Beijing’s latest shots in the technological cold war
Tensions are growing between China and tech companies inside – and outside – China’s borders.
China is cracking down on domestic tech giants with ties to the US. On Sunday, Beijing officials demanded that Didi, the ride-hailing app, be removed from the country’s app stores over concerns about its handling of customer data, days after the company completed blockbuster USIPO. Yesterday, it suspended new user registrations for the platforms as two other Chinese companies recently listed shares in New York, citing the need for a cybersecurity review. Shares of Didi fell nearly 30% in pre-market trading, well below their IPO price.
Meanwhile, American tech companies are making threats about their business in Hong Kong. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and other US tech corporations have threatened to pull out of the territory if the government doesn’t make efforts to clamp down on online speech there. The threat was made in a letter sent last month by a US trade group representing Big Tech in Asia.
A trans-Pacific tech breakup would be messy. Many major US tech companies, especially Apple, have spent billions of dollars building their presence in China, by moving production there and by attracting local customers. . An investigation by The Times found that Apple went to great lengths to keep Chinese regulators happy, even violating some of the privacy commitments the company made to customers.
In contrast, Chinese tech companies have enthusiastically tapped into America’s capital markets, raising more than $15 billion in IPOs in New York this year, according to Bloomberg. China’s crackdown last year on Ant Group, which had postponed plans to go public in Shanghai and Hong Kong, has made shallower domestic markets less attractive to companies. local company. Some see Beijing’s latest campaign as retaliation for selling shares to US investors, and the 30 retail companies with US listings are pending – and the investors they have ranked. buy stocks – now think again.
Read more: Look at $150 million semiconductor chip maker manufactured by a Dutch company has become an important lever in the technological cold war between China and the US.
THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING
Oil prices rose as OPEC failed to reach an agreement on output. Brent crude traded at multi-year highs after a coalition of oil producers could not agree on how much more to produce. Behind the summit’s collapse was the United Arab Emirates, which refused to backtrack on quotas pushed by Saudi Arabia.
The search for victims of the Miami apartment collapse continues. Yesterday, four more bodies were pulled from the rubble, bringing the death toll to 28, with more than 100 still missing. What remained of the tall building was demolished Sunday, and evidence shows that despite Florida’s strict building regulations, local enforcement is lax.
Britain is set to lift most of its pandemic restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said social distancing rules will likely expire on July 19, making masks optional in crowded public spaces and allowing venues like nightclubs to open full capacity return door. Scientists have criticized the move amid an outbreak of Covid-19 cases linked to the Delta variant.
Nextdoor, the neighborhood-focused social network, is going public. The company, which covers 275,000 neighborhoods in 11 countries, is merging with SPAC to get Nasdaq listed. The move, which values Nextdoor at $4.3 billion, comes as the company is trying to erase its reputation as a haven for racism and targeted online harassment. (Its expected code is “KIND.”)
Tech and media moguls are heading to Sun Valley. The powerful Allen & Company gathering in Idaho returned this week after being canceled last year, with unrecorded discussions on topics like media takeovers. Expected attendees, according to The Wall Street Journal, include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy and – perhaps awkwardly – Discovery’s David Zaslav and soon-to-be Jason WarnerMedia’s Kilar.
A global ransomware attack
Hundreds of companies around the world are reeling after a software provider for small and medium-sized businesses suffered a major cyber attack. Russian cybercriminals are suspected of orchestrating what some experts call a “global supply chain hack”.
Daily business summary
Widespread damage. Swedish grocery chain Coop had to close at least 800 stores on Saturday, while a pharmacy chain and 11 New Zealand schools were also affected. Linking them all is Kaseya, the system management software that is in the process of being updated to protect against such an attack. Although Kaseya says fewer than 40 customers were affected, that group served hundreds more, increasing the effect.
Authorities suspect a group of prominent Russians. REvil, which allegedly orchestrated an attack on meat processor JBS in May, was identified as a likely perpetrator. While President Biden confronted Vladimir Putin last month about Moscow’s ties to cybercrime, over the weekend, Biden said: “The initial thought was that it wasn’t the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet. sure”.
“This surveillance system is fundamentally weak, because it’s easy to cheat, and unattended is very consistent.”
—Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon professor, on how Tesla’s Autonomous Driving system monitors driver alertness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has about two dozen active investigations into crashes involving Autonomous Driving. The crashes “may raise questions about the development of similar systems used by rival automakers” The Times’ Neal Boudette writes.
Regulators require ESG . differentials
Investors are demanding more information from companies on environmental, social and governance issues, or ESG,. Regulators are paying attention but not coming to the same conclusion about what to do about it.
“Clearly we are at an impending point,” Michael Passoff, head of Proxy Impact, a shareholder services firm. He told DealBook that in 25 years of working in sustainable investing, shareholder enthusiasm for this year’s ESG resolutions is “unprecedented”. So far, 34 such proposals in public companies have won a majority of votes, surpassing last year’s record-setting total of 21. Half of the successful shareholder votes cast on the proposals. Such proposals in the last decade have occurred in the past two years.
“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails,” Allison Herren Lee, SEC commissioner, said in remarks before the Corporate Governance Association. Lee, who has made ESG the focus of his recent work, urged the company’s board members to recognize the dynamics of the movement. “This mandate season is just the latest affirmation of sea change to climate and ESG,” she said, adding that the SEC’s disclosure rules should “provide investors with sufficient to check the public commitments” that companies make on these matters.
“What if sustainability standards become flawed?” asked Hester Peirce, another commissioner of the SEC, in a letter to the accounting standards-setting body, whose “look has turned to sustainability reporting,” she said. “We must be careful not to compromise accounting standard setting in an effort to achieve goals other than high-quality financial reporting, no matter how noble those goals may be.” . She will detail the role she thinks the SEC should play in the ESG at a Brookings Institution event this month.
Other news: As investing in ESG grows in popularity, these strategies are becoming increasingly difficult outperform the market, based on recent research.
The US private equity giants appear to be preparing for a bidding war over British grocery chain Morrisons. Related: Why British companies are so easily taken over by foreigners. (WSJ, Bloomberg Opinion)
A group of investors has offered $17 billion to buy Sydney Airport, betting on the return of long-haul flights. (Bloomberg)
As the oil giants prepare to sell assets in response to climate change, these are the potential buyers. (FT)
Politics and policy
Juul is fighting to survive before a September 9 deadline for the FDA to decide whether the vaping company’s products can continue on the market. (NYT)
Quelle horreur: Russia claims that only homegrown sparkling wines can be labeled “Champagne”, angering winemakers in France. (Politico)
Can MGM continue its resurgence as an Amazon-affiliated filmmaker-friendly studio? (NYT)
The FTC is in talks with Broadcom to resolve allegations that the chipmaker has an illegal monopoly on the semiconductor market. (CNBC)
The pandemic has sparked an explosion of crowdfunding campaigns – but most have failed. (CBS News)
The best rest
Credit Suisse will let many of its 13,000 workers choose how many days they want to work remotely. (Bloomberg)
“Naomi Osaka speaks to the media again, but on her own terms” (NYT)
Robots can take your job – or just make it worse. (NYT, Vox)
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