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Technology traditionally begins the year on an upbeat note, with the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas reveals new trends and displays the bling of “the next big things” in gadgets to look forward to in the coming months.
However, the mood is anything but optimistic at the beginning of this week, with the technology-heavy Nasdaq enters correction area if growth stocks take a hit by an expected rise in interest rates, while a much-lowered CES ended Friday in a low-key manner.
Attendance was far below About 45,000 people came compared to 170,000 at the Covid-free 2020 CES (the show was only an online event a year ago). Many technology companies withdrew, while numerous media outlets decided to cover the program remotely.
#techFT completely ignored it, as the newsletter and this correspondent took a long breather over Christmas, after many years of crowded meeting rooms. If we look at the photos of sparsely attended huts and unpopulated corridors this year, it seems like it could have been an almost enjoyable experience to attend it in 2022.
With the monitoring of coverage, it was clear that the automotive industry continues to target CES for some of its biggest announcements, as chips and technology become increasingly important to the car.
Sony CEO announced that it will start a new company exploring “entry” into the electric vehicle market, with a Sony Mobility subsidiary opening in the spring. BMW showed off with a car wrapped in E Ink technology that could changes its color at the push of a button, while Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric car with a range of 620 miles, reinforced by solar panels on its roof.
As for the gadgets, we’ll be looking at the best of them in Tech Tools below this week, starting with Withings’ new Body Scan.
The internet of (five) things
Take-Two takes out Zynga
Take-Two Interactive, the popular video game publisher car theft franchise, het a $ 12.7 billion deal agreed mobile game specialist Zynga, the manufacturer of for sale FarmVille and Words with friends. The goal is to better compete with Activision Blizzard and EA, which have also bought new assets to expand their mobile offerings.
2. New Oriental lays off 60 percent of staff
Chinese online tutor company New Oriental has 60,000 employees laid off since Beijing banned the $ 100 billion-a-year private education industry from making a profit, the group’s founder said. Yu Minhong said he had laid off about 60 percent of his workforce, but “the company has managed to survive and retain some power”. New Oriental has also lost 90 percent of its market value since the ban.
3. China Technology Stocks Rally
In contrast to the Nasdaq’s performance, Chinese tech stocks rose earlier Monday after starting the year with a week of sharp declines. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index got as much as 2.5 percent, with Alibaba Health Information Technology rising as much as 14 percent and short video platform Kuaishou’s Hong Kong-listed shares rising 12.2 percent.
4. Gates-backed fund targets $ 15 billion in clean technology
A private-public fund backed by Bill Gates prepares to invest in clean technology projects worth as much as $ 15 billion in the US, EU and UK. Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, which raised $ 1.5 billion in private capital from philanthropy and companies, will invest in four key areas: direct air capture, green hydrogen, aviation fuel and energy storage technologies.
5. LG adopts CATL for battery leadership
LG Energy Solution, the world’s second largest battery manufacturer for electric vehicles, is prepares to raise $ 11 billion in one of South Korea’s largest listings, as it fights Chinese competitors to dominate the market. The supplier to Tesla, Ford and Volkswagen plans to use the proceeds of the initial public offering to tackle Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), the world’s largest global battery group worth more than $ 196 billion.
Technical tools – Withings Body Scan
Withings led the way in smart scales more than a decade ago and aims to stay ahead of the competition with his Body scan product. It adds a retractable handle that you can lift and grip to be monitored by four electrodes for medical-grade six-lead ECG heart and body composition analysis. It is complemented by four weight sensors and 14 electrodes in the scale itself. Years of battery life are promised and there is a larger, high resolution 3.2 inch color screen to display statistics, which is also available in the mandatory application. Body Scan will be available in black or white in the second half, with the price yet to be announced.