What happened: December 7, 2021
The big story
Apple’s huge growth in China has been fueled by a secret $ 275 billion deal that CEO Tim Cook signed with the Chinese government in 2016, according to a new report from tech news site The Information. In April 2016, China, following new policies Beijing had established for online services the previous month, shut down Apple’s iTunes and blocked the company’s music, movie, and book streaming services from China. interior of the country. Facing intense regulatory scrutiny, Cook has personally pressured Beijing officials to ease restrictions by promising to train Chinese workers and develop China’s tech sector in return for a break from Chinese government regulators, according to the new report. At the heart of the deal, which followed Cook’s $ 1 billion investment in Chinese ridesharing app Didi Chuxing, was a 1,250-word memorandum of understanding in which Apple pledged to invest. some $ 275 billion in China’s economy over a five-year period. In the five years since Apple signed the deal, the company has increased both its manufacturing operations in China and its sales to consumers in the Chinese market. This news explains how it is that, as other tech companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft and Linkedin pull out of China or reduce their presence in the country due to strict regulations, Apple’s business is booming there. . In the financial quarter that ended September 25, the iPhone maker reported $ 14.6 billion in revenue in Greater China, an 83 percent increase from a year ago a year.
The original report on The Information is here but requires a subscription: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/facing-hostile-chinese-authorities-apple-ceo-signed-275-billion-deal-with-them
You can read a free summary here: https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/12/07apple-made-secret-5-year-275b-deal-with-chinese-government
Today’s Last Pages: Trump’s Big Media Game
→ After giving the green light to The deal on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that gives control to Russia Regarding Europe’s energy supply, despite objections from members of Congress led by Senator Ted Cruz, the United States is now threatening to block the deal, but only if Russia invades Ukraine. After a virtual meeting Tuesday between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Financial Times reports that the United States is pressuring Germany to block the pipeline deal as part of a package of potential economic sanctions against Russia. It is not clear why Germany, which is in favor of the deal, would want to accept it.
→ Another federal judge sided with Attorney General Alan Wilson on Tuesday and blocked a mandate from the Biden administration which would require employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Now is the third time the courts have upheld Wilson’s initial lawsuit challenging the warrant as a Tenth Amendment violation and upholding an injunction blocking enforcement. The case was initially brought by officials from seven states: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Utah and West Virginia.
Read more: https://www.counton2.com/news/south-carolina-news/federal-judge-blocks-covid-19-vaccine-mandate-for-federal-contractors-sides-with-sc-attorney-general/
→ Amazon Web Services provides much of the invisible infrastructure that keeps the internet running, and today it has failed: issues in the company’s US-East-1 cloud region removed web services from companies around the world. The outage began around 10:45 a.m.ET and cut services like Coinbase, IMDB, and Disney +, as well as Amazon’s own Ring, Alexa AI assistant, and Kindle eBooks. Dozens of other large businesses and web services have reportedly experienced outages, slow loading, and problems connecting to Amazon’s servers. More than anything, what the episode illustrates is how dependent the commercial web is on a single company, which now controls something like a third of all cloud infrastructure across the globe.
→ It wasn’t the best time for White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, whose sarcastic response on Monday to a question from a reporter about why COVID-19 tests appear to be cheaper and more readily available in other countries was to ask, “Should we send one to every American?” “ Well, yes that would be a good idea, thank you, and it is an idea that other countries have been more than able to achieve. As Boston Globe reporter Matt Karolian noted on Twitter, “In UK you can order 1 pack (containing 7 tests) every day.”
→ The Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of San Francisco, Zahra Billoo, has played all the hits of the delusional anti-Jewish worldview known as anti-Zionism in a speech at the annual convention of American Muslims for Palestine. “Zionist synagogues, the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel and other Jewish organizations are enemies who are part of a plot behind Islamophobia, American police brutality and American border control,” Billoo told the audience. , according to an article in the Jerusalem Post. which picked up on reports originally published on the Israel Advocacy website Israellycool. A former board member of the Women’s March before being kicked out for anti-Semitic tweets, Billoo included in his speech the myth that Israel trains US police to “kill black men, women and children.” unarmed ”, among other conspiratorial ducks.
