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First Move with Julia Chatterley
On the Eve of the Olympics, the Opening Ceremony is Thrown into Disarray; A Warning on the Economic Impact of Vaccine Inequality; Elon Musk Explains why He Wants Bitcoin to Succeed. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired July 22, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Live from London. I am Isa Soares, in for Julia Chatterley, and this is FIRST MOVE and here is your need-to-know.
Tokyo troubles. On the eve of the Olympics, the opening ceremony is thrown into disarray.
COVID cost. A warning on the economic impact of vaccine inequality.
And pump, but don't dump. Elon Musk explains why he wants Bitcoin to succeed.
It is Thursday, so let's make a move.
A warm welcome to FIRST MOVE, everyone. Great to have you with us this Thursday.
I want to get straight to the market action. As you can see, U.S. stock futures have weakened somewhat over the past hour. Dow futures especially
have been down a tenth of a percent or so. It is now looking a mostly flat Wall Street open after what has been what we've seen for the last few days,
strong solid gains with the exception of course of Monday.
Europe remains mostly higher, as we show, while FTSE is down slightly but the Xetra DAX and Paris CAC looking positive. We see strong earnings as
well as the promise of continued monetary support, still offsetting concerns, of course, of the spread of the delta variant.
European Central Bank saying today that it won't pull stimulus anytime soon as health concerns and economic uncertainty persist. It recently tweaked
its inflation forecast to allow policymakers to remain accommodative for longer.
Inflation however, remains a real concern for global business. We have been talking about it here on the show. Shares of consumer products giant,
Unilever, are down more than four percent, almost five percent in fact in European trading, after it warned that rising prices are squeezing profits.
It says more price hikes are on the way.
If I take you to Asia, there was a lot of green arrows in Asia. The Hang Seng jumped almost two percent as data showed Hong Kong inflation easing
last month. South Korean stocks rose for the first time in five sessions, and it's in Asia, where we want to begin today's drivers.
The Director of the Olympics opening ceremony fired just a day before the big event. Meanwhile, Tokyo reported nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases today.
As you can see in that graph, that's the biggest daily tally since mid- January. Selina Wang is live in Tokyo for us with the latest.
And Selina, you know, the day before the opening ceremony and they fired the man who put it all altogether. I know it's not the first candle to kind
of hit the Olympics, but what's behind this dismissal?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Isa, not at all. I mean, these opening ceremonies have just been hit by scandal after scandal, and this really
throws the ceremony into disarray. Now, he was fired for making anti- Semitic comments in a comedy act that was resurfaced that he did back in the 90s. Local media have reported on it and the organizing committee now
saying that they apologize that he made a mockery of such a painful, historic fact, and they apologized for the troubles caused by all of the
Olympic stakeholders, as well as the people, the residents here in Japan.
But Isa, again, not the first official to be booted out. In fact, this just comes days after the music composer of the Olympics resigned after
interviews surfaced of him in the 1990s talking about severe abuse and torture and bullying of his former classmates. This caused, unsurprisingly,
outrage in Japan.
But notably, the organizing committee did not immediately force him to resign. In fact, they said they hoped he would continue. It was only later
that he himself announced that he was resigning.
And on top of that, Isa, just a few months ago, the former creative director resigned after he made suggestions that were offensive to a female
Japanese celebrity. So, none of this bodes well for an opening ceremony that is supposed to be a symbol of unity and hope.
SOARES: Indeed, and in the meantime, Selina, we are seeing the number of people testing positive inside the Olympic Village increasing. Give me a
sense of how worried athletes are? A sense of the mood on the ground?
WANG: Isa, it is so stressful. These athletes are testing positive sometimes before they leave for Japan, getting their dreams derailed before
they even get here to Tokyo. Some are testing positive at the airport, others in the Olympic Village. I mean the list of athletes whose dreams are
getting derailed because of COVID are only growing.
And some really heartbreaking comments today from a Dutch Taekwondo player who said she is out because of coronavirus. She says she can't believe this
is how her career is ending, it is just stopping like this even though these athletes say they've done everything in their power to make sure that
they didn't get put in this type of scenario.
WANG: Also, a Czech volleyball player, saying that she is out of The Games as well, saying that she cried, and she cursed, and she cried some more.
It's not an ideal scenario for any of these athletes. They trained their whole lives for this one moment for the majority of these Olympic athletes.
This, Isa, is their one chance.
SOARES: Yes, it's heartbreaking and it must be so stressful for those athletes as they try, of course to make sure they don't test positive.
