Global Business Daily: Silicon Valley divisions, Emirates cull, China's factories rebound
Daniel Harries

"Our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended his decision not to censor U.S. President Donald Trump's posts on the platform, in which he warned protesters: "When the looting starts the shooting starts." Twitter has placed a warning on several of Trump's posts, including the aforementioned threat, stating that it was "glorifying violence."

The varying approaches of Silicon Valley's biggest names comes days after Trump signed an executive order aimed at limiting the broad legal protections granted to social media companies. In essence, the order argues that if the social media companies restrict certain users on their platforms, the companies should be stripped of their legal immunity. 

The move could lead to a litany of defamation lawsuits and have potential knock-on effects for the untold number of businesses that rely on the platforms for marketing and revenue. 

Trump's posts were referring to the protests that have sprung up across the U.S. over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Small businesses as well as major retailers, including Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart, have closed stores due to the disruptions caused by the protests, which in some cases have led to looting. And Amazon announced it has suspended certain delivery routes to keep drivers safe.

Beyond the uprisings in the U.S., the COVID-19 outbreak continues to dominate business news. It's not all doom and gloom, though – read on to see how the pandemic could lead to a green revolution in UK personal transport and how China's manufacturing activity is slowly returning to pre-crisis levels. 
 

Happy reading, 

Daniel Harries

Digital correspondent 

P.S. Did you know we send this briefing by email, too? You can sign up to receive it here.

Dubai's long-haul carrier, Emirates, is axing an undisclosed number of employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit global aviation. It becomes the latest of several Middle-Eastern airlines to cull staff amid the crisis.

British manufacturers suffered a sharp downturn in May, albeit a less severe one than in April. The sector called for "radical" government support to help companies survive.

Clothing retailer Primark plans to reopen all 153 of its stores in England on 15 June as restrictions are eased.

Meanwhile, British fashion house Ted Baker plans to raise $118.4 million by selling new shares to help it ride out the crisis.

No tourists traveled to Spain in April because of the coronavirus lockdown, dragging income from the key sector down by just about half in the first four months of the year, the country's National Statistics Office announced.

British drugs maker AstraZeneca attained expanded regulatory backing for two medications, one for blockbuster cancer treatment Lynparza, in a development pipeline that now includes a possible coronavirus vaccine.

Nestlé will appeal a Dutch court's ruling that prohibits the Swiss food giant from selling its plant-based burgers in Europe under the "Incredible Burger" name, after a challenge from the U.S.-based Impossible Foods.

Turkish Airlines resumed limited domestic flights, restaurants welcomed sit-in customers and beaches and museums reopened as Turkey's broadest easing of coronavirus restrictions came into effect.

The Vatican will centralize its contracting and procurement procedures in a bid to cut waste and root out corruption, modernizing the Holy See's finances.

Lufthansa's supervisory board has approved a $10 billion government bailout that will force the German airline to give some of its prized landing slots to rivals.

 

The UK, which has the highest death toll from COVID-19 in Europe, is facing a prolonged period with little or no tourism. Now leaders in the sector, in a bid to galvanize the industry, are encouraging locals to visit nearby attractions and "live like tourists."

02:53

 

CGTN Europe's Razor team spoke to John Irving, the CEO of Aer Electric, an electric scooter rental business. Irving predicted micro-mobility transportation could be a part of a revolution in urban commuting. Hindrances, such as a ban in the UK, should be alleviated over time, he predicts. 

 

Why is there a ban on electric scooters in the UK? 

The ban, really it's to do with an old law relating to motorized driven, personal transport. Motorized driven transport requires insurance, it requires a license plate, it requires a large helmet motorcycle-type helmets. Which is why we now need this legislation to be passed here in the UK, so we can follow suit like has been done in France, in Italy, in Spain, in Germany.  

 

Why have you decided to pursue the ownership, rather than rental model? 

I think that if we imagine how the world is going to change post COVID-19, are we as likely to pick up a product that somebody else has had their hands on, not five minutes before? We're probably less likely to do that.

  

What is the future for micro-mobility? 

The introduction of cycle lanes and a proper part of the road for micro-mobility, this is going to change everything moving forward. It's very exciting now that that's starting to happen and it keeps the environment safer, it makes the rider feel safer, that they have their own part of the road, essentially. Bicycles and electric scooters are as much of a part of transportation going forward as any car or bus is. The reality is, that a post COVID world in transportation is a totally different world. You know, I've never seen the sky so blue and I'm not the only person. The lack of petrol motors on the highways has made a huge difference. And, actually, for the first time, rather than people talking about it, this is what's going to happen. We've seen it ourselves.

 

China's manufacturing activity expanded in May, although at a slow pace, according to figures from the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. While the majority of the country's factories have restarted since China was the center of the COVID-19 outbreak in February, the pandemic has damaged economies worldwide, depressing demand for Chinese exports. 

Source(s): AP ,Reuters