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Goldman Sachs, Visa, BlackRock and Coca-Cola have also agreed to disclose workforce data on gender, race and ethnicity following pressure from New York retirement funds and the city comptroller. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The pledge follows a request by comptroller Scott Stringer and the funds to 67 S&P 100 companies to “match their words with concrete actions” after they made public statements supporting racial equality and diversity and inclusion. The companies are expected to make the information public when they file their next EEO-1 Report, a mandatory federal survey of employee diversity. If they fail to follow through on the commitment, they “risk potential submission of shareholder proposals or opposition to the election of director nominees standing for re-election at the next annual shareowner meeting,” according to a news release from Stringer’s office.

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The longtime sneaker executive headed Kanye West’s Adidas line for just under a year, and formed the company’s partnerships with Beyoncé Knowles and Pharrell Williams. (Complex)

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Talking point: Yeezy—which had an estimated US$1.3 billion in revenue last year— Ivy Park and Billionaire Boys Club/Ice Cream all run on Shopify Plus, the e-commerce platform’s offering for larger merchants. So does Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s makeup brand, one of the platform’s most prominent users.  Wexler has spent the last decade leading Adidas’s entertainment and influencer marketing efforts, and his connections and reputation—he “changed the game with our adidas deal,” Kanye tweeted on Wednesday—could help build that roster of stars.

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The deal attracted new backers for the Beijing-based AI firm, including U.S. technology conglomerate Cisco Systems and Hong Kong-based PC maker Lenovo. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Sequoia Capital remains the firm’s biggest outside shareholder. (South China Morning Post)

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Talking point: The deal defies the drop in venture capital around the world in the months since the COVID-19 outbreak. VC deals in China have plunged by 50 to 57 percentage points since the start of the crisis in the first two months of this year, and seed-stage funding is projected to retract 22 per cent globally in the first quarter. 4Paradigm’s ability to capture a chunk of the fewer dollars on offer may speak to investors’ priorities. The firm’s software lets companies across industries like health care, finance and manufacturing run complex algorithms on their data, and can be used for predictive analytics—tools that are proving useful amid the pandemic.

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Facebook has secured an exclusive deal with Plessey, one of the few AR display manufacturers, to buy all of its displays. Apple had previously tried to acquire the company. (The Information)

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Talking point: This deal allows Facebook to get the benefits of Plessey’s devices without facing the regulatory scrutiny that comes with an acquisition. It comes as Kitchener Ont.-based North, another AR-display maker, is looking for its own buyer. So is Florida-based Magic Leap, which has raised over US$2 billion. Industry-wide, AR firms are facing difficulties with coronavirus-related factory closures and tariffs from China. The tech giants remain keenly interested in the technology, however. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted that, in this decade, “we will get breakthrough AR glasses that will redefine our relationship with technology,” and Amazon and Snapchat are rolling out or considering their own products.

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CEO Mary Barra unveiled the plan in a presentation to investors on Wednesday. The Detroit-based automaker also revealed its new Ultium battery; its capacity is expected to range from 50 kilowatt hours, the industry standard, to 200 kWh, which would be the highest on the market. (The Verge)

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Talking point: GM is banking on the green and autonomous-car industry to help it regain profitability, after the balance sheet drag of strikes and plant closures. The investment flies in the face of Peugeot CEO Carlos Tavares’ belief that electric vehicles appeal only to “green addicts,” and warnings that their popularity is tied to precarious subsidies. In Canada, zero-emissions-vehicle registrations increased 115 per cent between 2017 and 2018, according to Statistics Canada, though they still accounted for just two per cent of new vehicles on the market in 2018. GM will also have to contend with Tesla’s dominance in the space. The company sold about 47,300 of its Model 3 in the fourth quarter of 2019; the Chevrolet Bolt was the next-best-selling electric vehicle—after Tesla’s Model X and Model S—with about 3,300 units sold.

