Apple Layoffs; Bing Gets Blocked In China; IPO Workaround
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Microsoft owned, third-rate search engine, Bing, was unavailable yesterday in China for an unexplained reason … or so it appeared. Some conspiracy theorists suggested it was a Domain Name System (DNS) block by the Chinese government, aka the Great Firewall, but others believed it was thanks to high traffic after Bing criticized rival (and Chinese-owned) Baidu.
Turns out the first theory was correct. State-owned telecom, China Unicom, confirmed the block. Despite claiming only 2% of the Chinese market (because even communists don’t like Bing), Bing is one of the few non-Chinese internet operations with a foothold in the nation which has banned the likes of Google and Facebook.
So now what?
Bing is already up and running and it turns out it had violated some search result policies that were in place to “protect” the Chinese people from things like … knowing about Tiananmen Square. But the real issue for Bing and its competitors may be a whole new breed of search engine.
Even Baidu which has a 70% market share in the country has fallen on hard times as the likes of Alibaba and Tencent cut out the middle man and create their own searchable ecosystems.
HEY SIRI, LAY OFF 200 PEOPLE
Apple’s Project Titan self-driving car initiative is cutting 200 jobs. The company confirmed Thursday that cuts happened sometime earlier this week, but the project will continue. A portion of the 200 staffers will stay on at Apple.
According to insiders, the layoffs don’t come as a surprise. Titan’s leadership changed in October when Doug Field returned to the mothership after a brief stint with Tesla. With new leadership in place, the plans to restructure Project Titan were to be expected.
Project Titan is no stranger to restructuring. In 2016, Apple announced that it was going to abandon smart cars altogether, and focus instead on the software that helps autonomous cars do what they do best. That plan didn’t last long, as Cook and Co. were reported to have doubled their fleet of self-driving vehicles as of last January.
Biotech company Gossamer Bio is slated to go public in twenty calendar days.
In case you’ve been ‘Bird Box-ing’ it for the past month and a half, we’re in the midsts of one hell of a government shutdown. During which companies cannot file for IPOs because the Securities and Exchange Commission is, well, shut down.
Wait, so how are they going public?
Well, Gossamer Bio, which has applied to list on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, included in its registration statement the proposed number of shares (14.375M) and proposed price ($16 per share). Under Rule 473(b), which I’m sure we’re all familiar with, the registration statement is expected to become automatically effective twenty days after filing.
While it is technically legal to go public using this method, it’s rarely, if ever, is used. New Fortress Energy, the parent company of Big Dick Energy, is also expected to go public using the same method. Suck it, Uncle Sam.
IN OTHER NEWS
- If Wilbur Ross isn’t the most pessimistic son of a b*tch on earth, I don’t know who is. The Commerce Secretary didn’t mince his words when he indicated that the US and China were “miles and miles” away from resolving their differences ahead of this week’s trade negotiations.
- Going, going, Ghosn. Renault finally took the hint, naming a new chairman and CEO after sticking by its man despite alleged crimes committed during his time at Nissan. Carlos Ghosn relinquished his roles from a jail cell in Japan, making way for Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard to take over as chairman and Thierry Bolloré, Ghosn’s understudy, to take over as CEO.
- “Take it, it’s yours!” – pretty much any employer right now regarding pretty much any job right now. Weekly jobless claims fell by 13k to 199k, the lowest mark since 1969. The figure blew economist’s consensus of 220k out of the water.
- One Trenta earnings report, please. Starbucks had itself a holiday season. Shares of Starbs rose more than 2% following the company’s better than expected earnings report. The home of the unicorn frapp saw a sizeable increase in sales, driven by a spike in average check size … despite the number of transactions remaining flat.
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