05 Jan 2022

1.SONY-Japan’s Sony  Group Corp plans to launch a company this spring to examine entering the electric vehicle market, looking to harness its strengths in entertainment and sensors to play a bigger role in next-generation mobility.

The new company, Sony Mobility Inc, comes as the Japanese tech giant is “exploring a commercial launch” of electric vehicles, Sony chairman and president Kenichiro Yoshida told a news conference, speaking ahead of the CES technology trade fair in the United States.

“With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility,” he said.

Although its once-dominant position in consumer electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals like South Korea’s Samsung Electronics  Co, Sony still has an arsenal of sophisticated technology in areas such as sensors critical to autonomous driving.

It also remains one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies, home to prominent video game and movie franchises. Audio and entertainment systems are increasingly a focus for next-generation vehicles.

Shares in Sony jumped 4.2% in Tokyo after the electric vehicle plans were announced, easily outpacing a flat  index.

2.SAMSUNG:  Samsung Electronics  Co Ltd is likely to post a record fourth-quarter profit thanks to solid demand for server memory chips and higher margins in contract manufacturing, analysts’ estimates showed.

 Operating profit for the world’s biggest memory chip and smartphone maker likely hit 15.2 trillion won ($12.7 billion) in the quarter ended December, according to a Refinitiv SmartEstimate from 14 analysts, weighted toward those who are more consistently accurate.

3.EVERGRANDE:-China Evergrande Group will seek a six-month delay in the redemption and coupon payments of a 4.5 billion yuan ($157 million) bond in a meeting with bond holders this weekend, underscoring the pressure on the debt-laden property developer.

Evergrande is struggling to repay more than $300 billion in liabilities, including nearly $20 billion of offshore bonds deemed in cross-default by ratings agencies last month after it missed payments.

The delay is being sought due to the “current operational status” of the issuer, Hengda, the flagship property arm of Evergrande, said in a statement on Wednesday. It didn’t provide any further details on why the delay was sought.

The online meeting with the yuan bondholders will vote on a few proposals on Jan-7-10.

Evergrande is seeking to defer redemption and coupon payments of Hengda Real Estate Group’s 4.5 billion yuan 6.98% January 2023 bond to July 8 from Jan. 8, which gives bondholders the option to sell bonds back to the issuer this weekend.

Trading in the bonds will be halted from Jan. 6 ahead of the meeting with bondholders, Hengda said.

4.WALMART: Walmart  Inc said on Tuesday it plans to hire more than 3,000 U.S. delivery drivers and build out a fleet of all-electric delivery vans to support its “in-home” grocery delivery service, its latest investment in its last-mile fulfillment network.

The retailer, which said it has about 100 drivers at present, expects to be able to reach 30 million homes by the end of the year. It now services 6 million homes.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart in 2019 launched its InHome delivery service through which workers deliver groceries directly into shoppers’ homes, sometimes placing items straight into kitchens or garage refrigerators when people are not in the house.

The driver uses a one-time access code to unlock the customers’ doors or garages through an app that pairs with a “smart” entry lock.

Walmart has experimented for years with last-mile delivery options. In 2017, for instance, Walmart established a program through which its own store employees would bring online orders directly to shoppers’ homes after completing their usual shifts on sales floors.

5.HYUNDAI:- Hyundai Motor Co envisions an interactive and partly virtual future it calls “metamobility,” where a variety of robotic devices interact with humans to provide a broad range of mobility services, from automated individual transportation to remote control of robots in “smart” factories.

Hyundai executives, led by Chief Executive Euisun Chung, elaborated on that vision in a media briefing at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Buzzwords aside, Hyundai expects to leverage its growing expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence to build out a future mobility network that links human beings in the real world with objects and tasks in the virtual world.

The concept is related to the so-called metaverse, a term coined 30 years ago by author Neal Stephenson, but which gained attention recently when social media company Facebook  changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc. It refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet, and which can make use of virtual reality or augmented reality.

Hyundai offered several examples of how it might link the metaverse and the real world:

– A vehicle that can be transformed into a work space or an entertainment room that includes a 3D video game platform.