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5 Top Stories

Alibaba’s Big AI Bet; Japan Chip Drive; EU Investigates Microsoft

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’s Big Bet on AI

Alibaba [BABA] led a $1bn funding round for Moonshot AI, pushing the valuation of the Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up to some $2.5bn. This was the latest in a series of major investments on the part of the e-commerce giant, and the largest single financing round for an AI firm in the country, Bloomberg reported. Founded in March 2023, Moonshot AI launched its Kimi chatbot last November, and has since released a platform that lets developers build AI apps.

Can Japan Become a World Leader in AI Chips?

US start-up Tenstorrent, headed by Tesla [TSLA] and Apple [AAPL] veteran Jim Keller, is to partner with Rapidus, the research group that has been funded by the Japanese government to lead on its drive to develop the semiconductor sector. Together, they will work on the design of Japan’s first advanced AI chip. Elsewhere, Samsung Electronics [005930.KS] said on Tuesday it has developed a new memory chip aimed at AI, and that it has the “highest capacity” in the industry.

20% Drop for Unity on Pullback

The software company [U] share price fell in extended training on Monday, after it said that it plans to exit its hardware components businesses for multiplayer games, which it says operated at a significant loss. Unity will focus instead on its main products for video game creators. “We believe that we are making the right interventions to win with customers for many years to come through a more focused portfolio,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Microsoft’s Mistral Investment: EU Scrutiny

The EU’s competition watchdog is to look into Microsoft’s [MSFT] €15m investment in Mistral AI. On Monday, Mistral announced a “strategic partnership” with the software giant, which will involve making its AI models available to Microsoft Azure cloud customers. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI is being investigated by regulators in both the UK and the EU, and Alphabet [GOOGL] has intensified criticism of Microsoft’s cloud “monopoly”.

Is Zoom Back?

The Zoom [ZM] share price gained more than 10% in extended trading Monday, after the firm reported quarterly sales and profit above analysts’ estimates. It also announced a $1.5bn share buyback. Having been a pandemic darling, Zoom saw a major sales slowdown amid competition from Microsoft’s Teams. It has since expanded its offering to include phone systems, call centres and AI assistants.

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