China Mobile shares rise in Shanghai after raising $7.7bn in China’s biggest public offering in a decade

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 5th Jan 2022) London, Uk – –

China Mobile shares have risen as they started trading in Shanghai after raising $7.7bn (£5.7bn) in China's biggest public offering in a decade.

China Mobile shares have risen as they started trading in Shanghai after raising $7.7bn (£5.7bn) in China's biggest public offering in a decade.

The shares opened 9.4% higher before easing back in morning trade.

China Mobile's smaller rivals, China Telecom and China Unicom, have already made the move to their home country.

The three firms were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after a Trump-era decision to restrict investment in Chinese technology companies.

China Mobile's Hong Kong-listed shares also rose in early trade after the company said it would press ahead with a plan to buy back up to 2.05 billion shares, worth nearly $13bn.

Nina Xiang, the author of US-China Tech War, told the BBC that the Chinese government would have made sure that China Mobile's Shanghai debut went well.

She said: “It's important for Beijing to ensure this listing appears successful and smooth to prove that China has the wherewithal to accommodate its own companies on its own stock exchanges.

“But it won't be great for Chinese companies to lose the access to the US capital markets as it will be another step in the downward spiral of deteriorating bilateral relations,” she added.

The policy introduced by the Trump administration to clamp down on investments in Chinese technology firms has remained in place under President Joe Biden as tensions continue between Washington and Beijing.

Ms Xiang also highlighted that more US-listed Chinese firms may take similar steps to safeguard their share listings: “There are dozens of Chinese companies listed on US exchanges that might seek a listing in Hong Kong this year to secure their shares remain publicly traded, in case the two countries couldn't reach a solution for Chinese firms to remain listed in the US.”

The company has said it plans to use the cash raised from the offering to develop projects including premium 5G networks, infrastructure for cloud resources and artificial intelligence software.

China Mobile is the world's largest mobile network operator by total subscribers.

Last month, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global has announced plans to take its shares off the New York Stock Exchange and move its listing to Hong Kong.

The firm had come under intense pressure since it raised $4.4bn in its US debut at the end of June.

Also, within days of the New York initial public offering Beijing announced a crackdown on technology companies listing overseas.

Didi shares have lost almost 65% of their value since their US market debut.

Apple becomes first US company to reach $3tn valuation

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 4th Jan 2022) London, Uk – –

New year trading pushed Apple shares to a new high of $182.80 after tripling in value in under four years

Apple became the first US company to be valued at over $3tn on Monday as the tech company continued its phenomenal share price growth, tripling in value in under four years.

A pandemic-era surge in tech stocks has driven the major US tech companies to new highs, pulling US stock markets with them. Apple became the world’s first trillion dollar company in August 2018, passed $2tn in 2020 and hit its new high as trading began after the holidays and its shares passed $182.80 a piece before dipping lower to end the day valued at over $2.9tn.

Apple alone is now more valuable than the combined values of Boeing, Coca-Cola, Disney, Exxon-Mobil, McDonald’s, Netflix and Walmart. Its shares have risen 38% since the beginning of 2021, one of the largest gains on the Dow Jones industrial average stock market index.

The company released its last quarterly earnings in October and made a profit of $20.6bn over the previous three months despite suffering from Covid-related supply chain issues.

It is unlikely to remain the only $3tn company as analysts expect Microsoft will also hit the mark later this year.

The news came as US markets edged higher and European shares bounded to record highs in the first day of trading in 2022 as investors bet on a steady economic recovery despite the rising number of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.

Europe’s benchmark stock index, the Stoxx 600, rose to a record intraday high of 491.73 points on Monday, surpassing its November peak of 490.58, as global oil and equity markets climbed. It later closed at 489.99, up 0.45%.

The Stoxx 600 recorded a 22.4% jump last year, its second-best yearly performance in over a decade, after the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and government stimulus spending encouraged investors to pour money back into the markets.

The share price of airlines Lufthansa and Air France–KLM were two of the biggest climbers across Europe’s equity markets after analysts at Citi forecast that the reopening of travel routes to Asia could help bolster the beleaguered travel sector. Lufthansa shares rose by almost 8.9% to €6.73 a share, and Air France KLM rose by 4.9% to €4.06.

Europe’s record start to the new year set the stage for US markets to continue their late 2021 recovery. The opening of the S&P 500 index, which climbed by a record 47.7% last year, was bolstered by a 9% jump in Tesla shares after the company’s quarterly deliveries exceeded expectations.

In another boost to US markets global oil prices, which last year recorded their biggest annual rise since at least 2016, resumed their rise towards $80 a barrel as fears that emerged late last year over the impact of the Omicron variant waned. The oil price helped shares in US oil majors Chevron and ExxonMobil climb by 1% each.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE), which has lagged behind its European and US rivals by climbing 14.3% last year, was closed on Monday for the new year bank holiday. The FTSE 100 has been criticised as “old-fashioned” due to its dearth of tech companies and a glut of oil and bank stocks. It remained 6.5% below its May 2018 peak last year while the US, German and French markets all hit record highs.

Sean Darby, a global equity strategist at Jefferies, said: “Although Covid-19 variants permeated the global economy, 2021 was the year of records with many bourses closing at or near record highs, while inflows into equities surpassed their largest accumulation ever. Peering into 2022, we expect volatility to rise.”

