|Day's Range||200.88 - 203.78|
Big tech companies are in the spotlight today as companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook testify in a U.S. government hearing against the French digital tax. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, and Jessica Smith discuss.
Google's reputation as one of Silicon Valley's friendliest tech companies began to shatter following President Trump's election. Wired magazine's Senior Writer Nitasha Tiku joined "CBSN AM" to discuss her September cover story, which gives an insight into the last three years of Google. She spoke to 47 current and former Google employees about several key events, including leaked emails and a bid for artificial intelligence.
Estée Lauder, Uber, Google, Tesla, Microsoft and Nvidia are the companies to watch.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The relationship between President Donald Trump and the largest U.S. technology companies has often been frosty but a common opponent -- France’s plan to tax U.S. tech giants -- will bring the two sides together, at least temporarily.Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. all testified in Washington on Monday in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to potentially punish France for enacting a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($832 million) in global revenue and digital sales of 25 million euros in France.France’s digital tax “is a sharp departure from long-established tax rules and uniquely targets a subset of businesses,” Nicholas Bramble, trade policy counsel at Google, said at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office hearing in Washington on Monday. “French government officials have emphasized repeatedly that the” tax is intended to target foreign technology companies.How ‘Digital Tax’ Plans in Europe Hit U.S. Tech: QuickTakeThe U.S. is probing France’s new tax, which French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law last month, using a tool that could be a precursor to new tariffs or other trade restrictions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer could take action as soon as Aug. 26 when a comment period on the issue closes.‘Radical Left’The effort to crack down on France has created common ground for Trump -- who has called Google and Facebook “on the side of the Radical Left Democrats” and accused Amazon of avoiding taxes -- and technology companies that are both worried foreign governments are looking to use American corporations as a way to collect additional tax revenue.While Amazon has increased its profit margins, even so the French digital tax could eat into profitability, said Peter Hiltz, the online retailer’s director of international tax and policy planning.If another country -- such as Spain -- were to enact a tax similar to France, that tax could compound, he said. If a French buyer were to buy a product from a Spanish seller, that transaction would be taxed by both countries, he said.The U.S. is looking to use France as an example to deter other countries from targeting American technology firms for tax dollars. The U.K., New Zealand, Spain and Italy are among countries considering their own digital taxes, a move that U.S. officials say could lead to companies being taxed multiple times on the same profits.Trump has threatened to tax French wine or other goods in response to the digital tax. Trump said he was considering a 100% tariff on French wine at a fund-raiser last week, though it’s unclear if he was being serious.He also tweeted last month “we will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly!” The so-called 301 investigation, which looks into unfair trade practices, is the same tool Trump used to slap tariffs on China over alleged intellectual-property theft.The U.S. says countries considering their own version of a digital tax should focus on ongoing global talks with 130 countries on how to tax tech companies. Any future pact would likely create a whole new set of rules governing which countries have the right to tax the companies, which corporate profits are taxable, and how to resolve the inevitable disputes that would arise. A deal could be reached as soon as next year.Opposition to France’s tax is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in June, Senators Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, urged the U.S. to look at “all available tools under U.S. law to address such targeted and discriminatory taxation.”The lawmakers included a suggestion to use a section of the tax code that would double the rate of U.S. taxes on French citizens and companies in the U.S.(Updates with Amazon representatives comments starting in the sixth paragrah.)To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Sarah McGregor, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The U.S. will extend for another 90 days a limited set of exemptions that had protected rural networks and other U.S. customers from a ban on doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday.Some telecom companies in the U.S. are “dependent” on Huawei, and so a 90-day reprieve was deemed appropriate, Ross said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. Still, the U.S. also added more than 40 Huawei affiliates to a trade blacklist.“We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” he added. Ross said the next deadline will be around Nov. 19. He added that Commerce decided to place 46 more Huawei subsidiaries on its entity list.The announcement doesn’t address the wider national-security concerns about Huawei and answer the bigger question of whether U.S. chip companies and other major suppliers will be allowed to sell parts to China.Huawei said in a statement that the temporary relief “does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly. Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way.” The move to add more of Huawei’s affiliates to the so-called Entity List “at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security,” the company said.QuickTake: How Huawei Became a Target for GovernmentsPresident Donald Trump over the weekend indicated the U.S. was “doing very well with China, and talking” but also suggested he wasn’t ready to sign a trade deal.U.S. stocks rallied Monday after the Trump administration signaled progress on trade negotiations and Ross announced the extension. Huawei, China’s largest technology company by sales, has been at the heart of worsening tensions and been called a bargaining chip in thorny trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. Trump had said he anticipated talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping “very soon” and the Huawei move may sweeten the tone of those discussions.Huawei, for its part, has been trying to carry on operations in face of U.S. sanctions on the sale of the vital technology. The company this month announced its in-house HarmonyOS, an open-source operating system that could one day serve as a replacement for Google Inc.’s Android if its access to that software is curtailed.Without Android or the numerous American silicon, technology and consultancy suppliers that Huawei does business with, many of its most promising product lines would either cease their rapid growth or be thwarted entirely.Rural AreasThe U.S. Commerce Department previously granted a three-month temporary license to Huawei’s U.S. customers shortly after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese company. That allowed telecom carriers in rural areas to continue using Huawei equipment and Google to provide only key Android security updates to Huawei phones.The latest extension came after Trump met in July with the chief executives of key Huawei suppliers from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Broadcom Inc. to Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. to discuss economic issues including a possible resumption of sales to Huawei. U.S. companies argued that Huawei will turn to non-American suppliers if sanctions persisted, hurting the U.S. in the long run. But trade talks with Beijing ground to a halt and China refused to resume purchases of American agricultural products.National SecurityThe announcement Monday came one day after Trump suggested that Huawei was unlikely to receive another extension, pushing back against news reports about an expected reprieve.“At this moment, it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump told reporters on Sunday in New Jersey. “I don’t want to do business at all, because it is a national security threat.”The president tied trade negotiations with the ongoing situation in Hong Kong, saying that a deal between the U.S. and China would be harder if there’s a violent conclusion to protests there because of concerns raised by U.S. lawmakers.Earlier this month, the trade war between the two countries intensified as the U.S. announced a next round of 10% tariffs on Chinese imports between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China responded with a boycott of American farm products and allowed its currency to weaken, signaling that this can help cushion the tariff blow.(Updates with Huawei reaction in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gao Yuan and Kasia Klimasinska.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at email@example.com;Jordan Fabian in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Shawn Donnan in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth Wasserman, Sarah McGregorFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
During the last recession, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 55% from the its highs to its lows. Wall Street is now handicapping how internet stocks might fare in the next downturn.
Huawei plans to launch its own mapping service as soon as this October. But Huawei’s Map Kit will initially not be a consumer mapping service.
Each new partner manager will be tasked with handling relationships with either conservative or progressive political publishers.
Google's Mobile Network Insights service, which was launched in March 2017 and provided free to carriers, used aggregated data from devices that ran Google’s Android operating system.
Until a couple weeks ago, IBM (NYSE:IBM) stock was on a solid bull run. But with the plunge in the markets, IBM stock price got hit, going from $150 to $133.76.Source: Shutterstock Despite the recent decline, International Business Machines stock is still up a respectable 18% for the year. Keep in mind that - for the past five years - the return of IBM stock has averaged -3%!Now the company certainly has its issues. Especially in the software sector, a large amount of IBM's revenues still come from legacy technologies,. The result is that the company continues to be a laggard in the cloud business, compared to its competitors like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG). Consequently, during the past four quarters, IBM's top line fell.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet I still think IBM stock offers investors an opportunity now. IBM stock looks well-positioned to benefit from a major transformation of the company's business. * 7 Great Small-Cap Stocks to Buy The Red Hat DealIBM's $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat is definitely risky. But I think the deal was worthwhile. Red Hat is a pioneer of the open-source software model, which has become a critical part of enterprise IT. This no-fee approach facilitates more ongoing innovation from an ecosystem of coders, as well as easier adoption.Through the years, Red Hat has built a robust platform that helps companies manage hybrid environments, including traditional, on-premise software and cloud applications. As more companies seek to more fully exploit the digital transformation, this approach is becoming quite attractive. And the opportunity for IBM is still in the early stages. The company believes that a typical enterprise is only about 20% through