Business News at a Glance
Posted May 10, 2018 9:44 p.m. EDT
Trump’s Trade Moves Put U.S. Carmakers in a Jam at Home and Abroad
President Donald Trump frequently talks about reviving the American auto industry, but his approach to trade policy may backfire on the country’s carmakers. Trump’s efforts could limit the reach of companies that produce cars in the United States and depend on access to growing markets outside the country. The chief executives of the biggest automakers plan to meet with the president on Friday. The gathering comes at a critical moment, as administration officials race to finalize a NAFTA rewrite in the next few weeks and prepare to meet next week with Chinese leaders in hopes of forestalling a trade war.
With Jail Sentences and Corporate Flameouts, China Is Tackling its Debt
A Shanghai court imprisoned a tycoon who used a mountain of debt to buy the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Small Chinese companies are increasingly saying they cannot pay their bills. For other private businesses, the cost to borrow has shot up. Faced with the looming consequences of a decadelong borrowing binge, the Chinese government is intensifying its efforts to stamp out risky lending and speculative froth from the world’s second-largest economy. To do it, Beijing is putting the brakes on shadowy forms of underground lending and making public spectacles of the worst offenders.
Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t.
Many people have grown accustomed to talking to their smart devices. But someone else might be secretly talking to them, too. Over the past two years, researchers have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online.
Spotify Pulls R. Kelly and XXXTentacion From Playlists, Stirring a Debate
Spotify, the music industry’s leading streaming service, said Thursday that it would stop promoting or recommending music by artists whose content or conduct it deemed to be offensive, hoping to quell a furor over singer R. Kelly but immediately starting another debate over who qualified for the ban. The company introduced its new policy regarding “hate content and hateful conduct” by citing two artists — R. Kelly, the multiplatinum R&B singer, and XXXTentacion, the troubled young rapper and singer — who Spotify said had been removed from all official playlists and recommendation features on the service.
Goldman Sachs and Apple Plan to Offer a New Credit Card
Apple and Goldman Sachs have been working for months on a new credit card product that would bear the Apple Pay brand, according to two people familiar with the companies’ talks. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were continuing. The product would be Goldman’s first credit card offering and could help the bank’s effort to expand its consumer products. For Apple, the deal could help it extend its Apple Pay brand, the technology giant’s digital payment service. The two companies have not settled on all the details, said one of the people.