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tv   Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  October 19, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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alisa: washington. the president is defending his 's response to's hurricane maria in puerto rico, which he says deserves a perfect 10 rating. he met with a puerto rican governor. respondedyou immediately, sir." hitting back against critics who said he was insensitive to the widow of a soldier killed in niger. florida democratic congresswoman frederica wilson has claimed
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president trump said that the soldier knew what he signed up for. -- he tells bloomberg is motivated to serve the country. reports ofalled their disagreements they can is. and former president george w. bush addressed a poor and -- a forum. that bigotry and white supremacy and any form is blasphemy against the american creed. he also says bullying and prejudice set the national time. global news, 24 hours a day, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i'm alisa parenti. this is bloomberg. " bloomberg technology" is next. ♪
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emily: i am emily chang, and this is "bloomberg technology." coming up, lyft gets $1 billion for its war chest in a funding round with alphabet leading the charge. why the google parent is riding shotgun with the startup in the race against uber. plus, apple's iphone plans come under scrutiny after a report says the company slashed orders for the iphone 8 by half. we put the strategy of launching two smartphones weeks apart under the microscope. google diplomacy, as the company continues to face a series of political and cultural setbacks. how the ceo's multitasking skills are being tested. but first, lyft gets new funding that values it at $11 billion and it is coming from an investor in its biggest rival. alphabet's capital g unit is leading the investment. $1 billionremember, alphabet's google ventures made a big investment in uber years back. waymo is embroiled in a bitter
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lawsuit with uber. joining us to discuss is our host for the guest hour, bob o'donnell, president of technalysis research. you reported months ago that this was possible are now it is official. what does this mean? >> it is amazing, the about-face here on alphabet. they invested in uber back in 2013 when uber was doing black cars. they were way ahead of things. the relationship over these intervening years has totally deteriorated. it is amazing. emily: they also have a stake in uber's success. right? if uber has a massive exit, alphabet would benefit greatly. eric: you can see both sides of it. for one, clearly, the industry is growing. why not have stakes in both? on the other hand, it is a bit of a zero-sum game.
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uber and lift have traditionally used the money to spend on -- and lyft traditionally used the money to spend on subsidies against each other. it is like taking money out of your pocket and lighting it on fire because they keep using it to discount their lives and gain market share. emily: bob, is that fair? bob: i'm not sure that it is. i may disagree with eric on this one. it is still not completely ubiquitous. at the end of the day, any market grows when there are strong competitors. you can look at any market there is. 2 strong companies helps raise all boats, i would argue. certainly there is a lot of that that is going on. but i think the opportunity to drive more strength across and make it more completely ubiquitous -- remember, we were in the bubble here. outside the bubble, there are still a lot of people who have not tried it yet. that is where the growth opportunities are. certainly here in the u.s.. if lyft takes some of that money and goes international, that's interesting question as well. emily: i interviewed to gm -- i interviewed gm's president
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earlier this week and a gm made a huge investment in lyft just a year ago. now they are partnering with uber. take a listen to what he had to say when i asked if you would ever consider buying lyft for or deepening the partnership with lyft. >> a lot of options in terms of how we go to market. we can go to market for our own network capability, go to market for different partnerships. all options are open at this time. emily: so, eric, no loyalty. what do you read into that? eric: especially with self driving cars, nobody knows who is going to win, nobody knows what strengths they are going to bring to the table exactly. i think everybody wants to have everything. alphabet is not putting all their chips in with lyft. they have their own self driving car platform and are free to partner with other people. lyft partnered with ford and, obviously, gm. they have a lot of relationships of their own. there is a level of cross pollinating and investing with a
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lot of people. emily: what progress we have on lyft in the market? have they gained relative to uber as uber has been struggling? eric: they are definitely gained market share in the u.s. we don't have exact numbers. you sort of rely on third-party data collectors. but they have gained. how much, we still need to see. emily: bob, it is perfectly feasible that there could be two big players. bob: absolutely. eric is right on autonomous driving. it is really early days. nobody really knows which direction this is going to go. that is a big challenge. you need to place your bets. having said that, the concern i have is the long-term play for both these guys is, you know what, eventually it will all be autonomous. if this takes longer than people think, and i think it will, and all of a sudden you have given people employment for 7, 8, nine
