Partial Trade Agreement with China Energizes Markets

The trade war between the U.S. and China seems to have taken a turn for the better, with China announcing a partial agreement with the U.S. to lift tariffs in stages.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday that Beijing had agreed with Washington to lift existing trade tariffs between the two nations in phases,” writes Sam Meredith of CNBC. “Gao Feng, a ministry spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry, said that both sides had agreed to simultaneously cancel some existing tariffs on one another’s goods, according to the country’s state broadcaster.

As a technology leader, I view the agreement as a net positive for both the U.S. and Chinese economies. It still doesn’t address the IP issues between the two nations. But hopefully, it’s a step in the right direction.


WeWork, Uber Trigger $6.5 B Softbank Loss

Investment giant SoftBank this week acknowledged steep losses, but vowed to stay the course after a series of risky choices.

Masayoshi Son struck a defiant tone after his SoftBank Group Corp. reported an enormous loss from investments in money-losing startupsWeWork and Uber Technologies Inc.,” write Pavel Alpeyev and Takahiko Hyuga in Bloomberg. “The Japanese billionaire paced a stage in Tokyo on Wednesday showing off dozens of slides that he argued demonstrate the promise of his deal-making. He began by flashing a slide of newspaper headlines and mocking reports that SoftBank or WeWork or both would end up going bankrupt.”

From my perspective, this is a situation worth following. Earlier this year, it seemed as though SoftBank had the cash and the clout to upend the tech world. Today, the future seems less clear.


Xerox Looking to Acquire HP

Xerox has made an offer to buy rival HP, according to a report this week  in the Wall Street Journal.

“With a market value of $27bn, HP is about three times the size of Xerox, which also makes printers and copiers, making the move an audacious one if it were to go through,” writes Daphne Leprince-Ringuet in ZDNet. “The WSJ report, citing unidentified sources, said Xerox's board met on Tuesday to consider a cash-and-stock offer at a premium to HP's market value. By merging, the companies could save $2bn in annual costs. The WSJ also reported that Xerox has received an informal funding commitment from a major bank.”

echoNewest Echo Speaker Impresses Reviewers

The new Amazon Echo Studio is apparently impressing reviewers, despite less than stellar stereo sound quality.

“This is Amazon's best-sounding and most feature-packed speaker yet, complete with Dolby Atmos playback. It's a big speaker that sounds even bigger, thanks to its array of multiple drivers and ability to bounce sound off the walls,” writes Ty Pendlebury of CNET. “Yes, music lacked the distinct placement of a true stereo system but it still filled my listening room well, with more bass than any previous Echo. Movies and streaming content sounded massive for just a single speaker, even if it doesn't deliver the pinpoint accuracy of a multispeaker rig.”