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FAANG Report: Google employees criticize plans for a 'censored' China search engine

Companies in the trenches against Amazon begin to fight back

Alphabet's Google is the world's biggest search engine

Hundreds of employees of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have written the company to protest plans to launch a "censored search engine" in China, according to a report by the BBC.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, quit China eight years ago in protest at government censorship. 

But reports emerged last month that Google had been secretively working on a new Chinese search engine which is referred internally as Dragonfly. The platform would block certain websites and search terms like human rights and religion, the report said.

Shares of Alphabet were down 1.3% at US$1,190.41.

READ: Netflix CFO steps down after more than seven years on the job

Companies that retailing behemoth Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) were thrashing are starting to fight back, with standout results being posted by Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) and Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) in the recent days, a CNBC report said.

CNBC said retail stocks that have been hammered by Amazon have begun to benefit from higher US consumer spending, tax cuts and job growth. Walmart reported strong sales and profits, with online sales climbing 40%.

Amazon shares were off by 1.2% to US$1,863.27.

An Australian teen from Melbourne hacked into Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) main computer network because he was a fan of the company and hoped to work with them, a report by Sky News said.

The 16-year old teen downloaded large internal files and accessed customer accounts, according to statements from his lawyer. He saved them in a folder named "hacky hack hack" as he appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the hacking.

Around 90 gigabytes of files were downloaded before the hack was traced and he was blocked. 

Apple shares were up 0.9% to US$215.17.

READ: Apple may find itself in crossfire of Trump's trade war with China, says report

Microtargeting by social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which allows ad buyers to identify and reach subsets of people, could be exploited to polarize and manipulate voters.

A report by the New York Times  said some government officials, researchers and advertising executives are calling for restrictions on its use in politics even after Facebook recently limited some of the targeting categories in response to criticism about the practice.

Facebook's massive reach, vast holdings of user data and easy to use advertising system have made it attractive for political microtargeting, the report said.

The company's shares were down 1.03% to US$172.90.

Kenya Barris, the creator of the hit television show "Black-ish", has signed a three-year deal with Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) so he will produce series exclusively for the company.

Variety said the US$100mln deal follows the departure of Barris from ABC over creative differences.

Netflix shares declined 2.2% to US$315.20.









Quick facts: Alphabet Inc

Price: 1339.33 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $920.5 billion

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