By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – Apple Inc will boost its investment in China, one of its most important but increasingly difficult markets, and build its first Asia-Pacific research and development center in the country, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday. Demand for Apple's phones has plummeted in China, and the government maintains a wary attitude towards foreign technology. Apple's new research and development center will be built by the end of the year, Cook told Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of China's most senior officials, according to the official Chinese state broadcaster.
(Reuters) – Two youths unaware of their surroundings when they were playing Pokemon GO on their cell phones made an illegal border crossing this week from Canada into the United States in a remote part of Montana, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said. The two, who were not identified, were found by U.S. Border Patrol agents on Thursday, with their attention affixed to their phones as they were trying to hunt down cartoon characters on a journey that took them over the border. “Both juveniles were so captivated by their Pokemon GO games that they lost track of where they were,” said Michael Rappold, a spokesman for the agency.
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google has no plans to expand its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to create a self-driving car, the program chief at the Alphabet Inc unit said on Thursday, affirming that the technology company was still in talks with other potential partners. Earlier this month, Google and Fiat Chrysler agreed to work together to build a fleet of 100 self-driving minivans in the most advanced collaboration to date between Silicon Valley and a traditional carmaker. Google said it was not sharing proprietary self-driving vehicle technology with Fiat Chrysler, and that the vehicles would not be offered for sale.
By Alexandria Sage and Julia Love SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc's $1 billion investment in Chinese ride sharing company Didi Chuxing intensifies a race to acquire technology, talent and market access in a rapidly evolving global personal transportation market. Apple's investment comes as auto and technology industry executives and investors are placing bets that self-driving car systems, electric vehicles and ride sharing will eventually converge to allow companies to sell rides in self-driving vehicles, generating revenue day and night.
By Matthew Miller and Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – Facebook's co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met China's propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan in Beijing on Saturday as part of a charm offensive in one of the few markets where the social network cannot be accessed. The rare meeting, reported by China's state news agency Xinhua, suggests warming relations between Facebook and the Chinese government, even as Beijing steps up censorship of and control over the Internet.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has completed a funding round, China's biggest e-commerce company said on Monday. Investors in the funding round of Cainiao include Singapore's Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL] and GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL], Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional Bhd [KHAZA.UL], and China's Primavera Capital, Alibaba said in a statement. Alibaba did not disclose details of how much money Cainiao raised, whether it issued equity shares, or at how much the logistics unit is now valued. …
SanDisk shares hit a high of $78.50 on Wednesday, but closed nearly $10 below the offer price of $86.50 in cash and stock, a fact that analysts attributed to the deal's complexity. Western Digital said the value of the transaction hinges on the closing of an investment in the company by Unisplendour Corp Ltd, a unit of China's state-backed Tsinghua Holdings Co Ltd [TSHUAA.UL]. Unisplendour said in September it would buy 15 percent of Western Digital for $3.78 billion, a deal that is likely to face regulatory scrutiny amid national security concerns.
By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) – On a bustling street in China's southern boomtown of Shenzhen, more than 30 stores carrying Apple Inc's iconic white logos peddle pre-orders for the new iPhone, a gadget that has become a status symbol among many better-off Chinese. Many of the stores look just like Apple's signature outlets, right down to the sales staff kitted out in blue T-shirts bearing the company's white logo and the sample iPads and iWatches displayed on sleek wooden tables. Most of the stores in the roughly 1 km shopping corridor are unauthorized “fakes” – although they are selling genuine Apple products – and their numbers have mushroomed ahead of the release on Friday of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6s Plus. The rapid increase in copycat Apple stores underscores the popularity of the brand in China, where it doubled its revenue in the third quarter from a year earlier to more than $13 billion, and suggests the U.S. tech giant is on course to shrug off weakening consumer spending in its second biggest market.
By Michael Martina and Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping sought to reassure U.S. officials on Tuesday that Beijing remains committed to financial reforms and an open economy. “China will not go backward in this process,” Xi said at a forum for U.S. and Chinese governors in Seattle during the first day of his week-long visit to the United States. Xi's visit will include meetings with tech and other top business leaders, a black-tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and an address at the United Nations.
By Ritsuko Ando and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Display Inc's new chief executive said on Thursday the screen maker's “biggest client”, widely understood to refer to Apple Inc , is increasing orders ahead of the expected launch of a new iPhone this month. Mitsuru Homma, who was appointed CEO in June, said weakness in China's smartphone market, the world's biggest, amid that country's broader economic slowdown was not affecting the orders for display screens it was getting from its top client. Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone at an event on Sept. 9.