Read breaking news, enterprise reporting, and analysis by Selina Wang for Bloomberg News and Businessweek Magazine.

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Masayoshi Son, SoftBank, and the $100 Billion Blitz on Sand Hill Road

(Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine Feature Story)

Two years ago, Masayoshi Son, chief executive officer of SoftBank, sat in a Gulfstream jet high above the Arabian Gulf, en route to meet with potential investors in a new fund that would invest in technology startups. He was going through his presentation with Rajeev Misra, a key lieutenant, when something stopped him.

One of the slides included the proposed size of the fund: $30 billion. The figure would make the Vision Fund, as Son had named it, about four times the size of the largest venture capital fund ever created and bigger than any private equity fund in history.

Son stared at the number for a moment. Then he deleted the three and replaced it with a one and another zero. “Life’s too short to think small,” he told a stunned Misra.

This High-Tech Vertical Farm Promises Whole Foods Quality at Walmart Prices

(Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine Cover Story)

Before stepping into Plenty Inc.’s indoor farm on the banks of the San Francisco Bay, make sure you’re wearing pants and closed-toe shoes. Heels aren’t allowed. If you have long hair, you should probably tie it back. Your first stop is the cleaning room. Open the door and air will whoosh behind you, removing stray dust and contaminants as the door slams shut. Slide into a white bodysuit, pull on disposable shoe covers, and don a pair of glasses with colored lenses. Wash your hands in the sink before slipping on food-safety gloves. Step into a shallow pool of clear, sterilized liquid, then open the door to what the company calls its indoor growing room, where another air bath eliminates any stray particles that collected in the cleaning room.

How the Kremlin Tried to Pose as American News Sites on Twitter

The Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated dozens of Twitter accounts masquerading as local American news sources that collectively garnered more than half-a-million followers. More than 100 news outlets also published stories containing those handles in the run-up to the election, and some of them were even tweeted by a top presidential aide. These news imposter accounts, which are part of the 2,752 now-suspended accounts that Twitter Inc. has publicly disclosed to be tied to the IRA, show how the Russian group sought to build local communities of followers to disseminate messages.

Alibaba Pulls Back in U.S. Amid Trump Crackdown on Chinese Investment

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is scaling back its presence in Silicon Valley—a sign that the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese investment in U.S. companies is casting a chill.

Facebook’s Battle Against Fake News Notches an Uneven Scorecard

A self-described liberal, Trenton Harris took a job writing for a website called the Conservative Daily Post, and he says he got a front-row view of the fake-news industry.

Writers were expected to produce four lengthy articles a day, he learned, at $20 apiece. There was no time to interview experts or check facts, he said, and stories had to be slanted to favor President Donald Trump. “It didn’t matter if the article was correct or if it could be proven,” said Harris, 28, who used a pen name. He quit after a couple of months early last year. Executives for the website didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Conservative Daily Post would seem a ripe target in Facebook’s quest to combat fake news. At least 10 of its articles — including an account of American students forced to wear hijabs — have been debunked by the fact-check site Snopes. Nonetheless, the site and some others like it have maintained resilient traffic on Facebook, even as the social-media giant’s efforts have contributed to the shutdown of websites.

Silicon Valley Wants to Cash In On Fasting

Like most of the health fads that catch on in Silicon Valley, this one broke through thanks to word-of-mouth—and a Medium post. Entrepreneur Sumaya Kazi extolled its virtues to 650,000 readers, while venture capitalist Phil Libin and others preached about it to anyone who would listen. Their miraculous idea was in fact a very old one: eating nothing at all for long stretches of time. Monthly Google searches for “intermittent fasting,” which has become a catchall term for various forms of the practice, have risen tenfold over the past three years, to as many as 1 million. That’s about as many as “weight loss” gets, and more than “diet.” Now comes the next step, as businesses try to turn various forms of the craze into profit. Above link to read magazine story, Listen to the podcast here. 

Why Twitter Let Noto Walk Away

Twitter Inc.’s executives gathered from around the world this week at its offices in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood to discuss the state of the company, goals for the year, and management’s broader ambitions. The twice-yearly meeting is usually a chance for Twitter’s leaders to re-commit themselves and air any concerns to their hundred or so peers.

