Business Briefs – June 7, 2018

Commerce Secretary: U.S. Reaches Deal With China’s ZTE

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and China have reached a deal that allows the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. to stay in business in exchange for paying an additional $1 billion in fines and agreeing to let U.S. regulators monitor its operations. The fine comes on top of a roughly $1 billion penalty ZTE has already paid for having sold equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The Wall Street Journal said that with the ZTE matter settled, China’s government will likely approve a deal for Qualcomm to buy NXP Semiconductors. Qualcomm added 1.3 percent to $60.64 and NXP rose 4.8 percent to $120.07.

Google Pledges Not to Use AI For Weapons or Surveillance

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) – Google pledges that it will not use artificial intelligence in applications related to weapons or surveillance, part of a new set of principles designed to govern how it uses AI. Those principles, released by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, commit Google to building AI applications that are “socially beneficial” and that avoid creating or reinforcing bias. Google recently announced Duplex, a human-sounding digital concierge that booked appointments with human receptionists in a demonstration.

Analysis: HUD Plan Would Raise Rents for Poor by 20 Percent

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Housing Secretary Ben Carson says a plan to raise rents for people who get federal housing aid is a result of budget constraints, but that it could see changes depending on funding for the agency. Carson has said the plan would boost self-sufficiency in low-income households by pushing more people to find work. But an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds families will be widely affected. A South Carolina woman says she and her four children could end up homeless.

Feds: Tesla Accelerated, Didn’t Brake Ahead of Fatal Crash

Federal investigators say a Tesla SUV using the company’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system accelerated just before crashing into a California freeway barrier, killing its driver. The National Transportation Safety Board also says crash data shows the SUV did not brake or steer away from the barrier in the three seconds before the March 23 collision in Silicon Valley. Tesla says Autopilot does not prevent all crashes but makes them less likely to happen.

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Growth Slows in April

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans increased their borrowing in April at the slowest pace in seven months with activity held back by a big slowdown in the category that covers auto and student loans. The Federal Reserve says consumer debt rose by $9.3 billion in April after a gain of $12.3 billion in March. The category that includes credit cards climbed $2.3 billion in April after falling by $1.1 billion in March.