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The Daily Ten – TikTok Mansions go Public, CoStar buys Homesnap for $250 million, E-Scooters are officially legal in NYC…

November 23, 2020by Steve NsonNews

The Daily Ten – TikTok Mansions go Public, CoStar buys Homesnap for $250 million, E-Scooters are officially legal in NYC…

November 23, 2020 by Steve Nson
Monday, November 23rd, 2020

The Daily Ten

1. TikTok Mansions Are Publicly Traded Now | The New York Times

Time to learn about reverse takeovers, kids!

A business trying to make money off mansions full of TikTok influencers has gone public on the stock market through an unusual deal. It involves a former Chinese health care company, and if that sounds confusing, well, we can explain.

Social media entrepreneurs have rushed to find ways to make money from stars on popular platforms like TikTok. West of Hudson Group, for one, operates a network of content houses where many prominent young influencers live.

Houses like these function as management companies, taking a percentage of revenue from the creators living in them. The influencers often don’t pay rent, but produce content for brands and promote products as a form of in-kind rent.

Dozens of influencer houses have arrived in the Los Angeles area over the last year, and the companies that run them have been searching for sustainable business models. Going public, though, is a new strategy.

West of Hudson was acquired this week by Tongji Healthcare Group, an entity in Las Vegas that was incorporated by a Chinese hospital in 2006 but had no assets at the end of 2019.

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2. Remote Working Shift Offers Silver Lining for Finance Gender Gap | Bloomberg

This year’s shift toward more flexible working during the coronavirus outbreak may in the long run help narrow the gender gap in the financial services industry, a rare silver lining from a pandemic that’s disproportionately damaged the job prospects of women.

Remote working has encouraged a shift in the perception of what roles can be done flexibly, according to a report commissioned by the Women in Banking & Finance network. A wider acceptance of such practices may help keep female workers, who are oftentimes the primary care giver and rely more on flexibility, to stay in the industry.

“Without this change in narrative, women who take flexible working will always have a higher likelihood of being looked upon as having lower labor market attachment,” Grace Lordan, an associate professor in behavioral science at the London School of Economics, said in the report. “Because women face more constraints than men, a lack of flexibility is more likely to cause women to leave, resulting in the missing middle.”

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3. CoStar to Buy Homesnap for $250 Million | WSJ

Purchase would mark the company’s first significant step into residential data

CoStar Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest providers of commercial real-estate information and analytics, has taken its first major step into the residential data business by agreeing to pay $250 million for Homesnap Inc.

Founded in 2012, Homesnap is a fast-growing company that provides residential real-estate brokers with apps and other technology for managing and analyzing their listings as well as the broader market. About 300,000 residential agents use it an average of 30 times a month.

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4. Companies aim to renew dividend payments, sign of optimism worst of COVID-19 is over | Fox Business Network

The public health plight continues, but many businesses have learned how to operate during the pandemic

After scrambling to hoard cash in the spring, some large U.S. companies that halted their dividend payments are reversing their decision, a sign that their leaders believe the worst of the crisis is behind them.

Earlier this year, when much of the country’s economy shut down in the first waves of the coronavirus pandemic, companies withdrew cash from credit lines, stopped repurchasing stock and halted dividend payments amid the uncertainty.

The public health plight continues, but many businesses—from factories to law firms—have learned how to operate during the pandemic. Retailers, fast-food restaurants and car makers are doing better, and there is hope among executives that any new restrictions to battle the latest U.S. surge in cases won’t be as severe.

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5. How a vaccine could upend real estate markets — again | CNN Business

In just a matter of months the coronavirus pandemic dramatically changed the landscape of the housing market, especially in big cities. But now news of a promising vaccine could turn the market on its head again.

Nationally, home prices have never been higher, driven up as surging demand due to record low mortgage rates comes up against historically low inventory of homes for sale.

But the most expensive urban areas have been experiencing the opposite problem. Cities like New York and San Francisco have seen higher vacancy rates and lower rents and sale prices as many people, untethered from office jobs, retreated to the suburbs and less densely populated areas.