Thanks very much, Selina Wang there for us in Tokyo. Appreciate it, Selina.
Well, vaccine inequalities undermining the global economic recovery, the warning from the World Health Organization comes as rich countries benefit
from seemingly ample vaccine supplies, while poorer nations really continue to struggle.
Larry Madowo joins me now from Kenya, where the contrast is stark, and Larry, I want to talk to you because you wrote an incredibly personal and
powerful piece for cnn.com, about the loss that you've seen, and the contrast with the United States where you were living before.
Now, I believe that you lost your uncle to COVID. Your grandmother is also fighting for her life. How frustrated and angry are people in Kenya, and
yourself in fact, you know about the resistance of vaccines that we're seeing in the West?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Isa, there's a sense of helplessness here because even if you follow all the instructions like Rwanda has done,
with following the World Health Organization requirements on social distancing, and masking, and gathering restrictions, they were still
overrun with cases.
One is now in Kigali and eight districts in new north, another strict lockdown where people are not even allowed to leave their homes. And the
only protection is vaccines, but those vaccines are not available here. That is why only 1.5 percent of the African population is so far
vaccinated. That's such a small, small needle in a haystack, because the only way to have herd immunity is to get as many people as possible
And I know what that is like having been in New York at the start of the pandemic, which was the epicenter of the crisis, and being back home now
and seeing in my own family, my uncle, I lost him. He was in his 60s, had a whole life ahead of him, but because he didn't have a vaccine, he didn't
stand a chance. He was dead in a few days.
And my grandmother has been fighting for her life for nearly six weeks now, and I know that agony and that pain of waiting and fearing that any call
from home might be the one to say, she is gone. And again, if we had more vaccines here in Kenya, maybe that would not be the case. But so far, only
1.2 percent of the population in this country is vaccinated.
SOARES: And the reality, Larry, of course, is that countries such as Kenya rely on COVAX, but we already know that this is hugely underfunding.
MADOWO: It is severely underfunded, and so COVAX can only distribute whatever vaccines are made available to it. So, it's tried to buy some of
them, and the supply has been limited because Western countries, mostly rich nations are holding vaccines, stockpiling them.
It's been called vaccine apartheid. It's been called a catastrophic moral failure, and a vaccine delayed is vaccine denied. One of the leading
commentators on this subject, Dr. Gitahi Githinji said repeatedly.
And so here's the contrast: when I was in Washington, D.C., all I needed to get vaccinated was to walk into a drugstore, CVS, and there were many more
appointments available at Walgreens. The D.C. health department was e- mailing constantly, anybody over the age of 12 in the U.S. can get vaccinated. And here, people in their 80s and 90s have no access to a
vaccine, and these are people who are already vulnerable.
So, they are dying unnecessarily when just a single shot, two shots might have saved so many of these lives.
SOARES: It is inexcusable, and just to think as well that Kenya is one of the richest countries, of course, the wealthiest country in Africa is just
staggering this is happening.
Larry, I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you.
If you haven't read Larry's piece on cnn.com, go to cnn.com and read that piece. It is truly heartbreaking. Incredibly powerful.
And Larry, once again, condolences for your uncle and I do hope that your grandmother pushes through.
Now, President Joe Biden made a fresh plea to Americans to get vaccinated at last night's CNN Town Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The President also weighed in on the recent spike in U.S. prices, he insists the high inflation will be temporary. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vast majority of the experts including Wall Street are suggesting that it is highly unlikely
that it's going to be long term inflation that is going to get out of hand. There will be near term inflation because everything is now trying to be
picked back up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Mr. Biden also urged Congress to pass his multitrillion dollar spending proposal, he believes that will help reduce inflation.
Paul La Monica joins me now for more.
And Paul, when, of course, the economic fallout of COVID-19 is inflation. This is not something that is just, you know, hits the United States. It's
a global challenge.
We had President Biden there acknowledging that it is a problem, but he believes it is transitory. How have his comments being received?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think that, obviously, depending on your political point of view, those who are in favor of the
President believe what he is saying about inflation. And this is, of course, something that Fed Chair Jerome Powell and many other leading
economists have been talking about as well that the inflation pressures are transitory, they will eventually go away once the economy globally
normalizes and some of these supply shocks start to fade.
But there are a growing number of economists as well as of course, you know, conservatives, members of the opposition party who don't believe that
Biden and Powell for that matter are correct, and that these inflation pressures that have been mounting, they've been around for a while, and
they're starting to look more persistent than transitory, particularly when it comes to people going back into the labor force and being able to demand
higher wages, because wage growth is what really drives inflation for the longer term.
