SATURDAY PLUS STORY
Comedian, Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, (Alibaba) rattled the social media with his latest dispatch on the goodness of being married. In it, he tells singles and celibates that they risk depression if they persist on that line. Some however fired back, saying it was not his business to lecture on marriage, reports Ferdinand Ekechukwu
For Comedian Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, respectably recognised in the entertainment industry as Alibaba, ‘’comedy is a way of life and good for social change.’’ Only recently, Alibaba subtly stoked up a conversation when he advised his followers that being married was a beautiful thing and being single and celibate could lead to depression. The comedian shared a post on his Instagram that read: “Being married or committed to one person is a beautiful thing. Don’t let these folks tell you a lie. Ain’t nothing better than having a soulmate, best friend, lover, and protector.”
He added in the caption: “Being in a relationship is important. Being alone and celibate… can lead you to depression faster than you think.” Alibaba writes in favour of being married. Philosophically, Alibaba could be saying these, from a place of experience and knowledge. He is married to Mary Akpobome. Alibaba has had course to celebrate her. He did that during her birthday celebration in April last year. Alibaba expressed his love to his wife on her 50th birthday by appreciating her hard work, strength and perseverance.
In a series of posts marking her birthday, the Delta born Alibaba expressed his love to Mary, a banker, thus: “Happy 50th birthday to @mummymary_ you deserve a huge celebration. You have persevered. You have laboured. You worked hard. You sacrificed. You prayed. You hustled. You put in the time. You were bruised. You were discounted… still you rose. Above everything you had God. You had friends. You had mentors. You had family. You had guts. You have it all… so happy 50th birthday my MTO… MaryB… MaBrandi… love you scatter.” Mary and Alibaba have five children – Xsara, Brenda, twin boys, Ejiro and Tejiri, and Valerie.
Like the comedian once alluded, it’s not really what one sees on social media that messes one up but what you do with what you take in that messes you up. The 54 year old Nigerian had made this observation discussing the trend of the social media influence as opposed to how he uses it being someone coming from a traditional leaning. For a fact, the standup comedian and actor is highly influential beyond just the industry; and he knows this for sure.
A voracious reader, the Religious Studies and Philosophy graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Alibaba, no matter what, is entitled to his opinion. That notwithstanding, it appears a lot of people now on social media read but don’t understand and can’t comprehend. They read something and jump to conclusion. Alibaba’s struggle has always been to correct some social impression and misrepresentations and you may or may not agree with his positions.
Someone anonymous responded thus immediately Alibaba unveiled his marriage counseling dispatch: “Ali Baba has no authority to say that; is he aware of how lonely most married people are? Yes he might have a peaceful marriage, thank God for him, but I feel he is insensitive to attack others’ choice to stay single or celibate, he has not walked in other people’s shoes, so he should keep mute on this topic,
“Not everyone is meant to be married, and if staying celibate rocks your boat great, he is a man and in Nigeria for that matter where women care more about what becomes of them if they should leave their abusive partners. Married people both men and women are the most unfaithful currently in Nigeria, why is that? Mr. Ali Baba the unsolicited relationship expert. Please do not pressure people into relationship; depression is a mental illness that could happen to anyone whether married or single.
“I know marriage is a beautiful thing but we must do it when we are absolutely sure the person is right for us, and if your marriage is not working please feel free to take a walk. We all make mistakes, the perfect man or woman could be just around the corner and if not, please live life, have wonderful friends make memories that is what really counts, not marriage and having children. I know a woman whose only son she broke her back to raise, after 38 years of pain, this same boy used cutlass to cut his mother to pieces, so please make Ali go Sidon one place with his entitle opinion.”
So many people outside their industries really do look up to the national honours awardee on social media. To him, the social media is an open market to everybody. But what Alibaba has chosen in his small space and timeline, is to influence people. In his words: “I influence people. I let people know that this is what should be done; this is how you should go about it. I have seen that the biggest problem is actually lack of education and not poor education.”
For it is expected that one’s association on social media should be one that reflects who you are, the space you maintain and the level of intelligence possessed. This justifiably reflects his perspective on whatever social issues he opinionates on irrespective of his stance. It is no doubt that Alibaba is one who has used the power of his profession to drive social change, with several awards and recognition to show for it. In commemoration of his 20 years on stage, Alibaba was awarded Comedy for Change icon in recognition of his impact to the larger society.
Alibaba was inducted into the Johnnie Walker ‘Striding Man’ Society in 2009, which recognises men who have achieved great strides in their chosen fields and who motivate and encourage others. In 2012, he rang the Year End Closing Bell of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the first Nigerian comedian to do so. In March 2015, Alibaba was featured on CNN African voices, speaking about his goal to professionalise and gain acceptance for Nigerian comedians.
