The south korean oscar-winning movie parasite is the story of a poor family cleverly taking over all the jobs as it takes advantage of a rich but embattled seoul household, and i cant help but think of that plotline when it comes to samsung and chinas huawei.
The korean tech conglomerates latest financials have been boosted by its semiconductor division faring better than analysts expected, thanks to emergency chip orders from huawei as it built stockpiles, prior to an us ban taking effect on september 15.
As well as huawei giving it extra business, samsung is benefiting as huawei is forced to cede market share, with its products blocked or limited by us sanctions. samsung briefly gave up the top spot in global smartphone sales to huawei in the second quarter but is quickly regaining its footing, reports song jung-a in seoul.
It predicted today that its third-quarter operating profit rose nearly 60 per cent to its highest level in two years, with strong sales of smartphones and home appliances including tvs. as we reported last week, samsungs telecoms equipment division is also set to make inroads on huaweis core business. so in chips, smartphones and telco networks, samsung is profiting from huaweis plight.
How should the chinese company respond? lexs letter from seoul this week suggests one way would be to expand into a new line of business making electric cars.
So far, it has mostly produced communications gear for smart cars and electric car makers. but it recently hired executives from the auto industry and made a flashy appearance at the beijing international automotive exhibition 2020 last week. it also has several autonomous vehicle-related patents and partnerships with 18 car companies on 5g-connected cars.
Meanwhile, the trump administration may be turning its attention to digital payments, with bloomberg reporting that it is exploring national security related restrictions on the platforms of ant group and tencent. lex says, with 95 per cent of its revenues coming from china, ant faces less of a threat from us sanctions than huawei.
The white house is also threatening to delist chinese companies that dont allow full access to their audit reports in the us, but that hasnt put off lufax, one of chinas biggest online lending platforms, announcing plans for an us ipo that could raise up to $3bn.
Us investors are generally more sophisticated when it comes to understanding fintech companies, said one banker with knowledge of the deal on lufaxs decision to list in the us.
The lender must be hoping the us government will show a similar level of understanding of its business.
1. instacart eyes ipo, reliance jios falling numbersinstacart, the us grocery delivery company, has interviewed investment banks to advise on a public listing next year, as it looks to capitalise on a boom in business during the pandemic. the san francisco-based company has just raised $200m for a valuation of $17.7bn. in another ft scoop, indias reliance jio has attracted massive investments in recent months as it touted breakneck growth, but we report its share of active users fell in june to close to a three-year low of 78 per cent from 84 per cent a year earlier.
2. ibms planned spin-off, talktalks proposed takeoveribm plans to spin off its infrastructure services business into a separate company, as it moves away from managing it hardware for clients and towards the fast-growing cloud computing sector. uk broadband provider talktalk is in discussions with toscafund after the hedge fund that already owns a near-30 per cent stake in the group made a takeover approach that values it at about $2bn including debt.
3. the google oracular spectaculargoogle has faced sceptical questioning from us supreme court justices over its claim that code it copied for androids use from rival oracles java is not protected by copyright, at the opening of a case that many experts have warned could have far-reaching effects on competition in the tech industry. richard waters latest column looks at the possibly far-reaching implications of tuesdays congressional report on the power of big tech.
4. nikolas hydrogen balloon, teslas 500,000 targeta month after detailed and wide-ranging fraud allegations were levied against the electric truck start-up, nikola will showcase its hydrogen technology at a key industry conference today, in an attempt to win over sceptics. meanwhile, tesla chief elon musk is asking for one final push to deliver 500,000 electric cars this year.
5. cinemas time to die?movie theatres already have enough competition from at-home streaming services, but their appeal to hollywood studios that this is no time to die for them has been met with the deadly postponement of the bond film of the same name. weve an analysis of the impact of delayed releases and, in related news, activist investor daniel loeb has called on disney to divert $3bn that it is currently paying in dividends to sharply increase content for its streaming service.
French insect-farming start-up nsect has had a busy week, extending its latest funding round to the enormous sum of $372m and bringing oncelebrity robert downey jr as an investor. the cash injection brings the total financing for the company to $425m, representing more than the total amount raised by the entire insect protein sector globally. some of the money comes from footprint coalition, which downey jr, who played the role of scientist tony stark in the marvel cinematic universe for more than a decade, set up last year with a mission to invest in and promote technologies for the good of the environment. more than the money though, downey jrs name may helpnsect in its mission to persuade more people to try abug-based diet, which is a less carbon-intensive form of protein. nsect is now making a big push for the us market.
Elsewhere in european start-ups this week, sifted interviews therefreshed management team of monzoafter a difficult few quarters for the london-based challenger bank. sifted also looks at thetough regulatory landscape for european cbd start-ups, and how, despite this headwind, investors are still pouring money into consumer products using the cannabis compound.
White goods makers are taking advantage of our covid concerns with new takes on our appliances that include sterilising virus-killing features. turkeys beko came out today with a whole range under its hygieneshield brand, including a dishwasher, fridge, tumble dryer and an oven that features disinfection programmes using both heat and steam.
Pictured is not a microwave, but a cleaning cabinet. it uses uv light technology to clean items such as keys, phones, wallets, supermarket packaged goods, baby bottles and toys in 20-40 minute cycles. it will be available in the uk in december for 199.