China Roundup: GitHub’s China ambitions and WeWork rival’s big hopes

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. This week, we are looking at how WeWork’s largest rival in China — UCommune — is pulling ahead with its initial public offering and GitHub’s potential big move in China.

GitHub turns to China

The world’s largest source code repository host GitHub is mulling to open a Chinese subsidiary, the company’s CEO told the Financial Times recently. The plan comes at a time when the technological rift between China and the U.S. is deepening. The U.S.’s trade sanctions on Huawei, which includes limiting the company’s access to certain Android services, has stirred concerns of further “decoupling” between the two countries. Since then Huawei has stepped up efforts to cut its reliance on American suppliers and develop its own core chips and software operating system.

American tech companies are feeling a similar chill from the trade war. Opening a China office could potentially help GitHub hedge against trade war bans and alleviate the company’s risks in its second-largest market. The demand for a China backup plan appears to have grown after GitHub restricted accounts of users in Cuba, Iran and a few other countries to comply with U.S. sanctions, a decision that sparked an outcry from open-source developer communities around the world and worried Chinese users that the same could befall them.

On the other hand, developers in China and overseas worry that maintaining a China-based operation might subject GitHub’s local projects to Beijing censorship as the country requires foreign companies operating in China to store users’ data locally. Though GitHub has previously been blocked in China seemingly for sharing anti-censorship tools, the restriction was usually temporary. As of now, the site remains largely accessible in China, according to Greatfire.org, a website that monitors China’s online censorship. But the concerns are justified. LinkedIn and Bing, sharing the same parent company — Microsoft — with GitHub, have been roundly criticized for practicing censorship in China.

Big hopes and losses

China’s shared space provider UCommune is moving ahead of its rival WeWork as it filed with the U.S. securities exchange for an IPO this week. Like its American counterpart, UCommune — which rebranded from UrWork after a name dispute with WeWork — hasn’t yet found its way to profitability. The Beijing-based company posted a net loss of 573 million yuan ($80.13 million) for the first three quarters ended September 30, 2019, up from 271 million yuan a year earlier, shows its F1 filing.

UCommune founder Mao Daqing, a real estate veteran, has previously forecasted that China’s co-working industry would be valued close to 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) by 2030. The reality is a bit more dismal. WeWork is reportedly coping with high vacancy rates across major Chinese cities, although sources told TechCrunch that spaces could be easily filled up with one or two large corporate contracts per location.

Perhaps more notably, half of UCommune’s revenue is derived from so-called “marketing and branding services,” which include content design as well as online and offline advertising services it sells to customers. The marketing segment, curiously, is attributed to one single subsidiary, a digital marketing services provider it acquired in late 2018. UCommune warns in its prospectus that “the historical financial results of our marketing and branding services may not serve as an adequate basis for evaluating the future financial results of this segment” because revenue from the unit relies overwhelmingly on a small number of major enterprise clients.

Also worth your attention…

Despite Huawei’s push to build its own alternative operating system — HarmonyOS — the Chinese giant is sticking with Android for the foreseeable future. At a company event this week in Shenzhen, its home city, consumer software executive Wang Chenglu announced (in Chinese) that all of Huawei’s handsets, tablets and laptops will continue to carry Android-based OS in 2020. Meanwhile, Huawei’s other products, including a broad range of Internet of Things that make up a smaller chunk of its consumer revenue, will ship with HarmonyOS.

Kuaishou, the largest rival to TikTok in China has reached 100 million daily active users, the company announced (in Chinese) this week. Tencent-backed Kuaishou was one of China’s first short-video apps to have attracted a meaningful following, but it was quickly leapfrogged by a latecomer, ByteDance’s Douyin, which is TikTok’s brand in China.

Though similarly focused on bite-sized videos, the two apps differ fundamentally in the way they distribute content. Trending videos on Douyin tend to come from pedigreed influencers and professional creators; users are fed what Douyin’s complex algorithms determine as “quality” content. Kuaishou, in comparison, works to cultivate a sense of community as its users get exposed to a broader range of long-tail content — often from creators with insignificant followings.

That places Douyin closer to a form of “media” and Kuaishou closer to a “social network,” suggested (in Chinese) Liu Jianing, managing director of China’s top boutique investment bank China Renaissance, at a recent industry conference. For that reason, the two apps also monetize differently — while Douyin generates revenue mainly from ads, Kuaishou harnesses its social graphs to enable social commerce wherein shoppers leverage other users’ recommendations to make purchases.

The new new weird

Neo-Pentecostal gangs in Brazil, driving out other faiths at gunpoint. A mob of 100 lawyers attacking a hospital in Pakistan to revenge themselves on violent doctors there. Anti-vaxxers, neo-Nazis, and red-pillers. Sometimes it seems like the world has fragmented into a jagged kaleidoscope of countless mobs and subcultures, each more disconcerting than the last.

Much of this is selection bias: if it bleeds, it leads, in both mass media and social-media algorithms. But it does seem plausible that the Internet is contributing to this kaleidoscope, to this growth in worrisome fringe subcultures, in three separate ways: complexity, information, and connectivity.