He has been a professional stand-up comedian for the past 30 years. Alibaba was born in Warri, Delta State, on June 24, 1965. He spent the first eight years of his life in Warri. His father is a retired soldier who served in Lagos where he (Alibaba) had his early education before proceeding to the former Bendel State University now known as Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma to read Religious Studies & Philosophy. After acquiring a degree in 1990, Alibaba relocated to Lagos having “accidentally” in 1988 discovered his comic talent in his third year at the university.
He planned to return to Ekpoma to read Law but that was not to be since he discovered he could make more money by making people laugh than by defending them. He was one of the comedians who professionalised standup comedy and made it commercially viable on coming on the scene alongside names like Muhammed Danjuma, Yibo koko, Alarm Blow.
Alibaba has successfully remained relevant in the industry drawing consistency, originality, creativity, with dynamism as his strength. He began his professional career performing at corporate events, appearing on television shows with Patrick Doyle, Charly Boy and Danladi Bako, and making cameo appearances on radio shows with Bisi Olatilo, Soni Irabor and Mani Onumonmu. He also worked with Dapo Adelegan of DP Lekki Limited as executive assistant in 1991.
In 1993, he registered his company Alibaba Hicuppuray 3rd to enhance the perception of comedians as a profession and a respected way of life. As part of this work, in 1998, he hired billboards on strategic Lagos streets with the message that became known as “Being Funny is Serious Business.”
Despite the apparent rally, Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) had fallen recently due to the multitude of negative news, starting with the Chinese government fine, the departure of Jack Ma from ANT, and finally, the delisting fears. However, we believe that the reaction was overblown, since the delisting was old news since March 2022. Even if BABA were eventually delisted from NYSE, investors would still be able to trade the stock in HKSE with no losses.
As for BABA's latest regulatory fine of $373K from the Chinese government, it was a measly sum compared to its $2.8B fine in 2021 for an antitrust case. In addition, these regulatory fines are not unusual, with Alphabet's (GOOG) (GOOGL) sum of $2.47B in the latest EU antitrust case in 2022, Meta's (META) UK fine of $2M in February 2022, and an EU fine of $19M in March 2022. Therefore, these fines should not constitute a fundamental risk, but rather, only temporary headwinds to BABA's financial performance.
Therefore, this series of declines have resulted in a very attractive entry point for any interested investors at $89.37 at the time of writing. Given BABA's stellar financial performance thus far, investors should look at the glass as half full with the opportunity to enter at 2017 lows. Nonetheless, it is also evident that the stock is only suitable for those with a higher tolerance for volatility, since the Chinese government's ongoing Big Tech crackdowns, Zero Covid Policy, and President Xi Jinping's re-election in November 2022 do represent certain political risks in the short term.
While we usually believe in founder-led companies, we think Jack Ma's departure from ANT (and BABA then) has definitely sent a very positive message to the Chinese government, which will trigger a more stable and sustained stock recovery ahead. The derailed ANT IPO was reportedly caused by Ma's publicized criticism of the Chinese government for the tightening of financial regulations then. It consequently led to the massive crackdown on Big Tech companies over the next two years, amongst other industries such as education, housing, and gaming.
Therefore, with Jack Ma handing over management control, the regulatory road would likely be smoother ahead, with a toned down but potentially successful ANT IPO by next year in HKSE. Meanwhile, as BABA is increasingly decoupled from ANT's operations and management, we expect a clearer picture for the former, as the independence of the two companies should appease the Chinese government.
It should be essential to point out that regulatory risk is naturally expected for most companies anywhere, therefore not unique to BABA or the Chinese government alone. For example, Apple (AAPL) and Alphabet had faced scrutiny from lawmakers for their previous monopoly in the App Store and Google Play, leading to Apple and Alphabet opening their platforms and reducing their commission fees, which had been discussed in a separate article we had covered previously.
Beyond the antitrust cases briefly highlighted above, Alphabet and Meta are also facing regulatory issues for their ad-tracking capabilities, which have generated billions in advertising revenue thus far. Amazon (AMZN) was not spared either, with an $865M fine for an EU Data-Protection privacy breach in 2021. Therefore, those who had shunned BABA simply due to the regulatory risks should take a good look at other global Big Tech companies, which are similarly at risk in the US and the EU].
The opinion we hold with respect to BABA remains unchanged, as it remains a hugely undervalued company with over-performing fundamentals. Do not miss this boat, again.
