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🌎 The Huawei plot thickens

Two suspected Chinese spies were charged for trying to interfere with the Huawei investigation.

This photo taken on July 8, 2022 shows the Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province.
JADE GAO/AFP via Getty Images
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  • Sofia Lotto Persio
By Sofia Lotto Persio

Newsletter writer and editor


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The US-Huawei drama returned under the spotlight. The Department of Justice charged two suspected Chinese spies for trying to interfere with an investigation into Huawei’s practices (more below).

Rishi Sunak will be the UK’s next prime minister. The rise of the former finance minister in Boris Johnson’s government is historic for more than a few reasons (more below).

A Meta investor called on Mark Zuckerberg to reduce spending. Altimeter Capital founder Brad Gerstner wrote in an open letter that the company needs to cut jobs and its metaverse ambitions.

An Adidas executive called on the company to sever ties with Ye. The controversial rapper has already been dropped by key partners after making anti-semitic comments on social media.

A 19-year-old killed at least two people at a high school in St Louis. The police shot the gunman, who died in hospital. Meanwhile, the Michigan teenager who killed four students last year has pleaded guilty to charges including terrorism.

The US imposed new sanctions on Nicaragua’s gold sector. The restrictions are meant to punish Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega for cracking down on dissenters.

What to watch for

When Intel first declared its intention to spin off self-driving tech maker Mobileye through an IPO earlier this year, the chipmaker eyed a valuation of $50 million. Now, Intel is targeting a $15.9 million valuation—barely making back the $15.3 million it paid for the Israel-based firm five years ago.

CEO Pat Gelsinger was betting heavily on Mobileye’s IPO to fund the company’s new chip plants. But unfortunately for Intel, the US IPO market is in its worst shape in two decades.

Mobileye shares are expected to start trading on the Nasdaq on Oct. 26. The following day, Intel reports earnings, which some analysts expect to be grim, forecasting a 15% drop in revenue and an 81% fall in earnings compared to last year. Intel has reportedly warned staff that layoffs are coming in November, joining a growing number of tech firms looking to freeze or cut headcount.

America’s investigation of Huawei thickens

The US Department of Justice leveled charges against more than 13 Chinese nationals yesterday, including two suspected spies for trying to interfere with a criminal investigation of Huawei, one of China’s largest technology companies. While the complaint doesn’t name Huawei, sources close to the investigation confirmed the company’s identity, the Washington Post reported.

Huawei is far from the only Chinese (or Beijing-influenced) company in America’s crosshairs. In recent years, the US government has blocked deals that could have given China more control of dating app Grindr and chipmaker Qualcomm and pressured companies to delist from the New York Stock Exchange. And of course, former president Donald Trump attempted to ban WeChat and TikTok, the latter of which is still facing federal scrutiny.

Rishi Sunak leaves his London home
Image copyright: Maja Smiejkowska

The UK’s youngest, wealthiest prime minister

The UK’s incoming PM might be its third this year, but Rishi Sunak is not your grandfather’s prime minister. As a British Asian, he’ll become the first non-white person to hold the office. At 42 years old, Sunak will also be the youngest PM in more than two centuries—and with an estimated fortune of £730 million ($824 million) shared with his wife, Infosys heiress Akshata Murty, he’s going to be the wealthiest British PM ever.

With this figure in mind, it’s hard to disagree with Quartz editor-in-chief Zach Seward, who described the UK as “an entrenched plutocracy [squabbling] over the scraps of a stagnant economy that is now, largely by its own choice, of declining relevance to the rest of the world” in our latest Weekend Brief.

✦ Get the Weekend Brief’s deeper dives in your inbox every Saturday by picking up a membership. Daily Brief readers get 50% off!

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, otter buddies, and sushiless sushi to Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Cassie Werber, Ananya Bhattacharya, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.

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