World shares mixed…ByteDance CEO gives up post
BANGKOK (AP) – World shares are mixed today as Japan reports strong trade data signaling a recovery in demand from the pandemic. In early trading, Germany’s DAX gained 0.6%, the CAC 40 in Paris also rose 0.6% and Britain’s FTSE added 0.4%. In Asian trading, the Nikkei closed 0.2% higher. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng slipped 0.6% while Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.3%. Dow and S&P 500 futures both slipped 0.1%.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union’s executive arm has signed a third vaccine contract with Pfizer and BioNTech through 2023 for an additional 1.8 billion doses of their COVID-19 shots. The European commission says the deal will allow the buying of 900 million doses of the current shots and of a serum adapted to the virus’ variants, with an option to purchase an extra 900 million shots. To avoid delivery delays, the deal with Pfizer-BioNTech stipulates that the production of doses must be based in the EU and that essential components are sourced from the region.
UNDATED (AP) – Taiwan’s worst outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has grown, with a worrisome 63 new cases not having a clear connection to existing cases. The island raised its alert level this week and limited public gatherings. Schools are shut for two weeks, and many people are working from home. The island overall reports 286 new cases today that were transmitted domestically and more than 600,000 people are in quarantine because of exposure. Taiwan’s more than 1,000 cases recorded in the past week account for more than a third of the island’s pandemic total.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The top official of SolarWinds says the hackers who carried out the intrusion of his software company were in its network as early as January 2019. That’s months earlier than previously known. SolarWinds had previously traced the origins of the hack to the fall of 2019, but its president and CEO says the company now believes that hackers were doing “very early recon activities” as far back as the prior January.
BEIJING (AP) – The founder of TikTok’s Chinese owner is giving up his post as CEO to focus on longer-term initiatives, a step that comes amid uncertainty over whether the Biden administration will force the sale of the popular short video service’s U.S. arm. Zhang Yiming says Liang Rubo, a co-founder, will succeed him as ByteDance Ltd. CEO. ByteDance is waiting to find out whether the Biden administration will revive former President Donald Trump’s efforts to force the sale of TikTok’s U.S. arm as an alleged security risk.