Market Round Up: Don and Jean’s Big Day Out, Airlines kowtow to China, In your Facebook

by | 26 Jul, 2018

 

1. Don & Jean’s Big Day out

It would seem the transatlantic love-fest is back on between Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker following the tit-for-tat tariff battle between the U.S. and EU.

Trump said the two of them had had a “very big day’, sharing the platitude that both men would start to form a “close friendship”. So could this see the resurrection of the Trump-scrapped Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? Fact is, at this stage, it is far too early to tell, and the current stand-off over cars and metals still hold despite yesterday’s one-sided “big deal” to increase supplies of liquified gas and soya to Europe.

 

2. Airlines kowtow to China 

U.S. airlines American, Delta, United and Hawaiian agreed to comply with China’s demand that Taiwan be recognised as part of China. Several non-U.S. airlines such as Quantas, Air France and Lufthansa have already kowtowed to Chinese pressure earlier this year and now refer to Taiwan as a territory, and not an independent country. But all of them are ignoring each of their government’s geo-political position in recognising Taiwan as a free country. So is this a case of business over ethics?

China has been waging a long campaign to force businesses to conform to its position concerning Taiwan as a back door to political recognition of what it has always considered a rogue province ever since Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist party lost the civil war in 1949. Interestingly, Trump’s White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckerbee Sanders described China’s airline directive as “Orwellian nonsense”.

 

 

3. In your Facebook!

It seems past scandals are finally catching up with Facebook. And yet you can’t keep a good man down.

Bad publicity around Cambridge Analytica may have been the trigger that dissuaded people from signing up, or deleting their existing accounts in disgust, as second quarter user numbers were well down on expectations. Investors may have been hoping for 2.25 billion users. Instead they got 2.23 billion active users. But when it came to overall profits, so what? Beating all expectations, Mark Zuckerberg’ Facebook showed that what really matters at the end of the day is the money. After all, Facebook can simply charge advertisers more to reach their members.

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