Enterprise

China blacklists the Houston Rockets because of a tweet

Chinese companies have canceled support

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Image source: Keith Allison

As we know now, a tweet can cause utter chaos in the real world. It’s far easier to take a short tweet out of context than a long-form piece. You should always be careful with what you tweet. That said, the world’s biggest basketball organization just caused a Twitter boo-boo.

More specifically, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey recently tweeted a pro-Hong Kong tweet on his personal account. The tweet contained an image and the statement “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Hong Kong’s current pro-democracy protests are a focal point for international personalities. Morey’s support adds to the millions already supporting the country’s predicament.

Unfortunately, Morey’s tweet immediately sparked a wave of hatred especially from the Chinese Twitter population. Many accounts called for his firing. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta posted a reply, saying Morey’s opinions are his own and not the Rocket’s as an organization. Instead of calming the seas, Fertitta’s tweet added fuel to the fire. Twitter was divided between people calling for Morey’s firing and people criticizing Fertitta for silencing Morey’s opinion.

Morey has since deleted the tweet and issued an apology tweet, further hammering the disclaimer that his opinions are not representative of the entire NBA. The damage, however, has already been done. China is angry.

Yao Ming, one of the team’s most popular players in history, has revoked support for the team. Yao is currently the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which previously worked with the Rockets.

Additionally, Tencent Sports, China’s biggest streaming provider for the NBA in the country, has suspended its new five-year deal specifically for the Houston Rockets. As such, the service will not stream games featuring the Houston Rockets. A Chinese sports apparel brand, Li-Ning, has also canceled partnerships with the team and its players.

Currently, there is no plan to punish Morey. During Morey’s tenure as general manager, the Houston Rockets has enjoyed considerable postseason success in the NBA, headlined by superstar guard James Harden.

SEE ALSO: NBA 2K20 Review: A Worrisome Upgrade

Enterprise

Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars

Officially a billionaire

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A few years ago, Apple earned the highly distinguished status of becoming a trillion-dollar company. Without pausing to catch its breath, the company is already barreling towards the 2-trillion mark. Coinciding with his company’s success, Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Cook’s net worth has just passed the US$ 1 billion mark just as Apple’s shares substantially grew last week. Just recently, the company announced a 4-in-1 split for its stocks due to the success.

The Apple CEO’s new position in the success column is an interesting one. Unlike his peers in the industry, Cook is one of the few CEOs who did not found his own company. The current leader took over the reins from the late Steve Jobs back in 2011. Since then, Apple’s success skyrocketed to its current status today. Back in 2015, amidst all the riches he acquired, Cook promised to give away most of his money to philanthropic endeavors.

Apple’s recent success is a stroke of good news compared to other big tech companies in the US. Last week, the biggest tech CEOs faced an onslaught of antitrust issues surrounding the tech industry. For example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg failed to defend his bullying and acquiring tactics to stomp competitors down. Though surviving this barrage, Apple is currently facing its own set of issues worldwide, including antitrust issues in the EU and a strange branding lawsuit in Canada.

If the current trend continues, Apple is set to ascend even further up the ranks of tech companies in the near future.

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Enterprise

WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide

Sinks by up to 30 percent

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Last week, President Donald Trump signed an official executive order banning TikTok and WeChat starting September 15. Though the spotlight is on TikTok, the pending WeChat ban can also impact the technology industry quite heavily. According to an analyst’s report, the WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), the impending ban will determine the iPhone’s fate in the Chinese market. WeChat, a platform owned by Tencent, is a popular messaging app in China. While the app’s presence is drastically lesser in other territories, Chinese immigrants also use the platform to stay in touch with relatives back in China.

If the ban passes, Apple’s App Store can potentially remove the app for all users around the world. Currently, the executive order’s wording is still vague. No one knows if a ban will remove WeChat from American iPhones or all iPhones all over the world.

In the best-case scenario wherein it’s only the US, global iPhone sales will likely drop by up to only 6 percent. This likely pertains to Chinese immigrants in the US. However, in the worst-case scenario wherein iPhones everywhere lose the app, Apple’s sales will sink by up to a whopping 30 percent.

Despite the overwhelming dominance of Chinese brands in China, Apple still retains a sizable share in the country’s market. Compared to last year, the American brand’s market share actually grew in size. If Kuo’s more pessimistic scenario comes to pass, Trump’s orders might have inadvertently doomed Apple’s business in China.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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Enterprise

Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo

Five-person startup vs. trillion-dollar company

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As the saying goes, “apples and oranges.” Apparently, the well-known idiom doesn’t apply for the iPhone makers of the same name. If your company uses any fruit-themed logo (even if it’s not an apple), Apple will see their own logo and go at you with the full force of their legal team. In a strange turn of events, Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo.

Reported by Canadian outlet iPhone in Canada, Prepear, a meal-planning startup with only five people, is facing legal action from the trillion-dollar Apple because of their logo. Super Healthy Kids, another startup from the founders of Prepear, shared their woes on Instagram. As the name suggests, Prepear uses a pear-shaped logo in lime green. According to the post, Apple thinks that the Prepear logo looks too similar to the globally known Apple logo.

Now, if you squint enough, you might find a few similarities. Both have a leaf hanging near the stem, for example. However, both logos are quite arguably far enough from each other. In fact, their brand identities are very distinct from each other.

Along with the Instagram post, Prepear has also started a Change.org petition, in hopes of stopping Apple’s legal action against them. In the petition, the startup is calling out Apple for bullying other smaller startups with fruit-themed logos. “Most small businesses cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to fight Apple,” the petition said.

In the same vein, big tech companies in the US are facing a lot of antitrust issues. Just recently, a court hearing caught Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg lying under oath. The social media company stole, bullied, and acquired rival companies to take them out.

Of course, Apple is no stranger to weird court cases from people in the past. However, this is one of the rare instances when the company itself is pursuing legal action for strange reasons against smaller entities.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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