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, 10 years, it will be harder to start pulling that back away. ironically, i think there will be big challenges down the road as people take the ultimate step in this business model. emily: what is the latest in the uber-waymo lawsuit? eric: it is set to go to court in december, continuing -- there was this huge release of data from this report where basically uber identified information taken from waymo, and that happened very late in the game to disclose to alphabet. they are digging through all of that, seeing if that gives them new evidence for preparing for court in december. emily: eric newcomer, who covers uber and lyft for us, thank you. bob o'donnell, you are staying with me. the unlimited data plans verizon once shunned are helping the phone giant buy time for its new -- for its next move. the largest u.s. wireless
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providers saw a surge in subscribers for the second straight quarter. the increase gives verizon more breathing room to create new sources of revenue in media, advertising, or connected cars, as it struggles to maintain market share amid a price war. relieved investors sent the shares up the most since july. coming up, shares of apple drop on signs that iphone 8 demand are not as strong as expected. we will dig into what is fueling the apple anxiety. "bloomberg technology" is live-streaming on twitter. check us out. weekdays 5:00 p.m. in new york, 2:00 p.m. in san francisco. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: the dow and s&p 500 extended record highs on thursday, but it was by the slimmest of margins as the session started in selloff mode. a constant drag on major averages was apple, down the most in two months. joining us to break down why the shares fell is abigail doolittle. this has to do with the report of apple cutting orders to some suppliers. abigail: indeed it did, emily. there was a report out from "the economic daily news" in taiwan late in the day that apple had and forrs for november december the iphone 8 relative to its chip supplies. that sent shares of not just apple lower, but the supplies. -- but also the suppliers. it has to do with why u.s. major averages were sharply lower, especially earlier in the session, relative to those cuts. it sounds as though it is model-specific, because some of
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these reports that come out of the asian papers are not necessarily written in stone. i did speak to one analyst earlier today and he said he would do follow-up work to figure out whether this is true, but if it is true, it is one of the production cuts that typically comes in november or december. this would be the first production cut in october since the iphone 5c. it could be a bearish signal, but again it sounds like a model cut, not an absolute cut. are saying the iphone 7 is still selling well. and even the iphone 6, because the pricing relative to the iphone 8 is better. but of course everyone is waiting for iphone x, so we could have consumers holding off for that and going to the cheaper models. the iphone 8 seems like it is getting a bit squeezed. emily: abigail, there is little question that there's a lot of pressure on iphone x to perform well, people are waiting for it.
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but what are the risks? abigail: the biggest risk is what if it turns out to be a dud? everybody is expecting this phone to be great and consumers will love it and will spend thousands of dollars, but if it is not as great as expected, it could also cause the average selling prices to go down, too. historically, apple has complete inelasticity relative to pricing -- they don't budge. but if the phone isn't selling, that could in fact turn out to be a risk. another risk, china. if we hop into the bloomberg terminal and take a look at what is happening in the financials, on the left side we see the revenue segments -- americas, asia pacific, europe, and so forth. let's hone in on china. because china is about 16% of their overall revenue. we see that between 2013 and 2015, revenue growth out of china was very, very big, but -- the company helping to drive the stock. but more recently over the last few quarters, it has been declining, and right now the reports are that the demand out of china is really pretty weak. that could be a worry. however, in china, the iphone is
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really a status symbol, so most consumers there are probably waiting for the iphone x. nonetheless, this could be a point of worry. on the year, though, this stock, apple, still up more than 30%. however, in an odd way, that in and of itself could be a bit of a risk. it tells us that analysts and investors and strategists have high expectations for the iphone x, as to whether or not it will be the grand super cycle that everybody is looking for. it also puts some risk on the december quarter, whether they will reach numbers. time will tell, but today was a bit of a rocky day for apple and that apple suppliers. emily: bloomberg's abigail doolittle, thanks for weighing in. for more context on apple and supply chains, still with us, bob o'donnell, president of technalysis research, and our guest for the hour. first of all, this is a report that came out of the taiwanese "economic daily news." how reliable is a report like this? bob: coming out of taiwan, rumors abound.