Global oil markets are also expected to face ongoing volatility in the year ahead as traders balance the risk that the Omicron variant may stall a rebound in demand for transport fuels, against uncertain supplies from the world’s biggest oil producers.

Reporting by Dominic Rushe and Jillian Ambrose 

AT&T and Verizon reject proposal to delay 5G rollout

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 3rd Jan 2022) London, Uk – –

Two of the biggest US phone firms have rejected a government request to delay the rollout of 5G services this week.

The US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the request over concerns about aviation safety.

However, AT&T and Verizon did say they will implement temporary safeguards.

Plane makers have warned that C-Band spectrum 5G wireless signals may interfere with sensitive aircraft electronics and could disrupt flights.

In a joint letter, the chief executives of AT&T and Verizon said the proposal to delay for a fortnight the introduction of 5G services, which are due to start on 5 January, would be “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.”

However, they also said that they will not deploy 5G around airports for six months, similar to an approach adopted in France.

“The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France,” the letter said.

“If US airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States,” it added.

But the FAA said circumstances in France are different, including that telecom firms operating in that country use lower power levels for 5G than are allowed in the US.

The aviation industry and the FAA had previously raised concerns about potential interference of 5G with aircraft equipment like radio altitude meters.

Last month, the bosses of the world's two biggest plane makers, Airbus and Boeing, made an appeal to Mr Buttigieg in which they said “5G interference could adversely affect the ability of aircraft to safely operate”.

The letter cited research by trade group Airlines for America which found that if the FAA's 5G rules had been in effect in 2019, about 345,000 passenger flights and 5,400 cargo flights would have faced delays, diversions or cancellations.

The airline group urged the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the telecom industry to work with the FAA and aviation companies and said it may go to court on Monday if the FCC does not act.

On Sunday, an FCC spokesperson said the agency is “optimistic that by working together we can both advance the wireless economy and ensure aviation safety.”

Santander hands out £130m in Christmas blunder to thousands of clients

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 31st Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

Tens of thousands of people awoke on Christmas morning to a surprise from an unexpected benefactor – Santander.

The bank mistakenly deposited £130m into 75,000 accounts on 25 December.

Santander's staff are now rushing to claw back the money, although the job is being made more difficult because much of it was deposited in accounts at rival banks, according to The Times.

The error occurred when payments from 2,000 business accounts were made twice.

“We're sorry that due to a technical issue, some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients' accounts,” the bank said in a statement.

“None of our clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result and we will be working hard with many banks across the UK to recover the duplicated transactions over the coming days.”

It said the mistake may have meant that some people were, in effect, paid twice from their employer's account, although the second payment was funded by Santander.

Ruined Christmas

One payroll manager, who asked not to be named, told the BBC the blunder had cast a shadow over Christmas and Boxing Day.

“It ruined my holiday period because I thought I'd paid out hundreds of thousands in error – I thought I had done something wrong,” they told the BBC.

“I thought it was just me and that I was going to get in trouble at work.”

They said that Santander had not given any information about how firms should explain the second payment to staff or about how it should be repaid.

“It's just a complete shambles,” the payroll manager said. “How they are going to recover it, I just don't know.”

The bank stressed that it had already begun speaking to the rival banks – which The Times said included Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Co-operative Bank and Virgin Money.

Santander said those banks would “look to recover the money from their customers' accounts.”

However, it was not clear how the banks would respond if their customers had already spent the money, meaning returning it would push them into overdraft.

Santander indicated that it may contact people directly to get the money back.

By Dan Ascher

Tesla to recall 475,000 cars in the US

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 31st Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

Tesla is to recall more than 475,000 cars in the US, according to documents filed with the US safety regulator.

The electric vehicle firm announced it was recalling 356,309 vehicles because of potential rear-view camera issues affecting 2017-2020 Model 3 Teslas.

A further 119,009 Model S vehicles will also be recalled because of potential problems with the front trunk, or boot.

The total recall figure is almost equivalent to the 500,000 cars Tesla delivered last year, Reuters reports.

The BBC has approached Tesla for comment.

A safety report, submitted this month, estimates that around 1% of recalled Model 3s may have a defective rear-view camera.

Over time “repeated opening and closing of the trunk lid” may cause excessive wear to a cable that provides the rear-view camera feed, says a Safety Recall report submitted by Tesla to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US on the 21 December.

If the wear causes the core of the cable to separate “the rear-view camera feed is not visible on the centre display”, the report notes.

The loss of the review camera display may “increase the risk of collision”, it adds.

The Model S recall involves vehicles manufactured between 2014-2021, some of which may have a problem with a “secondary latch” on the front trunk, or boot.

In another Safety Recall report, also filed on 21 December, Tesla notes the fault could mean, if the primary latch is inadvertently released, the front trunk “may open without warning and obstruct the driver's visibility, increasing the risk of a crash”.

Around 14% of recalled Model S's may have the defect, the report notes.

In both cases, the reports state that “Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or deaths” relating to the potential faults.

Passenger play

The latest recall is not the first safety issue to have prompted action from the electric vehicle firm.

Last week Tesla agreed to make changes to its Passenger Play feature, which allows games to be played on its touchscreen while the car is in motion.

It took action after an investigation was launched by the NHTSA.

The feature will now be locked and unusable while the car is moving.

