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How are the tech giants doing during coronavirus?

Extremely well, of course: Facebook, Microsof, Spotify, Amazon and Netflix are gaining value and users

How are the tech giants doing during coronavirus? Extremely well, of course: Facebook, Microsof, Spotify, Amazon and Netflix are gaining value and users

The coronavirus and quarantine may have triggered a global economic crisis for most physical business, but the same has not happened for digital tech brands that, based on first-quarter budgets, are seeing their shares rise. The contagion has not stopped the business of companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Spotify, Amazon and TikTok whose digital services, in times of social distancing and lockdown, are increasingly in demand. To get an idea of the proportions of this growth, just think that Amazon, with a 28% increase in its shares, is three times the main list of Piazza Affari, which includes 40 different companies and is now beginning to differentiate its offer beyond services such as Prime Video but also with Amazon Fresh, dedicated to grocery delivery.

Although it saw a drop in sponsorship demand that worries analysts, Facebook Group shares rose 10% yesterday and the company said that active users on all the apps and social networks it runs (so whatsApp and Instagram) also increased by 2.99 billion every month of the first quarter of the year. However, spokespersons for the app expressed more caution than optimism, as even though the group's earnings doubled, its profits slightly disappointed with forecasts:

“We expect that we will lose at least some of this increased engagement when various shelter-in-place restrictions are relaxed in the future”.

The huge demand for digital services and social media has not only benefited Facebook and its apps but also TikTok, which, again in the first quarter, has been installed 315 million times, surpassing every other app. According to analysts at Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded 2 billion times in total and user spending rose exponentially to 456.7 million dollars. Microsoft's profits also rose 22% with cloud computing shares up 59% thanks to smartworking.

Streaming services are also having particular luck. While the closure of parks and cinemas, as well as the interruption of productions, has damaged Disney, Netflix has grown by 32% and is valued "only" nine billion less than the entertainment titan founded by Walt Disney. And Spotify also managed to close solid in the first quarter, despite suffering a similar drop in sponsorships to Facebook, with revenues rising 22%.

The rising revenues of these big tech companies are not without shadows and contradictions – the first of all is the sponsorship crisis that has involved both Facebook and Spotify, leading in the case of Facebook to results that, although comforting compared to the general climate of this period, have not been optimal in all respects , also because they are conditioned by the legal fees due to multibillion-dollar fines by U.S. federal authorities for privacy violations, leading to that serene but cautious tone of the company's spokesmen. Microsoft has also been damaged by the media attacks suffered by Bill Gates by the American ultra-right, which has put him at the center of plots of all kinds, while Jeff Bezos has ended up at the center of more realistic controversies due to the strong protest of Amazon employees who tomorrow, for example, will strike along with those of other big American chains like Walmart.