Connectivity is the most obvious avenue. The Internet empowers everyone to find their like-minded people, and this is as true of the hateful and vengeful as it is of the dispossessed and downtrodden. Furthermore, the power of a group increases nonlinearly with its size. The hateful views of one man in a community of 100 people are unlikely to make a huge collective difference; worst case, they become a fabled missing stair. But 1% of a nation of 100 million? That’s a million people. That’s a movement ready to join, to march, to pay tithes, to reinforce one another.

Information is more subtle. There’s a fascinating quote from the recent New Yorker profile of William Gibson: “Gibson noticed that people with access to unlimited information could develop illusions of omniscience.” You can get any kind of information you want on the Internet. You can find what appear at first glance to be closely argued and well-supported claims that global warming will kill off all but half a billion people by the end of this century, and also, if you prefer, that global warming is an authoritarian hoax.

No wonder people increasingly act as if the truth is something you choose from a buffet rather than a fact that will eventually bite you, hard, if you refuse to believe in it. As Philip K. Dick put it, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” But if all your information comes from the Internet, and is never testable, you never have to stop believing in it … until it’s far too late.

Complexity is, I think, the saddest. It has nothing to do with being led astray by evil companions or disinformation. It’s just that our modern world has become so complicated, such an endless buzz of noise and events and obligations, that lashing back against it, fixating on a simple solution to all the world’s problems, makes people feel strong. This delightful article about schisms among believers in a flat Earth includes the telling quote: “When you find out the Earth is flat … then you become empowered.”

Is the world going to get weirder yet, with new and more bizarre and inexplicable subcultures erupting from the Internet with every passing year? Have we hit the plateau of an S-curve? Or are we in a local minimum, and as we get better at dealing with connectivity and complexity, will we look back on these as the crazy years? My money’s on door number two … but I’ve been outweirded before.

Max Q: Blue Origin launches a New Shepard and Rocket Lab officially opens U.S. launch site

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space from TechCrunch. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox.

This is it – the very first edition of Max Q: TechCrunch’s space newsletter. Despite approaching the end of the year, it’s been a really busy week in the space industry, too. Between launches real and metaphorical, there’s plenty of activity to catch up on. And if you’ve got any space stuff you want to share for future newsletters, feel free to email me at darrell@techcrunch.com or let me know on Twitter @etherington.

Space enters a bit of a frenzy time at year’s end as a lot of other areas in tech are slowing down – especially over the past few years, as a number of companies push to re-ignite crewed spaceflight in the U.S. It’s common for many of these companies, and NASA itself, to set ambitious, optimistic timelines, and that often also means trying to fit in as much as possible before the year is out to make good on at least some of those promises.

Blue Origin launched its 12th New Shepard sub-orbital spacecraft this week, on its second try after bad weather scrubbed the first attempt. The launch was the sixth for the booster stage rocket used on the mission, and it landed perfectly meaning it could potentially serve even more launches in future.

Onboard were experimental and research payloads from Columbia University and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, as well as student postcards and art projects from a collaborative contest launched with the band OK Go. This mission is also noteworthy because it’s yet another step in Blue Origin’s progress towards qualifying New Shepard for human flight, after which it’ll start to shuttle tourists to space for a quick, but unbeatable, view.

Rocket Lab, one of few launch startups that’s actually flying payloads to space, has officially opened its second launch pad – this one in the U.S. The company’s original launch site, which will continue to fly missions, is in New Zealand, but its new launch facility on Wallops Island in Virginia will open the doors for a key new customers, the U.S. Air Force. The first launch from this site, designed LC-2, should happen sometime in the first half of next year.

Small satellite startup Kepler Communications has booked two batches of nanosatellite launches on board SpaceX’s new rideshare missions. SpaceX announced earlier this year that it would be doing this as a new offering, allowing companies with smaller payloads to book space on a ride that will take up a bunch at once. It’s perfect for startups like Kepler, who wouldn’t be the primary customer on any SpaceX mission, and who might not be able to find a large lead partner to foot the majority of the bill for a mission that works on their schedule.

A new startup is looking to produce high-resolution, on-demand and timely imaging for various customers and applications, and it’s using its own custom satellites hat are carried by weather balloons to make it happen. Advantages of taking this approach include cost, as well as access and the ability to capture very detailed pictures without having to use massively expensive and bulky optics, as you would from space.

Northrop Grumman’s in-development OmegA launch craft will be able to carry large payloads, and it’ll be doing that mostly on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. defence agencies. But the rocket will first need to qualify to get USAF clearance to operate, and it’s going to be using its first ever launch in pursuit of said qualification to also ferry payloads for paying customers. Two birds, one stone, as they say.

There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out this week, and it’ll definitely feature new ships and other fancy sci-fi gadgets, if previous films are any indication. One you won’t see in the movie is this starfighter, which was designed in collaboration with both Porsche and Lucasfilm. The ship has a distinctive Star Wars vibe, to be sure – but Porsche says it’s also got elements inspired by the 911 and Taycan. Still definitely wouldn’t look out of place berthed next to the Millennium Falcon.

