GOOG Jan 2021 1040.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 2:27PM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close67.50
Expire Date2021-01-15
Day's Range67.50 - 69.20
Contract RangeN/A
Open Interest58
  • 'Ready to stomp on it': Documents reveal staggering power of tech giant lobbying
    Yahoo Finance

    'Ready to stomp on it': Documents reveal staggering power of tech giant lobbying

    A Yahoo Finance investigation reveals a lobbying campaign on behalf of big tech to stop data privacy bills this year in at least 13 states.

  • Motley Fool

    Google Is Ditching Its Sweet Tooth in Android Rebrand

    The search giant casts off desserts.

  • Twitter Nears Critical Test at 2018 High

    Twitter Nears Critical Test at 2018 High

    Twitter has rallied nearly 50% so far in 2019 and could lift into big tech leadership with a breakout above the 2018 high.

  • Bloomberg

    Google Counters Apple, Firefox With a Plan for Online Privacy

    (Bloomberg) -- Google outlined a plan to try and make surfing the web more private while still allowing enough targeted advertising to keep publishers -- and itself -- in business.Google’s suggestions include cryptographic tokens users can amass showing they are trustworthy, using artificial intelligence to show people relevant ads based on minimal information and storing personally-identifiable data on someone’s device rather than in their browser.The internet giant said it will propose the changes for debate before the organizations that set common rules for the Internet. That means Google wants the entire web to adopt the new rules, instead of just installing them on its own Chrome browser. The move shows Google is being proactive in making sure its ideas for how the web should work are the ones that win out in the future.The changes would surely improve privacy, but Google is also pushing back against privacy initiatives started by Mozilla Corp.’s Firefox and Apple Inc.’s Safari browsers that it says are too heavy-handed. Those browsers have started blocking cookies -- little bits of code that lodge in people’s browsers and follow them around the web helping advertisers place valuable, targeted ads.Google doesn’t want cookies to go away, because it says they help publishers make money from their content and keeps the web vibrant. Of course, they also help Google, which is the largest and most profitable online advertising company in the world.Changes to internet standards, the common rules that allow different websites to work on different browsers, can take years. But Google often leads the way by simply updating Chrome and forcing the rest of the web to adapt, something it can do because its browser is used by around 70% of internet users worldwide.To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at gdevynck@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Microsoft The Latest To Be Criticized For Using Humans To Listen To User Audio

    Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the latest tech company to be criticized for using humans to review audio captured through devices, raising more privacy concerns about in-home tech. Vice reported that contractors working for Microsoft were paid to listen to audio from Xbox users in the hopes of improving the gaming system’s voice command capabilities. The company responded in a statement to Vice that it has stopped listening to voice recordings captured by Xbox systems, though recordings are still made.

  • Has Amazon Outperformed SPY in the Past Five Days?
    Market Realist

    Has Amazon Outperformed SPY in the Past Five Days?

    Since August 14, Amazon (AMZN) has risen 3.4%. In the same period, the SPDR S&P; 500 ETF (SPY) has risen 3.0%. Let's see why AMZN outperformed.