El Salvador Adopted Bitcoin, Then Bought the Dip

(qlmbusinessnews.com via coindesk.com — Thur, 30th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

How The Right 5-10 Cryptocurrency Coins
Could Make You A Fortune
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The country’s adoption of BTC as legal tender wasn’t enough to keep the cryptocurrency near $50K in September.

El Salvador buys in

In June, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, announced that bitcoin would become legal tender, making his country the first to make that move, which also meant no capital gains taxes for bitcoin holders there.

Bitcoin rose about 70% from a low of around $30,000 toward a high of nearly $50,000 in early September as traders reacted to the news from El Salvador – seen by many fans of the 12-year-old digital asset as a long-awaited validation of its potential to serve a global currency. El Salvador’s bitcoin’s law went into effect in September.

Bitcoin dips

When the law actually took effect, bitcoin’s price began to sell off – a classic “buy-the-rumor, sell-the-fact” scenario. (A similar thing had happened earlier in the year, when the big cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase held its direct stock listing on the Nasdaq exchange.)

Bukele tweeted that El Salvador was ready to buy on price dips even as BTC continued to fall. A growing number of users on social media platforms, including Twitter and Reddit, called for people to buy small amounts of bitcoin in support of El Salvador’s bitcoin policy, Bloomberg reported. Many investors were already betting the news could give the oldest cryptocurrency a price boost.

On Sept. 13, software company MicroStrategy purchased an additional 5,050 BTC for about $242 million in cash. Still, BTC continued lower.

BTC declined from $50,000 toward $40,000 and ended September on a down note.

Concerns were growing over a possible credit default by the Chinese property developer Evergrande Group, shaking speculative assets including equities and cryptocurrencies; lower risk appetite among investors also contributed to bitcoin’s September slump.

The takeaway for crypto traders from the July-August price action was that El Salvador’s decision to make BTC legal tender wouldn’t be enough to keep the cryptocurrency’s price elevated at $50,000. Bitcoin’s correlation with stocks increased along with the credit concerns in China.

Still, the nearly 7% BTC drop in September looked far less severe than the 50% price crash in April and May. After some ups and downs, bitcoin’s price had again stabilized at well above 2020 levels as some traders began to anticipate a $100,000 BTC price by year end.

By Damanick Dantes

Riot Games to pay $100m in discrimination case

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 29th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

Riot Games, the studio best known for League of Legends, has agreed to pay $100m (£74.3m) to settle a 2018 class-action gender discrimination case.

The settlement will “remedy violations against approximately 1,065 women employees and 1,300 women contract workers”, California's Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) wrote.

DFEH said the firm engaged in “systemic sex discrimination and harassment”.

Riot Games said it must “take responsibility for the past”.

The company will pay $80m (£59m) to members of the class action suit and about $20m (£15m) will cover legal costs.

The 2018 case followed investigations by the Los Angeles Times and the news website Kotaku.

According to the original complaint against the company, Riot was accused of fostering a “bro culture” and faced a range of allegations.

These included that women had been sexually objectified, with an email chain that rated the company's “hottest women employees”, and that unsolicited images of male genitalia had been shown to workers by their bosses and colleagues.

Industry problem

As part of the settlement, Riot agreed to workplace reforms, independent expert analysis of its pay, hiring, and promotion practices, and to be monitored for instances of sexual harassment and “retaliation” at its California offices for three years.

The company must also set aside $18m (13.2m) to fund diversity, equity and inclusion programmes and create 40 full-time positions in engineering, quality assurance or art-design roles for its former contract workers.

DFEH Director Kevin Kish wrote that, if accepted by the court, the settlement would lead to lasting change at Riot Games and “send the message that all industries in California, including the gaming industry, must provide equal pay and workplaces free from discrimination and harassment”.

Riot had initially agreed to settle the case for $10m in 2019, but the DFEH and another agency had blocked the deal arguing that the amount to which victims were entitled was much higher.

The company said it had to face the fact that it hadn't always lived up to its values, telling the Washington Post: “While we're proud of how far we've come since 2018, we must also take responsibility for the past”.

“We hope that this settlement properly acknowledges those who had negative experiences at Riot.”

In a letter to staff, published online, Riot's executive team said the settlement was, “the right thing to do, for both the company and those whose experiences at Riot fell short of our standards and values”.

The company told the BBC that since 2018 it had made improvements across the workplace, including hiring its first chief people officer and its first chief diversity officer, rewriting its values, mandating new training programmes and enlarging its diversity and inclusion team.

Riot Games is not the only prominent games firm to face questions about workplace culture.

The DFEH is also taking action against Activision Blizzard, the company behind the games World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard recently reached an $18m (£13.2m) settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over claims of sexual discrimination and harassment.

TikTok ousts Google to become top online destination

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 27th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

Move over Google, TikTok is the world's new most popular online destination.

The viral video app gets more hits than the American search engine, according to Cloudflare, an IT security company.

The rankings show that TikTok knocked Google off the top spot in February, March and June this year, and has held the number one position since August.

Last year Google was first, and a number of sites including TikTok, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix were all in the top 10.

Cloudfare said it tracks data using its tool Cloudflare Radar, which monitors web traffic.

It is believed one of the reasons for the surge in Tiktok's popularity is because of the Covid pandemic, as lockdowns meant people were stuck at home and looking for entertainment.

By July this year, TikTok had been downloaded more than three billion times, according to data company Sensor Tower.

