Weekly Outlook

Our rundown on the most interesting and market-impacting stories this week.

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Biden Looks The Other Way For Chinese Solar Manufacturers

To boost the slowing US solar industry, Biden has ordered that regulators turn a blind eye to potential trade regulation violations by Chinese solar panel manufacturers and let them go unpunished for the next two years. This is with the hopes that an influx of cheap, foreign solar panels into the US will speed up the transition to clean energy. The bill effectively allows Chinese producers to sidestep tariffs that have been set up to level the playing field between them and domestic US producers since Chinese manufacturers are usually state-subsidised and can produce solar panels at a much lower cost. 

Regulators to End Probes into Didi

The Wall Street Journal has reported that regulators are finishing up their investigations into Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, sending the company’s shares surging. Chinese authorities are preparing to lift the ban on the app in the midst of economic fallout resulting from protracted lockdowns around the country due to China’s zero-covid policy. A broad crackdown on Chinese tech companies began at the end of 2020 on the back of Beijing’s concerns over cybersecurity and privacy, as well as the CCP’s “common prosperity” stance. 

Target Gives Poor Outlook for Q2

US retail giant Target has given two surprise dips in a row. The first, an earnings miss in May, saw Target shares drop roughly 25%. More recently, the company has said that it is aiming to reduce inventory by offering discounts, cancelling orders, and paying more attention to expenses. The company expects tighter profits in the short term from its plans to cut its inventory, but expects healthy growth in the second half of the year. Target has also cut its operating margin outlook for Q2, targeting around 2% instead of the previously-reported “wide range” around Q1’s 5.3%.

Twitter To Yield to Musk Demands for User Data

Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter has been fraught with turbulence to say the least. Musk has delayed and threatened to pull out of the deal repeatedly on the back of an assertation that Twitter was underreporting the number of bots in its userbase – which it denies doing so. Twitter has been unwilling to give Musk access to user data citing privacy concerns. However, a source familiar with the deal has indicated that the Twitter board was finally willing to give Musk access to the “full firehose” of Twitter’s internal data. 

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