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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Evan Spiegel, CEO of SNAP Inc. Stephen Desaulniers | CNBC Snap will permanently terminate the Snapchat account of President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, the company said Wednesday. Last week, Snap announced an indefinite suspension of Trump's account following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and previously the company had announced that it would no longer content from Trump's account to appear in the Discover section of Snapchat. "In the interest of public safety, and based on his attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence, which are clear violations of our guidelines, we have made the decision to permanently terminate his account," a spokesman for the company said in a statement. The company said the decision to terminate Trump's account was "in the best interest of our Snapchat community" for the long term. This came after Trump had repeatedly tried to violate Snap's community guidelines, the company said. Although Trump could post content that was in violation of Snap's guidelines, the content was often removed within minutes and unable to gain much visibility, the company spokesman told CNBC. Snapchat follows other major social media networks,
Chesnot | Getty Images GUANGZHOU, China — Bitcoin smashed through $37,700 to hit a new record high on Thursday helping to lift the total value of the entire cryptocurrency market above $1 trillion for the first time. The digital coin hit an all time high of $37,724.67 at around 11:44 a.m. Singapore time, more than three hours after blowing past $36,000, according to data from Coindesk. Bitcoin was over 5% from a day earlier at around 1:04 p.m Singapore time. The cryptocurrency is up about 29% since the start of 2021 and in the past 12 months has surged over 380%. Meanwhile, the value of the entire cryptocurrency market, which is made up of bitcoin and other digital coins like ether and tether, surpassed $1 trillion for the first time early on Thursday, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Bitcoin's resurgence has been attributed to a number of factors including more buying from large institutional investors. High profile investors like Paul Tudor Jones, for example, have been buying bitcoin. Many bitcoin bulls say the cryptocurrency is akin to "digital gold," a potential safe haven
An Amazon worker delivers packages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Denver, Colorado, U.S., April 22, 2020. Kevin Mohatt | Reuters Amazon is relieving some of the pressure on third-party sellers who pack and ship their own orders due to ongoing coronavirus constraints on major shipping carriers. Last August, the company announced that, starting in February 2021, members of Amazon's Seller Fulfilled Prime program would be required to make deliveries on Saturdays and meet one- and two-day delivery targets. In a note sent to sellers on Tuesday that was viewed by CNBC, Amazon said it was temporarily relaxing the delivery speed targets for SFP members in response to pandemic-generated "constraints on the logistics industry." It means that Amazon will give SFP members a pass if they can't ensure one- and two-day delivery speeds for a portion of shoppers. "While we know sellers like you are working to raise the bar for Prime customers, we also understand that the pandemic has introduced constraints on the logistics industry that you depend on to meet customer expectations," according to the note. "In recognition of these constraints, we are adjusting
Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon. CNBC Haven, the joint venture formed by three of America's most powerful companies to lower costs and improve outcomes in health care, is disbanding after three years, CNBC has learned exclusively. The company began informing employees Monday that it will shut down by the end of next month, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Many of the Boston-based firm's 57 workers are expected to be placed at Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway or JPMorgan Chase as the firms each individually push forward in their efforts, and the three companies are still expected to collaborate informally on healthcare projects, the people said. The announcement three years ago that the CEOs of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase had teamed up to tackle one of the biggest problems facing corporate America – high and rising costs for employee health care  – sent shock waves throughout the world of medicine. Shares of healthcare companies tumbled on fears about how the combined might of leaders in technology and finance could wring costs out of the system. The move to shutter Haven may be
After years in development, Jeff Bezos' private space company Blue Origin aims to carry its first passengers on a ride to the edge of space in a few months. Blue Origin on Thursday completed the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule. Called NS-14, the successful test flight featured the debut of a new booster and an upgraded capsule. Beyond the upgrades, CNBC has learned that NS-14 also marked one of the last remaining steps before Blue Origin flies its first crew to space. The flight was the first of two "stable configuration" test flights, people familiar with Blue Origin's plans told CNBC. Stable configuration means that the company plans to avoid making major changes between this flight and the next. Additionally, those people said that Blue Origin aims to launch the second test flight within six weeks, or by late February, and the first crewed flight six weeks after that, or by early April. Blue Origin's next flight, NS-15, will also include a test of loading and unloading the crew, the people said. The company declined CNBC's request for comment on its plans for New Shepard. An ambitious timeline
The Amazon headquarters sits virtually empty on March 10, 2020 in downtown Seattle, Washington. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon recommended all employees in its Seattle office to work from home, leaving much of downtown nearly void of people. John Moore | Getty Images Amazon is opening a pop-up clinic in Seattle to administer Covid-19 vaccines. The one-day clinic will be set up on Sunday at Amazon's headquarters in downtown Seattle, the company announced Thursday at a news conference with Washington Governor Jay Inslee. "The truth is, Covid-19 has been a tragedy for the country, for the world and for Washington," Amazon's top spokesperson, Jay Carney, said during the news conference. "We're eager to help save lives here in our home state, to rebuild the economy with you and turn the page on Covid as quickly as we can." The clinic, which is being launched in partnership with Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, has a goal of administering 2,000 vaccines to the eligible members of the public. Amazon is providing the space to administer the vaccines, as well as assisting with logistics, an Amazon spokesperson