The social network, which is owned by a Chinese company called Bytedance, now has more than one billion active users across the world, and that number continues to grow.

In China, to comply with the country's censorship rules, the app is called Douyin, and runs on a different network.

Douyin was originally released in September 2016. This year, China ruled that users under the age of 14 would be limited to 40 minutes a day on the platform.

Security concerns

TikTok was launched internationally in 2018, after merging with another Chinese social media service, Musical.ly, an app which allowed users to share videos of themselves lip-synching to songs.

The social media platform is no stranger to controversy. In 2019, it garnered a temporary ban in India, a US counter-intelligence investigation and a record £4.3m fine after Musical.ly was found to have knowingly hosted content published by under-age users.

As one of the only internationally successful Chinese apps, politicians and regulators outside China have raised concerns about security and privacy.

Last year TikTok was forced to deny it is controlled by the Chinese government.

Theo Bertram, TikTok's head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said it would refuse any request from China to hand over data.

The app hosts a variety of short videos, covering genres such as comedy, dance and politics.

In the UK, the most popular creator is make-up artist @abbyroberts with 17.4 million followers.

This year @Francis.Bourgeois, with 1.6 million followers, quit his job to become a full-time trainspotter as a result of his viral videos at railway stations talking about trains and cheering them as they pass.

Expanding

Food and recipe videos have become a key part of TikTok's success, with viral clips getting millions of views.

As a result, in the US, a new food delivery service called TikTok Kitchen will launch in March, allowing people to order dishes originally created in viral videos.

The menu will be based on the app's most viral food trends and will include courses like the baked feta pasta which was ranked the most searched dish of 2021 by Google.

TikTok Kitchen is being co-founded by Robert Earl, who owns the US food outlets Planet Hollywood, Buca di Beppo and Bertucci's.

He said about 300 TikTok restaurants are planned across the country for the launch, with more than 1,000 expected by the end of 2022.

TikTok Kitchen will operate out of many of the restaurants belonging to the chains owned by Mr Earl.

Why Gamers Are Going To Be The New Rich

Source: Alux

This Alux video we will be answering the following questions:

Why are gamers the new rich? How are gamers getting rich? What is gamification? How does gamification work? What are good examples of gamification in business? What are some examples of gamification in the real world? Are there any examples of the gamification of school? Is gamification a big business? What are the best ways to implement gamification? What are good/bad examples of gamification design? Who are the best gamification experts?

Lloyds apologises after customers unable to access online banking accounts

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Fri, 24th Dec, 2021) London, Uk – –

Users began tweeting they were having problems logging in to the app and website just after 9pm on Thursday.

Lloyds has apologised after some customers were unable to access their online banking accounts on Thursday evening.

Users began tweeting they were having problems logging in to the app and website just after 9pm.

For some, a message popped up on some screens reading: “We are sorry that our internet banking is currently unavailable. Please try again shortly.”

Others said they received a message saying the bank was having “technical problems”.

One user tweeted: “Can't access the app or online to view accounts??? Not really ideal 2 days before Xmas and you need to work out budgets etc.”

Another said: “Hi, is the app down? It won't let me log on to my internet banking.”

Lloyds Banking Group said it was aware some customers were having issues and later confirmed that the problem had been resolved.

The issue lasted for less than an hour, a spokesperson said.

“Our online banking is working normally again,” they said. “We're sorry some of our customers had issues for a short time this evening.”

Jack Dorsey Goes on Unfollowing Frenzy After Web 3 Beef

(qlmbusinessnews.com via coindesk.com — Thur, 23rd Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

How The Right 5-10 Cryptocurrency Coins
Could Make You A Fortune
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Marc Andreessen, Brian Armstrong and Tyler Winklevoss have been cut out of the Twitter founder’s timeline.

To the uninitiated, it sounds like a bunch of rich guys arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

But beyond Twitter drama, Block Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey’s public sparring with venture capitalists over “Web 3″ serves as a proxy for a long-running debate – not only about which cryptocurrencies are best but what they are good for.

The contretemps highlights important questions about what a truly decentralized internet would really look like, and what role different stakeholders have in building it. Dorsey, a longtime Bitcoin aficionado, appears to have aligned himself with the so-called maximalists, a camp highly suspicious of any rival to the original cryptocurrency and any non-monetary application of the underlying technology.

Both sides of the Web 3 debate bemoan the current state of the internet, dominated by a handful of large platforms (not least of all Twitter, where Dorsey stepped down as CEO last month). But the maximalists distrust the Web 3 crowd’s use of crypto tokens as a way to fund such projects. The fact that VCs are big holders of these tokens is, to the maximalists, damning, a classic case of “meet the old boss, same as the new boss.”

Web 3 advocates, which include but are not limited to VCs, counter that a variety of approaches is needed to make good on the internet’s liberating promise; that tokens can align participants’ interests in a network; that Web 3 developers’ reliance on VCs is a perverse consequence of outdated securities laws; and that while Bitcoin was a bona fide breakthrough, its utility is limited and the purists are being shortsighted.

Since his controversial tweet on Dec. 20, declaring that VCs, not users, control Web 3, thus making it a “centralized entity with a different label,” Dorsey has gone on an unfollowing spree on the social network he co-founded and ran for years.

Some of the most well-known players in the crypto space, including Andressen Horowitz (a16z) co-founder Marc Andreessen, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Gemini founder Tyler Winklevoss, have been felled by Dorsey’s unfollow button. Andreessen later blocked Dorsey.

