News and Articles

Weekly News (Week 15)

China’s unicorn ecosystem thrives in AI and semiconductors

China is currently home to 369 unicorns, with over 25% specializing in AI and semiconductor sectors, boasting an average valuation of $3.8 billion. The ZGC Forum’s recent report revealed Beijing as the primary unicorn breeding ground, fueled by investments from key venture capital players like HongShan and Citic Capital. However, geopolitical tensions and US restrictions on tech investments in China pose future fundraising challenges. Despite this, Chinese tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba have incubated 25 unicorns, with more than 70% attracting international funding.

Xi Jinping visits Europe for the first time in 5 years

Chinese President Xi Jinping has embarked on a tour of France, Serbia, and Hungary on Sunday. While European nations grapple with challenges like Chinese electric vehicle competition and alleged espionage, the economic interdependence remains significant, with EU-China trade thriving. Xi aims to bolster trade relations, particularly after pandemic-induced disruptions. Yet, Washington closely observes signs of wavering European support for its foreign policies.

Chinese EV companies unfazed by U.S. and Europe trade curbs, exports surge

China’s automotive exports are set for significant growth in 2024, propelled by robust sales in regions like Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Despite restrictions in the US and EU, major players like BYD and Chery Automobile remain undeterred, focusing on localization efforts abroad. Anticipated to ship 6 million vehicles, China is poised to retain its status as the world’s largest vehicle exporter. With the EV market flourishing, Chinese manufacturers eye substantial gains, particularly in regions embracing electric vehicles.

Apple sales dip globally

Apple reports a decline in sales across nearly all markets worldwide, with smartphone demand plunging over 10% in the first quarter. Despite this, European sales bucked the trend, leading to an overall revenue drop of 4% to $90.8 billion. Tim Cook remains optimistic, citing upcoming product launches and AI investments. While competition in China intensifies, analysts note iPhone’s enduring appeal, albeit facing regulatory challenges and stagnation in innovation since iPhone 12. Apple anticipates modest growth, focusing on services and shareholder returns.

Microsoft invests $2.2 billion in Malaysia for AI expansion

Microsoft announced a $2.2 billion investment over four years in Malaysia to advance cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services, marking its largest investment in the country to date. The initiative includes building cloud and AI infrastructure, providing AI-skilling opportunities for 200,000 individuals, and supporting local developers. Collaboration with the Malaysian government will establish a national AI Centre of Excellence and bolster cybersecurity capabilities. The investment aligns with Malaysia’s AI development goals and complements Microsoft’s global efforts, following similar investments in Indonesia and plans for a regional data center in Thailand.

Sam Altman calls ChatGPT “dumb” and “mildly embarrassing”

Sam Altman critiqued OpenAI’s ChatGPT and GPT-4, labeling them “dumb” and lacking innovation. In a Stanford Q&A session, Altman dismissed the models’ skills, emphasizing the importance of iterative development. He expressed an indifference towards OpenAI’s spending, focusing on eventual artificial general intelligence (AGI) creation. Altman’s comments fueled speculation about OpenAI’s future direction amidst ongoing advancements in AI technology and applications.

Domino’s will tip customers who tip delivery drivers

Domino’s, acknowledging the growing frustration with tipping culture, launches a unique promotion encouraging even more tipping. Dubbed “You Tip, We Tip,” the promotion offers customers $3 off a future online delivery order for every $3 or more tipped to a Domino’s delivery driver. While some view it as a way to shift worker compensation responsibility onto customers, others appreciate the opportunity for additional earnings. Despite debates, Domino’s forges ahead with its innovative approach to customer appreciation and employee incentivization.

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