Top 6 Career Myths That Make People Miserable

I end up hearing a lot of people complain about their jobs (in general) and specifically about how their career expectations haven’t been met. In almost every case, the complainer has a false belief that is creating the discrepancy between expectation and reality. Here are the most common:

Myth 1: If I skip my vacation, I’ll get a promotion.

Skipping vacation sounds like a great way to impress the boss, but statistically it hasthe opposite effect. According to a recent study of vacation usage, “only 23 percent of those who forfeited their days were promoted in the last year, compared to 27 percent of “non-forfeiters.” 

Rather than skip your vacation, schedule it ahead, and then resist the urge to “check in.” Your ability to separate yourself from work tells your boss that you’re independent and not in the slightest doubt of your value to the firm. 

Myth 2: If I work really hard, I’ll get a raise.

Most people interpret “carrot and stick” as using reward and punishment to motivate. In the original story, though, the carrot was tied to one end of the stick and the other end of the stick was tied to the donkey’s harness. The donkey never gets the carrot. Get it?

The way to get a raise is create more value for the firm, and then documenting that you created that value. But even before that, get a commitment from your boss that if you exceed your goals you’ll get an appropriate raise.  

Myth 3: If I help others, they’ll help me in return.

While humans theoretically value reciprocity, at work you’ll find that often “no good deed goes unrewarded.” If you’re too helpful, you can become a dumping ground where everyone throws tasks they’d rather not do themselves.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be helpful, but that it’s wise to temper your helpfulness with a little bit of cynicism. Try negotiating beforehand what the other person will do for you, before you do a favor.

Myth 4: If I’m more accessible, people will value me more.

Just because you’ve got a phone in your pocket and a computer on your desk doesn’t mean you should allow anybody and everybody to monopolize your time based on their convenience.

One of the great truths of marketing is that people place a higher value on resources that are scarce than identical resources that are plentiful. Making yourself available all the time is great way to say “my time isn’t worth much.”

Myth 5: If I turn down a project, my boss won’t like me.

Look, the top priority in your relationship with your boss isn’t to be liked but to be respected. If you accept donkey-work or extra projects when you’re already running at 100%, the boss may be pleased but will secretly think “what a chump!”

As with all work situations, your argumentative watchword should be “what’s best for the team?” It’s almost never good for the team or the company to utilize a high-priced resource (you) to do a low level task.  

Myth 6: If I provide more information, customers will buy.

Contrary to all the biz-blab about the “information economy,” information isn’t valuable. (Everyone has too much already.) What’s valuable is the right information at the right time. And the right time to provide information is when the customer asks for it.

As an aside, this particular myth is responsible for the 90% of marketing campaigns (especially email marketing) that fall flat. Look, the customers are only interested in themselves. So if you’re not talking about them you’re boring them.

Still Not Much Momentum At Accuray

Small-cap oncology system manufacturer Accuray (ARAY) reported a decent fiscal fourth quarter, but it’s hard to see much momentum in the business or any real sign that this company is becoming a more disruptive force within the radiation oncology market. Although I continue to give management high marks for improving the underlying efficiency of the business and cleaning up the balance sheet, I just don’t see signs that Accuray is really gaining on Varian (VAR) (or even Elekta (OTCPK:EKTAY)) in any meaningful way, and I don’t see anything on the horizon that would drive a sudden shift in sentiment among customers.

Valuation remains undemanding, and I still believe the acquisition of Accuray by a Chinese or Japanese company is conceivable, but med-tech stocks most often trade on the basis of revenue growth and it looks like Accuray has a long row to hoe to generate enough revenue growth to get investors excited about the shares.

Like Many Quarters, Some Good And Some Bad In Fiscal Q4

Accuray reported stronger than expected revenue in the fourth quarter, with 2% growth driving a 5% beat. Outperformance was driven entirely by the service business (up 15% and about 13% above expectations), with product revenue down 10% and in line with expectations.

