The six new companies can also seek their own IPOs. Also: Disney is canceling the Metaverse division and Apple is introducing a new payment option.
Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
The Chinese Alibaba Group is planning a massive restructuring for the first time in the company’s 24-year history: the e-commerce group will be broken up into six divisions under one holding company. The six smaller companies represent Alibaba’s main activities, including domestic e-commerce, international e-commerce, cloud computing, logistics, online entertainment, and local services like grocery delivery. After the reorganization, Alibaba CEO and chairman Daniel Zhang will continue to fill those roles for the holding company, but each of the six business groups will have their own CEO and board of directors, according to Alibaba.
Each of the six entities will also have the flexibility to raise outside capital and pursue its own IPO, the company said. The move comes as Alibaba, whose shares are listed in New York and Hong Kong, is struggling to restore investor confidence. Stocks have fallen sharply in recent years amid China’s economic slowdown and Beijing’s crackdown on internet companies. [Mehr bei The Information, CNBC und Wall Street Journal]
On Founder scene: Only a few startups lure an investor with a pure food product. One company that has managed to do this, however, comes from a village near Jena and produces broths and sauces. J. Kinski could with Shio Capital even one of the early partners Gorillas win as VC. Our colleague Lara Jäkel researched what is so special about J.Kinski. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the night:
Layoffs: Disney has eliminated the entire Metaverse division as part of the planned 7000 layoffs. Former CEO Bob Chapek launched the unit, led by Mike White, who was previously responsible for Disney’s consumer experiences and platforms. All 50 employees under White have now lost their jobs, but White himself remains with the company. However, his new role is unclear so far. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal]
Apple introduced the “Buy now, pay later” payment option. It allows users to split purchases into four payments spread over a six-week period. The shares of Affirm, which offers a comparable service, then closed seven percent weaker. Apple Pay Later users can manage, track, and repay their loans in their Apple Wallet. Loans between 50 and 1000 US dollars are possible. There is no interest and no fees. [Mehr bei CNBC]
FTX-Co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly paid at least $40 million in bribes to a Chinese citizen in 2021 to steal the trading accounts of Alameda Research to release. At that time, over a billion dollars in cryptocurrencies had been frozen by the Chinese law enforcement authorities. This emerges from a lawsuit filed in the United States on Tuesday. Bankman-Fried has previously been charged with fraud and money laundering related to the insolvent crypto exchange FTX. [Mehr bei CNBC und Wall Street Journal]
Infineon has raised its forecast for the fiscal year. The Munich chip manufacturer closed the past quarter better than expected. In particular, business with the automotive and industrial sectors was positive. The company announced that group sales in 2022/23 will be well above the previously expected EUR 15 to 16 billion. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]
Lily has started building molds for the first production aircraft, which will then also be certified. This is what Daniel Wiegand, co-founder of the air taxi startup, told the “Handelsblatt”. Maiden flights with a pilot on board are to be launched in the second half of next year. However, the Munich company still has to overcome one hurdle: According to Wiegand, around 300 million US dollars are still missing in financing for the realization of the last and decisive steps. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]
Layoffs: Lucid is shedding 18 percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization. The US automaker, which produces the all-electric luxury sedan Air, recently disappointed analysts’ expectations. The layoffs, which will affect 1,300 employees, will be completed by the end of the second quarter. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: In the US, the ban of Tiktok discussed. We asked ourselves: How are German startups doing whose business depends on Tiktok? [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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