Silicon Valley’s Chinese Backers Are Under Threat in Congress

In recent years, Silicon Valley startups have increasingly attracted foreign investment, much of it from China. The jolt of capital has made it easier for young companies to raise money and for U.S. investors to sell their stakes. That influx of foreign money is now under threat.

Twitter Sidestepped Russian Account Warnings, Former Worker Says

In early 2015, a Twitter employee discovered a vast amount of Twitter accounts with IP addresses in Russia and Ukraine.  The worker, Leslie Miley, said most of them were inactive or fake but were not deleted at the time. Miley, who was the company’s engineering manager of product safety and security at the time, said efforts to root out spam and manipulation on the platform were slowed down by the company’s growth team, which focused on increasing users and revenue.

SoFi’s Former CEO Harnesses the Blockchain for Home Loan Startup

Mike Cagney, who built SoFi into America’s biggest student loan refinancer before quitting amid allegations of sexual harassment at the fintech firm, is preparing for his second act: a startup offering home-equity loans. Cagney has raised $50 million for San Francisco-based Figure, which plans to use the blockchain to help expedite loan approvals in minutes rather than days, according to people familiar with the matter. Two global banks have agreed to finance loans and several firms have agreed to purchase them, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss a private matter.

Silicon Valley-Backed Payments Processor Adyen Weighs an IPO

Adyen BV, a fast-growing Dutch payments company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires, is considering an initial public offering as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Twitter Is Working on a Snapchat-Style Video Sharing Tool

(This scoop caused Snapchat’s shares to plummet). Twitter Inc. is working on a new Snapchat-style feature that makes it easier to post videos on the social-media company’s app, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to attract more users and cement a nascent turnaround.

Tech Diets Catch on With Apple Executives, Facebook Billionaires and Googlers

At Google, some employees use a tool that restricts time spent on email. A senior Apple Inc. executive said his wife used a device that sets iPhone and iPad limits for their children. Members of a venture capital firm meditate before phone-free quarterly meetings. Slava Rubin, co-founder of crowdfunding site Indiegogo, has a strict no-screen policy for gatherings and adopted a similar rule for his bedroom.

Twitter’s Bet on Video Is Starting to Pay Off

Two years ago, even as its stock plummeted and takeover rumors swirled, Twitter Inc. was hatching a plan to become a force in live video. The company’s goal was to help users discover “what’s happening now.”

There were plenty of skeptics who said the battered company couldn’t possibly compete with deeper-pocketed rivals like Facebook Inc.

Facebook Changes Could Mean Less Time Spent on Site; Shares Fall

Facebook Inc. said it’s making major changes to its flagship social network, shifting users’ news feeds back toward posts from friends and family and away from businesses and media outlets — a transition that is likely to mean people spend less time on the site. The shares tumbled the most in more than a year.

China’s Ant Financial Pushes U.S. to Approve MoneyGram Deal

Ant Financial is expected to make a third try for U.S. approval of its takeover of MoneyGram International Inc. as a secretive national security panel throws up hurdles for Chinese investors seeking to buy American companies. The former affiliate of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is preparing to resubmit the $1.2 billion deal for review before the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, or CFIUS, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public.

Hedge Fund Puts $150 Million to Invest in Homes on Startup Point

A startup that buys equity in American homes just got its largest financial commitment to date through a $150 million boost from a New York hedge fund, amid rising home prices that are fueling demand for home-equity products.

MoneyGram Deal Collapse May Force a Re-Think at Jack Ma’s Ant

Ant Financial may have to re-tool its global ambitions after stiff U.S. opposition scuppered what would have been its largest overseas acquisition.

Shareholders Press Twitter, Facebook on Sexual Harassment

Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., under fire from lawmakers for Russian manipulation of their social media sites, are now facing heat from shareholders, who say the companies need to do more to combat sexual harassment of women on their platforms.

Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive to Expel Them

On Wednesday, the exterior of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters bore an eerie message: “Ban Russian Bots.” Someone— the company doesn’t know who— projected the demand onto the side of its building.

Bots, or automated software programs, can be programmed to periodically send out messages on the internet. Now Twitter is scrambling to explain how bots controlled by Russian meddlers may have been used to impact the 2016 president election.

Drone King DJI Has a Serious Pentagon Problem

What a difference a month makes. On Aug. 2 the U.S. Army issued a memo directing its personnel to stop using drones made by SZ DJI Technology Co. and to uninstall all DJI software. The Army had become aware of security holes in the Chinese company’s products, according to the memo.

