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Another Alibaba Surprise
CEO Eddie Wu is to replace Trudy Dai as the head of the division that runs its e-commerce platforms, Tmall and Taobao, Alibaba [BABA] announced Wednesday — the latest in a series of shake-ups at the company. Dai will move on to helping establish an entity to manage its global portfolio of assets. Legacy e-commerce brand Alibaba is struggling to regain ground lost to upstarts including PDD [PDD].
EU: 50% of New Cars Are Electric
Between January and November this year, nearly half of all the new car registrations in the EU were electrified vehicles (fully electric, plug-in hybrids and full hybrids). In November alone, that figure was above 50%, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Elsewhere, Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited [300750:SZ] and Volkswagen [VWAGY] are likely the final bidders in the sale of Sigma Lithium [SGML], according to Seeking Alpha.
Toyota Reform; Toshiba Delists
Japan’s Toyota [TM] has committed to “fundamental reform”, with its subsidiary Daihatsu facing a government raid of its offices, after evidence emerged that a majority of its vehicles weren’t adequately tested for collision safety. Toshiba [6502:T], meanwhile, has been delisted after 74 years on the Tokyo exchange. After a decade of crises, the firm is being taken private by a group of investors led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners.
Bird is No Longer the Word
Electric scooter pioneer Bird Global [BIRD] has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Florida. Founded in 2017, the firm reached a unicorn valuation of $1bn five years ago and went public via a SPAC in 2021, only to be delisted by the NYSE back in September, after its market cap dropped below the $15m threshold. E-scooter rentals have struggled to sustain profitability due to regulatory challenges, high costs and potential safety issues.
Will AI Pivot Lead to Google Lay-offs?
Alphabet’s [GOOGL] Google is to restructure its 30,000-person strong ad sales unit, Reuters reported; it has not said whether this will involve redundancies. The move comes as the company steps up its use of machine learning techniques to help sell ad space. Google has also said it will limit the range of election-related queries to which Bard, its chatbot, can return responses, in the period leading up to the US presidential election next year.