The Chinese Maker of WeChat Is Now One of Tesla’s Biggest Shareholders - Tesla said on Tuesday that Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has invested $1.78 billion in the electric carmaker for a 5% stake. Elon Musk-led Tesla has been raising capital as it readies for the launch of its mass-market Model 3 sedan. Tencent, best known for its WeChat mobile app, has been investing in a number of sectors, including gaming, entertainment, cloud computing and online financing (fortune)
Jack Dorsey: I Will Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Ensure Twitter and Square Are Successful - The CEO of both Twitter and the payments company Square has said he will do "whatever it takes" to ensure both tech businesses are successful.Speaking to CNBC, Jack Dorsey added that there are "potential synergies" between the two companies, which he has been running simultaneously since last summer. Earlier this month, the U.K.'s Sunday Times newspaper reported that pressure has been growing on Dorsey to resign following allegations that around 15% of all Twitter users are "bots" rather than actual people—nearly twice what the company had estimated. (fortune)
Facebook Imitates Snapchat Again With Camera Filters and Stories - Facebook's envy of Snapchat has been well documented. On Tuesday, the giant social network announced a three new camera-related and sharing features that double down on that jealousy, duplicating some of its competitor's most popular features. The additions are known as Camera, Stories, and Direct, and the company said the new features will be available globally this week. “The ways that people create content has changed, and shared and that has changed the way people share as well. We are trying to upgrade the app to be more in tune with that." said product manager Connor Hayes. (fortune)
Airbnb makes a late play for China - "We learned from other companies that we wanted to take the right approach to China," an Airbnb spokesman said. "We know that localization is really important." The short-term rental startup paid little attention to the world's most populous country for years. But it's now stepping up efforts to appeal to China's growing ranks of young people with money to spend on travel. The U.S. startup, which was recently valued at $31 billion, began quietly building up its business in China last year. It started providing 24/7 access to customer support in Mandarin, told Chinese users it will store their personal data locally to comply with Chinese laws and partnered with popular online payment platform Alipay and messaging giant WeChat. (CNN)
Ford set to announce jobs, investment in Michigan plants - Ford is expected to announce additional jobs and investment at its plants in Michigan on Tuesday. (CNN)
Uber's fleet of electric vehicles in London is set to rise in the coming weeks - In August 2016, Uber announced it had teamed up with Nissan and another car maker, China's BYD. In the following months, the company offered "top-rated drivers" a mix of zero-emission BYD E6s and Nissan LEAFs. BYD is no longer part of the pilot, but Nissan is ready to deliver 100 LEAFs from its plant in Sunderland. This helps explain why Uber has committed to building a network of branded rapid chargers across central London. To begin with, Uber says they'll only be available to drivers who use the Uber app, which doesn't really help fix availability issues noted in the report (but may do in the future). "We believe that new technology can help tackle the challenge of air pollution in the capital. Londoners already associate Uber with hybrid cars, but we want to go even further with more drivers switching to fully electric ones," said Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager of Uber UK.
Almost 800,000 U.S. drone owners have registered to fly in 15 months - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says that more than 770,000 drone owners have registered to fly in U.S. airspace. That’s up from the 670,000 figure FAA chief Michael Huerta shared during his talk at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of 2017. It also means that 100,000 drone owners have newly registered with the agency in less than three months. (recode)
Elon Musk wants to connect computers to your brain so we can keep up with robots - The Tesla and Space X CEO has started yet another company, Neuralink, which aims to make implants for the human brain that can wirelessly interface with a computer, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
Uber has resumed tests of its self-driving cars after an Arizona crash - Uber’s robot cars will be back on the roads in Tempe, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Penn., later today, the company said in a statement (recode)
Google Wifi is coming to the UK next week - Alongside the news that the Google Home voice assistant speaker will be available in the UK next week, Google is announcing that its dubiously punctuated Wifi router system is on the way too. Google Wifi is that you can use multiple routers to create a mesh network and give your house better coverage. (verge)
Comcast reportedly planning streaming TV service just for its internet customers - According to Reuters, Comcast plans to relaunch its streaming service, currently called Stream, under a new name and make it available everywhere Comcast is offered across the US. Xfinity Instant TV would be a competitor to streaming services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now, but there’s a really critical detail here: Comcast’s service would only be available to households already paying for Comcast internet service, according to Reuters. (verge)
Amazon clinches deal to buy Middle East online retailer Souq.com - Amazon.com has agreed to buy Middle East online retailer Souq.com, thwarting a last-minute bid by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar's Emaar Malls EMAA.DU. "By becoming part of the Amazon family, we'll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon's great track record of empowering sellers," Mouchawar, founder of Souq.com. said in a statement on Tuesday. (reuters)
Uber to end services in Denmark after three years - Ride-hailing group Uber Technologies will withdraw services in Denmark next month due to a taxi law that sets out new requirements for drivers such as mandatory fare meters, the company said on Tuesday. Uber has faced headwinds since its app went online in Denmark in 2014 as local taxi driver unions, companies and politicians complained that Uber posed unfair competition by not meeting legal standards required for established taxi firms. (reuters)
American Airlines takes $200 million stake in China Southern - China Southern Airlines Co Ltd said on Tuesday it will sell a small stake to American Airlines Group Inc in a $200 million deal that will give the carriers better access to the world's two largest travel markets. For American Airlines, the deal could widen access to China, one of the biggest sources of tourists to the United States, and will help it compete with rival Delta, which has invested in foreign carriers in Mexico, Brazil and Britain in recent years.
"We are two of the biggest carriers in the world and our networks are highly complementary," American Airlines President Robert Isom said in the statement. (reuters)
Ericsson hit by bill of up to $1.7 billion as new CEO sets out overhaul - Sweden's Ericsson will book up to $1.7 billion in provisions, writedowns and restructuring costs in the first quarter as its new CEO outlined his strategy to lead the telecom equipment maker out of its worst crisis in a decade. The sweeping measures mapped out by Borje Ekholm include exploring options for its loss-making media arm as well as restructuring its business designing, building and managing networks for operators. The Swedish business insider and veteran board member took over as CEO in January and investors have been keen to hear how he plans to deal with shrinking markets and mounting competition from China's Huawei and Finland's Nokia . "Restoring profitability is key and we will start by focusing the portfolio to fewer areas and securing effectiveness and efficiency in operations," Ericsson said in a statement on Tuesday. (reuters)
Facebook's Messenger app adds live location-sharing - ramping up competition with tools offered by Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google Maps. The company has found that one of the most used phrases on Messenger as people talk to friends and family is "How far away are you?" or some variation, Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messenger, said in an interview. "It happens to be what people are saying, what they're interested in the most," he said. Google Maps said last week that it was adding a similar live feature, an attempt to boost engagement on a product of increasing strategic importance to that company. (reuters)