5 important things happening in tech today

The tech world saw further developments on global corporate tax agreements, and announcements of new versions of Apple operating system software at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Amazon may be able to avoid the new global tax agreed on by the G7 countries thanks to its relatively low profit margins.

The global retailer’s Amazon Prime day is also approaching and daily deals are running, some of which ship directly to South African.

Bitcoin’s recent slump has continued, taking the cryptocurrency to its lowest prices since January 2021.

Here is what is happening in the tech world today:

  • Apple: The company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicked off last night with its keynote event. The event’s launch saw major announcements on new operating system across all of its devices: iOS 15, iPadOS 15, MacOS Monterey, and WatchOS 8. Hints at, and hopes for announcements on the M2 Macbook Pro were left unfulfilled. Apple also announced a range of security features it will introduce with its new operating systems, including IP address masking in emails and web browsing. Due to government regulations, the web privacy features will not be allowed in China. WWDC, which tends to center around software and developer updates, continues until Friday and more Apple releases and new features will be announced throughout the 200 events taking place during the next four days.

  • Corporate tax: The G7 countries have agreed on an international corporate tax of 15% as a way of drawing more tax from multinational companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Economics and data editor of Sky News, Ed Conway stated the purpose of the tax as “trying to prevent billions of dollars, if not trillions, of tax avoidance by the world’s biggest companies.” The tax will be imposed on companies with a 10% or higher profit margin. Both Facebook and Google have deemed the tax as acceptable, whereas Amazon could potentially not have to pay the tax at all.

  • Amazon: The global retail and cloud company might be able to avoid the G7’s international sales tax due to the company’s sub-10% profit margin. Amazon recorded a net profit of only 6.3% in 2020. Its low profits are due to substantial reinvestment in infrastructure and global expansion, as well as the profit margins on its online retail business which it maintains to gain further market share. If the company is to be subject to the international tax the G7 may have to adjust the parameters required for the tax to be imposed.

  • Prime: Amazon Prime day takes place on 21 and 22 June 2021, and there are daily sales already occurring on the retail platform. New product deals are available every day, and South Africans can gain access to them with a 30-day free trial which can be cancelled when Prime day is over.

  • Bitcoin: The largest cryptocurrency has dropped over 10% in the last 24-hours. Still suffering from the recent crypto slump, and under sustained pressure by the Chinese government, Bitcoin’s price has almost halved since early May from over R870,000 to R455,800, its lowest price since January 2021.

Now read: iOS 15 Announced — All the new features

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5 important things happening in tech today