GOOG Jan 2021 1300.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
182.95
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 9:44AM EST. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close182.95
Open182.12
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike1,300.00
Expire Date2021-01-15
Day's Range182.09 - 182.95
Contract RangeN/A
Volume3
Open InterestN/A
  • Google Assistant gets a customized alarm, based on weather and time
    TechCrunch

    Google Assistant gets a customized alarm, based on weather and time

    Alarm clocks were one of the most obvious implementations since the introduction of the smart screen. Devices like Lenovo’s Smart Clock and the Amazon Echo Show 5 have demonstrated some interesting features in the bedside display form factor, and Google has worked with the former to refine the experience. Per a blog post that went up this morning, the alarm ringtone is based on the company’s open-source project, Magenta.

  • Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ List
    Bloomberg

    Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 ‘Best Places to Work’ List

    (Bloomberg) -- Big tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, long seen as some of the world’s most desirable workplaces offering countless perks and employee benefits, are losing some of their shine.The Silicon Valley companies dropped out of the Top 10 “best places to work” in the U.S., according to Glassdoor’s annual rankings released Tuesday. HubSpot Inc., a cloud-computing software company, grabbed the No. 1 ranking while tech firms DocuSign Inc. and Ultimate Software were three and eight, respectively.Facebook, which has been rated as the “best place to work” three times in the past 10 years, was ranked 23rd. It’s the social-media company’s lowest position since it first made the list in 2011 as the top-rated workplace. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, was ranked seventh last year.Google, voted “best place to work” in 2015 and a Top-10 finisher the previous eight years, came in at No. 11 on Glassdoor’s list. Apple Inc., once a consistent Top-25 finisher, was ranked 84th. Amazon Inc., which has never been known for a positive internal culture, failed to make the list for the 12th straight year.Microsoft Corp. was one of the lone big technology companies to jump in the rankings. The Redmond, Washington-based software company moved to No. 21 from 34 a year ago.The annual list ranks companies using employee reviews on areas such as compensation, benefits, culture and senior management. Many of the big tech companies, including Facebook and Google, have been criticized this year for a myriad of issues, and in some cases employees have publicly opposed executive decisions.At Google, employees have protested against the company on a number of topics, including the company’s “intimidation” tactics against worker organizers. The results of an internal employee poll at the internet search giant, reported by Bloomberg in February, showed that fewer employees were inspired by Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai’s vision than a year earlier. It also found fewer workers believe senior management could successfully lead the company into the future.At Facebook, which just like Google provides employees with perks including free meals, corporate transportation and laundry services, workers have pushed back internally against leadership on some policy issues, such as the decision not to fact-check political advertisements.(Updates with top 10 table after sixth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Seeks Direction, But Reveals Apple, Google As True Leaders
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Seeks Direction, But Reveals Apple, Google As True Leaders

    Dow futures: The stock market still seeks China trade clarity, but Apple, AMD, Google, Microsoft and Target are acting like true leaders.

  • Benzinga

    Google Hires AliveCor Chief Medical Officer For Its Health Initiative

    Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) has hired medical device maker AliveCor Inc's chief medical officer Jacqueline Shreibati to be a part of the Google Health initiative, CNBC reported on Tuesday. Shreibati, ...

