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tv   Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  April 6, 2022 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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>> from the heart over innovation, money and power collide, in silicon valley and beyond, this is bloomberg technology with emily chang. emily: i'm emily chang in san francisco, and this is "bloomberg technology." coming up, from largest shareholder to board member. how elon musk's sudden moves at twitter raise alarm at the sec. we will have all the details. plus, as uber adds flights, dreams, even hotels. how the ceo wants to expand
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beyond rides and food delivery. and bitcoin 2022 is underway in miami. we will bring you the latest from the crypto conference and catch up with some of the attendees, later this hour. all of that in a moment. first, let's get a look at the markets. it is day two of elon musk's twitter board member joining. after a huge spike in shares, how are investors feeling about twitter today? >> it is definitely the story of the week. twitter over the last three days, you are looking at the rally that elon musk built. shares are up almost 30%. they did decline a little bit today, but held off in a broad-based selloff. if you look at the big board you
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can see the yield curve held onto its steepening trend. you have those long bonds continuing to sell off. if you look at oil prices, you saw crude oil dip low $100 per barrel. crude down 5.6% this session. meanwhile, volatility picked up. but it was the chip stocks that were your underperformer today. the philadelphia semiconductor index down 2.3%. let's stick with the chips because this is part of a broader selloff we have been watching all year. nvidia, amd, qualcomm all down double digits than some. if you look at the index level, the philadelphia semiconductor index down 19% year-to-date. so, definitely a sector to watch. emily: katie greifeld, thank you for that round up. i want to come back to this week's big story, elon musk joining the board of twitter 24
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hours after his 9.2% stake in the company was disclosed. what does this mean for the platform's future? i want to dig deeper into this director on platform regulation at the stanford. great to have you with us. it has been a whirlwind 72 hours. in just the last 24 hours, elon musk has filed to become an active investor in twitter, not just a passive investor, meaning that he will advocate for changes. what influence do you think musk will have on the platform? how will twitter change as a result of his leadership? guest: there are a lot of predictions that people could make, but one thing that is particularly interesting is the possibility he will join jack dorsey and the current ceo in promoting decentralized models, in promoting ways to allow third parties to come in and offer different content moderation systems on top of twitter or different content ranking systems, which would be a really important shift. emily: twitter's bluesky project, which is this push for an open, decentralized standard for social media that is funded by twitter, is this something that you think musk could or
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would take on? and what specifically would you be looking to change? daphne: the upside of the project is that it would let twitter users pick the speech rules they want to live under. they could china for a disney flavor, or church-affiliated ranking. all of these things would allow twitter to step back from being the one gatekeeper that decides the rules and bring in lots of different options for users. so, you can see elon musk, who has talked about open sourcing the algorithms and is broadly interested in decentralization, liking that. on the other hand, you can see him liking consolidated control and preferring a world where twitter does set the rules. so, i think it is a wait and see situation for sure.
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emily: could this have repercussions for other social platforms like facebook? daphne: sure. in a way, you can see project blue sky, which is about decentralizing rules, bringing in more options for users, as a counterpart of facebook's oversight board. in both cases, it is the platform saying we are uneasy being the deciders, especially on issues that divide the public so much, where someone is going to be angry no matter what we do. so we would like to hand that rule to someone else. facebook's answer was to keep extremely centralized, fund it with facebook money and build the oversight or did decide hard cases. and twitter's answer with blue sky potentially is to say, let's decentralize this, let's put lots of different people in charge and evolve control to the users so they can choose what they want and move the cost, incidentally, of the content moderation out onto other
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competitors so it's not sitting with twitter where it is very expensive and very difficult as part of their business right now. >> emily: the biggest, perhaps most existential question is what this could mean for free speech on twitter, and in general. take a listen to a professor from syracuse university when i asked her how this could change how twitter handles free speech. >> this really is not about free speech. if anything, twitter has just become more about elon speech. he just bought a large portion of the company and kind of gets to steer what happens there now. if anything, he has figured out