SOARES: Yes, I'm glad you mentioned that because we have been hearing Republicans blaming President Biden, as well as Democrats for labor
shortages at restaurants and other low-wage businesses, basically saying the pandemic relief measures are discouraging Americans from returning to
What was President Biden's response to this?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think, you know, unfortunately, for restauranteurs, it may not be all that encouraging. President Biden admitted that, you know,
many of these companies are in a bind right now, and that may not change anytime soon. You do have a lot of people who are returning to the
workforce and demanding higher wages, which are going to put pressure on smaller businesses.
And you know, there are some who have been, you know, sitting at home thanks to the stimulus and there has been the argument that the stimulus
checks have helped enable this kind of meme stock craze that we've had taking over the market and Wall Street with a lot of people not needing to
go back to work because they've been sitting at home trading GameStop on Robinhood, and making big bucks that way.
SOARES: Paul La Monica there for us. Thanks very much, Paul. Thanks for making sense of that for us.
Now, I want to bring you here to England where businesses are being forced to close as the COVID-19 app puts hundreds of thousands of workers into
The week to last Thursday, a record 619,000 people were told to self- isolate at home after being pinged in England, as well as Wales. Among those isolating, of course are the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.
Nina dos Santos joins me. And Nina, we are hearing, of course, more criticism of the government's handling of the pingdemic, as it is being
called here, the self-isolation crisis, and it's coming from business leaders. Explain to our viewers why they are so frustrated.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, really, the scale of this problem at the moment, and the fact that it is growing, as you mentioned,
there's over 618,000 people, it seems, have been contacted and told to go into isolation in the week up until July the 14th. That compares with the
week earlier when it was 500,000 people.
So you can see that as the COVID infections grow, the number of people who are being taken out of the workforce, whether they have COVID or not,
because they've had contact with somebody who has had COVID is really having an impact on labor shortages.
Now, this is being felt most keenly, particularly in the food and drink industry with the British Retail Consortium, which represents shops, saying
that they are having a really hard time filling some of the staffing levels, but also supermarkets saying that this is affecting them right
throughout the course of the food supply chain.
Some firms like for instance, the coop in the U.K. is saying that they're going to be having to hire about 3,000 temporary workers, firms like Tesco
behind me saying that their issue in terms of a pressure point is more when it comes to heavy goods vehicles, actually getting the logistics and
transportation of fresh food from one part of the country to the next.
The British Meat Processing Association reckons that between five and 10 percent of workers in that sector are currently having to isolate. And it's
not just food, it's also the healthcare sector and policing as well.
So, this is becoming a bigger problem for the country, Brexit notwithstanding as well, which is also something that has caused logistical
nightmares for some of these businesses as well -- Isa.
SOARES: Absolutely. I'm glad you mentioned that, and Nina, to confirm, I am just seeing a statement from the Confederation of British Industry, CBI
calling on the government here to urgently bring forward its plans to allow double jabbed individuals not to self-isolate. What is the government
saying about this? Are they worried at all? Are they putting a plan in place?
DOS SANTOS: Well, that's the big question. So, we heard from Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary earlier today, explaining on British
television that essentially, the government is keeping a very close eye on this pingdemic, if you like, so many people being pinged by the test and
trace app and that they are monitoring the situation closely.
They are hoping to imminently come up with some kind of list of which key workers that they've had their two vaccinations will be exempt from this
rule of having to isolate if they have been pinged to say that they've been in contact with somebody who is COVID-19 positive.
Having said that, there are also concerns that that could create a two-tier system between different jobs. Many businesses like the types of businesses
on this High Street behind me would like to know with more clarity, which sectors are going are going to be included into that plan.
DOS SANTOS: And the other thing I have to point out to you, Isa, is while we're talking about 618,000 plus people being pinged and told that they
have to isolate over the last couple of weeks, well, you've got to also remember that the schools are about to finish just tomorrow here, the State
Schools in the U.K., and there are more than 700,000 children a week that are having to isolate. Just an hour ago or so, one of my children was
actually told that I had to pick him up from school because somebody in his year group had tested positive for COVID-19.
So, it gives you an idea of how for parents who are working, they are having these types of troubles, and also for people who are managing to run
big businesses, that are also having labor shortages because of this issue, with isolation in a country where, by the way, Isa, the government hopes to
within one month and a half have offered all adults who are eligible for a vaccine, both of those two doses -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, and the irony is that, you know, the decision to lift almost all restrictions, of course, was supposed -- expected deliver a windfall
wasn't it, Nina, for businesses, but it is having a very different impact.
