Afternoon Coffee: Google to Invest $550M in JD.com, Nestlé and XPO to Build ‘Digital Warehouse’

Cappuccino served in a ceramic cup against a dark background

Google plans to invest $550 million in JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce giant, Reuters reports. The move will support Google’s expansion in Asian markets, as well as make it more competitive against rivals like Amazon and Alibaba. What the partnership will not accomplish, however, is any loosening of the current censorship of Google’s main services.

Drones, Robotic Arms, Kit Kats

Nestlé and XPO Logistics will partner on building a $74.5-million futuristic warehouse in Leicestershire, the Financial Times reports. Think flying drones that do inventory checks and robotic arms that pick goods off the shelves and pack them for transport. The warehouse will also use predictive data for the purposes of workforce planning and customer demand forecasting.

Tremendous Tariffs!

In news we should have seen coming, President Trump has threatened Beijing with tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods, the New York Times reports. This latest escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute follows Beijing’s decision to impose their own tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods, in retaliation to U.S. tariffs.

China’s tariffs would target U.S. agricultural goods, including beef, poultry, tobacco and soybeans. It is unclear whether Beijing will respond with yet another round of tariffs. After all, as the NYT article points out, “Mr. Trump has escalated his trade threats to such a level that China acan now no longer issue a proportional response. Last year, the United States exported only $130.4 billion of goods to China in total.”

Apple Delays OLED Screens

Apple’s decision to produce more iPhones using cheaper, liquid-crystal displays is of course good news for certain suppliers. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, this decision to stick with the old display technology may hurt LCD producers that have invested in organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), which use semiconductive material. Apple will likely transition to the newer, most costly screen eventually, but further delays may be down the road.

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