Business News at a Glance
Posted September 4, 2018 9:50 p.m. EDT
With Colin Kaepernick Deal, Nike Returns to a Familiar Strategy
Nike has long relied on controversy in marketing an image of edgy youthfulness. This week, Nike returned to that tradition, revealing Colin Kaepernick, the polarizing former NFL quarterback, as a face of a major new marketing campaign, the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan, a move that may prove to be its most controversial yet. The strategy risks alienating numerous consumers who believe the player protest movement Kaepernick began is disrespectful. Shares of Nike were down more than 3 percent Tuesday, though it is unclear how much of that could be blamed on other market forces.
Amazon Is 2nd U.S. Company to Cross $1 Trillion Line, Following Apple
When Apple’s market value crossed $1 trillion last month, the reason was simple: It makes devices that a lot of people are willing to spend a lot of money on. Now Amazon has become the second American company to cross that once-unimaginable line. Early Tuesday morning, Amazon reached $1 trillion in market value, before it fell back and ended the day below the $1 trillion threshold. Amazon captures 49 cents of every e-commerce dollar in the United States. But the thing it has always sold the most — to investors, customers, the media — is excitement.
Alex Jones Said Bans Would Strengthen Him. He Was Wrong.
After Silicon Valley internet giants mostly barred Alex Jones from their services last month, traffic to his Infowars website and app soared on the blaze of publicity — and Jones declared victory. Yet a review of Infowars’ traffic several weeks after the bans shows that the tech companies drastically reduced Jones’ reach by cutting off his primary distribution channels: YouTube and Facebook. A New York Times analysis of data from the web data firms Tubular Labs and SimilarWeb showed in the three weeks afterward, Infowars' audience fell by roughly half, to about 715,000 site visits and video views.
NBC and Ronan Farrow Continue Feud Over Weinstein
The discord between NBC News and Ronan Farrow went public Monday after NBC News' chairman, Andrew Lack, said that Farrow’s reporting last year on Harvey Weinstein was not “fit for broadcast.” Early Tuesday, Farrow fired back with a pointed statement that took issue with Lack’s version of events. While working on contract for NBC, Farrow spent eight months reporting on the alleged transgressions of Weinstein — only to end up publishing an award-winning series in The New Yorker. Since then, people have wondered why the network allowed the reporter to go out the door with such a big story.
Facebook and Twitter Have a Message for Lawmakers: We’re Trying
On Wednesday, when Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, appear in Washington to testify on over the misuse of their services by foreign operatives and the disproportionate influence their platforms have over people’s thinking, they plan to answer lawmakers’ questions using two main tactics: a conciliatory and apologetic approach, as well as a rundown of the growing number of efforts the companies have taken. “We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. That’s on us,” Sandberg said in prepared testimony that was reviewed by The New York Times.
JD.com’s Richard Liu Was Arrested on a Rape Allegation, Police Say
When news broke this week that Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder of the online retailer JD.com, had been arrested in a criminal sexual misconduct case while on a business trip in Minnesota, the local police were vague about the details. On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department released its report on the case and said Liu was arrested Friday on a rape allegation. Liu was freed Saturday without bail and has returned to China. The case has sparked interest among Chinese internet users, who have circulated Liu’s mug shot online and speculated about the details of his case.
Shrugging Off Trade Wars May No Longer Be an Option
This may be the point at which investors have to start taking President Donald Trump’s trade wars much more seriously. Investors may have viewed Trump’s threats to levy tariffs since February as negotiating tactics and believed that he would be content with limited gains. That appeared to be the case over the past week, during which the White House worked toward a trade deal with Mexico and Canada that does not appear to radically remake the North American Free Trade Agreement. But as Trump’s statements have turned into action, some have positioned their investments for slower economic growth.