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21 May 2021

1. TESLA: – Staff at some Chinese government offices have been told not to park their Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc cars inside government compounds due to security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The people said officials of at least two government agencies in Beijing and Shanghai have been instructed verbally by supervisors not to park their Tesla electric cars at work. It wasn’t clear how many cars were affected, the people said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether all government offices in Beijing have imposed such restrictions, nor whether the measure was a formal government injunction or a step adopted by agency officials. It was also unclear whether curbs applied to state agencies nationwide.

2. GOOGLE: – Senior managers at Google artificial-intelligence unit DeepMind have been negotiating for years with the parent company for more autonomy, seeking an independent legal structure for the sensitive research they do.

DeepMind told staff late last month that Google called off those talks, according to people familiar with the matter. The end of the long-running negotiations, which hasn’t previously been reported, is the latest example of how Google and other tech giants are trying to strengthen their control over the study and advancement of artificial intelligence. Earlier this month, Google unveiled plans to double the size of its team studying the ethics of artificial intelligence and to consolidate that research.

3. MICROSOFT: – Microsoft’s China arm announced Thursday a strategic partnership with Chinese retail tech company Hanshow to collaborate on cloud-based software for store operators worldwide.

The deal marks Microsoft’s latest foray into a retail industry that is being forced to accelerate a shift online. The integration of offline with internet-based sales strategies is known as omni-channel retail, and includes grocery delivery, demand for which surged in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Retail is one of the industries that’s seen some of the biggest disruptions in recent years, Joe Bao, China strategy officer for Microsoft, said at a signing ceremony at the software company’s Beijing offices.

4. BMW: – German luxury carmaker BMW said on Thursday it would have to set aside 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) less than initially feared for expected European antitrust fines for alleged collusion with rivals.

In 2019, BMW recognized a provision of around 1.4 billion euros for expected penalties from an EU investigation into collaboration between German automakers on emission-reduction technologies.

“The significant limitation in the scope of the allegations has led to a revaluation of the provision,” BMW said, adding this would lead to a positive effect on earnings of around 1 billion euros in the second quarter.

5. AT&T: – After days of contemplation, Jim Cramer has officially affixed the current and former heads of AT&T into the “Mad Money” Wall of Shame.

“Randall Stephenson and John Stankey, welcome to the Wall of Shame,” the CNBC host said Thursday, days after the telecom giant announced it’s separating from WarnerMedia. “Thanks for nothing.”

The entertainment company is merging with Discovery three years after AT&T, then under Stephenson’s leadership, acquired Time Warner in an $85 billion deal.