Although a higher than expected mix of service revenue did compress gross margin somewhat (and service margin declined 160bp year over year), product margin improved nicely (up over 600bp on an adjusted basis), helped by a richer mix of CyberKnife systems. Adjusted EBITDA declined 25% in the quarter, while operating income rose 10% and the company posted a minor miss at the operating line, but a small beat at the EPS line.

Orders were once again a source of disappointment. Gross orders rose 12%, missing expectations by around 10% despite what management characterized as “strong performance” in CyberKnife and a 26% improvement in orders from Asia. Net order performance was far worse, up 2% and almost 25% short of expectations as the company saw a significant increase in order cancellations – something that had been running at a fairly slow and steady pace.

Characterizing the orders, Accuray management said that 20% were replacement orders, 20% were competitive take-aways in established vaults and 60% were in new vaults. Although the company appears to be winning more business than it loses upon replacements, the pace of replacement orders has still been weaker than expected a couple of years ago.

Looking Back, This Wasn’t An Especially Great Year

I believe this is a reasonable time to look back at the guidance management gave a year ago for this fiscal year and see how things stack up.

On the revenue line, management exceeded initial expectations by a couple of percentage points relative to the midpoint of guidance and managed to exceed the high end of the initial guidance range. This came about from better-than-expected service revenue performance, though, as product revenue growth of 2% came in below the 5% to 10% growth guidance, with weaker sales to China tagged as the primary culprit.

Management met the gross margin target, but missed the adjusted EBITDA guidance range of $25 million to $30 million by a wide margin ($17 million reported), with the company electing during the year to spend more on developing the business (particularly R&D).

Gross order growth of 2% also missed guidance of 5%.

Looking Ahead

Management provided guidance of 4% to 8% product revenue growth for this next fiscal year, and overall revenue growth of about 4% at the midpoint – a level of growth that frankly doesn’t compare all that favorably to Varian or Elekta for a company that is supposed to be a share-gainer. Management is also no longer giving order guidance. While management claims this is due in part to its decision to focus more resources and attention on driving multi-system orders, which will be more volatile, I don’t view less guidance as a net positive, particularly from a company that has struggled to hit its own targets. I’d also note that the EBITDA guidance provided for the year ahead is lower than where expectations were going into the quarter.

Where’s The Spark?

I’m finding it harder to sustain the argument that Accuray has enough upside to be worth further patience, as the company just isn’t making the expected progress. While regulatory issues have held back sales in China and management claims to be “continuing to make progress” on finding a Chinese JV partner, the execution on the opportunity in China just hasn’t been there.

Likewise with the overall execution on Accuray’s opportunities in the market. Accuray has been unable to convince clinicians that CyberKnife or the Tomo platform offer meaningful treatment/outcome advantages over rival systems (particularly Varian). What’s more, while Accuray’s partnership with RaySearch (OTCPK:RSLBF) has helped it improve an area that was significantly deficient compared to Varian and Elekta (treatment planning software), the company has struggled to make a compelling “here’s why you should go with us” case that resonates with hospital purchasing managers.

And now there’s the added news that the company’s CFO of roughly three years is leaving to join a private med-tech. There was no couching this decision in terms of wanting to relocate to a particular geographic area or wanting to get back to a particular industry segment (the med-tech in question is a urology company), and I think investors should ask why the CFO would want to leave if great things were just around the corner.

To be sure, I’m not saying that Accuray is hopeless or that it cannot/will not continue to show improving margins and some level of ongoing product growth. Radixact has seen decent commercial interest and I still believe the Onrad system has potential in markets like China and Japan. Along those lines, I could also see Accuray having some possible acquisition appeal to a Chinese or Japanese acquirer, and I think Accuray’s small size and insignificant market share would help the deal approval process.