  • TikTok Owner Is Testing Music App in Bid for Next Global Hit
    Bloomberg

    TikTok Owner Is Testing Music App in Bid for Next Global Hit

    (Bloomberg) -- TikTok owner ByteDance Inc. is testing a new music app in emerging markets as it tries to pull off another global sensation akin to its viral video-sharing service.Called Resso, the new app is now available in India and Indonesia, two of Asia’s most populous countries and places already keenly familiar with TikTok. Since an initial launch six months ago, Resso has been installed by about 27,000 users across the iOS App Store and Google Play, according to data compiled by Sensor Tower, which said the numbers indicate promotion of the app began in earnest at the end of November.ByteDance, the world’s most valuable startup, has been quietly developing the app to challenge the likes of Spotify and Apple Music in countries where paid music services have yet to garner large audiences.“The dilemma for all three companies is how to monetize a price-sensitive user base with low relative incomes,” said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at Shanghai-based consultancy AgencyChina. “At the moment, it’s a race for active users in the developing world. Commercial realities will be put aside, at least for now.”Unlike Spotify, Resso displays real-time lyrics and lets users post their comments under individual songs. They can also generate music-accompanied GIFs and videos, emulating a favorite feature of TikTok. The app offers a monthly paid subscription service, which costs 119 rupees ($1.70) in India, the same as Spotify. Premium Resso users will be able to download music and listen ad-free.The Beijing-based company has secured rights from Indian labels T-Series and Times Music, Bloomberg News previously reported.A TikTok Craze Is Minting Celebrities and Ruining Lives in IndiaYet there are still no rights deals with the world’s three largest music companies -- Warner Music Group Corp., Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment -- which control the vast majority of popular music and whose catalogs would be crucial for Resso to catch on globally, according to people familiar with the matter.Record companies credit TikTok with minting a new generation of music stars, including Lil Nas X, the singer of “Old Town Road.” As it has attracted hundreds of millions of users with their music, however, those companies are now demanding ByteDance increase the licensing fees it pays.“Resso is currently in a beta testing phase,” a Resso representative said in a statement. “We are optimistic about its long-term prospects but we are still very early in the process and only in a limited number of developing markets.”ByteDance was valued at $75 billion last year in part because investors are confident about its reputation as a mobile app factory. But the seven-year-old startup is still on the lookout for its next major breakout hit after TikTok and news aggregator Toutiao, its first signature app. With the paid music app, ByteDance is also looking to expand its revenue stream beyond advertising to counter a slowing home economy that has dampened advertisers’ appetites.A rare global feat for a Chinese internet company, TikTok has been installed nearly 1.5 billion times since launching in 2017. New U.S. users grew 38% to 11.6 million in the third quarter, according to Sensor Tower, up from 8.4 million a year earlier.But its Chinese ownership has become a lightning rod for criticism as tensions rise between the U.S. and China over trade and technology. American politicians and teen users alike have expressed concerns about the app’s handling of user data and censorship of politically-sensitive expression.Testing out Resso in its chosen markets gives ByteDance the breathing room to scale up the service slowly and out of the intense spotlight that’s placed on its other services.(Updates with analyst comment in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Muneeza Naqvi.To contact the reporters on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.net;Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    Attorney General Barr Says He Wants Antitrust Investigation Into Tech Giants Finished Next Year

    U.S. Attorney General William Barr has signaled he wants to finish the antitrust investigation into U.S. technology giants next year. “I think it’s important to move quickly on these things as they have a cost to companies,” Barr said. Barr was speaking at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

  • U.S. Justice Department to review Google's deal for Fitbit: source
    Reuters

    U.S. Justice Department to review Google's deal for Fitbit: source

    The U.S. Justice Department will review plans by Alphabet Inc-owned Google to buy fitness tracker maker Fitbit Inc for possible antitrust issues, a source told Reuters on Tuesday. The $2.1 billion deal will give search and advertising giant Google the capability to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches. Watchdog groups like Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy, among others, have urged antitrust enforcers to block the deal on the grounds that it will give Google even more data about American consumers.

  • U.S. Justice Department to review Google's deal for Fitbit - source
    Reuters

    U.S. Justice Department to review Google's deal for Fitbit - source

    The U.S. Justice Department will review plans by Alphabet Inc-owned Google to buy fitness tracker maker Fitbit Inc for possible antitrust issues, a source told Reuters on Tuesday. The $2.1 billion (£1.64 billion) deal will give search and advertising giant Google the capability to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches. Watchdog groups like Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy, among others, have urged antitrust enforcers to block the deal on the grounds that it will give Google even more data about American consumers.

  • Where Is Alphabet's Stock Headed?
    GuruFocus.com

    Where Is Alphabet's Stock Headed?

    With a portfolio of excellent market leaders, the company remains a pertinent investment Continue reading...

  • Alphabet's Loon agrees airspace deal with Uganda for internet balloon service
    Reuters

    Alphabet's Loon agrees airspace deal with Uganda for internet balloon service

    Loon, a unit of Google's owner Alphabet Inc, which uses high-altitude balloons to provide mobile internet to remote areas, has signed a key access airspace agreement with Uganda. The deal grants Loon overflight rights crucial to its plans to provide floating balloon-enabled internet services in neighboring Kenya, the company said on Tuesday. The permissions are key to the firm's ambition of providing internet access to rural and remote populations that receive poor connectivity from traditional telecoms in Kenya, said Scott Coriell, the company's Head of Global Communications.

