Welcome to this weekly roundup of stories from Insider. I’m Olivia Oran, filling in this week for Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday. Plus, download Insider’s app for news on the go – click here for iOS and here for Android.
What we’re going over today:
What’s trending this morning:
Chinese stocks are tanking — and it could still get worse
Investors worldwide have bought into Chinese stocks and bonds at a 40% higher clip than last year. But now Chinese regulators are installing new rules for alleged national security reasons — and Chinese stocks are taking a hit:
To skirt regulation at home, many Chinese companies that sell their shares overseas do so through a legal structure called a variable interest entity. The VIE, usually incorporated outside China, allows Chinese corporations to set up shell companies in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands.
Before listing themselves on Wall Street, the shell companies enter into a complex web of contracts giving them de facto “ownership” of their Chinese parent corporation. When US investors think they’re buying shares in a Chinese company like Didi, they’re actually handing over their money to an empty shell company in the Cayman Islands that’s set up contractual agreements with Didi in China.
Get the full scoop here:
Hedge fund-dealmakers are beating VCs at their own game
Hedge funds have taken to private markets in droves. Firms like Tiger Global and D1 have invested billions into unicorn startups. Insider has the list of those leading the charge in the most promising funding rounds:
“To many of our clients, the private markets have become increasingly important over the past few years, and we only expect continued growth in the space,” said Tiger Williams, the founder of Williams Trading, a trading-execution firm that has clients in public and private markets.
Managers like Tiger Global are pumping so much into private markets that traditional venture capitalists are grumbling that they can’t find any deals for their own clients, and more firms are expected to get in.
Read the full story here:
Workers describe facilities where Apple laptops get repaired as “sweatshops”
Workers at facilities that Apple contracts to repair many of its laptops say they face “sweatshop” conditions as they fix the expensive, high-tech products. Current and former workers told Insider what their typical work day was like:
Apple contracts out many of its laptop repairs to a Texas company called CSAT Solutions, a major piece of the technology giant’s third-party repair network. It was founded in 1992 and also counts Dell and Lenovo as clients.
There, people with knowledge of the facility said, low-wage workers toil, often in oppressive heat with grueling targets. They are cut off from the outside world during their shifts and sometimes wait in long lines to use toilets smeared with feces.
In recent interviews with Insider, workers said that CSAT Solutions is a “sweatshop,” with one even likening the technicians who labor in its Houston facility to “slaves.”
Read what else former laptop repair workers said:
Silicon Valley’s giants leverage NDAs to keep staffers quiet
Insider reviewed dozens of tech workers’ nondisclosure agreements and found most contracts involve vague, overly broad language and unenforceable rules. Social and legal repercussions from the MeToo movement may limit future NDAs:
Kira isn’t allowed to talk about the business trip she took to Texas in 2019, when she says a male colleague drugged and raped her. She awoke the next morning to find his credit card on the floor of her hotel bathroom, her underwear torn, and her body bruised.
Kira canceled the second leg of her trip and flew home, where she called her boss to describe what happened. Her boss notified human resources, setting off a chain of events that made it impossible for Kira to continue working at the multibillion-dollar tech company where she was a contract manager.
At the end of a contentious legal mediation in the months that followed, Kira signed a settlement agreement that forced her to resign. In exchange for roughly a year’s worth of her salary, Kira is now bound to silence, facing the threat of steep financial penalties if she ever tells her story.
See what other NDA-bound former employees have said:
Finally, here are some headlines you might have missed last week.