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having looked at that market for years and years and years, things do pop up. not every detail necessarily can be correct but generally speaking, you get a good sense of some of the things that happened in the supply chain through taiwan. emily: is it conceivable to you that they could have cut orders by more than 50%? bob: the absolute 50% number does strike me as kind of high. that they could cut orders by a good amount. my guess is it could be true. if you recall, at the apple event -- this is something we talked about -- i had concern around the fact that you had a phone that a lot of people felt, the iphone 8, was very similar to the 7 and the 6, and the x was more interesting, more exciting, yet was going to be delayed. i wrote a column about this for "usa today" saying, hey, is the iphone 8 going to suffer? it looks like that is executive -- exactly what is playing out.
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emily: abigail used to work that i've never heard associated with the iphone, that it could be a dud. bob: i will disagree with abigail on that one. i am sure the iphone x is going to do great. the question is, will there be enough supply? apple's biggest quarter, and they count on huge holiday sales. guess what? it is coming out in november. if there are supply-chain hiccups, all the people hoping for the iphone x under the christmas tree may not get it. that changes the dynamic there. we could ironically see with the sale of the 6 and 7 that even though apple introduced higher-priced phones, the asp goes down. that seems totally counterintuitive, but if you do some math, the iphone 8 is in selling and not enough can get the x, that is what could happen, it is not inconceivable. more: have you heard any about possible supply-chain
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issues around the iphone x? there is concern that there will not be enough to meet demand. bob: i'm sure there won't be. i'm sure demand will completely outstrip the supply, and again, that is my concern as well. that is why i said, there are a lot of people who will not make it for a holiday purchase. that will impact q4 numbers for sure. the whole notion of the super cycle gets delayed into 2018 if not later. it might be the second generation of the iphone x before we see a super cycle. emily: and then does this all smooth out the middle of next year? bob: i think it does. it is apple, it is the iphone. it is still an iconic thing. people are going to buy it. it will do well, no question, but it gets delayed. serious, istion is, china. you have a stronger -- you have these brands that are getting much stronger in china, and the differentiation between apple and all these other guys is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. let's not forget samsung.
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they are doing very well for samsung right now. emily: bob o'donnell, founder of technalysis, you are sticking with me. coming up, strong showing in its public debut. how the database software makers ceo plans to stave off amazon and oracle, next. and if you like bloomberg news, check us out on the radio. you can listen on the bloomberg radio app,, and on the radio on sirius xm. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: paypal posted strong earnings for the third quarter, driven by a surge in payments volume and growth on its mobile platform. shares are up nearly 5% in late u.s. trading.
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it also topped forecasts for revenue. shares of paypal have already soared more than 70% this year. mongodb has marked its trading debut. the database software maker rose in earlier trading after pricing above the marketed range. raisin the ipo comes in what coe the biggest month of the year for u.s. listings. after a slow summer, it joins 20 companies that are priced or are scheduled to price in october. bloomberg's ipo reporter alex barinka caught up with mongodb president and ceo dev ittycheria and started by asking how the company will use the new capital. dev: it is all working capital. we have no plans to make any acquisitions today. we are going after a very large market, one of the largest in enterprise software. we are using the proceeds to really invest in both products and continue to innovate and produce new products as well as expand our existing portfolio of
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products, as well as invest and go to market in as many parts of the world that we don't have salespeople in. even in the u.s., we don't have salespeople in every nfl city. we are looking to expand our reach and reach more customers more efficiently. alex: who are you targeting as you continue to go for scale? you say you are pushing out geographically. are there specific types of customers, developers, i.t. partners? who are you looking to build a relationship with? dev: we actually have over 4300 customers today across every vertical industry. we have some of the largest customers in the world using mongodb. for example, over 50% of the top 100 companies in the world are customers with us today. some of the most sophisticated customers are using mongodb to run their business. one of the things that really weferentiates mongodb is really are a general-purpose database and are designed truly to address a wide variety of use cases, across almost every
