looking Trump

Trump says looking at pressuring other Chinese companies after Bytedance – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he could exert pressure on more Chinese companies such as technology giant Alibaba (BABA.N) after he moved to ban TikTok.

Asked at a news conference whether there were other particular China-owned companies he was considering a ban on, such as Alibaba, Trump replied: “Well, we’re looking at other things, yes.”

Trump has been piling pressure on Chinese-owned companies, such as by vowing to ban short-video app TikTok from the United States. The United States ordered its Chinese owner ByteDance on Friday to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok within 90 days, the latest effort to ramp up pressure over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles.

Trump, who has made changing the U.S.-China trade relationship a central theme of his presidency, has been sharply critical of China while also praising its purchases of agriculture products such as soybeans and corn as part of a trade agreement reached late last year.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Richard Chang and Daniel Wallis

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looking Tencent

Why Tencent is looking to buy Warframe parent company Leyou – VentureBeat

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After rumors surfaced that Sony was considering acquiring Hong Kong gaming company Leyou Technologies, the focus is now shifting to Tencent. In a note to investors, Leyou confirmed that it is in talks with Tencent about an acquisition. The two companies agreed to terms on a three-month exclusive window for talks about Tencent taking Leyou private. This effectively ices out any other firm from acquisition talks — and that includes Sony and its PlayStation brand.

Leyou is an appealing acquisition target because it has a number of talented game-development studios. Most notably it owns Dirty Bomb developer Splash Damage and 97% of Warframe studio Digital Extremes. Splash Damage is also currently working with Microsoft on Gears Tactics and Google Stadia on an unannounced project. And it’s that capability to build modern service games for PC that makes Leyou so attractive.

“Tencent continues its global expansion efforts with acquisitions of studios that augment the company’s exposure in PC, mobile, and console development for China and for global markets,” Nike Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad writes in a note provided to GamesBeat. “Leyou owns a number of studios that have expertise in global online free-to-play game development for console and PC, an area that Tencent is actively exploring as it expands overseas.”

Tencent is huge in global mobile gaming. It’s the company that adapted PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for smartphones. But it wants to ensure it has a similar presence on PC. Leyou can unlock that.

Leyou’s studios could also benefit from a Tencent partnership

But the exchange of experience is a two-way street. While Leyou’s teams can bring deep insights into best-practices for live-service PC games, Tencent can also capitalize on Warframe and other properties on mobile.

“Tencent’s mobile expertise can also help studios under Leyou bring their titles to smartphones,” writes Ahmad. “Warframe is Leyou’s largest title, accounting for $175 million, or 80%, of revenue generated in 2019. The game is licensed by Changyou in China and is also available on [Tencent’s Steam-like] WeGame locally.”

With 60 million registered players, Warframe has already proved its capability to bring in players. Digital Extremes continues to prove the game’s longevity after growing in each concurrent year since 2013. Mobile could potentially add to those numbers in a significant way.

Finally, a Leyou acquisition would give Tencent exposure to some important properties.

“Leyou has numerous titles in development, including games based on popular IP such as Lord of the Rings and Transformers,” writes Ahmad. “That can help diversify revenues in the future.”

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looking reportedly

AT&T reportedly looking to sell Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment –

Take-Two, EA, Activision Blizzard among potential buyers for potential $4 billion purchase of division

AT&T is reportedly in talks to sell gaming division Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in a deal that may be worth around $4 billion.

According to CNBC, potential buyers include Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard, though nothing has yet been confirmed.

WBIE currently owns a number of studios including TT Games, Rocksteady Studios, NetherRealm Studios, Monolith Productions, Avalanche Software, and WB Games Boston, Montreal, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco, as well as the Portkey Games publishing label for games set in the Harry Potter universe. It also acquired mobile games communications platform Plexchat in 2018.

The division’s output includes franchises such as the Middle-earth, Mortal Kombat, and Scribblenauts series, as well as gaming properties that would presumably remain in WB’s possession in the event of a sale such as Batman: Arkham, Lego games connected to The Lego Movie, and Harry Potter.

It also partnered with IO Interactive last year for an unspecified multi-IP deal — though it does not appear to be publishing IO’s Hitman 3, which was announced yesterday.

AT&T acquired WBIE parent Time Warner in 2018.

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looking participants

NASA is looking for participants to isolate in a Russian lab for 8 months – CNN

(CNN)With people across the globe already in social isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic, why not get paid to do it?

NASA is seeking US citizens for an eight-month study on social isolation in preparation for missions to Mars and the moon. The research is being done to study the effects of isolation and confinement as participants work to complete simulated space missions.
Participants will be staying in a lab located in Moscow, and they will experience environmental aspects similar to those astronauts are expected to experience on future missions to Mars that will have crew members from different nations.
Not just anybody can apply, though.
NASA is looking for healthy individuals between the ages of 30 and 55 who are fluent in both English and Russian. They must also have a M.S., PhD., M.D. or have completed military officer training. NASA will consider other participants with a bachelor’s degree and other qualifications such as military or professional experience.
Participants will be compensated, and there are varying levels of pay depending on whether you’re associated with NASA.
This study builds on a four-month study conducted in 2019. The SIRIUS-19 analog mission had six participants — two Americans and four Russians — isolated in a metal habitat that acted as their spacecraft, lunar lander and home. NASA hopes to better understand how long spaceflight journeys and extended exposure to isolation and confinement will affect astronauts on upcoming Artemis missions and eventual trips to Mars.
Artemis is NASA’s program to land humans back on the Moon by 2024 in preparation for an eventual trip to Mars.
“Social isolation is a very important area for us to research,” said Thomas Williams, a scientist for the Human Factors and Behavioral Performance Element. “It is associated with higher levels of stress and affects physiological and psychological well-being.”
NASA hopes what they learn will lead to improved health and performance of astronauts that are traveling to the Moon and beyond.

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