|Bid||135.34 x 900|
|Ask||135.50 x 1000|
|Day's range||134.75 - 137.53|
|52-week range||102.00 - 151.33|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.29|
|PE ratio (TTM)||21.58|
|Earnings date||17 Nov 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.16 (1.58%)|
|Ex-dividend date||10 Dec 2020|
|1y target est||145.88|
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the U.S. plans to restrict U.S. access to the Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat on Sunday night on national security and data privacy grounds. IMD Business School LEGO Professor of Management and Innovation Howard Yu told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move that there’s a “lack of security experts’ opinions weighing in” on the situation.
(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration made good on longstanding threats to take action against Chinese internet giants in the U.S. by issuing a ban on WeChat and TikTok from Apple Inc. and Google’s app stores.For months, President Donald Trump has said he planned to crack down on WeChat, a tool for messaging and money-sharing owned by Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd., and TikTok, a music video app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., alleging that both apps could let Chinese officials gather data on tens of millions U.S. users and manipulate information shared by Americans.U.S. officials have already limited the activities of Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., saying their telecom gear could give China inroads into critical American networks. The moves against TikTok and WeChat mark an extension of the administration’s anti-China hostilities into the consumer realm, and give Trump a way to project a tough-on-China stance ahead of the Nov. 3 election.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that the U.S. would bar WeChat and its parent company from letting users send money to friends, family or businesses. It also banned business relationships with certain third-party technology providers starting Sunday. The move will make it harder to access and use a tool that helps more than 19 million people in the U.S. conduct business and stay in touch with contacts in China.Read more: WeChat IPhone Downloads Surge in the U.S. Ahead of Trump BanThe action against TikTok adds urgency to already complicated efforts to comply with another Trump order that forces ByteDance to find a buyer for TikTok’s U.S. operations. ByteDance had reached a deal early in the week to sell a minority stake to Oracle Corp. and other investors, but the accord so far has failed to address all the security requirements outlined by the administration. Walmart Inc. aims to take part in the transaction, and the company’s chief executive officer, Doug McMillon, could end up having a seat on the new company’s board.China’s Ministry of Commerce condemned the move against WeChat and TikTok, saying in a statement on Saturday that it would take “necessary measures” to protect the legal interests of Chinese firms, without elaborating.“The U.S. has, with no evidence, employed national powers to ‘hunt’ and suppress the two businesses on groundless bases,” the ministry said. “This has severely interfered with normal business activities and harmed the confidence of global investors in the U.S. investment environment, and damaged a normal international trade order.”ConsensusRoss said the government could reverse its decision to block TikTok downloads if ByteDance, Oracle and the Trump administration reach a consensus before Nov. 12. Trump spoke by phone with Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and Walmart’s McMillon on Friday and told them he was close to making a decision on the proposal, people familiar with the matter said.The Commerce Department restrictions lay out two, largely separate, timelines for WeChat and TikTok. Restrictions on U.S. app stores for both take effect on Sept. 20, but prohibitions on companies providing services to TikTok won’t kick in until the November deadline. Commerce officials said Friday that they took pains not to disrupt ongoing deal negotiations. And if a deal is reached by Sunday, TikTok could avoid being blocked from the app store, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.“I can just say our goal is really very straightforward -- protecting the American information and data from ending up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. “And so while we are reviewing the proposal, trying to evaluate if we can successfully achieve those outcomes, that will be our measure.”Oracle shares fell less than 1% to $59.75 on Friday in New York.The action against TikTok and WeChat rattled advocates for freedom of speech and an open internet. Alex Stamos, Facebook Inc.’s former security chief, said the order was “huge strike against the freedoms of U.S. citizens.”Still, the Commerce order was less severe than some American businesses feared because the ban on WeChat and TikTok is limited to the U.S., left out enforcement mechanisms that would ensnare individual users, and didn’t include restrictions on internet service providers. Extending a ban to China would have dealt a blow to businesses such as Starbucks Corp. and Walmart Inc. that rely on the app for some of their China operations.“We have engaged in extensive discussions with the U.S. government, and have put forward a comprehensive proposal to address its concerns,” WeChat owner Tencent said. “The restrictions announced today are unfortunate.”U.S. officials said that American users who have the WeChat app on their phone will still be able to use it to talk with family and friends overseas after the ban goes into effect on Sunday. Americans in China will also be able to continue using WeChat. What is changing is that new users won’t be able to download WeChat in U.S. app stores and existing users will not receive software updates.Also, because Tencent relies on third-party providers to host and send data, users will experience slowdowns and some dysfunction so a message might time out or there may be a temporary outage. Over time, as users can’t update the app, the WeChat experience will degrade. However, the order doesn’t go so far as to restrict internet service providers or require them to block access to WeChat in the form of the content firewall that’s in place in China.The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a trade group, said the rule puts an “unnecessary burden on U.S. companies,” and that it “puts consumers at risk by cutting them off from software updates including necessary security updates.”The ban could still affect U.S. companies that allow