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Recode Daily: Trump is throwing Huawei a lifeline

Plus: A $38 billion stake in Amazon will soon officially go to MacKenzie Bezos as part of her divorce from CEO Jeff Bezos.

President Donald Trump onstage in front of a microphone and flanked by American flags. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Donald Trump has, for now, relaxed his stance in the US-China trade war. In a meeting at the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping both agreed to hold off on introducing new tariffs and to continue negotiating with each other to resolve the US and China’s ongoing trade war. After the meeting, Trump suggested he will reverse the US government’s decision to ban American companies from selling products to Huawei, a Chinese telecom company. According to CNBC, Trump said in a news conference that he would permit sales when they don’t pose a national security issue, but he didn’t specify what that meant. On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow defended the decision in an interview with Fox News, saying, “this is not a general amnesty,” and that the US will simply grant more licenses to allow US companies to sell products to Huawei. The White House has not removed Huawei from a blacklist that blocks the company from buying American products.
[Everett Rosenfeld / CNBC]

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A $38 billion stake in Amazon will soon officially go to MacKenzie Bezos as part of her divorce from CEO Jeff Bezos. Bloomberg reports that “a regulatory disclosure detailing the shift in ownership is expected in early July, according to an April filing.” The disclosure, a result of a US Securities and Exchange Commission rule, will offer another glimpse inside the world’s wealthiest divorce. In May, Recode reported that MacKenzie Bezos promised to donate more than half of her fortune to charity when she signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage American billionaires to remake global philanthropy by encouraging bigger and more public giving. Even after his divorce, Jeff Bezos will remain the world’s richest person, with a 12 percent stake in Amazon that’s worth $112 billion, according to Bloomberg. He will also keep his other assets: the Washington Post and Blue Origin, Bezos’s space-exploration company.
[Tom Metcalf / Bloomberg]

Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has a trial date. Federal prosecutors indicted Holmes and the company’s former president and COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, last summer; they are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. A trial is set for August 2020 in San Jose next year, according to the US District Judge of the Northern District of California. In addition to facing a potential 20 years in prison, the pair may also have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Axios reports that Holmes plans to defend her case by claiming that federal regulators were improperly influenced by the Wall Street Journal reporter whose investigation led to her company’s downfall in 2015.
[Andrew Liptak / The Verge]

Walmart is employing virtual reality-based tests to gauge workers’ potential and skill level and to determine promotions and pay cuts. The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is testing some employees who seek higher-paying management roles by fitting them with a $250 virtual reality headset. The assessment puts workers in simulated situations where they can “respond in virtual reality to an angry shopper, a messy aisle or an underperforming worker.” WSJ reports that Walmart hopes the technology will limit bias in hiring decisions, increase diversity and reduce turnover. Walmart has already been using VR to train its million-plus workers in all of its US stores how to stock shelves or use new machines. It even has a VR training program for learning empathy, where among other simulations, workers see through the eyes of a cashier, “then inhabit the view of a dad with his son as they hold up the line by carefully counting change, only to find they don’t have enough.” The new VR promotion assessments have so far been given to more than 10,000 workers.
[Sarah Nassauer and Chip Cutter / The Wall Street Journal]

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