In today’s Bulldog wrapup:
- GSK reportedly will lay off 1,000 in China
- Lenovo takes on Xiaomi with own cheap smartphone in India
- Feds seek public input on coastal NC wind energy study
- China shutting down virtual private networks
- Box prices its IPO
- Denmark may ban Uber
- Verizon reports a quarterly loss
- Sources say GSK plans job cuts in China
Several news sites in China are reporting that GlaxoSmithKline intends to make job cuts in China where the company was hit by a bribery scandal.
As many as 1,000 jobs could be cut.
Recently GSK also announced job cuts in the U.S. with many of those taking place in the Triangle.
Read more at: “”a href=”external_link-1”}}http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/glaxosmithkline-let-go-around-1000-employees-china-sources-say
- Lenovo takes on Xiamoi
Lenovo and Xiaomi are battling for the No. 3 spot in the global smartphone market, and Xiamoi has grown rapidly as a provider of cheap phones. But in India, Lenovo is countering with its own cheap smartphone – the A6000 – at $113.
Just last week, Xiaomi unveiled its move into higher-price smartphones.
“By introducing the A6000, Lenovo has also fired a warning salvo across the bows of competitors Micromax and Xiaomi, which recently introduced their own brand of competition-crushing phones, namely the Yureka (about $145) and the Redmi Note 4G (about $160),” reports ZDNet.
Read more at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/lenovo-goes-head-to-head-with-xiaomi-introduces-indias-cheapest-smartphone/
- Feds seek public input on coastal NC wind energy study
The federal government is inviting the public to comment on an environmental assessment that supports wind energy development off North Carolina.
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday that it is releasing the assessment supporting a potential leasing of more than 300,000 acres in federal waters off the coast.
The public can submit comments through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s website or attend three public meetings in February along the coast.
The North Carolina Sierra Club issued a statement saying that wind energy is a better offshore energy option than drilling. The environmental group’s Zak Keith says the potential leasing gives coastal areas a chance to create jobs and invest in clean energy.
- China blocks VPN services that skirt online censorship
Tech specialists and companies are reporting that China is blocking VPN services that let users skirt online censorship of popular websites such as Google and Facebook.
The virtual private network provider Golden Frog wrote on its blog that the controls have hit a wide swath of VPN services. Another provider, Astrill, informed its users that the controls have started hitting iPhone access to services such as Gmail this year.
The Chinese government blocks thousands of websites to prevent what it deems politically sensitive information from reaching Chinese users. Many foreigners in China as well as millions of Chinese depend on VPNs to connect to servers outside the country and access blocked information.
China-based entrepreneur Richard Robinson said the controls have particularly hurt small- and medium-sized foreign companies.
- Box to make market debut after delayed IPO prices at $14
Online storage provider Box has wrapped up its long-delayed IPO at $14 per share, setting up a test of investors’ appetite for a rapidly growing technology company that hasn’t proven it can make money.
The terms reached late Thursday topped a target range of $11 to $13 per share pegged by Box’s bankers last week.
The pricing increase reflects strong demand for the 12.5 million shares sold in Box Inc.’s initial public offering. A more revealing measure of the interest in the shares will come Friday morning when they begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BOX.” If the stock surges, Box’s bankers are likely to exercise an option to sell nearly 1.9 million more shares.
Box, though, settled for a lower IPO price than what the company thought it was worth last March. At that time, an internal appraisal estimated the fair value of Box’s stock at $17.85 per share, according to the company’s IPO filings.
- Denmark likely to ban ridesharing service Uber
Two months after the ride-hailing app Uber was introduced in Denmark, the country’s transport minister has said the service likely will be banned because it violates Danish law.
Magnus Heunicke says the concept of car drivers acting like taxi chauffeurs and communicating with potential customers via a mobile application was “contrary … to what we can be allowed in Denmark.”
Heunicke said Thursday he was not opposed to the ides of the service but that Denmark has “clear requirements” for ensuring consumer safety and the training of employees.
A formal ban is subject to the outcome of a police investigation, instigated by the Danish Transport Authority which reported it to the police after the service opened in November.
Uber has been banned in several countries and cities in Europe.
- Verizon reports 4Q loss on pension costs
Verizon Communications Inc. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $2.23 billion, hurt by pension and severance costs.
Revenue rose 7 percent, beating expectations, helped by strong wireless subscriber growth and demand for its high-speed FiOS Internet services.
Verizon, which bought out its wireless division from British cellphone carrier Vodafone Group last year, said it added 2.1 million net retail connections during the quarter. It added 672,000 net postpaid phones and 1.4 million new tablets.
The New York-based company said it had a loss of 54 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 71 cents per share. A year ago net income totaled $5.07 billion, or $1.76 per share. The results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for earnings of 71 cents per share.
The largest U.S. cellphone carrier said revenue rose 7 percent to $33.19 billion from $31.07 billion last year, topping Street forecasts. Analysts expected $32.53 billion, according to Zacks. The company forecast a 4 percent revenue increase in 2015.