Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
Uber's Q4 earnings topped Wall Street expectations, and the company said it will be profitable sooner than expected. Uber said it plans t0 hit profitability by the end of 2020, and shares soared as much as 10% following the new timeline. Jeff Bezos used Instagram to take an apparent swipe at a senior Trump official who accused him of ducking an important meeting. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Bezos told him at a recent party that they would meet, and has since dodged him. SpaceX's COO reportedly said Elon Musk's internet-satellite business Starlink is "likely" going to spin off from SpaceX and go public. Starlink is "the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public," SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell reportedly said on Thursday. Amazon plans to create 15,000 jobs in Seattle suburb Bellevue. The company currently employs around 2,000 people in Bellevue, meaning the expansion would grow its total presence there more than eightfold. Embattled e-cigarette company Juul has raised $700 million in debt amid financial strain and regulatory pressure. Juul has been fighting off lawsuits, dealing with regulatory scrutiny, and adapting its business all while watching its valuation slide. Huawei filed a legal action against Verizon for alleged patent infringements. The suit is likely to exacerbate the tensions between Huawei and the US government, particularly in the light of Huawei's victory last month when the UK announced it would allow the tech giant to build some of its 5G network. Clearview AI, the controversial company building a searchable database of peoples' faces, is reportedly planning a "rapid international expansion" that includes countries with documented human rights abuses. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other platforms have sent cease-and-desist letters to Clearview AI instructing it to stop scraping peoples' images from their sites. A Pew study found LGBTQ adults are using dating apps nearly twice as much as straight adults. The results of the survey address the difficulties those in the LGBTQ community face in meeting people offline, whether that's due to a lack of queer spaces or queer visibility. TikTok reportedly waited nearly three hours to call police in Brazil after a teen's death was livestreamed on the platform, but the company notified its own PR team almost immediately. TikTok told Business Insider there was a "breakdown" in the process in which the company dealt with this video, and that it had since made changes to its review process, though it did not say what those changes are. Elon Musk made a dig at WhatsApp's recent security scandals in a tweet. A recent forensic analysis concluded that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked via a malicious link sent on WhatsApp.
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Amazon is launching a new marketplace in the Netherlands after seeing mixed results in its international business
Amazon plans to launch a new marketplace in the Netherlands later this year, Amazon confirmed in...Amazon plans to launch a new marketplace in the Netherlands later this year, Amazon confirmed in a blog post Wednesday after Business Insider reached out for comment. The Dutch marketplace would be Amazon's 16th global marketplace. The move shows Amazon's continued interest in expanding into overseas markets, although it's seen mixed results for its international business. Click here to read more stories on BI Prime Amazon is launching a new marketplace in the Netherlands later this year, as it looks to further expand its international presence, Business Insider has learned. Amazon has been reaching out to a group of US-based sellers in recent months to discuss the launch of a broader Dutch marketplace that sells a variety of consumer products, according to several merchants who spoke to Business Insider. That would be a change from Amazon's current Dutch site that only sells e-books. Merchants that sell on the new Dutch site would have access to Amazon's fulfillment service too, these people said. The move reflects Amazon's continued effort to expand globally, even as its international segment has seen mixed results in recent years. Its international business has shown slower growth lately, despite having invested billions of dollars in overseas markets. Last year, Amazon launched new marketplaces in the UAE and Singapore, but shuttered its service in China. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is visiting India this week, where he's pledged to invest an additional $1 billion after having spent roughly $7 billion in the region so far. India has been a challenging market for Amazon as local regulators have recently tightened restrictions on foreign marketplaces. After Business Insider reached out to Amazon for comment, the company published a blog post confirming the launch of the new Dutch marketplace. "We are really excited to be launching a more comprehensive shopping experience on Amazon.nl", Alex Ootes, Amazon's VP of EU Expansion, said in the blog post. Will Land, cofounder of Marketplace Valet, a consultant agency for online sellers, told Business Insider that Amazon's expansion into the Netherlands is primarily driven by the growing number of Dutch customers, who mostly order through Amazon's German and UK sites. "There's a lot of Dutch purchasing off of Amazon's European sites," Land said. One seller, who wanted to remain anonymous due to confidentiality agreements, said that the option to