Businesses send conflicting messages on the TikTok Microsoft acquires a gaming giant and the WeChat ban is temporarily blocked. This is your daily crisis for September 21, 2020.
The big story: This TikTok deal is pretty confusing
This is getting more and more confusing. Apparently, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance has signed a contract with Walmart and Oracle that will allow the Chinese social media app to continue working in the US, and the contract was approved by Donald Trump. However, it is difficult to say exactly what this agreement entails.
ByteDance said it would retain 80% control of TikTok and sell 20% of the company to Walmart and Oracle as a "commercial partner" or "trustworthy technology partner". However, Oracle released a seemingly contradicting statement claiming that Americans are in the majority and "ByteDance will not have a majority in TikTok Global".
What's going on here? We're trying to find out.
The technology giants
Microsoft to acquire Bethesda parent company ZeniMax for USD 7.5 billion – ZeniMax owns some of the largest game companies including Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog and Roundhouse Studios.
Trump Administration's WeChat Ban Blocked by U.S. District Court – More news on Trump administration's efforts to ban some high-profile Chinese apps: A San Francisco District Court judge has temporarily suspended the nationwide WeChat ban.
Nikola Chairman Resigns, Shares Crash on Fraud Allegations – This is the result of a report by a well-known short seller accusing the electric vehicle company of fraud.
Startups, Financing and Venture Capital
With USD 100 million in funding, Playco is already a unicorn for mobile games. Playco is a new mobile game startup founded by Michael Carter, co-founder of Game Closure, and Justin Waldron, co-founder of Zynga.
Indian mobile gaming platform Mobile Premier League brings in $ 90 million – Mobile Premier League operates a gaming-only platform that hosts a number of tournaments.
A separate meeting room: three VCs discuss the breakout of large companies in order to start their own appearances. We spoke to Dayna Grayson from Construct Capital, Renata Quintini from Renegade Partners, and Lo Toney from Plexo Capital.
Advice and analysis of extra crunch
Edtech investors are looking for gold – At Disrupt, investors told us how to separate the gold from the dust.
Despite the slowdown, the pandemic is accelerating the shift in hardware manufacturing – China continues to be the dominant global force, but the price of labor and political uncertainty has led many companies to look elsewhere.
The peloton effect – Alex Wilhelm examines the latest VC activities in networked fitness.
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Ireland's data guardian has been criticized for making “the biggest breach of all time” – The Irish Civil Liberties Council is putting more pressure on the country's data guardian to take enforcement action.
The pandemic accelerated cable cutting, making 2020 the worst year for pay TV. According to new research from eMarketer, the cable, satellite, and telecommunications TV industries are well on the way to losing the most subscribers ever.
Original content podcast: "Wireless" shows Quibi's turnstyle technology – I interviewed the director of the new Quibi series.
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