the transition to the cloud.IBM also brings key advantages. After all, the company offers significant opportunities for cross-selling into its massive customer base. It also has sophisticated global IT infrastructure. The AI Power of IBM StockDuring the past five years or so, AI has become a fast-growing part of the tech world. This has been due to the convergence of factors like: the proliferation of big data, the innovation of deep learning models, the speed of GPUs (graphic processing units) and the growth of IoT (Internet-of-Things).IBM has actually been in the AI game for decades. It was back in the 1980s that it created Deep Blue, which went on to beat the world champion of chess, Garry Kasparov. Then in 2014. IBM launched Watson, which beat the two all-time champions of Jeopardy!Yet Watson definitely does much more than play games. The platform has become a powerhouse for AI, with more than 20,000 client engagements across 20 industries.IBM's consulting division also benefits from the increased popularity of AI. After all, there is often a need for extensive data integration, planning of AI models and deployment. An example of this is IBM's engagement with ADP (NYSE:ADP), which worked with IBM to create a digital agent that handles as much as 20% of the company's chat traffic. The IBM Stock Price Is CheapToday it's tough to find a low-valuation tech play, especially one in hot markets like cutting-edge AI. But IBM stock is - by any definition - a value opportunity right now. Consider that the forward price-earnings multiple of IBM stock is a mere ten.And IBM has one of the highest dividend yields in tech: a juicy 4.84%. Note that it has raised its dividend for 24 consecutive years.In the meantime, the company continues to crank out the cash flows to support the payout. During the past 12 months, it generated $16.1 billion of cash.Tom Taulli is the author of the book, Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post 3 Reasons to Buy IBM Stock on the Dip appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Chinese internet search giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is set to report second-quarter numbers after today's bell and I'm not too optimistic on BIDU stock ahead of the print.Source: StreetVJ / Shutterstock.com From a high-level perspective, it does appear that China's economy is rebounding. Economic data coming out of China has meaningfully improved over the past several months. Meanwhile, Chinese tech heavyweights Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), JD.Com (NASDAQ:JD) and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) all recently reported strong quarterly numbers.But two of those three companies -- JD and Tencent -- said on their earnings calls that the ad market in China remains incredibly challenging. Tencent's ad business actually slowed this quarter. Baidu gets most of its revenue from its ad business. As such, with the broad read from recent reports being that China's ad business remains under tremendous pressure, the chance of Baidu reporting favorable numbers is not great.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat's why I'm avoiding BIDU stock this earnings season. This stock is in a big secular decline because its numbers have consistently disappointed investors. Those numbers will likely continue to disappoint for the foreseeable future. Thus, while Baidu stock is pretty cheap, it's still too risky to try and catch this falling knife.The big implication here? Stay until away until there's reason to come back. Baidu's Numbers Likely Won't Be GoodThe big reason to avoid BIDU stock ahead of the Q2 print is because it looks like the numbers won't be that good. * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now Baidu has a lot of moving parts. But, at its core, this is the Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) of China. As such, Baidu is an advertising business. Specifically, this is a search advertising business. But, the whole digital ad market in China -- and specifically the search ad market -- is dramatically slowing, mostly because it's oversaturated and because the entire economy is slowing.In these slowing markets, Baidu is also losing share. This share erosion has two drivers. One, alternative ad formats are more compelling (like in-feed and social). Two, Baidu is staring at elevated competition in the search game.Net net, Baidu is losing share in a slowing market. This has caused core revenue growth rates to slow from 50%-plus a few years ago, to under 20% last quarter. At the same time, Baidu is aggressively investing in alternative growth arenas to re-stimulate growth. This big spend is killing margins. Slowing growth plus falling margins equals tumbling profits. That's exactly what's happening. BIDU stock's earnings per share is expected to be cut in half this year.It does not appear that the Q2 print will have anything in it that will change the course of this downbeat narrative. JD said in its recent conference call that the China ad market remains under great pressure. Tencent had a similar tone in its conference call, citing a challenging digital ad macro environment as the reason why their digital ad business slowed from 25% growth in Q1 to 16% growth in Q2.If JD and Tencent -- two companies whose ad businesses have been relatively strong -- struggled this past quarter on the ad front, then it's pretty likely that Baidu -- a company whose ad business has been in free-fall -- struggled too. Continued bad numbers from Baidu won't be enough to shake BIDU stock out of its multi-quarter downtrend. Baidu Stock Is Cheap -- But the Worst May Not Be OverZooming out, Baidu stock is unequivocally very cheap in the big picture.Revenue growth trends are falling flat this year. But they will probably improve over the next several years as Baidu adapts its ad business to be more relevant in China's double-digit growth ad market. Thus, Baidu should be able to start stabilizing market share