Categories
Tech

Google owner Alphabet issues record $10 billion bond at lowest-ever price

NEW YORK Alphabet Inc borrowed $10 billion in the investment-grade corporate debt market on Monday, the Google parent’s largest ever bond issue, which it secured at its lowest-ever cost of financing.

Of the $10 billion on offer, the $1 billion five-year tranche was issued at a coupon of 0.45%, the lowest coupon seen at that maturity since Apple Inc issued a $1.5 billion five-year note at 0.45% in 2013.

Investor appetite was fierce for the tech giant’s six-part bond, as low interest rates and corporate bond buying from the Federal Reserve continues to support issuance. The deal garnered more than $31 billion in demand, according to Refinitiv IFR. Previously, Alphabet’s lowest coupon was 1.25% on a $1 billion May 2014 note.

“We’re at a stage where these extremely high-quality issuers – of which Alphabet is one – are going to price very very tight. That’s because there are a lot of buyers who need short-term, don’t-need-to-think-about-it money. You’re getting two times the yield on the five-year Treasury,” said Tom Graff, head of fixed income at Brown Advisory.

Last week Alphabet reported its first quarterly sales drop in its 16 years as a public company. Its share price was largely unmoved however, as the loss in sales was offset by a recovery in Google’s ads business.

“There is a very narrow set of companies that were already super high quality, that are not impacted by this recession we’re going through right now. And Google is one of them,” said Graff.

Alphabet’s five-year tranche priced just higher than Amazon.com’s 0.40% three-year note issued in June, among the lowest corporate coupons ever recorded. Alphabet’s 0.45% five-year tranche was however cheaper than Amazon’s June 2020 offering at the same maturity, which priced at 0.80%.

Also Watch

Chinese Sponsors For IPL Has The Galwan Betrayal Forgotten ? | Brass Tacks With Zakka Jacob

Of the $10 billion offered, $4.5 billion from the seven-, 20- and 40-year tranches will be used for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions. The remaining $5.5 billion will be used for green initiatives, the company said, the largest-ever issue of corporate debt for environment, social and governance endeavors.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


Array
(
[videos] => Array
(
[0] => Array
(
[id] => 5f2845d959a51412a27748d3
[youtube_id] => sYXxucZE2tc
Google owner Alphabet issues record $10 billion bond at lowest-ever price => Chinese Sponsors For IPL Has The Galwan Betrayal Forgotten ? | Brass Tacks With Zakka Jacob
)

[1] => Array
(
[id] => 5f284039fbcc0112a8a34001
[youtube_id] => 5L6EDlpEXEk
Google owner Alphabet issues record $10 billion bond at lowest-ever price => History In The Making, But Naysayers Clamour On, Now With ‘Mahurat’ Politics | The Right Stand
)

)

[query] => https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/v1/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2,5d95e6c778c2f2492e214960&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e10a&publish_min=2020-08-01T08:26:10.000Z&publish_max=2020-08-04T08:26:10.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2
)

Categories
Tech

Trump to Give TikTok's Chinese Owner 45 Days to Agree Sale, Say Sources

Image for Representation. (Picture Source: PTI)

Image for Representation. (Picture Source: PTI)

Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the US presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges.

  • Reuters WASHINGTON
  • Last Updated: August 3, 2020, 10:00 PM IST

President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

US officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft. [nL2N2F21NE]

But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept. 15.

It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the US presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft. [L1N2F4087]

“A win-win in the making,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted in response to Trump’s new stance on Sunday.

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a US government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached.

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” Microsoft said in a statement.

ByteDance and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Microsoft, which also owns professional social media network LinkedIn, would become a major competitor to social media giants such as FaceBook Inc and Snap Inc were its bid for TikTok to succeed.

Under the proposed deal, Microsoft said it would take over TikTok’s operations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.

Microsoft may invite other American investors to acquire minority stakes in TikTok, the company added. About 70% of the outside capital ByteDance has raised has come from the United States.

It is not clear how much Microsoft could pay for TikTok. Reuters reported last week that ByteDance’s valuation expectations for the app exceeded $50 billion, although US pressure to divest it could lower that price tag. [nL2N2F00J5]

A key issue in the negotiations will be separating TikTok’s technology from

ByteDance’s infrastructure and access, to alleviate US concerns about the integrity of personal data. ByteDance owns a Chinese short video app called Douyin that was based on the same code used for TikTok.

One idea under consideration is to give Microsoft and ByteDance a transition period to develop technology for TikTok that will be completely separate from ByteDance, one of the sources said.

APP SCRUTINY

The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves US military or intelligence personnel. Ordering the divestment of TikTok would not be the first time the White House has taken action over such concerns.

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.

In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify US. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile CMCM.N, sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The start-up’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.


