HBO Max Plans Global Expansion: Live Updates

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League is among the movies available on HBO Max, with AT&T planning to expand its streaming service.Credit…Warner Bros. Photos

HBO Max is going global.

The new streaming platform, which is currently only available to subscribers in the US, will launch in 61 other markets starting in June.

At the same time, the company plans to launch an ad-based streaming service in the United States. The announcements were made Friday as part of a broader presentation outlining a series of goals for AT&T, which owns HBO.

The company hopes to reach 120 to 150 million customers for Max HBO and its traditional HBO TV channel by the end of 2025, a more ambitious goal than its previous target of 75 to 90 million.

The company also expects to have between 67 and 70 million customers by the end of 2021. At the end of December, that number was 61 million, but the number of people actually watching HBO Max is much lower. There are about 41.5 million customers in the U.S., of which about 17.2 million have an HBO Max account. This suggests that not all the new subscribers the company is targeting will necessarily be HBO Max users.

The company has a complex structure around HBO Max. People can subscribe to the service directly, and those who have already paid for a premium channel through their cable or satellite provider will also have access, but not everyone has their account set up for streaming. The service is also available for free or at a discounted rate to AT&T mobile customers.

The jump to international markets shows how aggressive AT&T needs to be to grow its streaming business. The addition of this ad service means that the company sees an opportunity to capture ad dollars that are moving away from traditional television. It’s not yet clear if the promotional version will be free or only available at a discount from the current $15 per month cost of HBO Max.

Jason Kilar, chief executive of WarnerMedia, the division that runs HBO, said the service should start making money after 2025. He added that revenue this year is expected to be around $15 billion.

HBO Max has become an important part of AT&T’s overall strategy to retain and expand its mobile customer base. So losing money is not an immediate problem if it helps AT&T retain its key mobile customers. Kilar emphasized Max HBO’s value to the phone industry, noting that 25 percent of Max HBO’s customers go through AT&T.

He ended his presentation with a recording from the Warner Bros. film archives: This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

A survey of union members at Amazon’s distribution center in Bessemer, Ala… Linsey Weatherspoon for the New York Times.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida became the most prominent Republican leader to participate in the union campaign at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, with surprising support for unionization Friday.

The days when conservatives were taken for granted by the business community are over, Rubio wrote in an article published in USA Today.

Here’s my standard: If there is a conflict between American workers and a company whose management has decided to wage a culture war against working class values, the choice is simple – I support the workers, he continued. And that’s why I’m with them today at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer.

More than 5,800 workers at Amazon’s warehouse outside Birmingham are holding a postal vote this month to decide whether to join the alliance of retailers, wholesalers and department stores. Last week, President Biden posted a video message on Twitter referencing the Alabama vote, talking about the importance of unions in building the middle class and how they encourage employers to get involved in union efforts. He did not name Amazon, but his comments follow reports that the online retailer is using aggressive anti-union tactics.

Rubio, who recalled attending a union strike vigil with his father, a bartender at a hotel, accused Amazon of propagating soft values by bowing to Chinese censorship. And he warned the company not to expect Republicans to come to its aid and tolerate its anti-union efforts.

His staff rightly suspects that his management does not have their best interests at heart, Rubio writes. The rich have woken up CEOs and treat them more like cogs in a machine that constantly prioritizes global profits and fuels culture wars on the cheap. The company’s employees deserve better.

Target will cease operations at its City Center building in downtown Minneapolis and transfer 3,500 employees…Credit…Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The downtown Minneapolis-based Target is giving up space in a large office building, becoming the latest company to routinely allow employees to spend more time at home.

The retailer has informed its employees that it will cease operations at the City Center building in downtown Minneapolis. The 3,500 employees who work there will move to other offices nearby and will work some of their hours from home. More than a quarter of Target’s Minneapolis employees work in the Civic Center building.

The move is driven by Target’s long-term vision for its headquarters, which will include a hybrid model of remote and on-site operations that allow for flexibility and collaboration and ultimately require less space, the company said Thursday.

Office landlords across the country are struggling to retain tenants as the pandemic continues and companies find that their employees can work effectively in remote locations. Vacant office buildings weigh down the city’s budget, which relies heavily on property taxes.

Salesforce, a San Francisco-based software company, has adopted an agile model where most employees come into the office one to three days a week. Arguing that more people will work from home once the pandemic passes, Salesforce acquired work software company Slack in December.

