|Bid||75.69 x 1100|
|Ask||75.79 x 900|
|Day's Range||75.21 - 75.93|
|52 Week Range||50.02 - 98.14|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.79|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||67.31|
|Earnings Date||Oct 29, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.64 (2.17%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Aug 06, 2020|
|1y Target Est||82.32|
Starbucks' tech-savvy CEO is embracing human-centered design now more than ever as COVID-19 shapes consumer behavior.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It finally happened. After a month of threatening to do so, President Donald Trump issued executive orders that will ban the popular Chinese-owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat in the U.S. on national security concerns. There are still some unknowns around the language and implementation of the decrees, and there’s a chance they get dialed back later during trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. Whatever happens, there will likely be lasting negative ramifications — and not just for Chinese firms, but for American technology companies as well.Trump’s orders, signed late Thursday, have a 45-day lag. They prohibit any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from dealing with TikTok’s Beijing-based owner ByteDance Ltd. and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. in transactions related to its WeChat app. The wording of the first order effectively puts Microsoft Corp. and ByteDance on the clock to finish their deal negotiations for TikTok’s U.S. operations by the already stipulated Sept. 15 target date. But the WeChat ban order may be a bigger threat as there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way out before the deadline.The threat to the Chinese apps is clear. But the details cited inside the orders may cause future headaches for the biggest U.S. tech firms, too. For example, Trump noted how TikTok captures location data and user-activity information that could “potentially” be used for blackmail and corporate spying. This pertains to all U.S. social media apps, too. Further, the president cited how TikTok videos spread “debunked conspiracy theories about the origins of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus” as one of his reasons to ban the app. Similar conspiracy videos also sprout up often on Facebook Inc. and Google’s YouTube platforms. The problem is, the use of such justification opens the door for other countries around the world to use similar rationale to ban U.S. apps within their borders. After all this time and nearly a year of investigation, where is the compelling evidence against these apps? It isn’t in these orders.Big Tech’s leaders are worried about these implications. According to a BuzzFeed News report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a TikTok ban would be “a really bad long-term precedent,” adding “it could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world.” Earlier this week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told Bloomberg News that businesses need to know the rule set for commerce when they make investments in the U.S. and wondered about the timing of the TikTok ban threats. “If this is such a clear thing why wasn't it clear three months ago, six months ago?,” he said.In addition to governmental risk, there may be a consumer backlash in foreign countries. By going after ByteDance and Tencent, two of the most respected Chinese internet success stories, Trump’s actions may spark a nationalistic backlash against buying American products and services in the Asian country. Obviously, Apple Inc.’s iPhone and App Store businesses in China are top of mind, along with Starbucks Corp. and Intel Corp. that have large operations in China.The restrictions, if implemented, will also impose mental and financial hardship on vast swath of Americans who rely on the apps to communicate and make their livelihoods. Many e-commerce entrepreneurs, aspiring musicians and influencers rely on TikTok as their most effective marketing channel amid this pandemic. And WeChat is a critical messaging tool for Chinese immigrants to communicate with their families overseas. The numbers are massive: TikTok says 100 million Americans use their app, while WeChat has 19 million daily active users in the U.S., according to Apptopia. For a White House that has repeatedly complained in recent months about the censorship of conservative voices, it seems pretty hypocritical to shutter the access of millions of Americans, many of them Trump supporters with large followings.That is not to say there aren’t legitimate national security issues with TikTok and WeChat. But there is a better way to hold China accountable for concerns over its intellectual property and data-privacy practices. The U.S. should pursue a multi-lateral partnership with its allies based on strong legal frameworks and build a clear compelling evidence-based case against China.Unfortunately, this administration’s strategy is the opposite, using haphazard, seemingly arbitrary decision-making and preying on people’s fears and paranoia, and in the months leading up to an election. A policy that lashes out without a well-thought-out end game will not be as effective, leading to unintended consequences. The U.S. needs to do better.