Nina dos Santos there, thanks very much, Nina.
Still to come right here on FIRST MOVE, a self-driving car takes on the mean streets of New York, the CEO of Mobileye on the company's big
And Croc's knock the socks off investors. The shoe maker CEO tells us what behind the stellar set of earnings. Those stories after a very short break.
SOARES: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE and we are counting down to the market open on Wall Street, in roughly 11 minutes or so, and a mix open as you can
see there is on top of the reopening stock set to pull back somewhat. Airline stocks are set to fall even as they report encouraging quarterly
Southwest and American are both posting second quarter profits as travel demand bounces back. Federal aid, of course, helping the bottom line, too.
United meantime, saying ticket sales have not been hit by concerns about the delta COVID variant.
And of course, we'll get important earnings later today from major tech names like Intel, Twitter, and Snap.
Let me bring you up to date with the stories making headlines around the world this hour.
SOARES: China has rejected a plan by the World Health Organization to further investigate the origins of COVID-19. The W.H.O. proposed a second
phase study including more research into a theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan in China. But a Chinese health official dismissed the
idea saying and goes quote, "Against science."
Nick Paton Walsh joins me now in London with more details. So Nick, why is China refusing to cooperate on something as important as this?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: The nub of the Chinese objection essentially revolves around the increased rhetoric from
the head of the W.H.O. and also American Western officials, not only about Chinese transparency in this, which has been very little, but also about
the theory of a lab leak being at the heart of where the coronavirus emerged from, a theory based at this point in very little open evidence
that you and I can particularly see, but one that keeps coming back again and again, despite that lack of solid evidence to underpin it.
Now, essentially, the Chinese statement today, as you said, says that the W.H.O. requests to look at the raw data behind much of the early origins of
the virus. They really haven't for a long time wanted to look at actual raw hospital information and not the analysis of that information that Chinese
officials gave to them in their trip early this year, a trip that they waited months to be able to carry out, and also, too that the suggestion
that they'd like to look a bit more deeply into some of the laboratories in Wuhan, that may have had some early testing around this.
China has said that it is impossible to accommodate that particular plan and gone on to say that the next stage of the investigation that the W.H.O.
want doesn't respect commonsense and is against science, essentially calling an end to this extraordinary international row, frankly.
The W.H.O. wanting to send independent investigators knowing that they can't really do that without Chinese acceptance and rules being behind that
trip, the Chinese delaying it, and then essentially massaging it seems or certainly clarifying in their terms, the data which they would then hand to
What is the point of all this discussion, Isa? Humanity needs to know, where this once in a lifetime pandemic emerge from? Was it bats through an
intermediary animal as it seems the most likely explanation according to a W.H.O. report? Was it a lab leak, which many enemies of China
geopolitically want to keep pointing to?
It is extremely important that the scientists of the W.H.O. won't get to go back because they did legitimately want to look at the raw data in
hospitals, blood samples from October and November of 2019 before we know the virus emerged in December of that year to look for the possibility that
it was more widespread then, and then possibly look for where geographically it may have begun, vital clues to pin down what the first
emergence actually came from.
And something, it seems, because of this geopolitical row now, frankly, here and disputes over how the investigation continues that you and I will
never know the answer to and that's utterly important.
You have to think back of every major historical event over the last 200 to 300 years, there's been a constant battle to work out precisely why it
happened so it doesn't happen again. We may not get that answer with the pandemic -- Isa.
SOARES: Nick Paton Walsh there for us. Thanks very much, Nick. Great to see you.
Now, the COVID delta variant continues to fuel significant surge of new cases across Asia. In South Korea and Malaysia, number of people infected
or dying are at record levels. And authorities in Indonesia now, Asia's epicenter for the virus say they plan to create 16 emergency hospitals
especially to cope with a spike in COVID cases.
Back to Japan, where Selina Wang speaks exclusively with the CEO of Suntory, one of the country's biggest drink makers, who now says the
Olympic Games are losing their commercial value.
TAKESHI NIINAMI, CEO, SUNTORY: I thought about becoming an Olympic partner because I was a member of the delegate to win the bet. I went to Buenos
Aires together with Prime Minister Abe. I thought about it, but I didn't think my economics didn't match. Too expensive.
So, instead of being a partner, I thought that we should work with the on- premise restaurants and bars together outside of the big, you know, stadium and venues of the Olympics and Paralympics. So, we decided not to go for
WANG: Do you think that these Games could still boost international businesses for Japanese companies?
