That escalated quickly.


December 7, 2018

The stock market in Asia takes a tumble after the arrest of Huawei’s CFO.
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Asian stock market takes a tumble after the arrest of Huawei CFO

Following Wednesday’s news of the arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged nearly 2.5%, with tech stocks taking the brunt of the selling frenzy.

Canadian authorities arrested Meng on Saturday for allegedly violating US trade controls, under charges that Huawei continued to ship products to Iran despite US sanctions for its nuclear program. 

What the Huawei is going on?!

The Shenzhen-based Huawei (pronounced: wah-way) is the world’s #2 largest phone seller, trailing only Samsung.

In 2012, US lawmakers grew wary of the company’s close ties with the Chinese government and worked to prevent American wireless carriers from buying equipment from both Huawei and fellow manufacturer, ZTE. 

(Turns out, the fears had some merit: ZTE was later found guilty of spying activities and was ordered to pay $2B in fines.)

And Huawei?

Investigators have suspected Huawei knowingly sabotaged its products to allow Chinese surveillance since 2016, and the allegations have inspired many nations — not just the US — to bar the firm’s equipment from use in telecom projects (as of a few hours ago, Japan also joined the ban party).

According to Reuters, the US was in the process of looking into whether Huawei broke American trade controls on Iran in April; now, those suspicions seem to have been on point.

The trade war may be taking its first hostage

Meng faces extradition to the US, which some officials view as an opportunity to gain leverage with China in further trade talks.

According to James Lewis, director of technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, if that happens, it could have massive implications on global technology sales, with the fear that China will retaliate.

Just when we were kinda starting to make progress

Things gettin’ stinky in tradeland
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The inventor of waterbeds joins the e-commerce mattress wars

Charles Hall, the man who invented the waterbed in his San Francisco State University dorm room during the Summer of Love, will start selling “second-generation” waterbeds online next month through his mattress startup, Afloat

Drowning in a sea of waterbeds

Hall began selling his original bed, the Pleasure Pit, in the late ’60s for $350 per mattress. Though he patent-protected his watery wares, fluid fraudsters filled the market with cheaper iterations. Hall’s company went into bankruptcy in 1975.

By 1991, just 1 in 5 mattresses sold was a waterbed — and by late ’90s, Hall and fellow waterbed believers were left out to dry. 

But recently, the future of mattresses has become less firm. With traditional giants struggling and startups like Casper achieving direct-to-consumer success, the Waterbed Wizard will try to replicate his watery wonder.

All that grooviness — now available online! 

Hall’s original brochure described the Pleasure Pit as “a friend in love with you, beckoning you to grovel in rapturous sensual splendor.” Afloat’s new, e-commerce-optimized website describes “a bed that totally supports and conforms to the shape of your body.”

A queen Afloat bed costs $1,995 to $2,395 and weighs 1.2k lbs when filled. In a retail test in Florida, they sold out quickly.

Afloat advertises both the particular benefits of waterbeds (contoured fit, temperature control) and the general perks of digital mattress startups (online ordering, a 100-night guarantee, free), resulting in a fever dream of the old and new, the shagadelic and the SEO-optimized.

» Waterbeds are the new vinyl

Lyft is on the road to an IPO, after filing with the SEC

Yesterday, ride-hailing giant Lyft announced it filed for an IPO with the SEC.

Lyft, which was last valued at about $15B in a private fundraising round, did not specify the number of shares it will sell or the price range, but sources estimate the company’s valuation to be in the $20-$30B range.

The IPO will serve as a huge test to see how companies that rely heavily on the gig economy fair on the public market.

Lyft speeds past Uber in the IPO chase

If approved, Lyft will beat Uber to the punch. This may seem like good timing, but with Uber’s future IPO expected to value the rideshare giant at around $120B, it’s actually a part of Lyft’s scrappier strategy.

Nonetheless, if Uber’s future IPO is estimated to be almost 5x bigger than Lyft’s, does it really matter who gets there first?

Especially so…

With Uber receiving massive valuation proposals for the past few months, giving Lyft the first crack at public market investors who cry sacrilege anytime it comes to investing in competing companies will be huge for the No. 2.

If Uber stays on track to hit the stock exchange by the middle of next year, that gives Lyft a few months to shine as the one and only option while it speeds to catch up.

» Getting a head start

Apple Watch now does ECG — but will an Apple a day really keep the doctor away?

Apple rolled out its updated health app yesterday, offering a tool that enables American Apple customers to read electrical heart signals simply by pressing a finger against a smartwatch.

But with Apple’s future as a world-leading tech giant on the line, Apple may need heart monitoring more than its customers do.

Apple really wants your health data

Apple has been raising the prices on its hardware (which is still its bread and butter) for years. But the time will come when consumers won’t be willing to pay $6k for the iPhone 19Z.

This reliance on hardware is already a problem: After hitting a $1T market cap, Apple has lost more than $295B in value since August.

So Apple has already started to focus on services to wean itself off of hardware — and it seems to be pinning its hopes on health.

But do you really want Apple’s health services?

It’s clear why Apple wants to kick-start sales of its healthcare services. But doctors are divided on the usefulness of the watch.

Apple’s Watch is now FDA-approved to catch irregular heartbeats (a definite win for people who don’t know they have them), but some doctors think they could do more harm than good in the short term by causing misdiagnosis and anxiety.

But more importantly, this FDA approval opens the door for Apple to become what it calls an “intelligent health guardian” — a hardware company that also collects medically sensitive healthcare data.

   @ Me Anything
Conor Grant, News Writer at The Hustle
@conor_p_grant

Apple wants medical data like Facebook wants social data — call me crazy, but my only “intelligent health guardian” is my doctor.
Show this thread
» Siri, do I have the flu?
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