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- With the stroke of a pen, Donald Trump made his strategic fight with China hit home for potentially billions of people -- generating confusion, panic and fear around the globe.The U.S. president’s move to ban the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat in just over six weeks from now sent shockwaves through the tech industry and the many American businesses who rely on the apps to sell goods in China.The decision also spurred alarm on Chinese social media, with WeChat users in the U.S. posting contact information so friends and family could reach them if the app disappeared. An online forum popular with stock investors asked users if they would give up their iPhones or WeChat if Apple Inc. eliminated the app from its store: They voted to ditch their phones by a margin of 20 to one.Of all Trump’s shots against China, from imposing tariffs to battling Huawei Technologies Co. to ending Hong Kong’s special trading status, the executive orders against TikTok and WeChat potentially have the widest impact. Beyond the financial blow, they threaten to sever communication links among the people of the world’s biggest economies in addition to spurring a decoupling of the tech industry that could ripple around the world.“This move points to a hegemonic war -- the U.S. is trying to suppress China’s rise as a super power,” said Yik Chan Chin, who researches global media and communications policy at the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou. “All these things will leave a bad impression in China, and the tide of nationalism is already very high right now.”It’s hard to overstate how ingrained WeChat and Tencent are in China and among its diaspora: WeChat, which has more than 1 billion users and is owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., is relied upon so heavily that many people have never exchanged phone numbers or emails. From Wal-Mart Inc. and Starbucks Corp. to the NBA and Nike Inc., nearly every major American consumer brand with business in China is deeply intertwined with Tencent and its network, which includes WeChat and investee JD.com.Jason Gui, co-founder of San Francisco-based startup Vue Smart Glasses, said his team has to rely on WeChat to communicate with suppliers in China and a ban would be very “disruptive.” Emails sent to manufacturers in China are often unanswered for days, whereas inquiries through WeChat will get immediate attention, he said.“When the U.S. imposes these bans, they may not realize how intertwined the relationships between U.S. and China have become,” he said. “Our communication lifeline with China depends on WeChat. It hurts small businesses that have limited resources to figure out how to circumvent these bans.”‘Hot War’China officially reacted with caution on Friday, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defending the companies and saying the U.S. “is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses.” Just a day earlier, Foreign Minister Wang Yi tried to offer an olive branch by urging the U.S. to “reject decoupling” and stop “any attempt to artificially create a so-called ‘new Cold War.’” Yang Jiechi, a Politburo member, said the door for talks with the U.S. is still open.Trump’s administration has stepped up its campaign against China in recent weeks, betting that a hard line against Beijing will help him win November’s election despite upsetting millions of younger TikTok users. The U.S. also announced on Friday it is placing sanctions on 11 Chinese officials and their allies in Hong Kong, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam, over their role in curtailing political freedoms in the former U.K. colony.Secretary of State Michael Pompeo meanwhile has urged American companies to bar Chinese applications from their app stores, part of his “Clean Network” guidance designed to prevent China from accessing the personal data of U.S. citizens. Pompeo’s comments have generated alarm in China. Hu Xijin, editor of the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper, suggested a division of the internet that stifles commerce and ties between people would prompt the risk of a “hot war” to rise.But for many U.S. officials, the bans are simple reciprocity. China walled off its own online sphere years ago, creating an alternate universe where Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stood in for Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.Yet while President Xi Jinping was an early proponent of cyber-sovereignty, China’s view has changed as its tech champions have become fierce global competitors. By banning certain apps, the U.S. is also looking to deprive China of valuable data that is essential for honing the algorithms that will fuel the modern economy powered by artificial intelligence.The U.S. also potentially has a lot to lose in terms of soft power. Beyond angering the roughly 5 million Chinese Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese students in America, there’s also the risk that other countries start to ban U.S. technology.‘Awful for America’“Pretty much any large country can kick out Facebook and make their own social network if they want to legislate that,” said Matthew Brennan, managing director of marketing consultancy China Channel. “That would be awful for America. But that’s the road we’re going towards with this kind of legislation.”While the short-term economic impact won’t be large, the decoupling of the tech industries will ultimately lead to slower global growth in the long run, according to Shaun Roache, Asia-Pacific chief economist at S&P Global Ratings. And they could ultimately be more significant than the trade deal, which is one of the few areas of cooperation that remain.“These sorts of measures on technology are as serious if not more serious than tariffs because these are the growth industries of the futures,” Roache said. “Once you erect barriers how do you take them down? That’s the question.”(Updates with Hong Kong sanctions detail in 10th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.