Tech’s downturn and two half hitches

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So goodbye H1 2022. Tech investors can look back on their losses in the first half of the year with concern.

It was the Worst in the US for S&P 500 companies in more than 50 years, with the index down 20.6 percent. However, the tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed it — down nearly 30 percent year-to-date. Rob Armstrongs Not protected Newsletter takes a look at the depressing half-time numbers.

The half ended with Micron Technology’s earnings. The memory chip manufacturer has already put a damper on the second half of the year – the forecast for the August quarter was well below Wall Street expectations. It forecast revenue of $7.2 billion, down 17 percent sequentially and an analyst consensus of $9.3 billion. Micron blamed flagging smartphone and PC sales, demand and supply issues in China, and increased inventories at its cloud computing customers.

On Thursday, The research firm Gartner said Global PC shipments are expected to fall 9.5 percent in 2022, and global cell phone shipments are expected to fall 7.1 percent.

“A perfect storm of geopolitical upheaval, high inflation, currency volatility and supply chain disruptions has sapped business and consumer demand for devices around the world and will hit the PC market the hardest in 2022,” said Ranjit Atwal, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner.

If anyone counted on crypto as a hedge for investing in H1, they were bitterly disappointed. What happened to the supposed zero correlation between crypto and traditional assets? asks Ian Taylor of the trade association CryptoUK. Bitcoin fell almost 60 percent in value for the first six months, the worst first half in history.

Our analysis suggests The crypto carnage has a silver lining: the broader financial system has been spared.

“This contagion did not extend to the traditional banking and financial sector,” Michael Hsu, the Acting Comptroller of the US Treasury, told the FT. “This is at least partly due to the continued and conscious emphasis on safety, soundness and consumer protection by federal bank regulators.”

The EU followed suit late Thursday. It struck a landmark deal to regulate trading in crypto assets on the bloc in an attempt to protect consumers and curb what lawmakers are calling the “wild west” financial markets.

The Internet of (Five) Things

1. Former Apple attorney admits to insider trading
A former top attorney at Apple responsible for enforcing insider trading policies pleaded guilty to insider trading in a program that spanned five years. Gene Levoff, previously co-chair of Apple’s Disclosure Committee, admitted to six counts of security fraud involving more than $14 million in deals he made between 2011 and 2016.

2. TikTok is working to address US security concerns
After President Trump tried to ban it, Chinese-owned social media app TikTok has sought to reassure US lawmakers about its data practices. In a letter to nine Republican senators, CEO Shou Zi Chew said the app was Working towards “Achieving a Final Agreement with the US government, which will fully protect US user data and US national security interests,” based on Oracle helping to ensure that all American user data is stored in the country.

3. Hong Kong exchange set to get Soul
Tencent-backed social media app Soul is vying for a listing in Hong Kong after abruptly executing a plan to sell shares in the US last year. The app allows users to choose avatars and interact in the metaverse, with many of its 32 million Chinese users flocking there to date.

4. Amazon qualifies for the Champions League
Amazon will start streaming European Champions League football matches in the UK from 2024 as the online retailer and video platform expands its live sports presence. The three-year deal announced on Friday reflects Amazon’s agreement with the English Premier League, in which it offered its Prime users a small number of games as part of their subscriptions.

5. Cisco’s bid to bring the digital city back to life
San Francisco is the “most extreme” case of workers not returning to a big city, says Professor Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economist. “Tech was already moving from afar,” he notes. Read Dave Lee about the post-Covid fate of the City by the Bay, part of our future of cities special report.

Tech Tools – Hisense’s new range of TVs

Cheap Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense appears to be entering the upscale market with its new range launching in the UK this month. The cheapest model to be announced is the £899,55 in U7HQ (pictured), which is part of its ‘mid-tier’ 4K TV offering. There is a game mode and U7H is the official TV of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hisense’s new flagship is the U8HQ with the catchy name. The 65-inch version costs £2,299 and uses mini-LED technology for backlight control and color management. There are also 100-inch laser TVs, launching for £3,999.

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