  • Billionaire David Tepper Loaded Up These 3 FANG Stocks; Should You?
    TipRanks

    Billionaire David Tepper Loaded Up These 3 FANG Stocks; Should You?

    Wall Street pays attention when David Tepper makes an investment move. Tepper started out his career as a credit analyst with Goldman Sachs in the 1980s, diving right away into risky bonds and other distressed debt assets. Older financial hands noticed that Tepper was right more than he was wrong with this gutsy strategy, and brought in high returns for the firm.Tepper earned a reputation as a go-getter who was not afraid to take hair-raising chances. When he parted ways with Goldman Sachs in 1992, he took that attitude with him when hefounded Appaloosa Management the next year.Starting with $57 million in available capital, Tepper has since built Appaloosa into a behemoth – the fund now has over $17 billion in assets under management. With Appaloosa, Tepper has maintained his preference for high-risk, high-yield distressed debt investments, but among the firm’s assets are $3.4 billion in 13F securities. And the list of stocks that Tepper’s fund has bought into is most interesting.Even though Tepper’s reputation was built on taking risks, Appaloosa’s three biggest investments, comprising 44% of the holdings in the Q3 13F filing, were Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon – three of the four FANG stocks. Collectively, these companies hold the third, fourth, and fifth spots among the largest publicly traded companies in the world, and none of them are considered “high-risk.” Tepper has put over $1.5 billion dollars into these three companies – with large increases in his holdings of them in Q3.Remember, of course, that Tepper still must ensure that investors receive the returns they were sold on. The FANG stocks, all giants in the high-return tech sector, are one way of doing just that.We’ve opened the TipRanks database to get the lowdown on Tepper’s big FANG investments. A brief look at the TipRanks Stock Screener tool shows that all three have a clear positive upside potential for the near future, and ‘very positive’ investor sentiment – a sign that these stocks are attracting and holding new investors. More importantly, all three have the coveted ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating from the Wall Street analysts. Let’s dive deeper, to find out what those analysts have to say.Amazon (AMZN)Amazon is the world’s third largest publicly traded company, with a market cap of $872 billion, and has absolutely dominated online retail since the 2000s. The company is a known innovator in warehousing techniques and processes, and has developed a ruthless reputation for improving cost efficiencies.Large capital expenditures in the past year depressed EPS according to the most recent quarterly earnings report. The key metric was down by 9%, at $4.23 against the $4.62 estimate, even though top-line revenues gained 24% and reached $70 billion for the quarter. The company has spent over $1.6 billion in 2019 on promoting and expanding its one-day delivery. Even though management acknowledged that the capex pushed down earnings, they also announced a further $1.5 billion spend in Q4, on expansions of the warehouse network and product lines. Not many companies can react to a bottom line hit from high capex by announcing even higher future capex. Amazon gets away with it due to its size, its economies of scale, and its strong cash flows.Tepper bought up 80,000 shares of AMZN in Q3, an increase of 44% in his stake in the company. Appaloosa’s holding of AMZN shares is now 265,000 and is worth over $460 million at current prices.Of the stocks in this list, Amazon shows the highest potential upside. Youssef Squali, writing for SunTrust Robinson, explains why: “We're incrementally positive on AMZN going into what should be a robust holiday season, given the company's outsized growth within US ecommerce, of which we estimate AMZN will claim ~37% of total GMV this holiday season…”Squali puts a $2,350 price target on the stock, showing his confidence in an impressive 34% upside potential for the stock. (To watch Squali’s track record, click here)Let’s face it, Wall Street agrees with him on this. AMZN shares have a single Hold rating, but a whopping 38 Buys – giving the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. Amazon shares are famously expensive, at $1,761, and the average price target of $2,151 shows that Wall Street anticipates 22% upside growth. (See Amazon's stock analysis on TipRanks)Facebook (FB)We’ve all heard the ugly details of Facebook’s recent troubles. User privacy breaches, a $5 billion FCC fine, accusations of political censorship, and Mark Zuckerberg’s bungled efforts at PR damage control all took a toll on the stock. And so, despite hitting an all-time high share price back in July of 2018 and giving the impression that the sky was the limit, the company fell hard and fast through 2H18 and has had difficulty