Google and Apple block social media sensation TikTok in India

New Delhi (CNN Business)One of China’s biggest social media companies has run into trouble in India. The Indian government reportedly asked Apple and Googleto block TikTok after a high court in Madras, southern India, ruled on April 3 that it could expose children to sexual predators, pornographic content and cyberbullying. India’s technology ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Google said the company does not comment on individual apps, while Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok has appealed the ruling and a court hearing has been scheduled for next week. “We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well …

Uber files to go public after a long, bumpy road

New York (CNN Business)Two years ago, Uber was nearly derailed by allegations of sexism and harassment, a damning investigation into its workplace culture and the exodus of nearly all of its C-suite. “Of course, in getting from point A to point B we didn’t get everything right,” he wrote. “Some of the attributes that made Uber a wildly successful startup — a fierce sense of entrepreneurialism, our willingness to take risks that others might not, and that famous Uber hustle — led to missteps along the way. “In fact, when I joined Uber as CEO, many people asked me why I would leave the stability of my previous job for one that was anything but. My answer was simple: Uber …

Uber and Lyft may look the same, but their visions are not

New York (CNN Business)At first blush, it can be hard to tell Uber and Lyft’s businesses apart. Both companies offer rides on demand, from a mix of cars, bikes and scooters. They rely on a vast workforce of independent contractors, many of whom drive for both companies. Uber and Lyft (LYFT) even share certain large investors, and now they are going public back to back. Lyft, by comparison, explicitly says it is not interested in these supplementary business lines. “We are solely focused on consumer transportation,” Lyft cofounder John Zimmer said in a video pitch to investors last month ahead of its IPO. “Not food. Not trucking.” Uber and Lyft are at the forefront of shaping the future of transportation, …

The frightening future of robocalls: Numbers and voices you know

New York (CNN Business)It’s a scene from a modern-day horror movie: The call is coming from inside the house. It was an automated pre-recorded message from “Microsoft” claiming my computer license was expiring. Knowing the drill, I wasn’t surprised to hear I had 24 hours to respond before going to jail. I get more scam calls than actual calls — after all, nearly 30% of all calls made each day are robocalls — but a call from my own number was a new one for me. Yet some experts warn this is just a mild taste of bigger dangers to come: a world where you receive robocalls calls from numbers you recognize and the person on the other end sounds …

Huawei’s profits jump by 25%, despite US efforts to curtail its business

Shenzhen, China (CNN)Huawei made bumper profits in 2018, but reported negative growth in its carrier business — a potential sign of strain in the face of a US-led campaign against the company. But growth in its carrier business, the segment that provides telecommunications products including 5G equipment to carriers around the world, dropped by 1.3%. At a press conference on Friday, rotating chairman Guo Ping said the decline was mainly because the company upped investment in research and development last year, as well as investment cycles in the global telecom industry. Huawei suing US government over federal ban The United States has been leading an effort to curb Huawei’s ambitions to become the global leader of next generation wireless technology, …

Lyft falls below IPO price on second day of trading

(CNN)Lyft fell below its IPO price on its second day of trading. Although analysts have expressed optimism about Lyft’s market share gains relative to Uber and the potential of the broader ride-hailing market, there are some red flags for the company. Lyft’s net loss climbed to $911 million in 2018, which is more than any other US startup has lost in the year prior to its IPO. Uber lost $1.8 billion in 2018. “This is staggering what we’re seeing here. Staggering,” Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange-traded funds, previously told CNN Business. “The profitless prosperity model doesn’t work in the public market.” Lyft’s Wall Street debut is seen as a bellweather for the long list of …

Amazon’s cloud will connect Volkswagen’s vast factory network

London (CNN Business)Volkswagen and Amazon are teaming up to develop cloud computing that should make the German carmaker’s vast factory network more productive. The goal is to make Volkswagen’s operations more efficient — for example by adjusting delivery times, reducing waste or identifying gaps in production. The system could launch before the end oftheyear. Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said in a statement that the cloud project will “reinvent [Volkswagen’s] manufacturing and logistics processes.” Volkswagen (VLKAF) is investing heavily in new technology as it seeks to catch up to competitors in the transition to electric vehicles and turn the page on its diesel emissions scandal. Company executives have acknowledged that productivity issues are harming its bottom line. In …

Uber is buying its Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion

Dubai (CNN Business)Uber is buying the biggest ride-hailing app in the Middle East. In an email to Uber staff members seen by CNN Business, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said keeping the Careem brand and operations “has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands.” Uber is gearing up for an initial public offering that’s expected to take place later this year. It’s reportedly seeking a valuation of as much as $120 billion. Combining with Careem will give Uber dominance over the Middle East region and could help the US company trim its losses. Uber has a mixed track record in international markets. Since 2016, it has retreated from China, Russia …

