1,242.24 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:55PM EDT
|Bid||1,242.67 x 1000|
|Ask||1,243.14 x 1000|
|Day's range||1,220.92 - 1,247.12|
|52-week range||977.66 - 1,296.97|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||0.97|
|PE ratio (TTM)||25.08|
|Earnings date||28 Oct 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||1,414.57|
Senator Elizabeth Warren and former vice president Joe Biden are both critics of how Facebook runs its huge advertising business.
(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren pledged Tuesday to forgo any high-dollar fundraising events if she becomes the Democratic nominee, a move that would make her the first general-election candidate to do so and could be a high-stakes gamble against a cash-rich incumbent and a well-funded GOP apparatus.But Warren would still accept high-dollar contributions from most people who choose to write her a check without getting special access or seeing her in person. She also vowed to refuse to accept “any contributions over $200 from executives at big tech companies, big banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds.”Warren’s pledge also wouldn’t stop the party or super-PACs from raising vast amounts of money on her behalf. But it may stop wealthy donors from cutting big checks if they believe it won’t help them get access to the nominee.“When I’m the Democratic nominee for president, I’m not going to change a thing in how I run my campaign: No PACs. No federal lobbyists. No special access or call time with rich donors or big dollar fundraisers to underwrite my campaign,” Warren said in a statement released by her campaign.Still, some Democrats fear it would put the party at a huge fundraising disadvantage against President Donald Trump, who’s raking in vast sums of money from big donors by his own campaign and by super-PACs that support him.Rufus Gifford, the finance director for former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, has said Warren’s earlier suggestions to avoid high-dollar events was “a colossally stupid decision” that would cost Democrats not only in the presidential contest but also in down-ballot races.But it also reflects her populist pitch to be a different kind of candidate who isn’t corrupted by special interest money, and so far she has proven adept at generating small-dollar contributions that are envied by her party rivals.A Warren campaign aide said the decision to accept no more than $200 from executives and big tech or financial firms was “retroactive” and any contributions above $200 from those people would be returned.The aide also said that big tech companies under this guideline will include Alphabet Inc., which is Google’s parent company; Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.Nominees traditionally complain about the amount of time needed to raise money in a campaign and call for changes in financing presidential races, but then say they can’t “unilaterally disarm” against a well-funded opponent.Warren’s bet is that her pitch will propel her campaign in the Democratic contest -- where she’s tied with Joe Biden for the top spot -- and mobilize many of the estimated 100 million eligible voters who didn’t turn out in the 2016 election. Biden spends a significant amount of time raising money from traditional donor bases.It’s unclear how Warren’s pledge would apply to the Democratic National Committee, which can accept contributions from individuals of as much as $355,000 for various accounts, including $35,500 per donor that can be used to influence the election.And it wouldn’t apply to outside groups like super-PACs, which under federal law cannot coordinate their activities with campaigns. In 2016, Priorities USA had more than 30 individual donors who contributed more than $1 million.Obama barred contributions from registered lobbyists and corporate PACs. The DNC was outraised by its Republican counterpart in 2012 by almost $100 million, yet Obama, a popular incumbent, won overwhelmingly against rival Mitt Romney in the election. The party lifted the bans in 2016, and the DNC raised $354 million compared to $343 million for the Republican National Committee.Warren often highlights her approach to fundraising on the campaign trail, reassuring prospective voters that her campaign is fueled by them, not big dollar donors.“I don’t spend my time at fundraisers for bazilionaires and corporate executives,” Warren said during a town hall in Austin, Texas, last month. “I just don’t do it.”When asked whether her grassroots fundraising model could leave her without enough money to go against Trump in the general election, Warren was adamant that a flurry of contributions between $5 and $25 would be enough. Trump and the RNC raised $125 million in the first quarter, more than all of the major Democrats combined.“If you think it’s going to be all about scooping up a bunch of money from rich people, and then buying a bunch of TV ads, and that’s how it is someone’s gonna win, then, yeah, it looks like Trump’s doing a lot here,” Warren said recently in San Diego. “I just don’t think that’s how democracy works anymore. And I sure don’t think that’s how it’s going to work in 2020. I think it’s going to be about getting out and building a grassroots movement.”In his battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016, Bernie Sanders relied primarily on small-dollar donors to raise $235.4 million through the end of May 2016, nearly matching the $238.2 million she raised over the same period.But Clinton also had joint fundraising committees that raised millions for the Democratic National Committee and state parties.Trump is using the same arrangements to build a huge financial advantage over his rivals. His campaign and the RNC, plus a pair of joint fundraising committees that raise money for each, have taken more than $300 million through this year, according to Federal Election Commission reports and totals announced by Trump’s re-election effort.Warren has raised $60.2 million in the same period, including about $10 million she transferred from her Senate campaign.(Updates with Warren aide saying big tech donation policy was retroactive in eighth, ninth paragraphs.)To contact the reporters on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at email@example.com;Bill Allison in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Department of Justice has asked for more information on the planned Google-Looker deal to determine whether it could harm competition.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO/BERLIN (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google unveiled new Pixel smartphones with higher quality cameras, a radar sensor to track hand gestures and faster virtual assistant on Tuesday, but the devices had no surprise features to set them apart from rivals and nix concerns about price. The Pixel 4 phones, in two sizes, headlined a New York press event at which Google also announced its first moderately priced laptop, first wireless earbuds and upgrades to its to well-reviewed Wifi router and burger-sized smart speaker. Google started developing hardware about four years ago, wagering that it could introduce artificial intelligence into devices faster and better than rivals and that consumers would clamor for such features.