regaining traction in 2019.A look at the price chart shows that FB’s troubles may be in the rearview mirror as the stock has been rising through the fourth quarter of this year. Revenues and earnings both beat the forecasts in Q3, with the top line at $17.65 billion and EPS at $2.12. Usage metrics across the company’s apps remain high, with Monthly Average Users meeting expectations at 2.45 billion and Daily Active Users edging over the estimates at 1.62 billion.The sheer size of those numbers opens a window to Facebook’s underlying strength, and the reason the social media giant was able to weather its recent storms: the company is simply huge. With 2.45 billion monthly active users, Facebook is reaching up to one-third of the world’s total population – and a higher proportion of those with internet access. Advertisers will pay handsomely for that kind of reach, and Facebook shares show the result: the stock is up 54% in 2019, more than double the S&P 500’s year-to-date gain.Tepper was impressed enough with Facebook to boost his fund’s holding by 53%. Appaloosa added 975,000 shares of FB to its portfolio in Q3, bringing the total holding to 2.825 million. That’s worth over $503 million today, and makes up 15.9% of Appaloosa’s total 13F portfolio.The view from Wall Street is bullish on Facebook as well. Ronald Josey, of JMP Securities, puts forth the bull case bluntly: “We continue to be impressed with Facebook’s execution both on the engagement and monetization fronts and we do not foresee these trends changing dramatically. On the contrary, usage is improving, and we believe more advertisers are devoting greater budgets to Facebook.”Along with the Outperform rating, Josey’s $250 price target implies a steady upside of 24% to the stock. (To watch Josey’s track record, click here)Also optimistic is Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olsen. In a December 3 note, Olsen initiated coverage of the stock, saying, “Following a turbulent few years for Facebook, we believe the company has emerged well positioned… Ad spend continues to shift online and Facebook is a beneficiary… We are modeling FCF/shr growth to average >20% over the next three years.”Olsen sees continued regulatory issues as a source of risk, but believes the company has the resources to meet the challenge. He puts a Buy rating on the stock, and his $230 price target indicates room for 14% growth on the upside. (To watch Olsen’s track record, click here)Overall, FB shares have a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on an impressive 30 Buy ratings given in the past three months. There are still 2 Holds and 2 Sells on the stock, left over from the company’s difficulties. The average price target, $234.70, suggests an upside of 17% from the current share price. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks)Alphabet (GOOG)GOOG looks like a compelling investment. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 this year, up 31%. Shares have dipped slightly at the end of October, after the company missed the earnings forecast by 19%. EPS was reported at $10.12 against an estimate of $12.42. Revenues were strong, at $40.5 billion beating the estimate by a half-percent, and the stock has since recouped its loss and then some.Tepper has bought up 229,900 Class C GOOG shares in Q3. Clearly, he’s not interested in controlling the company but is simply seeking a steady return. His purchase of GOOG more than doubled his stake in Alphabet, making the total holding 444,900 shares currently valued at $542 million.Alphabet gets plenty of love from the Street’s analysts, too. Citi’s Jason Bazinet took over his firm’s coverage of GOOG shares last week, and promptly bumped his price target up by 3% to $1,500. He wrote, “We expect Alphabet's growth to slow to mid-teens over next three years. Nonetheless, we believe the company's operating leverage may improve and are not concerned by regulatory headwinds.” Bazinet’s price target suggests a 11% upside to GOOGL. (To watch Bazinet’s track record, click here)Michael Olsen, quoted above on FB, was impressed with GOOG shares. He initiates coverage of the stock for Piper Jaffray with a Buy rating and another $1,500 price target. In his initiation note, he points out, “While there's no question that the company will face ongoing regulatory scrutiny, which could lead to some headline risk, the investor community has, to some degree, become numb to this and we believe the positives of the underlying business will outweigh negative news flow.” (To watch Olsen’s track record, click here)With 32 "buy" ratings against just 3 "holds," GOOGL shares have earned their Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock is not cheap, selling for a hefty $1,353, and the average price target of $1466 implies that there is room for 8% upside growth. (See Alphabet's stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • India Top Court Reaffirms Immunity to Google for Online Content
    Bloomberg

