Technology Roundup – Zoom stock gains 3% as NYC schools return to remote learning, Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit is seeking partners

Published on: November 18, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Zoom stock gains 3% as NYC schools return to remote learning

Zoom Video (NASDAQ:ZM) shares are up 3.3% after news that NYC schools will close for in-person learning, effective tomorrow, due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

In May, the NYC Department of Education reversed a prior Zoom ban after the company addressed and corrected security concerns.

Related: Zoom was one of the work from home names feeling pressure on Monday after Modenra’s positive coronavirus vaccine news.

Uber’s self-driving vehicle unit is seeking partners, says CEO Khosrowshahi

Uber (UBER +2.1%) CEO Dara Knosrowshahi says the company’s autonomous vehicle unit wants to partner with other companies in the space.

Khosrowshahi, speaking at the RBC Capital Markets conference, was responding to a question about reports the company wanted to sell the Advanced Technologies Group.

“Our view is that we will partner with other autonomous providers over a period of time,” says Khosrowshahi.

In September, Bloomberg sources said Uber investors SoftBank and Benchmark were pressing the company to find more investors for the self-driving unit and to reconsider its strategy. The unit was expected to run out of money by the end of the year.

Last month, a German business magazine reported that Uber had offered more than €1B to buy the rideshare JV from Daimler and BMW.

JOYY tumbles 18% as Muddy Waters alleges fraud in live offerings

JOYY (NASDAQ:YY) – initially higher yesterday evening after its Q3 earnings – has slipped 18.4% after Muddy Waters has opened up a short report, alleging “massive fraud” at the company and its high-flying Bigo Live unit.

“While trawling the sewers of the world’s capital markets over the past 10 years, irony has never been in short supply,” the firm says. “And yet, nothing could prepare us for the surreality of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDUannouncing its intention to buy YY Live from JOYY, which happened just as we were preparing to reveal that our year-long investigation shows YY Live is about 90% fraudulent.”

YY Live is an “ecosystem of mirages,” the firm says, with supposedly high-earning performers actually taking home a fraction of reported pay, and “purportedly independent channel owners” actually largely controlled by YY to facilitate sham transactions.

Meanwhile, JOYY has pointed actively to its growth outside of China, but Muddy Waters says “YY’s international live-streaming business, Bigo, seems barely more real.”

TSMC (TSM) stock gains on report that Google, AMD signed up for new chip tech

TSMC (NYSE:TSM) shares are up 2.9% pre-market after a pair of positive news stories about potential new clients for the foundry giant.

Digitimes report says TSMC is in talks with a Korean OLED driver IC client about using the foundry’s 28nm high-voltage process.

Nikkei Asian Review sources say Google (GOOG,GOOGL) and AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) will be among the first clients for TSMC’s new SoIC chips, which use a new 3-D technology to stack and link different types of chips in one package. The new chip packaging approach is meant to make the chipset smaller but more powerful and energy efficient.

Google will reportedly use the chips for autonomous driving systems and other applications. AMD hopes the packaging tech will help its chips outperform those of rival Intel.

Mass production of the SoIC chips is expected to begin in 2022.

TSMC’s chip packaging and testing services revenue totaled $2.8B last year, or around 8% of total revenue. The company expects a steady growth rate for 2020.

Apple cutting App Store tax in half for smaller developers, effective Jan. 1

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPLwill cut its App Store tax to 15% for most developers, effective January 1.

The tech giant will slash its standard cut of app revenue in half for apps generating up to $1M a year and apps that are new to the store.

Apple’s change is part of its App Store Small Business Program, which is meant to ease the pandemic’s financial burden on small developers and allow them to reinvest in their businesses.

The App Store tax is central to Apple’s legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games, which tried to get around the commission with its own in-app payment system.

In a regulatory filing last month, Apple warned that if App Store-related payments were changed, the company’s “financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected.”