The Google Pixel 4 aims to beat Apple’s iPhone on camera and price. Photograph: GoogleGoogle has launched its latest iPhone-competitor, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, with new radar technology, dual-camera and a lower price.Google’s consumer hardware division unveiled a series of new devices in New York, led by the Pixel 4 smartphone and including an updated Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi system, among other products. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are two new Google-made smartphones that are designed to challenge Apple’s iPhone with new hardware and software technologies, plus Pixel-exclusive Android features, while undercutting it on price.The Pixel 4’s UK price is £669 £70 less than last year’s Pixel 3, or $799 in the US, and it comes with Google’s new dual-camera system, which pairs a wide angle 12-megapixel camera with a 16-megapixel 2x telephoto camera for up to 3x hybrid zoom. The new camera also comes with Google’s next generation of its “night sight” technology, capable of capturing long exposures of stars in astrophotography mode and other low-light tricks.Google has made its market-leading HDR+ computational photography system work in real time, displaying what the final image will look like in the viewfinder. Users will also be able to decouple and manually adjust the background and foreground lighting using a new feature called dual exposure. The camera technology aims to solving the problem of backlighting.The Pixel 4 has a new 90Hz OLED screen, in 5.7in or 6.3in sizes depending on model, similar to that introduced on the OnePlus 7 Pro in May. It is also the first smartphone to come with Google’s new Neural Core chip and local speech recognition technology for Google Assistant, which is capable of recognising natural language without having to send the data across the internet to Google’s servers. The breakthroughmeans your voice data stays on the phone, allowing for greater privacy, significantly faster responses and the ability to work offline or in unreliable internet connectivity.Google also built the technology into a new Pixel voice recorder app to provide offline real-time transcription and the ability to search through the recording.> Look internet, no hands. Pixel4 Learn more https://t.co/PYY0AFcnyI pic.twitter.com/f9v51VbXWd> > — Made by Google (@madebygoogle) July 29, 2019The Pixel’s biggest new feature is the integration of Google’s Soli radar technology. The new chip enables hands-free gestures for a variety of functions such as silencing alarms, skipping tracks in music and interacting with new Pokémon Pikachu and Eevee wallpapers. It will also detect presence and is integrated into Google’s new Face Unlock 3D facial-recognition technology, which mirrors that introduced by Apple with the iPhone X’s Face ID.Geoff Blaber, vice president of research for the Americas at CCS Insight said: “The inclusion of radar with Project Soli gives Pixel 4 some unique UI features through gesture control. It’s unlikely to be viewed as game changing but it gives Pixel 4 some much needed differentiation in the smartphone sea of sameness.”“With Huawei facing huge challenges, particularly in Europe, now is the time for Google if it’s serious about moving the needle with Pixel.”The Pixel 4 will cost £699 and the Pixel 4 XL will cost £829, both with 64GB of storage, shipping on the 24 October. Google Nest MiniGoogle’s new Nest Mini smart speakers stick with the tried and tested pincushion design, but with better sound. Photograph: GoogleGoogle also launched a revamped Google Nest Mini, which is a replacement for the Google Home Mini and continues the firm’s rebranding of its smart-home devices under the Google Nest mark.The new £49/$49 Nest Mini features the same fabric, pincushion-like design, available in a variety of colours, but comes with new ultrasound presence-sensing system, as well as new touch-controls on the top. It has a new machine learning chip for faster processing of speech and frequently used tasks, plus new wake word technology that is designed to minimise accidental activations.The speaker has been upgraded, too, with increased volume and 40% improved bass. The speaker