Why Twitter Let Noto Walk Away

Twitter Inc.’s executives gathered from around the world this week at its offices in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood to discuss the state of the company, goals for the year, and management’s broader ambitions. The twice-yearly meeting is usually a chance for Twitter’s leaders to re-commit themselves and air any concerns to their hundred or so peers.

#MeToo Forces South by Southwest Festival to Confront Sexism

South by Southwest is taking a hard look at #MeToo.

Amid the raucous parties and speed networking at the annual festival that draws people from technology, film, and music to Austin, Texas, there will be some soul searching about gender discrimination, sexual harassment and how to fix the broken workplace culture.

Jack Ma Is Ahead of Jeff Bezos in Grocery Store Ambitions

Jack Ma is ahead of Jeff Bezos in one area: grocery stores.

For years, it looked to some like Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. was simply following in the footsteps of Bezos’ Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest e-commerce company. Just like Seattle-based Amazon, China’s online shopping giant started a cloud-computing business and created original entertainment content. But when Amazon’s $13.7 billion bid for Whole Foods Market Inc. sent shockwaves across the retail industry, Ma looked prescient.

Why Twitter Can’t Pull the Trigger on New Products

Two years after returning as Twitter Inc.’s chief executive officer, Jack Dorsey has pulled the company back from the brink, persuading people to spend more time on the micro-blogging site and attracting more advertising. Investors ratified his efforts this week, when Twitter posted a surprise surge in revenue growth and a first-ever profit. The shares rose 12 percent.

There’s a Reason You’re Seeing Those Doughnut GIFs

On Valentine’s Day, if you entered “love” into popular GIF search engine Tenor, the top results would have included a doughnut leaning on a coffee cup with the slogan “We’re better together” and a heart-shaped dessert with the phrase “Donuts before dudes.” While neither may represent most people’s idea of amour, they’re top of mind for Dunkin’ Donuts, which paid to have the GIFs created and placed in the hope that viewers would pass them along to friends.

Twitter Soars After Surprise Sales Gain, First Real Profit

Twitter Inc. soared the most since its market debut in 2013 after it posted the first revenue growth in four quarters, driven by improvements to its app and added video content that are persuading advertisers to boost spending on the social network.

Amazon, Apple Struggle to Sit Out NRA Gun-Control Debate

Gun-control activists are demanding that Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos do something he has carefully avoided: pick a side in a hot-button political debate.

Goldman-Backed Cryptocurrency Startup Says It’s Profitable

Circle Internet Finance Ltd., a Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-backed startup focused on mobile payments and cryptocurrencies, said it has reached profitability and hired a former Boxed Wholesale executive to lead finance and risk.

Inside Jawbone’s High-Risk Plan to Become a Medical Device Maker

Broke news on Jawbone’s health plans based on leaked documents.

SoftBank Vision Fund Leads $200 Million Bet on Indoor Farms

First to report this deal:

Masayoshi Son has discovered a green thumb.

The SoftBank Group Corp. chief’s Vision Fund is leading a $200 million investment in Silicon Valley startup Plenty, which says it has cracked the code on growing crops indoors super efficiently. Other participants in the round include Moore Capital Management founder Louis Bacon as well as existing backers such as DCM Ventures and funds that invest on behalf of Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

He Can Fix Your Student Debt, but Can He Sell You a Mortgage?

As chief operating officer of Twitter Inc., Anthony Noto did a lot to calm the company’s perpetually anxious shareholders. He started as the head of finance but became second in command after management shakeups. On Feb. 26, however, Noto took over as chief executive officer of a financial technology startup, Social Finance Inc., or SoFi. Once again, he’s stepping into a leadership gap at a company with big ambitions—and some big headaches.

This Startup Wants to Replace Your Office With 3D Holograms

Feature story, podcast and video:

One recent morning, Stephanie Rosenburg arrived at work to find her PC monitor had vanished. She looked around the office and saw that members of her team were wearing headsets with see-through visors and grabbing invisible objects with their hands. Rosenburg had just returned from vacation so it took her a few seconds to process what was happening before she clued in: “Oh,” she thought. “It’s my turn now.”

Nintendo Teams Up With VC Fund to Find New Tech for Switch

Nintendo Co. is teaming up with San Francisco-based Scrum Ventures to scout startups working on new ways to play or use the Japanese company’s hit gaming console, the Switch.

