The tech business week: China’s richest woman, Etsy targets US$300m in IPO

6 Apr 2015

The Apple Watch

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with China’s richest woman, whose company is making glass for the Apple Watch.

China’s richest woman made watches in a factory – now she makes the glass for the Apple Watch

Zhou Qunfei once worked in a factory that made the glass for watches. Today she is China’s richest woman with a fortune of US$7.4bn and her business Lens Technology makes the glass for the Apple Watch.

The 44-year-old started her working life on the floor of a watch factory after leaving her home in China’s central Hunan Province to work in the industrial southern city of Shenzhen.

According to Xinhua and Tech in Asia, Qunfei has been named the richest woman in China with a fortune estimated to be worth more than US$7.4bn, ousting Chan Laiwa, founder of Beijing Red Sandalwood Cultural Foundation from the top sot.

Etsy targets US$300m in upcoming IPO, way above its original target

Future Human

Tripling its original planned take, Etsy is hoping for US$300m from its public offering on 16 April, with 19m shares being offered at an estimated US$14-US$16 a pop.

The company’s roadshow, whereby it will speak to potential investors about buying some stock early, began Wednesday and should see significant activity from the online marketplace.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Etsy’s investors include venture-capital firms Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures and Tiger Global Management LLC, which together own about a 62pc stake in the company.

Tim Cook issues open letter saying Apple won’t adhere to discriminatory laws

In response to a series of laws being passed across the US allowing people of religion to discriminate based off their own beliefs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued an open letter describing this as ‘dangerous’.

Most recently, the state of Indiana has found itself under the spotlight due to the enactment of this law last week by the state’s governor, Mike Pence, which would allow, for example, a merchant who is a person of a particular faith refuse to serve a gay person because they disagree with their sexual orientation.

Now however, in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, Cook has spoken out, as a gay man himself, against the law which he says does nothing but ‘rationalise injustice’.

HP sues former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch for US$5.1bn

Computer maker HP has confirmed it is suing the former CEO of Autonomy Mike Lynch and the company’s former CFO Sushovan Hussain in the London Chancery Division High Court for US$5.1bn.

HP acquired Autonomy in 2011 as part of a US$11.7bn deal. However, when Meg Whitman took over as CEO from Léo Apotheker, HP wrote down US$8.8bn and said it had overpaid US$5bn for Autonomy.

HP has alleged Autonomy’s share price had been inflated by software deals that had not been signed, and this is the heart of the matter.

Lynch has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, blaming differences on accounting rules.

Twitter buys engineering platform TenXer for about US$50m

Microblogging site Twitter has reportedly spent nearly US$50m to acquire TenXer, a platform that improves how developers and engineers work together.

TenXer particularly deals with companies that are scaling up fast, providing them with the means to simultaneously manage engineers and at the same time turn engineers into better managers. It gathers up data from GitHub, Pivotal and JIRA to provide statistics and insights to help managers be effective and their teams more productive.

TenXer’s founder and CEO Jeff Ma told users that the TenXer team will be joining Twitter, where the technology will be solely applied to Twitter’s developer and engineering teams.

Cisco building its SDN capabilities with purchase of Embrane

In a bid to “enhance the capabilities” of its application-centric infrastructure (ACI), Cisco is buying Embrane, a provider of a lifecycle management platform for application-centric network services.

“As we continue to drive virtualisation and automation, the unique skill set and talent of the Embrane team will allow us to move more quickly to meet customer demands,” Cisco said.

Cisco claimed an alignment of its engineering nous with the Embrane team will expand its services to customers through the Nexus portfolio, as well as aiding its ACI.

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Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.