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this is a powerful platform. maybe he took some notes from mark zuckerberg and others that you need to have some influence over a platform. emily: do you think this is more about elon speech? and how could this influence future moderation efforts at twitter? daphne: it would be more about elon speech if we stay in the world of twitter being a single centralized point of control over the rules imposed on uterus and their speech. so if we don't go into this decentralized direction we have been talking about and that jack dorsey has been talking about for a few years, and instead there is just one decider in the middle, then elon musk's role there is really important. but i don't think we should foresee a world where twitter becomes a free speech mosh pit free-for-all. because they are not going to make money that way. if you get onto twitter and you cannot help seeing a lot of racist comments or bullying or spam or all these things that users don't like and that advertisers don't like, that is not a way to retain users or to
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be profitable. so i don't think we should imagine a world where it's anything goes on twitter. at most, it's a world where twitter still imposes its own rules, but they are more influenced by elon musk, but possibly this really interesting other direction where twitter steps back and gives users a choice. you can choose to live under twitter's rules or other rules. emily: which brings me to the question of donald trump, and could this open the door to former president trump coming back to twitter after being permanently banned? i asked the cfo this question several times over the last year. is there a path for donald trump to come back? take a listen to what he had to say. >> once someone is removed from twitter, there is not a path for them to come back. and that is true for public officials and that is true for anyone else who uses the service as well. emily: now, trump, in a lawsuit back in january, said twitter has increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship, the immediacy of its threat to users
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and potentially every citizen's right to free speech cannot be overstated. twitter censorship results in a chilling effect on our nation's pressing cultural discussions. does former president trump have a point, and uc elon musk coming back? could they reopen this question of whether he should be on the platform? daphne: former president trump does not have a legal point. as a legal argument, this lawsuit is nonsense, because private platforms do not owe you first amendment protection the way the government does. they have said this over and over again in cases such as this trump lawsuit. but as a matter of public policy and things that we care about, is it a problem that there is a small handful of giant companies that really have a chokehold over what information we can share and see? yes. people are right about that. so, i can imagine a future where twitter's version of its content moderation continues to have former president trump banned for life, but there are alternatives.
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a lens on twitter offered by some competitor that allows him to come back, and then users can choose which of those universes they want to live in. emily: interesting. so you think that twitter could find a middle ground when it comes to president trump? daphne: well, so, imagine that users can choose from 50 different flavors of competing content moderation services built on top of twitter. one version of that is an entirely federated system, meaning there is no centralized control. kind of like mastodon now. in that version, anyone can build a system where president trump does come back, and it's a question of whether users want to sign up for that. i think what's more plausible as the future development with project bluesky, is a hub and spoke model where twitter takes
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some things down at the center like things that are illegal or honoring dmca notices, and then what is left goes out to the competing offers of content moderation services and they can decide among those things that are left. so, more like how reddit does some centralized content moderation but most of the decisions are made by different subreddits applying their own different policies. so, twitter could choose to say we are going to take down all of the illegal stuff at the center so no one can see it, and also some things violate our own policies so badly that we are also going to keep that down permanently for all of the competing flavors of content moderation. but i don't think that would be a wise step. emily: interesting. 31, 51 flavors. we will see if twitter moves in that direction. daphne keller, thank you. well, elon musk's swift ascent from twitter shareholder to
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board member could catch the eye of the sec. this, at a time where the commission is demanding more transparency from big competitors and ratcheting up fines for breaking rules. here to talk about that and more is bloomberg's matt robinson. is there any indication the sec is looking at this yet? matt: not yet, but they are looking at elon musk and his brother for potential insider trading issues about a share sale last fall. as we know, the sec and elon musk go back quite a few years now from 2018 with his infamous funding secured tweet and the subsequent penalty and sediment that limits his ability to talk about his company on the platform. emily: now, elon musk initially filed to be a we know he has chd that to become an active investor. we also know he started buying shares starting back in january. the ceo said they have been talking for weeks. now, it could perhaps actually be months. what is significant about that to you when it comes to the interest of the sec?
