China fines Alibaba $2.78bn for market abuses: state media

China fines Alibaba $2.78bn for market abuses: state media
Xinhua news agency said the State Administration for Market Regulation had assessed the fine after concluding an investigation into Alibaba that began in December. (AFP)
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Updated 10 April 2021

China fines Alibaba $2.78bn for market abuses: state media

China fines Alibaba $2.78bn for market abuses: state media
  • Alibaba and other leading Chinese tech companies have come under pressure amid growing concern over their influence in China

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators have hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a massive 18.2 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) fine over practices deemed to be an abuse of the company’s dominant market position, state-run media reported on Saturday.
Xinhua news agency said the State Administration for Market Regulation had assessed the fine after concluding an investigation into Alibaba that began in December.
The investigation and fine centered on Alibaba’s alleged practice of requiring that merchants who wish to sell their wares on its popular platforms do so exclusively, avoiding rival e-commerce sites.
The size of the penalty was determined after regulators decided to fine Alibaba four percent of its 2019 sales of 455.7 billion yuan, Xinhua said.
Alibaba and other leading Chinese tech companies have come under pressure amid growing concern over their influence in China, where tech-savvy consumers use leading platforms to communicate, shop, pay bills, book taxis, take out loans and perform a range of other daily tasks.
Alibaba in particular has been under scrutiny since last October, when co-founder Jack Ma criticized Chinese regulators as being behind the times after they expressed growing concern over the push into loans, wealth management and insurance by Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Group.
China has been seeking to rein in runaway personal debt and chaotic lending, and upstart Ant’s growing profile — and Ma’s rare public criticisms — have been viewed as a challenge to China’s state-dominated financial sphere.


Lucid Motors CEO wants signature electric vehicle ‘in the $70k price point’.

Lucid Motors CEO wants signature electric vehicle ‘in the $70k price point’.
Updated 30 sec ago

Lucid Motors CEO wants signature electric vehicle ‘in the $70k price point’.

Lucid Motors CEO wants signature electric vehicle ‘in the $70k price point’.

Saudi-backed Lucid Motors is aiming to offer a “pure version” of its Air model at around $70,000, the CEO of the electric vehicle company has said.

During a presentation at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Peter Rawlinson set out the ambitions for his company, which the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund poured $1 billion into in April 2019 - giving it a 67 per cent stake in the firm.

Rawlinson talked up the efficiency of his company’s vehicles, as he flagged up the US’s EPA ratings standard placing six Lucid vehicles as having the largest range for electric motors. 

Turning to costs to customers, he said: “Right now the Dream edition car is $169,000. My dream is to get to a pure version of Lucid Air in the $70,000 price point.”

Rawlinson used much of his speech to delegates to focus on the efficiency battle between his company and rival firm Tesla.

“The future will be defined by a tech race between the companies that adopt and embrace EV technology and that’s why I would believe Tesla’s value today of over $1 trillion is based on its technological prowess,” he said. 

He went on to say that other manufacturers deliver low-efficiency cars as they do not design them in-house, but instead are “just buying a load of motors and battery technology and software off-the-shelf.”

Last month it was announced that Lucid will start producing vehicles in Saudi Arabia by 2024.


Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO
Updated 28 October 2021

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Private healthcare investors set for huge returns over the next ten years, claims tech firm CEO

Investors in the digital health industry will see a return of up to 35 percent every year for the next decade, according to the head of a global technology firm.

Peter Ohnemus, president and CEO of Zurich-based dacadoo, talked up the rise of the sector during a discussion on investing in medical innovations at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyad.

He said that the global value of the digitial health industry for 2021 has been estimated at $26billion, but it is forecast to grow to $238.9 billion industry within seven years.

He said: “From an investment perspective going forward over the next ten years will provide a very high return. 

“The integrated digital health sector will create a 30-35 percent return every year over the next decade.”

Ohnemus said that healthcare providers needed to make it simpler for people to understand what they needed to do to stave off chronic illnesses, and the cost implications of developing such conditions. 

Another CEO, Ali Parsa from London-based Babylon Health, also flagged up the costs involved in what he dubbed the “sick caring industry”, saying: “70 percent of all expenditure goes to predictable preventable diseases.”


SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021

 SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021
Updated 28 October 2021

SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021

 SABB reports profit of $750 million in first 9 months of 2021
  • The chairman reiterated the bank’s efforts to support Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) recorded a seismic leap of 157 percent in net profit after Zakat and income tax of SR2.8 billion ($750m) for the first 9 months of 2021, compared to the loss of SR4.8 billion in the same period last year. 

“It is worth reiterating that we are in the investment phase of our newly announced five-year strategic plan, where we will be taking the necessary steps to develop the Bank into an institution fit to meet the future needs of our customers,” chairman of SABB, Lubna Olayan, said.

“We are investing considerably across the business front-to-back, to ensure that we remain relevant and can create a sustainable banking organization,” she added.  

The chairman reiterated the bank’s efforts to support Saudi’s Vision 2030 plan and unlock the opportunities brought by the economic transformation plans. 


Qatar Energy to launch green bonds in 2022; state commits to emissions reduction

Qatar Energy to launch green bonds in 2022; state commits to emissions reduction
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Updated 28 October 2021

Qatar Energy to launch green bonds in 2022; state commits to emissions reduction

Qatar Energy to launch green bonds in 2022; state commits to emissions reduction

RIYADH: Qatar Energy is looking to raise between $5 to $10 billion from issuing green bonds, banking sources told CNBC Arabia.

Qatar Energy is developing an environmental framework in collaboration with global investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, to move into the green bond market in conjunction with the global trend towards reducing carbon emissions, sources said.

The offering is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022 or by the end of June 2022, sources added.

Separately, Reuters reported that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in Qatar launched a national climate change action plan aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030.

The plan also envisioned reducing "carbon intensity" of its liquefied natural gas facilities by 25 percent by the same year.

Qatar's move follows other Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia which announced its net-zero emission target by 2060 ahead of the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow next week.


Qatar is the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas and aims to expand LNG production to 127 million tonnes annually by 2027. It says its gas production helps combat climate change globally because it can help the world shift from high-polluting fuels like oil and coal to renewable energies.


Saudi Arabia will welcome a million cruise ship passengers by 2028, Cruise Saudi MD claims

Saudi Arabia will welcome a million cruise ship passengers by 2028, Cruise Saudi MD claims
Updated 16 min 37 sec ago

Saudi Arabia will welcome a million cruise ship passengers by 2028, Cruise Saudi MD claims

Saudi Arabia will welcome a million cruise ship passengers by 2028, Cruise Saudi MD claims

A million cruise ship passengers will visit Saudi Arabia by 2028 according to ambitious plans set out by the managing director of the country’s Cruise Saudi company.

Fawaz Farooqui set out the goal during a session at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, as he also claimed 50,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created by the industry by 2035.

He also pledged that five cruise ports will operate in Saudi Arabia by 2025.

Farooqui added that plans for Cruise Saudi had been hampered by the pandemic, and said: “Our plan was to bring the first cruise passenger in 2023, but the pandemic hit and many unfortunate incidents happened to the industry.”

Farooqui’s comments came just days after Cruise Saudi became a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council as the Kingdom continues its drive to diversify its economy away from oil as per the Vision 2030 agenda.