The Opportunity

After incorporating fourth quarter performance and guidance, I’m still looking for long-term revenue growth in the neighborhood of 3%. Although Elekta continues to struggle in the market, Varian seems to be benefitting the most from that. I do expect Accuray to be cash flow positive and generate better FCF margins in the coming years as the company slowly builds operating leverage on a growing revenue base. The biggest upside to those numbers, aside from some sort of unexpected shift among key opinion leaders that CyberKnife is must-have/must-use technology, would be more clarity in China and stronger sales execution in what should be a sizable long-term market opportunity for the company.

The Bottom Line

Accuray is not at all expensive, and I believe fair value remains between $4.50 and $5.50. Although announcing multiple multi-system wins could get some excitement back in the shares, as could the announcement of a meaningful partnership in China, the valuation argument is hampered by the reality that med-tech, and particularly small-cap med-tech, stock performance is typically driven by revenue growth and Accuray just isn’t likely to produce a lot of that. Consequently, investors need to at least appreciate the risk of this becoming/remaining a value trap and understand that it’s going to take time for the story to work.

Disclosure: I am/we are long ARAY.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Angry Birds maker Rovio's games get sales boost

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Rovio Entertainment (ROVIO.HE), the maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game series and movie, on Friday reported an increase in second-quarter sales at its games business, providing a positive sign for investors after a profit warning in February.

FILE PHOTO: Angry Birds characters Bomb, Chuck and Red are pictured during the premiere in Helsinki, Finland, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Tuomas Forsell/File Photo

The Finnish company, which listed on the stock market in Helsinki last September, reported lower second-quarter earnings due to declining revenue from its 2016 Hollywood movie, but the number of active players for its games rose more than analysts had expected.

Second-quarter adjusted operating profit fell to 6 million euros ($7 million), down from 16 million euros a year earlier and slightly above the average market forecast according to Thomson Reuters data.

Total sales fell 17 percent to 72 million euros but sales at the games business rose 6 percent to 65 million euros.

Rovio’s shares rose 3.3 percent on the day by 0714 GMT. The stock is trading around 50 percent below its initial public offering price.

The company’s recent troubles have stemmed from tough competition and increased marketing costs, as well as high dependency on the Angry Birds brand that was first launched as a mobile game in 2009.

Rovio reiterated the full-year outlook that had disappointed investors in February, when it said that sales could fall this year after a 55 percent increase in 2017.

OP Bank analyst Hannu Rauhala said it seemed that the allocation of user acquisition investments had been successful. “Those investments have resulted in growth both in revenue and the number of active players,” said Rauhala, who has a “buy” rating on the stock.

Rovio expects a movie sequel to boost business next year and the company has also stepped up investments in its spin-off company Hatch, which is building a Netflix-style streaming service for mobile games.

Rovio’s current top title “Angry Birds 2” generates almost half of the company’s game income.

“It would be desirable to see other mainstays to emerge in its game business, meaning new successful games,” OP’s Rauhala said.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Anne Kauranen; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jane Merriman

Musk's SpaceX could help fund take-private deal for Tesla: NYT

(Reuters) – Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, could help fund a bid to take electric car company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) private, the New York Times reported on Thursday, quoting people familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Musk startled Wall Street last week when he said in a tweet he was considering taking the auto company private for $420 per share and that funding was “secured.” He has since said he is searching for funds for the effort.

Musk said on Monday that the manager of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had voiced support for the company going private several times, including as recently as two weeks ago, but also said that talks continue with the fund and other investors.

The New York Times report said another possibility under consideration is that SpaceX would help bankroll the Tesla privatization and would take an ownership stake in the carmaker, according to people familiar with the matter.

Musk is the CEO and controlling shareholder of the rocket company.

Tesla and SpaceX did not respond when Reuters requested comment on the matter.

In a wide-ranging and emotional interview with the New York Times published late on Thursday, Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, described the difficulties over the last year for him as the company has tried to overcome manufacturing issues with the Model 3 sedan. nyti.ms/2vOkgeM

“This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career,” he said. “It was excruciating.”

The loss-making company has been trying to hit production targets, but the tweet by Musk opened up a slew of new problems including government scrutiny and lawsuits.

