The daily business briefing: December 21, 2017
Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion to challenge Uber overseas, the Commerce Department sides with Boeing against Bombardier, and more
China's Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion to challenge Uber abroad
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has raised more than $4 billion to help it expand overseas in an increasingly strong challenge to U.S. rival Uber. Didi's latest round of funding values the company at more than $50 billion. Didi is on track to launch in Mexico next year in its first foray overseas, and the company said Tuesday that it was working on offering its service in Taiwan. Didi said it planned to use the new cash to "scale up investments in AI (artificial intelligence) talent and technologies, to further build up its intelligent driving and smart transportation capabilities, and to bring more innovative and diversified transportation services to broader communities around the world."
Trump administration upholds 300 percent duties on Bombardier jets
The Commerce Department has upheld proposed 300 percent duties on Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier's CSeries jets, a win for U.S. rival Boeing, which complained that Bombardier was benefiting from Canadian government subsidies and dumping planes abroad below cost. The decision, which had been expected and was made public Wednesday, is not the last word. The U.S. International Trade Commission will have final say on whether Boeing was harmed by Bombardier's practices in February. Boeing said the Trump administration's decision validated its complaint that Bombardier was unfairly hurting Boeing and its workers. Bombardier said the Commerce Department was unfairly ignoring the common practice of offering "launch pricing" for new aircraft.
AT&T, Comcast promise to share tax savings through worker bonuses
AT&T on Wednesday said it would pass along some of its savings under the newly passed GOP tax overhaul to its workers in the form of a special $1,000 bonus to more than 200,000 non-management workers. AT&T also said it would invest $1 billion more in the U.S. in 2018. "This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying job," said AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. Comcast announced similar bonuses for employees, and Fifth Third Bancorp, Wells Fargo, and Boeing also said they would share tax savings with workers. The Communication Workers of America union called on employers to guarantee the $4,000 wage increases GOP lawmakers projected.
Trump commutes sentence of former kosher meat-processing executive
President Trump on Wednesday commuted the 27-year prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former owner of the biggest kosher meat-processing plant in the U.S., for financial crimes including bank fraud and money laundering. Hundreds of his employees were arrested on charges of working in the country illegally. Rubashkin was sentenced in 2009, but politicians from the left and the right said the punishment was cruel and unusual, calling it disproportionate to his crimes. Rubashkin will not have to serve the remaining 19 years of his sentence, although the commutation is not a pardon. His conviction will stand, and he will still have to make restitution payments.
Chipotle stock plunges after illnesses at L.A. restaurant
Chipotle Mexican Grill shares dropped by 4.6 percent on Wednesday after an illness outbreak at a Los Angeles restaurant renewed food safety fears about the chain's restaurants. The stock plunge was the worst for the company in two months. The city health department said it was investigating reports of employees at a single Chipotle location experiencing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chris Arnold, a spokesman for Chipotle, said the sick employees were being kept off duty under company policy. "As a precautionary measure, we have implemented heightened preventative procedures at this restaurant," he said in an email to Bloomberg. The restaurant remained open.