09 Aug 2021

1.FACEBOOK :  U.S. lawmakers pressed Facebook Inc  on Monday on why it disabled the accounts of researchers studying political ads on the social media platform, saying it was “imperative” that experts be allowed to look into “harmful activity … proliferating on its platforms.”

Facebook said on Tuesday it had cut off the personal accounts and access of a group of New York University researchers, citing concerns about other users’ privacy.

Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner and Chris Coons pressed Facebook in a letter to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to answer a series of questions. These include how many researchers or journalists have had their accounts disabled this year, why, and how was Facebook changing its terms of service to better accommodate research.

Facebook has said that the research violated rules to protect the privacy of the social media company’s users.

Facebook paid a record $5 billion fine in 2019 to resolve allegations it had violated a Federal Trade Commission consent order by misleading users about how much control they had over their personal data.

2.ALIBABA:- Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba  Group Holding Ltd on Monday said it has fired a manager accused of sexual assault and promised policies to prevent sexual harassment – action blasted by state media as coming only after the accuser went public.

On Saturday, a female employee posted an 11-page account on Alibaba’s intranet saying her manager and a client sexually assaulted her, and that superiors and human resources had not taken the matter seriously in the five days since reporting it.

The manager, at grocery delivery unit City Retail, said he was involved in “intimate acts” when the employee was inebriated and “has been fired and will never be rehired,” Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in an intranet memo seen by Reuters and later made public. The police is investigating the matter, he said.

Reuters was unable to reach the individual for comment.

State media and online commentators were overwhelmingly critical of Alibaba’s perceived delay in handling the incident.

“Alibaba could not offer an answer that satisfies public opinion for this ham-handed inaction,” said an editorial in the Global Times tabloid published by the state-run People’s Daily.

3.AMAZON:- Amazon.com Inc and Walmart’s Flipkart must face antitrust investigations ordered against them in India, the country’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday, in a blow to the leading e-commerce giants which had urged judges to quash the inquiries.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, said companies like Amazon  and Flipkart should volunteer for such investigations.

“We expect organisations like Amazon and Flipkart, big organisations, they have to volunteer for inquiry and transparency. We expect that and you don’t even want (an) inquiry,” Justice Ramana told the court.

Amazon and Flipkart, leading players in an e-retail market India forecasts will be worth $200 billion by 2026, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The decision is a major setback for both companies as the Supreme Court appeal was seen as the last legal recourse to block the CCI pressing on with its investigation.

In the current antitrust case, filed by trader group Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, the two companies face allegations of exclusive launches of mobile phones, promotion of select sellers on their websites and deep discounting practices that drive out competition.

4.RENAULT:-France’s Renault SA  said on Monday it is looking to revive business in China by forming a hybrid vehicle joint venture with Geely Holding Group, a year after it ended its previous operation in the world’s largest car market.

The two companies have signed a framework agreement to set up the joint venture, which would make and sell Renault-branded petrol-electric hybrid cars in China using Geely’s technologies, supply chains and manufacturing facilities while Renault  would focus on sales and marketing.

Reuters reported the plan earlier on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

As part of the partnership, the two automakers also agreed to explore a joint localisation of Geely’s Lynk & Co-brand hybrid vehicles in South Korea where Renault has been manufacturing and selling cars for more than two decades.

The venture would focus on China and South Korea initially but would likely be expanded to cover fast-growing Asian markets.

Geely and Renault are also looking at developing full electric battery cars for the venture, one source familiar with the matter said.

The new venture is modeled on an EV-focused venture Geely set up in 2019 with Daimler , which plans to manufacture in China and sell Smart-brand EVs based on Geely technology using Daimler’s global sales network.

The Geely-Renault venture, however, would be completely separate from Geely’s venture with Daimler.

.5.WIRECARD  –  German prosecutors have dropped an investigation of former Deutsche Bank supervisory board member Alexander Schuetz for alleged insider trading of Wirecard shares, a Stuttgart state prosecutor said on Monday.

Germany’s securities regulator BaFin filed a criminal complaint against Schuetz in April.

Stuttgart prosecutors, which had been handling the complaint, found no initial grounds for suspicion in the case and will not pursue the issue further, the Stuttgart prosecutor said.