TikTok deal tests Microsoft’s decades of China experience

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Cindy Ord | Getty Images

More than two decades of efforts by Microsoft to put down roots in China may soon bring a partial pay-off, if it succeeds in steering through the purchase of TikTok’s US business.

But as relations between the US and China continue to deteriorate, the software company’s long-term bet on the Chinese market is also facing its most uncertain period yet.

Microsoft’s involvement in the Chinese tech world, dating from its creation of a research centre in Beijing in the late 1990s, has left it with important personal connections. Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance, the

Avengers video game beta impressions: Destiny, this ain’t

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Enlarge / Avengers, assemble. (All images from this article were captured from real PS4 Pro gameplay, so this is how the Avengers look in their new 2020 video game.)

Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix

After over a year of rumors, teases, and reveals, we have finally played the upcoming Avengers video game, slated to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on September 4. It’s arguably the biggest Avengers-themed game ever made, in part thanks to a massive effort by developers Crystal Dynamics (makers of the modern Tomb Raider trilogy). Many of you will soon get to play the

The challenges Microsoft faces in buying TikTok’s US arm

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Getty Images

Microsoft has said it wants to buy the US arm of TikTok, the Chinese viral short-video app that is in the crosshairs of regulators and the White House.

But a deal, which is likely to run to several billion dollars, faces myriad technical and political challenges and will have to satisfy Zhang Yiming, the app’s founder, his powerful investors both in China and the west, and the Trump administration.

Microsoft said it would aim to complete a deal by September 15, but in an internal letter to staff on Monday, Mr Zhang said the talks were “preliminary” and

After a splendid flight test, NASA now has a new ride to space

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Dragonship Endeavour is flying free, on its way back to Earth

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Enlarge / Crew Dragon backs away from the International Space Station on Saturday.

NASA TV

On Saturday evening the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, named Dragonship Endeavour, undocked from the International Space Station to begin its journey home.

The undocking came after NASA and SpaceX determined the spacecraft would find calm seas and light winds off the coast from the Florida Panhandle, in the Gulf of Mexico, on Sunday. This will be the first water landing for a U.S. spacecraft since 1975, when an Apollo capsule splashed down after the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

Electric car startup Lucid is challenging Tesla’s anti-lidar stance

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Electric car startup Lucid doesn’t like the phrase “Tesla killer,” but the comparison is hard to avoid. The company raised $1 billion from Saudi Arabia two years ago and is working on the Lucid Air, a high-end battery electric sedan reminiscent of Tesla’s Model S. Lucid is scheduled to officially unveil the car in September and begin selling it next year.

One area where Lucid is looking to differentiate itself from its more established electric rival is with its advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) called DreamDrive. Elon Musk has ambitious goals for Tesla’s Autopilot technology, but the company has struggled to

COVID-19 hospital data is a hot mess after feds take control

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Enlarge / Members of the medical staff treat a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since Texas reopened, pushing intensive-care units to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus spreads.

As COVID-19 hospitalizations in the US approach the highest levels seen in the pandemic so far, national efforts to track patients and hospital resources remain in shambles after the federal government abruptly seized control of data collection earlier this

Telegram files EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store

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Telegram, the messaging app, has become the latest company to file a formal antitrust complaint to the EU over Apple’s App Store.

In a complaint to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager, Telegram, which has more than 400 million users, said Apple must “allow users to have the opportunity of downloading software outside of the App Store.”

In June, Ms Vestager announced two antitrust investigations into Apple, one of which concerned the App Store. Apple’s conflicts with developers over the rules of the App Store have also escalated recently.

Both Spotify and Rakuten have previously complained to the EU that the

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