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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NASA chooses 4 firms for first private lunar sample collection

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 3 (UPI) — Four companies will collect moon rocks and dust on the lunar surface for NASA by 2023 in preparation for a human mission the following year, the space agency announced Thursday.

The missions would be the first time a private company has collected samples from another planetary body, and the first time ownership of an object would be transferred beyond Earth orbit, according to NASA.

The companies are Lunar Outpost, based near Denver; ispace Japan of Tokyo; Luxembourg-based ispace Europe and Masten Space Systems, of Mojave, Calif. All four are planning to fly equipment to the moon on missions already planned.

The sample missions are intended only to provide a “proof of concept” to show NASA how a private company would collect samples. The missions also will test a legal framework for turning over ownership of such samples on the moon, said Phil McAlister, the

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William Evanina, counterintel chief, praises ‘unprecedented’ partnership of feds, social media firms

William R. Evanina, director of U.S. counterintelligence, said Wednesday that the federal government’s coordinated work with social media companies ahead of the 2020 election will provide a playbook for fighting foreign influence in the future.

“What we accomplished the past two years, but specifically in the last six-to-nine months as an integrated, holistic government effort in partnership with social media and tech firms is unprecedented,” Mr. Evanina said at an Aspen Institute event, “and I think it’s really going to be the model of the future moving forward, how we protect, not only just elections but how we mitigate malign foreign influence and how we drive continued protection of democracy.”

In the run-up to the 2020 election, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies met with Big Tech executives to fight foreign influence operations on their platforms aimed at the election. Among the companies that met with federal officials were Facebook,

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Winners and losers: Will big firms benefit from the Covid-19 crunch?

ANALYSIS: As the prospect of a widely distributed vaccine draws nearer – AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced results for their jab last week, bosses and investors are turning one eye away from the immediate struggle of coping with the pandemic and looking instead at the longer-term competitive picture. Who has won and who has lost?

Like viruses, recessions usually come for the weakest first. Companies with sickly balance-sheets or frail margins quickly succumb. As promising startups become crushed closedowns, it is often the incumbents that have the resources to wait it out.

Yet the Covid-19 recession has been sharper than normal, and more complicated. The world economy is expected to shrink by over 4 per cent this year, the deepest downturn since the second world war, and there is still a risk of a double-dip recession

Bail-outs, central-bank stimulus and forbearance by banks and landlords have slowed the process of

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5G: Telecoms firms get new deadline to stop installing Huawei kit

Telecoms providers won’t be allowed to install equipment provided by Huawei in their 5G networks from the end of September 2021, according to a new roadmap published by the government. 

The document lays out the steps that telecoms companies will need to take in the next few years to remove high-risk vendors from their networks, and puts forward a timeline to specifically phase out Huawei from the country’s future 5G infrastructure.  

Earlier this year, the UK government ruled that Huawei’s equipment should be completely removed from the country’s 5G networks by 2027. As part of the ruling, it was determined that operators should stop buying new kit from Huawei from January 2021.  

Now, operators will also be required to refrain from installing equipment from the Chinese supplier from next September. Maintaining old equipment, however, will still be allowed. 

The new deadline will likely tackle concerns that operators might stockpile Huawei

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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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US sanctions Chinese, Russian firms over Iran dealings | China

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accuses the four firms of ‘transferring sensitive technology and items’ to Iran’s missile programme.

The United States on Friday announced economic sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies that Washington said had supported the development of Iran’s missile programme.

The four firms, accused of “transferring sensitive technology and items to Iran’s missile programme”, will be subject to restrictions on US government aid and on their exports for two years, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The sanctions, imposed on Wednesday, were against two Chinese-based companies, Chengdu Best New Materials and Zibo Elim Trade, as well as Russia-based Nilco Group and Joint Stock Company Elecon.

“We will continue to work to impede Iran’s missile development efforts and use our sanctions authorities to spotlight the foreign suppliers, such as these entities in the PRC (China) and Russia, that provide missile-related materials and technology to Iran,”

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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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France to Tax U.S. Tech Firms as Trade Standoff Heats Up

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire at a press conference outside the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris in September 2020.

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire at a press conference outside the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris in September 2020.
Photo: Bertrand Guay (Getty Images)

The French Ministry of Economy and Finance has warned tech companies that it expects them to pay the nation’s new 3% digital service tax starting in December, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

France halted collection of the tax earlier this year after backlash from the U.S. government and threats of increased trade tariffs by the Trump administration. The matter went to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. No deal was reached. In July, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requested that the negotiations be delayed during the novel coronavirus pandemic, but European officials interpreted that as a stalling tactic designed to blow up whatever agreements had been reached so far. Donald Trump’s administration then nuked the talks. French tax authorities had

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France orders big tech firms to start paying digital tax

France is moving ahead with its plan to implement a controversial digital tax on big tech companies, sending out notices to various companies today informing them they’ll be required to pay up if they want to continue doing business there.

The tax is being championed by the French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who argues that big tech companies aren’t being taxed properly by European nations.

The problem is that big tech firms, which include Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google LLC and Microsoft Corp., take advantage of a loophole in European Union law. The loophole means they can generate lots of revenue in various European countries and report that to tax authorities in just one country, such as Ireland, which has a lower corporate tax policy. That means they end up paying far fewer in taxes than they would if they were to report in the country where

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