activate seller accounts on Amazon's Dutch site started showing up in recent weeks. The option appears alongside Amazon's other European marketplaces, including the UK, French, and German sites, according to a screenshot seen by Business Insider. Another seller said that Amazon reached out to discuss shipping details as US-based sellers need to figure out how to export their products to the Netherlands. It's unclear how many products or third-party sellers will be available on the Dutch marketplace. When Amazon launched its new UAE site last year, it started with roughly 10,000 sellers, while its marketplace in Singapore had a smaller seller base of just 500, according to a report by Marketplace Pulse. Amazon's US marketplace has roughly 3 million active sellers, the report said. Amazon first launched a Dutch site in 2014 that only sells e-books. In 2017, Amazon started offering Prime memberships and fast delivery to customers in the Netherlands through its German site. Amazon's first office in Amsterdam opened in 2018. Amazon currently has 15 marketplaces around the world, making the Dutch service its 16th globally. The US marketplace is by far the largest, but the marketplaces in the UK, Germany, and Japan are also big enough to require separate revenue disclosures. Amazon generated $65.9 billion from international markets in 2018, which accounted for roughly 28% of its total sales, according to company filings. But Amazon's international segment has seen a slowdown over the past year. The sales growth dropped to just 9% in the first quarter of 2019, before bouncing back to 18% in the third quarter, its most recent quarterly report. That's still lower than the 21% annual sales growth reported in 2018.SEE ALSO: Amazon had its worst stock performance in 3 years and lagged other tech giants in 2019 — here's what Wall Street thinks is ahead for the company this year Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How autopilot on an airplane works
Jeff Bezos says employee activists are wrong and Silicon Valley firms should feel comfortable doing business with the US military
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos threw his support behind the US Department of Defense on Friday, saying...Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos threw his support behind the US Department of Defense on Friday, saying big tech firms have a responsibility to collaborate with the military or else "this country is in trouble." Employee movements within big tech companies including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have been known to scupper big contracts with the Pentagon, the most high-profile being Google's abandoned military drone contract Project Maven. Bezos said it's the responsibility of management to push back against employee outrage towards military contracts. Amazon is currently appealing a Pentagon decision to award a $10 billion defense contract to Microsoft over Amazon. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos threw his weight behind the US Department of Defense on Friday, saying that unless big tech companies collaborate with the US military, "this country is in trouble." Bezos was being interviewed at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California, and brought the conversation round to the issue employee movements within big tech companies to block contracts with the military. "One of the things that's happening inside technology companies is there are groups of employees who for example think that technology companies should not work with the Department of Defense," said Bezos. The most notable example of this was Google's military drone contract Project Maven, which the company abandoned after intense employee backlash. "I think it's a really important issue, and people are entitled to their opinions, but it is the job of a senior leadership team to say no," said Bezos. "It's the senior leadership's team to say to people, 'Look, I understand these are emotional issues, that's okay and we don't have to agree on everything, but this is how we're going to do it. We are going to support the Department of Defense.' This country is important," he added. Amazon has also had its fair share of employee outrage for its work with government agencies. Amazon employees have petitioned the company's leadership to end its relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). So far these efforts have been unsuccessful. Bezos framed big tech's involvement with the military as a national security issue. "My view is if big tech is going to turn their backs on the Department of Defense, this country is in trouble. That just can't happen," Bezos said. "We are the good guys, I really believe that. And I know it's complicated, but do you want a strong national defense or don't you? I think you do," he added. Amazon is currently protesting a decision by the Pentagon to award a $10 billion cloud contract (called JEDI) to Microsoft rather than Amazon. Prior to Microsoft winning JEDI Amazon had been tipped as the company most likely to get the contract. Court documents unsealed last week showed Amazon is alleging anti-Amazon bias on the part of President Trump. You can watch the entire interview below: Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.SEE ALSO: Trump's beef with Jeff Bezos could give Amazon all the opening it needs to fight Microsoft on the $10 billion JEDI cloud deal Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: People are still debating the pink or grey sneaker, 2 years after it went viral. Here's the real color explained.