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Recode Daily: Facebook struggles to hire top talent

Uber is in a tough race with food delivery, Quora is worth $2 billion (believe it or not), and Trump is escalating the US-China trade war with an executive order.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook isn’t seeing the acceptance rates it used to on job offers, former recruiters for the company told CNBC.
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Former Facebook recruiters say the company has struggled to hire top talent in recent years. More than a half-dozen ex-recruiters told CNBC the company has seen its job offer acceptance rates dip after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal in late 2016. According to CNBC’s sources, the acceptance rate for Facebook software engineer candidates for its product teams fell from nearly 90 percent in late 2016 to almost 50 percent in early 2019. The social media giant competes with other major players in tech like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for in-demand, talented programmers, and these companies, as CNBC reports, offer “signing bonuses as good as Facebook’s with much less scandal.” The report shows how the public scrutiny Facebook has faced for its ongoing privacy and policy missteps are having a reputational damage on the company’s day-to-day operations.
[Salvador Rodriguez / CNBC]

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Quora — the question-and-answer website — still exists and is worth $2 billion. “You wouldn’t be blamed if you had forgotten about Quora,” writes Recode’s Theodore Schleifer, who called the site “something of a relic of a quainter era on the internet” that pops up when you Google a question like “Why are rich people so frugal?” But as Recode has learned, the company is still very much on the minds of investors. It just raised a $60 million investment round led by Valor Equity Partners, according to sources, which would value the company at a whopping $2 billion. “It’s a financing round that, in the eyes of some Silicon Valley investors, speaks to the high valuation for virtually everything these days in the tech sector.” However, despite the fact that the company has been slow to monetize its user base, “Quora’s advertising engine holds a lot of promise” because of its targeted content and prominent search results. Time will tell if that’s $2 billion worth of promise.
[Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Uber’s fastest-growing line of business, Uber Eats, is facing stiff competition. In the first quarter of 2019, 46 percent of people who ordered Uber Eats in the US also ordered from one or more of its competitors, according to new credit and debit card purchasing data from Second Measure. As US customers are increasingly using more than one food-delivery app to order meals, apps like Uber, DoorDash, and GrubHub are in a “pricing race to the bottom.” It’s a problem that Uber knows all too well in its main line of business, ride-hailing. Regardless, Uber’s food delivery service “does have some advantages,” as the company “can share technology” across its ride-sharing and other apps, and “has an existing network of drivers.”
[Rani Molla / Recode]

Trump’s executive order may be aimed at Huawei, but its impact could be far wider. In the latest escalation of the US government’s ongoing trade war with China, President Trump released an executive order that could halt US business with one of Beijing’s biggest tech giants. Technically, the executive order is country- and company-agnostic — forbidding US companies from using technology from businesses controlled by undefined “foreign adversaries,” but it’s widely interpreted as being targeted at Chinese telecom firm Huawei. The US has accused Huawei of using its 5G broadband network to spy on behalf of the Chinese government. Not surprisingly, China isn’t pleased about the order. But the implications could be far wider, potentially increasing prices for American consumers on everything from iPhones to leather handbags — tariffs on the latter, for example, are more than doubling from 10 to 25 percent.
[Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

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