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FAANG Report: Apple hit by Chinese fraud rings; Facebook struggles in war against fake news

Alphabet's Google hit with $5 billion fine; Amazon ditches recruiting tool that is biased against women; Netflix wonders what streaming service from rival Apple will look like
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Apple wrestles with fraud rings in China as fake news war dogs Facebook.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not only dealing with the fallout from Chinese spyware allegations, fraudsters in the Asian country severely abused the warranty policy of the company, a report by Engadget said.

In an elaborate scheme, rings of thieves would purchase iPhones and immediately return them to Apple's Store in Shenzhen, claiming they were broken. In reality, they had removed valuable components and replaced them with fake parts and even gum wrappers.

After receiving the replacement phones, the teams would sell them off, while using the stolen components in refurbished iPhones. Those would then be sold off in smaller cities, the report said.

At that time, Apple was selling the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and 5c in 2013, which were fairly easy to dismantle by today's standards.

"In the old-school world, this would be a car chop shop, where you would take all the pieces off and sell them," iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told The Information. "Now they're doing that with iPhones."

Apple shares fell 1.5% to $223.42 by midsession on Wednesday.

READ: US telecom company reportedly finds 'tampered' chip from Super Micro Computer was made in China

The content chief of Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Ted Sarandos, said their company has no idea what Apple's streaming service would look like nor whether they should be worried about it, a report by 9TO5MAC said.

Ultimately, Sarandos says that Netflix “doesn’t put much focus on any competitor.”

Apple has been placing a slew of orders for original TV content, but as Sarandos explained, they know virtually nothing about how Apple ultimately plans to deliver the content to the end consumer.

Reports have suggested Apple is planning an all-in-one bundle of sorts, but that remains unclear at this point. 

Netflix shares dropped almost 6% to $334.48.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has scrapped a secret artificial intelligence tool that showed bias against women, a report by Reuters carried on CNBC said.

The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants' resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent.

But by 2015, the company realized its new system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way, the report said.

That is because Amazon's computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period.

Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.

Amazon stock slid 3.3% to $1,808.64.

READ: Facebook scraps 'Trending Topics' section as fake news debate rolls on

"Patient zero" in Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) war against fake news can be found in the Philippines and the fact checkers are not even close to winning, The New York Times reported.

The Silicon Valley social media giant has turned to Mr Paterno Esmaquel II and others who work for Rappler, an online news start-up with experience tackling fake stories on Facebook. The problem is that fictional news stories pop up on Facebook faster than Esmaguel and his co-workers can stamp them out.

The Rappler workers believe Facebook can do more.

The company said it has made strides but acknowledges shortcomings. It doesn’t have fact checkers in many places, and is only beginning to roll out tools that would scrutinize visual memes, like text displayed over an image or a short video, sometimes the fastest ways that harmful misinformation can spread.

Facebook stock declined 1.8% to $155.05.

Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has appealed a $5 billion Android fine from the European Union, a report in the Verge said.

The European Commission accused Google of abusing its market dominance over its Android operating system by bundling together products like Google search and Chrome apps.

It’s the second major fine the company has faced from the EU’s antitrust body.

The first came last summer when regulators alleged that Google was ranking its own shopping services higher than those of its competitors in search results.

Google faced a $2.7 billion fine from the commission as a response to that behavior, the report said.

Google shares retreated 2.25% to $1,113.19.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected]

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