Technology Roundup – Spotify, Match Group, and Epic Games join app fairness nonprofit taking on Apple; ByteDance applies for export license from China

科技精选——Spotify、Match Group和Epic等加入“应用公平联盟”;字节跳动向中国申请出口许可证
Published on: September 25, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Spotify, Match Group, and Epic Games join app fairness nonprofit taking on Apple

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT), Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH), and Epic Games are joining the nonprofit Coalition for App Fairness, which plans to push for legal changes that would curb Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 30% App Store “tax.”

The nonprofit, which is based in D.C. and Brussels, also includes tracker tech company Tile and project management software company Basecamp.

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Epic is currently suing Apple for antitrust violations after the tech giant barred blockbuster Fortnite for creating its own in-game payment system to circumvent the commission fee.

Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the EU.

Reports circulated earlier this month that Apple was finally in production for its Tile rival, AirTags.

Earlier this year, Basecamp publicly protested Apple’s policies after the App Store blocked an update for the new Hey email service.

Apple’s 15-30% cut of apps using its in-app payment system goes into the lucrative Services side of the business, which brought in $13.2B in revenue during FQ3.

Apple shares are down 1.4% pre-market to $105.61.

ByteDance applies for export license from China as TikTok deal waits for approval

TikTok owner ByteDance (BDNCE) has applied for an export license in line with Chinese regulations, as it pushes for a deal with Oracle and Walmart for the video-sharing app’s U.S. operations to avoid a shutdown in the country, reports CNBC.

The application was submitted to the Beijing municipal bureau of commerce, ByteDance said in a statement in Chinese on Thursday. The company said it was waiting for a decision.

But the statement did not mention the pending deal in the U.S. nor the exact technology it was looking to get a license for export.

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Over the weekend, Oracle said it would take a 12.5% stake in a new U.S.-based company called TikTok Global and be the cloud provider, handling American user data. Walmart would take a 7.5% stake.

YouTube expands fact-checking, Facebook readies oversight board

After inking a deal yesterday with the World Federation of Advertisers on posting statements, Big Tech is stepping up its efforts to tackle disputed content, an effort applauded by some and opposed by others.

YouTube (GOOGGOOGL) is expanding its fact-checking feature for video searches to Europe, displaying information and links from third-party publishers on queries related to issues like elections and the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will reportedly launch its “Supreme Court”-style oversight board ahead of the U.S. election amid rising criticism for its perceived failure to tackle hateful and divisive speech.

Amazon launches Luna, its Stadia-like cloud videogaming service

At’s (AMZN +2.2%) hardware event today, it’s making news on the game-streaming front, unveiling a new cloud videogaming service.

Luna Games will be based in the Amazon Web Services cloud and be playable on connected TVs (including Amazon’s Fire TV) but also work with PC and Mac computers.

It’s launching with publisher support via games like Resident Evil 7, Panzer Dragoon, and A Plague Tale: Innocence.

Structurally it doesn’t seem unlike Google’s (GOOG +1.8%, GOOGL +1.7%) Stadia streaming service, down to a custom controller Amazon is offering for $50. Amazon says Luna can support 4K resolution and 60 frames per second in some titles. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also has designs on game streaming via the cloud.

And it’s offering the ability for fans to switch from Twitch straight into Luna while watching a game.

The service is in early testing though the company is beginning to take requests for early access today.

The news follows some tentative previous gaming steps by Amazon, including its high-stakes launch of Crucible, which got a tepid response in May and went back into closed beta during the summer.

Amazon hires former Yahoo, Slack privacy head for Alexa effort – BI

Business Insider sources say Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZNhas added privacy expert Anne Toth to Alexa Trust, the team that oversees privacy/security issues for the voice assistant.

Toth spent more than a decade as the chief trust officer at Yahoo and held similar roles at Google and Slack.

Improved privacy controls were mentioned several times during Amazon’s fall hardware event earlier today.

One new Alexa feature allows a user to delete all voice recordings collected on the device.