TikTok rejects Microsoft’s bid, likely to pick Oracle as 'tech partner' in US

Agencies
September 14, 2020

Bytedance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, has reportedly chosen Cloud major Oracle over Microsoft to run its US operations as a ‘trusted tech partner’, multiple media reports revealed on Monday while an official announcement was still awaited.

According to The New York Times, ByteDance rejected the acquisition offer from Microsoft. However, it was unclear whether TikTok's choice of Oracle as a technology partner would mean that "Oracle would also take a majority ownership stake of the social media app".

This is different from an outright sale and appears to suggest Oracle will help run TikTok's US operations with its Cloud technologies.

In an official statement, Microsoft said its bid for TikTok operations in the US was rejected.

"ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok's US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok's users, while protecting national security interests," Microsoft said.

"To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combating disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas," the tech giant added.

ByteDance has reportedly decided not to sell or transfer the algorithm that is behind TikTok to any other company. This was reported by South China Morning Post quoting sources as saying that while ByteDance will not give its source code to any bidder in the US, its tech team can develop a new algorithm in the US. The company has reportedly informed the same to authorities and potential bidders in the US.

After TikTok was banned in India in June, along with 58 other Chinese apps, the Donald Trump administration in the US increased pressure on the ByteDance-owned platform to sell its US operations by mid-September or face a ban.

According to NYT, Oracle has cultivated close ties with the Trump administration.

"Its founder, Larry Ellison, hosted a fund-raiser for Trump this year, and its chief executive, Safra Catz, served on the president's transition team and has frequently visited the White House".

Trump said last month that he would support Oracle buying TikTok.

"I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it," he told reporters. Trump maintained there will be "no extension of the TikTok deadline".

Riding on new customer wins in both Cloud applications and infrastructure businesses, Oracle posted better than expected results for its FY21 first quarter results last week, generating $9.4 billion in revenue which was up 2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, China said the Trump administration's deadline for TikTok sale is tantamount to "coercive robbery".

"The tricks of economic bullying and political manipulation that the US played on non-American companies are tantamount to coercive robbery," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson over the weekend.

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Agencies
October 22,2020

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Thane, Oct 22: At least 25 people were injured when lightning struck a residential area at a village in Maharashtra's Thane district, an official said on Thursday.

During heavy rains in Thane on Wednesday evening, lightning stuck Palaspada hamlet in Umbarmali village under Sahapur taluka around 7 pm, regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.

A house in the locality was completely destroyed while some adjoining houses also suffered damages, he said.

"At least 25 people, including women and children, were injured due to the lightning strike and were rushed to the Sahapur rural hospital," Kadam said.

Their condition was reported to be stable, Thane's resident deputy collector Dr Shivaji Patil said.

Sahapur MLA Daulat Daroda visited the injured people in the hospital late Wednesday night.

Heavy rains along with thunder and lightning were experienced in Thane and neighbouring areas on Wednesday evening.

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Agencies
October 28,2020

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Mumbai, Oct 28: Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 600 points on Wednesday, tracking heavy losses in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank amid a massive selloff in European markets.

After hitting a low of 39,774.60 during the day, the 30-share BSE index ended 599.64 points or 1.48 per cent lower at 39,922.46.

Similarly, the broader NSE tanked 159.80 points or 1.34 per cent to close at 11,729.60.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3 per cent, followed by HDFC, ICICI Bank, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement and Tata Steel.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel was the top gainer, rallying more than 4 per cent, after the country's second largest telecom operator reported its highest-ever quarterly consolidated revenue, helping it narrow losses in the July-September period.

Consolidated revenue rose 22 per cent to Rs 25,785 crore in the September quarter, while net loss narrowed to Rs 763 crore.

M&M, Maruti and L&T also ended with gains.

According to analysts, Indian equities faced intense selloff after European markets opened with heavy losses amid spiking COVID-19 cases.

Extremely volatility was also witnessed ahead of monthly derivatives expiry and US presidential election, they said.

Benchmarks in Europe plunged up to 3 per cent in early deals.

Bourses in Hong Kong and Tokyo ended on a negative note, while Shanghai and Seoul were in the positive territory.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 3.20 per cent lower at USD 40.28 per barrel.

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Agencies
October 30,2020

New Delhi, Oct 30: The Sensex and Nifty retreated for the third session on the trot on Friday amid continued weakness in global markets due to rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and uncertainty ahead of US elections.

After gyrating 746 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 135.78 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 39,614.07.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 28.40 points or 0.24 per cent to 11,642.40.

Bharti Airtel was the top loser among the Sensex constituents, shedding 3.82 per cent, followed by Maruti, HUL, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank and Bajaj Auto.

On the other hand, Tata Steel, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Nestle India, TCS, Tech Mahindra and ONGC were among the main gainers, climbing up to 2.27 per cent.

Market heavyweight Reliance Industries rose 1.37 per cent ahead of its results.

During the week, Sensex tumbled 1,071.43 points or 2.63 per cent, while Nifty sank 287.95 points or 2.41 per cent.

"Concerns over prospects of global economic recovery due to resurgence of COVID-19 in various nations continued to weigh on investors' sentiments as domestic equities declined for third consecutive day. Financials and Auto were the major drags today, white other key sectoral indices staged a recovery towards the end of the session.

"Volatility in markets is expected to persist in coming week as well led by uncertainty over global economy and US presidential election. However, better corporate earnings so far and improvements in high frequency key economic indicators are expected to offer support to domestic equities," said Arjun Yash Mahajan Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities.

BSE telecom, auto, bankex, FMCG, finance and teck indices fell as much as 2.37 per cent, while realty, metal, energy, oil and gas and power closed in the green.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap index advanced 0.62 per cent, while the smallcap gauge slipped 0.03 per cent.

In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended the day with significant losses.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note as fresh lockdowns in France, Germany and other countries dented risk sentiment.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.58 per cent higher at USD 38.48 per barrel.

The domestic forex market was closed on account of 'Id-E-Milad'.

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