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First major Chinese company suspends business sales in Russia & Ukraine

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Chinese drone company, DJI halts sales in Russia and Ukraine amidst fears they could be used to cause harm

In a short statement, DJI says they will “temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine”.

Though some Chinese banks have halted financial dealings in Russia, DJI is the first major company to pause business operations in the region, despite the strong stance the Chinese government has had on avoiding criticism of the war.

A press release last week from DJI condemns the use of drones for military purposes, stating, “our products are made to improve people’s lives and benefit the world, and we absolutely deplore any use of our products to cause harm”.

“We will terminate our business relationship with [distributors, resellers, and other business partners] if they cannot adhere to this commitment.”

Analysts say the drone company wants to appear neutral in the war and believe paused operations by the world’s largest commercial drone-maker is unusual for a major Chinese company.

Speaking to Reuters, a DJI spokesperson says that “DJI abhors any use of our drones to cause harm, and we are temporarily suspending sales in these countries in order to help ensure no-one uses our drones in combat”.

DJI will continue to assess the use of their products in these regions and whether they have been used for military purposes.

China has sought to remain neutral on the conflict, calling for a peaceful solution. But it has yet to condemn the Russian invasion.

Last month, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister tweeted DJI to say: “Block your products that are helping Russia to kill the Ukrainians.”

An open letter attached to the tweet alleged that Russia was using DJI drones to help target missiles.

The company responded saying the products were only for civilian use.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

Business

Apple exec fired over crude TikTok video

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Apple’s vice president of procurement, Tony Blevins, has been fired from the company after his crude remarks in a TikTok interview went viral

Apple has fired its vice president of procurement, Tony Blevins for making crude comments in a viral TikTok video.

It all started with an interview that went horribly wrong. Creator Daniel Mac posted a video where he asked Blevins what he does for a living, and Blevins response didn’t reference anything respectable.

“I race cars and play golf and fondle big-breasted women. But I take weekends But I take weekends and major holidays off,” Blevins replied.

The video has been viewed over 1.3 million times.

The video didn’t identify Blevins by name and didn’t reference his position at Apple, though Blevins does note that his job offers “a hell of a dental plan.”

But Apple moved quickly to fire Blevins, saying the comments don’t align with their values and respect of women.

Apple is known for being a family-friendly company, so it’s no surprise that they wouldn’t want an employee making crude jokes on TikTok.

This just goes to show that you should be careful what you say on social media.

Ton Blevins

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Business

Apple downgrade signals broader tech problem

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Apple’s downgrade by Bank of America sparked a selloff in tech stocks, sending shares of Alphabet and Microsoft to one-year lows.

The move came as investors rotated out of growth stocks and into more defensive assets to deal with higher interest rates and get ahead of a possible recession.

Apple’s stock fell sharply after the downgrade, while shares of other major tech companies also tumbled.

The selloff in tech stocks weighed on the broader market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both falling sharply.

The market’s declines were broad-based, but the tech sector was hit particularly hard.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell more than 3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both declined more than 2%.

The market’s sell-off was sparked by a downgrade of Apple’s stock by analysts at Bank of America.

The downgrade came as investors are increasingly worried about the outlook for the tech sector.

Shares of Apple have fallen sharply this year, and the stock is now down more than 30% from its highs.

Other major tech stocks have also been under pressure, with shares of Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon all down significantly from their highs.

The market’s sell-off on Thursday was a continuation of the recent trend of investors rotating out of growth stocks and into more defensive assets.

The rotation out of growth stocks has been driven by concerns about higher interest rates and a possible recession.

Investors have been flocking to safe-haven assets such as gold and government bonds.

The market’s sell-off on Thursday also came as oil prices fell sharply, with West Texas

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Business

Stadia gaming goes in Google cost-cutting

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Google’s digital gaming service Stadia is shutting down, the latest casualty in the company’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts.

Launched in 2019, Stadia ran on phones and the Chrome browser but failed to gain traction with users. In a blog post Thursday,

Google says the company had made “the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

It’s is not the first time Google has shuttered a gaming project.

In 2016, the company closed down its Nexus Player game console. And in 2019, it stopped selling its Stadia controllers and canceled a planned cloud gaming service for smartphones.

With the closure of Stadia, Google becomes the latest company to abandon the cloud gaming market, after a difficult year for the industry and tech stocks.

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