Unemployment claims drop, but Bay Area tech firms prep layoffs

SAN JOSE — Unemployment claims in California fell to their lowest levels since coronavirus-linked business shutdowns began in March — but a few Silicon Valley tech companies and at least one big services firm that caters to the tech sector have prepped new layoffs.

In November alone, Hitachi Vantara, Boston Scientific, Marvell Semiconductor and PayPal have revealed plans for job cuts in Silicon Valley, according to official state filings.

Despite the improvement in unemployment claims in California, the tech industry layoffs and weekly jobless filings that remain far higher than what is typical are disquieting reminders that the economy in the state and the Bay Area remains feeble.

“The California economy is in a suspended state,” said Michael Bernick, a former director of the state Employment Development Department and an employment attorney with law firm Duane Morris. “There is little new hiring and no economic uptick over the past two

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China gets tough on firms over single-use plastics

a pile of stuffed animals: Recycling in China

© Getty Images
Recycling in China

China is forcing restaurants, e-commerce platforms and delivery services to report their use of single-use plastics.

The Ministry of Commerce said it had established a nationwide system for retailers to report their plastic consumption.

The Ministry’s proposal is part of a wider push to deal with China’s huge waste problem.

The rise in home food deliveries has also caused volumes to surge.

In September, the ministry said single-use plastic bags and eating utensils would be banned from major cities by the end of the year, while single-use straws would be banned nationwide.

A new “solid waste law” also came into effect in September, increasing fines tenfold for those who break rules.

The new law also mandated the construction of new recycling infrastructure.

Plastic pollution

Wang Wang, chairman of the China Scrap Plastic Association, told Reuters the bans would “only resolve the most visible types

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U.S. To Add Chinese Oil Driller To List Of Firms Barred From Receiving American Investments: Report

The Trump administration is set to add major Chinese offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC, plus three other large Chinese firms, to a list of companies barred from receiving American investments because of their alleged ties to China’s military, according to a report by Reuters that cited documents and three officials. 

CNOOC — short for China National Offshore Oil Corporation — is China’s third-largest oil and gas company and its main offshore explorer, having brought in more than $30 billion in revenue in 2019. 

Its inclusion on the blacklist caused its Hong Kong-listed shares to tumble 14% on Monday. Not only are US investors responsible for a large chunk of the company’s more than $360 billion in value on the Hong

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Netflix to declare more than $1.3 billion in UK revenue, increasing pressure on other big tech firms over their favorable tax arrangements

Netflix. Photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images

© Photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images
Netflix. Photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Netflix on Saturday said it would declare more than $1.3 billion in UK revenue, according to The Guardian.
  • The move is likely to put pressure on other tech giants like Amazon and Google, many of which use tax jurisdictions to their favor.  
  • The streaming giant has about 50 productions based in the UK, including “The Crown” and “The Witcher,” with plans to double UK spending, Variety reports. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix on Saturday said it would declare more than $1.3 billion (£1 billion) in UK revenue, according to a report, putting tax pressure on other tech firms like Amazon. 


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“As Netflix continues to grow in the UK and in other international markets we want our corporate structure to reflect this footprint. So from next year, revenue

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2 startups disrupting firms like McKinsey and Deloitte

  • Management consulting firms like the Big 3 and accounting firms like the Big 4 continue to dominate the multi-trillion-dollar professional services industry.
  • But technology poses a threat to these behemoths, and there’s an opportunity for innovative startups to disrupt the industry.
  • Business Insider spoke with the founders of two startups — Wonder and Vic.ai — and their investors about how their companies are shaking up the traditional consulting and accounting industries.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Management consulting firms and accounting firms have for decades cemented themselves as important players in the business world due to their expertise, prestige, and size.

But technology is threatening to disrupt the professional services industry’s status quo, according to an October report from CB Insights, as innovations in information, expertise, insight, and execution threaten firms’ traditional way of doing business — and the high price tags their work commands.

Two startups, Wonder

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Britain warns tech firms over risks of China expansion

FILE PHOTO: Caroline Dinenage arrives for Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron’s first cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in Westminster, London, Britain, May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government launched a website on Tuesday warning digital and technology firms of the ethical, legal and commercial risks of expanding into China and accepting Chinese investment.

Britain published this month a bill giving ministers far-reaching power to intervene in corporate deals which could threaten national security, the culmination of years of growing concern about Chinese and other foreign investment in key industries.

Launched with the slogan “China. See the Potential. Know the Challenge” the government website is designed as a guide for digital and tech firms, encouraging good practice and raising awareness of potential issues.

“The UK is determined to support our businesses to engage with China in a way that reflects the UK’s values and takes

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Alibaba CEO says regulations for internet firms ‘necessary’

HONG KONG (AP) — The chairman and CEO of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group praised Chinese regulators Monday in a possible attempt to repair ties after the stock market debut of its former financial services arm was suspended following criticism of them by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Beijing’s announcement of proposed guidelines to regulate internet companies is “timely and necessary,” Daniel Zhang said in a speech at the government-organized World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, a town in Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai.

While Zhang did not specify which regulations he was referring to, China on Nov. 10 announced proposed guidelines on how anti-competition would apply to internet companies. They highlighted potential areas regulators might target, including exclusive contracts, which are common practices used by e-commerce firms and other internet companies.

The move to regulate monopolistic power of China’s technology giants sparked a sell-off in Chinese internet stocks. Alibaba’s stock

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Social media firms must face sanction for ‘anti-vax content’, demands Labour

Social media companies that fail to act to “stamp out dangerous anti-vaccine content” should be subject to financial and criminal penalties, Labour has demanded.

a person holding a sign: Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

As hopes rise that a vaccine against coronavirus could be ready within weeks, analysis by Labour has revealed that dedicated online groups with hundreds of thousands of members are still churning out disinformation – despite the new measures announced by the government and social media companies last week to tackle the issue.

Related: Is the vaccine safe? Do I need it if I’ve had Covid? Readers’ questions answered

In a letter to Oliver Dowden, the digital, culture and media secretary, Labour warns that the spread of disinformation presents a “real and present danger” to vaccination efforts and calls on the government to bring forward legislation against online harms. Jo Stevens and Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow secretaries for

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Google at odds with U.S. over protective order for firms tied to lawsuit

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google and the U.S. Justice Department have failed to reach agreement over a protective order for third parties like Microsoft that provided data to the government for its lawsuit against the search and advertising giant.

Google is pressing for two in-house attorneys to have access to the confidential data while the Justice Department and state attorneys general involved in the lawsuit have disagreed, Google said in a court filing on Friday.

Google stated it needed the information to prepare an effective defense. It offered to ensure that any confidential information would be made available solely to two in-house attorneys at the offices of Google’s outside counsel or in another secure manner, adding that it would promptly report any disclosure.

The government said in

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Capital Markets Chaos at Hand as Trump Strikes at U.S.-Listed Chinese Firms

President Donald Trump has sought to bar U.S. investors from buying the securities of Chinese companies with ties to the military of Communist China.

Trump signed an executive order on Thursday evening that bans as of Jan. 11, 2021, securities transactions in 31 companies already identified as having links with the Chinese military.

It’s a short and simple order. A simple order with complex ramifications that will sweep through Wall Street.

I said in September 2019 that pressure was building over Communist China’s access to U.S. capital markets. It may have taken a year, but this is finally a concrete move to cut off access to Wall Street for state-linked Chinese companies.

The enormous Chinese telecoms China Mobile (CHL) and China Telecom (CHA) are included on the list of 31 affected companies. Both are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which essentially will become pointless if U.S. investors are

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