The New York Times report said efforts are underway to find a No. 2 executive to help take some of the pressure off Musk, people briefed on the search said.

Musk has no plans to relinquish his dual role as chairman and chief executive officer, he said in the interview.

Musk said he wrote the tweet regarding taking Tesla private as he drove himself on the way to the airport in his Tesla Model S. He told the New York Times that no one reviewed the tweet before he posted it.

He said that he wanted to offer a roughly 20 percent premium over where the stock had been recently trading, which would have been about $419. He decided to round up to $420 – a number that has become code for marijuana in counterculture lore, the report said.

“It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419,” he said in the interview. “But I was not on weed, to be clear. Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned.’ You just sit there like a stone on weed,” he said.

Some board members recently told Musk to lay off Twitter and rather focus on operations at his companies, according to people familiar with the matter, the newspaper report said.

During the interview, Musk emotionally described the intensity of running his businesses. He told the newspaper that he works 120 hours a week, sometimes at the expense of not celebrating his own birthday or spending only a few hours at his brother’s wedding.

“There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn’t go outside,” he said during the interview. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”

To help sleep, Musk sometimes takes Ambien, which concerns some board members, since he has a tendency to conduct late-night Twitter sessions, according to a person familiar with the board the New York Times reported.

“It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” he said.

Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier, Bernard Orr

This Missionary-Turned-Lawyer Started a $3.4 Million Company to Save You From Roaches and Bedbugs

Insects don’t respect business hours, so pest-control companies hire Slingshot to handle sales and service calls day and night. Co-founder and CEO Taylor Olson’s unusual odyssey from Mormon missionary to bug-bomb scheduler. –As told to Leigh Buchanan

In Utah, we have this weird cottage industry of companies that sell pest-control services door-to-door. Typically, they employ young LDS [Latter-day Saint] people who are recently back from their missions, where they spent a couple of years knocking on doors every day. That develops a massive amount of muscle tissue for rejection.

I was 19 when my cousin got one of those pest-control jobs. He expected to make $10,000 in four months. I was making around $6 an hour, so I asked if I could join him. Before going on my mission, I made 100 sales in four months. After I came back, I made 100 sales in four weeks. My people skills had accelerated that much. I understood how to build rapport.

I started several companies in my 20s, including a kind of Airbnb for parking spaces and a StubHub for digital coupons. But I couldn’t give them much attention, because I was studying to get into law school. After about a year at UCLA, I started to think the law wasn’t for me. But I’m not a quitter. So I determined to finish my degree while working on a new business. If it failed, I would bite the bullet and become an attorney.

Two friends and I had already started a company creating websites and blogs for pest-control companies, using connections from those door-to-door sales days. We also did some lead generation. It struck us that some businesses were losing out on leads because more than a quarter of pest-control calls come in after hours. Let’s say you have cockroaches in your kitchen. They’re gross, and you want them gone. If that happens tonight at 11 o’clock, your instinct is to call someone. But most businesses shut down between 5 and 6, so you get voicemail. You might hang up. You might keep calling around. But your likelihood of buying from that particular business goes way down.

So we started representing pest-control companies, at any hour, using phone, text, or web chat. At first, most of our work was at night: We took turns sleeping on the couch in our 600-square-foot office and responding to calls. Now we do a lot of daytime work as well. Some businesses have made us their entire inside sales team.

Two of us came into this with pest-control experience, so we didn’t need much additional education. We could already tell the difference between a fleabite and a bedbug bite or whether your home has been invaded by carpenter ants or termites. (Carpenter ants leave wood shavings.) We also handle clients with large corporate accounts. Sometimes, people will call in a panic and say, “My toddler or my dog just ate the bait in this rattrap or the gel you left for the roaches. What do we do?” Those calls are pretty intense.

For a while, I didn’t think we were going to make it. About a year and a half in, I was still funding payroll on my credit cards, which were maxed out. We were down to our last $5,000. We used most of that to get this dingy little booth at a big trade show in Nashville. After four or five hours of talking to people, I was on the biggest high I’ve ever had. We probably got 30 new accounts from that, almost tripling the business. It saved the day and saved our morale.