Since our previous analysis in June 2022, BABA's revenue growth has been moderated by a minimal 1.8% and net income by 3.5% from the latest consensus estimates. These were probably attributed to the latest update from the Chinese government on the reduced GDP target for FY2022. Though initially estimated at 5.5%, analysts are now projecting a 4% GDP growth instead, due to the relentless Zero Covid Policy impacting the country's recovery.
Nonetheless, it is evident that BABA's projected FY2022 revenue of $136.88B and net income of $20.07B still represent an impressive normalized CAGR of 24.96% and 11.28% in the past three years, due to the hypergrowth during the pandemic and maturing business model. This event is also not unique to BABA, since Amazon reported a similar slowdown of growth in its latest quarter.
Moving forward, we expect to see a deceleration of revenue and net income growth at a CAGR of 8.56% and 4.43% through FY2025, with its net income margins declining from 23.3% in FY2019 to 15.8% by FY2025. We expect to see BABA's Free Cash Flow (FCF) generation somewhat impacted simultaneously, though we are not overly concerned given the potential leap in revenue and profitability post-reopening cadence in FY2023.
In the meantime, analysts will be closely watching its FQ1'23 performance, with consensus revenue estimates of $30.21B and EPS of $1.56, representing a YoY decline of -5% and -39.35%, respectively. Given how BABA has been broadly outperforming estimates in the past five quarters, we expect another decent earnings call ahead. We shall see.
Those interested in BABA's financial performance thus far may refer to our previous article:
BABA 8Y EV/Revenue and P/E Valuations
BABA is currently trading at an EV/NTM Revenue of 1.55x and NTM P/E of 12.12x, lower than its 8Y mean of 7.99x and 26.29x, respectively. The stock is also trading at $89.37, down 56% from its 52 weeks high of $203.28, nearing its 52 weeks low of $73.28. BABA as a whole, with exemplary financial performance amid extreme fear, has never been cheaper and more attractive in the past eight years.
BABA 8Y Stock Price
Therefore, we are highly convinced of its 81.49% upside with a consensus estimates price target of $162.20. As a result, interested investors with a higher tolerance for risk and volatility may use this opportunity to add more exposure, given the potential recovery post FQ1'23 earnings call. Nonetheless, those who remain concerned about the overall "unreliability" of the Chinese stock market, should obviously avoid this stock like oil to water.
Therefore, we rate BABA stock as a Resounding Buy.
Philanthropy Roundtable believes every American should have the freedom to reach his or her full, unique potential and achieve economic security. The Roundtable supports organizations that eliminate barriers to upward mobility, expand opportunity and reward hard work and perseverance.
It is no secret the United States is facing a labor shortage. The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measured employment in July, shows that the U.S. added 548,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5%. Nevertheless, the hiring side of the labor market continues to have unmet needs. Over the past year, many employers have complained of labor shortages, particularly those who work in the skilled trades.
In fact, more than 82% of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, and employers in the industry struggle to hire and retain both entry level and skilled workers.
To address this growing demand for labor, organizations like Be Pro Be Proud are making it their mission to connect people to jobs as quickly as possible. The Arkansas-based nonprofit is “leading the movement to bring a new generation of pride, progress and professionals to America’s skilled workforce.”
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas launched the organization in 2016 to attract students and young adults to technical careers through simulation experiences, and then connect them to post-secondary training opportunities that prepare them for high-demand, high-wage technical careers. Over time, the approach started to gain traction. Using a state and regional partnership model, Be Pro Be Proud has since expanded its presence to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Other states across the nation are lining up to learn more. Since their founding and subsequent expansion, they have reached over 175,000 individuals with their education and employment services.
Executive Director Andrew Parker says part of the organization’s success has been bringing more awareness to technical career opportunities in four industry sectors: construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities.
“Because the problem is multi-faceted, so must be the solution. Students know nearly nothing about technical careers in these sectors. Parents perceive them as low-wage, less-than, back-breaking dirty jobs only pursued by those who ‘aren’t college material.’ We must present the facts about these careers and eliminate the stigmas about them all. While a significant task, it is an achievable one because technical careers are not low-wage, middle-skilled jobs. They are precision-based, professional jobs,” he said. “The demands, the responsibilities, the technology and the skills needed are on par with traditional professional occupations. And in many cases, the income and advancement potential meet or exceed their bachelor’s degree-based counterparts. These careers should be viewed by everyone as those of first choice, not last resort.”
