Auquan's Weekly Wrap | 4 - 8 July: What you might have missed
Recap of the week's market activity: Cloud computing revenues, H&M greenwashing allegations, US semiconductors woes, Tesco suppliers pricing disputes, biomolecule microchips, rise of military AI - and more topics to watch out for.
Cloud Computing Revenue Surge
Source: Cloud Tech Arena.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide public cloud services market grew 29% on year in 2021 with revenues totaling US$408.6 billion. Corporates are also reaping rewards from their cloud divisions, with Foxconn's outperformance driven by 'brisk sales of its cloud computing'. With this in mind, big tech firms such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google are investing in data centers as they compete for the $214 billion cloud computing market.
IDC anticipates that spending on foundational cloud services (particularly IaaS and PaaS elements) will keep growing at a higher rate than the overall cloud market since businesses use cloud to address the current disruptions and speed up their shift toward digital business.
- Worldwide public cloud services revenues grow 29% on year in 2021, says IDC
- Foxconn posts increased June revenue
- Amazon, Microsoft, Google Strengthen Grip on Cloud
- Cloud computing is about to hit another big milestone
- Microsoft Azure data centers operating "with limited server capacity" amid cloud boom and supply shortage
H&M Greenwashing Allegations
Source: Big Issue.
Quartz' investigation into H&M's environmental scorecards suggests online listed clothing items were no more sustainable than comparable garments made by the company and its competitors. An H&M spokesperson has defended this greenwashing claim: “We would like to underline that the customer facing transparency programme does not indicate that a product has lower environmental impact compared to those without the HIGG index.”
- H&M defends transparency amid claims of ‘bogus’ environmental scores
- Fashion brands pause use of sustainability index tool over greenwashing claims
- Quartz investigation: H&M showed bogus environmental scores for its clothing
- H&M Group, Norrøna under fire in Norway over environmental claims
US Semiconductors Woes
Memory chip parts of US chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. Source: VCG.
Whilst Biden's efforts to strengthen the US' semiconductor sector is not unheard of with his “America Competes Act”, the challenges facing it are unprecedented. Multiple issues exist, including a lack of US infrastructure or workforce for manufacturing, soaring production costs and supply chain issues suggesting the ambitious project is overstretching its capacity expectations.
- US tycoons team up to solve the West's desperate chip shortage
- Semiconductor legislation failures show why the U.S. struggles to compete
- Biden's Uphill Battle to Restructure the Global Semiconductor Sector
Tesco Suppliers Pricing Disputes
A general view of Tesco Extra store sign in Britain. Source: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo.
Following on from last week's theme, ongoing developments unfold with Tesco refusing to shelve yet more brands such as Pedigree, Whiskers and Mars due to the elevated prices conflicting their low consumer price strategy to keep competitive. This suggests even more food manufacturers may be priced out of supplying retailers, putting more pressure on profit margins and retailer relations.
- Mars Stops Supplying Pet Food to Tesco as Fresh Price Row Begins
- Owners of Whiskas and Pedigree pet food pause supplies to Tesco in latest price rise row
- Tesco price row - full list of Heinz and Mars products missing from shelves
Themes to Watch Out
Source: Silicon Quantum Computing.
Molecules are argued to be becoming the new microchip, according to Walter Isaacson, since they are capable of being reprogrammed the way microchips are reprogrammed. This 'bioeconomy', which relies on what's grown using artificial biology, may also play a critical role in geopolitics despite challenges such as regulation and funding. Particularly, China's race forward within the bioscience space may trigger the US to catch up.
- Why Eric Schmidt believes bioscience will change the world
- Australian scientists put the quantum world on a microchip
- Biologists would love to program cells as if they were computer chips
- New Microchip Based on Biomolecules is No Alien Technology
Military AI Boom
Source: MS TECH | NYPL.
Military AI spending has been rising rapidly amidst Russia's war on Ukraine. Countries across Europe have set strategies to improve their military AI capabilities, NATO launches a fund to support start-ups for developing dual-use emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, big-data processing and quantum-enabled technologies while China makes significant progress in use of AI in military affairs.
- Why business is booming for military AI startups
- Thanks USA! China ‘Zooms Ahead’ As Artificial Intelligence Super Power; American Firms Fuel The Growth
- Palantir’s Karp is first western CEO to visit Zelenskyy amid invasion
- NATO launches Innovation Fund
- Press release: Defence Artificial Intelligence Strategy
- Next phase of Army's TITAN AI program pits Palantir against Raytheon
- MoD sets out strategy to develop military AI with private sector
Tesla Supplier Insider Trading Investigation
Source: IC Photo.
Ganfeng, China’s largest lithium salts producer, counts Tesla and BMW among its customers and it is currently under probe for suspected insider trading. This is further disrupting the upstream supply outlook of lithium for EV batteries.
- Chinese Tesla lithium supplier probed for insider trading
- China probes Tesla supplier Ganfeng Lithium for suspected insider trading
Geely Meizu Acquisition
Source: Arena EV.
The acquisition of smartphone maker Meizu by Geely shows the synergy between consumer electronics and smart vehicles, which we may see more in the coming years.
- Founder of China car giant Geely completes acquisition of phone maker Meizu, touts synergy between consumer electronics, EVs
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