After the move, Target says it will still occupy about 3 million square feet of office space in the Minneapolis area.

It’s not easy to say goodbye to Center City, but the Twin Cities is still our home after all these years, said Melissa Kremer, human resources manager, in an email to Target employees.

Microsoft offices in Beijing. Microsoft owns LinkedIn, which operates in China and abides by the authoritarian government’s strict internet restrictions.Credit…Wu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

LinkedIn has stopped creating new membership accounts in China while ensuring that its services in the country remain compliant with local laws, the company said this week, without specifying what prompted it to do so. A spokesman for the company declined to comment further.

Unlike other global Internet backbones like Facebook and Google, LinkedIn offers a version of its service in China, which it can do while remaining silent about the authoritarian government’s tight control over cyberspace.

It officially censors its Chinese users by default. This limits certain tools, for example B. The ability to create or join groups. The company has transferred part of its operations in China to local investors.

In 2017, the company banned individuals, but not companies, from posting jobs on its website in China after it violated government regulations requiring identity verification for people posting jobs.

The context for blocking new user registrations is unclear. The government has already blocked internet services it deemed to be in violation of the law. Microsoft’s search engine Bing was briefly unavailable in China in 2019 for unknown reasons. Microsoft also owns LinkedIn.

Endurance electric pickup truck from Lordstown Motors. The investment company argued that the company had overstated the number of orders for its vans. Credit…Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Shares in electric car startup Lordstown Motors fell more than 19 percent on Friday after the investment firm said the company had inflated orders for its vans and overstated its technology and production capacity.

The revelations are the latest to cast doubt on the promise of the electric car company, which went public through a merger with a shell company with no listing, no cash and no operations. Lordstown, which gained fame by buying the former General Motors plant in Ohio to produce electric trucks for commercial users, completed the merger with a shell company and went public in October 2020.

In a lengthy post on its website, investment firm Hindenburg Research said that the 100,000 pre-orders Lordstown announced for the electric pickup included tens of thousands of applications from small businesses that don’t operate fleets and others that have simply agreed to consider purchasing trucks but have not yet committed to doing so. Mr. Hindenburg said he had bet against Lordstown’s stock by selling his shares short, a maneuver used by some professional investors when they think the stock is overvalued and could fall.

Our conversations with former employees and business partners and a thorough examination of documents show that the company’s orders are largely fictitious and used as a cover to attract capital and legitimize themselves, Hindenburg said.

A Lordstown spokesman said the company is working on a response to the report.

A company that Lordstown says is about to buy 14,000 trucks, E Squared Energy, appears to be based in a Texas apartment, has two employees and does not own the vehicles. Hindenburg also found a police report showing that the Lordstown prototype caught fire and caught fire during a test drive in Michigan in January.

On Friday morning, Lordstown shares were trading at just over $14 per share, compared to a closing price of $17.71 a day earlier.

Former President Donald J. Trump hosted Lordstown in 2018 when the company agreed to buy the General Motors-closed plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and former Vice President Mike Pence attended the unveiling of the company’s truck in June. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Trump hosted Lordstown CEO Steve Burns at the White House in September and praised the company’s technology.

Hindenburg Research gained notoriety last year when it published a report alleging that Nicola, an electric car startup, and its CEO Trevor Milton had misled investors and exaggerated the capabilities of the company’s technology. These revelations led to Mr. Milton’s departure from Nicola and prompted General Motors to reduce its partnership with the company.

Nicola denied some of Hindenburg’s allegations, but recently admitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Milton had made inaccurate statements, in whole or in part.

Simon Hu, CEO of Ant Group, at a conference in Shanghai in September. Mr Hu asked to resign for personal reasons, the company said. linked to credit Chang Leng/Reuters.

The CEO of Chinese internet finance giant Ant Group has resigned, the company announced Friday. The move is part of a redesign of the company to address regulators’ concerns about its rapid growth.

Ant said his chief executive officer, Simon Hu, had asked to resign for personal reasons. The Company’s President, Eric Jing, has been appointed as Mr. Hu’s successor with immediate effect. Mr Jing, who remains chairman of Ant, previously served as executive director until December 2019, when Mr Hu took over.