Fitbit’s Smartwatch Project Hits More Hurdles Ahead of Debut

First to report additional hurdles and internal struggles for the company’s new smartwatch project.

California Would Require Twitter, Facebook to Disclose Bots

California has proposed legislation that would require social platforms like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to identify automated accounts, or bots, amid a push by state lawmakers to police the technology companies that have proven vulnerable to manipulation and the spread of fake news.

Jack Ma Woos Mom and Pop Shops in U.S. Jobs Push

Sam Wolf moved his family’s health and wellness business online more than a decade ago. The Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based company runs its own warehouse and sells thousands of nutrition products in dozens of countries through its own website as well as on Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. But all that know-how didn’t quite prepare Wolf for the experience of selling into China through Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s online stores.

Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

Amazon.com Inc. will acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, a bombshell of a deal that catapults the e-commerce giant into hundreds of physical stores and fulfills a long-held goal of selling more groceries.

Why the Chinese Will Pay for Content That Americans Won’t

Back in early 2016, Li Xiang was just another overworked magazine editor in Beijing. Then along came an opportunity to produce a business newsletter on a brand-new app called De Dao. In just a few months that app—which means “I Get”  in English—had attracted millions of users looking for daily advice and to learn everything from music to economics. And Li? Within months, he had close to 100,000 subscribers paying about $30 a year—which works out to almost $3 million in annual revenue.

How to Earn Millions in China’s App Economy

Podcast: In the U.S., free content — whether that’s cooking tutorials on YouTube or the latest news on Twitter — is supported by advertising. In China, however, companies have succeeded in getting people to directly pay for what they consume, opening up a new source of revenue for the booming app industry and lucrative opportunities for content creators.

China’s Troubled LeEco Said to Plan Cutting Most of U.S. Workers

Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco plans to lay off more than 300 employees in the U.S., reducing the headcount to about 50 people, according to a person familiar with the matter.

SoftBank’s $100 Billion Tech Fund Rankles VCs as Valuations Soar

Earlier this month SoftBank led a $502 million investment in a London-based virtual reality startup called Improbable Worlds. Less than two years ago, the startup was worth about $100 million. Then SoftBank came along, and suddenly it was worth 10 times that. Overnight, Improbable Worlds had become a unicorn.

Musical.ly Talking With Viacom, NBC for Original Shows

Musical.ly, an app for creating and sharing personal music videos, is in talks with media companies including Viacom Inc. and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal to make original show programming, set to launch this summer, according to people familiar with the matter.

China’s JD.com Said in Talks to Invest in Indonesia’s Tokopedia

JD.com Inc., Alibaba’s fiercest rival in Chinese e-commerce, is in talks to make a major investment in Indonesia’s PT Tokopedia to speed its expansion into Southeast Asia’s largest economy, people familiar with the matter said.

Lyft Bookings and Ridership Soar, While Losses Shrink

Lyft Inc.’s bookings and ridership surged in the first quarter, suggesting the company benefited from user defections and management turmoil at larger rival Uber Technologies Inc.

Square Said to Acquire Team From Struggling Social App Yik Yak

Square Inc. acquired the engineering team of Yik Yak, according to a person familiar with the matter, marking the decline of the once-popular anonymous social network.

LeEco Is Said to Miss U.S. Sales Forecasts, Plan More Job Cuts

Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco Inc. is sharply scaling back its U.S. ambitions.

The company — which oversees a range of businesses in China, from streaming video to smartphones to electric cars — missed its projections for 2016 sales in the U.S. by a wide margin and is planning to cut more than a third of its U.S. workforce, a person familiar with the matter said.

Chinese Giant LeEco Ends Plan to Acquire U.S. TV Maker Vizio

Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco Inc. abandoned its planned $2 billion acquisition of U.S television maker Vizio Inc. because of regulatory issues, and instead is exploring other ways to incorporate LeEco’s content into Vizio’s devices.

Jack Ma’s Latest U.S. Expansion Plan Threatened by Trump Agenda

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s latest U.S. expansion plan is facing rising political obstacles.

On Friday, two members of the House of Representatives urged the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to conduct a “full and thorough” investigation of Ant Financial’s proposed acquisition of MoneyGram International Inc., a money-transfer service.

