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Breakfast Briefing: Amazon Payments, Musk’s Plan & Intel’s Options

Musk Prioritises Pedestrians

Elon Musk has said that his Boring Company will prioritise cyclists and pedestrians over motorists.

Editor’s Remarks:  Writing on Twitter, Musk announced that in the interest of fairness, those who cannot afford cars will be priority passengers on his new tunnelling loop. So far, Musk has released a video that demonstrates how the tunnel will utilise sleds to carry cars at up to 200km/h. However, a video released last Friday showed how the tunnels could be fitted with new carriages that could carry groups of people much like current underground trains. The Boring Company has secured a permit to build a tunnel between Baltimore and Washington but so far has not started construction.

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Amazon Pushes into Payments

Amazon is looking into developing its own payment systems to slash costs across its platform. 

Editor’s Remarks: The move is bad news for card payment processors such as Visa, MasterCard and Stripe, and, according to Bain, will save Amazon over $250m each year. Amazon is said to have entered discussions with banks in order to develop native Amazon “bank accounts” that will then use the bank-owned ACH network in order to process customer payments on the Amazon store. The plan is expected to be particularly popular amongst millennials who are constantly looking for easier payments options and those who lack access to credit cards.

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Intel Contemplates Broadcom Bid

Intel is considering buying Broadcom as a reaction to the company’s bid for Qualcomm.

Editor’s Remarks: Intel, the world’s second-largest chipmaker after Samsung, is closely watching Broadcom’s $117bn takeover bid for Qualcomm. The company announced that it has not ruled out buying Broadcom in response to the controversial takeover, in order to maintain its position in the marketplace. No takeover discussions have taken place yet and the move is considered unlikely on balance but Broadcom shares jumped over 8% on the news. The company currently has a market cap of $104bn and its bid for Qualcomm has been opposed by the US government.

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Xi Amends Constitution

China has amended its constitution to abolish its two-term limits for the presidency.

Editor’s Remarks: 2,958 members of China’s National People’s Congress approved the change to China’s constitution with two votes against, three abstentions and one spoiled ballot paper. The amendment will enable Xi to remain in power beyond 2023 after his initial two terms expire. Furthermore, it brings the presidential role undertaken by Xi in line with his other roles as the head of China’s Communist party and military, which were not limited to two terms. Although Xi is hugely popular, China’s middle class and intelligentsia have criticised the move.

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Japan Scandal Engulfs Aso

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso is again at the centre of the government school scandal.

Editor’s Remarks: Japan’s opposition Party of Hope has demanded that Aso resigns for his role in the Moritomo Gakuen scandal, which involved the government selling discounted land to a nationalist school. Tensions have flared again after the head of Japan’s tax agency resigned and a finance official committed suicide last Friday after it was revealed that the department altered papers relating to the sale. The scandal is the most serious threat to Shinzo Abe’s government in over five years, and might even threaten his chances of getting re-elected as party leader later this autumn.

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