Hundreds of millions of people in China use Ant’s Alipay app to make daily payments, manage their savings and make purchases on credit. Ant, which was spun off from e-commerce giant Alibaba, has come under heightened scrutiny from the Chinese government, which last year thwarted the company’s plans to go public in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The company was poised to raise more than $34 billion through an IPO in November, which would have been the largest IPO in its history. Instead, days before the start of trading in Ant shares, Chinese authorities summoned the company’s executives, namely Messrs Hu and Jing and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, to discuss regulatory issues. I.P.O. was disbanded shortly after financial regulators alleged that Ant abused loopholes in Chinese regulations.

Mr. Hu joined Alibaba in 2005 and served as president of the company’s cloud division from 2014 to 2018. That same year, he joined Ant as president and became CEO in 2019. Mr. Jing, also a veteran of Alibaba, has been the executive chairman of Ant since April 2018. Both are members of the Alibaba Partnership, the company’s elite management partner club.

A banner from South Korean retailer Coupang hung outside the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, the day the company’s shares began trading…Credit…Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange, via Associated Press

Shares of Coupang, the South Korean startup also called the Amazon of South Korea, fell Thursday after its initial public offering in New York.

Coupang, the name of the company – a mix of the English word coupon and pang, the Korean word for jackpot success – was founded by a young Harvard Business School graduate and has disrupted shopping in South Korea, an industry long dominated by giant button conglomerates.

The IPO raised $4.6 billion and valued Coupang at about $85 billion, the second-highest valuation for an Asian company in the U.S. after China’s Alibaba Group in 2014. Coupang shares rose 6.6% in early Friday trading, but surged throughout the morning.

Coupang is South Korea’s largest e-commerce retailer, whose status is compounded by people stranded at home during the pandemic and people wanting faster delivery. In a country where people are obsessed with ppalli ppalli, or quick deals, Coupang has become a household name. Coupang offers next day, or even same day and early morning delivery of food and millions of other items at no extra cost.

U.S. stocks fell Friday, while the S&P 500 rebounded from Thursday’s record high and bond yields rose again.

Around noon, the S&P 500 was down about a quarter of a percent, while the Nasdaq Composite was down about 1 percent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose 9 basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 1.63%, a significant jump.

President Biden promised Thursday that all adults will be able to vote within a year. May may be vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine, indicating a possible return to normal during the summer. As new businesses and services are opened, companies must also consider the impact of Mr. Biden’s nearly $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the U.S. bailout he signed Thursday, is taking its toll. It includes a new round of direct payments to American taxpayers, with checks up to $1400, and even more money for state and local governments and industries, including airlines.

But so much good news also fuels fears of inflation, or that central banks are beginning to wind down the stimulus measures that have helped keep asset prices high.

Rising interest rates and tighter central bank policies are now seen as the biggest threat to so-called risk assets, mainly equities, according to a Bank of America survey of fund managers.


  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3%, while the FTSE 100 Index in the UK rose 0.4%.
  • Data released on Friday showed that the British economy shrank 2.9% in January as the country goes on its third lockdown, closing schools and exiting the European Union’s single market and customs union. Separate data for the same month showed the largest monthly decline in trade since measurements began in 1997. Exports to the EU fell by 40% and imports by almost 30%. Some of this decline was due to stockpiling at the end of last year, but many companies have struggled to comply with new customs requirements.

Shoppers line up Saturday at a shopping center in Southaven, Miss. Many Americans will benefit from the new economic bailout. With credit from Rory Doyle for The New York Times.

The economic assistance plan on President Biden’s desk has been called the most ambitious poverty reduction initiative in the United States in a generation. But the $1.9 trillion package also has benefits for the middle class.

According to an analysis published this week by the Tax Policy Center, middle-income families – those with incomes between $51,000 and $91,000 a year – would see their after-tax income increase by 5.5 percent as a result of the tax changes and incentives in the legislation. That’s about double what this income category received from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Here are some of the ways the legislation will help the middle class.

Direct cheques

Americans receive incentive checks up to $1,400 per person, including family members.

Benefits are reduced for individuals earning more than $75,000 and for married couples earning more than $150,000. And they are reduced for people earning $80,000 or more and couples earning more than $160,000. These thresholds are lower than in previous support laws, but they will still be one of the main benefits for those firmly in the middle class.

