Ed’s Daily Notes for August 6th   2 comments

Bloomberg: China Said to Exclude Apple From Procurement List

China’s government excluded Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPads and MacBook laptops from the list of products that can be bought with public money because of security concerns, according to government officials familiar with the matter.

Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said.

Apple is the latest U.S. technology company to be excluded from Chinese government purchases amid escalating tensions between the countries over claims of hacking and cyberspying. China’s procurement agency told departments to stop buying antivirus software from Symantec Corp. (SYMC) and Kaspersky Lab, while Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was shut out of a government purchase of energy-efficient computers.

The heightened scrutiny of foreign companies follows Edward Snowden’s revelations last year of a National Security Agency spying program and the May announcement of indictments by U.S. prosecutors of five Chinese military officers for allegedly stealing corporate secrets.

It is one thing to spy on another country. We all know that happens. But using your companies to do it is just bad business, and this is a result of that.

Business Week: The U.S. Is Becoming a Nation of Jeeps

If 2013 was the year of the pickup, 2014 belongs to Jeeps. No other brand has gained so much traction in the U.S. this year.

From January through July, Fiat sold 392,390 Jeeps in North America, 44 percent more than in the same period last year. That was enough to rocket the American brand past Kia and Dodge, its corporate cousin, to the No. 7 spot on a ranking by volume. At the moment, Jeep is right behind Hyundai in terms of total vehicles sold.

This is one of those trends I don’t get. I had a Grand Cherokee back in the 1980’s, and it was ok but nothing special. I test drove a regular Jeep in the 1990’s, and it was loud, ran rough, and was uncomfortable. I rented a Jeep Patriot this summer, and I desperately missed my Kia Forte. Overall, I have never been impressed by the Jeep brand, although everyone I have ever known with one loved it.

Regardless, I have to give Fiat (FIATY) credit for what they have done with Dodge and Jeep. Their stock is tempting, and a little cheap, but it is still an OTC stock. If I were trading it in Europe, it would be much more tempting.

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Posted August 6, 2014 by edmcgon in China, News, Stocks

2 responses to “Ed’s Daily Notes for August 6th

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  1. Ed, the Jeeps of today are nothing like the 80s and 90s. The Patriot is a car based Jeep not worthy of the iconic name brand. Take a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee out for a test drive and you’ll kick the Kia to the curb.

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