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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Vehicles pass the Tesla Inc. assembly plant in Fremont, California, U.S., on Monday, May 11, 2020. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images Tesla is suing a former employee and software engineer named Alex Khatilov, alleging trade secret theft and breach of contract. In the complaint, the company accuses Khatilov of grabbing code and files from WARP Drive, a back-end software system that Tesla developed to automate a range of business processes involved in manufacturing and selling its cars. They also accuse him of deleting possible evidence when security teams confronted him. Khatilov was hired to help Tesla's Quality Assurance team create software that could automate tasks or business processes related to Environment, Health and Safety. The complaint says he began working for Tesla on December 28, 2020, and almost immediately began uploading files and scripts (written in a programming language called Python) to his Dropbox account. Tesla confronted him about his alleged theft on January 6th. The code is of concern to Tesla because it could reveal to competitors "which systems Tesla believes are important and valuable to automate and how to automate them –
Miki Kuusi, CEO and co-founder of Wolt. Wolt Wolt, a food delivery app that's expanded into groceries and retail, has raised $530 million as it tries to take on Amazon. The funding round in the six-year-old company was led by ICONIQ Capital, which has also invested in Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and Zoom. It brings total investment in the firm to $856 million. Wolt, which did not disclose its latest valuation, said it will use the money to "continue expanding beyond restaurants." Miki Kuusi, who founded Wolt in 2014 in Helsinki, told CNBC: "Our mission is to enable local restaurants and other brick and mortar operators to have the tools at their disposal to provide a better e-commerce experience to their local customers than what their massive overseas competitors are able to do today." He added: "We are huge believers that the next wave of e-commerce will go from same week and same day delivery to delivery within the next 30 minutes or so as the standard. That's what we're focused on building in all of our markets, starting with the restaurant."  Rapid growth When Wolt
WeChat mascots are displayed inside Tencent office at TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou, China, May 9, 2017. Bobby Yip | Reuters GUANGZHOU, China — Tencent shares dropped more than 5% on Tuesday — one day after a huge rally pushed its valuation to nearly $1 trillion for the first time. The Chinese internet giant saw its shares hit as high as 767.5 Hong Kong dollars on Monday, rallying 11% at one point. That pushed the company's market capitalization to 7.35 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($949 billion) on Monday. Monday's rally appeared to be propelled by bullish calls by two investment banks. In a research note, Citi raised its target price to 876 Hong Kong dollars from 734 Hong Kong dollars, a 14% rise from Monday's close. UBS also upped its price target on Tencent from 700 Hong Kong dollars to 830 Hong Kong dollars — that's a more than 8% rise from Monday's close. But investors took profit on Tuesday, driving Tencent shares lower by around 5.48% to 724.50 Hong Kong dollars at 2.45 p.m. local time. The stock was down over 6% earlier in the day
Attendees play the Call of Duty: Black Ops III game by Activision Blizzard during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California. Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images A 25-year-old professional video gamer has been forced to retire due to a thumb injury. Thomas "ZooMaa" Paparatto announced he's "taking a step back from competitive Call of Duty" on Twitter. "This is the hardest thing I've ever had to write, I am stepping down and will no longer compete in competitive Call of Duty for the foreseeable future," he said in a separate blog post. "It breaks my heart to step away from a game I put my heart and soul into every single day for eight years," he added. "Tearing up just writing this, but I don't know what else to do at this point." Paparatto plays for an esports team called New York Subliners and he has earned $387,019 from 87 tournaments, according to Esports Earnings. His largest prize from a single tournament came in April 2018, when he won $53,125 in a Call of Duty: World War II competition. The U.S. gamer
Ethereum and Bitcoin coins. Getty Images Bitcoin's price rose on Monday after a brutal sell-off that saw the virtual currency briefly dip below $30,000. Meanwhile, ether — the world's second-biggest cryptocurrency — hit a fresh record high. Bitcoin rose more than 7.4% in the last 24 hours to trade around $34,807, according to data from CoinDesk, looking to recover from steep losses last week that wiped out more than $100 billion from the entire crypto market. Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain, notched a new all-time high of $1,476 early Monday morning. The cryptocurrency climbed 6.2% to a price of $1,415 at about 9:15 a.m. ET. Altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, have been known to rally in times of strength for bitcoin. Ether's latest price movement was attributed to increased use of Ethereum — its underlying network that is undergoing a major upgrade — and interest from institutional investors in crypto. "Ethereum's current rise cold shoulders the sceptics, many of whom were quick to denounce crypto when bitcoin recently fell from its $40,000 high," said Simon Peters, cryptoasset analyst at online investment platform
Nikol Szymul staffs a reception desk at Amazon offices discretely tucked into a building called Fiona in downtown Seattle, Washington on May 11, 2017. Getty Images Amazon plans to create 3,000 jobs and open a new office in Boston, the company announced Tuesday.  The new hires — expected to be focused on software development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, management, HR and finance — will support its Amazon Web Services, robotics, Alexa and nascent Amazon Pharmacy teams. Amazon expects to add the jobs over the next several years. Amazon said it leased a 17-story office tower in Boston's Seaport district to accommodate the new hires. The 630,000-square-foot office, which is set to be completed in 2024, will include working space, innovation labs and mixed-use common areas for employees, as well as two theaters and other spaces for the public. The expansion builds on Amazon's growing presence in Boston. In 2018, Amazon said it would create 2,000 jobs in Boston and announced it would lease a separate 17-story mixed-use building in the Seaport district. Construction on the tower is expected to be completed this year. Amazon has been hiring
