is a pioneer in China's online fitness sector, with an average monthly active user base of 41.1 million as of June 30, according to the prospectus.


Amazon will use Hawaiian Airlines to operate cargo planes

Hawaiian Airlines will operate 10 cargo planes for starting next fall under a deal that could eventually involve more planes and give Amazon a 15% stake in the airline.

The airline’s parent company, Hawaiian Holdings Inc., said Friday that it will fly and maintain an “initial fleet” of 10 leased Airbus A330-300 jets for the retail giant. The fleet could grow “depending on Amazon’s future business needs,” the company said.

Hawaiian said it issued warrants that Amazon can exercise over the next nine years and acquire up to 15% of Hawaiian stock.

Shares of Hawaiian Holdings jumped 13% in afternoon trading on Friday.

When travel plunged and consumer spending spiked early in the pandemic, airlines began carrying more cargo and demand for freighter planes grew. More recently, the cargo business has cooled off as consumer spending shifted away from goods toward services including travel, and airlines have been stuck with excess cargo capacity.

Global demand for cargo fell 8.3% in August compared with a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association reported this month.

Hawaiian said it won’t use any of its current planes to serve Amazon. Instead, Amazon’s air division will lease the first 10 planes -- which will be converted from passenger jets to freighters -- from leasing company Altavair.

“This relationship provides a catalyst to grow our business and the unique opportunity to diversify our revenue sources while capitalizing on our established strengths,” said Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram.

The A330-300 is a large, two-aisle plane that usually has about 330 seats when used for passenger flights.

Philippe Karam, director of Amazon's air fleet, said the jets will be the largest and newest planes flying for Amazon Air.

Amazon brands its fleet as Prime Air, and it has struck previous deals with both passenger and cargo airlines. In 2019, Sun Country Airlines announced it would operate 10 converted Boeing 737 aircraft for Amazon. Under a deal with Atlas Air, Amazon took warrants that could be converted into a 20% stake in the cargo carrier.

China Eastern Airlines】【China Southern Airlines

Chinese Airlines to Restart More International Flights

Oct. 18 -- China’s biggest carriers, including China Eastern Airlines and Southern Airlines, have come out with plans for more flights to Asia, Europe, and the United States.

China Eastern announced plans yesterday to restart flights between Hangzhou, Qingdao, Nanjing, and Kunming in China to Tokyo, Japan from Oct. 20. Flights from Qingdao, Nanjing, and Yantai to Seoul, South Korea, and the Shanghai-Bangkok-Qingdao route will also resume.

After two years of tight restrictions on international passenger traffic to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country, China has been gradually resuming flights since May. In June, the authorities eased the rules for inbound tourists to seven days of quarantine plus three days of health monitoring at home from 14 days and seven days, respectively.

China Eastern is expected to expand its weekly international passenger routes to 42, with a total of 108 departures by the official start of the winter-spring season on Oct. 30, the Shanghai-based carrier said.

Guangzhou-based Southern Airlines plans to hike its weekly flight count to 86 from 71, with new non-stop routes between Guangzhou and Jakarta, Dubai, Manila, and Bangkok, and one from Dalian to Tokyo.

Air China, the flag carrier, recently resumed flights from Beijing to Warsaw, Athens, Vancouver, and Los Angeles, it said earlier.

Other major operators, including Hainan Airlines, Spring Airlines, and Juneyao Airlines, have also published plans to reboot international routes.