What to watch out for this week

SpaceX has a launch coming up on Monday, and the crucial Boeing/NASA commercial crew capsule test launch is set for Friday, December 20. That launch will be the uncrewed version of the first-ever commercial crew launch for Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule, and if all goes well, that will mean we’re closer than ever for U.S. astronauts launching once again from U.S. soil aboard an American launch vehicle.

Set ‘Custom Shortcuts’ in the Lyft App For Addresses You Never Remember

Over the past few months I’ve had to go to a handful of different doctor’s appointments around town. I live in San Francisco and don’t own a car, so going to those appointments always means Lyfting to them. Without fail, before each and every one of them I end up getting ready to head out the door and then realize I actually have no idea where I’m going.

Yes, I’ve been there before, but in most cases, a few weeks or months prior.

What ends up happening is that I have to go back inside, open my laptop, and log into the patient portal for my regular doctor to find her original referral with the address of the new one. Yes, I could have put the address in the calendar entry for the appointment. Yes, I could have a doc on my phone with this info. The reality is I do not, and I am unlikely to do so.

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Recently I discovered a Lyft feature that solves the problem that is something I will do: custom shortcuts.

When you’re going somewhere like a restaurant or store using a ride-sharing service, typing in the name of that destination will get you there. When you’re headed somewhere else, like my doctor’s office in a huge medical building, typing in his name won’t get you anywhere.

With shortcuts, I can add that doctor’s address and then label it “orthodontist” or “therapist guy.” Once you do, it will be forever in the app for you when you need it.

While the particular feature is great for me when it comes to doctors, it can also come in handy for things like a babysitter’s address or that friend whose house you go to twice a year.

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To add shortcuts launch the Lyft app and then tap the hamburger menu on the top left side of the page.

From there, tap the “Settings” option at the bottom of the menu that appears and then “Manage all shortcuts” on the next page. That page has a button for “Add a custom shortcut.” Tap that and enter the address that you can’t remember. Once you submit it, Lyft will prompt you to type in a name for it.

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In this fake instance, I created an entry for “Karen the Babysitter.” Once you’re done, hit the checkmark in the corner and you’ll be ready to roll.

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Now whenever you launch Lyft, you can type in “Karen the Babysitter” into the app and navigate to her house directly, without needing to remember her address.

It’s a great feature for forgetful people like me but could really come in handy for elderly folks and kids, or anyone else who might be using the app that might occasionally travel to non-businesses where they might not know the address off the top of their head.

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Uber all set to sell UberEats’ India business to Zomato

Uber is in advanced stages of talks to sell its food delivery service UberEats’ India business to local rival Zomato, as the American ride-hailing giant looks to cut its spending globally, three people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The deal currently values UberEats’ India business at around $400 million, one of the sources said. As part of the deal, Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato and get a sizable stake in the 11-year-old Indian firm, people said.

A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment on Saturday. A text to Zomato founder and chief executive Deepinder Goyal, who met Uber executives mid-last week, remained unanswered.

Uber and Zomato are still negotiating the terms but the deal could finalize before the end of the year, people said. Indian newspaper Times of India first reported about Zomato and Uber’s talks last month.

The talks come at a time when Zomato is in final stages to close a new financing round of $600 million, Goyal told news agency PTI earlier this month. TechCrunch reported earlier that China’s Ant Financial was close to leading a funding round of up to $600 million in Zomato at a valuation of $3 billion.

If the deal goes through, it would mark the end of a year-long struggle for the U.S. giant that has had multiple conversations with both Zomato and Prosus Ventures-backed Swiggy to offload UberEats’ India business.

Uber launched its food delivery service in India in mid-2017. Even as the ride-hailing giant offered major discounts to win customers, UberEats never posed a real threat to Zomato and Swiggy, both of which process more than 1 million orders each day.

In comparison, UberEats’ daily volume of orders peaked under 600,000, said one of the sources. Furthermore, recent quarters have been tough for UberEats, which saw two key executives — Bhavik Rathod (UberEats’ India and Southeast Asia head), and Deepak Reddy (head of central operations for UberEats in India) — leave the firm.

During his visit to India in October this year, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company remains committed to India, but avoided a question surrounding UberEats’ future in the nation.

In recent earnings call, Khosrowshahi has acknowledged that UberEats is facing tough competition in India but suggested that the company would continue to operate in the food delivery space.

“Right now the market is very, very competitive. There are a few very strong competitors there. Generally, I would tell you that we want to be the #1 or #2 in every single market. Right now in India, we’re the #3. And so the team knows there’s a big lift ahead of them, but we’re on the game,” he said in August.

At a New York Times conference last month, he said the company is “very clear that, with UberEats, we are either going to be No. 1 or No. 2 player in every country where we operate in the next 18 months — or we are going to get out.”

The ride-hailing giant projected a negative revenue of $107.5 million for its UberEats business in India for the period between August and December of this year.

Offloading UberEats India would help Uber, which exit Southeast Asia last year, reduce its global losses. The company, which has cut hundreds of jobs this year, reported a quarterly loss of more than $1 billion in November. In the prior quarter, it lost about $5.2 billion. Uber says that it aims to become profitable by 2021.

Zomato, too, has been reducing its burn rate. The company, which as of last year was losing more than $40 million each month, has cut its monthly loss to $20 million, Info Edge, one of the investors in Zomato, told analysts in an earnings call last month.