Proponents of Bitcoin, like Dorsey, have long touted the network’s utility as a tool of liberation to be used by the people, as a way to resist financial censorship and protect against hyperinflation. On that score, few if any in the Web 3 camp would likely disagree.

The ongoing debate centers around the level of decentralization in the burgeoning Web 3 space, which big investors have been pouring money into – and, in the eyes of their critics, gaining outsized control of in exchange.

Dorsey has been increasingly critical of non-Bitcoin crypto projects, which he sees as going against the decentralized ethos of Bitcoin, culminating in Monday night’s Twitter spat.

Web 3 investors and supporters alike pushed back against Dorsey’s claim that Web 3 will “never escape [venture capitalists’] incentives.”

Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase and a former partner at a16z, responded to Dorsey’s tweet to voice his disagreement and point out how Twitter’s own corporate interests shaped the company in ways that betrayed its early slogan, “the free speech wing of the free speech party.”

“Web 3 offers the possibility, not guarantee, of something better,” Srinivasan tweeted.

“All false,” Dorsey replied, kicking off a fight that has lasted well into Wednesday and shows no sign of slowing down.

On Dec. 21, Dorsey re-tweeted an unflattering cartoon depicting an Ethereum-enabled Web 3 faucet pouring water into the waiting mouth of a corpulent venture capitalist, while a starving retail investor waited for droplets to fall on his tongue. In a quote-tweet of this post, Srinivasan pointed out that the Ethereum project was initially funded in 2014 by a public crowdsale, not through a venture capital round.

Later that evening, Dorsey tweeted more directly: “The VCs are the problem.”

Dorsey’s pot-stirring is reminiscent of another Big Tech CEO with a finger in the crypto pie – Elon Musk, who also joined the fray on Monday night, tweeting “Has anyone seen web3? I can’t find it.”

Dorsey’s reply was a thinly-veiled reference to Andreessen Horowitz’s domination of Web 3: “It’s somewhere between a and z.”

A16z bought $80 million in Twitter shares in 2011 on the secondary market.

Dorsey, for his part, seems to be taking the heat in stride.

When Andreessen blocked Dorsey on Twitter, Dorsey posted a screenshot and cheekily tweeted “I’m officially banned from web3.”

After unfollowing a host of prominent Web 3 supporters, Dorsey has gone on a following spree, adding several bitcoin maximalists and open-source software contributors.

By Cheyenne Ligon

UK tech sector enjoys record year after start-ups attract more capital than ever before

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 22nd Dec, 2021) London, Uk – –

During what was the tech sector's best year since 2014, some £29.4bn was raised by start-ups and scale-ups, according to figures prepared for the government's Digital Economy Council.

The UK's tech sector has enjoyed a record year with start-ups attracting more capital than ever before, new data shows.

During what was the tech sector's best year since 2014, some £29.4bn was raised by start-ups and scale-ups, according to figures prepared for the government's Digital Economy Council, which were released on Monday.

That was more than twice the sum raised last year and reflects the way in which the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed it have accelerated so-called digitisation.

Many aspects of daily life have moved online during the last two years as working from home has been widely adopted, while communicating through social media and apps has exploded, as has e-commerce.

Record sums of venture capital have flowed into start-ups and scaling tech companies, with the likes of the car-selling platform Motorway, the second hand clothes selling site Depop and the banking challenger Starling Bank all raising money that pushed them north of a $1bn valuation – helping them achieve so-called unicorn status.

The analysis suggests that vast sums being poured into UK tech companies, along with the increased valuations being placed on them, mean that UK tech companies founded since the start of the century are now worth some £540bn.

Chris Philp, the digital minister, said that the tech sector's growth was not just confined to London and the South East.

He pointed out that almost £9billion of all money invested in the sector by venture capital firms had gone into start-ups and scale-ups outside London and the South East – with the regions accounting for nine of the 29 unicorns formed in the UK this year.

Mr Philp added: “Capitalising on this fantastic investment across the country is a crucial part of our mission to level up, so we are supporting businesses with pro-innovation policies and helping people to get the skills they need to thrive in this dynamic industry.”

The figures also highlight the attractiveness of the UK to tech investors compared with other European countries. The £29.4bn raised by UK start-ups and scale-ups was double the £17.4bn raised in Germany and almost three times the £9.7bn invested in French companies during the year. The UK accounted for £1 in every £3 invested in European tech companies during the year.

Expectations are that the UK's tech sector will continue to attract investment and continue growing as UK venture capital firms have raised more money than ever before this year. UK venture capital firms raised some £7bn during 2021 with the likes of Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and 83North all completing record-breaking fundraisings.

American investors are also keen to back fast-growing UK tech companies at an increasingly early stage in their development. Competition for deals among venture capital funds is heating up as an increasing number of US venture capital firms launched offices in the UK, including Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Sequoia Capital.

The figures, which were compiled for the Digital Economy Council by the data and intelligence provider Dealroom, suggest that 37% of all funding now comes from the US, up from 31.5% last year, with the majority of it going into fintech and health tech companies. Some 28% of UK venture funding came from domestic capital.