When we started, my whole perception of the industry was these door-to-door businesses coming out of Utah. That’s what I thought pest control was. Now I know that’s just a small segment of a very large industry. Today, almost a third of the 100 biggest U.S. pest-control companies are Slingshot clients.

I want us to get to where, if someone sees a termite swarm or a carpenter ant and calls their pest-control company, no matter where they are in the country, there’s a good chance that we will answer.

From Door Knockers to Bug Busters

Started paying myself this salary after one year: $32,000

The biggest danger in growing too fast: Running out of cash. We have had many, many times when we have cut that dangerously close. The second danger is that you grow quicker than your operations, or your employees, can keep up with. You let clients down, or you don’t have good management and processes for your team members, and they start to feel neglected.

Number of vacation days I’ve taken in the past year:

Biggest business splurge: When we moved into a new space in February, we spent $3,000 on a 10-foot, 3-D sign with the company name for the lobby.

Hour my alarm clock is set for: 7:30 a.m.

From the September 2018 issue of Inc. Magazine

How to Master the Art of Giving a Great Virtual Presentation

For online presentations, the first step is to get everyone on video (sometimes you have to insist). No more audio-only calls where all your audience members are just secretly multi-tasking. You can’t make an engaging presentation with slides and their disembodied voice. Get your face on video so people can see you and ideally you can see your audience too. This allows you to really connect with your audience, and see how they are reacting to you.

Also for online presentations, consider your environment. Spotty wifi with an unprofessional background and a poorly-lit face kills your presentation. I literally interviewed a candidate who had pile of dirty laundry behind him – not the best first impression. Zoom works great on wifi right down to 3G, but if you’re giving a big presentation, your best bet is hardwiring in. Then, make sure you are in a quiet space with no distractions. Clean up your background – just use a plain wall, or a nice plant – or try Zoom’s virtual backgrounds (sorry, shameless plug). Consider your lighting. Get there a couple minutes early to make sure it’s not too much or too little lighting. And check that you are lit from the front, not from behind you (i.e. don’t sit with your back to a window). It is distracting when cameras are too high or low or are angled so we’re only seeing part of someone’s face. Check that you are looking straight at the camera and your video feed is framing the upper part of your torso and your head – you want it to look as if you were sitting across the table from your audience.

And for both online and in-person presentations, you have to engage your audience. Don’t droning on for a long time, doing too many text-rich slides, and not matching your abstract to your presentation (this is actually a big one – people want to know what they’re getting in to). Instead, stop regularly to tell a (quick!) story, ask a question, take a straw poll, tell a joke, give your audience a small task, and so forth. Just keep them awake and interested! Also, you need adjust your presentation to your audience’s response. I have multiple large screens in my office so I can see all the participants in my meeting or presentation all at once and read their body language and facial expressions. If I see attention waning or some disagreement, I will switch things up.

Finally, a quick technical recommendation for online presentations. If you’re using Zoom, when setting up your meeting, select the “Mute upon entry” option. This makes sure that your participants join with their sound off, so you don’t get background noise that can disrupt the flow of your presentation.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Ford Motor Is A Single-Digit Stock: What Should Investors Do Now?

Ford Motor‘s (F) have fallen below the $10 price level this week on fears over an escalating trade war between the United States and China and higher expected commodity costs. Though Ford Motor faces some headwinds over the short haul in terms of costs, investors have turned too bearish on U.S. auto companies, in my opinion. Ford Motor makes a promising value proposition below $10 as shares are dirt-cheap and ripe for a rebound. While waiting for the storm to pass, investors get to collect a healthy 6.3 percent dividend.

Disappointing Performance And New 52-Week Low

Ford Motor hasn’t exactly been a winning investment in 2018. Year-to-date, the auto company’s share price slumped 23.4 percent. This week’s sell-off also caused Ford’s share price to fall to a new 52-week low @$9.42.