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matt: the two different filings that big investors have to disclose, 13g which is a passive stake, someone who doesn't have any interest in seeking any sort of is this plans or changes, then 13d which is what he filed yesterday. so there is room for an investor to go from a 13g, which is the passive side, to the activist side. by updating that, that's fine. the issue elon musk might find himself into is as soon as you hit 5%, you have to disclose
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within 10 calendar days and it looks like he may have missed that window. that is a technical violation that he could see some issues, but the sec is generally, they don't generally bring those cases unless it's repeated failures. emily: how fast can we see sec move on this? it has obviously just happened. if they have not started an investigation in a couple of weeks, is it smooth sailing. matt: it certainly can be quick. in 2018, if i remember correctly, it was early august that he wrote funds secured. and at the end of september, the sec sued elon musk. the fact and the motivation from the sec, if they feel like this is an important case to bring, that this is going to show to musk and other investors you have to take these source of disclosure rules seriously and promptly. emily: all right. bloomberg's matt robinson, thank you. coming up, pushing uber to become the travel app. adding long-distance travel like planes, trains, hotels. will it work? could uber become the next super app? we will explore, next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: let's get to uber's continued push to become a super app. they are planning to launch a pilot project in the u.k. that means customers will soon be able to book long-distance travel on planes, trains, buses, even hotels. bloomberg's jackie davalos has
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more. so how will this work from a customer perspective? jackie: it is going to be a one-stop shop for transportation. while we were able to get a cab to the airport, now you can hail or book the next train ride or your bus from whatever city you are going to. it is really going to become a much more comprehensive travel hub. for uber, this is the next step in their super app strategy. this is not something that is completely new. they telegraphed this even back in 2018. there was a big idea that it could become a super app. when you think about it, it is not a concept well-known to westerners, but in asia it is huge. uber has a stake in grap, which is one of the biggest players and examples of a super app where you can access payments,
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hail a ride, get food delivery all in one. this is a major step jumpstarting the efforts for uber. emily: he talked about the vision to deliver the future of retail, not just food. take a listen to what he had to say when asked him about the super app ambitions. >> what we are doing is building the largest social commerce and transportation platform on earth. the users, riders, consumers, get the ease of essentially being able to go anywhere, get anything, same id, same payments, etc.. we know the locations you like to go or restaurants that you love emily: jackie, it all sounds good, but how would this or could this help uber's bottom line, or could it hurt? jackie: if you think about this particular long-distance travel move, the way it is going to be done is by using online travel aggregators. think of expedia or booking, they are the ones booking the
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ticket, uber is taking a cut out of that sale. so, it is a really high-margin type of strategy, where they are not the ones having to get that plane or the train, the actual hardware. what they are doing is just facilitating the sale for customers that are already very engaged on their app. when you think about the different ways that uber can tap people's lives, you can book a restaurant, take a ride to the restaurant, pay for the meal, the opportunity for growth is very, very significant. emily: so what does this mean for competition? especially given this is launching in the u.k. obviously there are big travel competitors like expedia, booking. what does this mean for the rest of the industry? jackie: for some of its direct competitors, let's take a ride share, lyft, for example. if this sort of long distance
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rollout were to reach north america, it would be a huge blow for lyft who doesn't have the kind of cushion that uber has with its food delivery business. and also, when you think about some of the marketplaces that are also vying to keep their customers on their app longer, whether it's doordash or instacart, this is going to be a significant challenge, especially if uber is looking to do all the things in the app. whether it is a ride or a meal, convenience items, retail. rapid delivery. it is going to really up the ante for marketplaces and rideshare rivals to find ways to keep customers on the app. emily: all right. we will be watching how this plays out. jackie davalos, thank you. coming up, we will meet the newest star of twitch and talk about why this pink-haired anime avatar is part of a big rise in vtubers. that is next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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>> emily: she is one of the most popular stars on twitch. with more than one million followers. meet ironmouse. she not only plays some of the most popular video games, but also sings karaoke and cracked jokes to her many followers. for more on the rise of ironmouse and other vtubers, i am joined by my cecilia d'anastasio. who is ironmouse and why has she gotten so popular? cecilia: ironmouse is an anonymous puerto rican woman who became popular on twitch and youtube for livestreaming herself as a virtual anime character. through motion capture technology, ironmouse kind of moves in front of a cow -- a camera and that gets fed through animation software and that is what you see on a screen. you see a vtubers, or a virtual
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youtuber. emily: what do we know about the woman behind this character? cecilia: we don't know anything about the woman behind the character. she keeps herself anonymous just to protect for her own safety. emily: so, talk to us about the rise of vtubers. and who else is falling into the popular category. cecilia: ironmouse broke records recently becoming the most popular vtuber on twitch last month. vtubing has become a sensation over the last couple of years with an over 467% increase between 2020 and 2021. and fans love it. they love the feeling of interacting live with an anime character, or a person presenting themselves as an anime character. emily: we have talked a lot about the rise of youtubers and the money they can make. is there a lot of money to be
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made here? are there careers to be made here? cecilia: for a select few there is money to be made and careers to be had. there are brands who have invested in them, particularly in japanese vtubers, companies like sega have been involved in helping sponsor companies. the first vtuber has done enormous deals with the japanese tourism agency. but generally speaking, it is a competitive field right now and only the top people with the best technology will succeed on the level that ironmouse has. emily: all right. cecelia, fascinating. we will have to chat more details about ironmouse. coming up, my exclusive conversation -- ♪
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>> welcome back to bloomberg technology. i am emily chang in san francisco. what goes up must come down. my next guest things tech value asians have gotten ahead of themselves and is putting new money to work in this macro environment. joining me now for more, the founding partner, mitchell green. great to have you back with us. how do you think valuations are hanging right now? are they too high? what is next?
