The pandemic has been good to Wayfair

August 6, 2020, 10:56 AM UTC

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Good morning.

Did you buy furniture online during the pandemic?  If so, you are in good company. Wayfair, the online home furnishing store yesterday reported an 84% increase in revenues, to $4.3 billion. And it reported a profit, after a long string of losses. Read Phil Wahba’s report here.

It’s also a good time to be a bankruptcy lawyer. Fortune is keeping a list of companies that have filed for bankruptcy. It includes the two companies that have provided most of my work wardrobe in recent decades–Tailored Brands and Brooks Brothers. That makes sense, since all the suits I bought from them have hung unused in my closet since March 12.

And finally, Facebook debuted its new product Instagram Reels, a clear knock-off of controversial app TikTok, which President Trump has threatened to ban over its alleged ties to Beijing. The social media giant apparently hopes the move will help it win back Gen-Zers and Washington at the same time.

More news below.

Alan Murray


Stimulus checks

The White House has warned that Americans won't get another round of stimulus checks unless Democratic and Republican party leaders agree on the terms for another stimulus package by the end of the week. Pretty much everyone agrees about having another round of checks, but they can't see eye-to-eye on unemployment benefits, COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses, and other issues. Fortune

U.S. firewall

The State Department is expanding its "Clean Network" program to: a) disconnect Chinese telecoms carriers from U.S. carriers' networks; b) remove Chinese apps from U.S. app stores; c) stop "untrusted" Chinese phone manufacturers from including "trusted" foreign apps on their phones; d) stop U.S. intellectual property being stored in Chinese cloud services; and e) check that undersea cables connected to the U.S. are not being "subverted for intelligence gathering" by China. Observers have noted echoes of China's own "Great Firewall" censorship program. Quartz

TikTok data

TikTok will invest around €420 million ($499 million) in its Irish operations, specifically in setting up its first European data center there. TikTok's Irish company is now its service provider for all of Europe. So why doesn't TikTok just set up its long-awaited international HQ there? Bloomberg

Trump post

Facebook has for the first time deleted a Donald Trump post. The president's post linked to a Fox News video that showed him saying children are "virtually immune" to the coronavirus. They are not, and Facebook said the post violated its policy against spreading misinformation about the pandemic. Twitter blocked a similar Trump post, too. Fortune


Biometric data

Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley are proposing legislation that would stop private companies from collecting users' and employees' biometric data–such as facial recognition data–without their consent. Advocacy groups such as the ACLU and EFF are backing the proposal. Merkley: "We have to fight against a 'big brother' surveillance state that eradicates our privacy and our control of our own information, be it a threat from the government or from private companies." Reuters

Wirecard death

Christopher Bauer, the co-owner of a Manila-based payments processor that was a key partner of now-collapsed Wirecard, has reportedly died in the Philippines. Bayer, a former Wirecard employee, was under investigation by Philippine authorities over his connection to the scandal-struck German company. The cause of death is not known. Financial Times

Unfit masks

The U.K.'s National Health Service will not use 50 million face masks procured by the government in April as part of a $330 million deal, because they may not fit tightly enough. The masks were purchased from a company called Ayanda Capital, after a government trade adviser–who also advised Ayanda's board–approached the government. BBC

State disparity

The economic recovery is unevenly distributed among U.S. states. Looking at unemployment stats, Kentucky got the V-shaped recovery everyone hopes for, but New York and Massachusetts remain at Great Depression-esque jobless levels. Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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