Meanwhile, Swiggy continues to expand to more cities and explore delivery beyond food category. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Prosus Ventures executives said they believe in long-term bets, a strategy — and the fact that it alone brought $716 million to a $1 billion round in Swiggy late last year — has helped the food delivery startup expand to more than 500 cities, up from fewer than a dozen cities three years ago.

Like Zomato and UberEats, Swiggy, too, is not profitable.

Make Party Cocktails By the Pitcher Rather Than the Glass

Last night I attended a holiday party where my contribution was a plate of sausage and cheese balls and a 750ml bottle of Old Fashioneds. Both were well received, but the Old Fashioned perhaps caught the most attention. As it turns out, a lot of the party-goers had never considered making a bunch of them at once, and instead considered it a cocktail you’d need to make one at a time.

I’m here to tell you that almost any cocktail can be made en-masse for your party, holiday or otherwise. If you’re throwing a party, pre-mixing a large pitcher of cocktails can also make it so you and your guests can spend more time having fun and less time behind the bar. It’s a win-win.

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I wrote about the batched Old Fashioned last year. If you’re intrigued, here’s how to make it yourself.

When it comes to parties, most hosts think of making something like a punch to share with guests, but punches can often end up being pretty sweet. Beyond causing a sugar hangover the next morning, that sweetness also disguises the flavor of the alcohol, so you can end up with a room full of sloshed party-goers a little faster than anticipated if you’re not careful.

When you’re planning out that drink menu, instead of punch, or throwing the contents of your liquor cabinet out on the table, think about what you’d like to drink if you were out at a bar and see if you can make that in a larger form. If you need some inspiration check out our 3-ingredient cocktail posts. A lot of those would work.

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For me, it’s an Old Fashioned, which takes literally 30 seconds to make a bottle of. At Thanksgiving, I showed up with a spin on a cosmopolitan using cognac and some of the candied cranberries we wrote about skewered on toothpicks to use as a garnish. It was a huge hit.

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In general, you want to try and stray away from things that are going to use egg whites, and if you’re not sure how many people will be imbibing, the less fresh juice you can use the better, just so your leftovers will still be good a few days down the line. Not to say you shouldn’t make those juice-based cocktails, just make a conservative amount.

As someone who does this a lot, I also recommend bringing some garnishes on toothpicks to class it up. Does a drink need an orange wedge? Maybe not. But people love having that garnish option.

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And if you really want to let people mix their own drinks, I also recommend a good Gin & Tonic bar. Those can be a lot of fun to put together, and guests will get a kick out of experimenting with different tonics, gins, and garnishes throughout the night.

RCS messaging has rolled out to Android users in the US

Here’s a nice little surprise for Android users this weekend. It seems that Google’s pans to roll out Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging is slightly ahead of schedule. The company announced in November that it would be making the feature available for all Android users in the country by year-end.

A tweet from Android Messages product manager Sanaz Ahari confirms that the SMS-successor has been made available to users in the States as of this week. The new protocol brings with it some key advances over messaging stalwart, SMS.

The update brings a lot of features that many have been compared to iMessage, Apple’s standard protocol that’s done a good keeping many users onboard with iOS, for fear of becoming a green bubble. Key features include read receipts, the ability to see another user typing in real-time, larger file transfers and improved group messaging (though, as noted, some features like end to end encryption are still lacking).

Notably back in October, the U.S.’s four primary carriers formed a rare joint effort to accelerate the adoption of RCS. Both the Messages app and carrier services have to be updated to get access. Users in the U.K. and France also have access to the feature as of this summer, with more countries coming soon.

Get Instagram Likes and Comment Counts Back Using This Chrome Extension

Image: Shutterstock

Last month Instagram started hiding the likes on some posts from U.S. accounts. The idea behind the move was to allow users to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes you get.”

If you miss being able to see likes and comment counts or need to be able to see them for your job, The Return of the Likes is a Chrome extension that can help.

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Unfortunately, it requires you to be viewing Instagram on your computer rather than your smartphone. However, once it’s installed it makes those likes and comment count visible once again.

As you scroll, the like and follower account appears in orange at the top of each post in your feed, a bit different than when it’s presented by Instagram proper.

You can also view them by going to an individual account’s page. Here’s what our Instagram account looks like:

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Like and comment counts are posted below each image in an account view.

If you don’t need to know likes and comment counts for Instagram posts then using the service without them can actually be a bit more pleasant. If you need them, or if you miss having them around, then “The Return of the Likes” can be a simple way to get them back.

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Spotify spent a lot of money on podcasting, so it wants you to start listening, please

Listen. Spotify’s tired of screwing around here. The company spent a lot of money on podcasts. Like, a lot, a lot. And it really needs you to start listening to things, because it’s almost certainly going to spend even more in the coming years.

I mean, music is good, too, don’t get it wrong, but with between $400 and $500 million spent on the format in 2019 alone, the service is really going to need you to hold up your end of the deal here and just, pretty please start streaming the things. This week, Spotify is introducing a new button to help kickstart the habit.

