More stimulus on the way
So far, it’s taken €16.5 trillion in economic stimulus from governments and central banks to keep the global economy going. Yet, even with promises of a coronavirus vaccine around the corner, it may take even more capital to keep the global economy from collapsing.
The European Union is awaiting approval of an €800 billion coronavirus recovery fund to take effect on January 1st, 2021. Meanwhile, United States President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to quickly push through another stimulus package in his country, which will likely inject €590 billion into the US economy. The hope is that these measures will help the Northern Hemisphere get through the winter and into 2021, when a coronavirus vaccine will be ready to distribute to the masses.
Google under scrutiny
Regulators in the United Kingdom are looking into Google’s advertising technology after claims that one of its new products will limit the information marketers can access. Google’s new Privacy Sandbox is set to launch soon and phase out third-party tracking cookies, a tool that web marketers have used to track user activity.
A group calling itself the Marketers for an Open Web (MOW) believes that Google is creating an unfair advantage by “threatening the open web model that is vital to the functioning of a free and competitive media and online economy.” MOW believes that this will only increase Google’s dominance and create an even greater competitive advantage.
Google struck back, saying the new product will increase user privacy while simultaneously supporting web-based publishers.
Ant no more?
After what was thought to be one of the largest initial public offerings (IPOs) in history, Ant Group had its public offering halted by Chinese regulators only two days before it was set to be released. The €29 billion IPO was nixed after the Chinese government announced it was not comfortable with Ant’s valuation and operation model.
According to Mark Mobius, founder of Mobius Capital Partners, the Chinese government was afraid of Ant becoming too big to control. “The Chinese government is waking up to the fact that they cannot allow these companies that dominate a particular sector and particularly the financial sector…I believe the Chinese government stepped in because they realized that they had to regulate these companies, so that they don’t … get too big,” said Mobius.
The news had a ripple effect on Chinese technology giants. Shares of Alibaba plummeted, as the Chinese technology behemoth owns one-third of the shares in Ant. But other Chinese-based companies like Tencent, Xiaomi, and JD.com all saw their stocks fall as much as 9% on the news.
Jeff Bezos invests in African fintech
With €25 million in funding secured from the likes of Jeff Bezos and other investors, Chipper Cash is preparing itself to change the African payments landscape. The mobile-based, zero-fee payments company already services seven countries in Africa and is likely to expand following this investment round. The company already has over 3 million users processing 80,000 transactions per day.
Besides its payment app, the company has a merchant-based product called Chipper Checkout, which helps businesses process transactions from social media, messaging, apps, and websites.
And that’s it for this month! Follow this space to stay on top of the must-know fintech news.