The world this week--Business
Meta reported record quarterly revenue of 34.1bn dollars, of which sales from advertising made up 98.5%.
Net profit rose by 164%, to 11.6bn dollars.
Mark Zuckerberg noted the savings made from his “year of efficiency”, and said that artificial intelligence was improving the business.
The good results were tempered by news that dozens of American states are suing Meta, alleging that its apps, such as Facebook, are deliberately designed to be addictive to children.
Surging revenue from cloud computing contributed to a 27% jump in Microsoft’s quarterly net profit, year on year.
Satya Nadella, the CEO, said the company was reaping the gains from using AI models developed by OpenAI for its platforms.
Alphabet’s cloud division, by contrast, underperformed in the quarter.
However, overall revenue and profit at Google’s parent company came in above forecasts, driven by digital-ad sales.
Open AI, in which Microsoft has a 49% stake, could be valued at as much as 86bn dollars after a possible sale of shares, according to reports.
That would make the developer of ChatGPT one of the most valuable privately held firms in the world, behind the likes of SpaceX and ByteDance.
The Chinese authorities have reportedly launched an investigation into the tax affairs and land use of Foxconn, which assembles the iPhone in China.
China’s CSI 300 stockmarket index fell to its lowest level since 2019, taking its losses for the year to 10%.
Investors are rattled by financial problems in the property industry.
Country Garden, China’s biggest developer, has defaulted on a dollar bond for the first time.
Kokusai Electric, which supplies equipment to semiconductor manufacturers, made its stockmarket debut on the Tokyo exchange.
Its share price jumped by 28%, valuing the company at 542bn yen (3.6bn dollars) and making it the biggest IPO in Japan for five years.
Chevron undertook its biggest ever acquisition when it announced that it is buying Hess, an oil and gas company that has its headquarters in New York, for 53bn dollars.
The deal, hot on the heels of ExxonMobil’s 59.5bn dollars offer for Pioneer, gives Chevron access to the booming oilfields in Guyana’s offshore waters.