  • The $34 Price Ceiling Still Blocks the Growth of AMD Stock

    The $34 Price Ceiling Still Blocks the Growth of AMD Stock

    Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) stock trades in a no man's land. The equity made a dramatic and deserved comeback under CEO Lisa Su. Now it holds a market lead over Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and has become a competitive threat to rival Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA).Source: Grzegorz Czapski / However, headwinds from within the company and the macro economy could mean that AMD stock will struggle to gain traction for the foreseeable future. The $34 Ceiling HoldsFew can deny the dramatic turnaround AMD stock has made under Lisa Su. She has taken AMD from a company struggling for survival to one that has leaped ahead of archrival Intel by years. The company's 7nm Rome processor launched on August 7 amid an environment where Intel struggles to release a 10nm Xeon processor.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe biggest problem I see for Advanced Micro Devices stock is the one I mentioned before earnings--the $34 per share price ceiling. Earnings of 8 cents per share saw the company meet estimates on a non-GAAP basis. From a GAAP standpoint, earnings of 3 cents per share actually fell short of expectations by a penny per share. Quarterly revenues of $1.53 billion beat estimates by a relatively modest $10 million. * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill Due to this lackluster report, the $34 per share price ceiling held firm. The AMD stock price fell below $28 per share by August 5. Three days later, news that Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) would use AMD processors for Google Cloud quickly sent it back to the $34 price ceiling. Unfortunately for bulls, that limit held again, and now, Advanced Micro Devices stock trades at under $32 per share.From a fundamental standpoint, Advanced Micro's inability to go to $35 per share and beyond seems hard to understand. AMD stock currently trades at a forward price-earnings (PE) ratio of around 29. While not cheap from an S&P 500 standpoint, it seems a little low for a semiconductor stock at the top of its game.Investors might recall that Nvidia traded at over 50-times earnings before the fall 2018 stock selloff. Moreover, Wall Street estimates profit growth of 37% for the current fiscal year and 68.3% the next. Investors have often paid much higher multiples for lower growth. AMD Faces Internal and Macro HeadwindsStill, despite AMD stock appearing inexpensive, I would wait until the $34 price ceiling breaks before buying it. For one, some have cast doubts that AMD's Ryzen chip works as fast as advertised. Despite this news, AMD still maintains a wide lead over Intel. However, this may also indicate that AMD has some work to do on this chip. Such news could dampen confidence in Advanced Micro Devices stock.Moreover, AMD stock could also become the victim of macro headwinds. AMD first achieved its multi-year high of around $34 per share in September 2018. During last year's fall season, the selloff wiped out more than half of its value before the recovery earlier this year.Now, the yield curve has inverted, indicating that a recession may come soon. I do not think this changes the long-term bull thesis on AMD. However, it could lower revenues in the near term. Also, in such an environment, investors tend to show a lower tolerance for high multiples.Furthermore, the continuing trade war with China creates further concerns. As Faisal Humayan points out, China accounts for about 30% of AMD's business. This places in doubt the company's ability to do business with Chinese tech giant Huawei. For now, the Trump administration has lifted restrictions. However, it should surprise nobody if this Huawei ban gets reinstated. The Bottom Line on AMD StockThough AMD will remain a force in the semi industry, investors should avoid Advanced Micro Devices stock for now. Usually, I would encourage investors to buy an equity in AMD's position. A forward PE of 29 and profit growth north of 30% typically seems like a reasonable bet. Moreover, its lead over arch-nemesis Intel should bode well for the company.However, the inability of AMD stock to stay above $34 per share limits the potential for near-term gains. Furthermore, lower-than-advertised speeds for the Rome processor could put pressure on shares as the company addresses this issue. Finally, macroeconomic conditions such as a possible recession and an extended trade war could dull the appetite for equities across the board.AMD is a long-term winner, and the $34 per share price ceiling cannot hold forever mathematically. However, as long as it remains intact, AMD stock is only a buy at a significantly lower or higher price.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post The $34 Price Ceiling Still Blocks the Growth of AMD Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Tesla Autopilot Troubles Go Way beyond Crashes
    Market Realist

    Tesla Autopilot Troubles Go Way beyond Crashes

    Tesla Autopilot is usually in the news due to crashes. In August, a Tesla car crashed in Russia when the autopilot feature was turned on.

