1.BYTE DANCE – An Indian court on Tuesday dealt a blow to China’s ByteDance by dismissing its plea to unblock its bank accounts which have been frozen by federal authorities investigating alleged tax evasion.
An Indian tax intelligence agency in mid-March ordered HSBC and Citibank in Mumbai to freeze accounts of ByteDance India as it probed some of the firm’s financial dealings. ByteDance challenged the move in court saying the freeze amounts to harassment and was done illegally.
After a government counsel said ByteDance owed the authorities about 790 million rupees ($11 million), the High Court in Mumbai said the company will need to keep that amount blocked in a state-run bank.
That “account will be frozen”, the two-judge bench said.
2.LG ELECTRONICS:- LG Electronics’ move to exit its loss-making mobile business is expected to create more opportunities for Samsung than its other rivals in the lucrative North American smartphone market, analysts said.
LG’s U.S. market share currently stands at about 10%, research firms Gartner and Counterpoint estimated, adding it was stronger in markets where it partnered with telecom companies to include its devices as part of a mobile plan.
“Apple tends to cater to the higher end of the (U.S.) market; so it might grab a small portion of LG’s sales,” Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen said. “It’s more likely that Samsung inherits a lot of it because both vendors compete across similar markets.”
Globally, LG’s market share shrank to 2% in 2020, a massive drop from its status as the world’s third-largest smartphone maker behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Incduring its peak in 2013.
The company shipped 23 million phones last year, compared with Samsung’s 256 million, according to Counterpoint.
Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak said LG was mostly competing in the mid-tier, as its flagship phones received a tepid market response.
“So it will be mostly the Chinese and mid-tier brands benefiting through the LG exit. In its key market like USA – Samsung, Motorola, HMD mostly, Alcatel to a lesser extent) will benefit, while Xiaomi Motorola will benefit in LATAM and Samsung in Korea,” Pathak added.
Tech enthusiasts on Twitter lamented the exit of the once-ubiquitous name in the smartphone industry, with many crediting LG for pioneering the now-familiar features such as ultra-wide-angle camera and capacitive touchscreen in mobile devices.
“They didn’t always ace every phone, but losing them means losing a competitor that was willing to try new things, even when they didn’t work,” popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee said in a tweet.
3.ACER:-A global shortage of chips for mid-end consumer products is starting to ease and will be much better come the second half of the year, a senior executive at Taiwan’s Acer Inc, the world’s No. 5 PC vendor by shipments, said on Tuesday.
From delayed car deliveries to a supply shortfall in home appliances to costlier smartphones, businesses and consumers across the globe are facing the brunt of an unprecedented shortage in semiconductor microchips.
Originally concentrated in the auto industry, the shortage has now spread to a range of other consumer electronics, including smartphones, refrigerators and microwaves.
Andrew Hou, Acer’s president for Pan-Asia Pacific Operations, told reporters in Taipei that since the problem first became apparent in the fourth quarter of last year, the supply chain has “jumped into action” as suppliers worked to address the situation.
Hou said he expected better supplies in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of this year, and that the situation in the second half will be better than the second quarter.
“That’s what we are seeing at the moment,” he added.
The shortage stems from a confluence of factors as carmakers, which shut plants during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, compete against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies.
Consumers have stocked up on laptops, gaming consoles and other electronic products during the pandemic, leading to tighter inventory. They also bought more cars than industry officials expected last spring, further straining supplies.
Hou said that sales in his region, which excludes China, are booming, as companies and governments seek laptop computers to help people study and work from home.
4. British Airways:The chief executive of British Airways said he is optimistic that international travel can resume from May 17 despite Britain warning on Monday that it was too soon to say whether holidays could restart.
“We are optimistic that travel can resume on the 17th of May, and the British public should not lose hope, and we remain optimistic that this will happen,” BA CEO Sean Doyle told an online briefing.
5.KKR&Co-Private equity powerhouse KKR & Co said on Tuesday it has raised $15 billion for its fourth Asia-Pacific focused fund, marking the region’s biggest private equity fund at a time when buyout-backed deals are on the rise.
U.S.-based KKR started marketing the new Asia fund towards the end of 2019, initially targeting $12.5 billion, sources familiar with the situation have said previously.”Companies across Asia Pacific are recognising their potential to become not only national and regional champions but also global leaders in their industries,” Ashish Shastry, KKR’s co-head of Asia Pacific private equity, said in a statement announced the fund-raising.
KKR said the fund exceeded its target size to reach its hard cap for fund investors’ commitments and received strong support from new and existing global investors, including significant representation from Asia Pacific-based investors.
Coronavirus-spurred growth in the technology sector is expected to drive M&A activity in Asia this year. Private equity-backed deals in the region rose 51% to a record $129 billion last year.
Many regional funds including China’s Primavera Capital and Boyu Capital are also raising funds, while Hillhouse Capital is targeting raising $13 billion, sources have said.
KKR said its fund would tap into opportunities stemming from rising consumer spending and urbanisation trends, as well as corporate carve-outs, spin-offs and consolidation.