For all of the challenges facing tech, it has been a boom time for Apple. The tech giant flexed its financial muscle with a record $100 billion plan to buy back stock from investors, as it reported strong gains in revenue and profit even as growth in the number of iPhones sold remained weak.
Elsewhere, the Journal reports at least a dozen Chinese tech “unicorns”—private companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion—have held talks about possible IPOs this year or early next. Their combined valuation is some $500 billion, so if all the deals go ahead and consist of the typical 10% to 20% of shares, at least $50 billion worth could hit global markets, a test of investor appetite. Alphabet’s Google, meanwhile, is trying to navigate an age of heightened political disagreement, as the company struggles to tame a workplace culture of nonstop debate.