payment via WeChat and U.S. users who rely on the app to send money to friends and family. While WeChat has a relatively small footprint in the U.S., with only 19 million daily users, it has more than 1 billion users in China and other countries. TikTok has 100 million users in the U.S. and has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally.Read more: WeChat Users in U.S. Renew Bid to Block Trump Ban of AppThe Commerce restrictions now place the onus on Apple and on Alphabet Inc.’s Google to remove TikTok and WeChat from their U.S. app stores on Sunday.Apple and Google are ready to comply with the deadline, after administration officials worked in multiple discussions with the companies to ensure that there’s no risk of confusion as the ban is applied, according to a U.S. official.U.S. officials declined to comment on enforcement penalties, saying that the Commerce Department would work with companies including Google and Apple to protect user data and that it was prepared for any legal challenges that may arise. The U.S. government acknowledges that individuals might find work-arounds to update the apps and that it doesn’t intend to haul a person using WeChat before a federal judge, one official said. Google and Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.“We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “In our proposal to the U.S. administration, we’ve already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other apps are willing to do.”TikTok said it would continue a lawsuit against the U.S. government over Trump’s August executive orders.Read more: TikTok Lobbyists Took Case Against Ban to Trump CampaignThe Commerce Department held a number of briefings in late August with companies and lobbying groups who scurried to figure out what the potential ban could mean for them and for doing business with Tencent, a major mobile gaming platform and a huge force in social media globally, according to people familiar with the matter. Some American tech firms pressed the Trump administration to let them continue to do business with the Chinese company through their operations in Asia and to allow American citizens to use the apps there.Industry executives telephoned and wrote a flurry of letters -- including Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who discussed the matter with Ross -- but Commerce officials reassured them it would be a narrow ban, according to the officials.The Treasury Department, ByteDance and Oracle have tentatively agreed to terms for TikTok that would address U.S. national security concerns, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The proposal calls for ByteDance to own most of a ring-fenced TikTok, with Oracle, Walmart and venture capital investors holding a minority of a new company that will pursue an initial public offering in about a year. Trump has the final word and has said he doesn’t want the Chinese parent to retain majority control.(Adds China ministry’s statement in sixth and seventh paragraphs.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- TikTok lobbyists told Trump campaign officials that an all-out ban on the app could sour millions of voters against him in the November election, taking aim at one of the president’s top concerns, according to people familiar with the matter.TikTok walked campaign officials through how the app works in detail and explained that the platform has 100 million U.S. users, many of whom are of voting age, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be named because they weren’t unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter.The recent briefings also pointed out that TikTok’s largest markets are key battleground states for the 2020 election, including Florida. The TikTok lobbyists also shared data on how young Trump supporters have grown increasingly active on the app, the person familiar said.Videos with the Trump2020 hashtag have notched 10.3 billion views on the app, compared to 2 billion views for Biden2020.After President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok last month, the app was flooded with videos of users crying and telling their friends to go out and vote against Trump in retaliation for taking aim at their digital hangout.It’s unclear if the Trump campaign shared considerations about TikTok’s influence over voters with the president or administration officials. It couldn’t be determined whether these considerations affected deliberations about banning the app or deal negotiations between the Treasury Department, TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance Ltd. and Oracle Corp. to create a new global TikTok that would satisfy U.S. national security concerns. “President Trump’s job is to protect Americans and stand up to China as they attempt to steal users’ data and spread propaganda – and he will not shirk that responsibility just because of an election,” campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager said.Representatives for TikTok didn’t respond to requests for comment.ByteDance has been building up its U.S. lobbying muscle over the last year. In a matter of months, it’s amassed a Washington operation with at least three dozen staffers and a number of outside lobbyists with close ties to the Trump administration, including David Urban, a senior adviser to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. Last quarter it spent a company record on federal lobbying, filings show.The proposed Oracle deal, designed to create a ring-fenced version of TikTok to protect the data of U.S. citizens and prevent China from spying, would have Oracle, Walmart Inc. and venture capital investors holding a minority stake.Despite indications in recent days that Trump was moving toward accepting the companies’ proposal, allowing them to avoid a ban, the U.S. Commerce Department on Friday said that it plans to expel TikTok from U.S. app stores by Sunday, but allowed the company until Nov. 12 to reach a final deal or face further restrictions on business in the U.S. Commerce said it could reverse the ban on TikTok’s video-streaming service if the company presents a deal that satisfies national security concerns.Over the summer, thousands of young people organized through TikTok to flood the campaign’s app with bad reviews and prank Trump’s first post-shutdown campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time, Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign, told Bloomberg News that “TikTok users don’t affect anything we do. What we do know is that the Chinese use TikTok to spy on its users.”(Updates with campaign statement in seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.