    India Top Court Reaffirms Immunity to Google for Online Content

    (Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google isn’t liable for defamatory content posted on its platforms after 2009, India’s top court ruled, reaffirming immunity for Internet companies in the world’s second-most populous nation.The verdict, which reiterates a 2015 ruling, comes as a relief for social media companies, online retailers and service providers who are facing increasing pressure from the Indian government to regulate online content. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government plans to bring rules to regulate social media platforms and a law on data privacy that seek to levy heavy fines on companies in the event of violations.However, the top court ruled that Google India Pvt. Ltd. will have to face defamation charges in cases lodged before 2009, when India’s information technology laws were amended to provide online and social media service providers immunity for content posted by a third party. They will have to take down content only after a court order.“Any other view would make it a despot strangling the free flow of ideas, which is what the internet is all about,” Justices Ashok Bhushan and K.M. Joseph of the top court said in the verdict.The case originated in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh when a construction material company Visakha Industries Ltd. sued Google for a blog post against use and manufacture of asbestos cement sheets. Google appealed to the country’s top court after the state high court ruled against it. However, Google will still face the defamation charges because Visakha’s case was lodged before the 2009 amendment.Google maintained that content is neither published nor endorsed by the company and it is just a platform provider.To contact the reporter on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Unni Krishnan at ukrishnan2@bloomberg.net, Abhay Singh, Pradeep KurupFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • What Are FANG Stocks, And Should You Invest In Them?
    Investor's Business Daily

    What Are FANG Stocks, And Should You Invest In Them?

    The acronym FANG refers to four high-growth internet stocks. (Sometimes they're called FAANG stocks.) Here's what investors should know about FANG stocks and why they might be worth a look.

  • EU antitrust regulators mull tougher line against tech giants
    Reuters

    EU antitrust regulators mull tougher line against tech giants

    EU antitrust regulators are considering taking a tougher line against tech giants by forcing them to do more to ensure a level playing field, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday, a move which could affect Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. The four U.S. tech companies are currently in EU competition enforcers' crosshairs, with rivals complaining about being shut out of key markets. The Commission has traditionally ordered companies to halt anti-competitive practices.

  • Benzinga

    Huawei Ban Is Hurting Other Smartphone Makers, Including Apple

    The rise in Huawei’s market share has displaced the other top five companies. Dongguan-based Vivo Communication Technology Co. Ltd, saw its market share slipped from 22.6% to 17.9% in the same time period. Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd, which continues to have the third-largest market share, slipped from 21.1% to 17.4%.

  • Bloomberg

    YouTube to FTC: Don’t Assume Only Kids Are Watching Kids Videos

    (Bloomberg) -- Google asked the government to eliminate rules that categorize anyone watching “child-directed” content online as under 13 while regulators revamp privacy regulations that could have a sweeping impact on the company’s YouTube video service.The Alphabet Inc. unit filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday as the agency considers changing its rules under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which regulates how internet companies collect data on young people.In September, Google agreed to pay $170 million to the FTC to resolve claims that YouTube violated COPPA by serving targeted advertisements to children under 13. In response, YouTube agreed to end personalized ads on any videos deemed “made for kids” starting in January, a potential hit to sales for the company and its thousands of video creators. The FTC settlement also holds creators on the site responsible for future violations, which has sparked panic among some producers on YouTube’s sprawling network.In its comments, the company argued against FTC rules that automatically identify viewers younger than 13 based on the content of videos.“This does not match what we see on YouTube, where adults watch favorite cartoons from their childhood or teachers look for content to share with their students,” YouTube wrote in its public comments. “This is why we support allowing platforms to treat adults as adults if there are measures in place to help confirm that the user is an adult viewing kids content.”One critic of YouTube said the company’s response was inadequate.“This is a COPPA cop-out by Google,” Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of the groups that complained to the FTC about YouTube. “They should be telling creators that they apologize for involving them in their massive multiyear violation of the U.S. law.”The popularity of kids’ programming has put YouTube in an uncomfortable position. The company has maintained that the site isn’t for children, and doesn’t allow viewers under the age of 13. It created a separate app for kids, but its audience is tiny compared to the full site.After the FTC settlement, YouTube told creators that they would have to identify when videos are aimed at children under 13. When that happens, YouTube now turns off ads that rely on web browsing behavior and other targeting data, which earn more for YouTube and creators.On Monday, YouTube also asked the FTC for “balanced and clear guidelines” to help creators comply with COPPA. The company said that content not intended for kids can sometimes involve a traditional kids activity, such as gaming and art. “Are these videos ‘made for kids,’ even if they don’t intend to target kids? This lack of clarity creates uncertainty for creators,” YouTube said.YouTube doesn’t disclose its sales or break out what portion of the videos on its service are “child-directed.” Indeed, the company likely can’t automatically make such nuanced judgments on the millions of videos it runs online, despite having some of the world’s best technology for identifying and categorizing images and clips.Read more: YouTube Will Rely on Spotty AI to Comply With FTC SettlementIn recent weeks, some YouTube creators launched a campaign to tell the FTC that rewriting the COPPA rules and the settlement could hurt them financially and reduce the quality of programs. The agency has received thousands of comments on what has previously been a sleepy area of law.The FTC has issued guidance under COPPA for what constitutes videos “directed to children.” YouTubers in have expressed frustration that the definitions are still too vague.The FTC also allows sites that aren’t aimed at kids to put in place an age screening for viewers. That way, if kids do end up there, the site’s operators can reduce data collection, although children often lie about their age online. Some creators, including one of those who helped launch the petition to the FTC, have urged YouTube to adopt a comparable solution. YouTube didn’t address that on Monday in its blog. To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.net;Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • MarketWatch