Tencent Emerges as Musk’s China Booster With 5% Tesla Stake

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk just gained a massive and well-connected confidant to help him better crack China’s auto market: Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Ant Financial Said Considering Higher Offer for MoneyGram

Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial is considering whether to make a higher offer for MoneyGram International Inc., according to a person familiar with the negotiations, after the U.S. company said a smaller rival’s bid could be a better deal.

GoPro Camera Maker Cuts Jobs Again in Search of Profit

GoPro Inc. unveiled a second round of job cuts to reduce costs in the face of growing skepticism from Wall Street that the action-camera maker can return to growth and make a profit.

Trump Looms Large Over This Year’s South by Southwest Gathering

Donald Trump won’t be attending this year’s South by Southwest conference, which started Friday in Austin, Texas. But the president will be very much in evidence — if only in spirit — at the annual gathering of technologists, musicians and wannabe entrepreneurs.

Can This Man Save GoPro?

In January, CJ Prober took on a challenge that has become frustratingly common in techdom: turning around a publicly traded hardware company whose products are no longer hits.

SoFi Is in Talks for $500 Million Funding Led by Silver Lake

Social Finance Inc. is close to raising about $500 million in a funding round expected to be led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners to bolster the expansion of its online-lending businesses and personal financial services, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fitbit Faces Criminal Probe Into Jawbone Trade Secret Theft

Jawbone Inc. isn’t backing down in its legal fight with Fitbit Inc., asserting in a court filing that its rival is under investigation by a criminal grand jury for theft of trade secrets.

SoFi Buys Mobile-Banking Startup Zenbanx for About $100 Million

Social Finance Inc., the online lending company known as SoFi, is muscling further into the financial-services industry by acquiring mobile-banking startup Zenbanx.

Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Buys MoneyGram for $880 Million

Ant Financial, the financial technology company controlled by billionaireJack Ma, stepped up its international expansion by buying U.S. money-transfer service MoneyGram International Inc.

Alibaba Olympics Sponsorship Deal Said to Be Worth $800 Million

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s deal to sponsor the Olympic Games through 2028 is worth $800 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Alibaba’s Ma Meets With Trump to Talk About Creating Jobs

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma met with Donald Trump on Monday to discuss how the online retailer could help create 1 million new U.S. jobs, keying in on one of the president-elect’s chief concerns amid fraught relations between China and the incoming administration.

Alibaba Again Named ‘Notorious Market’ in Blow to Overseas Push

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has again been labeled a haven for knockoffs with an embarrassing return to a U.S. blacklist for fakes just four years after getting its name removed.

SoFi Pushes Back IPO Plans Amid Financial Tech Sector Struggles

Social Finance Inc. is taking it slow after a rough year for financial technology companies.

The online lending company known as SoFi, which specializes in refinancing student loans, is pushing back plans for an initial public offering in order to focus on developing other business lines, said Chief Executive Officer Mike Cagney. Meanwhile, the company hasn’t yet closed a $500 million funding round, an effort that has SoFi courting international investors to purchase loans and potentially take an equity stake at the same time.

Alibaba’s Finance Arm Tours Silicon Valley as It Preps for IPO

A team of executives from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s banking and payments arm recently visited Silicon Valley to size up potential investments and lay the groundwork for an initial public offering expected as soon as next year.

How Alibaba Turns Wealthy Shopaholics Into a Marketing Squad

Meng Cui Yi spent almost $90,000 at Alibaba’s online mall in the past year. The 33-year-old restaurateur buys pretty much everything there—Burberry apparel, La Mer skincare products, furniture, groceries and more. After Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day sale last year, Meng’s purchases were piled so high outside her Shanghai apartment her businessman husband could barely get in the door.

Alibaba Wants Its $18 Billion Singles’ Day to Be More, Mean Less

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported a whopping $17.8 billion of sales during its online shopping bonanza Singles’ Day. But it doesn’t want you to focus on that number.

Alibaba’s U.S. Growth Ambitions at Risk After Trump Victory

Chinese internet companies face a new reality after Donald Trump’s surprise victory as U.S. president-elect — and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has the most to lose.

Things Got Ugly When Fitbit Trackers Piled Up in Stores

In September, with typical marketing hoopla, Fitbit Inc. rolled out two new gadgets, the Charge 2 and Flex 2. Designed to measure more detailed fitness stats, the trackers were well reviewed and seemed poised to help Fitbit retain leadership of an increasingly competitive market. But within weeks the devices were piling up in stores, according to analyst spot checks.