  • It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks

    It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks

    Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is having a great recovery year in 2019. Up 40.2% year to date through August 20, Facebook stock is closing in on $200, a mere 16% from its all-time high of $218.62. Source: Wachiwit / That's got me wondering if Facebook stock the best FAANG stock to buy at the moment. To help me, I'm going to lean on my good friend, free cash flow, to determine the answer. For those of you that are unfamiliar with free cash flow, it is the cash a business generates that's not required to carry on routine operations. Free cash flow can be allocated for dividends, share repurchases, acquisitions, debt repayment, and keeping it in the bank for a rainy day. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Free Cash and Facebook StockFacebook's current free cash flow in the trailing 12 months ended June 30 is $17.9 billion. In the first six months of the year, Facebook used $1.65 billion to repurchase 9.3 million shares, an average price paid of $177.42, a return on investment of 3.6% based on a current share price of $183.81. Facebook paid no dividends during the quarter and doesn't intend to in the future. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential During the first six months of the year, it made no material acquisitions. As for debt, it has a $2 billion credit facility, but none of it has been drawn. It finished the second quarter with $48.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, $3.9 billion of which was added in the past six months. A useful metric for determining a stock's relative value is free cash flow yield, which is defined as free cash flow divided by enterprise value [market cap plus debt minus cash]. The company's current enterprise value is $483.6 billion. Its free cash flow yield is 3.7%. Value investors consider 8% to be the bare minimum. However, for a growth stock like Facebook, 3.7% isn't outrageous. How do the other FAANG's rate? Here's a chart. FAANG Free Cash Flow YieldsCompany Free Cash Flow (TTM) Enterprise Value Free Cash Flow Yield (%) Facebook $17.9B $483.6B 3.7% Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) $22.1B $908.1B 2.4% Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) $58.3B $964.5B 6.0% Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) -$3.1B $138.5B N/A Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) $27.4B $703.8B 3.9% The ConclusionsAnyone who follows Netflix knows that it will have negative free cash flow for the foreseeable future because it spends so much money on content for its video streaming service. Earlier this year Netflix did state that free cash flow should improve in 2020 and beyond. However, it's had negative free cash flow every year since 2011. While I like Netflix stock , negative free cash flow eliminates it from contention as best FAANG stock to buy now.Although Amazon has the lowest free cash flow yield at 2.4%, the fact that it has three major revenue streams: e-commerce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and advertising, provides a strong pathway to higher free cash flow generation and overall revenue growth. I believe 2.4% isn't terrible given the upside potential of its business. Although I'm a big fan of Jeff Bezos and Amazon stock, some of Amazon's business practices are less than friendly. For this reason, I'll pass on AMZN. While Alphabet's got the second-highest free cash flow yield at 3.9%, the fact that it's still a one-trick pony with advertising as its chief revenue generator suggests it doesn't warrant a higher ranking than Amazon. Therefore, it also doesn't make the cut. As for Apple, it's been the value FAANG stock for at least the last two years. Now that its services revenues are coming on and iPhone sales appear to have plateaued, it will have to continue to build the services side of its business. The latest earnings report suggests its plan for growth is working, but investors are failing to recognize this fact. Ultimately, I believe that Tim Cook's strategy will be successful. At a free cash flow yield of 6.0%, there's few better tech buys at the moment. The Bottom Line on Facebook StockThe privacy issues nagging Facebook will continue to act as a headwind on its stock price. That said, at a 3.7% free cash flow yield, you're getting Facebook stock at a reasonable price at the moment despite a 40% YTD increase. For me, I'd rank the best FAANG stocks to buy in this order:* Apple* Amazon* Tie between Facebook and Alphabet* NetflixAt the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post It Looks as If Facebook Stock Could Be the Best of the FAANG Stocks appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Don’t Sweat This Temporary Weakness in Amazon Stock

    Don’t Sweat This Temporary Weakness in Amazon Stock

    Once again, the trillion-dollar curse has struck for (NASDAQ:AMZN). In July, Amazon stock cleared $2,000, and briefly touched the twelve-zero milestone. But as it did last year, the stock quickly pulled back; it's now down about 11% from its 52-week high.Source: mirtmirt / The major catalyst has been a disappointing Q2 report. Amazon's numbers for the quarter were below analyst expectations, while Q3 guidance suggested a reasonably sharp year-over-year drop in profit.It's a sign of the trust investors have in Amazon that AMZN stock didn't fall further. Few companies of any size could have their shares trade at 70x+ next year's earnings, guide for falling profits, and see their stocks decline less than 2% the following day.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut that's the point. Amazon's earnings aren't falling because it's losing market share, or because customers aren't satisfied. Rather, it's continuing to invest in its business precisely to please those customers. * 10 Undervalued Stocks With Breakout Potential That's been the strategy that has built Amazon into a business worth, at the moment, almost $900 billion. And it's the same strategy that likely will get that market capitalization back to $1 trillion - and beyond. Earnings Worries for Amazon StockAmazon's sales for the second quarter were solid, with year-over-year growth just shy of 20% off a $53 billion base. It is margins and profits that might worry investors.Indeed, operating income for the quarter increased just 3.3%, with diluted EPS growth a touch lighter. And the outlook for the third quarter is even weaker: Amazon projects operating income of $2.1-$3.1 billion, a sharp decline from $3.7 billion in Q3 2018.But those profit declines are coming because Amazon has chosen to invest in the business. Most prominently, the company estimated an $800 million hit to second quarter earnings from its decision to roll out one-day shipping.Those costs will fade over time, as CFO Brian Olsavsky noted on the Q2 conference call. Amazon will improve its logistics and work through early issues, just as it did when it launched two-day shipping a few years back.Back out that spend and earnings growth looks solid for Q2, with margins actually expanding year-over-year. Those expenses in Q3 explain some, and maybe all, of the year-over-year decline.That said, the quarter wasn't perfect. Q3 guidance still looks weak even with the one-day shipping expenses (which likely were factored into Street models to at least some extent.)Amazon Web Services growth of 37% was impressive, but modestly lower than consensus. Some level of sell-off might have been expected - but I'd argue the long-term case still holds. The Bear Case for Amazon StockThe bear case for AMZN often comes down to valuation. This is a stock, after all, still valued at 75x the current consensus 2020 EPS estimate. On its face, that seems absurd.After all, margins here are thin. Competition is intensifying from Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT), with the latter company posting a blowout fiscal Q2 report this week. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL), and IBM (NYSE:IBM), among others, are going after the cloud business.Between competition and sheer size, Amazon's growth almost has to decelerate. But the current valuation, on an earnings basis, hardly seems to price in much deceleration. Why Amazon Will Keep GrowingAs I've argued for some time now, simply using P/E to measure Amazon stock is short-sighted. For one, free cash flow metrics actually are pretty good. Trailing free cash flow, per the Q2 release, is $25 billion - suggesting a P/FCF multiple under 40x.More important, AMZN stock is expensive because chooses to make it expensive. The company didn't have to offer one-day shipping and incur an $800 million hit that took over $1 off the quarter's EPS. It doesn't have to take the big swings it does at ancillary markets - some of which, like AWS and Alexa, turn out to be huge winners.Amazon's margins and profits could soar if the company chose to focus on them. AMZN stock would look much cheaper - and maybe even cheap - in that scenario. But, wisely, management doesn't. It keeps re-investing in the business, driving growth and taking market share.This is a company that is dominant in U.S. eCommerce, with 47% market share. It's dominant in cloud. It's competitive in video, and private-label, and many other end markets. Amazon is likely on its way to becoming an online advertising giant.Is AMZN stock cheap? No. But consider that it could be. Amazon is spending billions every quarter on investments. Some will pan out. Some will not. But as the company matures, those investments will fade and provide returns. Earnings and, more importantly, cash flow, will continue to grow.A simple look at P/E doesn't account for that fact. It doesn't account for the fact that there is likely no more attractive business out there right now. Amazon is a global giant with massive reach. And as long as it keeps investing to maintain, and grow, that market share, AMZN stock is going to gain. And any sell-off will look like an opportunity.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio The post Don't Sweat This Temporary Weakness in Amazon Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • UK Tech Sector Basks in Record Investments As Pound Weakens, Trade War Rages

    UK Tech Sector Basks in Record Investments As Pound Weakens, Trade War Rages

    British tech firms brought in a record amount of funding in the first seven months of 2019, and over half was from the U.S. and Asia.