First noted by The Verge, the feature is coming to users in a number of markets, including the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, limited to those users who have yet to use Spotify to listen to a podcast. I’d imagine that still applies to a broad swath of users. Spotify is still a relatively new entrant in the field, and while podcasting is growing at a rapid rate, many listeners have already settled on a player.

The service has a big lift here, attempting to distinguish itself with premium offerings in a flood of free content. Spotify certainly pushed podcasts big time in its viral year-end wrap ups, prominently featuring them among artists, even if you only listened to an episode or two.

Discovery could be a big part. That’s a puzzle many platforms are still working to crack beyond simply recommendations. The company notes that it will recommend both its own and non-Spotify podcasts with the feature. It will be interesting to see how much it pushes its own offerings, however, given the massive size of its investment.

Sunday’s Best Deals: NFL Apparel, REI Outlet, Sherpa Slippers, Kindle Unlimited, and More

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

An REI Outlet Sale, an NFL Apparel Gold Box, and 3 Months of Kindle Unlimited lead off Sunday’s best deals from around the web.

Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a deal.

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Best Tech Deals

In today’s sale, Amazon is discounting the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer. It is basically a lithium-ion power station, which can power mini fridges and small TVs in your campsite, in addition to powering up your mobile devices via USB.

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These prices are the lowest we’ve ever seen on this particular device, and this sale won’t last long.


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This 27″ LG gaming monitor checks a ton of boxes when it comes to what you want from a gaming monitor. First, it has a fast 5ms response time, a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) and right now it’s down to its Black Friday Price.

While its 60hz refresh rate is kind of a bummer, it’s still a solid monitor for non-competitive gamers. While it’s not optimal for first-person shooters, it promises accurate colors (99% sRGB,) great viewing angles, and super thin bezels.

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Anker makes a ton of excellent products, and the Soundcore Wakey is a few of those mushed together. $75 for an FM radio would seem like a lot, but this model also acts as a Qi wireless charger, a dual-port USB charger, a Bluetooth speaker, and a white noise machine—that’s a lot of utility in a beautifully designed package.

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Right now, you can get the Wakey for $25 off its usual price, no coupon necessary.

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Apple’s Powerbeats Pro truly wireless earphones is down to just $200. If you want a sporty alternative to the AirPods Pro, these are the ones to get.

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With Apple’s H1 chip, they promise the same level of convenience as the AirPods, like hands-free Siri and super easy pairing to other Apple devices. This model also promises up to 9 hours of listening time, plus more with the charging case.

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This 65″ TV from Samsung offers all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a mid-tier TV under $900, including 4K UHD resolution, HDR, and internet connectivity. And today, Amazon has it marked down to $600, matching its Black Friday price.

This current deal is about $100 off the regular going rate. So, this may be one of the last, great TV deals available to ship on time for Christmas.

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If you’re in the market for a super fast wireless charger, RAVPower Fast Wireless Charging Pad will cost you just $6 if you use the code XQE9ZN8T. This case-friendly charger can support the fastest-possible 7.5W charging iPhones need, and 10W for Samsung phones.

The best part? This includes the necessary Quick Charge 3.0 power adapter in the box.

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Best Home Deals

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Don’t say goodbye to your shoe addiction in 2020. Embrace it. But, the disorder of shoes all over the place definitely needs to end. Do yourself a favor, get a 2-pack of the Lifewit Shoe Storage Organizer. You can snag these for $22 on Amazon when you clip the $5 coupon and use promo code L9AO7OQ4.

Each storage bag can hold 12 regular-sized pairs of shoes. They also come with adjustable dividers, so you can fit bigger shoes and boots in there as well. Even though these are designed for shoe storage, the bags can also double as storage for clothing, toys, and more.

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Have some trips planned for the upcoming holidays? Do yourself a favor and get the only toiletry bag you’ll ever need. The Zero Grid Travel Dopp Bag is only $16 when you use promo code 7LMH2ZGX. It is made from highly-durable ripstop nylon, so it will last you years and years. It is liquid-resistant, so you can easily pack your shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, and more.

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Hampers with wheels can be very practical if you need to move your hamper from location to location. But, they’re also pretty hideous. If you want a hamper that isn’t ugly, is big enough to hold a shit ton of towels, and is under $15 bucks, we’ve got a deal for you. Right now, you can get the Lifewit Laundry Hamper for $14 on Amazon when you clip the coupon on the page.

Just an FYI, the coupon is only available on the 72L hamper, not the 100L hamper.

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Best Lifestyle Deals

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Need to order some last-minute Christmas gifts? This REI Outlet Sale has deals on products you already know a love. You can gift the VSCO Girl (or Boy) in your life a Hydro Flask, while some products are up to 50% off. Know an avid hiker? Make sure they have a new backpack to hold all of the essentials and boots that will keep their feet secure on the trails.


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Football season might be well underway, but you can rep your team any time of year. If you’re looking for some new gear to support your team, you can save up to 40% during this NFL Apparel Gold Box. You can get hats, t-shirts, socks, sweatpants, hoodies, jerseys, and more.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to wade through your team’s rivals gear. You can select your team at the top of the page to be directed to just their specific discounted gear. And just a reminder since this is a Gold Box, that means the prices are for today only, while supplies last.