Over 25 companies invested in and partnered with Be Pro Be Proud at the onset of the initiative, giving Parker the ability to launch a website and design a “mobile workshop” in a 44-foot trailer pulled by a Freightliner truck donated by Truck Centers of Arkansas. Today, the Be Pro Mobile Workshop 2.0 is triple the size of its predecessor and serves as the hub for the organization’s programming, touring middle schools, high schools, two-year colleges, community events, job fairs and businesses, and allowing interactive exposure to these careers. Due to overwhelming demand, Parker and team are working with their fabricator to bring a second 2.0 version to Arkansas. Each Mobile Workshop can be customized to teach audiences about as many as 16 professions, including:
“What you end up seeing is each state customizing the mobile workshop(s) to reflect the industries and companies that are most relevant to their states and constituents,” said Parker.
Once participants engage with the mobile workshop, they can sign up to learn more and opt into social media, text and email campaigns that serve as part of Be Pro Be Proud’s recruitment processes. Association, corporate and education partners are also provided exclusive access to the recruitment database to use as part of their own recruitment activities.
Tim Minton, executive vice president of the North Carolina Home Builders Association, credits Be Pro Be Proud with helping to spur interest in the skilled trades sector.
“Labor is the number one issue for our industry right now, and Be Pro Be Proud is one meaningful way for us to move the needle in the right direction,” he said.
With this type of creative solutioning, it is no surprise the organization has seen some significant successes. Roughly 84% of educators who have interacted with Be Pro Be Proud say it has helped their students understand training and career opportunities and is now part of the daily conversation in their classrooms and school hallways. Over 70% of students have considered one of the promoted professions as a potential training or career pathway and post-secondary schools are reporting increased enrollments in relevant programs. Also, according to the teachers, a growing number of their at-risk students have found purpose that has positively impacted their school performance.
Be Pro Be Proud is building tomorrow’s workforce and with it, the next generation of fortune creators.
For more information, visit BeProBeProud.org. or reach out to Erica Haines.
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed optimism that the creativity and resourcefulness of young Nigerians doing incredible things in the technology space across the country and beyond present great opportunities for partnerships with global technology giants.
He stated this thursday when he received a delegation of Chinese technology entrepreneurs led by Co-founder of AliBaba Group, Jack Ma, at the State House, Abuja.
Jack Ma is presently in Nigeria on the vice president’s invitation to shore up support for the federal government’s initiative to promote technological innovation among Nigerian youts to boost job creation.
Osinbajo described Ma’s visit as exciting, saying many young people and lots of businesses and entrepreneurs were looking forward to the interaction with him and his delegation.
”Just as you said, Nigeria represents an incredible opportunity and potential, and we had spoken a few minutes ago about how Nigeria will in another two decades or so, become be the third-largest in terms of population in the entire world. The largest segment of that population are the young people, under 25, who will be over 60 per cent of that population.
“I think you will find very energetic, very creative group of young men and women and older men and women who are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship especially digital entrepreneurship.
“So, the potential is tremendous; it is an incredible potential that we have. So, we are at a point, and your coming is very strategic, in our trajectory and in the progress of our country.
“I think, it is a very important moment and what we are seeing – a lot of entrepreneurship, a lot of young people who are very actively engaged in the digital economy at various levels,” Osinbajo said.
The vice president also spoke about some of the steps already taken by the Buhari-led administration to support young Nigerians in the technology space in building skills and capacities to create opportunities for themselves and others. “In his remarks, Ma, who made very commendable remarks about Nigerian entrepreneurs, said he had always looked forward to visiting the country.
The Chinese entrepreneur said AliBaba was working on promoting technological innovation in the areas of E-frastructure, Entrepreneurship, E-governance and Education in Nigeria and other African countries.
He said four Nigerian technology entrepreneurs were among top 10 African entrepreneurs which AliBaba Group intends to support.
The Continuing and Professional Education department of SUNY Ulster is holding an Open House on August 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. It will highlight many of the career programs and courses offered this fall, including a new Cut-and-Sew microcredential.
The Cut-and-Sew program is ideal for those who want to start their own business or work for one of many cut-and-sew manufacturers in the Hudson Valley. Included will be a presentation by the Reher Center on its “Kingston Sews” display, as well as a display by the local cut-and-sew manufacturing company Community Manufacturing Solutions.
The CNC Operator microcredential was created in response to the need for skilled CNC operators in the Hudson Valley. Working with the Arc Mid-Hudson, this program is inclusive of those in the community with Level I Autism. It comprises two courses offered this fall: Fundamentals of Metrology and CNC Fundamentals. Students will have the opportunity to earn a Haas Certification as well as the CNC Operator microcredential badge within only four months. Brian Healy, director of Behavioral Health Services at the Arc Mid-Hudson, will speak and answer questions that parents or students may have about the program.