Sin Cara jumps during the WWE Live Dusseldorf event at ISS Dome on Feb. 22, 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Lukas Schulze | Bongarts | Getty Images NBCUniversal's Peacock announced Monday it's reached an exclusive agreement to stream wrestling matches from the WWE Network in the U.S. The agreement puts an end to the WWE Network's independent streaming platform in the U.S., a person familiar with the matter told CNBC, though it will still exist on its own in other countries. On March 18, Peacock will begin rolling out 17,000 hours of WWE Network content. Original series, archives and documentaries will all be included in the library, as well as pay-per-view events like WrestleMania. Fastlane will be the first pay-per-view event to stream on Peacock on March 21, the company said. It will also begin rolling out one "signature documentary" annually beginning in 2022. The announcement comes as streaming platforms from Disney to AT&T's WarnerMedia compete for coveted shows to coax customers to their services. An extensive archive of shows has become even more important as production delays caused by the pandemic have shaken up schedules for new
Ajit Pai Brad Quick | CNBC In one of his most memorable acts as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission during the Trump administration, Ajit Pai unraveled net neutrality rules formalized just a couple years before, shrugging off dissent from liberals and tech companies and facing personal threats to himself and his family. Having departed the commission last week on the day President Joe Biden was sworn in, Pai said in a CNBC interview Monday that if given the chance, he would make the same decision all over again. "I think time has shown that our decision was the right one," he said. Net neutrality rules were instituted in 2015 under the Obama administration in a bid to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) would not be able to favor or cut off some internet traffic over others. Advocates said that without net neutrality, companies like AT&T, Charter Communications, Verizon or Comcast (owner of CNBC parent company NBCUniversal) would be able to speed up or slow down internet speeds for certain sites based on monetary incentives, potentially even from competing sites seeking to slow down rivals. Pai
The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph taken in Los Angeles, California. Mike Blake | Reuters Exclusive looks into the Golden Globes, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and other live NBC events are headed to Twitter. Comcast's NBCUniversal and Twitter on Monday announced a multi-year global content partnership, in an effort to expand both the media company's and social media giant's advertising and audience reach. As part of the partnership, NBCUniversal will bring live, trending content, like scenes from red carpet events and sports highlights, to Twitter. Global audiences will then be able to watch certain coverage from the events on Twitter and discuss in real time. That'll help expand the companies' social inventory worldwide for marketers. Twitter will also provide broader sales support for the network's advertising partners, according to a release announcing the deal. The companies have partnered at a smaller scale in the past, but this is their first worldwide effort. NBCUniversal said that since kicking off its partnership with Twitter in 2013, both companies have seen significant growth and engagement. Total campaign growth has exceeded 10 times trajectory and last
Susan Wojcicki, chief executive officer of YouTube. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images YouTube's short-form video feature Shorts, which aims to compete with TikTok, is achieving 3.5 billion views per day during its early test run in India, the company said Tuesday. YouTube does not reveal detailed statistics for the service overall, but has said that 2 billion logged-in users visit every month, and that people watch a billion hours of video on the service every day. The latest metric comes as Google-owned YouTube said it is looking to expand Shorts to more markets in 2021, according to a blog post YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki published Tuesday morning. The company unveiled an early beta of Shorts in India in September. Shorts will be part of the YouTube app and looks a lot like TikTok, with an option to add music, change the speed of the video and more. But video length is capped at just 15 seconds. TikTok videos can be up to a minute long.  Wojcicki also said the following in her letter: Regulation will be a significant focus in 2021. She noted that there's
The logos of Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok displayed on a computer screen. Denis Charlet | AFP via Getty Images Tech companies with big digital ads businesses look poised to report exceptional fourth quarters on the back of a stay-at-home holiday shopping season and a continuing ad rebound from the beginning of the pandemic.  Facebook will be the first of the ad-supported internet companies to report earnings on Wednesday, while Alphabet's Google, Snap, Pinterest, Twitter and Amazon will follow in the coming weeks. "The setup couldn't be any better for the digital ad names," Bernstein analysts wrote in a note last week, citing factors such as an online holiday shopping season with stores closed and an extended holiday season after Amazon kicked off deals in October with Prime Day. There were also two additional peak shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas versus 2019. "Expect many of the digital ad names to print record revenues," Bernstein's analysts wrote.  Barclays analysts added last week that checks pointed to continued acceleration in the fourth quarter across the digital ad space.  "Though sectors like travel, concerts and movies are
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks during the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Viva Tech, a three-year-old event for startups, gathers global technology leaders and entrepreneurs as the French establishment unites behind a push for more tech investment in Paris. Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images Microsoft stock rose 4% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations. Here's how the company did: Earnings: $2.03 per share, adjusted, vs. $1.64 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue: $43.08 billion, vs. $40.18 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Microsoft revenue grew 17% on an annualized basis, down from 12% growth in the prior quarter, according to a statement. In the quarter Microsoft released $500 Xbox Series X and $300 Series S consoles, along with a small version of its Surface Laptop PC called the Surface Laptop Go. The company also said some of its source code had been accessed after the company had detected malicious SolarWinds software in its environment. With respect to guidance, analysts