A Kuaishou app interface on a mobile phone, Yichang, Hubei province, China, Jan 20, 2021. Kuaishou is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong. Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese short video app Kuaishou has priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) as it looks to raise funds to take on rivals such as Douyin, the Chinese version of TiKTok. Kuaishou said it would issue 365,218,600 shares each priced between $105.00 Hong Kong dollars to $115.00 Hong Kong dollars. At the top end of the range, the company could raise around $42 billion Hong Kong dollars ($5.42 billion). The amount could be raised if the so-called over allotment option is exercised. The option allows the underwriting banks to issue a certain percentage more shares if demand is high. Shares will begin trading on Feb. 5 in Hong Kong. Kuaishou's IPO comes as Chinese regulators look to crack down on the country's technology sector and have already made moves to reign in livestreaming platforms. In November, State Administration for Radio, Film and Television's put caps on how much
Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images WhatsApp has delayed a privacy policy update that caused confusion and backlash among users over fears it could mean broader data sharing with the messaging app's owner Facebook. "We've heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There's been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts," WhatsApp said in a blog post over the weekend. The updates related specifically to features that allow users to message and interact with businesses on WhatsApp. Last year, Facebook announced that businesses using WhatsApp could store and manage their chats with customers using Facebook's "secure hosting infrastructure." As part of this, a business can see the contents of the message between it and a user and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which could include advertising on Facebook. WhatsApp was set to start prompting users on Feb. 8 to accept updated terms in order to continue using the app. But Facebook said that it is now pushing the date back
Ethereum and Bitcoin coins. Getty Images Bitcoin's price rose on Monday after a brutal sell-off that saw the virtual currency briefly dip below $30,000. Meanwhile, ether — the world's second-biggest cryptocurrency — hit a fresh record high. Bitcoin rose more than 7.4% in the last 24 hours to trade around $34,807, according to data from CoinDesk, looking to recover from steep losses last week that wiped out more than $100 billion from the entire crypto market. Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain, notched a new all-time high of $1,476 early Monday morning. The cryptocurrency climbed 6.2% to a price of $1,415 at about 9:15 a.m. ET. Altcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, have been known to rally in times of strength for bitcoin. Ether's latest price movement was attributed to increased use of Ethereum — its underlying network that is undergoing a major upgrade — and interest from institutional investors in crypto. "Ethereum's current rise cold shoulders the sceptics, many of whom were quick to denounce crypto when bitcoin recently fell from its $40,000 high," said Simon Peters, cryptoasset analyst at online investment platform
Nio may not be a recognizable name in the US, but it is becoming a leading player in China's EV market. But the company has had its fair share of problems along the way. Nio has racked up over $6 billion in costs since starting in 2014 and was on the brink of collapse in 2020. But it has managed to turn that around and become the world's 4th most valuable automaker. Despite setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company has continued to grow. In the third quarter of 2020, it reached $628 million in sales and delivered up to 12,206 vehicles. However, the company still has a long way to go before it can dominate the Chinese auto market. Watch the video to learn about Nio's impressive rebound and whether the automaker can become the Tesla of China.
Digital ad company Taboola says it plans to go public via a merger with ION Acquisition Corp, a special acquisition corporation.  The company places content boxes on sites across the internet with headlines such as "8 Celebs Who Have Severe Illnesses" or "Look Who's Going Bankrupt Next in America," pulling in revenue for the publisher. The company says it's used by more than 13,000 advertisers to reach over 500 million daily active users. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, and the combined company will operate under the Taboola name and will trade on the NYSE under the symbol "TBLA." The deal gives Taboola a pro forma valuation of about $2.6 billion. "The open web is really important, even essential, because it's free and diverse and doesn't belong to any one giant company. Think about every website you love — every game, app on a mobile device or connected TV that lives outside of the walled gardens," Taboola CEO and founder Adam Singolda wrote in a blog post Monday.  "But open web companies are dependent on walled gardens that compete against them with more data, more tech and more advertiser relationships, while advertisers have no choice
Fifty and twenty pounds bank notes and a bitcoin logo are seen in this photo illustration. Omar Marques | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images LONDON — Thinking of investing in a cryptocurrency? Be prepared to lose all your money. That's the message from the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority, which on Monday warned investments and lending products related to crypto come with "very high risks." "The FCA is aware that some firms are offering investments in cryptoassets, or lending or investments linked to cryptoassets, that promise high returns," the financial services regulator said. "If consumers invest in these types of product, they should be prepared to lose all their money." The warning from the FCA comes amid wild volatility in the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies plunged on Monday, wiping off some $170 billion from the total value of all cryptocurrencies combined. Bitcoin surged to new records last week, climbing as high as $41,973. Investors increasingly view the digital asset as a hedge against inflation — similar to gold — in times of unprecedented stimulus from governments. But bitcoin's wild rise