Tech

- A Russian court on Tuesday fined streaming service Twitch 4 million roubles ($57,000) for failing to remove what it said were "fakes" about Russia's military campaign in Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported. Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Moscow has long objected to foreign tech platforms' distribution of content that falls foul of its restrictions, with Russian courts regularly imposing penalties. ($1 = 70.3200 roubles) (Reporting by , Editing by Louise Heavens)...
SINGAPORE - The business model that crypto firm Celsius Network had advertised and sold to its customers was not the business it actually operated, a court-ordered examiner report released on Tuesday showed. The report added that Celsius's stablecoin deficit between May 28, 2021 and its bankruptcy filing amounted to a billion-dollar hole in its assets. Hoboken, New Jersey-based Celsius filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors last July in Manhattan after freezing customer withdrawals from its platform. It listed a deficit of $1.19 billion on its balance sheet. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, who is overseeing the Chapter 11 case, appointed former prosecutor Shoba Pillay as an independent examiner in September. She was tasked with investigating accusations by Celsius customers that the company operated as a Ponzi scheme and also with reporting on its handling of cryptocurrency deposits....
BERLIN - Volkswagen is considering building a battery cell factory in Ontario, Canada, the Handelsblatt business daily reported on Tuesday, adding that the province had offered investments and other incentives to win over the carmaker. Five entries from January 2023 are listed in a Canadian lobby register for VW, and CEO Oliver Blume is mentioned there by name, the report said, citing the documents. Volkswagen did not immediately reply to a request for comment. (Reporting by Jan C Schwartz, Writing by Rachel More, Editing by Miranda Murray)...
BEIJING - China is seriously concerned about a report that the United States has stopped approving licences for U.S. companies to export items to tech giant Huawei, a foreign minsitry spokesperson said on Tuesday. "We are closely following relevant developments," Mao Ning told a regular news briefing in response to a query on the export curbs. (Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)...
- British chemicals firm Johnson Matthey said it had entered into a long-term supply and joint development agreement with Plug Power for hydrogen technology-related products. Johnson Matthey, which makes catalytic converters for vehicles and refines platinum group of metals (PGMs) used chiefly by automakers, said on Tuesday that the group would supply a substantial portion of U.S.-based Plug's demand for components of fuel cells and electrolysers. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)...
BEIJING - China's Shenghong Holdings Group signed a contract on Tuesday to invest 30.6 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) in an energy storage battery gigafactory and a new energy battery research facility in the eastern city of Zhangjiagang. The Suzhou city government announced the pact on its official social media account, adding that the completed project was expected to generate 56 billion yuan in annual revenue. ($1=6.7536 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)...
By Josh Horwitz SHANGHAI - China's semiconductor industry has become a key target of the United States, which has imposed a slew of export restrictions targeting several parts of the country's chip sector supply chain as it bids to slow its rival's technological advancement. While Beijing has ploughed vast sums of money into cultivating a domestic chip industry, its fabrication plants, known as fabs, still heavily rely on foreign-made equipment that they use to turn slabs of silicon into chips that power hardware. Below are the Chinese fabs that are bearing the biggest brunt of Washington's curbs: SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING INTERNATIONAL CORP (SMIC) SMIC, China's largest fab, makes chips that go into a range of products for the automotive sector, internet-of-things devices and some smartphones. Founded in 2000 with backing from the Shanghai government, the firm stands as China's would-be rival to...
By Medha Singh and Lisa Pauline Mattackal - Big investors are dipping their toes into crypto waters again after a bumper month for bitcoin. Digital asset investment products, often favored by institutional investors, saw inflows of over $117 million last week, the biggest weekly increase since last July, according to data from asset manager CoinShares. Bitcoin was far and away the biggest draw, with funds tracking it responsible for $116 million of that. Crypto funds' total assets under management have risen to $28 billion, up 43% from lows plumbed in November as the collapse of the FTX exchange sent shockwaves through the industry. "For the most part, people are more confident than they were a month ago," said Joseph Edwards, investment adviser at Enigma Securities. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, has soared nearly 40% in January, closing in on its best monthly performance since October 2021 and its s...
By Dietrich Knauth NEW YORK - Bankrupt crypt exchange FTX sued crypto lender Voyager Digital on Monday, seeking to claw back $445.8 million in loan repayments that FTX made before collapsing into bankruptcy in November 2022. FTX and Voyager both filed for bankruptcy amid a 2022 collapse in cryptocurrency markets, but Voyager’s bankruptcy preceded FTX’s filing by four months. After Voyager filed in July, it demanded repayment of all outstanding loans to FTX and its affiliate hedge fund Alameda Research. FTX said in a court filing that on Alameda’s behalf, it paid Voyager $248.8 million in September and $193.9 million in October. FTX also made a $3.2 million interest payment in August, according to its court filings. Because those loan payments were made so close to FTX’s own bankruptcy filing, they are eligible to be clawed back and potentially used to repay other FTX creditors, according to FTX’s complaint....
By David Shepardson and Aishwarya Nair -Ford Motor Co on Monday cut prices of its electric crossover SUV Mustang Mach-E by as much as $5,900 per vehicle, weeks after rival Tesla Inc slashed prices globally on its electric vehicles by as much as 20%. Shares of Ford closed down 2.9% in above average trading to $12.89. Tesla fell 6.3%. The move comes as electric vehicle manufacturers are feeling pressure from Tesla's price cut to respond. "Ford just cut Mustang EV prices in response to Tesla’s price cut. Mini price war about to begin with EVs in the US with Tesla’s shot across the bow on price cuts," said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, on Twitter. The move will make at least one additional version of the Mach-E again eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which requires the Ford EV to have a suggested retail price of no more than $55,000 to be eligible. Ford had already planned to increa...
