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Tencent, Xiaomi Invested in TikTok’s Parent, ByteDance

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The list of current and former investors in TikTok’s owner ByteDance include some of the biggest names in finance, including Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic—along with some of the biggest Chinese tech firms. 

The Information has learned that Chinese internet giant Tencent, one of ByteDance’s biggest competitors, bought a stake of less than 2% in ByteDance in 2016 but has since sold the stake. Xiaomi, one of China’s biggest smartphone makers, invested in ByteDance in 2014. Other previously unreported investors include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.  

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/tencent-xiaomi-invested-in-tiktoks-parent-bytedance

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Apple Rejects App for Verifying Pennsylvania Ballots

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Efforts to reject some ballots in battleground states like Pennsylvania could determine the outcome of next week’s election. But a mobile app designed to help ensure that Pennsylvania ballots are getting counted has already been rejected—by Apple.

After almost two weeks of holding up the release of the app, called Drive Turnout, Apple on Thursday told the developer behind it, Ari Steinberg, that the app violates the company’s privacy rules and that Apple won’t release it. It was a curious decision. Steinberg’s app relies on information that is publicly available on a Pennsylvania state website, which allows anyone with a voter’s name, date of birth and county of residence to verify that that voter’s ballot has been counted.

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/apple-rejects-app-for-verifying-pennsylvania-ballots

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Tech Selloff Follows Earnings: The Information’s Tech Briefing

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If Thursday was party time for tech companies, most of which reported better-than-expected earnings, Friday was the hangover. Most big tech stocks tumbled, as the Nasdaq led the market down by losing nearly 2.5%. Yes, there is a disconnect there, although major tech stocks have rallied strongly in recent months, so maybe they’re getting hit harder by growing anxieties about Covid-19 and next week’s election. .

Investors also might be focusing on some worrying areas emerging for several companies, including weak user growth at Twitter and Facebook, and lower-than-expected iPhone sales at Apple. As one Wall Street executive quoted in this Bloomberg article noted, “the market has priced tech to near perfection and thus one fly—maybe even a fruit fly—in the ointment could perpetuate a selloff.”

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/tech-selloff-follows-earnings-the-informations-tech-briefing

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The Information’s 411 — Contractors With Benefits

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Will Uber and Lyft drivers become full-time employees, or something more like contractors with benefits? California’s Proposition 22 will help determine the fate of “gig” work, as well as the financial fortunes of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart. Tom and Cory break down this high-stakes battle ahead of Election Day, with some help from Uber and Lyft reporter extraordinaire Amir Efrati. We also hear from Uber and Lyft drivers on both sides of the fight, one of the most important political battles ever for the tech industry.

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/the-informations-411-contractors-with-benefits

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