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Data Sheet—Monday, September 14, 2015

Over the past year, tensions around cybersecurity have clouded the future of U.S. tech companies in China. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States nears, however, collaboration seems back in vogue.

Consider some of the latest evidence. Last week, Dell proclaimed its $125 billion investment there over the next five years. That includes both traditional manufacturing arrangements and a series of co-development deals, including one aimed at creating a cloud computing service. Another telling sign is the partnership between American tech company CloudFlare and Chinese Internet giant Baidu, outlined in a New York Times feature published over the weekend. The deal is speeding cross-border traffic across China’s “Great Firewall.”

One common denominator is the growing willingness of companies to share intellectual property across borders. Walt Disney is even allowing Chinese Internet Tencent to stream its valuable Stars Wars movie franchise. “Everybody is going out of their way to curry favor from the Chinese government,” notes tech policy expert Robert Atkinson, in another Times article about Chinese-U.S. tie-ups.

Two other things that will have tongues wagging this Monday morning: Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs, a powerful philanthropist in her own right, is dedicating another $50 million to high-school education. Plus, be sure to tune in Tuesday night for Apple CEO Tim Cook’s guest appearance with Stephen Colbert.

TOP OF MIND

New driver for Google’s autonomous cars project. Automotive executive John Krafcik, whose resume includes stints at Ford and Hyundai, was hired to steer ongoing research and on-road testing. But the experiment hasn’t become a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella. At least not yet. (Fortune)

TRENDING

Pre-orders are strong, for the latest iPhone family. And it turns out the new rose color is a fan favorite. (Re/code, InformationWeek)

Another enterprise software company goes private. Vista Equity Partners was the winning bidder for car-insurance software company Solera, in a $6.5 billion cash-and-debt deal. (Wall Street Journal)

Google’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles strategy. A series of partnerships with companies including Twitter that help content load faster on mobile devices. (Fortune)

Video in three dimensions? Facebook’s investments in virtual reality apparently include a mobile app that lets viewers watch scenes from different perspectives—by tilting their smartphone. (Journal)

Scale for successful Etsy sellers. Starting this fall, the marketplace will offer manufacturing services for artisans struggling to meet demand. (Times)

Lyft sideswipes federal privacy policy. The ride-sharing company allegedly “forces” members to receive promotional texts and calls. (Journal)

THE DOWNLOAD

A group of wireless execs aim to build a nationwide network for the Internet of things

Several big names in the cellular communications industry are backing a company called Ingenu that has launched what it hopes will be a nationwide wireless network dedicated to the Internet of things. Do we really need this?

BITS AND BYTES

Microsoft promotes legal chief. Brad Smith is first president since 2002. (Seattle Times)

Nintendo taps numbers-cruncher as new president. (Journal)

Heralding the era of sub-$300 drones. Qualcomm is working hard to capture share. (Fortune)

Yahoo exec shakeup continues. The latest to leave: CMO Kathy Savitt. (Fortune)

Another downhill day for GoPro. Shares are at their lowest levels since June. (Journal)

Sick of Bloomberg terminals? These companies offer alternatives. (Fortune)

MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS

Computers can’t read your mind yet, but they’re getting closer by Barb Darrow

Inside the NFL’s big data play by Jonathan Vanian

Here’s why you’ll be wearing ‘smart’ workout clothes soon by Lydia Dishman

 

ONE MORE THING

Charged-up cops. Even the Los Angeles police department owns a Tesla. (Verge)