This Week in Apps: League of Legends goes mobile, Tim Cook talks to China and more
- The app industry in 2018 saw 194 billion downloads and more than $100 billion in purchases.
- Just in the past quarter, consumer spending exceeded $23 billion and installs topped 31 billion.
- It’s a fact: we spend more time on our phones than we do watching TV.
- This week, Chinese censorship is still a big topic, and one which sees Apple CEO sitting down with Chinese regulators to discuss.
- China was also found to have forced a spy app on its people, according to a code review.
- Meanwhile, TikTok got cloned in Russia.
- It also decided to bring in corporate lawyers to help it to figure out how to moderate its content and be transparent.
- We also take a look at headlines about Luna Display’s response to sherlocking, an Arcade developer’s localization efforts, and hear from a former App Store reviewer, among other things.
Google employees are fighting over their company’s decision to ban a Hong Kong protest video game app
- Google employees have set off a fiery company-wide debate in recent days by posting messages of solidarity with Hong Kong protesters in mailing lists and message boards visible to Google’s roughly 100,000 employees.
- Many are frustrated with the company’s decision to remove a pro-Hong Kong protester mobile game, The Revolution of Our Times, from the Google Play store and feel the company should have handled the situation differently.
- And the discussions have stoked tensions between employees who support the Hong Kong protesters and believe that tech companies like Google have an ethical imperative to support democratic movements, and some pro-Chinese government employees who say that such discussions are inappropriate on internal listservs.
- The employee argued that if the poster had an issue with Google’s decision to remove the pro-Hong Kong protester game from the Play store, they should file a private complaint with the team working on it instead of sharing a news article.
Apple reportedly won't bid for 'South Park' streaming rights because of China's ban on the show
- Viacom, the owner of Comedy Central's long-running animated series "South Park," is looking to sell the streaming rights to the series for between $450 and $500 million, according to Bloomberg.
- Sources familiar with the bidding told Bloomberg that Apple probably won't extend a bid, due to the show's recent ban in China after the second episode in season 23, "Band in China" included a humorous attack on Chinese censorship.
- Thus, sources told Bloomberg that it was unlikely that Apple would want to host "South Park" on Apple TV+.
- Bloomberg also reports that as many as six streaming services are in the running to acquire "South Park." The show has been available to stream on Hulu since 2015, and Hulu is interested in retaining the show as long as it does not become too expensive.
Apple's China stance makes for strange political alliances, as AOC and Ted Cruz slam the company
- In a rare instance of bipartisanship overcoming the rancorous discord that’s been the hallmark of the U.S. Congress, senators and sepresentatives issued a scathing rebuke to Apple for its decision to take down an app at the request of the Chinese government.
- Abroad, the company’s record is not quite as spotless, especially when it comes to pressure from China, which is one of the company’s largest markets outside of the U.S. Back in 2017, Apple capitulated to a request from the Chinese government that it remove all virtual private networking apps from the App Store.
- Over 1,100 applications have been taken down by Apple at the request of the Chinese government, according to the organization GreatFire (whose data was cited in the Congressional letter).
- Apple isn’t the only company that’s come under fire from the Chinese government as part of their overall response to the unrest in Hong Kong.
Dow Tanks as ‘Egregious’ Boeing & Asbestos Revelations Batter Index
- The Dow Jones plunged as much as 200 points on Friday as a sell-off in several core stocks dented US markets.
- Boeing, the most heavily weighted stock in the Dow, nosedived more than 6% on fears the company misled the FAA, while fellow DJIA member Johnson & Johnson faces another PR disaster.
- A drawdown in the tech sector further weighed on the stock market after a miss in Chinese GDP dovetailed with fears of Chinese retaliation against Trump’s blacklistings.
- Trump appears to have been premature in declaring a “phase one trade deal,” and tech companies could be first in the firing line for potential retaliation.
- When you consider that the world’s most valuable companies are tech giants Apple and Microsoft, both of which have a significant presence in China, the ramifications of these threats are clear for the Dow Jones.
