China tech powerhouse Tsinghua bets $7.5 billion on R&D, urges faster reforms
By Elias Glenn TIANJIN, China (Reuters) - State-backed Chinese technology group Tsinghua Holdings plans to spend $7.5 billion on research and development over the next five years, accelerating China's drive to build a high-value semiconductor industry to challenge global chipmaking rivals. As the firm that controls acquisitive chip supplier Tsinghua Unigroup outlined the target, its chairman, Xu Jinghong, also said China has been too slow to reform its economy, and must move faster to promote high-margin tech operations rather than cheap manufacturing. In the chip development drive - a strategic priority for Beijing - Tsinghua Unigroup aims to become the world's No. 3 chipmaker after Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co. The firm has proposed buying stakes worth nearly $1 billion in two Taiwanese chip firms - deals now under review by a new Taipei government that is less friendly toward China.
Kuka nears deal with Chinese bidder: source
BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German robotics maker Kuka is on the brink of agreeing to an investor agreement with Chinese bidder Midea that includes a long-term commitment to existing headquarters, factories and jobs, a source close to the negotiations said. Kuka needs to decide in the coming week whether it wants to recommend the acceptance of Midea's 4.5 billion euro ($4.99 billion) bid, the biggest German industrial technology company to be targeted by a Chinese buyer in a wave of recent deals. The source told Reuters that there had been a breakthrough in negotiations between Kuka and Midea, with the results presented to a meeting of the supervisory board on Saturday.
China's Alipay could take stake in Germany's Wirecard: report
Wirecard AG is negotiating with representatives of Alipay, a unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba , about it taking a stake of up to 25 percent in the German banking software company, a newspaper reported on Sunday. Without citing its sources, the Bild am Sonntag weekly said Wirecard was in confidential talks with Alipay about it taking a stake of up to 25 percent, and possibly more later. A source familiar with the matter said Ant Financial, which operates the Alipay platform, was not talking to Wirecard about an investment.
SolarCity recuses two more board members from voting on Tesla offer
Two additional SolarCity Corp board members with ties to Elon Musk are recusing themselves from making decisions regarding Tesla Motors Inc's offer to buy the solar power company, in a bid to alleviate corporate governance concerns surrounding a potential deal. The new recusals mean the majority of SolarCity's board will be sitting out the decision on whether to be acquired by Tesla. Peter Rive, who is the cousin of Tesla chief executive and SolarCity chairman Musk, along with JB Straubel, chief technology officer and co-founder of Tesla, are both recusing themselves from the decision-making process, SolarCity spokesman Jonathan Bass said in a statement emailed to Reuters late on Friday.
Line, the biggest tech IPO of the year, struggles to show its growth plan can work
By Yoshiyasu Shida and Thomas Wilson TOKYO (Reuters) - In delaying its IPO by two years, Japanese messaging app company Line Corp bought time to correct weak financial reporting controls, work on its business plan, bolster staffing - and left billions of dollars on the table as its valuation shriveled. Line's initial public offering in the next three weeks is set to raise about $1 billion, which given a global drought of such deals could make it the biggest tech listing this year, but skeptical fund managers point to tepid growth in Line's home market and doubts about its prospects for regional expansion. In seeking to earn more from its major Asian markets of Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan, Line will try to generate more revenue from services such as advertising and offer more localized products, its IPO filing said.
Exclusive: Google, Facebook quietly move toward automatic blocking of extremist videos
By Joseph Menn and Dustin Volz SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the web’s biggest destinations for watching videos have quietly started using automation to remove extremist content from their sites, according to two people familiar with the process. The move is a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States. YouTube and Facebook are among the sites deploying systems to block or rapidly take down Islamic State videos and other similar material, the sources said.
Fujifilm announces a newer, faster instant printer for your phone
Fujifilm has announced the second version of its portable instant film printers, the Instax Share SP-2. It's the first update to the company's tiny printer lineup since the first Instax Share was released at CES in 2014, and the new model is supposed to be faster, more reliable, and comes with more customization options. The Instax Share printers use Fujifilm's 2-inch-by-3-inch Instax Mini instant film, and they're made to be used with your smartphone.
Play a new episode for old Quake from the Wolfenstein: The New Order studio
MachineGames has released a new episode for the original Quake to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Id Software’s wildly influential first-person shooter. You can download the chapter for free here; you’ll need to extract the package into your Quake folder, then set "-game dopa" as a launch option in Steam. Quake is $2.49 in the Steam summer sale right now, in case you don't own it.