Silicon Valley Pay Cuts Ignite Tech-Industry Covid-19 Tensions

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Tech workers fleeing the San Francisco Bay Area to work remotely amid the pandemic are facing a new reality: pay cuts.

Over the past several months, Covid-19 has shaken traditional notions of where employees can work. In Silicon Valley, which has a relatively high cost of living and an employee base with access to state-of-the-art remote-work tools, companies are devising plans for a future with decentralized staffs. In some cases, changes can include cutting salaries by 15% or more depending on where someone moves.

The nascent pay-cut movement stands to create tension between some of the most profitable companies in the world and skilled employees who enjoy high salaries.

Companies point out that changing pay based on the local cost of living is standard practice for many organizations, including the federal government—with decisions to raise or lower salaries related to housing costs and other factors. Letting someone take a San Francisco salary to Wyoming could be considered unfair to present and future remote hires in cheaper cities who might receive a lower wage.

But Silicon Valley companies have spent years going beyond standard corporate norms to endear themselves to their workers. In an era where companies rain free food, massages and yoga studios on their software engineers, the cold rationality of geography-based pay risks alienating employees used to being courted.

“If anyone should be standing up for high pay, equal pay and great talent, it should be these companies—I find it to be pretty hypocritical,” said Jason Fried, chief executive of Basecamp LLC, a Chicago-based maker of workplace software that has a remote workforce. Tech companies are so profitable they can easily afford to do what is right, he said. “You’re hiring a person and the skills they bring.”

In May,

Facebook Inc.


FB 0.26%

said it was shifting toward

Tensions and insults in the battle for Florida lay bare America’s divisions | World news

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If you wanted a symbol for Donald Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican party, you could do little better than a nondescript shopping mall on the outskirts of Largo in west Florida.

This is a usually quiet intersection in Florida’s quintessential bellwether county, Pinellas, which has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1980 (bar the disputed 2000 race won by George W Bush).

But eight months ago Cliff Gephart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter and local entrepreneur, transformed a vacant lot – formerly a strip club – into a thriving coffee shop devoted to the president. Business at Conservative Grounds is roaring, despite the pandemic, with hundreds and, they claim, occasionally over a thousand customers, dropping by each day for a cup of coffee, a chat about politics and to purchase from a plethora of Trump themed merchandise. No-one is social distancing or wearing a facemask.


Troubled Florida, divided America: will Donald Trump hold this vital swing state? – video

In 2016, the narrative of the so-called “secretive Trump voter” went part of the way to explaining the billionaire property magnate’s unexpected pathway to the White House. But now, in Pinellas as in many parts of the country, Trump supporters are out in force, unafraid, empowered and organised.

Every section inside this place is designed for social media posting – there’s a second amendment wall filled with decommissioned firearms, a gumball machine stocked with spent ammunition (it doesn’t vend), and a coffee machine decorated with slurs against Democrats. At the back is a scaled reproduction of the Oval Office itself, complete with a replica Resolute Desk, cardboard cutouts of the President and first lady, and a Martin Luther King bust, wearing a red Trump 2020 cap.

I ask Gephart, a heavily built, stubbled 50-year-old, whether he thinks

Tech tensions with China will stay even if Biden wins

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Sheldon Cooper | LightRocket | Getty Images

Tensions around technology will remain between the U.S. and China, even if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the U.S. election in November, according to an analyst.

Ties between the two economic giants have steadily worsened this year, as Washington increasingly targets Chinese tech giants from phone maker Huawei to video-sharing app TikTok. The Trump administration says Huawei and other Chinese technology companies could collect American user data and hand them over to Beijing, a claim both Huawei and TikTok have denied. 

“Imagine a scenario where Biden becomes president, I don’t think on the technology issues … (they) are going to go away in any meaningful manner,” said Taimur Baig, chief economist and managing director at DBS Group Research. “It may be less volatile, it may be more rules based, but the tensions will remain.”

