Current Affairs

China Tech Wipeout Continues After Beijing Cracks Down On Online Videogames

China’s bubbling tech sector has been hit with a massive regulatory storm ever since Alibaba Group Holdings (NYSE:BABA) founder Jack Ma criticized his country’s government last year for what he called excessive regulations. Beijing hit back by cancelling the much-anticipated IPO of Ma’s Ant Group–the world’s largest fintech–before putting the company through a “rectification” process and announcing it would henceforth “prevent the disorderly expansion of capital.”

Well, it turns out that Beijing authorities were not bluffing, if ongoing developments are any indication.

Over the past few months, sweeping crackdowns across diverse sectors of the Chinese economy have been sending shockwaves across global financial markets, with American investors finding themselves in the firing line of some of the hottest sectors.

First off, Beijing cracked down on the crypto space, curbing bitcoin mining due to concerns of excess speculation and warning financial institutions against offering crypto services.

Regulators then turned their sights on Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc. (NYSE:DIDI) for alleged data security violations before China’s antitrust administrator ordered Tencent Music Entertainment (NYSE:TME)) to give its exclusive music licensing rights for online music.

And now Beijing has cracked the whip over China’s expansive online gaming sector.

On Tuesday, American depositary receipts of Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) and XD Inc.(OTCPK:XDNCF) fell 7.3% and 5.3%, respectively, while those by their U.S. videogame peers Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) plunged 4.6%, 3.9% and 9.6%, respectively, after a publication controlled by the Chinese government described online games as “spiritual opium” and ‘‘electronic drugs’’according to multiple reports…read more.

Big Business’ New COVID Initiative: No Jab, No Job

Ever since the first Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in the United States about seven months ago, most Americans have dreamed of the day when the virus will be vanquished and life gets back to normal.

But according to the Bloomberg Covid-19 tracker, only 50% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, despite states being flush with supply of the vaccine. To make matters worse, the vaccination campaign appears to have stalled.

In fact, more than 20 nations now boast higher vaccination rates than the United States despite the latter once being the envy of the world for its swift rollout. The gap between the most and least vaccinated counties in the U.S. has been widening, leaving many communities vulnerable to continued outbreaks.

And now U.S. employers are stepping up to the plate and issuing the ultimate ultimatum to employees: No Jab, No Job.

Broadening mandates for Covid-19 inoculations have been coming fast and swift as the newer Delta variant has sent cases soaring across the United States, all because tens of millions of Americans have refused to get free and effective shots whose safety has been scientifically established beyond reasonable doubt.

Big Business is now in the front line: Facebook, Google, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and Saks Fifth Avenue are amongst the notable blue-chip companies that are leading the charge. Netflix now requires vaccines for actors and anyone who wants to do business with them at its studios…read more.

Twitter partners with AP and Reuters to address misinformation on its platform

Twitter announced today it’s partnering with news organizations The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to expand its efforts focused on highlighting reliable news and information on its platform. Through the new agreements, Twitter’s Curation team will be able to leverage the expertise of the partnered organizations to add more context to the news and trends that circulate across Twitter, as well as aid with the company’s use of public service announcements during high-visibility events, misinformation labels and more.

Currently, the Curation team works to add additional information to content that includes Top Trends and other news on Twitter’s Explore tab. The team is also involved with how certain search results are ranked, to ensure that content from high-quality searches appear at the top of search results when certain keywords or hashtags are searched for on Twitter.

The team may also be involved with the prompts that appear in the Explore tab on the Home Timeline related to major events, like public health emergencies (such as the pandemic) or other events, like elections. And they may help with the misinformation labels that appear on tweets that are allowed to remain visible on Twitter, but are labeled with informative context from authoritative sources. These include tweets that violate Twitter’s rules around manipulated media, election integrity, or COVID-19…read more.

Help with the Special Olympics Golf Tournament

As you may know, our good friend Michael Campbell is Past President and an Executive Board Member of the BC Special Olympics. He is also actively involved as the Chairman of the Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament which supports the BCSO.

Throughout its history, the Newmont Invitational has been known for its premium golf experience and its power to make a difference for Special Olympics BC’s inspiring athletes and empowering programs. Too often, people with intellectual disabilities are forgotten and left behind by our society, and the pandemic has intensified their isolation. The 2021 Newmont Invitational will be your opportunity to make a critical difference in the lives of athletes who rely on Special Olympics for sport, health, skill building, and most of all, friendships.

We need your help, especially this year.

Sponsoring or Donating an auction item to the Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament directly supports the lives of the athletes. All donations are greatly appreciated!

Examples of past auction items that have been generously donated include:

  • Vacation packages and hotel stays
  • Precious metal bars
  • Media / ad buys
  • Experience packages
  • Stadium suite memberships
  • Luxury alcohol
  • Electronics
  • Gift certificates

If you can’t think of anything that you might have readily available, we encourage you to provide support by reaching out to partners and suppliers for auction item donations. The only way any of this gets done – the only way to break through the noise and bustle of everyday life is to ask people you know – ask your contacts. And that’s where you come in.

These children and adults, along with their families, deserve our support. Special O helps build a bridge to the community at large for many individuals who, before joining Special Olympics, were isolated and alone. This is where our 4,800 athletes across the province and tens of thousands more across the country build friendships and self-esteem. It’s not an exaggeration to say these donations literally change people’s lives.

Sure hope you may be able to help, Please email me at

Nina Parente

12 Ways to Get Smarter in One Infographic

The level of a person’s raw intelligence, as measured by aptitude tests such as IQ scores, is generally stable for most people during the course of their adulthood.

While it’s true that there are things you can do to fine tune your natural capabilities, such as doing brain exercises, solving puzzles, and getting optimal sleep—the amount of raw brainpower you have is difficult to increase in any meaningful or permanent way.

For those of us who constantly strive to be high-performers in our fields, this seems like bad news. If we can’t increase our processing power, then how can we solve life’s bigger problems as we move up the ladder?…Click to see full infographic.

Starbucks on Tuesday reported soaring cold drink sales in the United States, fueling an earnings and revenue beat for the company.

But the coffee chain also warned of a slower recovery in China, its second-largest market. It lowered its full-year forecast for the country’s same-store sales growth, despite raising its overall outlook for fiscal 2021 earnings per share.

The stock fell about 3% in extended trading after hitting a 52-week high before the markets closed.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

Earnings per share: $1.01 adjusted vs. 78 cents expected
Revenue: $7.5 billion vs. $7.29 billion expected
The coffee giant reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $1.15 billion, or 97 cents per share, up from a net loss of $678.4 million, or 58 cents per share a year earlier…read more.