Array
(
[videos] => Array
(
)

[query] => https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/v1/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2,5d95e6c278c2f2492e214884,5d96f74de3f5f312274ca307&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e10a&query=Microsoft+Tik+Tok%2Ctik+tok+ban%2CTik+Tok+Ban+US%2Ctrump+tik+tok%2CUS+Tik+Tok+Ban&publish_min=2020-07-31T07:24:10.000Z&publish_max=2020-08-03T07:24:10.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2
)

Categories
Tech

TikTok owner ByteDance accuses Facebook of 'plagiarism and smears'

SHANGHAI TikTok owner ByteDance has accused Facebook of plagiarism and smears although it did not elaborate on the accusation.

The Chinese firm also said it faced “complex and unimaginable difficulties” as it worked to grow into global company.

The Beijing-based company made the comments in a statement late on Sunday posted on its official account on Jinri Toutiao, a news aggregator app it owns.

“ByteDance has always been committed to becoming a global company. During this process, we have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, collision and conflict of different cultures and plagiarism and smears from competitor Facebook,” it said.

TikTok has attracted criticism from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who last year accused the app of censoring political protest. TikTok has denied the claim.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The statement did not mention pressures in the United States that ByteDance currently faces to sell off its popular short-video app TikTok.

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


Array
(
[videos] => Array
(
[0] => Array
(
[id] => 5f26f1c4db1d45129a34181e
[youtube_id] => movrUOFyduU
TikTok owner ByteDance accuses Facebook of 'plagiarism and smears' => Sushant’s Ex-Girlfriend Ankita Lokhande Opens Up On His Death & The Ongoing Probe | CNN News18
)

[1] => Array
(
[id] => 5f26eabc59a51412a2772662
[youtube_id] => ehOwV2cuKY4
TikTok owner ByteDance accuses Facebook of 'plagiarism and smears' => A Look At All The Twists & Turns So Far In Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death Probe | CNN News18
)

)

[query] => https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/v1/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2,5d95e6c778c2f2492e214960&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e10a&publish_min=2020-07-31T07:53:10.000Z&publish_max=2020-08-03T07:53:10.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2
)

Categories
Tech

Exclusive: TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal – sources

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.

Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One late on Friday that he would issue an order for TikTok to be banned in the United States as early as Saturday. “Not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell… We are not an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) country,” Trump said.

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.

Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added. About 70% of ByteDance’s outside investors come from the United States.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump would accept ByteDance’s concession. ByteDance in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment

Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for another U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

ByteDance has been considering a range of options for TikTok amid U.S. pressure to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers.

ByteDance had received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The proposal valued TikTok at about $50 billion, but some ByteDance executives believe the app is worth more than that.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. ByteDance did not seek approval for the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had opened an investigation into TikTok.

APP SCRUTINY

The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel. Ordering the divestment of TikTok would not be the first time the White House has taken action over such concerns.

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.

In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify U.S. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile, sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The startup’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

Also Watch

India Records Single Highest Day Spike Of Over 57K COVID-19 Cases | Top 18 | CNN News18

The bulk of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising on apps under its Chinese operations including Douyin – a Chinese version of TikTok – and news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao, as well as video-streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


Array
(
[videos] => Array
(
[0] => Array
(
[id] => 5f25729159a51412a2770a12
[youtube_id] => cRo6zWcc3D4
Exclusive: TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal – sources => India Records Single Highest Day Spike Of Over 57K COVID-19 Cases | Top 18 | CNN News18
)

[1] => Array
(
[id] => 5f256cf159a51412a277098a
[youtube_id] => jzYh5bqX8xI
Exclusive: TikTok's Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal – sources => Maharashtra & Bihar Govt Faceoff Over Sushant’s Death Probe | Top Stories At 6 PM | CNN News18
)

)

[query] => https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/v1/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2,5d95e6c778c2f2492e214960&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e10a&publish_min=2020-07-29T20:06:10.000Z&publish_max=2020-08-01T20:06:10.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2
)

Categories
Tech

TikTok Owner ByteDance Shuts Down AI-based Overseas Content Aggregator TopBuzz

ByteDance logo (Pic Source: Reuters)

ByteDance logo (Pic Source: Reuters)

The closure of TopBuzz underlines how ByteDance’s moves into international markets have not been entirely smooth in spite of TikTok’s success.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 5, 2020, 2:43 PM IST

ByteDance, the owner of the global hit short-video app TikTok, has shut down its artificial-intelligence-based news aggregator TopBuzz, one of the company’s earliest products aimed at the global stage. “We’re proud of the work that we accomplished with TopBuzz, but (we) have determined that other areas of the business should be our priority going forward,” ByteDance said in a statement sent to Reuters on Friday. The closure of TopBuzz underlines how ByteDance’s moves into international markets have not been entirely smooth in spite of TikTok’s success.

Launched in 2015, TopBuzz was the overseas equivalent of Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, meaning “Today’s Headlines”, which was one of Beijing-based ByteDance’s first successes. The app recommends personalized news articles to users with different interests based on its AI-driven algorithms. However, TopBuzz was not as popular as the later TikTok app. TopBuzz’s downloads declined to 1.2 million in the first half of 2019 from 7 million in all of 2018 on the App Store and Google Play combined, according to researcher Sensor Tower. TikTok had 345.2 million downloads in the first half of 2019.

