The latest news and information about startups and innovations from the mobile world.
Hello from the apocalyptic San Francisco!
This past week has been all about TikTok again so I want to give everyone a quick summary:
What is the latest?
Three bidders are on the table:
Microsoft and Walmart
Oracle, Sequoia Capital, and General Atlantic
Triller and Centricus Asset Management
Tiktok is suing Donald J. Trump (President of the United States) and Wilbur L. Ross Jr. (Secretary of Commerce).
Kevin Mayer (former Disney executive) resigned as TikTok U.S. CEO. And Vanessa Pappa (former YouTube executive) is now in charge.
China imposed new restrictions on technology exports. Article 18 covers some forms of artificial intelligence and Article 21 encompasses data analytics and content recommendation.
The deadline is September 15 for Bytedance to sell or cease its American operations.
What would the potential winning bidder be buying?
By June 2020, TikTok’s total number of U.S. monthly active users had soared to 91,937,040. Today, based on quarterly usage, 100 million Americans use the TikTok application. (See P.6 on the TikTok lawsuit against the US government)
Operations and assets for the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
It is not clear if the acquirer will be licensed or have access to the algorithm. As Alfred said on Bloomberg, the crown jewel of this deal is really the 15 million lines of machine learning code.
Why does it matter?
Regardless of what happens to TikTok, this will change the course of internet sovereignty and China-US tech history.
It will greatly impact going forward to how the US government will handle WeChat and Huawei.
China may retaliate even more and establish its own version of CFIUS. It will challenge US-China cross-border investments, operations, M&A, and IPOs going forward.
P.S. I am speaking at Disrupt 2020 next week (Sep 14 - 18, 2020) on the topic of emerging technology and investment trends in China and Silicon Valley.
Use our RACECAPITAL50 for 50% off promo code good for Disrupt Digital Pro Passes by clicking here.
Related to mobile shopping’s growth, and the more than 1 billion hours spent shopping in Q4 on Android. Online grocery services are also booming, particularly in markets with rising COVID-19 cases, like the U.S. and Brazil. Higher usage of mobile grocery shopping apps is expected to continue through Thanksgiving in the U.S., as consumers use apps for checking inventory, self-checkout, delivery and buy online/pickup in store. Similarly, meal delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are also expected to remain valuable and widely used in Q4.
“Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store,” it said in the filing. The legal battle between the two companies comes as Apple faces increased scrutiny of its practices running the App Store.
The surveillance push has supported a fast-growing force of internet police. The group prowls services like WeChat for posts deemed politically sensitive, anything from a link to a joke mocking leader Xi Jinping. To handle WeChat’s hundreds of millions of users and their conversations, software analyzes keywords, links and images to generate leads.
“Gig economy” companies like DoorDash, Lyft and Handy hire contractors as professional drivers, personal shoppers and home cleaners. These workers aren’t classified as employees but as independent contractors who in theory have the flexibility to accept or reject jobs at will, but who aren’t entitled to standard employment protections such as a minimum wage and paid sick days.
Their businesses rely on contract worker rules that more lawmakers, regulators and lawyers say should not apply to them. So, yes, the gig economy might be risky for workers. But now it looks as if it’s a huge risk for the app companies, too.
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