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Data Sheet—Thursday, September 17, 2015


The list of tech execs who will have a private audience next week with China’s president Xi Jinping and Internet czar Lu Wei in Seattle now includes Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

The meeting comes amid new reports that the government is asking these companies—and others selling into the domestic market—to pledge their willingness to share data and intellectual property. Reports The New York Times: “Signing the new pledge could set a precedent of American tech firms openly cooperating with Beijing and enabling snooping on users. Conversely, a refusal could bring fresh restrictions or penalties for companies in China’s enormous market.”

It’s not clear if any company has complied, but the request will sure make for lively debate on Sept. 23.

Also stealing headlines this Thursday morning: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina trumped Trump during last night’s Republican debate. Silicon Valley and the White House took to social media to support 14-year-old tinkerer Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested after hacking together a homemade clock. “Don’t let this stop your creativity,” urged Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. Plus, we’re happy to report that SAP CEO Bill McDermott is back on the job after an unfortunate accident in July led to the loss of his eye. We wish him a speedy recovery.




Intuit plans foray into lending. The tax software company is creating a $100 million fund for financing small businesses. PayPal and Square already do something similar. All of them use data gathered from their software to assess and approve loans. (Wall Street Journal)



Microsoft sued for gender discrimination. A former engineer believes bias is the reason many female technical employees are paid less than male counterparts at the software giant. (Fortune)

Watch out Slack and Atlassian, Facebook’s business chat tool is almost ready. The service should be available by yearend after tests at 100 big companies. (Fortune)

No more Google Glass jokes, but only because the technology is now officially part of “Project Aura.” (Journal)

Apple isn’t ready to give up on the e-books case. The company plans a Supreme Court appeal of the federal verdict finding it guilty of price-fixing. (Fortune)

Bloomberg invests in financial terminal business. An expanded partnership with Twitter will bring more social “sentiment” directly to its screens. (Fortune)

Why Uber has mixed feelings about carpools. Sure it’s great for relieving traffic congestion, but the ride-sharing company is realizing lower profits. Plus, China’s Didi Kuaidi finally acknowledged its investment in Uber rival Lyft. They’re part of a global alliance taking on the defacto leader. (Journal, Fortune, Re/code)

Fitbit pushes corporate wellness. Target is its biggest account, but Bank of America and BP are also weighing in. Right now, business initiatives account for about 10% of overall revenue. (Fortune)



Oracle sees light at the end of the cloud tunnel

Oracle’s executive dream team predicted a big groundswell in the company’s cloud computing business. That’s the good news. But it will happen late this fiscal year. That’s the bad news for a company coming from behind in the fast-growing cloud computing market.


Eager for the next version of Apple Watch? You’ll have to wait longer than you expected. (Times)

Viva Las Vegas! Uber just got permission to cruise the Strip. (Fortune)

Intel funds eight more Chinese tech firms. Over the past three decades, it’s put almost $2 billion into 140 companies there. (TechCrunch)

Apple is enamored with open source software. It powers many of the company’s most strategic technologies, including Siri and Maps. (Fortune)

Microsoft and Salesforce have more products up their sleeves, including one involving the Skype conferencing platform. (Fortune)



The real reason for HP’s woes (and no, it’s not Autonomy) by Barb Darrow

What Salesforce, Microsoft, Cisco, and Stevie Wonder have in common by Jonathan Vanian

Virtual reality theme park brings Norse legends to life by John Gaudiosi


Psst, want to charge your smartphone really quickly? Qualcomm is happy to oblige. (Fortune)