TopBuzz began shrinking its operations last year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The app used to have operations in multiple languages including Spanish and Portuguese, one of the sources said. But now its website only shows English and Japanese versions. ByteDance is currently under a U.S national security inquiry into TikTok’s handling of user data, and also facing tightened scrutiny from regulators around the world.




https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/fallback/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e0fe&query=TikTok,Owner,ByteDance,Shuts,Down,AI-based,Overseas,Content,Aggregator,TopBuzz,ai,artificial,intelligence,&publish_min=2020-06-03T14:56:56.000Z&publish_max=2020-06-05T14:56:56.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2

Next Story

Categories
Tech

TikTok Owner ByteDance Strives to Move Power Out of China Amidst Shifting Consumer Sentiments

TikTok’s poaching of Disney’s Kevin Mayer to be its CEO was just the most visible part of a broader strategy by its Chinese owner to shift its centre of power away from China at a time of rising global tensions, several people familiar with the plans said. The short video app’s parent company ByteDance has quietly made a series of moves in recent months to transfer global decision-making and research capabilities out of its home country, the sources told Reuters.

The strategy is aimed not only at TikTok, which is not available in China, but all of ByteDance’s non-China focused businesses, the sources said. Such businesses also include units in India like social networking app Helo.

ByteDance has expanded TikTok’s engineering and research and development operations in Mountain View, California, according to three sources. One of the people said it had hired more than 150 engineers there. ByteDance has also hired a New York-based investor relations director to stay in touch with major investors including General Atlantic and KKR, relationships that were previously managed through Beijing, according to two sources. The new hire, Michelle Huang, is a former SoftBank investor who worked on the Japanese firm’s investment in ByteDance. Huang did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The changes come at a time of heightened tension between the United States and China over trade, technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as intense US regulatory scrutiny of TikTok, which has rapidly gained popularity around the globe and counts the United States as one of its biggest market. Formerly Walt Disney streaming chief Mayer, who was dually named ByteDance’s chief operating officer based in Los Angeles, will also be handed leadership for areas such as global corporate development. Many of his responsibilities were previously managed out of Beijing, according to three sources.

More broadly, ByteDance is also recruiting engineers around the world, including in Singapore, Jakarta, and Warsaw, online job postings show. These significant organisational changes are being greeted warily by some ByteDance staff who support the company’s global operations from China, three sources told Reuters. They are concerned they may become less relevant in the next phase of expansion and have started to look for work elsewhere, the sources said.

American migration

For TikTok, the rapid expansion of the US engineering team is part of efforts to migrate its technical resources to the West from China, where most of the work on the app has been done up to this point, according to two of the sources familiar with the company’s plans. It is not uncommon for multinational tech companies like Google to have engineers in China. Although the engineering team on the app have previously reported to managers in China, TikTok is in the process of recruiting a high-level executive to run the engineering department from the United States, according to two sources. It has approached a senior Google employee in recent months, one source said.

Severing ties with the China-based team will be difficult, however. Some of the engineers in China support TikTok as well as ByteDance’s Chinese social media app Douyin, the three sources said. Separating development completely would be nearly impossible as both apps share some infrastructure, two of the sources said. TikTok, which allows users to create short videos with special effects, has become wildly popular with American teenagers doing viral challenges that pair dances with music clips from the app’s library.

Its Chinese ownership has, however, caused concerns in Washington about TikTok’s handling of personal data. The company uses sophisticated artificial intelligence to make video recommendations based on users’ behavior on the app. Separately from the hiring of 150 staff, the Mountain View team has poached a few dozen data engineers from US tech giants to manage user data security, one source said.

‘Issue of credibility’

Since last year, TikTok has faced scrutiny by US authorities over potential national security risks. An investigation by the US Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is focused on the handling of personal data, it was reported in November. Legal experts said regulators would study TikTok’s latest actions to determine if they mitigated any potential risks and were more than cosmetic touches.

“With any attempted restructuring, the issue is one of credibility,” said Paul Marquardt, CFIUS lawyer at law firm Cleary Gottlieb, who is not involved in the TikTok review. “CFIUS would assess whether it actually believed that the operations were functionally independent and insulated from potentially hostile influence.” Republican Senator Marco Rubio was among US lawmakers who last year urged CFIUS to review ByteDance’s 2018 acquisition of Musical.ly, a music video app popular in the United States.

When asked about whether TikTok’s recent moves could assuage US regulatory concerns, he told Reuters: “As long as TikTok or any other application operates in a way that gives the Chinese government and Communist Party leverage, it is impossible to separate the dangers of using such an application from the reality that users’ information could be at risk.”



https://pubstack.nw18.com/pubsync/fallback/api/videos/recommended?source=n18english&channels=5d95e6c378c2f2492e2148a2&categories=5d95e6d7340a9e4981b2e0fe&query=TikTok,Owner,ByteDance,Strives,to,Move,Power,Out,of,China,Amidst,Shifting,Consumer,Sentiments,bytedance,bytedance,american,migration,&publish_min=2020-05-26T20:11:52.000Z&publish_max=2020-05-28T20:11:52.000Z&sort_by=date-relevance&order_by=0&limit=2