• Ernie Diaz

Tech "No" for an Answer

Forgotten visionary Bucky Fuller predicted "ephemeralization", the transformation of industrial value into ever more concentrated, intangible matter. Today, value resides in endless 1s and 0s bandied about on apps. Who owns that data, and what they do with it, is an evolving matter.

So while the U.S. and EU fine Google and Facebook for fractions of their largely tax-exempt earnings, China acts early and suspends app downloads - first Didi, now Mangbang (Uber for trucks), and Bozz Zhipin (recruiting app). Is there any silver lining to this blatant disregard for post-IPO stock growth?

"While many we helped secure Didi pre-IPO shares at $90b valuations are fuming, and secondaries analysts must rework spreadsheets on Chinese tech stocks, this is a healthy thing from a 10,000-foot view," says Edward Lehman. "A streamlined set of data-handling regulations will be palliative for the U.S. and China's hopefully-transitory 'tech breakup', and help prevent larger shocks, such as delistings. The West has set a precedent for data-breach awareness, and if China's approach is more peremptory, at least it's in line with the larger vision of reigning in potential tech-giant malfeasance."

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