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industry. there is no revenue concentration. and we feel like what it really shows is that we are positioned -- well-positioned to go on after larger opportunities. alex: when you talk about larger opportunities, what does that mean? bigger customers? break that down for me. dev: applications grow as the data volume grows. we are a land-expand business. we see customers grow by a factor of 10 and 20 times the initial spend. as you penetrate the account and be able to support new applications and use cases. and migrations of existing use cases where they find the existing application architecture does not scale and it is hard to add new features, hard to it here -- - hard to a dhere to new regulations and policies. with that, these accounts are growing very quickly, and we are adding lots of new accounts as well. that is why we feel very bullish
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about our future. alex: when i do think about the industry, though, the competition, names like oracle come to mind. amazon and google are cross-selling their database products on their cloud offerings, and that is a semi-recent development. how do you jockey against these names in tech when it comes to selling into customers? dev: yes, good question. we have been competing with the biggest names in tech since the company was founded. so, oracle has built its database technology on architecture that was introduced over 40 years ago. i mean, 40 years ago i was using a rotary phone to make phone calls. now i have a computer in my pocket. fundamentally, the technology landscape has changed radically, but their architectures are based on a database from the 1970's. with players like amazon and google, we are actually partners with them. one advantage we have is that you can literally run mongodb
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anywhere. you can run it on premise, on your laptop, the data center, or private or public clouds. alex: i have to ask, talking to my sources on the street, i kind -- some kind of wonder what is , the value of mongodb in staying a standalone company? what if one of the bigger players does come in and scoop you up? are you a better product within a larger suite? what is the argument for mongodb to be a standalone and not an ideal acquisition target? dev: we have been building this company for the last 10 years and we have acquired over 4000 customers. we have proven we can serve the needs of the most of many customers, not just in north america, but in europe and asia. we feel very, very comfortable about being a standalone entity. now with the proceeds from the ipo, we have a very strong balance sheet to continue to invest in business. i think that investors have
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recognized that, and obviously, rewarded us for it. i also should point out it is not about how the stock is doing today, it is about the long-term. we believe that the best is yet to come. emily: that was mongodb president and ceo dev ittycheria. coming up, we take a look at lyft. a mega funding round through the lens of an investor. dave klein joins us next. this is bloomberg. ♪ >> it is 2:29 p.m. in sydney.
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i am paul allen with the latest first word news. the bloomberg dollar index has jumped after a budget resolution was adopted. republican leaders agreed to adopt the resolution in a show of unity. will lock aal special procedure that allows the gop to pass tax reform without needing support from the democrats. president trump has called tax cuts a christmas present to america. is cia says north korea moments away from a nuclear weapon, and they should act -- the u.s. should act as if an attack is likely. but there is a difference
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between being able to launch a missile and having an arsenal of weapons. rex tillerson signaled content's impatient -- signaled washington's impatience with china. says he willent respect advice in the building of nuclear power points. he vowed to scrap the plan for two reactors. many voters agree with him, and his change of heart may prove politically costly. hishas alson reversed stance on the nuclear missile shield and promises to raise the minimum wage. global news, 24 hours a day, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i'm paul allen. this is bloomberg. sophie: a few stories playing out in the asian section. resurgent dollar strength on the passing of the budget resolution.
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that is dragging currency which is already under pressure. on the decline, despite the rise we see in iron ore. and japanese stocks are reversing the morning's loss. the nikkei could flop for another day. the hang seng is recovering some of its 1.9% drop. extending the are decline on day three of the party congress, and the one is continuing to depreciate -- and the yuan is continuing to depreciate. a last look at the home thing, there is a three day drop to 5% is beingver added after tumbling 7%.
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this is value for the third quarter at 20%, instead of 21% estimate. ♪ emily: this is "bloomberg technology." i am emily chang. back to our top story of the day, lyft's blockbuster funding round. the ride-hailing company pulling in $1 billion led by alphabet investment arm capital g. it could be used to enhance its footprint abroad. and it is a shot across the bow against uber, lyft's biggest rival. joining us is gabe klein, former commissioner of transportation in chicago. bubble donald also still with o'donnell still with us. gabe, you are a lyft investor.