Video games are now a legitimate high school sport

Atlanta (CNN Business)Competitive video game playing, also known as esports, is now a high school varsity sport in eight states. Two teams of students with six players each faced off in a video game game called “Smite,” one of the three high-school-sanctioned esport games, in which they battle each other as gods and other mythological characters. According to Brian Prokes, the center’s executive director, the facility’s goal is to level the playing field and give anybody an opportunity to compete. “If there are two schools that don’t have the facilities to host a five-on-five tournament, we are here for them,” he said. The regular esports season runs through the end of April, with playoffs and finals starting in May. A …

How the Christchurch terrorist attack was made for social media

(CNN)The footage is grainy and has a video-game aesthetic. But it soon becomes terrifyingly obvious that what is being filmed here is not a work of fiction. The video, which has not been verified by CNN, appears to show an unseen attacker opening fire on worshippers in a mosque, as if they were targets in a game. The attacks took place in the apparently unlikely location of Christchurch, New Zealand, still struggling to recover after a devastating earthquake that brought down thousands of buildings and killed nearly 200 people in 2011. The city’s population fell sharply after that event. The exodus was largely replenished by migrants, many hired to help rebuild the city. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said …

How eSports became a big business for Razer

Singapore (CNN Business)When Min-Liang Tan started a business 13 years ago to make gear for playing video games, he faced a lot of doubters. “We said we are going to come up with something that’s going to eat up all the other mice out there,” Tan said. “So we called our first mouse the Razer Boomslang, after the African tree snake.” The futuristic design of the Boomslang made it stand out from other computer products of its time. Razer sold it with the slogan that would define the company’s brand for years to come: “For gamers, by gamers.” Over the years, Razer developed hundreds more products including laptops and smartphones. It aims to meet demands for fast and ultra sensitive …

Snapchat always proved critics wrong. Then Evan Spiegel pushed for a redesign

Most CEOs would probably prefer not to overhaul their core businesses less than a year after an initial public offering. It’s a pivotal period when executives look to play up their company’s stability and growth to a world of potential new investors on Wall Street. Arlan Hamilton: She invests in tech founders others ignore. And it’s working Mary Barra: Her impatience could save GM. ‘Time is not our friend’ Read all 14 Risk Takers profiles The plan: separate content from friends and publishers — and celebrity users — while attracting new users by making the app easier to use. Spiegel said at the time that the move could be “disruptive” to Snap’s business. That proved to be an understatement. A …

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia calls for breakup of Google

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Rupert Murdoch’s Australian media company is calling for the breakup of Google, saying the US tech company wields too much power over news outlets and online advertisers. Google (GOOGL) has created an ecosystem where it can track people’s online behavior through a suite of products it owns, collecting a trove of user data that gives it an unfair advantage over competitors, according to News Corp Australia. Breaking up that ecosystem will “create a competitive market for search engines, mobile operating systems, internet browsers (and) the supply of digital advertising,” the company said. News Corp said any solution “must be bold,” because Google has a track record of “avoiding and undermining regulatory initiatives and ignoring private contractual arrangements.” …

How 5G will make daily life better

Barcelona (CNN Business)In Barcelona, everyone’s talking about 5G. 5G and driverless cars For starters, there’s the part it can play in your commute. Self-driving cars have been on the radar for a while, but with a 5G network they couldbecome reality. Industry players claim 5G can be 100 times faster than 4G and that a huge number of devices will be able to connect to the network simultaneously. This will enable vehicles to talk to each other in real time: they’ll know when another car is changing lanes or braking and can adjust to manage traffic accordingly. The BMW iNEXT, an electric SUV expected to come onto the market in 2021, is fitted with sensors that collect and process data …

Elon Musk’s SEC fight: Here’s what could happen next

New York (CNN Business)It started with yet another Elon Musk tweet. Where it ends, nobody knows. On August 7, 2018, Elon Musk tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The stock soared after his announcement. The problem was he hadn’t secured the funding, according to the SEC. In September, the regulator filed a lawsuit against Musk, claiming he misled investors. The SEC wanted a judge to remove Musk as CEO and chairman of the board. Musk initially called the lawsuit “unjustified,” but he settled in October. He agreed to pay $20 million, step down as chairman and ask Tesla for pre-approval to send social media posts that contain information that is material to …

Huawei takes on Samsung with its $2,600 foldable phone

Barcelona (CNN Business)The price tag for Huawei’s foldable 5G-enabled phone, the Mate X, is downright astronomical. Huawei made sure to highlight the foldable phone’s 5G connectivity, a technology at the center of its quest for global dominance in the smartphone market. Samsung will offer a version with 4G and a version with 5G. At 8 inches, Huawei’s phone folds out to a larger screen than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which extends to 7.3 inches. In phone mode, Huawei comes in around 6.6 inches and the Samsung at 4.6 inches. But the Mate X is only 11 millimeters thick when folded, much thinner than Samsung’s 17 millimeter Galaxy Fold. Phone makers have begun rolling out foldable phones with a bang, but analysts …