But with potential vaccines on the horizon, real estate in big cities could see a turnaround.

“It’s not going to be a light switch,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraiser and consultant in New York City. “But the news is starting to get people to be hopeful and think about returning to the city. Because right now, without a vaccine, it is status quo.”

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6. NYC’s law legalizing e-scooters officially goes into effect on Monday | NY Post

In what may be news to electric scooter riders who have been flooding Big Apple streets for months now — the devices will officially become legal Monday, under laws passed by the City Council months ago.

The council had voted on June 25 to allow e-scooters that can travel up to 20 mph and bicycles with electric motors that can travel up to 25 mph across New York City, in a win for food delivery workers and transportation advocates.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera (D-The Bronx), the main sponsor of the legislation, at the time hailed it as making “great strides toward achieving transit equity, social justice, accessibility and environmental protection.”

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7. Airbnb exec resigned over concerns company shared too much data with China | New York Post

The former chief trust officer of Airbnb was so concerned about how much user data the internet behemoth was sharing with China, he resigned from his post last year after just six months on the job.

Sean Joyce, Airbnb’s former chief trust officer — also a former deputy director with the FBI — reportedly resigned last year over concerns about how much user data the company was sharing with China.

Joyce was hired as the company’s first chief trust officer in May of 2019 to help protect users’ safety on the platform — but he abruptly resigned from his executive position after just six months on the job “over concerns about how the massive rental platform shares data on millions of its users with Chinese authorities,” sources told The Wall Street Journal.

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8. Hong Kong’s travel bubble bursts as city enters fourth wave of COVID-19 | Fortune

Hong Kong’s much vaunted plan for a “travel bubble” allowing passengers to fly quarantine-free to Singapore went bust on Saturday, the day before it was supposed to launch, as Hong Kong counted 43 new cases of coronavirus—rocketing the city onto its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In light of the situation in Hong Kong, I think it’s the responsible way to put this back for a while, and then sort of relaunch it at a suitable juncture,” Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau said at a press briefing on Saturday, popping the travel bubble.

Under the agreement struck between the Hong Kong and Singapore governments, the normal 14-day quarantine arrangements would have been waived for passengers travelling between the two cities. The first flight was due to leave on Sunday but have now been postponed by at least two weeks. Passengers can still fly between the two cities, but will need to undergo quarantine upon arrival.

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9. Iceland Wants to Restart Tourism—But Only for the Wealthy | Bloomberg

If you don’t make near six figures, plan that extended vacation elsewhere.

A new escape route has emerged for anyone looking to circumvent second-wave lockdowns. Earlier this month, Iceland quietly rolled out changes to its remote-work visa program for citizens beyond the European Schengen Area. Americans—and any foreign national not required to have a visa to enter Iceland—will be allowed to stay in the Land of Fire and Ice for six uninterrupted months, even while the country’s international borders remain largely shut.

But there’s some fine print: You have to be gainfully employed elsewhere, and earn nearly six figures.

“I think the idea is to attract high-earning professionals from Silicon Valley or San Francisco to spend their money here, instead of there,” explains Asta Gudrun Helgadottir, a member of Iceland’s pro-direct-democracy Pirate Party and a former parliament member. Although long-stay guests aren’t technically tourists, the hope is that they’ll rent out unused Airbnbs, fill empty tables at restaurants, and head to the countryside on weekends to explore the country like slow-going travelers. Deep-pocketed ones, at that.

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10. I Have Covid ‘Nesting Fever.’ But I Hate Fixing Up a Rental Apartment. | WSJ

So many millennials are working from home. But it’s hard to spend money on a place we don’t own.

At first, I felt inspired by the wave of amateur interior designers taking over my Instagram feed. I watched as they painted their kitchen cabinets, refitted light fixtures and added new dimensions to their suspiciously well-lit apartments.

But as this “nesting fever” has moved beyond these influencers, and taken off among the masses, I sometimes feel like I’m one of the few people who hasn’t followed through on her home-improvement dreams, who isn’t flocking to Home Depot and Wayfair. With the pandemic continuing to keep…

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