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what does this mean from an investor's perspective? gabe: it is a wonderful day, and i think it is total validation. when you have a mission-driven approach, when you are ethical, and you work with cities, this is what happens. i remember being on here a couple years ago when uber announced they were going to build their own self driving cars, and it was this bombshell me, what doasking you think? is it not the end for lyft, but something insurmountable? i remember saying, i think they should focus. they are focusing on customer service, quality relationship with their drivers, and growing the u.s. market. they've done a fantastic job. they have executed, they have fired on all cylinders, and this is the reward. now they cover 95% of the country. emily: that said, lyft, the valuation is 1/7 of what uber's is. we are still looking for concrete data on how much lyft has advanced in this period when
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we have seen uber struggle. do you have information on that? gabe: they have hit 500 million rides, almost doubled their footprint just this past year. my prediction is they will be the first transportation network company or ride hailing company to be profitable. while scale is important, and obviously in silicon valley everybody prides themselves on growing fast in scale, but the quality of the service and the execution and the company make a difference. this is a long game, not the short game. when somebody like capital g puts $1 billion into this, they spread their bets out, i think you know that they understand it is a very big market, lots of players with autonomous vehicles coming, and this is a long game, not a short bet. bob: bob o'donnell here. with that billion dollars, do you think it is better spent in the u.s., or do they think internationally? gabe: well, i don't want to
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speak for logan and john, who are obviously experts in what they do and are doing a phenomenal job. think there is a lot of growth to be done in existing cities, and also you have canada right next door. you have mexico city. you can stay on the continent and really spread your wings, but i think what uber has learned from the experience in china with ddm, it did not end well for them overall. they had to pull out. and they had to do a deal. i think sometimes taking it slow and letting the market you are -- market much or, -- mature, following instead of leading informed markets to be smart or having partnerships. emily: at the same time, we have seen alphabet, i guess you could say, stab uber in the back in doing this. we are also seeing gm, which was a big investor in lyft, do the same thing. their division is in talks with uber to provide self-driving cars. i asked the president of gm this week if he would consider deepening the partnership with lyft.
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he was very vague and said all options are still on the table. what do you make of that? lyft investor is also playing all sides of the table. gabe: when i was on a couple years ago and you asked me about uber creating their own self-driving car, i was thinking, why would you do that when you can be agnostic? your expertise is in providing an excellent service in cities and someone else's expertise is in engineering and building cars. that is what lyft has done. they have partnered with anybody and everybody who has a great quality product. you will see a lot of these frenemy-type situations. you have companies that compete in some areas and collaborate in other areas. just because google led a dollar round today does not mean they will not do business with chrysler, fiat, a whole host of other companies.
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i think this is healthy. i think we want to create as much competition as possible in these markets. that is what is happening. bob: but on the of taunus -- autonomous car side, i guess one of the questions is how far do these platforms need to go on their own? do they really need to have some of their own technology, or can they completely rely on partners? it seems to me that depending on how the network and services are built, some of that is going to have to come from the lyfts of the world. gabe: sure, i wouldn't be surprised if uber had some of their own vehicles, built with oem partners, but one of the things that i think went wrong with the lyft-gm partnership -- not that anything went wrong per se, but i don't know if gm could keep up with the supply needed of the vehicles. they are at 0.5% of the population really using these services actively. it is going to grow and grow and grow.
