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Latest Economy News


Research shows organisations expect to ramp up tech investment post Covid-19

Investment in new tech by businesses is likely to increase despite uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic, new research suggests.

A survey of IT professionals by CWJobs as part of its annual Confidence Index found that almost half (49%) of senior staff believe they will increase their tech budget in the wake of the outbreak.


Alibaba Cloud to inject $28 billion into cloud infrastructure

Alibaba has announced plans to plough $28 billion into its cloud division over the next three years following a surge in demand for cloud services that assist remote working.

The majority of the investment will fund an expansion of Alibaba’s cloud operating system and servers and chips for its data centres. Alibaba Cloud currently has 63 availability zones, located in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.


Schneider Electric reopens China factories closed due to coronavirus

Electrical equipment and data centre infrastructure giant Schneider Electric has said the financial impact of coronavirus on its quarterly revenues could reach €300m after factory closures in China temporarily halted production.

The company was forced to shut down facilities in China in response to the outbreak, 80 percent of which have now reopened.


UK businesses in chronic need of deep learning skills

British businesses are in dire need of more deep learning talent and risk falling behind other countries if the skills gap is not bridged, according to new research.

AI firm Peltarion surveyed UK and Nordic firms about the impact of the AI skills shortage on their businesses. 83 percent of the AI decision-makers surveyed said the deep learning skills shortage is hampering business productivity and competitiveness. 49 percent said AI projects had been delayed due to the gap, while 44 percent said the shortage was preventing further investment in the technology.


Donald Trump to warn UK against ‘discriminatory’ tax on online tech giants

The US Treasury Secretary has also highlighted the prospect of retaliatory trade tariffs if the UK presses ahead with the planned levy. Donald Trump will heap pressure on Boris Johnson to drop a tax on US tech giants, Washington indicated as the UK insisted it will implement the measure in April.


Facebook set to create 1000 jobs by the end of 2020 in the UK 

Facebook plans to hire 1,000 more people in the UK by the end of 2020, with a large number working on technologies to remove harmful content. The social network said more than half of the recruits will work in technology-focused roles across software engineering, product design and data science, as well as developing the WhatsApp app, and Workplace, its business-skewed version of Facebook.


Tech investors in the UK helped create eight ‘unicorns’ in 2019

The UK created eight unicorns in 2019 – companies worth more than one billion US dollars – as investment into the tech sector hit new record highs, research has found. Investment in UK tech hit 13.2 billion dollars (£10.1 billion) last year, with the speed of growth faster than both the US and China and outstripping fundraisers in France and Germany.


Technology convention CES a huge opportunity for UK businesses says, trade minister 

Technology convention CES is a “huge opportunity” for British businesses to showcase themselves to the world, the UK’s International Trade Minister has said. Graham Stuart is leading an official delegation of 67 companies representing the UK at the Las Vegas tech show, which opens on Tuesday. The four-day event attracts more than 150,000 visitors and is one of the biggest events in the industry calendar.


Trade body techUK serves up tech-focused manifesto

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will have noticed that the UK election race is heating up.

With the Conservative Party unveiling its (relatively anaemic) manifesto over the weekend, all three of the UK’s major political parties have released their policy pledges and priorities should they be victorious on December 12.


MPs urge Chancellor to push forward robotics tax breaks

The Chancellor should bring forward proposals for new tax incentives to encourage investment in robotics to boost productivity, a group of MPs has urged.

In a new report, the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee warns that if the transition to a more automated workplace is managed badly, entire groups and regions could be left behind and British businesses could find themselves uncompetitive.


108,000 retail jobs lost to automation and e-commerce since 2011

More than 100,000 high street retail jobs have been lost to automation and e-commerce since 2011, according to a report.

Women and regional workers were most affected as retailers cut traditionally female customer service positions in favour of extra warehouse roles which had mostly gone to men, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) said.


First US-regulated token sale raises $23 million

Blockchain outfit Blockstack has raised $23 million in a Securities and Exchange Commission-approved token sale, the first time an ICO has been approved by the regulator.

In June, the Commission granted the decentralised app platform permission to sell its tokens under Regulation A+ — an exemption that allows smaller companies to raise up to $50 million from the public and not just accredited investors. Compared to traditional IPOs, Regulation A+ offerings have lenient disclosure requirements.