In today’s top stories, Ocado is to close one of its fulfilment centres, while budget retailers Aldi and Lidl have record market share. Elsewhere, Netflix is to spend $2.5bn in South Korea over the next four years, while Korean automaker Hyundai and SK On, the battery unit of SK Innovation, are planning to spend $5bn on a battery plant in Georgia. Online marketplace Temu, owned by Chinese tech giant PDD Holdings, is expanding into several European markets, including the UK. Lastly, Microsoft will stop bundling its Teams product with its Office software suite, in an apparent bid to appease EU regulators.
Netflix invests in South Korea
Streaming colossus Netflix [NFLX] is to spend $2.5bn in South Korea over the next four years, building on the success of its original hit TV series Squid Game. “We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories,” co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a statement. Disney [DIS] has announced a second wave of layoffs as a part of a restructuring to stem streaming losses.
Pinduoduo’s sister app to launch in UK
Online marketplace Temu, owned by Chinese tech giant PDD Holdings [PDD], is expanding into several European markets, including the UK. The app launched in the US at the end of last August and was downloaded six million times in March, according to data from Sensor Tower. It’s currently more popular than apps from Chinese fashion retailer Shein and Amazon [AMZN]. It’s also available in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Ocado closes centre as grocery inflation dips
Ocado [OCDO.L] is to close one of its fulfilment centres, putting 2,300 jobs at risk. UK grocery price inflation dipped to 17.3% from 17.5% in the four weeks to 16 April. Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt says the drop “will be welcome news for shoppers but it’s too early to call the top”. The latest Kantar data shows that budget retailers Aldi and Lidl have record market share of 10.1% and 7.6%, respectively. Ocado has 1.7%.
Hyundai shares head higher
Korean automaker Hyundai [005387.KS] and SK On, the battery unit of SK Innovation [096770.KS], are planning to spend $5bn on a battery plant in Georgia, US. It’ll have an annual production capacity of 35GWh, which would provide enough batteries to power 300,000 EVs. Hyundai took second place in the US EV market last year, behind Tesla [TSLA], according to Counterpoint Research. Hyundai’s shares on the Korea Exchange closed 5% higher on Tuesday.
Microsoft hopes to avoid EU antitrust probe
Tech giant Microsoft [MSFT] will stop bundling its Teams product with its Office software suite in an apparent bid to appease EU regulators and avoid an antitrust probe. In a statement seen by the Financial Times, the company said it will continue to cooperate with the European Commission and remains “open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well”.