In what feels like an extremely weird move given the on-going issues with China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just been appointed the chairman of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, an influential Beijing university.
Cook's new role will see him replace Jim Breyer, founder and chief executive of Breyer Capital, with the Apple CEO sitting in his new chairman position for three years. Cook isn't the first prominent member of silicon valley to join the Beijing university's board, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk both involved with the school.
This position gives them access to the upper echelon of Chinese leaders in both business, and politics. Cook's official role with the board, like its other influential board members is to assist with the development of the school. Chinese business leaders in Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba, and Pony Ma the founder of Tencent.
A new report out of CNBC has stated that third-party Amazon sellers are shipping out expired food to buyers much to frequently.
According to the report, numerous Amazon customers are receiving foods and products such as baby formula, coffee creamer, beef jerky, granola bars and more well past their sell-by-date. Interviews have been conducted with the Amazon third-party sellers, consumers and consultants and majority of the formulated opinions point the finger at Amazon for having numerous system loopholes.
CNBC also states in their article that an analytics firm that specializes in the Amazon Marketplace combed over the sites 100 best-selling food products. They found that out of the 40% of sellers, more than five customer complaints were lodged about expired goods. It seems that as Amazon grows and expands its food business so does the amount of problems that arise. According to some safety advocates these issues will only increase as Amazon doesn't have accountability for its products due to the previously mentioned system "loopholes".
Netflix is pretty much unstoppable, but remember... the streaming wars are only just beginning as Disney is about to unleash Disney+ into the world. However, Netflix did pretty well in Q3 2018.
The streaming giant shared the details of its Q3 2019, with Netflix expecting 7 million new subscribers but only adding 6.77 million new subscribers, but it still made for an all-time record quarter. The recent price hikes didn't help Netflix keep as many subscribers as it expected. Netflix explained the bleeding out of customers: "With more revenue, we'll continue to invest to improve our service to further strengthen our value proposition".
Amazon Prime and Hulu are Netflix competitors in the here and now, but then we have Apple TV+ coming with a third outing in the Band of Brothers franchise, Disney+ with a near unlimited library of content to add to its service, and then we have HBO Max (please release the Snyder Cut of Justice League as an exclusive, WB) as well as NBC's upcoming Peacock subscription service.
A new study has been released showing that an increase in product variety can cause consumers to automatically discount an influencers positive recommendation of a certain product, despite its recommended quality.
This new research has been published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, and picks apart how recommendations for product quality affect the consumer. According to research, nearly 50% of consumers rely on digital influencers for product recommendations, and furthermore 40% of those consumers make purchases based on their recommendations.
Liao, a professor in the business school at The Chinese University of Hong Kong said "When many types of a product are available, consumers may expect an expert to find a better fit, and this consideration would then reduce consumer expectations of the product quality. As a result, the consumer valuation may decrease, which could lead to a lower profit."
I don't even know how to start this story, but a Dutch family was found to be living inside of a hidden room in their farmhouse -- for, get this... 9 years. The family was "waiting for the end of time" according to BBC News.
The family included the 58-year-old father and 6 of his sons aged 18-25, but then one of them escaped and fled to a nearby pub. The boy downed 5 beers (I'd be drinking more if I thought the world was going to end) and told the bar owner that he had escaped and needed some help.
BBC News reports that police officers then visited the farmhouse and searched it, discovering a hidden staircase that was behind a cupboard in the living room. Going down the staircase let them to a secret room where the family was hiding out for "the end of time". The 58-year-old man was arrested, and is now under investigation after refusing to cooperate.
Apple has been met with some well-deserved scrutiny with its recent assumed kowtowing to the Chinese government.
Apple has been targeted as being subservient to China in favor of sales over the freedom of users. Apple, in a controversial move, removed an app called HKmap.live, which was used by protestors of China's oppressive tactics to coordinate demonstrations and resistance to Chinese authoritarian rule.
The app works like other geolocation and mapping apps we have seen on mobile. The app allows users to set emojis in areas to signify police or other protest locations where they could congregate and coordinate with other protestors.
Facebook is no stranger to legal battles, and now they are about to jump right back into another one. This time for allegedly stealing the logo of a banking app.
Facebook formed a subsidiary company called Calibra to watch over its coming cryptocurrency that is planned to launch in 2020. Facebook's cyptocurrency 'Libra' hasn't had the best of weeks, as major backers such as PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Visa, and Mastercard have dropped support for it, and now the company is under fire for trademark infringement.
The trademark infringement has been filed by banking app Current, and judging from their official Twitter page located above, they have some grounds to stand on when saying that Facebook copied their logo they have been using since 2016. It should be noted that Facebook announced Libra in June of this year, meaning that Current had their logo for years before Facebook even conceived the idea of developing a cryptocurrency. Current says in their lawsuit that "is not only confusingly similar to, but virtually identical to the Current Marks."
Most of you have likely had some experience with Fitbit. Or at least heard the name or maybe even have come across an ad or store display for them. For the uninitiated, Fitbit was one of the early brands touting the capability and benefits of fitness-based wearable computing.
For the past year or more, the US administrative branch has been imposing and proposing new escalating tariffs on Chinese made goods in an attempt to hedge off the claimed unfair trade deficit.
Fitbit saw this coming as trade negotiations seemed to stall numerous times, and tensions escalated with threats of new tariffs to come if an agreement is not met. With that, any company would think about their current manufacturing supply chain and alternatives to China as a resource. Fitbit did just that, as you will see below in the quote from the current CFO of Fitbit Ron Kisling.
The amount of spending consumers do on mobile apps and games is increasing in a big way, with mobile app research firm Sensor Tower releasing some new data that is quite surprising, to say the least.
Sensor Tower estimates that consumers spent a huge $21.9 billion on mobile apps across the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in Q3 2019 alone, which is up from $17.9 billion in the same quarter of 2018 -- representing an increase of 22.9%.
Apple did the biggest business with $14.2 billion or so in gross app revenue in Q3 2019, up from the $11.6 billion in Q3 2018 while Google made $7.7 billion in revenue in Q3 2019 versus $6.2 billion from Q3 2018.
HP, the acclaimed purveyor of PC systems, printers, and other consumer and enterprise-level tech, announced it would move forward with plans to restructure and 'simplify operations.' The term 'simplify operations' is a cute way to say they want to lower headcount to match their business needs.
Needless to say, HP has seen a downturn in its formerly popular printing business as the world has become far more digital with less reliance on printers and printing technologies. HP has just made the planning announcements last week that they will be restructuring over the next three years and reducing overall headcount by 7000 - 9000 (up to 16%) employees.
This on the surface is not that uncommon as business units falter, companies will try to relocate or reposition employees to avoid the culling. But in this case, it appears between now and 2022, HP's goal is to make the necessary cuts. The strange part in all of this has to do with the fact that the board for HP just approved an extra budget of $5 billion for opportunistic repurchases of HP common stock.