  • King of the Hills Reshaping Tokyo With $5.4 Billion Development

    King of the Hills Reshaping Tokyo With $5.4 Billion Development

    (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo is about to get another mound of capitalism.Mori Building Co. is spending 580 billion yen ($5.4 billion) on a new, 20-acre hub of commerce in the city’s core. Similar in size to New York’s Rockefeller Center, the complex will have shops, restaurants, 213,900 square meters of office space, 1,400 residences, a world-class hotel, an international school and the city’s biggest food court.If this capital of 14 million has a king of the hills, it’s the Mori real-estate empire. The new project will eclipse the builder’s signature development, Roppongi Hills — home to Google and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. offices, and a magnet for shoppers and international visitors. The closely held company, whose late founder was once the country’s richest man, is betting that more people — especially foreigners — will flock to live and work in Tokyo over the coming years.“Japan’s office market is behind in relative size and depth,” Mari Kumagai, head of research at Colliers International Group Inc. “If you’re serious about making money from buildings, you have to do this.”Set to open in 2023, the new endeavor doesn’t yet have a name. For now, it’s called the Toranomon-Azabudai project, from the neighborhoods Mori will gobble up in Minato-ku, one of Tokyo’s toniest enclaves. Starting with the 1986 debut of nearby Ark Hills, the real-estate developer has been relentless in its push to transform Tokyo’s skyline with hefty buildings clad in steel and glass.Mori’s properties often cater to foreign businesses and visitors, offering sanctuaries for them to stay, work and shop in a megalopolis that can be difficult to navigate. Signage and restaurant menus in the city still often lack English or other languages. Green spaces are still few and far between, and the view from the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills betrays a sea of drab, gray low-rise homes and buildings that stretch to the horizon.“This is going to become Tokyo’s newest landmark,” said Shingo Tsuji, Mori’s chief executive officer. “We’ve spent 30 years thinking about this project, and how cities should be created.”Mori’s goal is to create a city within a city that people can “escape to, rather than flee from.” Ground broke this month on the big new project, which will connect two subway stations and create a new arterial road to relieve the development’s impact on vehicle traffic. Although the total footprint will be smaller than its predecessor, the new complex will have more floor space, with a 64-story main tower and two residential towers.When Mori embarked on its Roppongi project almost two decades ago, developers were jumping over each other to put up new buildings in Tokyo. Land prices were down 75% after Japan’s economic bubble burst in the early 1990s, interest rates were on their way to zero and new zoning laws made it easier to combine lots for big projects.That bet may have paid off. Mori’s new project is being built under a different scenario, coming after a long run-up in office space demand. Tokyo’s real-estate market is thriving, with vacancy rates near record lows below 3%, according to Colliers, the real-estate investment and services firm.The big question is whether that trend will continue, as well as Mori’s ability to keep riding the wave of mega projects. Although rental growth has been robust, Colliers predicts it will peak at around the current 5% before easing to an average of 0.8% over the next few years. All told, central Tokyo will have 70 major real-estate projects breaking ground from 2018 through 2023, according to the firm.“The office market is doing really well, vacancies are coming down,” said Patrick Wong, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “The issue is whether rents can keep going up further.”Tokyo isn’t the only frothy real-estate market in the region. Singapore and Sydney are also seeing low office-leasing vacancies as companies hire more people. Last month, the government of Singapore clamped down on speculative buying and selling, with the central bank citing “euphoria” in the property market.At the same time, protests in Hong Kong have put the brakes on demand for central office space in China’s special administrative region. Spooked investors are turning elsewhere to places such as Singapore, which saw private home sales surge a sequential 43.5% in July. Although no multinational corporations have said they’re leaving Hong Kong, it’s probably on their mind, according to Wong. “This could be an opportunity for Tokyo,” he said.That’s music to the ears of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who in 2014 pushed to establish new strategic special zones in Tokyo and other cities as part of his Abenomics revitalization plan. The areas of Tokyo that fall under those zones, which offer deregulation and other incentives, are right where Mori has been developing properties for decades.No surprise, then, that the Toranomon-Azabudai mega project has been 30 years in the making. Work on it started even before Roppongi Hills. For its major projects, Mori’s employees spend years going door to door, persuading local residents and property owners to hand over their land in exchange for prime residential space in the new buildings.It’s hardly a coincidence that Mori’s suffix for its biggest developments — there’s also Toranomon Hills and Atago Green Hills — harks back to that other chichi neighborhood, Beverly Hills. It’s also a nod to the Japanese word, Yamanote. Transliterated as “the hill’s hand,” the term refers to the more desirable, hilly neighborhoods west of the Imperial Palace in feudal Tokyo that now include Mori’s properties.“We’ve poured everything we’ve learned from our Hills projects into this new development,” Tsuji said.Mori’s ultimate vision is to link up all of its properties into an uber-complex of offices, homes and retail space. Although the developer is going to unveil the project’s name just before it opens for business, odds favor it will end with “Hills.”(Updates with analyst’s comment in fourth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the timeframe of projects.)\--With assistance from Hiromi Horie.To contact the reporter on this story: Reed Stevenson in Tokyo at rstevenson15@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma O'Brien at, Reed Stevenson, Jeff SutherlandFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Twitter Helps Beijing Push Agenda Abroad Despite Ban in China

