每日新闻更新 — (脸书)面临惩罚?监管和技术股的回归 The Daily Update – Facing the book? Regulation and tech returns

有人说,道歉有时非常值钱,但马克·扎克伯格的道歉可是比大多数的道歉还要值钱;就在他那习惯性的枯燥无味的但是充满歉意的证词以及回答参议院的讯问之后,他的公司净资产增加了250亿美元(而自己的股份增加了近30亿美元)。所以,忍气吞声,不装腔作势,最终得到了回报,对于“糖山先生”来讲最少短期内是这样的。但尽管参议院在他们的一些质疑中表现出了大量的令人啼笑皆非的对科技的无知,但很显然,他们的主要担忧并不是没有道理的。现在,好像正在酝酿对科技股和平台的监管 — 两者都通过法律强制实施或者自主实施,以满足挑剔的用户。

扎克伯格已经证实,他们计划在全球范围内遵守欧盟的《通用数据保护条例”》(GDPR)。该法规将从五月25日开始生效,以便可以对用户的个人隐私予以更大程度的控制,并强行对不遵守的行为予以重罚(在最近的几个月中,他们表现出将此用于其他科技巨头的不当行为之中的极大兴趣)。但是,这可能来得太温柔也太晚了。根据哈佛政治学院最近的一项调查显示,脸书已经失去了主要用户的信任,18至29岁的人中有73%不信任他们正在做的事情是正确的(49%表示“有些时间”,24%表示“从来就没有”)。该公司知道要重新获得信任和用户要比原来还要困难多少,并且因为不恰当地分享了8700万个帐户(相当于美国成年人口的约40%)的个人数据并承认即使在用户退出登录后也能跟踪用户一事而无奈失去颜面。

然而,更广泛的问题是这些规定会触及得多深和多远,我们可以从这些最新的听证会中梳理出何种迹象。这种监管的影响力对于科技领域非常重要,因为我们已经看到过去在烟草和生物技术行业上执行的监管产生了多么巨大的影响。在(20世纪)90年代中期,当40个州开始对烟草公司提起诉讼的时候,以及美国在2015年对生物技术行业开始引进更多的监管的时候,这些行业的表现相对于大盘而言经历了长期的萎靡不振,而这两个行业在一半的时间里就把(原来)大约3年的出色业绩败坏殆尽。

直接把这种观点套用在真正具有创新性质和基本上可以说是更加多元化的科技行业可能太过于悲观。然而,就在过去的3年中(即使在最近的下跌之后),主要的科技股(以纽约证券交易所方正指数为代表)的表现超越了标准普尔500指数100%以上:标准普尔上涨34%,方正指数上涨139%。所以从短期来看实施监控对于该行业来讲可能是一粒又苦又难以下咽的药丸,尽管从长期来看,有益于促进业内的操作(有人说这正中那些科技巨头的下怀)。此外,在严肃并有兼容性的法规起草之前,监管人员(机构)仍有许多调查和熟悉业务的工作要做。但是,当我们等待所有这一切发生的同时,人们仍然可以看到一些没有章法的罚款,就像把膏药贴在流血的伤口上边那样,反对公众以实际行为进行的投票和公司的自我管控,而所有这些方法都会影响到利润(在推特亏损12年之后终于可以谈谈利润了)。脸书的用户群现在已经增长到22亿(从2016年的17亿增长而来),收入和利润分别为增长到400亿和180亿(从2016年的280亿和100亿的增长而来)。这算下来就是,从全球每个用户身上可以得到18美元的收入;如果你正在用母语阅读并使用脸书,他们从你身上赚取的资本要比这个数字还要多。最后,如果有人认为用户增长率将以每年25%的速度持续增长,而且利润在短短两年内再次增长5倍(如2015-2017之间),他们当然会被当成十足的乐观主义者。

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