China factory activity shrinks more than expected amid high Covid infection rate

A key measure of China’s factory activity has further fallen in November, according to official figures. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48 from 49.2 in October. It comes as strict Covid restrictions and weakening global demand weigh on the world’s second largest economy. In recent days there have been violent protests against President Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid measures that have seen major cities being put into lockdowns. The non-manufacturing PMI – which measures business sentiment in the services and construction sector, also fell to 46.7 versus 48.7 in the previous month – the lowest reading in seven months. Any … Continue reading China factory activity shrinks more than expected amid high Covid infection rate

Violent protests erupts at Indian billionaire port project

A mob stormed a police station in the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday night, injuring 36 police officers, as months of protests against a port project escalated into violence. The port is being built by Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd, owned by Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani. Protesters, mostly local fishermen, have alleged that the $900m project is causing coastal erosion and destroying their livelihoods.The company has denied the allegations. The protests have been going on for more than 100 days but had been largely peaceful until now. Many of the protesters say their homes have been destroyed … Continue reading Violent protests erupts at Indian billionaire port project

Elon Musk battles Apple over Twitter advertising

Elon Musk has said Apple has halted most of its advertising on Twitter and accused the company of threatening to remove the platform from its app store. The feud comes as many companies have halted spending on Twitter amid concerns about Mr Musk’s content moderation plans for the site. Mr Musk has said Twitter has seen a “massive” drop in revenue, blaming activists for pressuring advertisers. In a series of Tweets on Monday, he accused Apple of “censorship” and criticised its policies, including the charge it levies on purchases made on its app store. “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on … Continue reading Elon Musk battles Apple over Twitter advertising

US bans sale of Huawei, ZTE tech amid security fears

The US has banned the sale and import of new communications equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, amid concerns over national security. Other companies listed include Hikvision, Dahua and Hytera, which make video surveillance equipment and two-way radio systems. It is the first time US regulators have taken such a move on security grounds. Hikvision said that its products present no security threat to the US. It said the decision “will do nothing to protect US national security, but will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for US small businesses, local … Continue reading US bans sale of Huawei, ZTE tech amid security fears

Mercedes-Benz to introduce acceleration subscription fee

Mercedes-Benz is to offer an online subscription service in the US to make its electric cars speed up quicker. For an annual cost of $1,200 (£99) excluding tax, the company will enable some of its vehicles to accelerate from 0-60mph a second faster. It comes after rival manufacturer BMW offered a subscription feature earlier this year – for heated seats. Mercedes has confirmed to BBC News it currently does not plan to introduce “Acceleration Increase” in the UK. It will be available for purchase in the US on the Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 and EQS 450 vehicles, as well as their … Continue reading Mercedes-Benz to introduce acceleration subscription fee

Twitter charity partners condemn Musk’s ‘dangerous’ changes

One of Twitter’s most important charity partners says it is considering ending its relationship with the platform because of recent policy changes. Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says Elon Musk’s surprise move to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account is “dangerous and inconsistent”. It also says allowing Kayne West back on Twitter has “raised concerns”. This comes as one of Twitter’s major advertising partners expresses doubts about its future with Twitter. Twitter did not respond to requests for comment but on its advertising website, the company says it has “long-standing fruitful relationships with key civil rights groups and organizations, including NAACP, ADColor, and … Continue reading Twitter charity partners condemn Musk’s ‘dangerous’ changes

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger returns to head the entertainment giant

Former Disney boss Bob Iger, who headed the entertainment giant for 15 years, is returning to lead the firm. He replaces Bob Chapek, who took over as chief executive in February 2020. Disney shares have fallen by more than 40% this year and the company has poured billions of dollars into its loss-making streaming service Disney+. Mr Iger’s decision to step down in 2020 came as a surprise, after he had driven several major takeovers and launched Disney’s streaming network. Susan Arnold, who heads the company’s board, said in a statement that Mr Iger was “uniquely situated” to take Disney through “an … Continue reading Former Disney CEO Bob Iger returns to head the entertainment giant

FTX crypto exchange owes biggest creditors $3.1bn

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX owes its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1bn, according to a court filing. The embattled firm, which filed for bankruptcy in the US last week, says it owes about $1.45bn to its top 10 creditors, but has not named any. The collapse of the world’s second largest crypto exchange shook confidence in the already troubled cryptocurrency market. It also led to exchange boss Sam Bankman-Fried to step down. FTX’s previous bankruptcy filings revealed more than one million people and businesses could be owed money following its collapse. On Saturday, FTX said it had launched a review of its global … Continue reading FTX crypto exchange owes biggest creditors $3.1bn

#TwitterDrama: Twitter locks staff out of offices until next week

Twitter has told employees that the company’s office buildings will be temporarily closed, effective immediately. In a message to workers, they were told that the offices would reopen on Monday 21 November. It did not give a reason for the move. The announcement comes amid reports that large numbers of staff were quitting after new owner Elon Musk called on them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave. The message went on to say: “Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.” … Continue reading #TwitterDrama: Twitter locks staff out of offices until next week

Elon Musk tells Twitter staff to work long hours or leave

Elon Musk has told Twitter staff that they must commit to working “long hours at high intensity” or else leave the company, according to reports. In an email to staff, the social media firm’s new owner said workers should agree to the pledge if they wanted to stay, the Washington Post reported. Those who do not sign up by Thursday will be given three months’ severance pay, Mr Musk said. The BBC has contacted Twitter for comment. In his email to staff, Mr Musk said that Twitter “will need to be extremely hardcore” in order to succeed. “This will mean working … Continue reading Elon Musk tells Twitter staff to work long hours or leave

UK-based food delivery firm Deliveroo quits Australia

UK-based food delivery app Deliveroo says it is quitting Australia, citing tough economic conditions. The company’s Australian operation, which launched in 2015, is being placed into voluntary administration. Deliveroo has come under increasing pressure to treat its 15,000 riders as employees, with the country’s new government pledging to improve gig workers’ conditions. It has also faced competition from rivals such as Uber Eats and Menulog. Deliveroo said it had stopped accepting orders through its app, with customers receiving an error message if they tried to place an order. “This was a difficult decision and not one we have taken lightly. … Continue reading UK-based food delivery firm Deliveroo quits Australia

Amazon staff laid off as tech giants cut costs

Technology giant Amazon has started laying off staff, according to LinkedIn posts by workers who say they have been impacted by job cuts. Earlier this week it was reported that the company is planning to cut 10,000 jobs, roughly 3% of its office staff. It comes as thousands of jobs are being shed across the technology industry as firms see sales slow amid growing concerns about an economic downturn. Available public posts are from employees in Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant business and Luna cloud gaming platform division. One employee, who said that she worked as a software development engineer in … Continue reading Amazon staff laid off as tech giants cut costs