- Uber Rideshare Hammered by Pandemic
- Trump Signs E.O. Banning Transactions with TikTok, WeChat
- US Adds 1.8 Million Jobs
- Podcast: One Last Corona Cruise
Uber Rideshare Hammered by Pandemic
Uber reported a 29% decline in revenue last quarter, for totally bizarre reasons unrelated to the pandemic.
A giant swarm of bees has started carrying everyone to wherever they want to go for free, cutting into Uber’s core nah, I’m kidding, it was the pandemic.
With the entire planet locked indoors, eating Doritos and contemplating eternity, Uber’s rideshare business magically transformed into thousands of cars they don’t own, sitting in strangers’ driveways.
Gross bookings (which is when you call an Uber specifically to throw up in it) declined 17% from the same period last year.
On the other hand, Uber’s food delivery service exploded 113%, as folks substituted good old-fashioned human contact with burgers and fries left on their doorstep by a mysterious unseen figure.
On an earnings call Thursday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “The Covid crisis has moved delivery from a luxury to a utility.”
He also said he believes folks willcontinue to order food with Uber Eats after the pandemic because you don’t become the CEO of a company like Uber without being a hopeless optimist.
Despite the rapid growth in deliveries, Uber Eats is still very much run like an Uber business. And that means it doesn’t really do the whole “profit” thing. Instead, it ended up losing about $232 million last quarter.
Uber’s rideshare business is slowly starting to recover, though its ability to do the thing that it does is limited by the speed at which governments reopen and the resurgence of the virus.
“When cities move again so does Uber,” said Khosrowshahi.
The price per share of Uber’s stock (UBER) dropped more than 6% when the markets opened this morning, as investors struggled to swallow the usual “we’ll be profitable someday” shtick in the middle of a global crisis.
Trump Signs E.O. Banning Transactions with TikTok, WeChat
President Trump issued an executive order, banning transactions with Chinese media behemoth Tencent and TikTok-parent-company ByteDance.
The ban is a drastic escalation of the Trump administration’s core policy of Not Liking Chinese Stuff and Trying to Make it Go Away, and will likely draw retaliation from Beijing.
If all goes according to plan, the social media crackdown will go into effect in 45 days and prevent US users from downloading TikTok and WeChat, Tencent’s global messaging app.
(And just as we were about to launch the One Last Thing TikTok channel! I had all these great dances planned and this POV video where I was a Dukakis canvasser reincarnated into your newborn baby. What a shame.)
“[WeChat] automatically capture vast swaths of information from its users,” said Trump in his executive order.
“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
(I guess this is the part where I write the bit that goes into every TikTok article.)
TikTok maintains it would never hand over private data to the Chinese government. But legal experts maintain, given China’s internet security laws, TikTok would have no choice but to cough up the juice. All the party would have to do is ask.
Folks in the data collection sphere have their own concerns about TikTok and WeChat, claiming these specific apps skim buckets more information than even mega offenders like Facebook and Google. Which, you know, sucks.
China’s foreign ministry said this morning it firmly opposes the executive orders and warned that the US would have to “bear the consequences.” (Consequences, I’m hoping, are limited to seeing less of the gross stuff people make on TikTok.)
“The US is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses,” said Foreign Ministry Spokespersonm Wang Wenbin. “That’s just a hegemonic practice.”
President Trump’s order sent Tencent’s stocks crashing more than 10% this morning. It’s unclear how this will affect Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of TikTok.
US Adds 1.8 Million Jobs
The US economy added 1.8 million jobs in July, which is cool and fun but not as cool and fun as economists would have liked.
July’s job gain slowed from previous months amid a resurgence of folks getting all up inside each other’s corona zones.
The US economy added a combined 7.5 million jobs in May and June. But the resurgence of the virus has slowed the recovery effort from a delta-force rescue mission to a bunch of divorced dads trying to fish their kids out of the ball pit.
Just under half of the jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered, though unemployment remains at a historic high of 10.2%.
“We’re in a pretty strong rebound,” David Berson, Nationwide chief economist, told the Wall Street Journal.
“But the downturn was so big—the hole that was dug was so deep—that it will still take probably at least a couple of years to dig ourselves out.”
Separately, a Cornell University survey found that 31% of Americans who went back to work were almost immediately fired.
In Other News
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Closing Data for Today
|S&P Index 500||$3,349.74||0.02%|
- The New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association seeking to dismantle the org. The NRA filed a countersuit.
- Overall US household debt decreased $34 billion in the second quarter, the first drop in six years.
- UPS plans to impose hefty surcharges on large shippers during the upcoming holiday season.
Editor, One Last Thing