(Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. is teaming up with Walmart Inc. in a contest against Oracle Corp. to buy the U.S. assets of the popular video-sharing app TikTok from China’s ByteDance Ltd.Oracle and Microsoft, with its new partner, both submitted bids in a deal that could come within the week, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Walmart would also own a stake in a newly spun off TikTok business, alongside Microsoft, the people said.Competing offers have been made in what augurs the closing process of a deal, although it will take longer for final details to be worked out, one person said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.Walmart confirmed in an email that it is in “partnership” with Microsoft in its pursuit of TikTok, a move to bolster the retailer’s third-party marketplace and nascent advertising arm. A Walmart-Microsoft bid would “meet both the … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. will likely boost sales of its AirPods range by a third this year, but that won’t stop it from losing its dominant grip on the fast-growing wireless earbuds market.The AirPods have come to define the true wireless (TWS) earphones category, with Apple accounting for nearly half of all sales in 2019 and expected to grow to 82 million units this year, according to Counterpoint Research data. More affordable alternatives from Chinese rivals, however, have eroded Apple’s lead and the Silicon Valley company now finds itself with just over a third of the market, at 35%, followed by Xiaomi Corp. with 10% and Samsung Electronics Co. on 6%, according to the researchers.A growing contingent of specialized Chinese brands has emerged on the scene, with models such as the $90 Lypertek Tevi offering better fit and sound quality than AirPods at a lower price and the 1More True … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — It’s the hottest fintech in the world and it’s poised to go public in the coming months, unlocking vast riches for early investors and employees.Ant Group, the online payment provider backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed the prospectus for its initial public offering Tuesday, unveiling some of the people who stand to win big from the listing.The obvious one is Jack Ma, whose stake in Ant will be worth $25 billion if it achieves the $225 billion valuation people familiar with the matter have said it’s targeting. That could catapult him to among the world’s 10 richest people.Ant Chairman Eric Jing’s fortune will swell to $2.9 billion, and another 17 current and former Alibaba and Ant executives will join the ranks of billionaires, based on the ownership structure described in the prospectus.An Ant representative declined to comment on the calculations.Most of the billionaires, whose combined stake is … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Chinese buyers have not only stopped snapping up iconic overseas assets, the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the targets of deals that defined a headier era.Whereas some prolific acquirers such as HNA Group Co. and Anbang Insurance Group Co. began falling into disarray before the recent crisis, the impact on investments in sectors hit hardest by the outbreak means healthier owners are now feeling the pain.Conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. could soon see its 2015 investment in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group wiped out, while PizzaExpress, owned by private equity firm Hony Capital, said this month it’s likely to hand control of the British chain to creditors. Baggage handler Swissport International AG is also negotiating with investors over a rescue that could see HNA exit the cash-strapped firm it bought in 2015, Bloomberg News has reported. HNA is also among Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. shareholders set to lose everything after … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Tencent Holdings Ltd. jumped the most in a month after White House officials are said to have reassured American businesses that a ban on its WeChat app won’t be as broad as feared.The WeChat owner rallied 5.8% at the close in Hong Kong Monday, making it the best performer on the benchmark Hang Seng Index, after people familiar with matter said the Trump administration is privately seeking to reassure U.S. companies including Apple Inc. that they can still do business with Tencent’s WeChat messaging app in China. In recent days, senior administration officials have been reaching out to some companies, realizing that the impact of an all-out ban on the popular app could be devastating for U.S. technology, retail, gaming, telecommunications and other industries, according to the people.Read more: Trump Team Reassures Apple, Others on Using WeChat in ChinaCompany management earlier this month sought to reassure investors that … Read the rest