Alibaba Doubles Down on Entertainment With $1.5 Billion Fund

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is stepping up investments in the entertainment industry with the formation of a new media group along with a fund of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) for new projects.

This Chinese Video Streaming Giant Wants to Sell You a TV, a Phone and a Bike—and That’s Just a Start

Next year, Matt Damon will play a mercenary who goes to China in search of novel weapons, only to stumble upon a secretive army that defends the country from invading monsters.

The Chinese Music App That Wants to Be the Next Facebook

Bridget Kelly learned about Musical.ly at a sleepover and was hooked. Before long, the 12-year-old Moraga, California, resident and her friends were using the app to make 15-second music videos showing off their acapella or lip-syncing skills. After school, they choreographed moves for their next music video and performed “duets” with favorite celebrities.

SoFi Plans to Offer Life Insurance by End of Year

Social Finance Inc., a fintech startup that made its name by helping college graduates refinance student loans, is adding a new type of financial product: life insurance. The San Francisco company will soon start selling term life insurance to its base of mostly millennial customers, said people familiar with the matter.

How Women Won a Leading Role in China’s Venture Capital Industry

The largest venture capital fund ever raised by a woman isn’t in Silicon Valley or even the U.S. It’s in Beijing and is run by a former librarian who keeps such a low profile that she’s a mystery in her native China. Chen Xiaohong rarely attends industry conferences or events. She hadn’t given a media interview in more than a decade until agreeing to break her silence this summer. “I don’t like being part of a club,” said Chen during a four-hour discussion at her firm’s headquarters. “I believe in staying independent, making your own decisions.”

Ex-Google Guy Builds English Teaching App That Adapts to Student

Yi Wang was hearing the same refrain over and over: Why are English classes in China so expensive? And why aren’t I proficient yet?

Alibaba Finance Arm Buys Eye-Scan Startup in First U.S. Foray

Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., acquired EyeVerify Inc., to expand services using the U.S. startup’s biometric authentication technology for securing consumers’ online data and transactions.

Square Teams With Software Startups to Hook in More Businesses

Square Inc. unveiled deals with software startups Vend and TouchBistro, the latest partnerships that will offer its products to larger businesses that aren’t already customers of its electronic-payments system.

Alibaba’s E-Commerce App Has a Social Network Facebook Would Love

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has tried to shake the perception that it’s just the EBay Inc. or Amazon.com Inc. of China, by pushing into social media and entertainment and actively investing in startups like Snapchat Inc.

Square Finds Profitable Niche Between Food Trucks and Starbucks

Square Inc. seems to have found its place, proving this quarter that the mobile payments processor is useful for more than just food trucks and farm stand sellers.

Why an Ex-Google Coder Makes Twice as Much Freelancing

With a talent war raging, companies from Airbnb to Pfizer are paying top dollar for the services of independent programmers

An Ex-Goldman Banker Has Big Plans for Alibaba Finance Affiliate

When Douglas Feagin decided to leave Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after 22 years to run Ant Financial’s global operations, his colleagues congratulated him. Then asked: “Wait, what does Ant Financial do?”

Startup Investing Helps Alibaba Expand Footprint Outside China

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is becoming a more active startup investor. The Chinese internet giant is willing to spend money in hopes of finding the next Snapchat or Lyft — so long as the target uses Alibaba’s tools and services.

Hong Kong Has Plenty of Billionaires But No Billion-Dollar Startups

Tiananmen Square Vigil Draws Fewest Democracy Advocates in Years

Not Just Flying Selfie Sticks: World’s Top Drone-Maker Aims Higher

Will This Augmented Reality Machine Really Replace Your PC?

Among the seagulls and pelicans of Silicon Valley’s Redwood Shores, there’s a startup called Meta that’s trying to change everything about computers and the way we use them.

Put on the Meta 2 headset, and ten holographic computer screens will hover in mid-air. Press the floating Amazon.com webpage with Nike sneakers and the shoes pop out. You can pull the image apart and examine the inner soles. A phone icon appears in front of you, ringing. Press it, and the caller appears in holographic form. She can hand you a model of the Vienna Opera House; you can hold it and turn it around.

Tokyo Fiery Day Traders Gear Up For Year’s Biggest Tech IPO

Day traders in Tokyo are famous for their love of technology companies, new listings and volatility. So many expect fireworks when messaging app Line Corp. — the biggest tech initial public offering of the year — makes its Japan trading debut on Friday.