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Winter is here. The cold weather sucks. Don’t let your toes fall off because of it. You can keep your toes warm with a $7 pair of Oooh Yeah Men’s Soft Cozy Sherpa Slippers. The are sherpa fleece inside and out but have a non-skid bottom, so you won’t trip and hit your face.

The discount code will automatically apply at checkout if you choose only from the slippers on the sale page. The discounted slippers are available in sizes medium narrow and large narrow, in a few different colors;


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Jachs makes some of our favorite menswear, and this weekend only, they’re discounting a ton of sueded cotton polos. With the promo code P19, you can upgrade your wardrobe for just $19.

Polo lovers have five colors to choose from, plus a couple of rugby polos for good measure. These typically sell for around $60, so it’s an unbelievably good time to buy.

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Look your best during winter with a discounted Indochino overcoat for a low $295. Use our exclusive promo code KINJA to take $100 off Indochino’s collection of handsome top coats for cold weather season. Choose from a dozen styles made with wool and cashmere.

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And as with all things Indochino, you get to customize everything about your topcoat. Switch up the pockets, lining, buttons, and more. You can even add a monogram.

If you’re looking for a terrific, bespoke coat for the winter, this is the time to buy. Just remember, this discount will only last the 20th.

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Starting today, REI’s Shop Now, Be Done sale can save adventurers up to 40% off a ton of gear. The adventurer’s favorite retailer is slashing the price on a ton of gear, from brands like KEEN, United By Blue, Black Diamond, The North Face, and a whole lot more.

Additionally, you can get a $20 bonus card when you spend $100 or more during the sale. (Free money!) This sale runs until the 16th, but don’t put off filling your cart. All the best stuff always sells out early. And, not to be that guy but… there’s only a few weeks until Christmas and you don’t want say “it’s coming in the mail” on the big day.

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So visit the deal page to see all of your options during what’s more than likely, REI’s final sale of the year.


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Looking to get some new workout gear ahead of making your New Year’s Resolution? You can snag some great workout attire, thanks to these Mystery Boxes from Olivers. You can get both boxes for 50% off (or more). The $300 box is $150 and the $600 box is $275.

Each box will include a combination of the following:

  • Pants (Passage, Transit, Bradbury, Base Series)
  • Shorts (All Over Series, Capital, Base Series, Breakaway, Zuma)
  • Tees (Convoy Series, Club, Terminal Series, Varsity)
  • Midlayers/Outerwear (Transit, Porter Series, Gate Jacket)

Both Olivers Mystery Boxes are available now through 12/18 (while supplies last).

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Best Media Deals

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Log out of your social media apps and grab your Kindle. It is time to start reading more. If you’re trying to focus on bettering yourself in 2020, here is your chance. You can get 3 Months of Kindle Unlimited for only $1. That is a savings of $29.

With this subscription, you’ll have access to over one million book titles. You can browse the magazine of the month to get all of the latest scoop. Kindle Unlimited isn’t just for physical reading, you can also listen to thousands of audiobooks.

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After your 3-month subscription ends, you will be charged full price for Kindle Unlimited, which is $10 a month. The offer does not apply to prior purchases, to get full details, you can check out Amazon’s Terms & Conditions page.


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Right now, you can pick up an Echo Dot (3rd Gen) for $1 with a 1 month subscription of Amazon Music Unlimited. Altogether this will cost you about $11 or $9 for Prime members.

This is an amazing deal, considering an Echo Dot will typically cost you $25 on a good day. (Of course, you’re obviously paying with more than cash alone with an Echo device. But if you’re already in the Alexa ecosystem, this is a good buy.)

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Just a reminder, after the 1-month promotional subscription period, your subscription automatically renews at $10/month (or $8/month for Prime members) until you cancel.

Best Gaming Deals

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If you suddenly find yourself in need of extra controllers for your Super Smash Bros. parties, PowerA’s Gamecube-style wireless controller is down to $34 for the grey version, which is a dollar off its all-time low. It’s laid out exactly like the controller of yore, and feels like a nice jolt of nostalgia, but it’s also wireless, which is awesome.

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Azul | $19 | Amazon | Also available at WalmartGraphic: Tercius Bufete

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Azul is one of our readers’ favorite board games and, right now, you can add it to your own shelf for a low $19 from Amazon and Walmart. This current price matches the lowest price we’ve ever seen. Everyone on The Inventory loves this game and this would make an awesome gift for someone on your list.

Our deal researcher Corey says:

Azul is easily one of my family’s favorite games. Its simple tile-choosing and placing gameplay is easy to learn, but strategy often changes with each game making it fresh, fun, and challenging. Between our 8-year old, 12-year-old, my wife, and I, no one is a favorite to win any particular game of Azul.

And it’s just as fun to play with a group adults as it is with your family.

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Do you like free money? Who doesn’t! If you were planning to get a Nintendo Switch this Christmas, get some Amazon money while you’re at it. Right now, when you get the upgraded Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con or Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con, get $30 Amazon credit when you use promo code D3E2CDJ6GB6S.

