FB’s 2013 Estimates Elevated, Microsoft Plans New Stores: Weekly Tech Business Recap

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the top tech business stories of the week:

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Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) will shut its office in Japan as of the end of January, said Zynga Japan Chief Executive Kenji Matsubara on his Facebook profile on Friday. This seems to be a part of the firm’s 5-percent staff cut that was proposed in October by Zynga Chief Executive Mark Pincus.

In an attempt to surpass its fierce competitor Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK) says that it will pull away from the latter by selling 510 million mobile phones in 2013. Samsung is already the biggest maker of the phones on Earth, selling an estimated 420 million in 2012, and if the 510 million figure is realized, it would mean an increase of 20 percent. An executive of one of the firm’s key suppliers said that of the estimated 2013 sales, 390 million are to be smartphones and 120 million as feature or budget phones.

According to a Friday Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) Chief Executive John Chambers intends to divest 2.8 million shares of stock in his company by September of 2014. Almost half of the shares, 1.3 million, will come from stock options granted in 2005 that expire in September 2014. The other 1.5 million will be from his own holdings.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) reaches an accord worth $321 million with the Chinese e-commerce major 360Buy as part of a strategic partnership through which Nokia will sell its smartphones directly on the latter’s online platform. On Friday, 360Buy said in a release that the deal will make it Nokia’s biggest e-commerce partner in China. Its smartphone will be immediately available there once they arrive.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) reports that it has designed an intelligent speech recognition application that is similar to Apple’s Siri voice assistant, and is poised to introduce it on Android’s Google Play platform this week. This new app employs Baidu’s network recognition engine and neurolinguistic programming, which are capable of increasing its success rate of recognizing human speech by 8 percent, says DoNews, a Chinese news website.  Baidu is the top provider of internet search services in China.