Read more: https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitisme/zionists-are-behind-islamophobia-us-police-brutality-cair-official-687933
→ Tuesday marked the 80th anniversary of Japan’s surprise attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941. The United States was technically a neutral country at the time of the attack, but President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, following a speech to Congress in which he uttered the memorable phrase that the December 7 was “a date that will live on in infamy,” declared war on Japan the next day. The attack involved more than 350 Japanese planes, sunk eight battleships, destroyed 88 American planes and killed more than 2,400 people on and around the base.
→ The mental wear and tear of the pandemic and associated lockdown policies is being felt most keenly by Gen Z between 13 and 24 years old. Released Monday, a survey of 3,764 people aged 13 to 56 from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with funding from MTV found that about 45% of Gen Z respondents said that maintaining bonds with their friends had become more difficult, while 40% said the same about their romantic relationships. Fewer Americans in the older groups reported the same hardships, and they were less likely to say the pandemic disrupted their education or careers, according to the survey. “The uncertainty about the pandemic and the fear of infection are among the main sources of stress for this generation,” according to the study.
Read more: https://apnorc.org/projects/gen-z-and-the-toll-of-the-pandemic/
→What a performance from actor Jussie Smollett, whose pledge to never break character was fully visible on Tuesday as he continued his action as a righteous victim of racial injustice by berating the prosecutor: “Can you spell or say the N word out of respect for every African-American in this room? You have used this word often. The offending epithet was, in fact, quoted aloud in Smollett’s Instagram posts. “I have no intention of doing this sir… You can read your messages aloud,” replied the prosecutor.
The Back Pages
Backpages Trump’s Big Media Play
There is a temptation to downplay Tuesday’s announcement that Senator Devin Nunes is leaving Congress to become the CEO of a new media company run by ex-President Donald Trump. There have been plenty of right-wing and social media companies launched in the past year that were obvious cash foreclosures or publicity shows, and there are a lot of people seeing the new Trump business, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) – which includes a social media platform called “TRUTH” – in that vein, but my feeling is that it’s something different and worth taking seriously.
On the one hand, the company announced a distribution partnership with new media company Rumble, which hasn’t been on the scene for a long time but has already had an impact. Rumble is a YouTube-like video streaming service, but unlike Google-owned YouTube, it has positioned itself as a free speech haven, inviting iconoclastic journalists like Glenn Greenwald. The payoff has been growing rapidly over the past year. This gives Trump society both an integrated infrastructure and potentially a crossover audience that could pull it out of the ideological ghetto.
Then there is the historic weakness and vulnerability of the establishment media, which has opened up the market to outside challengers. The outrage and hysteria generated by new independent publishing platforms such as Substack is a direct reflection of the weakness of mainstream media, which tend to respond to new challengers by denouncing them as fascists, calling on the government to regulate them out of existence, or both.
But media profits have plummeted over the past year as ratings and readership plummeted without the 24/7 drama of the Trump presidency. Now you have Trump himself, the guy who ran those odds, coming back to the field. Complications will abound, especially if he chooses to run for president again in 2024, but it’s hard to see how Trump’s name alone doesn’t at least provide an initial user base that could threaten readers. more established multimedia.
Of course, it’s possible that this is really just a gambling game. Special Purpose Acquisition Company TMTG, or SPAC – which Trump created in October with the aim of launching his new media company to “oppose the tyranny of Big Tech” – announced this weekend that it had raised $ 1 billion in capital from an unnamed “diverse group of institutional investors”. Then, on Monday, the company revealed it was under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But it seems unlikely that money is the motivation for Nunes, who certainly has easier ways of making money as a former senator, for example by entering the lobbying world. Nunes was instrumental in exposing the Russiagate hoax, so perhaps it is fitting that the same person who helped destroy the media’s credibility by exposing his complicity is now coming to try to take his place.