In the News: Netflix Donates Millions, Bezos Makes $13 Billion in One Day, and China’s Mission to Mars
This is a loaded week for tech news around the globe. As communities around the US demand for accountability and more representation of African-Americans in the business world, Netflix steps up and donates over $100 million to banks and financial institutions that directly support African-American communities in the U.S. While on the topic of outrageous amounts of money, Jeff Bezos added a whopping $13 Billion to his net worth in one day alone, setting up the stage for him to become a trillionaire in the next 5 years. In the global stage, China sends its first mission to Mars in what could be revolutionary for space travel.
Netflix Advocates for African-American Communities Around the Country
The company’s latest effort to combat racial inequality in America was announced this week, as Netflix said that it would initially allocate $100 million to banks and financial institutions that directly support African-American communities in the U.S.
“Black people represent a minuscule portion of the country’s banking assets. We believe bringing more capital to these communities can make a meaningful difference for the people and businesses in them, helping more families buy their first home or save for college, and more small businesses get started or grow”
-Netflix director of talent acquisition Aaron Mitchell and treasury directory Shannon Alwyn
The first investments under the new program will be $35 million of its cash into two vehicles:
- The first, funded with $25 million, is a newly established fund called the Black Economic Development Initiative, managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit organization with a track record of developing underinvested communities.
- Netflix is putting another $10 million into Hope Credit Union, based in Jackson, Miss., in the form of a Transformational Deposit “to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities across the Deep South,”
This is not the first initiative Netflix has made this month. Less than 2 weeks ago Netflix said it would donate $5 million to organizations dedicated to creating opportunities for Black creators, Black youth and Black-owned businesses. In June, Netflix announced over $120 million in grants to Spelman College, Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund in support of scholarships.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Made 13 Billion Dollars in One Day
In what is the historical record for the largest single-day net worth increase by any one person, Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased by $13 billion on Monday alone. This increase comes from Amazon’s stock jumping over 7% on Monday.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos is now worth the astounding amount of $189.3 billion and is on track to become history’s first trillionaire by 2026.
In addition to being the CEO of Amazon, a company valued at over $1 trillion this year, Bezos owns the Washington Post newspaper and Blue Origin, a rocket and space travel company he founded in 2000. In February, Bezos reportedly spent $165 million on the Warner Estate, a historic Beverly Hills property, setting a record high for Los Angeles-area residential real estate transactions.
China Has Launched its First Rover Mission to Mars
China has launched its first fully homegrown Mars mission today. The Tianwen-1, or “Questions to Heaven”, the mission launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, which consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo, a combination of craft that had never before launched together toward the Red Planet.
Tianwen-1 will orbit, land and release a rover while coordinating observations with an orbiter. No planetary missions have ever been implemented in this way. If successful, it would signify a major technical breakthrough.
It should arrive in orbit around the Red Planet in February, but the rover won’t actually land for a further 2 or 3 months. This type of wait-and-see strategy was used back in the 70s bu the American Viking landers. This allows engineers to assess atmospheric conditions before attempting what will be a hazardous effect.
Tianwen-1 is one of three missions setting off to Mars in the space of 11 days. On Monday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its Hope satellite towards the Red Planet. And in a week from now, the US space agency (Nasa) aims to despatch its next-generation rover, Perseverance.