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TikTok executive falls short on China questions

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TikTok’s Chief Operating Officer has faced questions over whether or not the company hands data to China

Vanessa Pappas has become the first TikTok executive to answer questions from lawmakers about the company’s alleged ties to Beijing.

Pappas was facing members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

U.S. officials asked whether TikTok shares data with the Chinese Government. But Pappas was unable to confirm whether the company shares data, and if it can cut off its information-sharing.

“ByteDance is founded in China, but we do not have an official headquarters as a global company,” she said.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is based in China.

The popular video-sharing platform has faced a series of probes by U.S. authorities, including by former President Donald Trump who placed an executive order to limit unspecified “transactions” with the Chinese owners of the app.

“I’m concerned that you’re not able to answer the question, except to say that you will not make the commitment to cutting off this data to China,” Senator Rob Portman said during the hearing.

“We also have very strict access controls around the type of data that they can access and where that data is stored, which is here in the United States. And we’ve also said under no circumstances would we give that data to China.”

VANESSA PAPPAS, TIKTKOK CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

The executive maintained the Chinese Government “in no way, shape or form—period” has control over TikTok’s corporate policies.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property

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Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation

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Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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