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Anker makes some of our favorite accessories and speakers, and right now you can pick up their brand new Soundcore Trance Bluetooth speaker for just $110. This IPX7 waterproof bluetooth speaker packs a 5.25″ woofer and 2″ tweeter for the kind of sound you’d love when you’re at a party or having a bbq outdoors. And, yeah, that may be inadvisable right now, but this introductory rate trumps such bad timing.

With a battery life of about 18 hours, this speaker will last longer than you will on the dance floor. Better still, like our favorite gaming accessories, this speaker has RGB lighting which promise to pulses and reacts to the music playing.

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If you’re a NordVPN customer, you may have heard about a long-undisclosed security breach this week, and thus might be in the market for a new VPN provider. And even if you have no idea what I’m referring to, it might be worth signing up for a VPN service anyway, which can protect your privacy when browsing the web, and even let you access content from certain sites and streaming video providers that aren’t available in your physical location (Love Island, anyone?)

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Private Internet Access has long been our readers’ favorite VPN service thanks to its low prices, its speed, and its excellent apps for every major platform. And now with the news of the NordVPN hack, they’re offering the best price we’ve ever seen on an annual subscription: $29 for the whole year. That’s $10 less than it’s been previously, and the best part is that your subscription will renew every year at the same $29 price, as long as you don’t cancel.

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If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ll need a Switch Pro Controller. Whether you’re playing Overwatch or any other competitive game, the Joy-Con simply won’t cut it. While they’re fun, Joy-Con just aren’t comfortable enough to play for long periods of time.

If you want my advice, use the Switch Pro Controller most of the time and save the Joy-Con for when you don’t have any other choice. Better still, this $55 price is the lowest price we’ve ever seen. So get yours today.

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All foods are better fried, but because the world is a cruel place, fried foods are bad for you. If you are looking to eat fried guilt-free, look no further than this Dash AirCrisp Pro Air Fryer, now down to $70. This 3 qt. air fryer which uses hot air instead of oil to make everything extra crispy.

It’s technically an oven, so it’s also a great tool for cooking frozen foods.

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At $70, it’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen. Order up one in either black, aqua, or red, before this deal becomes stale.

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If you want one that can (air) fry up an entire chicken, there’s a discount on a Dash Chef Series Air Fry Oven, too.

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Still haven’t gotten Christmas lights for your home? What the hell are you waiting for? Snag a 33-foot-long strand of MINGER Fairy String Lights for only $6 when you use promo code 6YZLHHYR. The LED lights come with a two-way control that you can use with your smartphone. The lights have eight scene modes, can operate on a dimmer and timer, and are even IP67 waterproof.

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If you want to build a budget, projector-based home theater, the Nebula Prizm II is a good one to consider, and right now you can get it for just $157.

It’s the perfect option for budget-conscious consumers who want to dip their toes in a different kind of home theater. It regularly sells for around $230, and that price was already a great bargain. Use exclusive code KJPRIZM2 at checkout and the on-page coupon to get it for an all-time low $130, and then start prepping your popcorn.

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Do you have a few stockings to stuff this Christmas? Do yourself a favor and get a pair of cheap, but still good, headphones to pop right into that giant red sock. These TaoTronics Bluetooth Earbuds are only $10 on Amazon when you clip the $2 coupon and use promo code KINJA070. These earbuds have a 120mAh battery that streams music wirelessly for up to 9 hours, with only 2 hours of charge.

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Apple iPad (Latest Model) 32GB | $249 | Best Buy and TargetGraphic: Tercius Bufete

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The best iPad for everyone is back down to just $250 at Best Buy and Target. Unless you really need an iPad Pro, the latest generation tablet is the perfect machine for all the iPad things you want. This model packs a 10.2-inch display, first-gen Apple Pencil support, Smart Connector capabilities for better accessories, and 3GB of RAM.

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$249 for 32GB is an awesome price for the 32GB model, and $330 on the 128GB model, which gives you a bit more storage wiggle room, is also a terrific deal. If you missed the Black Friday sale, this is a good time to buy. If this is a prospective gift for someone, make sure to order soon so it’ll arrive by Christmas.


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If you’re cool with buying used products, it could pay off in a big way. Amazon Warehouse is marking down thousands of used items for 20% off their already low prices. The discounts are hitting a ton of different categories, from video game consoles, clothes, headphones, monitors and more.

Look out for this.

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Chances are we could all use something from this sale. Just a heads up, pay attention to the condition details (stay away from just “good,”) you need to make sure it’s sold by Amazon Warehouse and the discount will be shown at checkout. But don’t wait too long, there’s a limited supply, so if you want something, think Ariana Grande (“I See It, I Like It, I Want It, I Got It, etc.”)

Here’s a few I found interesting (you may need to click the “Available from these sellers” link to see the used options).

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Do gloves just not cut it for keeping your hands warm during the winter? Get yourself a Zippo Hand Warmer for $11 and your hands will never be cold again. Zippo designed this hand warmer so it is sleek enough to fit into any pocket, big or small.

Just know, this hand warmer needs to be filled with fluid and lit in order to work properly. The fluid is sold separately.

