(Bloomberg Opinion) — The jockeying by Microsoft Corp. and possibly other U.S. companies to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations shines a harsh light on how domestic technology giants are falling behind on innovation in social media and other areas of opportunity.
Both ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat are living on borrowed time in the U.S. after President Donald Trump signed executive orders last week effectively banning the apps after 45 days. The renewed focus brings to the forefront how badly American social media apps have lagged their Asian counterparts. Consider Twitter Inc., for example. Despite spending roughly $700 million a year in research and development, the microblogging company’s main offering has stayed virtually the same over the past decade. Amazingly, its biggest innovation may be doubling the character count for each tweet in 2017. That’s not an impressive return on large amounts of investment spending. Similarly, Facebook Inc.’s
The U.S. telecom stocks witnessed a gradual uptrend in the past week with better-than-expected bottom-line figures from the firms that have reported so far, despite broad-based revenues hit by the coronavirus-induced turmoil. The industry was further buoyed by the availability of more airwaves in the mid-band spectrum range for commercial use from the Pentagon. This is likely to speed up the process of 5G deployment across the country, infusing positivity within the rank and files of the sector. In addition, a favorable court verdict that upheld FCC’s earlier decision to cap the fees for wireless carriers by local administrative authorities for deploying small cells for 5G adoption seemed to propel the stocks.
Meanwhile, President Trump has signed executive orders that prohibit any business transactions with the Chinese owners of TikTok and WeChat. The new orders will come into effect in 45 days and take recourse of the National Emergencies Act
(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. joined a growing list of developers to publicly criticize Apple Inc. over its revenue-sharing policy for in-app purchases, suggesting the iPhone maker’s fee structure is hurting small businesses during a global pandemic.
The social network on Friday rolled out a paid events feature in 20 countries, offering businesses the ability to charge users for access to live video streams, like a yoga class or seminar. Facebook said that Apple didn’t agree to waive its usual 30% fee for all transactions that take place within apps on its devices, and won’t let Facebook process the payments using its own technology for iOS users.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google didn’t waive its 30% fee on its Android mobile operating system, either, though the internet search giant will let Facebook process payments through its own payment product to avoid those costs, said Fidji Simo, the executive running Facebook’s main app. Facebook
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