will also automatically adjust the volume depending on background noise and has a wall mount option. The body and fabric are made from 35% and 100% post-consumer recycled plastic respectively. Google Nest WifiGoogle’s new Nest Wifi doesn’t look like your average router. Photograph: GoogleGoogle also unveiled the second generation of its smart wifi router system called Nest Wifi. It combines a central router with mesh points to spread a wifi network across your home and eliminate black spots.The Nest Wifi has more powerful antenna for greater coverage and faster speeds further away from the router, connecting to your broadband via ethernet. It supports Bluetooth and Thread connectivity for connecting smart home devices to your broadband without additional hubs, but is only wifi 5 (802.11ac) not the new, faster wifi 6.The mesh points support the same connection technologies, but also have Google Assistant smart speakers built into them, which are essentially Nest Mini with touch controls, activity lights and a mute switch for greater privacy.Nest Wifi costs £149 for the router on its own or £239 with one point. Additional points cost £129 each. Google Pixelbook GoGoogle’s new Pixelbook Go ChromeOS laptop has a new super-quiet keyboard. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/APAlongside the Pixel 4, Google also showed off the latest in its own-brand Chromebook computer line, the Pixelbook Go. It is the follow up to 2017’s Pixelbook after Google abandoned tablets such as its 2018 Pixel Slate for traditional laptop-style computers.The Pixelbook Go has a 13in widescreen with a redesigned keyboard featuring new “Hush Keys” for quiet typing and traditional trackpad. The machine is 13mm thick, weighs about 1kg and is made of magnesium with a matt finish on the lid and ribbed bottom for added grip. The Chromebook has two USB-C ports for charging and connecting devices such as monitors and smartphones, a traditional 3.5mm headphones socket to take care of audio and Google’s Titan C security chip.It will be available in a variety of different models starting at $649 in the US, including options with Intel’s Core m3, i5 or i7 processors, 8 or 16GB of RAM, 64, 128 or 256GB of storage, and either a Full HD or 4K screen.The Pixelbook Go will be available in black first with a light pink colour coming at a later date. PixelbudsThe new Pixelbuds will launch next year to take on Apple’s AirPods. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/APGoogle also showed off its next generation Pixelbuds earphones, which will launch next year costing $179.The new Pixelbuds are now true wireless, as made popular by Apple’s AirPods and others. They sit almost flush in the ear and offer a new hybrid design that uses a traditional silicone earbud tip for a solid fit and bass response, but offers awareness of your surroundings using new spatial vents that allow sound from the outside world in as well.For picking up your voice, they feature both beamforming microphones and accelerometers that can pick up the vibrations of your voice through your jaw. Google Assistant is built in with “Hey, Google” wake word support, while Google Translate can perform real time language translation, like the previous versions of the headphones.The earbuds have long-range Bluetooth technology that can connect to a smartphone through three rooms inside or across the length of a football pitch outside. They will last five hours of continuous playback and up to 24 hours using the wireless charging case.
Google's Pixelbook Go and Pixel Buds are some of a slew of new hardware products the company debuted at its big event in New York.
France is pushing for the creation of a European-wide regulator of digital platforms such as Google to sanction possible abuse of power, a French presidency official said on Tuesday, citing a dispute over EU copyright law as an example. Google said last month it would stop showing news snippets from European publishers on search results for its French users to comply with a new European copyright law, prompting anger in Paris. "A big American company, Google namely, has announced it would not comply with an EU copyright directive," the official told reporters.
