Category Archives: Business

Business: Why Arizona is Now A Technology Hub

Arizona has rapidly become an epicenter for electric vehicle and self-driving tech, and it’s now the site of three big new semiconductor factories as the U.S. struggles to increase production during the global chip shortage. In 2020, Phoenix attracted more residents than any other U.S. city for the fourth year in a row, as highly skilled workers flocked to the lower cost of living and wide open spaces of the Grand Canyon State. From Lucid Motors to ElectraMeccanica, Intel to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, 634 companies relocated or expanded in Arizona between 2015 and 2020. CNBC asked the governor, big companies, and Arizonans about why the tech boom is happening and how it’s changing the state.

Analysis: Why The World Is Running Out Of Sand

Even though sand can be found in nearly every single country on Earth, the world could soon face a shortage of this crucial, under-appreciated commodity. Sand use around the world has tripled in the last twenty years, according to the UNEP. That’s far greater than the rate at which sand is being replenished. Here’s what’s behind the looming sand crisis.

Analysis: The Microchip Shortage Limiting Autos

While the automotive industry was ravaged early on in the pandemic thanks to lockdown measures and a dramatic decrease in travel, it more recently has begun facing a new problem: a shortage of microchips.

Microchips are vital to much of a vehicle’s key functions, such as engine control, transmission, infotainment systems, and more. In the last half of 2020 and now in 2021, vehicle sales recovered fairly quickly, faster than automakers anticipated.

Suddenly, they were struggling to meet demand. At the same time, chipmakers were experiencing supply shortages and increased demand from other sectors, such as personal electronics. With the resulting lack of microchip supply, automakers have been forced to slow production, even on their most popular models. For several automakers, the shortage is expected to cost them $1 billion or more — and even still, the alternatives are worryingly few.

Analysis: The Politics Of Germany’s Auto Industry

The German automotive industry has long played a key role in the country’s prosperity. It employs hundreds of thousands and enjoys cozy relationships with politicians.

But the COVID-19 crisis threw a wrench in the works. What’s next? The prosperous German auto industry has long been lagging when it comes to innovating new automotive technologies. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the industry is turning to decision-makers for help. But just how far will policymakers go to help the car companies?

Arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit them hard, the auto industry is demanding the postponement of stricter CO2 limits and a purchase premium for new vehicles. They maintain that nothing less than the prosperity of the whole country is at stake. But is Germany’s success really dependent on the auto industry? And how much blame does industrial policy bear for the failures of the automotive companies?

Analysis: How China Came To Dominate Rare Earth Minerals (WSJ Video)

Neodymium is critical to making the wheels of a Tesla spin or creating sound in Apple’s Airpods, and China dominates the mining and processing of this rare-earth mineral. So the U.S. and its allies are building their own supply chain. Photo illustration: Clément Bürge/WSJ

Morning News Podcast: India Covid Surge, Worker Incentives And Earnings

A.M. Edition for May 4. WSJ reporter Krishna Pokharel discusses the state of the coronavirus crisis in India. More earnings are expected today amid recent market growth. Some companies are offering incentives to lure workers back to the office. Marc Stewart hosts.

Travel: Alaska Tourism’s Post-Pandemic Comeback

Alaskan tourism was slammed by the pandemic, including charter tours. One business owner said he typically had as many as 700 tourists a summer, but last year there were just 12. In a push to get tourism to rebound, Alaska is offering to vaccinate tourists for free and with so many already vaccinated there, many are hopeful for the upcoming season.

Air Travel: The Rise Of Emirates (CNBC Video)

Emirates, the long-haul carrier known for its luxury services, has set new standards for the way we travel. Like airlines everywhere, the carrier has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep customers safe and on board, Emirates adopted a variety of new protocols. The company also pivoted to cargo shipments to keep itself afloat. So will Emirates bounce back from the economic fallout pummeling the airline industry?

Online Shopping: ‘Digital Coupon Codes’ – Making Curators Millions (Video)

Promo code sites have become big business, with digital coupons surpassing paper for the first time in 2020. Major deal sites make millions based almost entirely on commissions from each sale. They don’t sell shopper data and it’s not a scam. In fact, big companies like PayPal and Rakuten are buying up deal sites for billions.

From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major sites what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. With the huge boost in online shopping during the pandemic, deal-finding sites have become a major business. In 2020, Inmar Intelligence found that digital coupons surpassed printed coupons for the first time ever. Also in recent years, behemoths like Goldman Sachs and PayPal have paid hundreds of millions – or even billions – for sites like Slickdeals and Honey that automatically curate coupon codes or offer shoppers cash back for making purchases through their sites.

Even banks like Capital One are getting into the game. The business model is not a scam. All major deal sites say they don’t sell shopper data. Instead, each sale generates a commission for the deal site and for the middleman known as the affiliate marketer – a company that connects the vast world of retailers with deal sites. With nearly 2,000 businesses in the daily deal site space, it’s a crowded industry filled with legitimate businesses as well as plenty of sites that are riddled with ads and expired coupon codes. That’s because regardless of whether a coupon code works, the site that provided the code will get commission for that sale. When the deals are legitimate, however, it can mean big money for shoppers, retailers, and the deal sites.

From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major deal sites, and shoppers, what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. Watch the video to learn how saving consumers’ money makes big bucks for companies in the vast world of online deal hunting.