[Note that according to the Relative Strength Index, Ford Motor is now widely oversold again.]

Source: StockCharts

Why Are Investors Spooked?

One word: Tariffs.

The tariff tit-for-tat between the United States and China already drags on for months but went into another round earlier in August when both countries imposed new tariffs on each other yet again. First, the United States slapped an additional 25 percent tariff on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports. China then immediately reacted, imposing a 25 percent tariff on $16 billion of U.S. goods including fuel, steel products, automobiles and medical equipment.

The big fear here is that both countries will continue to escalate the tariff stand-off. Put simply: Investors are currently pricing in a worst-case trade scenario that will lead to billions of dollars in trade lost over protectionist political stances. Auto companies, including General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor have already warned about rising commodity and steel costs, which is expected to negatively affect profitability over the short haul.

That being said, though, I expect the U.S. and China to ultimately resolve their trade dispute at the negotiating table as both countries benefit from increased trade and collaboration over the long haul.

Reduced Adj. EPS-Guidance Weighing On Investor Sentiment In The Short Run

Ford Motor, for instance, adjusted its earnings guidance for 2018, partly due to rising commodity costs. Ford Motor now expects to pull in $1.30-$1.50/share in adjusted earnings per share in 2018, which compares against a previous earnings guidance of $1.45-$1.70/share. The guidance midpoint now sits at $1.40, which is ~11 percent lower than the previous midpoint ($1.58/share).

Source: Ford Motor Investor Presentation

Ford Motor isn’t the only auto company that has reduced its profit outlook, though. General Motors cut its earnings forecast, too, and so did Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU).

Ford Motor Is In The Bargain Bin

Ford Motor’s shares are dirt-cheap, and sell for less than seven times next year’s estimated profits. I think investors have turned too bearish on Ford Motor too fast, which in turn opens up a buying window for income investors with a contrarian bent.

Chart

F data by YCharts

Still An Attractive Yield Play

Ford Motor is, first and foremost, a dividend play, which is worth reminding investors of once in a while. Shares throw off a $0.15/share quarterly dividend, and Ford Motor has paid special dividends in the past as well. An investment in F at today’s price point yields 6.3 percent.

Chart

F Dividend data by YCharts

Your Takeaway

Though Ford Motor’s share price could certainly drop further over the short haul, shares are already widely oversold, and ripe for a rebound. Hence, I see the drop below $10 as a buying opportunity, but only for those investors that have a higher-than-average risk tolerance and an investment horizon of more than one year. Though the tariff standoff between the U.S. and China makes for some interesting news, the conflict will ultimately be resolved at the negotiating table. For now, investors may want to ignore the noise. Speculative Buy for income and capital appreciation.

If you like to read more of my articles, and like to be kept up to date with the companies I cover, I kindly ask you that you scroll to the top of this page and click ‘follow‘. I am largely investing in dividend paying stocks, but also venture out occasionally and cover special situations that offer appealing reward-to-risk ratios and have potential for significant capital appreciation. Above all, my immediate investment goal is to achieve financial independence.

Disclosure: I am/we are long F, GM.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Unilever to use JD.com to move products across China

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chinese ecommerce firm JD.com has agreed a deal with Unilever to move products like Lipton’s tea and Lux soap between warehouses across China as the consumer goods firm looks to expand sales in more remote parts of the country.

FILE PHOTO – An employee works at a JD.com logistics centre in Langfang, Hebei province, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

The deal is the latest move by an ecommerce company to muscle into the territory of logistics companies by leveraging the expertise and supply chains they have built up for their own retail business to offer those services to others.

JD.com said in a statement that Unilever, which previously worked exclusively with logistics firms such as Deutsche Post’s DHL for its China distribution, will use its network to shift goods destined for stores between warehouses.

The firms gave no financial details.

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Unilever is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The move comes as many Western brands are pushing to expand sales to consumers beyond Chinese cities, both online and offline. JD.com agreed a similar partnership with the water subsidiary of France’s Danone last year.