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i think part of lyft's strategy is it is not that we have to have one partner or another, it is that we have to have many partners because the business will grow dramatically over the next decade. emily: an early uber investor told me that he thinks ridesharing is a zero-sum game. that there is no way that uber does not win out. bob earlier was saying this is not a zero-sum game. i suppose you might espouse the same logic. how do you see lyft coming back? do you see a market where it is 50-50? do you see a market where it could subsume all the traffic? gabe: it will get a lot more interesting. bob is right, by the way. this is not going to be a winner takes all game. cities are complicated. i have worked with hundreds of cities, i have worked in cities, i've been on the private side of zipcar with cities. it is going to evolve. different cities are going to
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want to have different arrangements in terms of concessions for the autonomous vehicle service versus a completely free market. some may run their own services. look, you have new services coming up. bike share -- i started bike-share services in d.c. and chicago. these systems are coming along, and to be honest, some of the trips that people are taking in uber and lyft can be taken on an electric bike or bike share bike. it is going to get more interesting. the single occupancy vehicle still owns the market. all of these guys can do extremely well -- lyft, uber, spin, on and on. i'm extremely bullish on the whole segments, on mobility as a service, versus people buying their own cars. that is the future. emily: gabe klein, special venture partner at fontinalis, thank you as always for joining us. bob o'donnell of technalysis, you are sticking with us. amazon will close the bidding process for the second
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headquarters and of day on thursday. the e-commerce giant plans to invest more than $5 billion and higher 50,000 people at its second headquarters. over cities have expressed 100 interest in a run for their prestige. the site announcement will be revealed in 2018. coming up, it has been two years since he got the top spot at google. how he feels about the role and what is to come for the tech giant. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: u.s. businesses and the tech sector especially continue to invest in wind and solar energy. amazon ceo jeff bezos christened the 263-megawatt amazon wind farm in texas. the company has bought more than
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1.22 gigawatts of output to date, second only to google. the corporations agreed to buy over two gigawatts of clean power this year and is on track to match the 2.6 gigawatts signed last year. big companies have been taking the heat on a number of issues over the last year. take google, for example. ceo sundar pichai has had to deal with staff protests over the president's immigration policy, a standoff with advertisers, a record regulatory fine from the eu, and debates about gender equality, just to name a few. pichai sat down with us for an exclusive interview with "bloomberg businessweek." he spoke to mark bergen, who joins us now. and still with us, bob o'donnell, technalysis research president and our guest for the hour. it is two years into the job. the headline was something along the lines of "everyone is mad at google and sundar pichai has to fix it." how is he handling all of these issues?
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mark: he still considers and saw products-first person and that is the big push at google. i think he didn't expect trump, necessarily, a lot of the immigration issues. he is having a combination -- he having a combination of delegation. befound out today he will the one testifying before congress. his tactic has been deliberate. he likes to build consensus and get people in the room. i think it has been -- a lot of these issues, he has gone and sought counsel with his management, as well as outside of google. emily: as you mentioned, google, one of the top lawyers will be testifying before congress on the issue of russian meddling. there are also concerns about fake news. what does he have to say about google's responsibility. mark: he says we make mistakes, and when we make mistakes it is very public.
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fake news is a really interesting issue for them. he says that google was founded as a search quality company. page rank, which is the algorithm. they see fake news as a search problem, similar to how they addressed spam for the past 20 years, which is an interesting framing. for them, they see it almost as like we addressed spam bots and we're still battling them so we can think about this with fake news, too. bob: the fascinating thing about google is they are the classic silicon valley engineering-driven company. all of the negativity associated with that is hitting them, fairly or unfairly. but it does raise some questions of how do they move forward? i feel like it is so much -- so little, i should say, real thinking about human issues. how do these things impact people? and things about privacy and tracking and all that kind of stuff. it feels like they really me to
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-- they really need to drive more of that. do you get a sense they are try to address those issues to maintain trust? mark: i think sundar wouldn't call himself an engineer, he calls himself a product person. we can debate that. the example they put out earlier this month with their hardware, one of the interesting device, a of the new camera that they have been working on internally for a long time, something similar to google glass that you wear on your head, intentionally created it to be privacy-first, and yet as soon as it came out people responded, well, here is another way for google to spy on you. bob: the interesting thing is it it is intel chip-driven technology there. it is a fascinating thing, but we were chatting beforehand about elon musk said, oh, this was bad, inherently because of the ai thing, and i feel like it is a lot for him to say. he puts out cars that he calls
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autopilot and that is a lot more dangerous than the ai that google is doing. mark: in the story about echo and google home, second with the speaker after amazon and a lot of people in the valley criticize them for being slow. sundar is by nature very deliberate and maybe more conservative than the prior ceos. what he told us about the echo is that google has a high bar for voice technology, and he felt it did not meet their bar yet, and that is why they were second to market. emily: last question, james damore, the engineer who was fired for the memo he sent that argued that men and women have biological differences when it comes to engineering and leadership positions, "the new york times" david brooks had a column that said sundar pichai should be fired for firing james damore. what did he have to say? mark: he said that their two fundamental values that the company cherishes can come into conflict.
