TECH POINT : Faraday Future vs Tesla, Dell back on track, Google balloons in Kenya...

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07/06/2018 | 05:03 pm
Here is a quick recap of tech-related news that has drawn our attention this week.

Faraday Future. Still alive. Chinese car maker - and competitor of Tesla - Faraday hasn't said its last word yet. Despite a tough year with management changes, financial problems and the arrival of a new main shareholder, the production of its model FF91 is about to start. The company must create a new image for itself since we all still remember the painful moment during the CES 2017 presentation when the car door never opened. Fail. But the company wants to move on and focus on its initial project which is to provide a global mobility ecosystem. In an environment where more and more competitors are rising, only time will tell if Faraday will succeed at its project.

Tesla. 5.000 cars per week, done! Elon Musk said on Sunday in an email to his employees that they made it, they finally produced five thousand cars in a single week. In addition, 2.000 Model S and X are assembled every week. The company approximately had a six-month delay regarding its initial schedule. Meanwhile, Panasonic, which provides batteries, said they were willing to invest more in the ‘gigafactory’, the giant battery factory in Nevada. Will stock prices boom?

Dell. Back on track. After having removed the stock from the financial markets in 2013, the company will now introduce the stock again. The new Dell shares will replace the shares of its subsidiary VMWare. One VMWare share will be traded against 1.3665 Dell shares or $109 in cash. This is a $21.7 billion deal. The big winner remains Michael Dell, who controlled around 15% of the company capital in 2013, valued at $3 billion. He now owns half of the $70 billion company valuation, well done to him!

ZTE. One month to breath. The Chinese supplier will resume some of its operations until the 1st of August. The Trump administration granted the company permission to continue to operate existing networks and equipment in the U.S. A step in the right direction. However, the main sanction is still in place and the company can’t export American equipment or include it in its products. As a reminder, this measure was established after the embargo violation against Iran and North Korea. The stock price is still 60% under its mid-April level.

Google. Kenya will use balloons to connect its network. The project Loon idea was born at Google in 2013 and derived from the will to connect the half of the world that doesn’t have access to the internet. In order to achieve this, a balloon inflated with helium flies away with electronic components of a telephone relay to establish a broadband internet network. Kenya will use this to set up an internet network in its rural area, which doesn't exist right now.

Sydney. No more passports? Sydney airport is experiencing a new system that allows passengers to be face scanned, without having to show any passport or boarding pass. Airline company Qantas is going to be the first one ever to test the technology. The company is betting on it and hope that passengers won't have to show documents anymore. At an airport that has about 43 million passengers a year, this kind of technology can smoothen traffic and make everyone save heaps of time.
Thibault Lemler
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