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anybody watching the market has obviously seen that especially in the software internet world, valuations have come down fairly dramatically. we don't know how much of the indices is way toward microsoft, facebook and google and stuff like that but underneath those companies like octave, these companies have come down hugely. public companies tend to lead private company valuations. you had a lot of crossover headphones. we are looking at some large deals right now. these are $60 million revenue
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companies. it should be a good time to invest. emily: how do you plan to put this new 1.5 one million -- $1.5 million per work? course we want this fund to take 2.5 years to invest. we are primarily north american investors. we were early investors. primarily u.s. and israeli based.
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>> when you look at valuations, are you looking at your own bar? are we going to see a lot of air get that out of the balloon? >> our biggest mistakes over the last five or 10 years was not predicting multiple expansion. we slept -- slap reasonable earnings on it and get a discount back. there were deals over the last
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couple of years. a bunch of deals done in 2021 we could not figure out how people were underwriting these valuations. we have this historical average. we will continue to do that. there were just random other places around the world. there isn't things like on the coast. >> they simply ran out of money.
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will we see this happen? >> i am sure you will. we have this one criteria that is super important to us called capital efficiency. it is like our version of return on equity. it is not based in scientific fact. it is on the recurring revenues today, the annual recurring revenue, greater or equal to the amount of money you have burned since day one. maybe you raised a bunch of money. but don't blame the entrepreneur. there are $30 million revenue companies. this burns like $100 million to get there. there is like 30 million in revenue that burned tens of millions of dollars to get there. those companies are just not going to fall off a cliff as times get tough.
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if you can grow fat and not burn much money, you have a good business. in every deal we invest in, we rated about whether it is capital official or not. >> what are your thoughts on the crypto market? where do you see-an opportunity? >> i think it is a giant bubble. to be completely fair, we have looked at some of the stuff in crypto. >> where do you see the giant bubble? >> 60,000, 70,000. i just know that when i have a lot of random friend to know it is easy to make money in crypto,
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crypto made a lot of money in it. this stuff is real. you might see a drawdown of 80 or 90%. i think it is here to stay. it is really volatile. when i saw tesla was enabling you to do bitcoin. i thought that was super cool. you can take a currency and use it for an exchange of goods and services. the reason they got rid of it is
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these currencies are just too volatile. the biggest u.s. dollar move ever is 1.5%. things are too volatile right now. >> interesting monologue there. we will see how you put your money to work. once the fed takes a pause, bitcoin could take off again. or in his words, bitcoin goes to the moon. noah leads galaxy digital holdings in miami. bitcoin will eventually hit a price of $1 million. coming up, bitcoin 2022 is in
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full swing in miami. we will catch up on what is going on. more on that next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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>> he really truly understands the value of cryptocurrency. whether it be bitcoin or dogecoin. he knows the value of open source network. but i will think -- what i think will be interesting is if he will bring these anti-censorship elements, the open-source
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elements and allow for ways for new people to come in and maybe import their own algorithms. >> time for our crypto reports as the botching association is saying it is a good thing for twitter that elon musk is now on board. day three now of this developing story. we would love to hear how the crypto community is digesting elon musk joining the board on twitter. he has been such a loud figure in the crypto community. there is a huge crypto community on twitter and the future of twitter could be more decentralized. >> it was weird to hear kristen smith talk about it from the decentralized social network standpoint because you could also think about it from a commerce standpoint. twitter has already started to integrate pieces of the lightning network here to make some payments possible via the platform through the lightning network. that is a very popular project
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when it comes to bitcoin and payment transfers. the idea of decentralizing social media, there are a lot of projects out there people try to use when it comes to media and decentralization but they are still in early days. there are questions about how twitter might take a role in the space. >> pascal, before we begin, i would love for you to give us a flavor of bitcoin 2022. it was big last year. is it even bigger this year and what are people talking about? >> yes very intense this year. i was not allowed to travel to the u.s. but what i know is this year is even more intense than last year post-pandemic. people are really happy to
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figure this out. very happy moments. it is going very strongly. a lot of support. it is a great moment for bitcoin. >> ledger is known for its crypto hardware while there. how is this new? better? improved? >> cryptocurrencies are involving -- evolving. the evolution of the protocols, it just means new hardware to enhance 10th street -- to enhance the experience. you need more space. more visibility. this is what was happening. there will be many more projects coming from ledger in the future. there are scams that will happen. have is ledger a tracking --
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attacking what is happening here? can you keep up with this technology hackers are using to get into new spaces? correct the problem is education in the space. people understanding that they need hardware to secure their assets. this is a fundamental truth of cryptocurrencies, nft is an anything. people need to learn and sometimes they learn the hard way. when it comes to nft is, that is the first thing about all ledger products. this can go between 25 and 30% of all of this. i think we are doing her job. >> what do you think about competition in this space? there is news of jack dorsey and the block moving on this. are you nervous about that? how does it change the
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competition when it comes to the wild space? >> i think competition is always welcome. it means there is a space. ledger is a very strong company. the fact that jack dorsey are doing this is good. we know them and we have talked to them and i feel that what they are doing is something that is within the realm of what block and swear are doing. i think ledger has a much more holistic approach. we are not bitcoin only. we are very strong on bitcoin but we are multi-chain. they should not worry so much about the chains but worry about the experience in the future. we are very focused on the journey of the user and supporting every user in crypto.
