🤝 Saving Indonesia TikTok Shop

Plus: 😷 Pandemic Business Is Ending, 🤖 Musk's $1B AI Quest

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🤝 ByteDance, GoTo to Strike Deal to Save Indonesia TikTok Shop

TikTok, a ByteDance Ltd. company, is set to invest in a unit of Indonesia’s GoTo Group, marking a strategic entry into Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market.

Rather than competing directly, TikTok will collaborate with GoTo’s Tokopedia on an online shopping service.

This partnership comes after regulatory challenges in Jakarta, which led to a temporary halt in TikTok’s online shopping services.

The collaboration could serve as a model for TikTok’s expansion into other markets, such as Malaysia.

For GoTo Group, the partnership could boost shopping, logistics, and payment volumes, despite the risk of aiding a major online retail rival.

😷 Pandemic Business Is Ending; Project N95 and Mask-C Are Closing

Two face mask providers say they are closing, as the slow and steady decline of what was once a much-sought-after item continues.

Project N95, a nonprofit that facilitated the purchase of protective equipment, will cease mask sales on December 18, citing insufficient revenue.

Mask-C, known for its fashionable masks worn by celebrities, will also close by year-end.

This decline in demand is a throwback to 2020 when masks were the hottest accessory. But with cheaper masks flooding the market and “mask fatigue” setting in, it seems like the mask trend is fading.

🤖 Elon Musk is looking to raise $1 billion for xAI

Elon Musk is seeking to raise $1 billion for his AI company, xAI.

According to an SEC filing, Musk has already raised about $135 million from four unnamed investors, leaving him with $865 million to reach his goal.

xAI is currently developing Grok, Musk’s response to AI bots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude.

Grok, which has been in development for two months, is expected to answer “spicy” questions that other AI bots avoid.

It also plans to update with real-time knowledge posted on X, distinguishing between real news and misinformation.

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