Saul Klein, partner and co-founder at LocalGlobe and Latitude, an investor in Oxford Nanopore, Wise and Cazoo, which have all listed on either the London or the New York stock exchanges this year, said: “It's taken 20 years for UK tech to get to the starting line and things start to get interesting in the next 20 years. We have all the ingredients to become the leading tech ecosystem in the world, with record levels of research and development, financing and established tech hubs across the country from New Palo Alto in Kings Cross, to Cambridge, Edinburgh and Manchester.”

Cities outside London proving particularly strong in building a tech economy and supporting start-ups include Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh and Bristol. Leeds, Newcastle and Belfast also made it into the top 10 of regional cities, ranked by Dealroom on a combination of venture capital raised, tech jobs available, tech salaries and the number of companies valued at more than $1bn with their headquarters there.

The increased sums being poured into UK tech is also translating into increased job vacancies in the sector, which is experiencing difficulty in recruiting skilled staff. There has been a 50% rise in overall UK tech job vacancies advertised this year compared to 2020's figures, with advertised tech vacancies hitting 160,887 in November.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of the recruitment firm Adzuna, said: “The number of IT job openings is higher than it's ever been and is consistently growing week on week. In particular, it's great to see strong hiring in cities like Manchester and Birmingham which are showcasing some of the highest figures outside of London. The struggle for businesses across the country is having enough skilled staff to fill these positions to allow them to keep growing.”

Currently, tech vacancies make up 12% of all available jobs in the UK, with just over 50% of these jobs available outside of London and the South East. Remote working has been a useful tool for tech companies seeking to recruit people, with more than a fifth of all job ads in the IT sector advertised as remote roles.

The publication of Lord Hill's UK Listings Review in March is also seen as having contributed to the strong number of tech companies listing in the UK. Some 118 companies have chosen to list in the UK so far this year, raising more than £16.8billion, the most capital raised since 2007. This made the UK the most active venue globally for stock market flotations outside the US and Greater China.

Julia Hoggett, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said that 37 of these companies were in the tech and consumer internet sectors, of which, 30 were founder-led.

She added: “Intent matters and the changes to listing regime have supported a great year for the London Stock Exchange. It provides a platform for an equally exciting 2022.”

According to Dealroom, the value of UK tech companies that either listed on stock markets or were taken over during the year hit a record £84bn, with the likes of Deliveroo, Darktrace, Cazoo, Arrival, Babylon and Depop all either listing or being taken over.

By Ian King

Could Robots End Animal Captivity In Zoos And Marine Parks

Source: Freethink

Could robotic dolphins help marine parks become more humane spaces where people can learn about and connect with nature? Edge Innovations thinks so.

The first step toward that future could be Delle, an 8.5-foot-long, 600-pound animatronic dolphin that’s able to swim semi-autonomously using simple AI, or remotely under control of a human operator. Delle swims and behaves so naturally that some audiences — and the fish it shares tanks with — can’t distinguish it from the real animal.

From an industry perspective, what’s probably most alluring about robotic dolphins isn’t what they can do, but what they don’t need: food, sleep, training, and veterinary care. That’s not to say robotic dolphins are cheap: Delle costs between $3 to $5 million, while a live dolphin can cost marine parks about $100,000.

It’s too early to determine exactly how much money marine parks could save with robotic dolphins, but making the switch would almost certainly save massive amounts of suffering among these smart, social sea creatures.

NFTs market hits $22bn as craze turns digital images into assets

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 16th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

How The Right 5-10 Cryptocurrency Coins
Could Make You A Fortune
https://www.qlmbusinessnews.com/ohy1

Critics of non-fungible tokens say they are symptomatic of unsustainable digital gold rush

The global market for non-fungible tokens hit $22bn (£16.5bn) this year as the craze for collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Matrix avatars turned digital images into major investment assets.

NFTs have drawn from veteran investors similar warnings to those issued about cryptocurrencies: that they are symptomatic of an unsustainable, digital gold rush. NFTs confer ownership of a unique digital item – whether a piece of virtual art by Damien Hirst or a jacket to be worn in the metaverse – upon someone, even if that item can be easily copied. Ownership is recorded on a digital, decentralised ledger known as a blockchain.

Data from DappRadar, a firm that tracks sales, showed that trading in NFTs reached $22bn in 2021 and that the floor market cap of the top 100 NFTs ever issued – a measure of their collective value – was $16.7bn.

The most valuable NFT sale this year was The First 5000 Days, a digital collage by Beeple, the name used by the American digital artist Mike Winkelmann, that was auctioned for $69.3m in March, making it one of the most valuable pieces of art ever sold by a living artist. Another Beeple NFT, Human One, sold for $29m.

Other multimillion-dollar NFTs included the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 NFTs represented as cartoon primates that are used as profile photos on the social media accounts of their owners and which raised $26.2m. Celebrity BAYC owners include the talkshow host Jimmy Fallon and the rapper Post Malone.

DappRadar said a key factor in the surge in NFT trading was mainstream businesses entering the fray.

Coca-Cola raised more than $575,000 from selling items such as a customised jacket to be worn in the metaverse world of Decentraland while the Matrix star Keanu Reeves failed to keep a straight face when told by an interviewer that his Matrix film series now had NFTs attached to it.

“Hollywood, sports celebrities and big brands like Coca-Cola, Gucci, Nike, and Adidas, made their dent in the space, providing NFTs with a new level of exclusivity. The power of attraction of these famous names profoundly impacted NFTs and the blockchain industry overall,” said DappRadar.