over the next several years, which should lead to renewed and consistent double-digit revenue growth. Revenue growth consistency will allow the company to pull back on big growth-related investments, so margins should improve too.Realistically, Baidu could grow revenues at a roughly 10% rate from 2019 into 2025, while adjusted operating margins could bounce back to 20% (where they were in 2018). Those assumptions make $15 in EPS seem doable for Baidu by 2025. Based on a market average 16-forward multiple, that implies a 2024 price target for BIDU stock of $240. Discounted back by 10% per year, that equates to a 2019 price target of roughly $150.That's more than 50% higher than where Baidu stock trades today. Thus, BIDU stock is undervalued.But, it will remain undervalued until investors have reason to believe that Baidu will stabilize its share in China's slowing digital ad market. That won't happen this quarter. As such, for the foreseeable future, BIDU stock will likely remain undervalued. Bottom Line on BIDU StockAt some point, Baidu stock will stage a huge, rip-your-face-off rally. But not today. That rally won't happen until Baidu proves that it can stabilize share in the slowing China digital ad market, and thereby, stabilize margins and profits. Baidu won't prove that this quarter. Until it does, it's best to stay away from this falling knife.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long BABA, JD and GOOG. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Baidu Stock Looks Risky Ahead of Earnings appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) valuation used to be a pretty big talking point. "It doesn't make any money!" "The P/E multiple is in the thousands!" How many times did we hear about that? Too much. Making matters worse for the bears, Amazon has gone on to become one of the largest companies in the world.It's forced many of those investors to finally acknowledge that AMZN stock is instead a buy, although there are different opinions on when to do it.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Dip-Buying on Amazon StockMany years ago, I was skeptical of AMZN stock because of these valuation concerns. In hindsight it's easy to laugh about it. But at the time, it was defying all historic valuation metrics.Those fears kept me from buying aggressively, which was a mistake looking back on it. However, its momentum and strong price action kept me from ever shorting the e-commerce giant. Further, it's one of my favorite deep-dip stocks to buy on big corrections. * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On When we see huge stock market corrections, we tend to get larger-than-average pullbacks in AMZN too. Click to EnlargeIn early 2014 and 2016, AMZN stock took a roughly 30% fall. In the fourth quarter of 2018, shares fell almost 40% from peak to trough. Not many investors will snag the bottom but being cognizant of these types of corrections is important.More mild corrections (15%-plus losses) happen in between the big ones. So, while it may be tempting to buy a few AMZN shares when the stock is rallying and analysts are slapping $2,500 price targets on it, bigger dips are investors' real friend.Right now, Amazon stock is 14% off the recent highs. It's also into a key level of support, as you'll see below in a moment. Should it correct back down to $1,400, a major support level in 2018, it will be 31% off its highs.The bottom line? When the stock market is in irrational sell-off mode, keep Amazon stock on watch. Down 30% or more doesn't come around often, but it's a good time to nibble when it does. Trading AMZN StockAt $1,770, Amazon stock has a number of support levels just below current prices. The prior Q4 highs and the recent lows from earlier this month are nearby. There's also the 38.2% retracement and the 200-day moving average. Finally, there's uptrend support for 2019 (blue line). Click to EnlargeIf all of these levels give way, the 50% retracement near $1,675 is in play, with the 61.8% retracement near $1,600 below that. In between -- at $1,628 -- AMZN will be 20% off its recent high. At $1,424, the Amazon stock price will be 30% off the recent high and just above key support. Bottom Line on AmazonAmazon now commands an $875 billion market capitalization, although at one point it was north of $1 billion.Just look at the continued onslaught we're seeing in traditional retail. Department stores like Macy's (NYSE:M) are getting crushed, while J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) is on the brink. There are some that are not only surviving but thriving, such as Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST). But for the most part, it's quite clear e-commerce is the present and the future.That bodes well for names like Amazon and Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP). But Amazon's business goes much further than that.It's got one of the largest cloud businesses in the country, outmuscling names like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Its digital advertising space has quickly grown into a behemoth in its own right.Put simply, AMZN is a tech giant with a sprawling reach across the digital world. It may not be cheap -- although it's cheaper than its historical comparisons -- but it's one of those names you buy on deep pullbacks. They may only come around once in a while, but those are the times to pounce.Amazon is forecast to grow revenue about 20% this year to roughly $280 billion and almost 19% in the following year. Now profitable, AMZN stock features strong earnings and robust cash flow. It's a name to own if you get it on a deep enough correction.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long GOOGL and AMZN. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Do You Buy Amazon Stock Here or on a Deeper Dip? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date. What Happened? On this day 15 years ago, Google held its initial public offering. Where The Market Was ...
