Daily Crunch: SoftBank founder leaves Alibaba board

SoftBank and Alibaba seem to be pulling apart, Amazon launches a no-code app builder and a new congressional bill takes a different approach to online protections.

Here’s your Daily Crunch for June 25, 2020.

1. Masayoshi Son resigns from board of Alibaba; defends SoftBank Group’s investment strategy

SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son said he’s leaving the board of Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, a month after Ma left the board of SoftBank.

Son said he sees the move as “graduating” from the board of his most successful investment to date. He then swiftly moved to defend the Japanese group’s investment strategy, which has become the subject of scrutiny and public mockery.

2. AWS launches Amazon Honeycode, a no-code mobile and web app builder

Honeycode is supposed to make it easy for anyone to build their own applications using a web-based, drag-and-drop builder.

3. PACT Act takes on internet platform content rules with ‘a scalpel rather than a jackhammer’

The PACT Act is a new bipartisan effort to reform Section 230, the crucial liability shield that enables internet platforms to exist, approaching the law’s shortcomings “with a scalpel rather than a jackhammer,” said Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). It’s being proposed as an alternative to the EARN IT Act and President Trump’s executive order attacking Section 230.

4. SevenRooms raises $50M to double down on reservations, ordering and other tools for hospitality businesses

SevenRooms serves restaurants, hotels and other venues, although food service establishments account for about 95% of its business. Another new opportunity has emerged as shops and other in-person venues are looking at reservations to help with social distancing.

5. 5 VCs agree: COVID-19 reshaped adtech and martech

We last surveyed VCs about their advertising and marketing investment strategies back in January in a completely different world, before the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on the global economy. To find out how the landscape looks now, we’ve compiled updated answers from two investors who participated in the previous survey and brought in three new perspectives. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. New York City could have an e-scooter pilot program by March

The New York City Council is expected to vote on a bill that will require the New York Department of Transportation to create a pilot program for the operation of shared electric scooters in the city.

7. NASA seeks crowdsourced help designing a better moon toilet

The competition seeks “innovative designs for fully capable, low-mass toilets that can be used both in space and on the Moon.” It’s not the first time that NASA has enlisted the power of the crowd, and HeroX’s crowdsourcing platform, to come up with innovative technology around human waste management.

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