Technology Roundup – China’s Xi pulled the plug on Ant’s IPO, Uber in talks to sell multibillion-dollar self-driving group

Published on: November 13, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

China’s Xi pulled the plug on Ant’s IPO – WSJ

Chinese President Xi Jinping personally made the decision to halt the listing of Ant Group on Nov. 3, which would have been the world’s biggest IPO, Chinese officials told WSJ.

The decision came days after the fintech giant’s billionaire founder Jack Ma publicly criticized the government’s increasingly tight financial regulation for holding back technology development.

At that point, investors around the world had already committed to paying more than $34B for shares of Ant, which is a third owned by Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).

Since Xi rose to power in late 2012, the government has taken action and cracked down on some of the country’s highest-profile private conglomerates, including Dalian Wanda and Anbang Insurance Group.

Uber in talks to sell multibillion-dollar self-driving group – report

Uber (NYSE:UBER) is in talks to sell its self-driving Autonomous Technologies Group to a competing start-up, TechCrunch reports.

Aurora Innovation – founded by three autonomous vehicle veterans from Google, Tesla and Uber – has been in discussions since October and they’re now advanced, according to the report.

Uber has been in the process of focusing on core business, and ATG marks its last big, expensive holding, the report notes. It was valued at $7.25B last year after a $1B investment from Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

Aurora is working on full-stack self-driving, and was founded by Sterling Anderson (who led development and launch of Tesla’s Model X and Autopilot program), Drew Bagnell (who helped launch Uber’s autonomous driving efforts) and Chris Urmson (who led Google’s self-driving project before it spun out into Waymo).

After hours: UBER +1%.

TikTok wins 15-day extension on forced sale, amid silence from White House

TikTok (BDNCE) has been granted a 15-day extension on the deadline set to force its sale – adding to confusion over what exactly is still required of the company, which previously faced heavy pressure from the Trump administration to sell its U.S. operations.

Court filings indicate the company’s deadline in its action against President Trump and Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross has been moved to Nov. 27, as granted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

That means a deal involving selling a minority stake to Oracle (ORCL +0.6%) and Walmart (WMT +0.5%) – supposed to be completed by yesterday – remains in limbo.

Yesterday’s deadline had lost some or most of its teeth with legal defeats by the administration in federal courts.

TikTok is indicating it’s not hearing from the U.S.: “We have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement, but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”

ASML shares gain after reports of large TSMC order

ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) shares are up 1.7% after Digitimes sources say TSMC (NYSE:TSM) has placed a large order for EUV lithography equipment for 2021.

The foundry giant has reportedly ordered at least 13 sets.

For context, in the recent Q3 report, ASML disclosed shipping 10 total EUV systems in the quarter.

ASML could also be getting a headwind from yesterday’s strong earnings report from semi equipment peer Applied Materials.

Vipshop EPS beats by $0.04, beats on revenue

Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.30 beats by $0.04; GAAP EPS of $0.27 beats by $0.07.

Revenue of $3.4B (+24.1% Y/Y) beats by $150M.

Q3 GMV increased 21% Y/Y to RMB38.3B.

The number of active customers increased 36% Y/Y to 43.4M; Total orders increased 35% to 172.8M.

Shares +6% PM.