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Business news and updates: Daily roundup (July 19, 2021)

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for July 19:

Victoria lockdown has been extended

Victoria will not exit lockdown as planned as the state records 12 new local cases of coronavirus. Premier Daniel Andrews said a decision would be made soon about when lockdown would be lifted.

“I know it is frustrating that I can’t stand here and tell you what rules and timeframes will apply from midnight tomorrow night, but we want to explain why that is the case,” Mr Andrews said.

Earlier, the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced stricter lockdown restrictions for greater Sydney amid a surge in the COVID-19 cases.

Tax Institute releases reform wish list to fix ‘broken’ taxation system

The Tax Institute has warned that Australia’s tax regulations are costing the country $50 billion in compliance expenses, with inefficient taxes costing even more in lost economic growth.

The Tax Institute report argues that Australia is over-reliant on personal and company income taxes and Australia’s super system is too complex, and that tax breaks remain far too generous.

The institute criticised Australia’s more than 10,000 pages of tax legislation in a 287-page study titled, The Case for Change. Andrew Mills, the institute’s head of tax policy, said at the report’s release that tax law compliance costs are now expected to exceed $50 billion.

EV manufacturers make progress in tackling the major issue of range

Lack of range is touted as one of the primary deterrents for those wanting to shift to an electric vehicle (EV); however, a new report from IDTechEX outlines that progress is being made.

The UK-based independent research and business intelligence consultancy said that several 600-mile EVs are in the pipeline, ready to be launched as early as 2025.

IDTechEX predicts strengthening demand for range and strong progress towards it, noting that long-range sharply increases resale value and useful life.

Former CBA CDO founds a fintech

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s former chief digital officer Pete Steel has launched a new fintech company called True Savings that aims to scan the mortgage market to help consumers save money on their home loans.

The mortgage broking fintech scans the market to provide home loan comparisons and potential refinancing options.

Some restaurants in the United States are temporarily closing because they can’t find enough workers. 

Some restaurants are temporarily closing or cutting their hours because of the labour shortage. The US is suffering from a severe shortage of workers, which the US Chamber of Commerce has called a “national economic emergency.”

A third of former hospitality workers said in a Joblist poll that they won’t return to the industry. Some are hiking up wages because of the shortage, which is pushing menu prices up.

Facebook will let users become ‘experts’ to cut down on misinformation 

Facebook will let people in groups become experts, and their posts will be amplified.

The company poured $130 million into designating a group of people outside of the company to review Facebook’s decisions.

Facebook put a larger focus on groups after the 2016 presidential election when the company started fielding backlash over how misinformation spreads on its platform.

Tesla launches a subscription service for advanced driver assistance software

Tesla introduced an option for some customers to subscribe to its advanced driver assistance software, dubbed “Full Self-Driving capability”.

But the US electric carmaker reiterated that the current features “do not make the vehicle autonomous,” adding they “require a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel.”

Apple accepted Amazon’s request to boot an app that spots fake reviews from the App Store. 

Apple on Friday removed the app Fakespot from its App Store at Amazon’s request. Amazon complained Fakespot misled customers, broke App Store rules, and posed a security risk.    

Amazon convinced Apple to remove Fakespot from the App Store on Friday, as reported by The Verge and CNBC.    

According to The Verge, Amazon filed a complaint with Apple on June 8, saying that Fakespot displays Amazon’s website inside its app, which breaks Apple’s rules.    

What is Stablecoin? Regulators Want a Firm Stance on Stablecoin

It’s a cryptocurrency that, in theory, is more stable than bitcoin, ether, and other cryptocurrencies since it’s linked to government-issued money like the US dollar or assets like gold.   

Regulators in the United States are particularly wary about USD-backed crypto, even though there is already $100 billion in stablecoin in circulation. Finance chiefs have been debating how to control what has been a wild west up until now.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress this week that there is some incentive for the US to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) to circumvent all other 11,000+ cryptos. 

All eyes are on India’s brightest Zomato

Food delivery startup Zomato has been labelled by journalists and industry experts as India’s biggest tech public offering to date. A Zomato success may turn more investors to pay attention to the startup scene.

Paytm and MobiKwik will watch the eventual performance of Zomato, two Indian fintech unicorns also looking to go public soon, some 100 Indian unicorns, and, of course, returns-focused venture capitalists.

Tata Group keen to buy Air India: reports

The Indian government’s plan to sell the troubled state-owned airline Air India is drawing interest from the Tata Group, according to various media reports.

The salt-to-software conglomerate has intensified the due diligence process, and its officials have been visiting Air India sites lately. 

They include officials from Air Asia India, in which the Tata Group has a stake, Tata Consultancy Services and other group companies, Indo-Asian News Service reports.

Walmart’s Flipkart says Indian probe shouldn’t treat it the same as Amazon

Walmart owned Flipkart should not be treated the same as rival Amazon in an Indian antitrust probe as the evidence against the two firms was “qualitatively different”, Flipkart argued in a court filing seen by Reuters.

Both Amazon and Flipkart have challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court as they seek revocation of an Indian court’s June decision to allow an antitrust probe against them to continue. Both companies deny any wrongdoing.  

Meanwhile, India’s government has called the US firms arrogant and accused them of using legal routes to stall the investigation.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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