1.GOOGLE:-Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday it is indefinitely pushing back its January return-to-office plan globally amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and some resistance to company-mandated vaccinations.
Google in August had said it would expect workers to come in about three days a week from Jan. 10 at the earliest, ending its voluntary work-from-home policy.
On Thursday, Google executives told employees that the company would put off the deadline beyond that date. Insider first reported the news.
Google said the update was in line with its earlier guidance that a return to workplaces would begin no earlier than Jan. 10 and depend on local conditions.
Nearly 40% of U.S. employees have come into an office in recent weeks, Google said, with higher percentages in other parts of the world.
2.CITI GROUP:-Citigroup Inc has applied for a securities license in China as the New York-based bank eyes a bigger presence in the world’s second largest economy, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The bank recently submitted its application to the China Securities and Regulatory Commission and is also applying for a futures license in the coming months, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Citigroup intends to hire around 100 people in mainland China in the next two years to support its expansion onshore, the report said.
3.SOFT BANK:-Shares in Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp dropped over 3% on Friday after the giant tech investor was hit with three disappointments within 24 hours, including a poor Nasdaq debut for ride-hailing firm Grab.
SoftBank, either in its own right or through its Vision Fund, has made a string of massive investments around the world, often in large technology companies.
Its shares fell to as low as 5,423 yen ($47.89) on Friday, before settling slightly higher but with losses of 23% over three weeks.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global, which is 21.5% owned by the Vision Fund, said earlier Friday it would delist from the New York Stock Exchange and pursue a listing in Hong Kong, after coming under pressure from Chinese regulators over data security.
A few hours earlier, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to block U.S. chip company Nvidia Corp’s more than $80 billion planned acquisition of British chip technology provider Arm, which is owned by SoftBank, adding to already significant global regulatory challenges of the deal.
4.NVIDIA: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block U.S. chip company Nvidia Corp’s more than $80 billion planned acquisition of British chip technology provider Arm, adding to already significant global regulatory challenges of the deal.
The FTC said the proposed deal would give one of the largest chip companies control over computing technology and designs that competitors rely on to develop their own competing chips.
The deal has been widely expected to fall apart after facing opposition in the chip industry. British regulators said last month they would launch an in-depth probe of the deal, and it is also under scrutiny in the European Union.
Arm licenses its chip architecture and blueprints to major chipmakers Apple Inc , Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, underpinning the global smartphone ecosystem. Arm was sold to Japan’s SoftBank in 2016.
Nvidia said it would “work to demonstrate that this transaction will benefit the industry and promote competition.”
Arm declined to comment.
The stock-heavy deal has more than doubled in value since it was announced in September 2020 as Nvidia shares have risen on the performance of its data center business. Nvidia will owe only a $1.25 billion breakup fee if the deal does not close, and its shares closed up 2.2% at $321.26 on Thursday.
5.TOYOTA :Toyota Motor Corp said all new vehicle sales in Western Europe will be zero-emission models by 2035, as the world’s biggest automaker complies with tighter emission rules in the region.
By 2030, at least half of Toyota’s model mix will be zero emission, including electric vehicles (EV) and hydrogen fuel cell cars, Toyota said in a press release on Thursday.
Toyota, like other car makers, is releasing a slew of electric cars to meet tougher emission regulations in key markets such as Western Europe.
Unlike some auto companies, however, it has not committed to abandoning gasoline cars altogether, arguing that some regions are not yet ready for a switch to EVs or other alternative propulsion technologies.
Toyota said sales of electrified vehicles, such as EVs and hybrid cars, would help it expand vehicle sales in the region to around 1.3 million units in 2022 from 1.07 million this year.