Business Briefs – October 16, 2018

Swallowing $16b Purchase of Flipkart, Walmart Cuts Outlook

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Walmart trimmed its annual profit outlook, citing this year’s $16 billion acquisition of the Indian online retailer Flipkart, its biggest deal ever. The company said on Tuesday, however, that online sales growth would slow to 35 percent, from last quarter’s 40 percent growth.

Check-In With Facial Recognition Now Possible in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (AP) — Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport has unveiled an automated flight check-in system powered by facial recognition technology, as China pushes to integrate biometrics into daily life, raising privacy concerns. Similar efforts are underway at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Facebook Requires U.K. Political Ad Buyers to Reveal Identity

LONDON (AP) — Facebook says anyone who takes out a British political ad on the social media platform will now be forced to reveal their identity, in a bid to increase transparency and curb misinformation. The company said Tuesday that it will also require disclaimers for any British political advertisements, which will be archived for seven years in a publicly accessible database.

As an Oil Giant, Saudi Threats Against U.S. Loom Large

DALLAS (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s status as the biggest oil exporter gives it power to jolt the global economy. That was the country’s message when it warned Washington not to sanction the kingdom over the disappearance of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Industry analysts say Saudi leaders cannot single out the United States for an embargo, but an export cut could hurt the U.S. economy by pushing up global prices. Still, Saudi Arabia is not expected to take that step.

California Agency, Gas Tax Backers Worked Closely Together

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As the battle to overturn California’s gas tax increase intensified, emails obtained by AP show the State Transportation Agency coordinated frequently with the public affairs firm working to block the repeal. Three ethics experts say the emails raise concerns that the agency’s relationship with the firm was too close. But none saw a clear violation of campaign laws that prohibit the use of public resources for political campaign