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Chinese carmakers may soon own a fifth of Daimler

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AT DAIMLER’S ANNUAL meeting in May, one shareholder captured the mood. “Don’t replace the Mercedes star with a Chinese dragon,” implored Deka Investment, a big asset manager, referring to the purchase in 2018 by Geely, a Chinese firm which also owns Sweden’s Volvo, of a 9.7% stake in the German car giant. Daimler now faces […]

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Bytedance teams up with a state-run Chinese publisher

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Dec 21st 2019 SHANGHAI TIKTOK, A CHINESE-OWNED short-video app no Western teenager can do without these days, stresses its independence from the authorities in Beijing. Its parent company, less so. Bytedance, whose $75bn valuation makes it the world’s biggest unlisted startup, has just teamed up with Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Company, a state-run publisher. The joint […]

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Boeing will halt production of its troubled 737 MAX

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION makes up the bulk of Boeing’s revenues. Military-minded top brass of its large defence arm would be excused for seeing that business as a case study in tactical and strategic failure. After two crashes of its 737 MAX airliners, which killed 346 people and were linked to a defective flight-software system, the bestselling […]

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Odoo grabs $90M to sell more SMEs on its business app suite

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Belgium-based all-in-one business software maker Odoo, which offers an open source version as well as subscription-based enterprise software and SaaS, has taken in $90 million led by a new investor: Global growth equity investor Summit Partners. The funds have been raised via a secondary share sale. Odoo’s executive management team and existing investor SRIW and […]

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Brand power vs. product power

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David Friend Contributor David Friend is the CEO of cloud storage company Wasabi, and co-founder of cyber security company Carbonite, recently bought for $1.4 billion. Wasabi is his sixth startup. Most tech companies — particularly B2B companies — either don’t understand the power of a brand, or do a really poor job of creating one. […]

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The trouble with patent-troll-hunting

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Dec 14th 2019 NEW YORK NUCURRENT, A STARTUP in Chicago, has come up with a way to charge electronic gizmos wirelessly—a nifty trick for devices such as smartphones. So nifty, in fact, that Samsung, a giant South Korean device-maker, uses it in its mobile phones—or so NuCurrent claims. In 2018 NuCurrent sued Samsung in America […]

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Tesco considers selling its Asian supermarkets

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WHEN COSTCO, an American discount retailer, opened its first store in Shanghai this August, huge crowds of shoppers forced managers to shut it down. The world’s 250 biggest retail chains are present in ten countries on average and get about a quarter of revenues from international operations. Expansion into foreign markets looks like a no-brainer […]

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How to deal with board gender quotas

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“IT’S LIKE smoking; ultimately only a hard intervention made people change,” says Jochem Overbosch, an executive recruiter in Amsterdam. As with bans on lighting up indoors, he says, so too with mandatory quotas for women on company boards, which the Dutch Parliament voted for this month after softer targets failed to move the needle much. […]

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A price war has undermined India’s big telecoms companies

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Dec 14th 2019 MUMBAI NARENDRA MODI often waxes poetic about “Digital India”: a country where clogged, dangerous roads are replaced by fast, ubiquitous cyber-motorways. The prime minister can be forgiven a touch of political hyperbole. In a world transformed by telecommunications technology, India has stood out. In the 1990s merely getting a fixed phone line […]