Baidu: An Offering for English Speakers
Baidu (BIDU), China's largest search engine with about 70 percent of the market, has launched an English-language blog called Baidu Beat. The blog gives readers overseas a window into the interests of China's Internet users, as derived from search statistics. Users of Baidu Beat can send feedback, though they won't be allowed to post comments directly to the blog. Baidu and other Chinese Net companies are expanding globally after dominating their home market. Tencent Holdings, which has 637 million user accounts for its flagship QQ instant messaging program, in December said it will offer the service in English, Japanese, and French.
Edison International: More Solar for California
Southern California Edison (EIX) signed contracts with SunPower (SPWRA) and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures to build seven solar power plants, one of which will be among the largest solar photovoltaic installations in the U.S. The new facilities, slated to open by 2016, will be built in Kern, Los Angeles, and Merced counties. They will provide 831 megawatts, enough to power about 460,000 homes. The bigger deal went to SunPower, which will build three plants with total capacity of 711 MW. Terms of the contracts weren't disclosed.
Goldman Sachs: Opening the Kimono (a Bit)
Goldman Sachs (GS) on Jan. 11 said it will disclose more information about its finances. The firm's plans were outlined in a report by a committee of employees formed after U.S. regulators sued the firm for fraud last year. The changes, to be adopted after Jan. 19, include reporting revenue in four categories instead of three and presenting a simplified balance sheet showing assets by business unit and activity. The new reporting system will separate the revenue and profit the firm makes trading with its own money from what it earns from trades on behalf of clients. Goldman also plans to offer more information on credit risk, operational risk, and capital adequacy.
Myspace: A Social Network for Sale?
Myspace is cutting 47 percent of its staff, about 500 jobs, as owner News Corp. (NWS) prepares for a possible sale, merger, or spinoff of the social-networking site, according to spokeswomen from both companies. The job cuts, disclosed in a statement from Myspace CEO Mike Jones, reflect the company's redirection of the site to help users discover music and videos rather than connect with each other. Myspace has seen an uptick in new and returning users since a late-October redesign, with over 3.3 million new profiles created and a 4 percent increase in mobile users between November and December. Cuts in 2009 reduced Myspace staff by 30 percent.
Airbus: The Biggest Jet Order Ever
Indian carrier IndiGo has signed a preliminary agreement to buy 180 Airbus A320s in what the manufacturer says is the largest jet order in aviation history. Valued at more than $15 billion, the order includes 150 A320s, upgraded with more fuel-efficient engines, to be delivered between 2016 and 2025. Indian domestic air traffic may surge fourfold, to 180 million passengers annually by 2020, the government says. IndiGo, which currently operates 32 Airbus jets, plans to start offering overseas service in August.
On the Move
— Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): CEO Dirk Meyer resigns; interim chief is CFO Thomas Seifert
— Newell Rubbermaid (NWL): CEO Mark Ketchum to retire
— Barclays Corporate (BCS): Barclays Capital's Paul Emney appointed CFO