Your April 21 news briefing

Your April 21 news briefing
FILE PHOTO: Model Y cars are pictured during the opening ceremony of the new Tesla Gigafactory for electric cars in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022. Patrick Pleul/Pool via REUTERS

YouTube and John Lee

Hong Kong John Lee
Hong Kong’s former chief secretary and current chief executive candidate John Lee speaks to the media in Hong Kong on April 20, 2022. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP)

Hong Kong’s chief executive candidate John Lee had a rough day at work when he found out that YouTube terminated his campaign channel, citing US sanctions. Lee said that these “unreasonable acts” won’t affect his chances for the upcoming election on May 8. He is the sole candidate whose run has also reportedly gotten Beijing’s approval.

This isn’t the first time US tech giants have done this. Current Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other sanctioned officials have shared a similar fate with Facebook.

Russian sanctioned (again) as the West stages a walkout at G20

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen answers questions about the current and future state of the U.S. and global economy at the Atlantic Council in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

The US is piling even more sanctions on Russia, with this most recent round targeting “more than 40 individuals and entities led by U.S.-designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev” as well as Russian crypto mining company, BitRiver. The US State Department also said it would be imposing visa restrictions on 635 Russian nationals and that it would be giving another US$800 million in weapons and aid to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, at a G20 conference in the US, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, along with a number of other finance leaders from around the world, walked out of a meeting when Russia began to speak.

Elon’s cryptic tweets

Throughout the week, Elon Musk has hinted at a tender offer for Twitter, meaning he could approach shareholders directly to buy the company stock at a premium if the board fights him and his takeover bid. His earlier cryptic tweet was “Love me Tender.” His latest? “____ is the night.” Meanwhile, his other pet project, Tesla, is doing pretty well, smashing Wall Street estimates in the first quarter of the year and generating US$18.8 billion.

Netflix and APAC

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

We talked about Netflix being sick of free riders yesterday, but its motivation to solve the problem, after its customer growth declined for the first time since 2011, has drastically increased. So much so that aside from taking off the blindfolds and cracking down on account sharing, some company execs have also floated the idea of … ads. But, really, the streamer may just need to land a few more “Squid Game” like hits on their platform considering that show alone brought the company an extra 1 million new subscribers from Asia.

Why this matters: Netflix lost customers in three of its four target regions. APAC subscribers, though, rose 1.09 million to 33.7 million.

In other news …

🇹🇼Taiwanese media mistakenly put out a news alert saying that the capital was being invaded by China … They apologized, adding, “people do not need to panic.”

🍫Kinders in Hong Kong are freaking people out after another not-so-sweet treat has been tied to a salmonella outbreak.

🇭🇰Hong Kong’s actress Franchesca Wong has apologized for her portrayal of Filipinos in the city.

🤑Musk has floated the idea of offering to buy stocks directly from shareholders if the board won’t let him take Twitter.

👰We all know of someone who had to push a wedding back because of COVID. Some are doing it again this year because … drum roll, please … Mercury is in retrograde one extra time this year.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Julianna Barcela, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai