The daily business briefing: August 10, 2023

Biden signs order banning advanced technology investment in China, Disney raises prices as streaming losses continue, and more

President Biden promotes Inflation Reduction Act
(Image credit: Ramsay de Give / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

1. Biden signs order banning some China technology investment

President Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order proposing new restrictions on investment and the transfer of expertise in sensitive high-tech industries in China that could be used to benefit the country's military. The Biden administration said the order aimed to protect national security by prohibiting venture capital and private equity firms from investing in Chinese companies working on semiconductors and other microelectronics, quantum computers and advanced artificial intelligence applications. The order comes at a tense moment in U.S.-China relations. China said it was part of an ongoing push by Washington to contain its rise, accusing the United States of trying to "politicize and weaponize trade."

The Washington Post The New York Times

2. Disney raises prices as streaming losses continue

Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday reported that its streaming losses narrowed to $512 million in the most-recent quarter, as Disney+ lost about 11.7 million subscribers worldwide, leaving it with 146.1 million. Disney has now lost more than $11 billion on streaming since 2019, when it introduced Disney+. CEO Bob Iger is shifting the entertainment giant's strategy to make streaming profitable, steering away from the expensive marketing campaigns necessary to sign up more paying customers and instead working on getting more money from existing Disney+ and Hulu subscribers. Disney hiked the price for ad-free Disney+ access to $11 a month in December, from $8. The company is raising the price of the ad-free version again, to $14 per month.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Los Angeles Times The New York Times

3. Novo Nordisk agrees to buy Inversago Pharma

Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk has agreed to buy Inversago Pharma for up to $1.1 billion, the companies announced Thursday. The final price of Inversago, which makes experimental obesity and diabetes treatments, will depend on progress toward development and sales goals. Novo Nordisk reported quarterly earnings on Thursday, saying its net profit increased 43% as sales jumped 30%. The Danish company is working on collaborations to get new technologies into its pipeline, even as it's struggling to keep up with demand for Wegovy, a popular weight-loss medicine. The company said in May it would collaborate with ElevateBio LLC on gene-editing therapies for rare diseases and obesity-linked disorders, according to Bloomberg.


4. Stock futures rise ahead of key inflation report

U.S. stock futures gained early Thursday ahead of key inflation data seen as a clue to the Federal Reserve's next decision on interest rates. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.5% at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 0.6%. The Labor Department is scheduled to release the July consumer price index at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect an increase of 0.2% compared to June, and 3.3% inflation on an annual basis, adding to indications that the Fed's aggressive campaign to raise borrowing costs is working to slow the economy and bring down inflation. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively, on Wednesday. The Nasdaq fell 1.2%, as shares of major components Nvidia, Tesla, and Facebook parent company Meta fell sharply, according to The Wall Street Journal.

CNBC The Wall Street Journal

5. Alibaba shares rise after quarterly report smashes expectations

U.S.-traded shares of China's Alibaba jumped 3.5% in pre-market trading Thursday after the e-commerce giant reported 14% revenue growth in the latest quarter compared to the same period last year. The revenue increase was the company's biggest since the third quarter of 2021, according to Refinitiv data. Profit was up 51%, year-on-year. The company's revenue and profit exceeded analysts' expectations. Alibaba made progress in its push into overseas markets, with its international retail revenue rising 60% to $2.4 billion. "The strong showing is a boost for Alibaba's comeback effort, after a lethargic year in which it fought post-Covid economic turbulence, up-and-comers like PDD Holdings Inc. and regulatory curbs on its main business," Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg CNBC

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.