Closing of iTunes Movies Shows Apple Isn’t Immune to Chinese Regulators

Fitbit’s Move Into Medical Gadgets Risks Attracting FDA Scrutiny

Hedge Funds Pumped Up Silicon Valley. Now They’re Pulling Out

How an Affair Between a Valley VC and Exotic Dancer Turned Toxic

Who Needs Apple When the FBI Could Hack Terrorist iPhone Itself

Apple Goes to Washington Fresh From Big Boost in iPhone Fight

Apple’s Cook Picks Up Where Snowden Left Off

Apple Brand Could Become Casualty of FBI Tussle Over iPhone Hack

Hedge Fund Manager Puts Profile on Social Media, Lures $20 Million

Uber Drivers Strike to Protest Fare Cuts in New York City

On-Demand Massage Apps Are Thriving

Victoria Land’s back aches. It’s been a month since the 31-year-old public-relations manager’s last massage—her schedule’s unpredictable. And almost as bad was the effort she used to have to put into trying to book an appointment at her local spa. Instead, she pulls out her iPhone and opens Zeel, an app that summons a masseuse to her on demand. “It can fit into my timetable,” she says. “The fact that you just do the whole thing in your apartment—it’s just the best thing that ever happened.”

Data-for-Doughnuts Vision Inspires Auto Insurers to Chase Google

The restaurants and doughnut shops that you pass on your commute would love to predict when you’ll be driving by. Your auto insurer may already know, and could be looking for a way to profit from that information.

Ace to Buy Chubb for $28.3 Billion With Greenberg in Charge

Evan Greenberg extended an acquisition spree at his Ace Ltd. by agreeing to purchase Chubb Corp. for $28.3 billion in cash and stock.

China’s Beer Drinkers Grab a Warm One as Coors Alters Can

Not all beer drinkers want to grab a cold one.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) discovered this in China, where it altered the cold activated bottles and cans last year for Coors Light featuring images of the Rocky Mountains that turn blue when the beer is at ice cold temperatures.

Nutrisystem’s First Female CEO Brings Diet Battle to Job

When Dawn Zier became Nutrisystem (NTRI) Inc.’s first female chief executive officer in 42 years, she brought her own dieting angst to the job.

Consumer Groups Put Pressure on Retailers to Drop Triclosan

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers are under mounting pressure to eliminate products with triclosan, an antibacterial chemical used in hand soaps and Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s Total toothpaste.

Allstate Ramps Up Bond Trading as Wall Street Retreats, CEO Says

Allstate Corp. Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson has increased bond trading to boost returns as Wall Street scales back from making markets.

Loeb Faulted for ‘Unconscionable’ Tax Scheme by Teachers

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb was singled out for criticism by labor leaders who are urging the U.S. to limit investors’ ability to lower tax obligations through offshore reinsurance ventures.

Weed Users Avoid Smoker Penalties at 29% of U.S. Life Insurers

Marijuana users, who can now buy weed without fear of arrest in some U.S. states, can also get life insurance without facing a smoker penalty — if they shop carefully.

Fashion Industry Bets That Skinny-Jean Trend Is Over

It shouldn’t be hard to kill skinny jeans. After all, women love and loathe them in equal measure.

Kate Spade Shares Drop on Concern That Growth Is Cooling

Kate Spade & Co. (KATE), the handbag maker with aspirations to be a global lifestyle brand, fell the most in more than five years on concern that growth is cooling, reversing the stock’s earlier gains.

J.C. Penney Woos Brooklynites Even as It Closes Stores Elsewhere

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP), the department-store chain synonymous with sleepy suburban malls, is coming to the land of brownstones and artisanal cheese: Brooklyn.

ConAgra’s Rodkin to Step Down in May, Setting Off CEO Search

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG), the packaged-food company that owns Chef Boyardee and Healthy Choice, is seeking a new chief executive officer after current leader Gary Rodkin announced plans to step down next May.

The Crumbnuts Weren’t Enough, as Cupcake Chain Closes Amid Glut

Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. (CRMBU), the cupcake chain facing default on more than $14 million in loans, closed all of its stores yesterday after years of struggling to make money in a crowded market.

