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Microsoft’s €4bn AI Investment

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Microsoft’s €4bn AI Investment

The US tech giant [MSFT] is to spend €4bn on cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure in France. The firm said in a statement that it aims to train one million people and support 2,500 start-ups by 2027. The announcement came during President Emmanuel Macron’s “Choose France” summit. Elsewhere, the EU is poised to issue new antitrust charges against Microsoft, related to its videoconferencing app Teams, according to the Financial Times.

Macron’s “Choose France” to Net €15bn

The French government announced on Sunday that President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative, which launched on Monday, will bring in record levels of foreign investment. The funds will go towards sectors including AI, pharmaceuticals and energy. Alongside Microsoft’s €4bn pledge, headlines include Amazon’s [AMZN] commitment to spend €1.2bn on its operations in the country, creating over 3,000 permanent jobs. GSK [GSK] and Accenture [ACN] are also set to announce billions of euros of investments.

US to Hike EV Tariffs

President Joe Biden is to quadruple tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), according to sources quoted by Bloomberg, from 27.5% to 102.5%. The decision comes after nearly two years of review and could be implemented as soon as next week. The tariffs will further impact the ability of firms including Nio [NIO] and BYD [1211:HK] to compete in the market. Biden will reportedly also raise tariffs on semiconductors and solar cells.

Vision Fund Swings to Profit

SoftBank’s [9984:T] tech investment arm Vision Fund posted a ¥724.3bn gain in the fiscal year to March, following a ¥4.3trn loss the year before. This was driven by gains in some of SoftBank’s high-profile investments, among them ByteDance and DoorDash [DASH], although it made a loss on others, perhaps most notably bankrupt office sharing stock WeWork. Meanwhile, Arm [ARM], of which the holding company owns 90%, is aiming to launch AI chips by spring 2025, according to Nikkei Asia.

Spurned in US, Shein Targets London IPO

Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein is preparing for a London listing, Reuters reported, after coming up against regulatory hurdles and legal resistance in the US. One source said the firm will file with the LSE as early as this month. Reportedly valued at $66bn, Shein filed for an IPO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last November, but began exploring the possibility of a UK listing earlier this year.

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