With the new dual band Orbi offering, NETGEAR (NTGR) is making the Orbi technology more accessible to a broader audience by addressing the WiFi needs of every household.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook’s Portal does exactly what the company says: it serves as a high-end home camera for video conferencing. With an improved design, this year’s iteration better blends into home decors, and with a lower price, it’s attainable for a wider group of people. What it doesn’t do, however, is offer any reassurance that Facebook has finally solved the privacy worry trifecta of always-listening voice assistants, self-activating video cameras and its own tarnished history with user data.The new 10-inch device looks like a picture frame that could fit into a row of family photos on a mantelpiece. It can be situated in either portrait or landscape orientation, and its build quality is fine for a $179 device (there’s also an 8-inch Portal Mini for $129). The star attraction of this product line is its wide-angle video camera, which can automatically follow a person and zoom in on them as they move around a room during a chat. It neatly combines the unnerving and the magical aspects of technology, and if multiple people are present in the frame, the camera will move between them as they are talking and users can choose a person to focus on at any time.In calls, you can pin animated masks, such as a dragon, over users’ faces and also modify their voices. That’s one small step toward giving people more control over what representations of themselves they send over the internet. There are also options to share a book or listen to music together with the person on the other end of a call with the help of Spotify, Pandora or iHeartRadio. The integrated speaker sounds great for video chatting, but it isn’t likely to replace a dedicated music device.As a video chat tool, Portal works as advertised. But it’s difficult to recommend when you can buy a far more functional device like a tablet or a smart home speaker with a screen and camera for either the same price or a little bit more. The Portal platform still suffers from a pronounced paucity of apps, including ones to make video calls with that aren’t provided by Facebook itself.Facebook is banking on its advanced camera to pull users away from more functional smart screens, but that feature alone probably isn’t enough for most people. Amazon’s new Echo Show 8 costs the same as the smaller Portal, while Google’s Nest Hub Max costs $50 more than the Portal and is a much more comprehensive product thanks to Google’s smart assistant and web integrations. If users are looking just to video chat, that could also be accomplished via video conferencing capabilities now built into virtually every modern phone and tablet.With the Portal, Facebook could have rivaled the Amazon Echo Show and smart displays running Google’s optimized version of Android by creating a device that sits at the center of the Facebook ecosystem with better video chat as its key selling point, but the company limited itself by focusing solely on the video conferencing. Built-in Alexa functionality gives the Portal some added capabilities, but even that has the downside of forcing users to balance two voice assistants, with one for things like the weather and another for controlling video chat and device settings. Two voice assistants also mean two potential points of privacy vulnerability — and both Amazon and Facebook have had contractors listening to users’ voice requests to their respective assistants. The main software screen on the Portal shows you a grid of your favorite contacts. Calls take place over Facebook Messenger so you can reach people on whatever device they have that app running. WhatsApp is also integrated. Beyond the main screen, there is a screen saver mode, which turns the Portal into a digital picture frame of your photos from Facebook. There’s also a grid of giant app icons, though the built-in app selection is currently a ghost town. It does include a web browser, Facebook Watch, and the same music apps available within video calls, and Facebook says it will be sharing information on additional apps “in the coming months.”The device might have been useful as a mini recording studio for live streaming — which would effectively leverage Facebook’s vast user base and established streaming platform -- but that’s not a feature that’s currently on offer. Facebook says it’s in the works, however, and is coming later this year. In terms of privacy, Facebook’s hardware team is doing as much as it probably can. The Portal has a built-in mechanical shutter to cover the camera and the same toggle can also disable listening. The device easily allows users to opt out of having their voice command recordings stored and listened to by Facebook, though there isn’t a unified menu to simultaneously disable such a setting for both Facebook and Amazon’s on-board assistants. Facebook also says that it doesn’t listen to or store any video calls and that those are encrypted.Those protections don’t change the fact that the Portal inherently is a Facebook product. That means, according to the company, that the Portal will collect information on user logins, if they made a call, and how often they used a particular feature. Facebook says this is in order to inform which ads a user sees on Facebook. For example, Facebook says that if a user makes many video calls, they might see Facebook ads about video calling. Voice input or things said on a video call won’t be used for advertising, however. The existing public perception of Facebook, given its several privacy-related scandals in recent years, won’t help. Throw in Amazon’s recently controversial listening practices with Alexa, and this is a device that some people — no matter how great the camera technology — will simply refuse to have in their personal space.One of the best tech features of the Portal device could also double as a privacy concern for some. During a video call, because of the wide-angle lens, a user is able to pan around the other caller’s video frame without explicit permission. College kids in dorm rooms everywhere are likely to find this a particularly challenging and invasive feature when calling back home to their parents.\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner and Sarah Frier.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Vlad Savov at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Alphabet Inc's Google dominates the growing U.S. search ad market but Amazon.com Inc is growing fast, according to data from the market research company eMarketer released on Tuesday. EMarketer data showed that the U.S. search ad market will grow by nearly 18% in 2019, and Google will have 73.1% of that market and revenues of $40.33 billion. EMarketer said that Google's share would decline to 70.5% by 2021.
