10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia
(Photo by Rohan Thomson/Getty Images)

Good morning, folks.

Australia’s businesses have been given the green light to join in the rollout and “turn offices, warehouses, construction sites, factory floors and mines into vaccination centres”, the AFR reports. Business leaders were reportedly given the go-ahead during a briefing yesterday with rollout co-ordinator General John Frewen. The program will involve businesses enlisting the services of an accredited vaccine provider, with the federal government paying for costs.

Victoria recorded 473 new coronavirus cases yesterday. Authorities are warning that workplaces are a major vector of spread. The state is on track to reach its 70% first-dose vaccination target for people aged 16 and over on Friday, which is good news and ahead of schedule.

NSW reported 1257 new local coronavirus cases and seven deaths yesterday. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian — who did a presser after all — expressed concern about case numbers in the City of Sydney, which is recording comparable daily case numbers to local government areas of concern.

Millennial Australians say the pandemic lockdowns have improved their ability to save, new research shows. A new survey from Ubank examined how Australian spending and saving habits continue to be reshaped by COVID-19. Similar analysis from NAB found households have accumulated more than $140 billion since early 2020. 

One in nine Australians would buy a property without inspecting it themselves, according to a new survey by Canstar. By comparison, only 8% of Australians would move into a rental sight unseen. This no doubt says something about the market — and indicates one reason why lockdowns haven’t been sufficient to freeze auctions.

Shoppers are gearing up to spend $11 billion on Christmas gifts, according to new research from the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan. Much of that spending will be funneled to e-commerce retailers, with most respondents indicating they are making more online purchases than in 2020. Analysts predict e-commerce revenue will hit record levels in the December quarter — and delivery problems and bottlenecks are likely to abound.

The ACCC is formally investigating Apple’s control of mobile payments in Australia. The competition regulator is looking into the way Apple controls bank access to the antennas on its iPhones that communicate with payment terminals. Apple charges banks a few cents for every $100 of transactions, and does not allow use of the NFC antenna without going through Apple Pay.

Alibaba and other Chinese tech companies fell Monday after the Financial Times reported Beijing wants to break up Alipay. Regulators want the Ant Group, which runs Alipay, to turn over consumer data used for lending decisions. Beijing wants the user data turned over to a new, partially state-run credit-scoring venture.

Facebook has a system protecting elite users from being reprimanded for breaking content rules, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company’s “XCheck” system has protected Donald Trump, Doug the Pug, and other “influential” figures. But Facebook employees have expressed disapproval with giving special treatment to users, the WSJ reports.

Today in tech acquisition news: Intuit has confirmed a $12 billion deal is in the works to buy Mailchimp. You probably know Mailchimp as the very popular email marketing and infrastructure platform. Intuit, on the other hand, makes tax software, and is well known for its publicised lobbying efforts against making tax time a free and easy experience for Americans.

BONUS ITEM

Another day, another crypto scam. Litecoin spiked and then sharply fell Monday morning after a fake press release said that Walmart is partnering with the coin for payments. The cryptocurrency rose as much as 25% before reversing after GlobalNewsWire released a statement about the partnership — which turned out to be not real.