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>> speaking of communities in crypto, there is a big one on twitter. i am curious what you think of elon musk joining the board of twitter, giving his thoughts on decentralization and his own sort of role in the crypto community. have followed all of this. i think elon musk is talking about a sense of freedom. freedom is a concept that he is standing behind and freedom of speech. the reason why he is big on this is because decentralization brings freedom to the people. freedom is very motivating here. we want to empower people with tools so they can reclaim their sovereignty.
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whether they want on bitcoin or nft. he roots for freedom and so do we. >> you don't normally hear the words beautiful and full together. how can a troll be beautiful? >> he is a genius. every time he does something he crashes the internet. we are talking about him being a promoter of crypto. i don't think him being a promoter of those is the best thing for crypto but elon is doing it. i don't agree with everything he says but he is an internet magician. you have to respect that. >> this idea of security and some of these big names when it comes to crypto and twitter, at the end of the day, with crypto being down even among one of the biggest conferences that surrounds bitcoin, what are you
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seeing in terms of institutional interest and what is stopping people at the end of the day from getting in? >> i think people need to understand that we just got into a circle going up. anyway you look, whether it is crypto currencies, nft's, i think the next big thing will be played to earn. everyone is coming in from a retail perspective but i have been in this game since 2014. no one is doubting crypto or bitcoin or blocks and technologies. everyone wants in. you have an amazing phenomenon because it is worldwide. everyone is getting in from everywhere in the world and this is unique. this is the first time that everyone in the world is getting
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into the same technology. this is why you see so much momentum happening right now. >> we will let you get back to bitcoin. thank you for taking the time. coming up, online events are not over just yet with apple holding its worldwide developers conference virtually for the third year in a row. we will have more on that. this is bloomberg. ♪
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>> apple is back online. the iphone maker announcing it will hold its annual worldwide developers conference. the third year in a row. a sign that major tech events are still a ways off. some are turning to pre-pandemic norms.
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i want to bring in mark. apple has been making a push to come back for its own employees. why hold this event virtually? >> they had no choice but to do this virtually. we don't know what will happen with covid over the next two months or so. it is not predictable. these shows take several months to put together. they either had to put three months of time into developing an in-person version or developing an online version. it is hard to put all of your effort in if you are splitting it across both. the in-person direction is not safe at this point. who knows what could happen with covid the day of the event where they have to cancel the whole thing. apple was in a position where it could not afford to become stuck. it has to go online only and the compromise is they will allow a small number of people in the steve jobs theater to watch the prerecorded video live. >> went are we expecting the
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substance -- what will be the big announcements? >> i think it will be a fairly strong apple developer conference. they are scheduled to release new max. that will be a very big deal. there are lots of fans of the macbook air and this will be the biggest redesign and you will have a new version of the apple in-house chips. there will be health upgrades on the apple watch. as well as an upgrade to ios 16. there could be some conversation about ar and vr applications ahead of the larger reveal of its mixed reality hardware later this year. >> you have been reporting on apple return to the office and pushed back some employees. how is this evolving? do you see apple losing talent as a result when other companies are also pushing for people to
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come back? >> next week, that is the deadline to start returning to the office if you are an apple employee. they will start one day a week in the office and then a few weeks after that, it will be two days a week and then a week before the end of may they will expect employees in the office mondays, tuesdays and thursdays. there are a few hundred employees leaving apple over that policy. we should note that apple has over 160,000 employees. most of that is retail. this is a small number of people altogether. the interesting thing to me if anyone wants to read my businessweek story on this is apple put out a nine minute advertisement talking about how great its services are for remote work. but it is requiring its employees who are developing those partners to work from the office so a little bit of irony there. >> that does it for this edition of lumbar technology. we are back tomorrow.
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we will be joined by the ceo of ebay. don't forget to check out our podcast and find it anywhere you get your podcast. i am emily chang in san francisco. this is bloomberg. ♪
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