CASAC instructor Lisa Babb will present from 5 to 6 p.m. on the CASAC program starting this September. Included will be an overview of the course material and OASAS requirements to practice in New York State.
A free GED class will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. and again from 6 to 7 p.m. for those looking to try a class before registering. Instructor Joann Dayton-Wolf will be available to answer questions about the program.
A free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. and again from 6 to 7 p.m. for those who would like to sample a class before enrolling.
Many scholarships and grants are available to enable those in the community to train for a manufacturing career at little to no cost. Program coordinators will be on hand to assist potential students with questions on programs and registration for fall courses.
For more information, call the CE office at (845) 339-2025. To register for one of these info sessions, visit bit.ly/cefallinfosessions22.
Many young Michiganders graduated from high school and college in latest months, and many of them are still wondering: “What’s Next?” For these ambitious young people at the start of their career—and for any Michiganders looking for their next big career move—there are two words you should remember: “Creators Wanted.”
Creators Wanted is the name of a national campaign to grow the manufacturing workforce of today and tomorrow, and the phrase is also the best way to describe most manufacturers’ recruiting efforts. The businesses that make things in Michigan—be they small, family-owned operations or iconic enterprises with thousands of employees—are looking for people excited about innovating, about creating the next big thing and being part of a team of makers.
Monday, July 25, 2022
On July 20, 2022, the state of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against 18 manufacturing companies in which the state seeks to recover “billions of dollars” that it says that it has and will spend on remediating PFAS issues in the state. While the Wisconsin PFAS lawsuit targets PFAS manufacturers and AFFF manufacturers that utilized PFAS in their products, which several states have done, the lawsuit is nevertheless notable due to the scope of damages alleged in the case. Downstream commerce companies that used PFAS in non-AFFF applications in the state of Wisconsin must pay attention to this case, as it is certainly conceivable that in the future, they, too, may find themselves the targets in similar lawsuits.
The Wisconsin PFAS lawsuit was filed against 18 companies alleging that the companies manufactured either PFAS or PFAS-containing AFFF, which ultimately led to pollution of Wisconsin’s groundwater, surface water, and biota (animal species and plant life in the state). The state brings several claims again each of the defendants, including (1) public nuisance (2) private nuisance (3) trespass (4) negligence (5) strict liability for failure to warn and (6) strict liability for design defect. In short, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants either manufactured PFAS and knew of the hazards of PFAS many years ago, but did not disclose such hazards, or that the defendants manufactured AFFF that contained PFAS and either knew or should have known of the hazards that the product posed to the state’s environment.
Wisconsin seeks damages for a host of specific things, including costs of remediation, costs to install wells and filtration systems, costs for early warning detection technology, costs for community outreach and education resources, and loss of tax revenue claims. In addition, the state brought a claim for punitive damages in which is seeks significant damages for the alleged bad acts of the defendants.
It is of the utmost importance for businesses along the whole supply chain to evaluate their PFAS risk. Public health and environmental groups urge legislators to regulate these compounds. One major point of contention among members of various industries is whether to regulate PFAS as a class or as individual compounds. While each PFAS compound has a unique chemical makeup and impacts the environment and the human body in different ways, some groups argue PFAS should be regulated together as a class because they interact with each other in the body, thereby resulting in a collective impact. Other groups argue that the individual compounds are too diverse and that regulating them as a class would be over restrictive for some chemicals and not restrictive enough for others.
Companies should remain informed so they do not get caught off guard. Regulators at both the state and federal level are setting drinking water standards and notice requirements of varying stringency, and states are increasingly passing PFAS product bills that differ in scope. For any manufacturers, especially those who sell goods interstate, it is important to understand how those various standards will impact them, whether PFAS is regulated as individual compounds or as a class. Conducting regular self-audits for possible exposure to PFAS risk and potential regulatory violations can result in long term savings for companies and should be commonplace in their own risk assessment.
©2022 CMBG3 Law, LLC. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 206
In June 2022, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) released OIG Advisory Opinion No. 22-14. HHS OIG was responding to a written request for an advisory opinion regarding a proposed continuing medical education program for local optometrists conducted by an ophthalmology group practice and four potential funding options for the programs. The requestor wanted to know if the proposed funding options would violate the federal anti-kickback statute or any other laws.
Under each of the proposals, the Requestor would offer two annual continuing education programs about the new technologies and pharmacological treatment protocols applicable to ophthalmic surgery patients. The programs would be offered in the form of a full-day program and a shorter evening program, each designed to meet state continuing education requirements. The programs would be advertised and made available to all optometrists in the Requestor’s service area and the Requestor’s own providers – along with faculty members from professional schools – would serve as the speakers. Any outside speakers would be paid an honorarium plus expenses at fair market value, which would not account for the volume or value of past or potential business generated for the Requestor or any industry sponsor.
