Live Business Updates: Foxconn, Goldman Sachs and Stock News

Credit…Ritchie B Tongo / EPA, via Shutterstock

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant that assembles Apple iPhones, on Monday unveiled the first physical fruits of its efforts to become a major player in the electric vehicle: a luxury sedan, a sport utility vehicle and a bus.

The unveiling of the prototypes in Taiwan’s capital Taipei came just a year after Foxconn executives declared their grand ambitions in battery-powered vehicles, an area in which the company had limited experience.

Foxconn has since started working on pieces of hardware and software that automakers can use to develop electric cars. He has also signed deals with start-ups like Fisker and Lordstown Motors to help them develop and mass produce their vehicles.

The prototypes presented by Foxconn on Monday, which the company dubbed Models C, E and T, are models that customers can refer to when designing their vehicles. Foxconn has worked with Taiwanese automaker Yulon Motor to develop the prototypes, and Yulon will be the first customer to market the two companies’ efforts.

Foxconn chairman Young Liu said he believes a company known for assembling smartphones and laptops has a role to play in the auto industry.

“Our biggest challenge is that we don’t know how to make cars,” Liu told reporters on Monday.

But he said traditional automakers face an even bigger challenge: They lack expertise in software and computer chips, both of which are important as cars acquire more digital intelligence. This makes Foxconn’s experience in consumer electronics an advantage, Liu said.

He added that the fact that Foxconn gave his electric bus the same name as what is perhaps the most famous car ever made, the Ford Model T, should not be taken to imply that he was working with the American car manufacturer.

Credit…Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Goldman Sachs obtained approval to take full ownership of a joint venture in China, allowing the Wall Street company to expand operations in the country at a time when Beijing took steps to open up its financial sector .

China Securities Regulatory Commission green light to Goldman Sachs to buy out Beijing Gao Hua Securities, its local partner, comes as Beijing attempts to deliver on its 2017 pledge to allow foreign investment banks to fully own their operations in China.

“This marks the start of a new chapter for our business in China after a successful 17-year joint venture,” Goldman Sachs said in a note Sunday, adding that the approval would allow the investment bank to “position our business. long term growth and success in this market.

Goldman Sachs reached an agreement to buy a remaining 49% stake in Goldman Sachs Gao Hua from its Chinese partner in December. The price was not disclosed. The company will be renamed Goldman Sachs China Securities Company.

Chinese authorities have courted global investment banks and promised financial reforms while cracking down on the operations and fundraising activities of some of China’s best-known companies.

This summer, shortly after regulators banned private tutoring companies from making profits and wiped billions of dollars from the stock market overnight, Beijing approved a request from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. to the world, to sell mutual funds in China. The move was seen as an attempt to help calm the nerves of investors and to show that China is still open for business.

Goldman has a long history in China as one of the first foreign investment banks to open offices in the country in 1994. It partnered with Beijing Gao Hua Securities in 2004 and started offering banking services investment, such as helping domestic firms raise funds in the markets.

Credit…Jason Henry for The New York Times

Roblox was launched in 2004 on the assumption that most of its users were minors. So it has put in place safeguards to protect children from online bullying and predators. It has long been very popular with children, especially those between the ages of 9 and 12.

This month, Roblox said that, for the first time, more than half of its users were over 13 years old. As its users age, it tries to maintain a safe environment, writes Kellen Browning for The New York Times. Its efforts offer both a roadmap and a caveat for other internet companies trying the opposite: engaging with a younger audience.

He recently announced new tools designed to attract older players to the platform, such as more realistic avatars; the ability for developers to restrict certain games to players 13 years of age and over, or perhaps those 17 and over; and a voice chat feature available for those who are at least 13 years old. To verify their age, users can upload a government-issued ID along with a selfie.

But mixing older users with the traditional Roblox crowd presents security risks, such as the possibility of young children being exposed to predators or recruited by extremist groups. The company has tried to crack down on such faults, and Dave Baszucki, chief executive of Roblox, said he recognizes that integrating different ages on his platform is “a challenge.” But he said building a safe and open online world is part of his vision for the so-called metaverse, an idea that people can share a huge online universe together.

Earlier this month, Roblox updated its community standards to ban any representation of romance or discussion of political parties. It has also explicitly banned terrorist or extremist groups from recruiting or fundraising on the site – a problem that has plagued social media companies like Twitter for years.

Mr. Baszucki said integrating older users while maintaining the platform’s standards of civility and good behavior was a “huge responsibility.” But he was optimistic about the company’s success, he said, as Roblox had a history of children behaving better than adults on other social platforms.

Titania Jordan, managing director of Bark, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence to monitor children’s devices, said that while bad behavior can sometimes slip through the cracks at Roblox, the company still remains. commendable ”in its approach to child safety, especially compared to sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Despite Roblox’s best efforts, explicit material slips through the cracks. And the fact that he’s still being criticized could be another lesson for companies like Facebook. READ ARTICLE →

Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

When Instagram hit one billion users in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it “incredible success.” The photo-sharing app, owned by Facebook, has been widely hailed as a hit with young people and celebrated as a growth engine for the social network.

But Instagram privately lamented the loss of teenage users on other social media platforms as an “existential threat,” according to a 2018 marketing presentation.

By the past year, the issue had become more urgent, according to internal Instagram documents obtained by The New York Times. “If we lose the anchor of teens in the United States, we lose the pipeline,” read a strategy note last October that outlined a marketing plan for this year.

In the face of this threat, Instagram has left little to chance, Sheera Frenkel, Ryan Mac and Mike Isaac report for The New York Times.

  • As of 2018, it spent nearly all of its annual global marketing budget – projected at $ 390 million this year – on targeting teens, mostly through digital ads, according to planning documents and people directly involved in it. the process.

  • Focusing so singularly on a narrow age group is highly unusual, marketers said, although the end-spend exceeded teens and included their parents and young adults.

The documents, which were previously unreported, reveal the angst and fear the company has as it struggled behind the scenes to retain, engage and attract young users. Even though Instagram was touted as one of Facebook’s crown jewels, it turned to extraordinary spending measures to grab the attention of teens.

“In any media industry, the newest and coolest thing is the most prevalent among the younger generations,” said Brooke Duffy, associate professor at Cornell University who studies media, culture and communication. technology. This puts the incumbents on the defensive, she said, adding, “We are in a cultural moment where people seem to just tire of Instagram’s ambitious and performative culture.”

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