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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Qualcomm extends NXP deal deadline following concern from Chinese government

The ongoing saga continues. Qualcomm has once again postponed the deadline for completing its proposed acquisition of NXP following concerns voiced by the Ministry of Commerce in China.

The deal was first announced in October 2016 and things seemed to be progressing when Qualcomm raised its offer this past January to take the value of the deal from $38 billion to $44 billion. The company sought to close the transaction by April 25, but that has now been extended to July 26 as Qualcomm has been forced to refile for approval in China.

The deal is critical for Qualcomm in order to diversify its business beyond mobile and its traditional licensing model, and NXP has been identified as a must-buy thanks to its strong footprint in automotive and other growth segments.

Yet despite approval from the Federal Trade Commission, which Qualcomm pointed out has now been renewed, things could get a little complicated given the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

Over the past month, President Trump announced trade tariffs on about $60 billion of Chinese goods, a sizeable chunk of which are the within the high-tech industry.

Deals-wise, the Trump administration countered Alibaba’s attempt to buy MoneyGram for $1.2 billion (despite Jack Ma cozying up to Trump ahead of time) and it also shot down Broadcom’s efforts to acquire Qualcomm on account of national security, with Qualcomm itself keen on chopping the deal.

The U.S. has also made strong moves against Chinese equipment makers, again in the name of security. Huawei has reluctantly backed off the U.S. market after losing out on previously arranged carrier deals, while this week the government banned U.S. companies from selling components to ZTE.

All of this activity raises the possibility that China may use the Qualcomm-NXP deal to strike back. Comments from the Chinese ministry —  reported by the FT — doesn’t exactly pour cold water on that scenario.

“This deal has a wide influence, and may have a negative impact on market competition,” a ministry spokesman said, adding that “an initial investigation shows Qualcomm’s plan cannot easily solve the problems relating to market competition.”

Qualcomm has suffered problems in China before. Two years ago it was fined nearly $1 billion for alleged anti-competitive practices. The company has since signed deals with a range of Chinese phone makers that include Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo, but this time it needs the government’s full buy-in.

This issue isn’t new but Qualcomm’s move to refile shows it is very real. TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton explored China’s role in Qualcomm-NXP last month, ultimately concluding that the deal may well be passed but with concessions that further China’s own semiconductor ambitions:

Ultimately, I predict the NXP transaction to be approved. For all of the trade negotiations and complex strategies going on here, China needs to be seen as a place open to doing business, now more than ever as its trade practices are placed in the spotlight. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t exact serious concessions from Qualcomm, which could further erode the company’s revenues and standing in China.

It’s going to be a pivotal couple of months for Qualcomm.


Source: TechCrunch

Capture One makes batch editing and presets faster with latest update

Capture One 11.1 speeds up workflow when using styles or presets, Phase One says. The update enhances a handful of tools while expanding camera support to eleven new models and another ten lenses. The update is available April 19.

The post Capture One makes batch editing and presets faster with latest update appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Biotech Gets Some Silicon Valley Shine at Illumina’s New Campus

With tons of amenities, the DNA sequencing giant hopes to attract the Bay Area’s top life science talent.
Source: Wired

Minds Is the Anti-Facebook That Pays You For Your Time

In the wake of privacy scandals, Facebook users are newly realizing their data makes the company rich. What if platforms paid them for their contributions?
Source: Wired

The Clever Vine-Like Robot That Grows and Steers With Air

Vinebot is part of the first generation of advanced “soft robots,” which promise to go where no traditional robot can tread—literally.
Source: Wired

How to make your home a Smart Home – CNET

Your life is about to get a whole lot easier.
Source: CNET

Live in 2025 by automating your morning routine – CNET

Smart home tech has come a long way, and automating your mornings is easier than ever. Here are four ways to breeze through your mornings.
Source: CNET

Step inside the Guide to Smart Living – CNET

Walk through our stunning smart home in San Francisco, designed to show you how to make your life smarter.
Source: CNET

Report: Smartphone usage set to overtake time spent watching TV in China

2018 is the year that smartphone usage eclipses time spent watching TV in China and it’s all down to the growth of digital video platforms, according to a new report from eMarketer.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this had already happened in China, which happens to be the world’s largest smartphone market, but eMarketer forecasts that the momentous moment is about to arrive.

According to the report, the average adult in China is set to spend 2 hours and 39 minutes per day on a mobile device this year, up 11.1 percent on 2017. Watching TV, meanwhile, is set to fall by two percent to reach 2 hours 32 minutes daily.

eMarketer said that the growth of digital video services is “a key driver” in this change. The company forecasts that online video time per day will leap 26 percent year-on-year to reach 58 minutes per adult on average. It is further predicting that by 2020 China’s adult population will spend one-third of their time online watching videos.

The signs have been pointing to digital media’s charge in China for some time, with the country’s top firms putting considerable cash behind the leading players.

Alibaba acquired Youku Tudou in a 2015 deal that valued the YouTube-like service at $4.6 billion, while rival Tencent has its own ‘Tencent Video’ service and Baidu — the third part of China’s traditional tech power trio — incubated video service iQiyi before taking it public in a U.S. IPO that raised $1.5 billion earlier this year. All three of these streaming platforms combine user-generated video with produced series, some of which comes from Netflix.

Beyond those three, there are also vertical focused video services which include animation platform Bilibili (which just went public in the U.S.), live-video platforms such as Tencent-backed Kuaishou, and Chushou, which focuses on e-sports and landed investment from Google earlier this year.

Video may be the key driver, but it is far from the only reason that keeps Chinese people glued to their phones. Chat app WeChat is the stickest of all mobile apps in China. It claims to have over 900 million active users who send 38 billion messages and over 205 million phone calls via the app each day.

WeChat also includes offline payments which are another major use for smartphones in China. Alongside WeChat Pay, Alibaba’s Alipay claims over 520 million users who use its service instead of cards or cash when paying for goods.

Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent company, is being tipped to raise $9 billion in new funding at a valuation that could reach as high as $150 billion.

Hat tip @sirsteven


Source: TechCrunch

Polestar 1 does the electric slide in snowy Sweden – Roadshow

The 600-horsepower Polestar 1 coupe is coming next year. Here’s a dynamic look at the plug-in hybrid undergoing cold weather testing in Sweden.
Source: CNET

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