Football fans have been targeted with NFT marketing – including with NFTs backed by the former England players John Terry and Wayne Rooney – and have been warned by experts that they are risky assets, unregulated in the UK. It will take years before NFTs behave like a conventional market, said George Monaghan, analyst at research firm GlobalData.

“2021 NFT activity was frenzied. That’ll subside in coming years and NFTs will settle into something more akin to today’s modern art market, where consensus on value is more solid. That said, it’ll be years before any crypto market, let alone NFTs, comes to resemble anything conventional markets would call stable. I wouldn’t throw your rainy day fund into any meme NFTs quite yet,” he said.

By Dan Milmo

McDonald’s opens UK’s first wind turbine and solar panel-powered restaurant in Shropshire

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 10th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

A net zero carbon McDonald's has opened in what the company believes is a UK first.

The wind turbine and solar panel-powered restaurant is in Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Recycled IT equipment and household goods make up the building's cladding, signs are from used coffee beans and insulation is provided by sheep wool.

The fast-food company said it would be used as a “blueprint” for other sites and work has started to roll it out.

Net zero means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

It is the first restaurant in the UK due to be verified as net zero emissions for construction using the UK Green Building Council's (UKGBC's) net zero carbon buildings framework.

The problems of decarbonising the construction industry were “complex”, but the move by McDonald's was a “critical first step”, UKGBC spokesman Simon McWhirter said.

McDonald's spokeswoman Beth Hart said: “We've already started to roll out some of these innovations to other restaurants, but what is exciting about Market Drayton is the fact it will act as a blueprint for our future new builds.

“We believe that our food needs to be served in restaurants that are sustainable for the future. Market Drayton is a big step towards making that a reality.”

Senior lecturer in the environment and sustainability at Keele University, Dr Sharon George, said the move was a “positive step” and a sign that the company was recognising that “society's view of sustainability” was changing.

McDonald's and other fast food suppliers have previously come under fire from investors who signed a letter asking the firms to reduce the carbon footprint of their meat and dairy supply chains.

Opera’s Browser Wallet to Support Solana in Early 2022

(qlmbusinessnews.com via coindesk.com — Fri, 10th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

How The Right 5-10 Cryptocurrency Coins
Could Make You A Fortune
https://www.qlmbusinessnews.com/ohy1

Opera said Friday its native wallet will add support for Solana early next year, a timeline that could place the browser developer on track to beat Brave.

Opera, which has emphasized Web 3 readiness since 2018, said in a press release that it will be “the first browser” to support Solana-based decentralized applications. Browser plugin Phantom, a closed-source platform, currently dominates that space.

It also faces steep competition from Brave, another browser competitor leaning heavily into the crypto space that also plans to add Solana support. But Brave, which has only said its integration will come in the “first half” of 2022, may not move fast enough to claim the first spot.

Solana is a fast and cheap network with roughly $12 billion in total value locked, according to DeFi Llama. It’s benefitted from a banner year of development and massive token price gains.

Crypto upstart Solana Labs will work with Opera on the integration, the publicly-traded Norwegian company said.

By Danny Nelson

UK agrees digital trade pact with Singapore

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 9th Dec, 2021) London, UK —

LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday said it had agreed a digital trade deal with Singapore, the first digitally-focussed trade pact signed by a European nation.

Britain said the agreement in principle would overhaul outdated trade rules and open up opportunities in Singapore, viewed as a global leader in digital.

“It is the first digital trade deal ever signed by a European nation and will slash red tape, cut costs and support well-paid jobs across the whole UK,” trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

Last month the UK's Board of Trade said that a Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore would demonstrate the potential for digital trade rules to others in the World Trade Organization.

Britain said the trading relationship with Singapore was worth 16 billion pounds ($21 billion) in 2020.

“While we await further details on how these provisions will work for firms practically, we also look forward to seeing similar agreements announced in 2022 with our partners and friends across the world,” said City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness.

($1 = 0.7582 pounds)

Reporting by Alistair Smout

Dyson to appeal after £150m damages claim rejected by EU court

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 9th Dec 2021) London, Uk – –

Case follows earlier legal victory over energy efficiency stickers on vacuum cleaners that firm said misled buyers

Dyson, the vacuum cleaner firm, has said it will appeal against a ruling by an EU court that it is not entitled to £150m in damages over flawed energy efficiency regulation.

Sir James Dyson, the company’s billionaire owner, is an outspoken critic of the EU and was one of the most prominent supporters of the campaign to leave the EU.

He had argued that mandatory EU tests had “illegally misled millions of consumers” and sought damages from the European Commission for lost sales and wasted time.

James Dyson controversially moved Dyson’s headquarters to Singapore in early 2019 in order, he claimed, to be closer to the growing Asian market. However, the EU remains an important market for the company and its products are designed in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

The court dispute is centred on the energy efficiency stickers ranking all vacuum cleaners sold in the EU from A to G. Following years of legal battles, Dyson successfully argued that the first version of the test, which required an empty bag or dust compartment, was flawed as it did not reflect real-world use. The regulation was annulled in 2018 after the intervention of the European court of justice, the EU’s highest court.

However, the EU’s lower general court on Wednesday ruled that the commission had not breached its duties to act fairly or discriminated unfairly against the makers of bagless manufacturers like Dyson. It said there was enough doubt over the efficacy of tests to justify the commission choosing to use an empty bag.