(Bloomberg) -- Paytm is close to scoring $2 billion of new financing from investors including Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and SoftBank Group Corp., a person familiar with the matter said, describing a mega-deal that will raise the temperature in India’s increasingly heated financial payments arena.Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management is also in discussions to join a funding round that values the country’s top online financial services firm at $16 billion, the person said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal. The funding will be split evenly between equity and debt and is aimed at helping Paytm fend off an influx of rivals, the person said. Talks are in their final stages but the terms could still change, the person added.If a deal is finalized, Paytm could outstrip fellow high-profile Asian startups such as Grab and Gojek in valuation. Billionaire Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is raising capital to protect the startup’s share of a potentially $1 trillion Indian payments market from newer entrants Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart’s PhonePe. Over the past year, a string of new apps have made payments increasingly easy, bringing discounts and cash bonuses to young, smartphone-savvy users.Paytm remains the leader for now. The firm has in a decade become India’s biggest digital payments brand, attracting big names in investing from Alibaba co-founder Ma and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett. Sharma got a huge boost in 2016 after India’s government moved to eliminate most of the nation’s paper money in circulation in a bid to curb corruption. His startup, a pioneer in the country’s nascent field, saw tens of millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of businesses sign up for digital services in a matter of months.“India is a large market,” said Kunal Pande, head of financial services risk consulting at KPMG. “Digital payments adoption is growing quickly, yet there is room for massive growth as users get comfortable transacting digitally. The large business opportunity makes it attractive for both domestic startups and large global players.”Read more: Facebook and Google Chase a New $1 Trillion Payments MarketPaytm, which is also backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., declined to comment in response to emailed questions. Ant had no immediate comment when contacted, while Discovery Capital and SoftBank declined to comment.Sharma is now extending his online empire into e-commerce and banking, even as others encroach on his turf. The Indian payments market remains a chaotic field where the rules are hazy on what players can offer, yet its promise has lured a string of competitors including Indian banks, its postal service and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani.Credit Suisse Group AG now estimates that the Indian digital payments market will touch $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion currently. It’s a market with huge potential: Cash still accounts for 70% of all Indian transactions by value, according to Credit Suisse, and neighboring China is far more advanced with a mobile payments market worth more than $5 trillion.Ant Financial, China’s largest provider of internet financial services and one of Paytm’s earliest backers, has said it will continue investing in mobile-payment providers around the world to boost offshore revenue and buttress itself against rising competition and tighter regulation at home.It’s not clear how much SoftBank would contribute, but the Japanese company is going through a rocky stretch. SoftBank’s shares are down about 30% from their peak this year as investors, unnerved by the WeWork turmoil and Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing debut, grow skittish about startup valuations.\--With assistance from Lulu Yilun Chen, Hema Parmar and Vincent Bielski.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Sarah Wells at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- PT Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has begun discussions with potential investors for what’s likely to be its final private funding round before a dual stock market listing.Indonesia’s largest online mall is considering listing shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location, Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg News. But he wouldn’t specify a timetable for an initial public offering, citing uncertain market conditions in a trade war.Tokopedia, the country’s most valuable startup after ride-hailing giant Gojek, is focused on its home market for now but an overseas listing should raise its profile while attracting new investors. Tanuwijaya said the startup he co-founded 10 years ago is aiming to break even next year. Its gross merchandise value should triple to as much as 222 trillion rupiah ($16 billion) in 2019, he said. Revenue is growing faster than GMV, while its community of sellers rose to 6.4 million from about 5 million last year, he added.“Dual-listing is most likely to be our approach” because the Indonesia-focused e-commerce site wants its consumers and sellers to also become shareholders, the 37-year-old founder said in an interview in Jakarta. “We are now in the process of picking the right partners who believe in our vision and mission.”SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba Lead $1.1 Billion Tokopedia RoundTokopedia is gunning for a listing at a time many of its peers around the world are tapping the brakes. Uber Technologies Inc.’s disappointing debut and the chaos surrounding WeWork’s botched IPO have put startups under pressure to prove their business model can lead to revenue and profit growth. The co-founders of Grab, Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup and another of SoftBank’s portfolio companies, have said they’re not planning an IPO any time soon.With a looming risk of a global recession, it’s crucial for large platforms like Tokopedia to establish a sustainable business by generating profits, said Chatib Basri, a former finance minister and senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia. “When there is a disruption to a company as big as Tokopedia, which has 90 million monthly active users, it could result in a systemic effect,” he said.Tokopedia’s advantage is its presence in an Indonesian e-commerce market projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co. Unlike peers Alibaba’s Lazada and Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Shopee, which operate across Southeast Asia, Tokopedia has chosen to expand deeper into rural areas of Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands where online shopping is still relatively under-developed.“Indonesia’s e-commerce penetration is still 4% to 5%, so the room for growth is still big,” Tanuwijaya said.\--With assistance from Viriya Singgih.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
IBM (IBM) is set to report their third quarter results after the closing bell on Tuesday, October 15th as Q3's earnings season gets underway this week.
Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into some of the latest U.S.-China trade war updates, including President Trump's optimism. We then look at three large-cap technology stocks to consider buying during Q3 earnings season. - Full-Court Finance
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. came under fire on Monday for sending web browsing data, including IP addresses, to China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., the latest criticism of how the company operates in the world’s most populous nation.For about two years, Apple has been sending data to Tencent as part of an iPhone and iPad security feature that warns users if a website is malicious or unsafe before they load it. The U.S. company checks addresses against an existing list of sites known to be problematic. That list is maintained by Tencent for users in mainland China and by Google for other regions, including in the U.S.In newer versions of Apple’s iOS operating systems, the company says this feature “may also log your IP address,” potentially providing Tencent, a Chinese internet conglomerate with government ties, data such as a user’s location. The safe browsing feature with Google was first added to iOS in 2008, but it was expanded to include Tencent with iOS 11 in 2017. Apple updated its description of the feature in more recent versions of iOS.“We deserve to be informed about this kind of change and to make choices about it,” Matthew Green, a cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in a blog post. “Users should learn about these changes before Apple pushes the feature into production, and thus asks millions of their customers to trust them.”This isn’t the first time Apple has been criticized for working with a Chinese company to handle local data. In 2018, Apple partnered with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data to store iCloud data locally for users in mainland China.More recently, Apple has been scrutinized for appeasing China. BuzzFeed recently reported that Apple told creators of shows for its TV+ streaming service to avoid portraying China in a poor light. The company recently removed the Taiwanese flag from the emoji keyboard on devices running in Hong Kong and Macau, after earlier pulling it from Mainland China. It also came under fire for removing a maps app in Hong Kong that the developer said was designed to help users avoid areas of protest. Apple said it was following local laws in both instances.Apple said in a statement that the feature protects user privacy and safeguards people’s data. The checks occur on the devices, and the actual web addresses are never shared with Tencent and Google, the safe browsing providers. The feature is on by default, but can be switched off, Apple also said. The IP address of a user’s device is shared when a website is found to be suspicious and a warning is sent.Some users were concerned that data would be sent to Tencent globally because the firm is mentioned even on iPhones outside of China. Apple will likely clarify this in a future version of iOS.The feature can be disabled under the Privacy & Security section in the Settings app by tapping the “Fraudulent Website Warning” toggle. If a user does that, IP addresses won’t be shared, but Apple also won’t be able to check websites against Tencent’s or Google’s lists.(Updates with more comments from Apple in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Out of the destruction of the postwar economies, came the rise of the economists. This is the tale that journalist Binyamin Appelbaum, this week's guest on Masters in Business, chronicles in his new book, "The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society."First in the U.S., then around the world, economists created new ideas about deficits, monetary and fiscal policy, trade, government spending and deregulation. Their influence could be seen as well in the rise of corporations that wielded enormous power with very little accountability. Appelbaum gives credit for this to economist Milton Friedman, who he said had a greater influence on 20th-century American life than any economist of his generation.Appelbaum is the lead business and economics writer for the New York Times editorial board. He was part of a team at the Charlotte Observer that in 2007 examined the high rate of housing foreclosures and questionable sales practices during the subprime mortgage crisis. The reporting won a Gerald Loeb award, a George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in public service. His favorite books are here; a transcript is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Fran Kinniry, global head of portfolio construction at Vanguard.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Oct.15 -- Rick Osterloh, Google senior vice president of devices and services, discusses Google's next generation products with Bloomberg's David Westin on "Balance of Power."