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google's concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators. The withdrawal of the service, which has not been previously reported, has disappointed wireless carriers that used the data as part of their decision-making process on where to extend or upgrade their coverage. Google's Mobile Network Insights service, which had launched in March 2017, was essentially a map showing carriers signal strengths and connection speeds they were delivering in each area.
(Bloomberg) -- Somewhere between Spotify crashing and Alexa failing to locate his favorite sushi place, Rafael Rivera decided he was dealing with an unfinished product.The software developer’s rectangular Echo Auto, perched on the dashboard of his 2005 Mini Cooper, picked up his voice seamlessly over blaring music or air conditioning. But repeated restarts and clunky mapping made the on-the-go hub for Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa less useful.“Am I part of a beta program?” he recalls thinking. “Is this thing done?”Introduced almost a year ago and shipped to the first invited customers in January, the sometimes-buggy Echo Auto is the most visible element so far of Amazon’s ambition to take Alexa on the road.Behind the scenes, the company is trying to persuade automakers to bake the voice-activated digital assistant into their entertainment systems. Those efforts are gaining some traction—BMW and Audi earlier this year began selling select models that integrate Alexa’s software by default. But Amazon is entering a market already contested by Google and Apple Inc., not to mention automakers leery of ceding control of the dashboard to Big Tech.While colonizing the car probably won’t generate much in the way of revenue at first, just being there would help Amazon position itself for a coming era of voice-based services. “Amazon wants to get into the car in a big way,” says Mike Ramsey, a senior research director at Gartner who tracks the auto industry. “They sense that there is a big opportunity.”Amazon declined to make anyone available to discuss the program, but a spokesman pointed to comments Ned Curic, vice president of Alexa Automotive, made last month to the Automotive News: “The real North Star for us is to be embedded with all the cars,” Curic said. “We’re working very hard to get there because we believe that is the best experience.”The company has said it wants to make Alexa, its hub for trivia, music and Amazon products, ubiquitous. The company built teams in recent years charged with making the software useful beyond the living room, seeking ties to home automation and security companies, building out voice and video calling functionality and even exploring wearable devices and home robots.The first tie between Alexa and an automaker was, like many Amazon efforts, an experiment. In 2016, Hyundai Motor Co. rolled out the first application linking Alexa to a big carmaker in a tool that let owners of some models start their vehicle or set the climate control from an Alexa device.Amazon formalized its push a year later, hiring Curic, an executive with Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American subsidiary, to run the automotive efforts. Curic’s team plucked staff from Lab126, the San Francisco Bay Area hardware division behind the Echo speaker, and Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing arm. Amazon also went shopping for recruits who knew their way around the industry, seeking veterans of German stalwarts like Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, companies that have been among the most aggressive in exploring voice software.Hanging over the exercise to take Alexa on the road is Amazon’s failure to build a smartphone to rival Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple. About 62% of people who use their voice to control music or other applications in their car today do so through a smartphone, a market dominated by Google and Apple, according to a survey by voice technology news site Voicebot and dashboard entertainment startup Drivetime. Another 32% opt for the software included in their car’s entertainment system while 6% use different technology, including the Echo Auto.“Amazon’s Achilles heel is not having a play on the phone,” says John Foster, chief executive of Aiqudo Inc. a startup working to tailor mobile applications for voice control. “They’re going at it the best way they can. But I do think they suffer from this disadvantage that Google is really starting to make clear.”Google, the company behind Android, the world’s most popular operating system, has gotten automakers on board, building ties that could be used to hook drivers into Google's Assistant, Alexa's biggest rival in the U.S. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Volvo are all building entertainment systems on Android.“Google has a much bigger footprint in the auto industry than Amazon does,” says Ramsey, of Gartner. “They’re getting big wins. Amazon is just starting to scratch the surface.”Other carmakers are going their own route.Some, like Daimler’s Mercedes, have thrown their weight behind proprietary voice software. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience system, like many automaker-branded software, is powered by technology built by Nuance Communications Inc., a software company in Massachusetts.