Darden Restaurants CEO to Step Down After Activist Battle

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) Chief Executive Officer Clarence Otis, who came under fire from activist investors for his turnaround strategy, plans to step down as chairman and CEO by the end of the year.

Supervalu Says Hackers May Have Stolen U.S. Customers’ Data

Supervalu Inc. (SVU), a U.S. supermarket chain concentrated in the Midwest, suffered a data breach that exposed customers’ payment-card information, marking the latest hacker attack on the retail industry.

Dollar Tree Agrees to Acquire Family Dollar for $8.5 Billion

Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR) agreed to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) for about $8.5 billion, creating a sprawling discount chain with $18 billion in sales and more locations than any other retailer in the U.S.

Reynolds Tobacco Merger Is Biggest Deal Led by Female CEO

When Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) announced plans to buy Lorillard Inc. (LO) for about $25 billion yesterday, it didn’t just mark the biggest tobacco merger in decades. The transaction also was the largest deal ever orchestrated by a woman: Reynolds Chief Executive Officer Susan Cameron.

Will Kids Adopt Smartwatches Before Their Parents Do?

With smartwatches drawing lukewarm interest from most consumers, some technology companies are trying a fresh approach: market them to kids.

Why Even a Supermodel Couldn’t Sell the Salad Bar Today

Having turned his trendy chain of New York-based salad restaurants into a success, Chop’t Chief Executive Officer Nick Marsh is determined to go national.

J.C. Penney Loss Narrows as Shoppers Return

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP), the department-store chain that hasn’t had an annual profit in three years, posted a narrower second-quarter loss as the retailer’s revival of promotions and discounts brought back shoppers.

Downfall of Crumbs Shows Limits of American Cupcake Addiction

Is America’s decade-long cupcake craze ending?
The frenzy, which spawned treat-dispensing ATMs and a $42 “colossal” cupcake that serves eight people, ran into reality this week when Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. shut all 48 of its stores. After initially planning to open 200 locations nationwide, the chain struggled to expand beyond its home base in New York and a few other pockets of affluence.

Downfall of Crumbs Shows Limits of American Cupcake Addiction

Is America’s decade-long cupcake craze ending?
The frenzy, which spawned treat-dispensing ATMs and a $42 “colossal” cupcake that serves eight people, ran into reality this week when Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. shut all 48 of its stores. After initially planning to open 200 locations nationwide, the chain struggled to expand beyond its home base in New York and a few other pockets of affluence.

Crumbs Surges as CEO Says He’s Found Interested Parties

Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. (CRMB), the cupcake chain that abruptly closed all of its stores this week, says it isn’t dead yet.

Crumbs Works to Save Cupcake Empire After Chain Shutdown

Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. (CRMB), the cupcake chain that abruptly shuttered its stores this week, is working on a plan to save the business.

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG), the packaged-food company that owns Chef Boyardee and Healthy Choice, said earnings missed its forecast amid slow sales of consumer foods and shrinking profit at its private-label business.

American Apparel Dismisses CEO Dov Charney for Misconduct

American Apparel Inc. (APP) replaced Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney, who has faced accusations of sexual harassment, after an investigation into unspecified misconduct at the casual clothing maker he founded.

Redskins’ Trademark Loss Seen as Chance for New Brand

The Washington Wizards have been there. In 1997, with their hometown wracked by gun violence, the basketball team then known as the Washington Bullets changed its name. The move by owner Abe Pollin gave the squad a fresh start after 31 years, along with plenty of new merchandise to sell. The Wizards joined a growing list of sports teams and companies — everyone from Taco Bell to St. John’s University — that have abandoned names and symbols perceived as offensive.

While Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s customers may disagree with the retailer’s stance on contraception, they aren’t changing their shopping habits or seeking their craft supplies elsewhere.

New York Is On a Roll With Greenwich in U.S. Sushinomics

Sushi restaurants in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut, are on a roll, with both cities ranking among the most expensive locales in the U.S. to buy the Japanese cuisine for the third year in a row.

TreeHouse Foods to Buy Flagstone for $860 Million

TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS), a maker of private-label foods for retailers, agreed to buy Flagstone Foods for $860 million in cash to expand in healthy snacks such as dried fruits.

GNC Names Talbots Executive Archbold as CEO

GNC Holdings Inc. (GNC), a health and wellness retailer, appointed Michael Archbold as Chief Executive Officer, replacing Joseph Fortunato, amid slowing sales growth.