“JD will now help us bring our most popular products to the most hard-to-reach communities in China, securely and quickly,” Rohit Jawa, executive vice president of Unilever North Asia, said in the statement.

JD.com has sought to differentiate itself from bigger rival Alibaba by running all its own logistics, operating over 500 warehouses, and fleets of vehicles, promising it can deliver over 90 percent of orders on the same or next day.

“JD.com knows that they need to increase the density of shipments within their network and they know it is a way to create a strategic and competitive advantage,” said supply chain consultant Brittain Ladd.

“Once a brand is available in China and customers are buying their products, the big challenge is replenishment and warehouses.”

Unilever signed a strategic partnership with Alibaba in 2015, including using data from its online marketing unit and its cloud business, to improve its digital advertising strategy and expand its distribution channels for rural consumers.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Potter

Vietnam's Vinfast in deal with Siemens for technology to make electric buses

HANOI (Reuters) – VinFast Trading and Production LLC has signed two contracts with Siemens Vietnam, a unit of Siemens AG, for the supply of technology and components to manufacture electric buses in the Southeast Asian country.

The headquarters of Siemens AG is seen before the company’s annual news conference in Munich, Germany, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

VinFast, a unit of Vietnam’s biggest private conglomerate, Vingroup JSC, said on Monday the deals will enable it to launch the first electric bus by the end of 2019.

“Electric buses are an essential element of sustainable urban public transportation systems,” Siemens Vietnam President and CEO Pham Thai Lai said in the statement.

VinFast will also produce electric motorcycles, electric cars and gasoline cars from its $1.5-billion factory being built in Haiphong City, it said.

In June, General Motors Co agreed to transfer its Vietnamese operation to VinFast, which will also exclusively distribute GM’s Chevrolet cars in Vietnam.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Cyber Saturday—The War on InfoWars

Good evening, Cyber Saturday readers.

A number of tech companies excised the rantings and ravings of Alex Jones, a pundit known for promulgating deranged conspiracy theories, from their digital repositories this past week.

On his website, InfoWars, Jones has been known to push baseless, detestable claims; for example, that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and the September 11th attacks were orchestrated by the government. Fed up with Jones’ antics, Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube—with the notable exception of Twitter—corked his megaphone.

Add this confrontation to the longstanding tug-of-war between free speech and censorship on the web. One of my favorite contributions to this dialogue was supplied last year by Matthew Prince, CEO and cofounder of Cloudflare, a startup offering services that improve website performance and security. By policy, Prince’s firm chooses to protect all comers, whether that’s the webpage of an ecommerce startup or a black market site. Cloudflare has long maintained that policing the Internet is a job for, well, the police—not for itself.

Until Prince broke his own rule. As the CEO described it in a blog post, one day he felt a customer crossed the line. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi sympathizing site, said that Prince’s company was a secret supporter of its ideology. That went too far—and to prove the point, Prince gave the site the boot.

“Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it’s so dangerous,” Prince wrote. “Without a clear framework as a guide for content regulation, a small number of companies will largely determine what can and cannot be online.”

Subverting his own decision, Prince continued: “Law enforcement, legislators, and courts have the political legitimacy and predictability to make decisions on what content should be restricted. Companies should not.”

I don’t have an easy answer for these predicaments. But as I considered Facebook’s move, the words of the company’s parting security chief, Alex Stamos, rang in my ears. “We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues,” he said in March, part of a letter addressed to Facebook that leaked publicly. “And we need to be open, honest and transparent about our challenges and what we are doing to fix them.”

Amen to that. What do you make of this debate, dear reader? I would like to hear from you. What is the right course of action for these companies? Is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in the right for keeping Jones afloat, or not?

Do write. I welcome your thoughts.

Have a great weekend.

Robert Hackett

@rhhackett

[email protected]

Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach Robert Hackett via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my about.me), PGP encrypted email (see public key on my Keybase.io), Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.