Financial

Chinese firms pour money into U.S. R&D in shift to innovation

Rapid growth in China's U.S. investments to be key topic at this week's economic and security talks

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Surging investment by Chinese companies in U.S. research labs is yielding a fast-growing trove of patents, part of a push to mine America for ideas to help China shift from being the world's factory floor to a driver of innovation.

Largely absent from American research hubs a decade ago, Chinese firms including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp are now using U.S. researchers to create patents ranging from new software to internet infrastructure, according to an analysis of Thomson Reuters' global intellectual property database.

Still an underdog, but China government deals help Alibaba's cloud ambitions

Building up expertise to become a global player requires a great deal of money, time and resources

Reuters

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is an underdog in the global cloud computing industry, but it has one thing going for it: it's Chinese.

Alibaba this week scored a minor deal with China's northeastern port city of Dalian to build a cloud computing center and provide online government services such as bill payment.

The pact is a small part of a growing portfolio of similar cloud services tie-ups between Alibaba and government bodies around China and comes against a backdrop of Beijing's deepening paranoia about foreign technology.

Cisco to invest $10 billion in China expansion

Announcement follows high-level meetings between top executives and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Cisco plans to invest more than $10 billion in China along with local business partners over the next several years, the U.S. network equipment maker said on Wednesday, as it seeks to shore up its position against strong domestic rivals.

Cisco, the world's biggest maker of switching equipment and routers that run the Internet, announced the investment plans following high-level meetings between top executives and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and other government agency leaders.

Austria becomes battleground in fight over mobile mergers

European Commission competition authorities launch study on how best to evaluate price changes

Reuters

VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) - When the number of mobile network operators competing in Austria was cut by a merger from four to three in January 2013 it was seen as an important test case just as a deal-making frenzy was about to break out among telecoms firms across Europe.

Yet two years after Hutchison Whampoa  bought larger local rival Orange Austria for 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion), there is still no consensus as to whether Austrians are better off in terms of coverage or service, and regulators and operators are disputing whether consumers are paying more.

More deals seen in chips as Internet of Things blooms

Customers want to deal with integrated suppliers that can offer the broadest range of products

Reuters

NEW YORK/SEATTLE (Reuters) - With the biggest year in chip deals since 2000 not even halfway through, mid-sized semiconductor makers appear to be prime takeover targets as the largest players look to round out their capabilities and turn their focus to chips for cars, watches and other devices, making the "Internet of Things" a reality.

Bigger is better is the new mantra, as more technologies are being squeezed onto chips and customers want to deal with integrated suppliers that can offer the broadest range of products.

Dish, T-Mobile US talk merger, wireless spectrum a key factor

Speculation causing waves across the industry; deal could spell trouble for Sprint

Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Just four months ago, T-Mobile US Inc Chief Executive John Legere warned consumers that results of a U.S. airwaves auction "should scare the hell out of you" because winning bids by Dish Network Corp and bigger phone companies threatened competition.

Now Legere is in talks to merge T-Mobile US Inc and Dish Network Corp, said a source familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential negotiations. A decisive factor is how the partners would use the spectrum Dish has been buying up over the years.

Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global on asset swap, not merger

After weeks of speculation, Vodafone released a statement on Friday saying it was not in merger talks

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone, the world's second biggest mobile company, said it is in early talks about exchanging selected assets with Europe's largest cable operator Liberty Global, which could enable each to better compete with rivals.

Analysts and sector bankers said the two most important countries for both firms where they overlap were Britain and Germany. They also both operate in Ireland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Nextel operator NII to stay in Brazil, its last Latam operation

Despite a braoder economic slowdown, Nextel turned a profit of $3.5M in Brazil in the 1st quarter

Reuters

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Nextel operator NII Holdings Inc is stepping up investment in Brazil to expand its tiny share of the mobile telephone market and has no plans to sell out despite an economic slowdown, its chief operating officer said.

The downsized company will plow into Brazil a good part of the resources generated by the recent $1.8 billion sale of its Mexican operations to AT&T, NII Holdings COO and Nextel Brazil president, Gokul Hemmady, told Reuters.

Charter-Time Warner Cable deal could spawn an online video service

Would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc executives are exploring whether to launch an online video service as part of its combination with larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc, in what would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry.

The $56 billion takeover announced on Tuesday would make Charter the No. 2 U.S. Internet and cable company after Comcast Corp. Charter's top shareholder John Malone, a cable industry pioneer, is on record as being a fan of streaming TV over the Internet.

Vodafone investors open to Liberty deal

Reaction stands in contrast to previous occasions when talk of a deal sent shares tumbling

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Some of the biggest investors in Vodafone say they are open to a European tie-up with Liberty Global, as the British company is now in a stronger position to negotiate a deal with John Malone's cable group.

Shares in the world's second largest mobile operator hit a 14-year high last week after Liberty's billionaire chairman Malone said a much-mooted union would be a "great fit" for his company.

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