“Each of these manufacturers wants to preserve their own brand” in the car, says Richard Mack, a Nuance marketing executive. “When you press that button on the steering wheel, Mercedes would much rather see their emblem come up rather than a Google or an Amazon or a Microsoft logo.”Amazon has tried to assuage carmakers worried about Google or Apple's potential automotive ambitions by suggesting Alexa could be one among several voice assistants embedded in a future entertainment system, according to two people who have heard the pitch, but aren't authorized to publicly discuss it. Amazon last year released tools that let carmakers build Alexa into their cars. The company has also tried to leverage Alexa’s popularity in the home, saying to potential partners that customers would rather use voice software they’re already familiar with than learn a new program while behind the wheel.As Curic’s team negotiated with carmakers, Lab126 engineers got to work on an end around, repurposing the Echo speaker’s microphone arrays and software, originally designed for homes, for noisy car environments. The device avoided dealing with in-car communications systems entirely by piggybacking off of customers’ smartphone to connect to Alexa servers.When it was released, analysts said the Echo Auto seemed to fill a gap in the market, offering a device that promised to bring modern voice control to older car models. It drew more than 1 million orders, Amazon said, though the device is still shipping in batches and only to invited customers.Reviewers said the device lacked polish, coming off at times like a work-in-progress. A reviewer at tech news site the Verge said some of the auto-focused applications Amazon touts on its website “are laughably bad right now.”It’s harder to get a read on how customers feel because Amazon, which helped popularize online product reviews, has disabled customer reviews for the Echo Auto.Ryan Adzima, who bought one to replace the outdated voice control system that came standard in his Jeep, is a fan. The owner of five Echo smart speakers figured the device’s introductory price tag of $25 was a bargain compared with replacing his entertainment system or buying a voice-activated navigation system.He liked the device, which heard his commands over road noise with the windows open and top down and easily handled tasks like calls and music. Connectivity, dependent on sometimes spotty wireless service around his Las Vegas home, left something to be desired, forcing him to reach for his phone to skip songs by hand when Alexa’s servers couldn’t be reached.Adzima isn’t in the market for a new car. But if Alexa is integrated in enough models by the time he is, he’ll consider it.“If I was sitting on a lot, and one car had Alexa built in, the other didn’t, and the cost difference wasn’t that much?,” he says. “That would definitely make my decision.”To contact the author of this story: Matt Day in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yandex, a Russian equivalent to Google, said it is considering expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to up to 1,000 within the next two years in order to speed up tests on the fledgling technology. Yandex hopes to start testing more than 100 of its self-driving cars on roads by the end of this year. Research published by HSBC bank in January said that Yandex's autonomous driving software put it on a par with global leaders in the technology and that it was catching up with Google's Waymo.
(Bloomberg) -- ByteDance Inc. has invested in a prominent Chinese Wikipedia-like platform, stepping up its internet search challenge to rival Baidu Inc.A unit of ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup according to CB Insights, now holds 22% of the registered capital of Baike.com, according to a recent update on a Chinese government website that publishes company registration information. Baike, which means encyclopedia in Chinese, is the country’s second largest such reference platform and was founded in 2005 by Chief Executive Officer Pan Haidong. Pan is no longer listed as a shareholder of his company, the website shows.As China’s internet shifts from desktop to mobile, ByteDance is increasingly chipping away at advertising sales from Baidu, drawing users to its umbrella of apps from news aggregation to short video platforms. It’s also moving into Baidu’s core search engine business, launching Toutiao Search. That already features entries from Baike.com and started out as a function within ByteDance’s popular news app of the same name. It’s being built into a Google-like service and the company has said it’s recruited from Google, Baidu and Microsoft Corp.’s Bing.Baidu uses its own Wikipedia-like Baidu Baike, which is the market leader. Wikipedia is blocked in all languages in China.Representatives from ByteDance and Baike.com didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Baidu had previously declined to comment on ByteDance’s search service, but referred to remarks by a company executive who said Baidu has successfully fended off new entrants in the past.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S.-China trade tensions could escalate next week following the expiration of an export ban against Chinese telecom giant Huawei
Harvard University’s endowment made some bold stock trades in the calendar second quarter. Harvard Management Co., or HMC, the entity that manages the endowment, oversaw $405 million in U.S.-traded equities as of June 30.