“By using the standardised empty receptacle testing method, the commission did not manifestly and gravely disregard the limits on its discretion or commit a sufficiently serious breach of the principles of equal treatment and sound administration,” the court said in a summary of the judgment published on Wednesday.

Dyson reacted with fury to the judgment, hitting out at rivals in Germany.

A Dyson spokesperson said: “The general court has chosen to turn back from the earlier decision of the European court of justice and seems unconcerned that the commission broke their own law and ignored Dyson’s evidence – they declare it is not obvious enough for them to justify damages.

“This is an insult to the millions of shoppers who were misled and totally ignores the substantial harm – running to £150m – caused to Dyson.

“Meanwhile the commission walks away scot-free despite having favoured the European bagged-machine lobby, including the major German manufacturers, throughout.”

Dyson has the right to appeal to the court of justice within the next two months and 10 days.

Reporting by Jasper Jolly

UK to phase out 2G and 3G mobile services by 2033

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 8th Dec, 2021) London, Uk – –

The government says setting a date for the end of 2G and 3G will make it easier for new equipment makers to enter the market, because they will not have to support the older technologies.

The UK will phase out 2G and 3G mobile services by 2033 to release radio waves for 5G and 6G, the government has announced.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “5G technology is already revolutionising people's lives and businesses – connecting people across the UK with faster mobile data and making businesses more productive.

“Today we are announcing a further £50m to put the UK at the forefront of mobile connectivity and to make sure our telecoms networks are safe and secure now and in the future.”

The funding, announced ahead of a meeting with her US counterpart later on Wednesday, will be for Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) projects.

She added that setting a date for the end of 2G and 3G will make it easier for new equipment makers to enter the market, because they will not have to support the older technologies.The government wants to end the country's reliance on a small number of suppliers, after China's Huawei was banned from new networks last year.

All four networks – EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three – have agreed to the timetable, they said.

BT, which owns EE, said in July that it will phase out 3G by early 2023, followed by 2G, which is more than 25 years old, later in the decade.

Hamish MacLeod, director of industry body Mobile UK, which represents all the major UK networks, said it welcomed the decision.

“Switching off 2G and 3G will enable operators to transition fully to more energy-efficient and high capacity networks to the benefit of customers,” he said.

By Emma Simpson

Samsung announce merger of its mobile and consumer electronics divisions

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 7th Dec, 2021) London, Uk – –

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) will merge its mobile and consumer electronics divisions, the firm said on Tuesday, naming new co-chief executives in the biggest reshuffle since 2017 to simplify its structure and focus on the logic chip business.

Two co-chief executives, instead of three, will lead the South Korean firm as it pivots on the two business pillars of chips and consumer devices, including smartphones, to help lead the next phase of growth and boost competitiveness.

Samsung, whose Galaxy flagship brand helped it become the world's biggest smartphone maker by volume, is seeking to revive slowing mobile growth, whose profit contribution shrank to 21% last quarter from nearly 70% at its peak in early 2010s.

Instead, its component business, led by chips, has become the most profitable, helped by a boom in data storage and a recent shortage of global semiconductor supplies.

The business generated nearly three-quarters of Samsung's 15.8 trillion won ($13.4 billion) operating profit last quarter.

Samsung said Han Jong-hee, the head of visual display business, will become a co-CEO, leading the newly merged division spanning mobile and consumer electronics as well as continuing to lead the television business.

Han has risen through the ranks in Samsung's visual display business, without experience in mobile.

It is not immediately clear what changes or divisions of labour were expected under Han, but analysts said the reshuffle could help Samsung tackle challenges such as offering seamlessly connected services between its smartphones and home appliances.

“In the long term, the biggest challenge is forming a platform of Samsung's own,” said Lee Jae-yun, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Korea.

“Those businesses have to keep increasing connectivity between devices, but so far it hasn't been able to create a lasting platform with presence.”

More immediate problems are a shortage of chip supplies, rising raw material prices, logistics difficulties, and competition from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Chinese rivals amid concerns about a slowing mobile market, analysts said.

PROMPT DECISION-MAKING

Kyung Kye-hyun, chief executive of component affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics (009150.KS) and a former head of the flash memory chip and technology team, was named co-CEO to lead the chip and components division.

Other high-profile promotions included naming as vice chairman Chung Hyun-ho, the head of a “task force” that analysts said co-ordinates decision-making in Samsung Electronics and affiliates, and which media have said works closely with Lee.

The re-organisation is the latest sign of centralised change at Samsung after Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee was paroled in August after a bribery conviction.

“There may be more prompt execution of funds or decision-making,” said Kim Sun-woo, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

Samsung Electronics last named new division heads in late 2017.

The group is focusing on areas from semiconductors, artificial intelligence and robotics to biopharmaceuticals, with plans to invest 240 trillion won ($206 billion) in these areas over the next three years. Group flagship Samsung Electronics aims to overtake TSMC (2330.TW) to become No. 1 in chip contract manufacturing by 2030 by investing about $150 billion in logic chip businesses, including foundries.

Late last month, Samsung chose the U.S. city of Taylor in Texas for a planned $17-billion chip plant after months of deliberation, coinciding with Lee's first business trip to the United States in five years. 

Shares of Samsung Electronics rose 1.6%, outperforming a rise of 0.4% in the benchmark index (.KS11).

Reporting by Joyce Lee


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