US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

The United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions. (Reuters)
Updated 25 June 2018
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US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying US companies in “industrially significant” technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the US National Security Council and Commerce Department were also devising plans for “enhanced” export controls to keep such technologies from being shipped to China.
The newspaper said the plans were expected to be announced by the end of the week but were not finalized and that industry would have a chance to comment before they went into effect.
The initiatives, the newspaper said, are designed to hamper plans that Beijing outlined under its “Made in China 2025” strategy to become a global leader in 10 key sectors that include robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars.
Citing people familiar with the internal Trump administration debate, the newspaper said the United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions.
It said the administration would look only at new deals and would not try to unwind existing ones, adding that the planned investment bar would not distinguish between Chinese state-owned and private companies.
The White House on May 29 said the Trump administration would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, with details to be announced by June 30. It also said it would unveil a revised list of Chinese goods for tariffs, which it did on June 15.
The White House, Treasury Department and Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Microsoft beats Wall Street targets on cloud services revenue

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California US, in this November 7, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Microsoft beats Wall Street targets on cloud services revenue

  • Revenue for the company’s LinkedIn business and job network grew 37 percent from the year-ago quarter, while its Dynamics 365 online business application suite posted a 61 percent increase
  • Net income rose to $8.87 billion, or $1.14 per share, from $8.07 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago fourth quarter

NEW YORK: Microsoft Corp. on Thursday posted quarterly profit and revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, as more businesses signed up for its Azure cloud computing services and Office 365 productivity suite.
The company’s flagship Azure cloud product recorded revenue growth of 89 percent in the fourth quarter ended June 30. Its shares rose nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading.
Much of Microsoft’s recent growth has been fueled by its cloud computing business, which has benefited from companies rushing to shift their workloads to the cloud to cut data storage and software costs.
“The combination of the cloud, which is a megatrend that’s going to last for years to come, and the execution, this is company that knows how to sell and be innovative — it’s hard to argue with anything here,” said Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace.com analyst.
Microsoft shares have risen 180 percent since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive in 2014, refocusing the company on cloud computing rather than PC software. Its market cap edged above $800 billion for the first time earlier this month.
Azure has a 16 percent share of the global cloud infrastructure market, making it the second-biggest provider of cloud services after Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Web Services, according to April estimates by research firm Canalys.
Revenue at Microsoft’s productivity and business processes unit, which includes Office 365, rose 13.1 percent to $9.67 billion, topping analysts’ average expectation of $9.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“This was another gem of a quarter from Microsoft as Nadella’s cloud vision is coming to fruit on the heels of massive Azure growth and secular tailwinds,” said Daniel Ives at research firm GBH Insights.
Revenue for the company’s LinkedIn business and job network grew 37 percent from the year-ago quarter, while its Dynamics 365 online business application suite posted a 61 percent increase.
The combination of those two services highlights Microsoft’s rise as an alternative to Salesforce.com Inc, which dominates the customer relationship management market, said Johnny Won, founder of Hyperstop, a tech consultancy firm.
“It seems like this is actually a formidable threat to Salesforce,” Won said.
Overall, the Redmond, Washington-based software maker’s revenue rose 17.5 percent to $30.09 billion, above expectations of $29.21 billion.
Net income rose to $8.87 billion, or $1.14 per share, from $8.07 billion, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago fourth quarter. https://bit.ly/2uOF9W1
Excluding certain items, Microsoft earned $1.13 per share, while analysts had expected $1.08.