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TikTok’s owner seeks $60 billion valuation in US deal as Oracle, Walmart take stakes

Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global.

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TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.

The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.

The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.

It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.

It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.

The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.

ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.

Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’

Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.

ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.

According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.

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WhatsApp shares updated plans for its new privacy policy

WhatsApp has shared its updated plans and asking users to review and accept its updated terms and privacy policy.

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In an effort to maintain its users’ trust globally, WhatsApp has shared its updated plans and asking users to review and accept its updated terms and privacy policy.

The company noted that it will be sharing its values and updates to its users through the status feature available on WhatsApp.

In the coming weeks, Whatsapp plans to display a banner on their App that will provide users with information on its new privacy policies that they can read at their own pace. And they will subsequently remind users to review and accept these updates to keep using the platform.

Over 175 million people message a WhatsApp Business account every day and more will want to do this in the future.

WhatsApp charges businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp – not people. So, this new update is about optional business features that are a part of the broader efforts to make communicating with a business secure, better, and easier for everyone.

The company is building a business that puts people in control – what people choose to send to a business is up to them, not to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp also reminded its users that they are committed to protecting users’ privacy and security, so personal messages will always have end-to-end encryption, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.

In case you missed it

  • Earlier this year, WhatsApp announced that it will start sharing users’ personal information with Facebook.
  • The tech giants got a lot of backlash from people concerning this privacy update and they have worked round the clock to clear the misinformation.
  • Whatsapp’s new policy forced some users to seek Signal and Telegram as an alternative, as they consequently both experience a surge in downloads.
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Jumia plans to spin off logistics and payment unit in a bid to become profitable

Jumia Technologies is laying out longer-term plans to spin off divisions and enter new countries.

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Jumia Technologies announced a plan to spin off its logistic unit in Africa in a bid to boost revenues, which have been helped by the pandemic as e-commerce activities rose during the period.

This was disclosed by Co-Chief Executive Officer, Sacha Poignonnec, who said its time Jumia lays the foundation for future growth, in a Bloomberg report.

He added that the unit to be focused on is responsible for goods transport in 11 Africa countries it has operations in, including Nigeria and also the payments unit of the company, which enables Jumia to settle transactions.

The co-CEO said the company is exploring spinning off both units.

We created something that does not really exist in Africa, which is an end-to-end logistics partner on the continent. We have built it from the get-go so that one day we are in the position to carve it out if we want to.

Poignonnec added that Jumia in recent years has opened up its logistic units, enabling 3rd party suppliers in negotiating shipping and transport costs.

The focus is on reducing losses and controlling costs, and deciding where to allocate our resources. No one questions the relevance of e-commerce as a business — and the opportunity in Africa is massive. Seven years ago, people were questioning how we are even going to do this, now the only question remains on profitability.”

He also added that as Jumia exits operations in some African markets, it still sees opportunities in some, especially Ethiopia, as being African focused enables the company and shareholders to have an exposure to the entire continent, citing institutional investors like MTN and MasterCard working with Jumia across the continent.

Jumia’s stock price has increased by more than 500% in the past 12 months.

What you should know 

It was reported in August that Jumia recorded a loss after tax of N17 billion in the second quarter of 2020, despite the rampaging effect of COVID-19.

It was also reported last month that apart from the rebounding stock price, the company is recording positives in almost all performance indices in the year 2020.

In the Q3 financial results released on 10 November 2020, Jumia’s gross profit was €23.2 million ($27.3 million), a YoY increase of 22 percent.

Jumia’s gross profit after fulfilment expense reached €6.6 million, compared to a loss of €1.7 million in the third quarter of 2019, marking the first time that the Jumia Group scored a positive in its gross profit after fulfilment and advertising expenses.

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Sanwo-Olu launches Nigeria’s first electric car, to complete Lagos-Badagry expressway

Sanwo-Olu unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, November 13, 2020, unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

The car, which is a product of Stallion Group, was launched at the VON Automobiles Nigeria in Ojo, Lagos State where the car was manufactured.

The new Kona, an Electric car is regarded in European motoring industry as the world’s number one, with the cost, put at about N24 million

While speaking during the unveiling of the product, Sanwo-Olu observed that VON has over 40 to 50 years of vehicle manufacturing history, when they were assembling various Volkswagen products.

The governor was full of commendation for Stallion Group for the noble initiative, just as he promised that Lagos State Government will make provisions for electricity charging points for the vehicle across the state, to make it easy for users to enjoy their Electric Vehicles (EV).

The Governor also promised the completion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which was started under the administration of former governor of the state, Babatunde Fasola, in order to facilitate business activities in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos-Badagry Expressway which has been expanded from 2 to 10 lanes will soon be complete, we are not rushing the road; we are building a first-class road construction project.’

The Managing Director, VON Automobiles, Mr Rohtagi Manish, while explaining the essence of the launch, pointed out that Kona will change things positively in the Nigerian auto market.

According to Manish, the changes in global temperature and weather patterns are seen today are caused by human activity. Kona, he said, is one way to respond to the global weather challenges, so as to achieve a greener environment.

This appears to be a huge boost for the promoters of more environmentally friendly automobile and subsequently promote a green environment. This will also help to drive the Federal Government’s efforts to shift focus from petrol-based automobile to vehicles with a cheaper source of energy

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