5 Top Stories

Ant Thinks Big on AI

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Ant Thinks Big on AI

Alibaba [BABA] affiliate Ant Group [6688.HK] hit record spend of RMB21.2bn on research in 2023, according to a Thursday report, as it stepped up its commitment to technology in general, and artificial intelligence (AI) in particular. The Chinese fintech titan won approval from Beijing to use its large language model BaiLing to provide public services. It has also been expanding abroad, partnering with over 30 banking apps and platforms in southeast Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

EV Makers React to EU Tariffs

The share price of Warren Buffett-backed BYD [1211:HK] was up as much as 9% on Thursday, following the European Commission’s announcement of electric vehicle (EV) import tariffs the day prior. The final total was less than had been predicted and far lower than the 100% that the US recently imposed. Nio [NIO], meanwhile, said it opposed the tariff but remained committed to the EU market. Elsewhere, Honda [HMC] is to release its long-awaited, $15,550 electric van in October.

Meta Under Fire Over Data Privacy, Again

The social media giant [META] has run into trouble in Norway over plans to repurpose user-generated content to train its AI models, Bloomberg reported. The process by which users can opt out “has been made deliberately cumbersome by using deceptive design patterns and vague wording”, the Norwegian Consumer Council said in a statement Thursday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to streamline the business by cutting several Vice President positions, Business Insider reported.

New Satellite Plans Challenge Starlink

Amazon [AMZN] has partnered with US-based telecom Vrio [VRIO] to launch satellite internet service to seven South American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Meanwhile, a joint venture between Reliance Industries’ [RELIANCE:NS] Jio Platforms and Luxembourg’s SES [SESG:PA] has been granted the right to operate satellites in India. Both contracts encroach on territory in which Elon Musk’s Starlink had been attempting to establish a foothold, Reuters reported.

Google Bets on Geothermal

Advancing its plan of running on clean energy by 2030, Alphabet’s Google [GOOGL] has partnered with NV Energy to use advanced geothermal electricity to power its Nevada data centres. The plan has been submitted to state utility regulators for approval. Elsewhere, Austria’s data privacy advocacy group NOYB has made an official complaint about Alphabet tracking users of its Chrome browser.

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