In early August, President Donald Trump banned any U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. Tencent owns popular Chinese messaging app WeChat and Bytedance is the parent company of TikTok.

I don’t think the U.S. elections outcome per se makes things infinitely better for China. It probably makes it a little less volatile.

Taimur Baig

chief economist and managing director, DBS Group Research

The U.S. last week reportedly imposed restrictions on exports to China’s biggest chip maker SMIC, citing risks that equipment supplied to the firm could be used for military purposes, according to a letter from the U.S. Commerce Department dated last Friday.

“So I don’t think the U.S. elections outcome per se makes things infinitely better for China. It probably makes it a little less volatile,” Baig reiterated, speaking to CNBC on Monday.

Relations between Washington and Beijing took a turn for the worse in 2018, when the Trump administration imposed billions of

U.S.-China tech tensions won’t go away even if Biden wins election, analyst says

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  • In the technology arena, ties have steadily worsened this year as Washington increasingly targets Chinese tech giants from Huawei to TikTok.
  • “Imagine a scenario where Biden becomes president, I don’t think on the technology issues … are going to go away in any meaningful manner. It may be less volatile, it may be more rules based, but the tensions will remain,” said Taimur Baig, chief economist and managing director at DBS Group Research.





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Tensions around technology will remain between the U.S. and China, even if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the U.S. election in November, according to an analyst.

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Ties between the two economic giants have steadily worsened this year, as Washington increasingly targets Chinese tech giants from phone maker Huawei to video-sharing app TikTok. The Trump administration says Huawei and other Chinese technology companies could collect American user data and hand them over to Beijing, a claim both Huawei and TikTok have denied. 

“Imagine a scenario where Biden becomes president, I don’t think on the technology issues … (they) are going to go away in any meaningful manner,” said Taimur Baig, chief economist and managing director at DBS Group Research. “It may be less volatile, it may be more rules based, but the tensions will remain.”

In early August, President Donald Trump banned any U.S. transactions with Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance. Tencent owns popular Chinese messaging app WeChat and Bytedance is the parent company of TikTok.

The U.S. last week reportedly imposed restrictions on exports to China’s biggest chip maker SMIC, citing risks that equipment supplied to the firm could be used for military purposes, according to a letter from the U.S. Commerce Department dated last Friday.

“So I don’t think the U.S. elections outcome per se makes things

Japanese chipmaker Kioxia delays IPO amid US-China tensions

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Kioxia had planned to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 6 October. Photo: Getty
Kioxia had planned to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 6 October. Photo: Getty

The world’s second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, Kioxia is considering delaying Japan’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) as tensions between the United States and China ramp up.

Earlier this month, the company which spun out of Toshiba Corp (TOSBF) in 2018, set a tentative price range for an IPO in Tokyo to raise as much as $2.9bn (£2.3bn).

Toshiba has retained roughly 40% of Xioxia, with the rest held by a group of Japanese, US and South Korean investors.

The Japanese chipmaker was due to reveal its final pricing on Monday, instead Xioxia’s board is reportedly meeting on Monday to discuss its options, according to the Financial Times.

Kioxia had planned to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JPXGY) on 6 October, at a valuation of more than $14bn. The company warned tighter restrictions could cause memory chip oversupply and drive down market prices.

The company was previously caught in the crosshairs of the US-Sino trade war after Trump imposed tighter restrictions on its client Huawei. Trump’s move sent Huawei’s relations with other countries in a downward spiral, including with the UK, which has banned the Chinese company from building its 5G network.

On Friday, the US commerce department imposed sanctions on China’s biggest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), warning exporters that there is an “unacceptable risk” equipment supplied to SMIC could be used for military purposes.

The export controls require suppliers of certain SMIC equipment, to apply for individual export licences.

SMIC (SMICY), a key producer of components used in smartphones and other devices, has denied receiving any formal notices from the US government, and it has also rejected it has ties with the Chinese military.

READ MORE: China targets foreign