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this is free speech, meaning let the issues that ticked off a lot of people at the company. he did take the issue to john hennessy, the former president of stanford, who is on the alphabet board, who has dealt with similar issues around stanford. sundar told us this was a company decision and he was aware there would be consequences outside the company -- emily: was it his decision, or did larry page -- mark: it was his decision. emily: mark bergen, thank you so much. bob, you are sticking with me. that story in the latest issue of "bloomberg businessweek," on newsstands, online, and in the app store. and you can hear more from the magazine's reporters and editors every saturday and sunday on bloomberg television and radio. coming up, twitter is pushing ot -- making a major push to halt harassment on the platform, what but is it too little, too late? this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: twitter says it is introducing new policies to combat harassment and unwanted sexual advances. the social media giant says it will immediately and permanently suspend any account that clearly harasses someone or posts nude images without the consent of the subject. this move comes after a decision by twitter to disable the account of actress rose mcgowan, who used the platform to name harassers in the entertainment industry. joining us now to discuss is sarah frier and our guest host for the hour, bob o'donnell of technalysis. the word "clearly" is at issue here, because it is unclear what the policies actually are. >> twitter has been very vague in the past, and one of the main things that dorsey wants to fix with the new rules is to have a little bit more standardization in terms of how they approach these situations. rose mcgowan, when she was suspended, it was for posting an e-mail that had a phone number in it.
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other people have been not suspended for things that are much worse. that is the question, how are they going to apply these policies in a way that is equitable? emily: jack dorsey said over the last few days that they will be more transparent. do we actually have that transparency yet? do we know what they are doing, do we know how they are thinking about this? sarah: we know they are going to get a lot harder on sexual harassment, especially sending the nude images, as you said. what we don't know is exactly how these policies will evolve. jack talked about the fact that they have this trust and safety council they have been working with since the last year that they work with on the particulars of the changes they are trying to make, and they are still in draft stages. we don't have the clarity on what the final rules will be. emily: bob, is it too little too late? bob: look, there are so many
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challenges with all these social media platforms. i know it is basic, but the fact that we are still in a world with anonymous accounts, it is going to always be an issue. no matter what you do, it is going to be very difficult to overcome those kinds of things. i feel that there needs to be a recognition that these tools can be used for bad purposes, which i think they finally realize, but really got caught off guard by, and they need to be very proactive about doing that. and they also need to think about the fact that there is no way they will ever be a neutral platform. accept that fact and build things around that. look, this is not always going to be neutral. we have to take sides. that is just the way it is. people don't like it, they can leave. emily: but are they really going to do that? free speech is one of the core values. >> the problem is when other people feel like they are being harassers, not everyone is speaking freely.
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the problem for twitter that people are not talking about is how do you really implement this well internationally? most of their users are outside the u.s., and it is not clear to me that they have a very good understanding of the cultural nuances of harassment in different places. this is a very difficult issue, and at this time, they have to have humans trained to prevent these things from getting worse. but the training is very hard, and they have been working on it for years. but even though they said that they prioritized it, last year around this time they started doing that, things have seemingly gotten -- become more of a handful than they were. emily: it is important to point out -- we have seen the "me too" campaign with women revealing they have been sexually harassed take off on facebook and twitter. it is an interesting example of how these platforms can be used for good just as easily as they can be used for bad.
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you know, you wonder how the company can balance all of this, given that it is all traffic. bob: well, it is all traffic, and of course there can be good, there is going to be bad. the problem is it still feels like they don't really know how to deal with the bad. it is not an easy problem. we never want to say that they should limit free speech, but at the same time, there have to be rules. just because you say certain things are not allowed doesn't mean you are anti-free speech. there are still rules and regulations you have to figure out that are common sense. emily: obviously, this is a continuing story, and sarah will continue to follow the story. bob o'donnell of technalysis, thanks for joining us on the show. sarah frier, as always, thank you as well. a quick disclosure, bloomberg lp is developing a global news network for twitter. that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology."
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