    Alphabet appoints Nobel Prize-winner to board

    Alphabet Inc. on Monday appointed Nobel Prize-winner Frances Arnold to its board of directors. Arnold, the Linus Pauling professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering, and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018. Her appointment is effective immediately and she will serve on Alphabet's nominating and corporate governance committees. Last week, Alphabet named Google CEO Sundar Pichai as its new CEO, company co-founder replacing Larry Page.

  • Cisco Stock: Shift To Sell Chips To Impact Broadcom, Arista, Juniper?
    Investor's Business Daily

    Cisco Stock: Shift To Sell Chips To Impact Broadcom, Arista, Juniper?

    Cisco may announce a shift in its business model to sell semiconductors at a "Future of the Internet" event on Wednesday, says one analyst. Cisco's move would challenge Broadcom and Arista.

  • ‘Fangirls’ Defend China From Hong Kong Protesters and the World
    Bloomberg

    ‘Fangirls’ Defend China From Hong Kong Protesters and the World

    (Bloomberg) -- For Li Mo, the footage of black-clad people clashing with police and vandalizing storefronts proved the final straw. The images of Hong Kong protesters fighting for greater autonomy from Beijing incensed the mainland-born postgraduate student and she could no longer remain on the sidelines. So, she joined China’s fangirl army.Ever since anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong turned violent this summer, China’s celebrity-obsessed young generation have patrolled Facebook, Twitter and Weibo, ready to pounce on perceived slights and defend their motherland. Nicknamed “fangirls” because they exhibit the same fervor most often reserved for pop-culture icons, these women and men flood social media with slogans and memes shaming brands -- sometimes with far-reaching consequences.Fangirls called out Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting China’s state broadcaster to drop National Basketball Association games. They triggered boycotts of brands from Coach to Apple. Many got swept up by Facebook and Twitter account takedowns. And in a recent incident, the onslaught of vitriol they directed at Hong Kong pop-star Joey Yung forced her to apologize for a single Facebook selfie, but not before she got canned from a high-profile gala.The Hong Kong unrest spurred Li into action. She quickly picked up typical fangirl behavior -- endlessly liking and re-posting trending anti-protest diatribes on Weibo for example -- encouraged that hundreds of thousands shared her values. “I couldn’t remain silent any longer,” the 28-year-old said. “I don’t idolize anyone, I only idolize China.”Read More: Moment of Truth on China Is Coming for Rest of Corporate AmericaWhile many Westerners, particularly Americans, see China’s citizens as forced into supporting Beijing or muzzled from expressing their true feelings, fangirls suggest more earnest and resilient backing for their country’s government. They show how large pockets of China’s youth are rising up to defend their country against what they perceive as mistreatment and misrepresentation by outsiders, and they underscore a growing sentiment that’s shaping how China interacts with the world.China’s government has increasingly taken its propaganda efforts overseas, but fangirls’ deep convictions set them apart -- and perhaps make them more potent -- from often wooden, state-sponsored online commentators. Known as wumao, or the “50-cent army,” those bloggers are named after the amount they are said to make from each patriotic posting.The emergence of fangirls comes at a time Beijing is trying to engage younger Chinese by using rap music, cartoons and chat-app stickers to deliver Communist Party ideology. Homegrown corporations like Tencent Holdings Ltd. often aid such efforts. A system of education that often stresses the humiliation China suffered at the hands of foreigners also prepared the ground for their rise.They’re also the latest online patriots to hop the Great Firewall dividing the internet in mainland China from the rest of the world -- with a decidedly millennial twist. They call their nation “Brother Ah Zhong” (Brother China), describing it as a pop idol who debuted 5,000 years ago and now boasts a fan base of 1.4 billion.Fang Kecheng, assistant professor of communication and journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong sees state influence working hand-in-hand with young nationalist netizens, including fangirls who take note of the narrative on state media, then act upon it. “That’s not to say they are entirely manipulated, or being passively used as a tool,” he says. “There are things they’re searching for, such as a common identity