    Twitter Helps Beijing Push Agenda Abroad Despite Ban in China

    (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government this week meant to undermine the legitimacy of Hong Kong protests. It also said it would no longer allow state media to purchase ads on its platform.What Twitter didn’t mention in its series of blog posts this week was the increasing number of Chinese officials, diplomats, media, and government agencies using the social media service to push Beijing’s political agenda abroad. Twitter employees actually help some of these people get their messages across, a practice that hasn’t been previously reported. The company provides certain officials with support, like verifying their accounts and training them on how to amplify messages, including with the use of hashtags.This is despite a ban on Twitter in China, which means most people on the mainland can’t use the service or see opposing views from abroad. Still, in the last few days, an account belonging to the Chinese ambassador to Panama took to Twitter to share videos painting Hong Kong protesters as vigilantes. He also responded to Panamanian users’ tweets about the demonstrations, which began in opposition to a bill allowing extraditions to China.China’s ambassador to the U.S. tweeted that “radical protesters” were eroding the rule of law embraced by the silentmajority of Hong Kongers. The Chinese Mission to the United Nations’ Twitter account asked protesters to “stop the violence, for a better Hong Kong,” while social media accounts of Chinese embassies in Manila, India and the Maldives shared articles from China’s state media blaming Westerners for disrupting the city. “Separatists in Hong Kong kept in close contact with foreign elements,” one story says above a photo of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.“We know China is adept at controlling domestic information, but now they are trying to use Western platforms like Twitter to control the narrative on the international stage,” said Jacob Wallis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.It’s unclear if any of these diplomats were set up on the service by Twitter, but the state-backed attempt to discredit Hong Kong protesters continues to reach millions of global Twitter users. In many cases, the Chinese officials are promoting views similar to those in 936 accounts Twitter banned on Monday.The practice of supporting Chinese officials who use Twitter to spread the Communist Party agenda highlights how difficult it is for the social media company to balance its commitment to root out disinformation and allow the expression of varying opinions. It also raises concerns around why Twitter is helping Beijing make its case to a global audience when the service is banned in China, where dissenting voices are prohibited and officials sometimes detain users accessing the platform through virtual private networks.Twitter’s recent effort to curtail China’s government-directed misinformation campaigns, which provoked outrage from state media, seems at odds with continuing to welcome pro-Beijing accounts that attack Hong Kong protesters, said Wallis.“There’s a clear tension for Twitter here having seen that Beijing is willing to use the platform in deceptive and manipulative ways, whilst desiring to use the platform for state diplomacy,” Wallis said.The tweets are part of a broader campaign by China to reshape the narrative over Hong Kong, particularly in Western nations more sympathetic to the democratic aspirations of protesters. China this week also sent a 43-page letter to senior editors at foreign news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg.Twitter says it works with public officials and politicians around the world, not just in China, and that everyone deserves a voice in the public discourse, as long as they follow its rules and policies. The company has used the same argument to defend hosting tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump, which some users have questioned. Twitter has said it aims to “advance global, public conversation” and that public figures “play a critical role in that conversation because of their out-sized impact on our society,“ in a blog post last year.On Monday, Twitter said in a blog post that it would block more than 900 accounts because they appeared to be part of a “coordinated state-backed operation” to “sow political discord in Hong Kong.” Some of the accounts accessed Twitter from unblocked IP addresses within mainland China, it said, suggesting the state condoned their activities. Twitter also said it would stop accepting advertising from state-controlled media: “Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products.”Twitter’s embrace of Chinese officials on the platform also highlights how some American tech companies try to make inroads in the enormous market, despite government restrictions on their services. Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example, has repeatedly expressed a desire to enter China. Twitter oversees the China business from offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.Like Google, Facebook and other sites blocked in China, Twitter sells advertising to Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. that are trying to reach overseas users. Before Twitter’s policy change this week, it had also sold ad space to Chinese state media companies that used them to push the narrative that Hong Kong protests were orchestrated by foreign forces and angry mobs unrepresentative of the city’s majority.Facebook said it has trained Chinese state media entities to use its services, but declined to comment on whether it also works with government officials. “We provide a standard set of guidance and best practice training to groups around the world including governments, political parties, media outlets, and non-profits so they can manage their Facebook Pages,” the company said in a statement, noting that their guidance is publicly available online.YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc., doesn’t have a specific policy that bars state-funded media, but the company’s ad policies require government-funded channels to be labeled as such. This week, state media including the Global Times published videos about the Hong Kong demonstrations, including an interview with a police officer who said he was “critically injured by violent protesters.” The company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.Both Twitter and Facebook have established programs to make sure public figures around the world sign up for their sites and understand how to use them effectively. The idea is that people who have a following — athletes, actors or singers — will create interest for their other users in the website. For years, the work has extended to politics, with the social networks signing up and training political figures. For example, Facebook has embedded staff with or trained Trump; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, known for encouraging extrajudicial killings; and Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in how to most effectively use the platform, Bloomberg News has reported.Twitter and Facebook have implemented terms of service that ban certain practices, including bot accounts that appear to be real people and promote misinformation. But government officials and state media still have wide latitude to say what they want.“If Trump is going to use Twitter to deliver his message to the Chinese government, then it makes perfect sense China should be using this medium to send signals back,” said Samm Sacks, cybersecurity policy and China digital economy fellow at think tank New America. “But then we get into this coordinated state misinformation domain and it raises problematic questions around what is propaganda and what is misinformation.”(Updates with Facebook’s comment five paragraphs from the bottom.)\--With assistance from Mark Bergen, Kurt Wagner and Daniel Ten Kate.To contact the reporters on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ubiquiti's Teleport Could Be a Game-Changer for Home Wi-Fi
    Motley Fool

