5 Top Stories

Alibaba AI Push; Apple Flounders in China; Nio Losses Widen

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

Alibaba Intensifies AI Push

For the second time this year, Alibaba [BABA] has led an artificial intelligence (AI) funding round. This time, it was for Chinese start-up MiniMax, which secured funds at a valuation of more than $2.5bn, Bloomberg reported. On Tuesday, China’s internet overseer published an opinion piece by Eddie Wu, who last year took the reins of Alibaba alongside Joseph Tsai; in the article, Wu praised the government’s efforts to develop the domestic AI sector.

Apple Flounders in China

Sales of the Cupertino company’s [AAPL] flagship iPhone fell 24% in China over the first six weeks of the year, according to figures from Counterpoint Research, despite discounts offered on the devices. The country’s mobile market also shrank by 7% in the period. Apple shares have fallen nearly 9% since the start of the year. Elsewhere, on Monday it announced new versions of its MacBook Air laptops, which will be equipped with its latest M3 chip.

50% of Indian Viewers Will Watch New Giant

Data analytics firm Comscore has said that, in January, nearly half of all India’s internet users consumed content on platforms owned either by Reliance Industries [RELIANCE:NS] or Walt Disney [DIS]. Last month, Reliance agreed to buy Disney’s India unit. The $8.5bn merged entity will therefore command the attention of approximately half the country’s internet viewing public, which totals in the region of 500 million, according to Comscore data.

Widening Losses for Chinese EV Maker

In a statement on Tuesday, Nio [NIO] said that its net loss of RMB5.4bn in Q4 brought its annual deficit to RMB20.7bn, although it beat sales estimates for the last three months of the year. “Moving into 2024, we will prioritize our business objectives, improve system capabilities and optimize cost management,” said Chief Financial Officer Steven Feng. Some analysts expect the brand to launch a mass-market model this year.

Will Japan Dominate Consoles Once Again?

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft’s [MSFT] decision to pull back from the console space will mean Japan’s Sony [SONY] and Nintendo [7974:T] are undisputed leaders: “There is that possibility that we could go back to a point like we were in the 1990s where the viable choices of console were all Japanese,” said Serkan Toto of the games consultancy Kantan Games. However, some analysts have wondered whether the age of the console itself might be drawing to a close.

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