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Breakfast Briefing: Xiaopeng Motors, Google in India & Red iPhones

 4 min read / 

Xiaopeng Motors Challenges Tesla

The Alibaba-backed startup plans to raise $2.7bn to take on its electric vehicle (EV) rivals.

Editor’s Remarks: Xiaopeng Motors is aiming to become China’s version of Tesla and capitalise upon the nation’s burgeoning EV market, which is already the world’s biggest. The Chinese government has already established that fighting pollution through backing clean technologies is a top priority, placing the likes of Xiaopeng in a strong position. Xiaopeng has won the backing of tech giants Alibaba and Foxconn, which led a $400m funding round several months back. Xiaopeng will use the planned $2.7bn raise to fund the pre-sale of its upcoming G3 vehicle.

Read more on Carmakers:

Japan Is a Crypto Heaven

As other countries worry about cryptocurrencies, Japan is embracing them.

Editor’s Remarks: Despite Japan being the country that the collapsed Mt. Gox exchange was based in, the nation remains at the forefront of the cryptocurrency wave. In fact, many Japanese lawmakers point to the 2014 downfall of Mt. Gox as being what gave them an early look into the potential and popularity of digital currencies. And yet Japan has proven one of the most popular targets of cryptocurrency hackers, who have stolen a total of around $1bn worth of virtual currencies. Nevertheless, Japan’s legislature is looking to regulate digital exchanges – not ban them – and recently took a firm step towards legalising initial coin offerings.

Read more on Cryptocurrencies:

Google Home Sells in India

Google is expanding its overseas operations to capture growing Indian demand for its products.

Editor’s Remarks: The Google Home and Google Home Mini smart speakers, along with the company’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, are now on sale in India. The devices have been made available on Flipkart as well as 750 physical stores throughout the country. However, Google has confirmed that the smart home devices do not yet cater for India’s various local languages and dialects, but can pick up an Indian accent speaking English. In a way, Google is late to the party, since Amazon brought its Echo smart device way back in October 2017.

Read more on Google:

Apple Offers a Red iPhone

The company has teamed up with PRODUCT(RED) to help fight HIV/AIDS.

Editor’s Remarks: Apple is offering customers a red version of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, a model that has unsurprisingly been in the shadow of the iPhone X for several months. The red iPhones will cost the same as regular versions of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which retail at $699 and $799, respectively. The move follows Apple’s decision last year to release a red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The company hopes that the red iPhone 8 will help revive sales mid-cycle, ahead of the iPhone 8’s expected discontinuation when Apple releases the three new devices it is currently working on.

Read more on Smartphones:

Russia Sanctions Hit Rouble

The rouble has fallen around 10% in recent days following fresh US sanctions against Russia.

Editor’s Remarks: The correction comes after President Donald Trump slammed President Vladimir Putin for his backing of the Assad regime following a chemical attack on civilians in Syria. The US followed up Trump’s rhetoric by imposing new sanctions on a number of Russian companies, business-owners and diplomats. Glencore CEO Ivan Glasberg stepped down from the board of Russian aluminium producer Rusal following fresh sanctions against the company. The rouble is now at its weakest level since November 2017 and is the third-worst emerging market currency this year behind Argentina’s peso and Turkey’s lira.

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