Under the first funding option, Proposed Arrangement A, the Requestor would cover all continuing education program costs and charge attendees a fair market value registration fee. Under the second option, Proposed Arrangement B, Requestor would cover all continuing education program costs with no registration fee or outside funding. Proposed Arrangements C and D would include funding for the continuing education programs from industry sponsors – under Proposed Arrangement C, Requestor would not charge a registration fee to CE program attendees, but under Proposed Arrangement D, Requestor would charge a registration fee to program attendees that would be subsidized by the funding received from industry sponsorships for the programs.
HHS found that Proposed Arrangement A, would “generate prohibited remuneration under the Federal anti-kickback statute if the requisite intent were present,” but “the OIG would not impose administrative sanctions on Requestor in connection with Proposed Arrangement A under sections 1128A(a)(7) or 1128(b)(7) of the Act, as those sections relate to the commission of acts described in the Federal anti-kickback statute.”
HHS OIG does find, however, the Proposed Arrangements B, C, and D, would “generate prohibited remuneration under the Federal anti-kickback statute, if the requisite intent were present, which would constitute grounds for the imposition of sanctions under sections 1128A(a)(7) and 1128(b)(7) of the Act.”
OIG noted that because the Requestor would provide something of value (the continuing education programs) to local optometrists who are able to refer patients to the Requestor for surgery. Under Proposed Arrangements C and D, the Requestor, external faculty members and attendees would also receive remuneration from Manufacturers for such products. HHS OIG stated that “CE programs that are educational in nature, … may constitute a vehicle to provide remuneration to referral sources in violation of the Federal anti-kickback statute in some circumstances.”
HHS OIG also referenced the 2020 Special Fraud Alert aimed at educational programming, noting that “the CE programs [covered in the Advisory Opinion] as a general matter do not exhibit the types of suspect characteristics highlighted in the SFA.” Specifically, HHS OIG notes that the CE programs would be approved for CE credit by professional CE certification boards, only modest food items would be provided, the venue would be in an “appropriately sized conference space,” and the CE programs would be open to all local optometrists, among other considerations.
Importantly, HHS OIG noted that the advisory opinion “is limited to the relevant facts presented to us by Requestor in connection with the Proposed Arrangements” and that “this opinion may not be relied on by any person other than Requestor.”
What Does This Mean?
Arnold & Porter Client Advisory
Arnold & Porter issued a client advisory in response to the Advisory Opinion. In it, attorneys Mahnu V. Davar, Jeffrey L. Handwerker, and Abraham Gitterman, note that “overall, Advisory Opinion 22-14 does not change OIG’s historic position” that support for educational activities that are sponsored and organized by medical professional organizations “raise little risk of fraud and abuse” when the arrangements are structured to comply with the 2003 OIG Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, the 1997 guidance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence.
Arnold & Porter also reiterated that while the “advisory opinion is limited to the facts certified and applicable only to the requestor,” manufacturers and education providers “may wish to consider the implications of this advisory opinion for their practices.”
Holland & Knight
In its published insight, Holland & Knight noted that OIG “has long utilized the concept of ‘substantial independent value’ in evaluating whether the provision of any free or reduced-cost goods or services to a potential referral source of federal healthcare program business poses heightened risks under the AKS.” The author further notes that in this HHS OIG advisory opinion, OIG applies the same concept “in the context of free educational programs, showing that even bona fide educational programs could pose heightened risks of fraud and abuse.”
They went on to note, though, that reviewing the OIG analysis of all four Proposed Arrangements serves as a good reminder that an analysis under the AKS “is truly a facts-and-circumstance analysis, involving a detailed review of each proposed arrangement, the type and amount of ‘remuneration’ involved and the parties implicated in the arrangement.”
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius also issued an advisory, in which they noted that with respect to healthcare transaction due diligence, buyers should ask about the target’s marketing and business development activities to identify ant sponsored continuing education program activities. Then, the programs should be “thoroughly reviewed to detect any behavior that could generate material AKS risk.”
Bass, Berry & Sims
Bass, Berry & Sims issued a firm publication, noting that the HHS OIG opinion “reinforces OIG’s concerns with free CE programs, applies latest OIG guidance related to speaker programs funded by pharmaceutical and device manufacturers to programs organized by physicians, and leaves some confusion around the impact of fair market value (FMV) payments for CE.”