Tax benefits for parents

The most significant change is the child tax credit, which is increased from $2,000 to $3,600 per child under six years of age. The refundable credit for those with low tax bills is $3,000 per child for children ages 6 to 17.

This year’s legislation also strengthens tax credits for parents to subsidize the cost of child care. The current credit ranges from 20% to 35% of eligible expenses, with a maximum of $2,100 for two or more eligible individuals. The amount of the tax is $8,000 for an eligible person. The total cost of the project is $500,000 for two or more people.

Cheaper health insurance

After four years of being kept alive, the Affordable Care Act will be expanded, greatly rewarding individuals and families with middle incomes, as individuals and families at the lower end of the income scale are generally eligible for Medicaid.

Because the welfare law expands subsidies for purchasing health insurance, a 64-year-old earning $58,000 would see his or her monthly payments drop from $1,075 to $412 under current law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Retirement rescue

One of the most controversial provisions of the bill is the $86 billion. The $8.5 million for the creation of bankrupt community pensions. It involves a taxpayer bailout for some 185 union pension plans that are so close to collapse that without a bailout, more than a million truck drivers, retailers, construction workers and other retirees could be forced to give up their retirement income.

The legislation gives the most vulnerable schemes enough money to pay hundreds of thousands of pensioners their full pensions over the next 30 years.

A training vessel contracted by ExxonMobil off the coast of Guyana in 2018. The temptation to produce more as prices rise has not completely disappeared, especially for countries like Guyana that want to produce as much oil as possible while it is still valuable. linked to credit Christopher Gregory for The New York Times.

Although they are making more money from higher oil and gasoline prices, industry leaders promised at a recent energy conference that they would not significantly increase production. They also promised to reduce debt and distribute more profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.

I think the worst thing that can happen now is that U.S. manufacturers start flying out again, said Ryan Lance, president and CEO of ConocoPhillips, speaking at IHS CERAweek.

Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer of Pioneer Natural Resources, a major producer in Texas, predicted that U.S. production will stagnate at 11 million barrels a day this year, up from 12.8 million barrels just before the pandemic assumed threatening proportions.

Even the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and associated producers like Russia surprised many analysts this month by not putting several million barrels of oil on the market, reports Clifford Krauss of the New York Times. Thirteen OPEC members and nine partners are pumping about 780,000 barrels of oil a day less than at the beginning of the year, even though prices have risen 30% in recent months.

Chevron said this week that it will spend $14 billion to $16 billion annually through 2025 on capital projects and exploration. That’s several billion dollars less than the company spent in the years leading up to the pandemic, when it focused on producing the cheapest barrels.

So far, they’re not biting, says Raul LeBlanc, vice president of IHS Markit, a research and consulting firm. But he added that US officials’ investment decisions could change if oil prices rise much higher. It is too early to say that this discipline will continue.

Copper in Southaven, Miss. It seems almost certain that spending will rise in the coming months as vaccinations force Americans to liquidate their savings….. Rory Doyle for the New York Times.

As the Biden administration’s stimulus bill, which would pump nearly $1.9 trillion into American households, made its way through Congress, some politicians and economists began to worry about the bill’s ability to combat a long-lost monster: inflation.

This anxiety reflects the expectation of rapid economic growth as businesses reopen and the pandemic subsides. According to a report by Nelson Schwartz and Jeanne Smialek of the New York Times, millions of people are still unemployed and layoffs remain high. But for workers with permanent jobs, an increase in spending seems almost certain in the coming months, as vaccinations force Americans to hit the road and use the savings they’ve accumulated over the past year.

Countries with healthy economies tend to have small price increases, which allows companies to raise wages and gives the central bank more room to cut interest rates in difficult times.

In the longer term, inflation can be a problem because it erodes the value of many financial assets, including stocks and bonds. It makes everything from milk to bread to gasoline more expensive for consumers so they can’t rebound when wages fall. And once inflation takes root, it will be hard to suppress.

Inflation is expected to pick up in the coming months as prices are set against last year’s weak performance. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the consumer price index to rise 2.9 percent year-on-year between April and June, fall to 2.5 percent in the next three months and then decline gradually to an annual rate of 2.2 percent in 2022, according to the median forecast.

But these figures bear no resemblance to the dizzying price increases of the 1970s, and so far there are few signs of an upturn in inflation.

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