News digest 28.12.2020

Cyberpunk maker CD Projekt sued by investor over botched launch

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CD Projekt SA was sued by an investor who claims the company misled him about the potential of the error-plagued game whose botched release this month caused shares to dive.
The company’s American depositary receipts fell 25% in the three days after Cyberpunk 2077 was released on Dec. 10. They fell another 16% after Sony removed the game from its Playstation store on Dec. 18.

Google and Microsoft invest in TikTok rival, India’s Josh app

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Google and Microsoft joined an investment round of more than $100 million in VerSe Innovation Pvt, maker of India’s Josh short-video app and Dailyhunt news aggregator, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Sequoia Capital India are among VerSe’s other investors.
The company will explore potential moves beyond its home borders in other international markets that exhibit a need for vernacular content.

Alibaba's $10 billion buyback plan fails to halt stock slide as regulatory concerns mount

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Alibaba shares slumped 9% to their lowest since June on Monday, as the firm’s upsized $10 billion buyback programme failed to ease concerns about a regulatory crackdown on co-founder Jack Ma’s e-commerce and financial empire.
A sharp sell-off over two sessions has knocked almost $116 billion off the tech giant’s Hong Kong-listed shares.
The downward spiral intensified when Chinese regulators announced on Thursday the launch of an antitrust investigation into Alibaba and said they would summon its Ant Group affiliate to meet. Alibaba’s U.S. shares sank more than 15% during the day.

Jack Ma offered to hand over parts of his Ant Group to the Chinese government

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The offer, not previously reported, appeared a mea culpa of sorts from Mr. Ma as he found himself face to face with officials from China’s central bank and agencies overseeing securities, banking and insurance. The Nov. 2 meeting took place a few days before Ant was supposed to go public, in what would have been the world’s biggest initial public offering.
Mr. Ma had angered Beijing by lashing out in a speech in October at President Xi Jinping’s signature campaign to control financial risks, saying it stifled innovation. Now, the regulators had called the meeting to voice their concerns about Ant’s business model.

Epic Games Store now offers Spotify, signaling app store ambitions beyond just games

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Spotify is now available on the Epic Games Store, signaling developer Epic’s ambitions to turn what has so far been strictly a games store into a more general app distribution platform.
The Spotify app is free to download on the Epic Games Store, just like it is on the App Store, Google Play, or as a direct download for your PC or Mac.
Spotify’s availability on the Epic Games Store arrives as Epic is in prolonged legal battles with Apple and Google over the business models of each company’s respective app store.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla ban Kazakhstan's MitM HTTPS certificate

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Browser makers Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, have banned today a root certificate that was being used by the Kazakhstan government to intercept and decrypt HTTPS traffic for residents in the country's capital, the city of Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana).
The certificate had been in use since December 6, 2020, when Kazakh officials forced local internet service providers to block Nur-Sultan residents from accessing foreign sites unless they had a specific digital certificate issued by the government installed on their devices.

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