and the ability to express their opinions.”Read More: Here’s What China Is Telling Its People About Hong Kong ProtestsJack Zhou, a 20-year-old hair stylist in central China, is one of a score of volunteer leaders of a 20,000-strong fangirl community. People like him help focus and channel raw emotions that often threaten to spill out of control. In between haircuts, he monitors a chat group of 400 users on messaging app QQ. Participants are charged with spawning content for the group’s main Weibo account. One of their latest productions is a three-minute video showcasing protester violence in Hong Kong, from setting a man on fire to ganging up on a police officer and trying to snatch his pistol. They called on those who can access sites like Facebook and YouTube to share the clip, which has English captions. “Let the world know the truth,” is their slogan.Zhou’s group has participated in several major online crusades to defend Beijing’s line on Hong Kong over the past three months, he said. They spammed Instagram accounts of pro-Beijing celebrities with emojis of the Chinese flag, infiltrated Facebook live streams to clash with pro-democracy sympathizers, and plastered Communist Party slogans on the sites of news outlets from CNN to the Washington Post. Their hard work paid off when the Communist Party’s Youth League and state media came out in praise of the campaigns, he said.Read More: China Celebrities Help Fan New Generation of NationalistsTheir motivations are widely misunderstood, said Zak Dychtwald, author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World. English-language media writing off Chinese pride as a product of propaganda and brainwashing only fans the flames of nationalism, he said. “There’s ardent pride in the country and fangirls want to defend it,” he added. “The energy and sentiment driving the movement in China is genuine.”Zhang Dong, 30, emigrated to Laos in 2013 to work as a tour guide after he graduated from college in China. Only then did he understand how the world depicts his country in such a “horrible” manner. Every day, he churns out dozens of posts on the accounts he registered for the purpose of discrediting Hong Kong’s protesters. He’s called them “cockroaches,” “traitors,” and “HKIS,” juxtaposing images of them with Islamic State terrorists. There’s “essentially no difference” between the two groups, he said.Zhang is proud of his independence. “I’ve never received any money from the Communist Party,” said Zhang. “If we were wumao, the Chinese government would have owed us hundreds of millions yuan by now.”Fangirls represent another front in social media giants’ efforts to curb disinformation campaigns. In August, Twitter suspended nearly 1,000 accounts originating from China, which the company identified as part of a state-backed operation to undermine Hong Kong’s protests. Facebook and Google took similar action. That take down didn’t have a lasting effect as new accounts emerged to replace those that were removed, a study from social media research firm Astroscreen shows.Read More: How Fake News and Rumors Are Stoking Division in Hong KongFangirls like Trista Wang say they have been unfairly targeted by these platforms. “Just one Chinese flag can get your account suspended,” said Wang, a traditional Chinese medicine therapist in the port city of Qingdao. She insists Facebook is biased toward Chinese patriots like her, pointing to Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s recent China-bashing remarks. “I used to have good feelings about Zuckerberg,” Wang said.A Facebook representative said the company only removes content that violates its community standards. In response to inquiries on two specific fangirl accounts that were disabled or restricted, the representative pointed to policy violations in relation to the use of fake identities, bullying and harassment. A Twitter representative said it acts against accounts for policy breaches but declined to comment on individual examples citing privacy and security reasons.Fangirls could disappear as fast as they emerged. That’s because nationalist movements are always a double-edged sword for the government, said Chinese University’s Fang. “When something self-organizes to a certain size, it becomes a taboo -- even if it’s only online.”Or they could morph into something more alarming. Zhou, the volunteer leader, has already become a kind of online vigilante, notifying the police about a China-based Weibo user expressing support for Hong Kong. He said he was content that the police quickly identified and arrested the blogger. “We must rally all the forces we can to eradicate the soil that breeds Hong Kong separatists,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.