‘No Chance’ NBA Disciplines Houston Rockets’ GM for Hong Kong Tweet Despite Chinese Pressure
- Despite overwhelming pressure, the NBA has clarified that there’s “no chance” the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey will be fired for expressing his support of Hong Kong protestors, a move that generated backlash in China earlier this month.
- NBA China, which handles the North American basketball’s league business, is estimated to be worth $5 billion.
- But following the controversy, Tencent suspended the streaming of NBA games before quietly airing some.
- Tencent is not only the NBA’s largest digital media partner but it is also its biggest partner outside the U.S. Prior to the controversy, NBA programming in China at times had more online viewers than in the U.S. Airing of NBA’s pre-season games on China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, was also suspended after the Morey tweet.
- With regards to sponsorship, all the NBA’s official Chinese partners suspended their relationship with the NBA after the controversial tweet.
The maker of Absolut vodka is getting whacked by China's crackdown on organized crime
- The maker of Absolut vodka and Malibu rum is feeling the pain from China's anti-crime campaign.
- Pernod Ricard's sales of Chivas Regal whisky fell last quarter as the Chinese government cracked down on money laundering, drug dealing, and prostitution by forcing nightclubs and karaoke bars or "KTVs" to close earlier.
- Chinese authorities launched a three-year, nationwide campaign to tackle organized crime last year, targeting both gang members and corrupt officials.
- They've temporarily shut down an estimated 21,000 nightclubs and bars across the country, affecting 3 million employees, the Global Times reported in June.
- More than 79,000 suspects had been detained as of March, Xinhua reported.
- Read more: Nobel laureate Robert Shiller wrote the textbook on the 2 worst bubbles in recent history.
- Now he tells us his best advice for avoiding the next big one.
We asked every 2020 Democrat how they would approach a trade war that has shaken the global economy. Only a handful of them had a plan.
- At the third presidential debate in Houston last month, Bookersaid the US should address the trade dispute alongside allies but did not specify how.
- At the third presidential debate in Houston last month, Buttigieg said he would "include the tariffs as leverage" in trade negotiations.
- Delaney would work with US allies to insist on stronger protections for intellectual property and for the opening of the Chinese market generally, and he would support legislation to hold US companies accountable when they knowingly put intellectual property that benefited from taxpayer-funded research into risky joint ventures as a means of getting their way into foreign markets.
- Delaney believes that responding to the treatment of the Uighur population should be included in US diplomatic discussions with the Chinese government and strongly supports the US advocating for human rights as part of diplomacy generally.
Dow Futures Edge Nervously Amid Fears of First Recession Since 2009
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures traded marginally lower on Friday, pointing toward a skittish opening for the stock market as weak Chinese GDP numbers stoked fears of a global recession.
- Political developments also seemed favorable for the Dow. Trump and Turkey agreeing to a ceasefire in Syria, while Boris Johnson managed to hammer out a Brexit deal that came with its own set of risks.
- But Friday’s Chinese GDP data is bound to throw water over yesterday’s positive developments as it reinforces the possibility of a global recession, sending the Dow into a potential tailspin.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already sounded the bugle of a recession by lowering the 2019 global growth forecast to just 3 percent, which is the lowest since the 2009 financial crisis.
Apple's Good Intentions on Privacy Stop at China's Borders
- “Every time you concede, it’s a signal to the Chinese government that you are open to more submission.” Last year, to comply with local laws, Apple began storing data and keys to Chinese iCloud accounts in China, making it easier for the government to potentially obtain information on its citizens.
- As pro-democracy demonstrations have continued in Hong Kong for months, Apple has become one of many international corporations caught between their stated democratic values and lucrative business interests.
- That includes Google, which was reportedly criticized by its own employees this week for removing a pro-Hong Kong mobile game, The Revolution of Our Times, from the Google Play Store.
- For users in China, Safe Browsing relies on a database compiled instead by Tencent, a Chinese internet company with ties to the government.