Graham McMahon, MD, Presiden and CEO of ACCME has also acknowledged the OIG opinion, saying, “We observe that the organization that requested the opinion did so around a very specific set of facts and circumstances that are unlikely to be extrapolated to other organizations and their activities. At this time, there have been no changes in the federal Anti-Kickback Statute that ACCME is aware of since we received this clarification from CMS in 2008 that acknowledges that accredited CME is not considered remuneration or subject to Stark restrictions. We suggest that CME providers review any specific scenarios in which they are engaged with their own legal counsel if they have concerns.”
The global professional headset market earned revenues of $2. 21 billion in 2021, a 6. 4 percent increase over an unprecedented 2020 year. Remote and hybrid work continued to trigger demand for professional headset products during 2021 with evolving communications and collaboration usage scenarios.
New York, Aug. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Growth Opportunities in the Global Professional Headset Market-Forecast to 2028" - https://www.reportlinker.com/p05149319/?utm_source=GNW
The pandemic has reinforced the paradigm shift toward “work from anywhere” or hybrid/flexible working, with new usage scenarios proliferating in various industries, including healthcare, education, and government, creating long-term opportunities for professional headsets. Despite continued supply chain issues faced by all leading professional headset providers during 2021, the market managed to grow driven mainly by growth in cordless Bluetooth PC USB and UCC headsets. Growth in the cordless Bluetooth PC USB and UCC category in 2021 was triggered both from users needing products that can accommodate different work environments as well as from the manufacturers themselves, which when challenged by inventory issues and lower margins, pivoted customers from one product to another. While impacted in 2021, corded PC USB and UCC headsets and cordless DECT PC USB and UCC headsets are expected to return to growth in 2022 and going forward.Going forward, the analyst estimates the total professional headset market to grow at a CAGR of 7.3 percent in terms of unit shipments and 9.0 percent in terms of sales from 2021 to 2028. Growth is expected to continue to come from cordless Bluetooth PC USB and UCC headsets, corded PC USB and UCC headsets, and cordless DECT PC USB and UCC headsets. The growth of software-based business communications and collaboration services wil continue to drive demand for PC USB and UCC headset across the forecast period.As part of this analysis, The analyst has identified market drivers, restraints, competitive trends, and growth opportunities in the global professional headset market. Through extensive primary and secondary research, this analysis provides enterprise communications providers and manufacturers with an in-depth perspective on the dynamics of a changing market. The analyst expects that this analysis will provide vendors with valuable insights to accelerate their growth and expand their penetration opportunities within the headset marketplace.
Author: Alaa Saayed
Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05149319/?utm_source=GNW
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LONDON, July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The“Smart C ities – Thematic Research” report offered by GlobalData Plc provides an overview of the smart cities theme and identifies the key trends impacting the growth of the theme over the next 12 to 24 months. The report also includes a comprehensive industry analysis, including forecasts for global smart city spending to 2025. Moreover, it contains details of M&A deals driven by the smart cities theme, and a timeline highlighting milestones in the development of smart cities.
According to the thematic intelligence report published by GlobalData, the smart cities market size was valued at $221.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 11% by 2025. Increased urbanization is already causing infrastructure headaches for cities, which will only worsen. These challenges are driving the creation of smart cities.
For more insights on th e smart cities market forecast , download a sample report
Smart C ities Mergers and A cquisitions
Smart grid and smart transportation have seen the most significant M&A activity. Two of the biggest acquisitions, Veolia's purchase of Suez and Emerson Electric's acquisition of OSI, are centered around smart grids and water. They arguably reflect the importance of the smart metering market and its potential for steady growth. The growing importance of water infrastructure can also be seen in the acquisitions of Irrisoft and S-Group Solutions.
To know more about key smart cities M&A transactions , download a sample report
Key Trend s Impacting the Smart Cities Theme
Technology Trend: Early signs are that the metaverse could play several roles in smart cities. The pandemic has shown that the most resilient cities enable their citizens to work, learn, and socialize remotely. Accordingly, in November 2021, Seoul announced plans to use a metaverse platform to provide this flexibility to its citizens. The platform (to be completed by 2023) will virtually conduct public services such as tourism, education, cultural experiences, and civilian services.
Macroeconomic Trend : The pandemic's fallout means cities face a growing number of problems during a period of serious economic uncertainty. As a result, cities will view proposed smart city initiatives differently. To be a justifiable investment, an initiative must have a clear, relevant purpose and be as cost-effective as possible.
Regulatory Trend : Cities worldwide are starting to create ethical guidelines for their adoption of technology. London has published an emerging technology charter; a set of rules that outline the city's expectations for how new data-enabled technologies should be developed and deployed for use in the public realm. Dubai has also been discussing a similar charter, while cities like Boston have created a playbook that governs the relationship between suppliers and citizens.
