The 10 biggest business stories on Friday January 8

Chinese stocks recovered after a week of volatile trading; Apple has bought Emotient, a startup that uses AI technology

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The Independent Online

1.            Chinese stocks recovered on Friday after a week of volatile trading. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.93 per cent, despite earlier losses.

2.            Saudi Arabia's government is considering whether to sell shares in state oil giant Saudi Aramco as part of a privatisation drive to raise money in an era of cheap oil, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told The Economist magazine.

3.            Standard Chartered Deputy Chief Executive Mike Rees, who has worked at the bank for 26 years will step down from his role on April 30.

4.            Tech giant Apple has bought Emotient, a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analysing facial expression.

5.            Samsung says its operating profit is likely to go up 15 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year ago missing expectations and fuelling concerns the tech industry may be in for a tough year of a slack gadget sales.

6.            Games Workshop, the UK company behind fantasy model games such as Warhammer, said sales in December were below expectations. The company is warning that full year pre-tax profit is “unlikely to exceed £16 million” according to the Financial Times.

7.            Fashion retailer Blue Inc could shut around 60 shops across the UK after warmer weather hits sales of winter clothing, the Telegraph reports.

8.            Soft drinks maker Nichols said growth of 1.5 per cent in its international business allowed the company to generate total full year revenue of £109.3 million despite a challenging market in the UK.

9.            Hammerson has signed a deal to sell the Villebon 2, a retail park in the south of Paris to a consortium of leading French investor for €159 million (£116 million).

10.          Chinese manufacturer Ehang has unveiled the world’s first passenger-carrying drone in Las Vegas at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. The Ehang 184 can transports individuals through the air without a pilot. According to the company, the drone is equipped with a multi-rotor system with 8 propellers, giving better odds to safely land even if multiple systems fail.