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The first four days of the hearing featured Crown and defence submissions on whether the accusations the U.S. has levelled against Meng Wanzhou would constitute crimes in Canada. Defence lawyer Richard Peck told the court the case was “unique” because the victim—HSBC—was at risk because of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which Canada “has roundly rejected.” He said, “This is the type of case that tests our system.” (Business in Vancouver)

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Talking point: The case, which began on Monday, is the first stage of a historic legal proceeding. Meng’s defence lawyers argued that U.S. records on the Huawei case were “silent” on reputational risk, while Crown counsel argued, “Fraud, not sanctions violations, is at the heart of this case.” Meng’s detention has been an aggravating factor in tense relations between Ottawa and Beijing, and between China and the U.S.; while President Donald Trump signed an initial trade deal with China last week, he has said he would intervene in Meng’s case if it would help get a better deal between the two countries. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes may take a few months to issue a decision on the double-criminality test. Court dates so far are tentatively scheduled until November.

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The company reported its third-quarter earnings Tuesday, one day after full production returned to its U.S. plants. Its net quarterly income was US$2.3 billion—down nine per cent from the same period the year previous—and revenue fell from US$35.8 billion to US$35.5 billion. (New York Times)

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Talking point: Forty-nine thousand unionized workers at GM’s U.S. factories walked off the job on September 16; in the 40 days they were on strike, the company missed out on the production of around 300,000 vehicles. While the walkout, which also affected most of GM’s Mexican and Canadian plants, cost the firm US$1 billion this quarter, it will feel the impact more in the next one, because the strike shut down its North American operations for nearly all of October. The new four-year deal to which the United Auto Workers agreed Friday—which will bump the company’s labour costs by around US$100 million per year, according to analyst estimates—means GM can close three U.S. factories that were making less popular vehicles.

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The NDP leader has latched on to a popular meme on the platform. In the video, he answers the question “Who am I in it for?” by alternately pointing to overlaid answers like “the rich and powerful” and “people,” to a looped sample of the words “nope” and “yup” from California rapper E-40’s 2014 single Choices (Yup). Since Singh uploaded it on his personal TikTok account on Thursday afternoon, it has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. (Vice)

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Talking point: Singh is the only one of the four major party leaders on the youth-oriented video app, which has been downloaded more than a billion times worldwide. (Its China-based owner, ByteDance, doesn’t break out Canadian user numbers.) While all parties are fighting for voters’ digital attention—the Conservatives have focused on Facebook in this campaign; the Liberals have spent heavily on both Facebook and Twitter—they have largely ignored the fast-growing TikTok. That means users searching for the other candidates may find user-generated content that’s not always positive, such as posts about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in brownface. It’s not just young, progressive leaders moving to emerging digital platforms in search of votes; Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s campaign used Xbox ads effectively in the 2018 Ontario election, while U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has a Twitch account.

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Daryl Morey shared a since-deleted photo that said, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” referencing the ongoing protests in the region. On Sunday, he clarified in a series of tweets, “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.” (New York Times)

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Talking point: The Rockets have lost several high-profile partnerships as a result of Morey’s tweet, including with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), which said Sunday it was ending its relationship with the team. NBA partner Tencent Holdings, which streams the league’s games in China thanks to a deal worth a reported US$1.5 billion, said Sunday it will no longer carry Rockets games. The league issued a Chinese-language statement in the country saying it was “extremely disappointed in the inappropriate comment.” Its tone differed from its U.S. statement, where spokesperson Mike Bass said though Morey made clear his views didn’t represent those of the team or the league, “the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them.” China is among the largest markets for the NBA outside of the U.S. Tencent reported 490 million viewers last year, with 21 million people watching Game 6 of the 2019 finals. In comparison, 18.34 million people watched the game on ABC, according to Nielsen.

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Major investors like Apple and Microsoft have yet to sign on to Vision Fund 2, for which SoftBank initially said it would raise US$108 billion. The Japanese conglomerate itself remains the only large contributor to the fund, with a US$38-billion pledge. Despite objections from some senior executives, founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is reportedly determined to go ahead with the plan. (Reuters)

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Talking point: SoftBank’s first Vision Fund, which raised US$97 billion, is the largest tech investment fund in the world. It has generally put at least US$100 million into late-stage private tech companies approaching a public launch—but some of its largest investments have suffered major valuation drops. Its highest-profile recent black eye came courtesy of WeWork, into which the Vision Fund invested US$10.65 billion. The office-rental company  cancelled its IPO in the face of investor skepticism over its corporate structure and lack of profitability, and on Thursday announced it would cut between 10 and 25 per cent of its workforce. Among the Vision Fund’s other investments, Uber’s shares are 34 per cent lower than when it listed, and Slack shares are down 41 per cent from their June high.