Briefing

China Considers Easing Rules on Electric Vehicles

(Wall Street Journal)

China’s considering exempting makers of electric vehicles from a rule that requires foreign carmakers to partner with local companies. China is already the world’s biggest car market and is pushing aggressively to go electric. Makers like Tesla could benefit if they’re allowed to set up factories in tariff-free zones. They’d still be subject to high import tariffs for any cars sold in China, but that beats shipping from the U.S. –Shai


Facebook Stock Tumbles Amid Political Trouble

(The Information)

Facebook’s stock dropped 4.5% to $162.87 a share Monday, the biggest single-day slide after more than a week of bad news left executives on the defensive. The latest election-related news that hit recently came from the Washington Post, which reported that Barack Obama urged CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take seriously Facebook’s role in Donald Trump’s election. Investors may also have been reacting to Mr. Zuckerberg dropping plans Friday to create a new class of stock. On the political side, each incremental story probably doesn’t matter much here. The bigger picture is Facebook isn’t likely to see much reprieve from questions in Washington or Brussels about the responsibilities it has over the content on its platform—a revelation that could hurt Facebook’s value over time. –Cory


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Instagram Says it Now Has 800 Million MAUs

(TechCrunch)

Instagram has been claiming torrid user growth over the past 18 months. The jump from 700 million to 800 million monthly users took four months, which was roughly the same amount of time for it to gain the last 100 million. It’s hard not to look at these numbers in the context of Snap given the direct business and product rivalry playing out between the two firms. But interestingly, Instagram didn’t break out the number of people using Stories, which has been its user metric to compare directly against Snap. That raises the question of whether the growth of Instagram Stories has flatlined. Also, it would be valuable to know where these new users are coming from and how old they are. That’s all much more relevant to advertisers than bulk MAU figures. –Tom


Uber CEO Apologizes After London Ban

(Evening Standard)

A newly contrite Uber was on display on Monday, as the company revved up its image campaign days after it was told it would lose its operating license in London. New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologized, on behalf of everyone at the company, for past mistakes, and promised to do better. “While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it’s true that we’ve got things wrong along the way.” The apology seem to mollify London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who asked the city’s transportation regulator to meet with the Uber boss. Meanwhile, Uber was forging ahead with its appeal of the ban.. –Wendy