    Ubiquiti's Teleport Could Be a Game-Changer for Home Wi-Fi

    Teleportation sounds cool. Cybersecurity in public spaces is even cooler.

  • The rise of artificial intelligence comes with rising needs for power

    The rise of artificial intelligence comes with rising needs for power

    Advances in technology can allow you to order food by voice or unlock your phone with your face, but those new capabilities could take a toll on the environment.

  • San Jose creates Diridon area 'impact fee zone' to pay for new infrastructure around planned Google megacampus
    American City Business Journals

    San Jose creates Diridon area 'impact fee zone' to pay for new infrastructure around planned Google megacampus

    San Jose lawmakers have created a zone next to Diridon Station in which the city will charge an impact fee on top of building permits there to pay for an estimated $74 million in infrastructure expenses the city expects to incur. The new fee is likely to be the first of many new levies the council will be asked to charge as Google and other developers work on big projects in the area.

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Q3 Earnings Preview

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Q3 Earnings Preview

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is down 0.4% YTD, lagging the S&P 500's 14.3% gain. For such an established company, the stock has seen a lot of movement in the past year.

  • Benzinga

    Loup Ventures Analyzes Voice Assistants: Google Bests Siri And Alexa, But All Are Improved

    Hey Google, who is the best digital assistant? If you ask your Google Assistant that question, it would be able to immodestly proclaim itself the best — though if it’s being honest, it should give its competitors credit and say they’re pretty good too. The test posed 800 questions to each assistant.

  • David Rolfe Adds 4 Stocks to Portfolio in 2nd Quarter

    David Rolfe Adds 4 Stocks to Portfolio in 2nd Quarter

    Guru’s largest new position is in telecom company Motorola Solutions Continue reading...

  • Amazon Is Facing Multiple Antitrust Investigations in 2019
    Market Realist

    Amazon Is Facing Multiple Antitrust Investigations in 2019

    The DOJ's antitrust chief said he was working with several state attorneys general to investigate alleged anti-competitive behavior of big tech companies.


    Hedge Funds Bailed on Alphabet and Other Tech Stocks in the Second Quarter

    Hedge funds soured on technology stocks such as Alphabet in the second quarter, but increased their exposure to potentially politically sensitive health-care stocks.

  • Waze Adding YouTube Music to Its List of Audio Partners

    Waze Adding YouTube Music to Its List of Audio Partners

    News of Waze adding YouTube Music to its list of audio partners is good for commuters.Source: Piotr Swat / According to a recent press release, YouTube Music is now available to some users of the Waze app. However, not everyone has access to it just yet. The release notes that support is being added over time and that all 50 markets where YouTube Music is available will have the feature soon.Waze adding YouTube Music to its service comes as it expands audio options for users. This gives them the ability to choose between various music and podcast streaming services for listening to while they drive.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWaze users that want to make use of the YouTube Music option will have to have a subscription to YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium. Anyone new that wants to try it out can check out a one-month free trial of the music streaming service."All of the albums, playlists, personalized mixes, and more that fans love to listen to are now available with a couple of quick taps as they navigate to where they need to go," Lawrence Kennedy, Product Manager for YouTube Music, said in a statement. "With YouTube Music and Waze together in one experience, there has never been a more entertaining way to get around." * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill YouTube Music coming to Waze doesn't come as much of a surprise. It was only a matter of time with both of the companies belonging to Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG,GOOGL) Google. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Marijuana Stocks to Ride High on the Farm Bill * 8 Biotech Stocks to Watch After the Q2 Earnings Season * 7 Unusual, Growth-Oriented REITs to Buy for Your Portfolio As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Waze Adding YouTube Music to Its List of Audio Partners appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Google's Android Q has officially lost its sweet tooth

    Google's Android Q has officially lost its sweet tooth

    From The Daily Charge: No more candy and desserts -- Google is playing the numbers game with the next flavor of Android.