SEOUL - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd reported a 69% plunge in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, as consumer demand for electronic devices dropped and clients tightened their belts on a weak economy, dragging down memory chip prices. The world's biggest maker of memory chips and smartphones said October-December operating profit fell to 4.3 trillion won ($3.49 billion), its lowest quarterly profit in eight years, from 13.87 trillion won a year earlier. That compared with the company's own estimate of 4.3 trillion won earlier this month. Revenue fell 8% to 70.5 trillion won. ($1 = 1,232.6000 won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christopher Cushing)...
- Aurora Innovation Inc on Monday named Ossa Fisher as president to focus on scaling operations at the self-driving technology company ahead of its commercial launch in 2024. Fisher is expected to begin at the new role in February and joins Aurora from education tech firm Istation, where she had served as president and chief operating officer since 2019. Last month, Aurora and Uber Technologies Inc said they will expand their driverless pilot program in Texas to meet increased delivery demand during the holidays. Fisher joins the firm at a time when investors are worried about the timeline for autonomous vehicle deployment as it has been stretched by tough regulatory scrutiny and delayed commercial adoption of the technology. Aurora's shares, which lost nearly 90% of their value last year, were down about 2% in extended trading. In November, the company said it had enough cash to sustain its operations throug...
- The Biden administration has stopped providing U.S. companies with licences to export to Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The U.S. commerce department had notified some companies that it would no longer grant the licences, the report said. This potentially implies a move towards total ban on the sale of American technology to Huawei. The commerce department, Huawei and chip equipment maker Applied Materials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  The United States in October placed new restrictions on China, including controls on advanced computing integrated circuits and certain semiconductor manufacturing items, in a bid to thwart China's military modernization. In 2019, the Trump administration imposed a trade ban on Huawei, citing national security concerns, which barred the company from using Alphabet Inc...
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK - The U.S. government on Monday urged a judge to reject Sam Bankman-Fried's claim it went too far by insisting that the indicted founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange be banned from contacting his former colleagues. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, prosecutors also asked that a bail condition that prevents Bankman-Fried from accessing or transferring assets at FTX and his Alameda Research hedge fund be left in place. They argued those assets were "vulnerable to exploitation and in need of protection from the defendant." The requests came two days after Bankman-Fried's lawyers proposed letting their client access crypto assets and continue communicating with most of FTX's and Alameda's estimated 350 employees, some of whom they said could help his defense. Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, who represent Bankman-Fried, did not immediate...
- Twitter Inc is working to introduce payments on the social media platform and has begun applying for regulatory licenses, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. New boss Elon Musk is pushing Twitter to create new streams of revenue as it faces a drop in advertising income, following his $44-billion takeover of the company in October. The development on the payments feature is being led Esther Crawford, a director of product management at Twitter, according to the report, which added that the executive was emerging to be a key lieutenant to Musk. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk had previously said that the Twitter acquisition would be part of a master plan to create "the everything app", a service that would offer social networking, peer-to-peer payments and e-commerce shopping. Prior to Musk's takeover, Twitter in early 2021 was expl...
- Twitter Inc has made its first interest payment under Elon Musk after the Tesla boss took the social media company private last year using about $12.5 billion of debt, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.    Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)...
WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told lawmakers Monday it had made a series of changes to prevent a repeat of a key computer system outage that forced a nationwide Jan. 11 ground stop disrupting more than 11,000 flights. The FAA said it has implemented "a one-hour synchronization delay for one of the backup databases. This action will prevent data errors from immediately reaching that backup database." The FAA also said it "now requires at least two individuals to be present during the maintenance of the (messaging) system, including one federal manager." (Reporting by David Shepardson)...
- British electric vehicle startup Arrival SA said on Monday it would lay off 50% of its staff, bringing the total headcount down to about 800 employees. (Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)...
- China's BYD Co, the world's biggest seller of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids, expects its 2022 net profit to be more than five times the amount it booked a year earlier, it said on Monday. With sales of 1.86 million cars, it expects a net profit of 16-17 billion yuan ($2.37-$2.52 billion) versus 3 billion in 2021, an exchange filing showed. The company said it had it achieved strong sales growth and significantly improved profitability and had "effectively relieved the cost pressure brought about by the rising upstream raw material prices". The Shenzhen-based automaker stopped producing combustion engine vehicles last April. Sales of its Qin and Han sedans, BYD's best-selling models, increased by 82.6% and 132.2%, respectively, in 2022, while those of Tesla's Model 3 fell by 17.5%, according to the China Passenger Car Association. BYD still trails Tesla in terms of globa...
SAO PAULO - Mastercard Inc and Binance said on Monday they are lauching a prepaid card in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, as part of the crypto giant's efforts to "broaden the connection between traditional finance and crypto". According to a statement, the so-called Binance Card is currently in beta testing and should be widely available in the next few weeks, making Brazil the second country in Latin America to receive it after Argentina. Brazil is one of Binance's ten-largest markets, the crypto said, adding that the prepaid card will all new and existing Binance users in the country to shop and pay bills with cryptocurrencies at Mastercard merchants. (Reporting by Andre Romani; Editing by Steven Grattan)...