Technology Roundup – Apple beats financial targets,Trump moves to bans Alipay and other Chinese payment apps

Apple beats financial targets
Published on: January 6, 2021
Author: NAI500

Tim Cook sees big payday as Apple beats financial targets

  • In the past fiscal year, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) profit rose 3.9% as MacBook and iPad soared with workers and students stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares of the tech giant gained more than 80% for the year, giving Apple a market value of more than $2T.
  • As a result, CEO Tim Cook’s cash bonus rose 40% to $10.7M, according to an annual proxy filing with SEC. His bonus had taken a 36% hit the previous year as revenue and profit declined due to weaker iPhone sales.
  • In addition to his compensation, Cook bagged a total of $281.9M in restricted stock that vested during the year, as part of a long-term incentive package that was awarded in 2011 when he became CEO. Excluding vested shares, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s 2020 pay totaled $14.8M, including a cash bonus and a $3M salary that didn’t change from the prior year.

Trump moves to bans Alipay and other Chinese payment apps

  • Alipay (NYSE:BABA) has been in Washington’s cross hairs for months, but the White House just locked on target. President Trump has signed an order banning transactions with eight Chinese payment apps in 45 days, and while he won’t be in office by that date, the move will cement his tough-on-China legacy, which has involved a trade war and using national security powers against China’s largest technology companies. It also deals a blow to Ant co-founder Jack Ma, who hasn’t been seen in public ever since Chinese regulators halted Ant’s $35B IPO and opened an antitrust investigation into Alibaba.
  • “By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information,” the executive order states. Such data collection “would permit China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, and build dossiers of personal information.”
  • Other companies included in the ban are Tencent’s (OTCPK:TCEHY) QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay, CamScanner, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate and Beijing Kingsoft Office Software’s WPS Office.

Chinese tech and electric vehicle stocks fall on concerns of U.S. ban

  • Nio (NIO -4.8%), Li Auto (LI +1.8%) and XPeng (XPEV -2.3%) have all turned lower after U.S. officials consider banning Americans from investing in Alibaba (BABA -4.9%) and Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY -3.4%). (JD -7.4%) and Baidu (BIDU -4.2%) also sharply lower off the development.
  • Underpinning the selling pressure, the State Department and Department of Defense officials are reported to have held conversations on expanding a blacklist of companies that are prohibited to U.S. investments due to allegations of links to China’s military and security services.

Facebook blocks Trump posts for 24 hours, joining Twitter in suspending president

  • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has decided to block President Trump from posting on the platform for 24 hours – the latest and most severe step it’s taken with the president’s account in today’s events.
  • Now by blocking the president from posting, Facebook joins peer Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), which earlier locked Trump’s account on that platform for 12 hours (and threatened potential permanent suspension).
  • A spokesman says “We’ve assessed two policy violations against President Trump’s Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time,” according to Mike Isaac of the The New York Times.

Enphase Energy, solar stocks set to shine as Democrats likely to take Senate

  • Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH) is indicated to open at another all-time high, as solar shares look to rack up sizeable gains today in response to rising chances for a Democratic sweep in the Senate runoff elections in Georgia.
  • Enphase also announces an expansion of its long-term relationship with Sunnova Energy (NYSE:NOVA) to include Enphase Encharge storage systems.