Apple’s iPhone 12 event absent from Chinese social media platforms

  • Apple’s livestream of its iPhone 12 launch event on Tuesday was not available to watch on top Chinese social media platforms.
  • Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t stream the event.
  • Bloomberg reported that the platforms canceled coverage without explanation.
  • The event garnered massive interest in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue, and the iPhone 12 was the top topic on Weibo.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Top Chinese social media platforms reportedly pulled their planned coverage of Apple’s iPhone 12 livestream on Tuesday, despite massive interest in the event.

When Apple revealed the iPhone 12, its first 5G phone, video platforms such as Tencent Video, iQiyi, Bilibili, and Weibo didn’t carry the event, despite originally planning to, Bloomberg reported.

The report said the platforms gave no explanation for not showing the event in China, Apple’s second-largest market by revenue.

The iPhone 12 was later ranked the top topic on Weibo, with users posting photos of the new phone.

Bloomberg reporter Yuan Gao said in a tweet that the platforms usually hire translators and commentators to ensure the event is covered late into the night.

 

In an analyst note, financial services and investment firm Wedbush said the news “speaks to the ongoing ‘cold tech war’ tensions between the US and China.”

It estimated that around 20% of iPhone upgrades in the coming year will come from China. 

Representatives of Tencent Holdings, iQiyi, Weibo, and Bilibili didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comments.

During the event, Apple revealed four new 5G phones, starting at $699. 

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Facebook reverses policy and bans Holocaust denial on its platforms

Facebook has announced a ban on content that denies or distorts the Holocaust. The policy marks a reversal on how to handle a disturbing category of posts that CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said should not be blocked on the platform even though they’re false. 

The company updated its hate speech policy to prohibit such content, Monika Bickert, VP of Content Policy at Facebook, said in a statement on Monday. 

“Our decision is supported by the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people,” she said.

Groups that track hate speech “are reporting increases in online attacks against many groups worldwide, and we continue our efforts to remove it,” Bickert said. 

The company says it removed 22.5 million pieces of hate speech shared on its platform in the second quarter of this year alone. Facebook has also banned more than 250 white white supremacist organizations and updated its policies for handling militia groups and the QAnon conspiracy theory, the statement said. 

The new policy is a change from Facebook’s previous stance on the issue of Holocaust denial. In 2018, Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher that while he found such claims “deeply offensive,” he did not believe Facebook should block them.

“At the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” Zuckerberg said, adding that he didn’t think they were “intentionally” getting it wrong — at which point Swisher cut in and said, “In the case of the Holocaust deniers, they might be.” 

Zuckerberg sought to clarify his comments in a follow-up email to Swisher, saying he “absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who

Grand Ole Opry’s Circle Network Joins Four Big Video-Streaming Platforms

Circle Network, a country music channel co-owned by the Grand Ole Opry’s parent company and station group Gray Television, said it has signed distribution deals with four big streaming platforms: Roku, Samsung’s TV Plus, Vizio’s SmartCast, and Comcast-owned Xumo.

The four outlets collectively claim 76 million monthly average users, and represent a big jump in audience accessibility for the 10-month-old network, said Circle’s General Manager Drew Reifenberger. Opry Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, is a co-owner of the network with Gray, one of the nation’s biggest broadcast station groups.

The channel has been anchored by Saturday night broadcasts of performances on Opry Live from the Grand Ole Opry’s storied stage in Nashville, Tenn., continuing even through the pandemic’s strictures, though without live audiences.

The Opry “has had shows, with no audience, for 32 weeks now,” Reifenberger said. “The Opry is going on 95 years of uninterrupted Saturday night broadcasts, coming up on 5,000 performances and we’re not going to break that. We’re the only ones with original content every week, particularly in the early stages (of the pandemic). That’s what the Opry is all about.”

For all the rich tradition of those hour-long performances, however, Reifenberger said the Circle Network was built to appeal to country music’s Millennial and Gen Z audiences, who now make up about half the nation’s population.

“The why of creating this channel was simple research,” Reifenberger said. “There are 120 million country music fans who simply are being underserved. We think it’s very much about the lifestyle as much as it is about the music. It’s a platform to bring artists and the audiences closer together.”

To feed those audiences, the channel has 16 original or exclusive shows, then pieces in licensed movies and other

Why Should Leaders Stop Obsessing About Platforms And Ecosystems?

Why should leaders stop obsessing about platforms and ecosystems? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. 

Answer by Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder & CEO of Vivaldi, Author of The Interaction Field, in his Session: 

Company leaders have now learned that the traditional pipeline business model, also known as the experience curve or value chain, though it has been the foundation of every business until today, is also less important. For many businesses, the pipeline or value chain has been globalized, digitized and optimized. It has been the source of value creation through the supply-side economies of scale. In short, scale leads to lower unit cost of output.

Today, it becomes ever harder to squeeze out value from the value chain or pipeline while executives learn in dismay how over the last years, the companies that have created most value have either built platforms from scratch or have evolved to become digital ecosystems. The enthusiasm and hype have been steered by companies often referred to by some type of alphabet soup such as FANGA which stands for Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google and Amazon or GAFA. Sometimes Microsoft or Alibaba are added as in FAMA or FAMAA. Lately, Tesla would be an option. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet make up now nearly 30 percent of the S&P, a historic height.

These are Wall Street top performing stocks as well. Apple even has become a 2 trillion dollar company in terms of market capitalization, from 1 trillion just two years ago. Hence, there is good reason for company leaders to be obsessed with platforms and digital ecosystems. The fact though is while these companies

Spotify’s exclusive Michelle Obama podcast will be available on other platforms

Spotify made major headlines last year when it announced an exclusive podcast deal with the Obamas’ production studio Higher Ground. Today, the company made a perplexing about-face. The company says it’ll be releasing the first season of The Michelle Obama Podcast on “a number” of other podcast listening platforms starting tomorrow, September 30th — two weeks after the show’s season 1 finale.

The company hasn’t detailed which platforms will have the show, but it’s in conversations with several, including Stitcher, Google, Apple, and iHeart. A Spotify spokesperson says future seasons, if the show’s renewed, will “debut exclusively” on Spotify, but didn’t say whether the show will be windowed or fully exclusive to the service.

Obama’s show expansion could help Spotify find a larger audience while also driving listeners back to the platform. It has tested this strategy with other shows, including Dope Labs, Son of Hitman, and InCharge with DVF, although it’s unclear whether those shows are gaining listeners on Spotify. (Ads within some of these previously exclusive shows promote Spotify, even on other platforms.) It’s also unclear if the Higher Ground deal always accounted for a wider release — a Spotify spokesperson wouldn’t comment.

This news amounts to a 180-degree flip in stance for the audio company. Although it’s piloted the strategy with other shows, the Obamas are some of the biggest stars — and likely the biggest investments — that Spotify has decided to make available outside its platform. The company’s garnered attention around its podcast ambitions because of its flashy acquisitions and big-name exclusive show launches, like one with Kim Kardashian West. In fact, Spotify’s press release about the Higher Ground deal said the partnership would “produce podcasts exclusive to the platform,” so it’s odd to see Spotify