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In need of a new coat before the cold weather sets in? Do yourself a favor and shop Jachs’s Puffer Jacket Blowout. You can get a puffer jacket (or vest) starting at only $38 with promo code PFR at checkout. Jachs has a bunch of neutral jacket colors, like navy and olive, and some more adventurous shades, like neon yellow and red.


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Didn’t get a jersey for your favorite player during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Don’t worry, it’s not too late! Fanatics currently has an up to 65% off sitewide sale (though the overall savings are more around 20-30% off). To get your discount, just use promo code ELF19 at checkout.


Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones (Silver and Black) | $40 | AmazonGraphic: Tercius Bufete

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If you’re looking for a terrific pair of budget ANC, Bluetooth headphones, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 are just $40 right. Usually selling for about $60, this is the best discount we’ve seen on these particular cans, no coupon code necessary.

In his review, Shep said that these cans are sonically impressive compared to its sub-$100 competitors:

The 40mm drivers are Hi-Res Audio Certified, which depending on who you ask, may or may not mean all that much in practice. What it does mean that the drivers can hit frequencies as high as 40 kHz, and not many Bluetooth headphones in this price range can make that claim. There’s also a “Bass Up” mode which, you guessed it, boosts the bass on demand like you’re wearing Beats circa 2014.

I admit that I like it. Again, they don’t sound as good as a $300 pair of headphones from the big guys, but they’re the best sounding ANC over-ears I’ve tried in this price range, by a decent margin.

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These headphones offer Hi-Res Audio, four noise cancelation microphones, Bluetooth 5.0, and excellent battery life (40 hours with ANC and 60 hours without.)

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If you’re traveling this holiday season, this is a no-brainer. Pick yours up before these inevitably goes away.


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Anker’s EufyCam home security systems have been a hit with our readers, and right now, Best Buy is discounting their latest 2-camera system by $70. This is the first discount we’ve seen on this particular 1080p wire-free system.

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These promise an entire year’s worth of battery life, support two-way intercom, and can capture a year’s worth of recordings with no monthly fees. This IP67-rated weatherproof camera can stream footage directly to your smartphone and can work with Apple’s Homekit, Google Assistant and, of course, Alexa.

This is a limited time offer on this newly released product. So act fast.


Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag, Black and Grey | $20 | Amazon | Clip $5 coupon and use promo code 3QIWC4PFGraphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

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Do you have any parties coming up soon where you’re in charge of bringing some beer? Don’t show up with warm beer. Keep it cool in this Lifewit Collapsible Cooler Bag. You can get the Black and Grey bag for $20 when you clip the $5 coupon and use promo code 3QIWC4PF at checkout. The bag can carry up to 32 cans of beer, so your holiday party will be lit AF.


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Does your dog not give a shit if it is dark and cold outside? Do they still want to go for a walk anyhow? Yeah, same here. My dog would go for a walk in the middle of a blizzard at 2 AM if I let him. That obviously isn’t safe, but if you need a good harness for a nighttime walk, one of our readers’ favorite harness brands has a new product. The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness with LED Light is currently only $8 on Amazon.

The LED battery can be illuminated for 10 hours, per a 2-hour charge. The harness available for $8 in a size large, which fits a chest girth of 27” – 32”. We’ve written about the original Rabbutgoo in the past, as it has over 6,000 reviews on Amazon and is one of the top-rated models.

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Kyoku isn’t a household name, but our team really likes the Daimyo steel chef’s knife. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s super sharp, well-made and it’s incredibly beautiful to look at.

Here’s what some guy named Shep thought:

The Kyoku Daimyo is built around gold-standard Japanese VG10 steel core (though it is assembled in China), which should hold an edge a little longer than the Mac’s slightly softer proprietary steel. On the flipside, that means it’s a bit more prone to chipping if you throw it in the dishwasher (please don’t do this) or use a hard cutting board, though you’re unlikely to damage it on a good, soft butcher block. The most striking thing about the steel, though, is just how gorgeous it is. Polished to a mirror finish, you can see every gorgeous ripple, like a Valerian Steel sword from Game of Thrones. It’s stunning.

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They were also a hit with our readers, so Kyoku is dropping the price once again to a low $70 if you use the coupon on the page and the promo code KYOKUU42.

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If you have had an expensive face cream or foundation in your shopping cart at Sephora for weeks, it is time to get your credit card out. Their Holiday Beauty Insider Sale has officially begun. Beauty Insiders can get $15 off any order of $75 or more, while VIB members can save $20, and Rogue members can save $25.

Sephora Rouge members earn extra benefits, like early access to sales, free shipping, free full-sized products, and free makeovers. Insider members don’t need to hit any spending threshold and it is free to sign up (so sign up now!). This promotion is valid to all Sephora Beauty Insiders from now through December 17.

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15% Off Sitewide | Sunday Scaries | Promo code HOLIDAYSCARIESPhoto: Sunday Scaries

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Does traveling for the holidays stress you the fuck out? You’re not alone. Sunday Scaries is here to save the season. You can score 15% off sitewide when you use promo code HOLIDAYSCARIES at checkout. You can stock up on their bestsellers, like CBD gummies, monthly bundles, tinctures, and more.

Unlike a vast majority of the offers you’ve seen online this week, this deal is here for a while. You can get 15% off now through December 24, 2019.