For more insights on other trends impacting the smart cities theme, download a sample report
Smart Cities Value Chains
The smart cities value chain consists of three main areas: smart city platforms, smart city applications, and smart city services.
Smart City Platforms : Smart city platforms provide a platform for the unified delivery of local public services. Although each city is unique, and all have their challenges around delivering services and providing vital infrastructure, a common factor is that more value will be delivered by integrating each smart city service into an all-encompassing platform. This allows for the creation of open data services to encourage innovation and the development of new digital services.
Smart City Applications : Smart city applications can be further segmented into smart buildings, smart transport, smart infrastructure, and smart grid. Health measures in the form of improved heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and screening systems will become crucial components of smart buildings. The structure or framework for smart transportation starts with infrastructure. There cannot be a smart city without smart mobility, and smart mobility is impossible without smart transport infrastructure. The cities have also invested in two infrastructure types: health infrastructure that directly tackles the spread of COVID-19 and infrastructure that improves citizens' digital access. Moreover, a smart grid modernizes power systems through self-healing designs, automation, remote monitoring and control, and the establishment of microgrids.
Smart City Services: Cities do not have the design, technical, integration, or data analysis skills to become smart cities on their own. There is an active market for smart city design and integration services, which stitch together applications for smart buildings, transportation, infrastructure, and power grids. On the integration side, the providers of these services include large players such as IBM, Siemens, and Huawei, together with the likes of TCS, Capgemini, Wipro, and notably in Asia, Mitac.
For comprehensive insights on the value chain of the smart cities theme, download a sample report
Leading Public Companies Associated with the Smart Cities Theme
Leading Private Companies Associated with the Smart Cities Theme
To know more about leading companies associated with the smart cities theme , download a sa m ple report
Smart Cities Sector Scorecards
At GlobalData, we use a scorecard approach to predict tomorrow's leading companies within each sector. Our sector scorecards have three screens: a thematic screen, a valuation screen, and a risk screen.
Smart city is a theme that impacts many of the 17 technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sectors we cover. In this report, we focus specifically on the industrial automation and IT services sectors.
Reasons to Buy
The smart city is an important market that attracts substantial investment. This report is a clear and insightful overview of this increasingly important theme, telling you everything you need to know about what makes a city smart and which companies are benefitting from increased urbanization.
Smart Cities Market Overview
|Market Size 2019||$221.1 billion|
|Key Technology Trends||The Metaverse, Cyber Threats, Digital Twins, AI Adoption, 5G, Surveillance Tech, and Digitalization|
|Key Macroeconomic Trends||The Post-COVID Smart City, Water Shortages, Smart City Geopolitics, and The Digital Silk Road|
|Key Regulatory Trends||COP26 Impact on Cities and Emerging Tech Charters|
|Value Chains||Smart City Platforms, Smart City Apps, and Smart City Services|
|Leading Public Companies||Accenture, Alibaba, Cisco, Hikvision, Hitachi, Honeywell, IBM, iFlytek, Johnson Controls, Microsoft, Nokia, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and ZTE|
|Leading Private Companies||75F, Cleverciti, Huawei, Quantela, and Via Transportation|
What was the smart cities market size in 20 19 ?
The smart cities market size was valued at $221.1 billion in 2019.
What is the smart cities market growth rate?
The smart cities market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 11% from 2019 to 2025.
What are the key technology trends impact ing the smart cities theme ?
The key technology trends impacting the smart cities theme are the metaverse, cyber threats, digital twins, AI adoption, 5G, surveillance tech, and digitalization.
What are the key macroeconomic trends impact ing the smart cities theme ?
The key macroeconomic trends impacting the smart cities theme are the post-COVID smart city, water shortages, smart city geopolitics, and the digital silk road.
What are the key regulatory trends impact ing the smart cities theme ?
The key regulatory trends impacting the smart cities theme are COP26 impact on cities and emerging tech charters.
What are the key value chains in the smart cities market ?
The key value chains in the smart cities market can be divided into three segments: smart city platforms, smart city apps, and smart city services.
Which are the leading public companies associated with the smart cities theme ?
The leading public companies associated with the smart cities theme are Accenture, Alibaba, Cisco, Hikvision, Hitachi, Honeywell, IBM, iFlytek, Johnson Controls, Microsoft, Nokia, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and ZTE.
Which are the leading private companies associated with the smart cities theme ?
The leading private companies associated with the smart cities theme are 75F, Cleverciti, Huawei, Quantela, and Via Transportation.
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