NIINAMI: I am skeptical that the Olympic Games will bring and attract business partners. More and more, I don't think so.
WANG: It has been reported that many Olympic sponsors in Japan were actually pushing for the Olympics to be delayed. So that more spectators
could come, it would be better for business, so that more people in Japan would be vaccinated.
Do you think The Games should have been postponed?
NIINAMI: Ideally, at least two months, I think The Games should be postponed. Not a year, but considering the current rollout of vaccines in
this country, two months from now, should be the ideal timing.
WANG: What were the plans exactly that Suntory had for these Olympics and what has been scrapped because of this ban on spectators?
NIINAMI: We had a plan to open a couple of bars, to promote our brands to spectators visiting from abroad, but we canceled the contracts. And plus,
we were working with the on premise players to promote our brands around the venues of The Games, but we can't make it now.
And so, the economic losses will be enormous.
WANG: If spectators were allowed at these Games domestically and internationally, is there a percentage or a number you could put on just
how much of a boost that would be for your business?
NIINAMI: I would say, only as far as for our domestic business is concerned, I would tell you, around 10 to 12 percent. And you know, we
could have sold the premium products carrying gross margin. So, the sales itself is very important, but our operating profits should be a lot because
not only spectators, but also that excitement, you know, makes a ripple effect to the Japanese consumers, too.
So total excitement creates a huge demand to innovative products and premier products.
SOARES: Now, you are watching FIRST MOVE. The market open is next. Do stay right here with CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. You heard the bell. U.S. stocks are up and running this Thursday. We've got a mostly flat open at Wall Street
today. You can see it, pretty flat. The Dow drifting lower after really two days of solid gains. New data today showing U.S. jobless claims jumping
above 400,000 again. It is not really helping the sentiment. It is the highest level of claims since mid-May.
Now, earnings -- solid earnings can lend some support to markets. We've got good results today from the likes of appliance maker Whirlpool; drug maker,
Biogen; and telecom giant, AT&T, the parent company of CNN. More than 80 percent of companies reporting so far this profit season have beaten
earnings, as well as revenue expectations
Meantime, shares of Chinese ride hailing app DiDi Global are down more than -- it is actually down more than six percent in fact, in early trading. A
Bloomberg report says Chinese officials would impose quote, "an unprecedented penalty" for the company following its U.S. IPO debut last
month. So, we'll keep on top of their share price in DiDi Global.
Well, if you've ever been in the back of a taxi in New York like this one being destroyed by Bruce Willis in "Die Hard with a Vengeance," you will
know all about the crazy drivers, the traffic jams, the general chaos, but it's really tech firm, who Mobileye thinks that self-driving technology can
cope with all of that, and much more.
In a rare move, this especially adapted Ford is legally allowed to drive autonomously on New York streets for the first time. Now, it uses 12
cameras and has a human backup driver -- just relax -- to keep an eye on things.
Mobileye, which is now owned by Intel is also testing in other cities around the world. Jack Weast is an Intel fellow and Vice President of
Autonomous Vehicle Standards at Mobileye. Jack, great to have you on the show.
Look, I did panic, when my producer told me that you were testing autonomous cars in New York, I thought, why New York? Surely, you can find
a city that is slightly quieter.
JACK WEAST, INTEL FELLOW AND VICE PRESIDENT OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE STANDARDS, MOBILEYE: We certainly could. And thank you giving me the
chance to be here. We really believe that if you can drive in New York, you can drive anywhere. And so we want to prove to the public and to
governments that this technology is safe and that it does work. We've got to show that it can drive in the most challenging environments, and what
better city to do that than New York.
SOARES: Talk to our viewers, you've spent 12 years, right around, Jack, what kind of technology you used for this? I know you have cameras and
radars, but just more detail.
WEAST: Yes, the car is equipped with 360-degree sensing. So, it has cameras all around seeing every direction. We believe that cars should be
able to drive with vision only, and then we have a separate car that can drive with radar and LIDAR. And then we combined those two together
commercially for redundancy. So, this is one of the key pillars of our approach that we think is better for safety, to have redundant sensing
systems for commercial deployments.
SOARES: And you have a human driver behind the wheel for this testing, correct?
WEAST: That's correct. For now, a human driver, definitely behind the wheel. These are highly trained drivers that are ready to take over the
vehicle should anything go awry. But we're confident that the data that we will collect, and the performance of these vehicles will show that even
today, these vehicles are safer than your typical human driver on the streets of New York.
SOARES: Now, you have been testing your technology in Tokyo, in Paris, Shanghai, and I believe Detroit. What have you learned from the cities --
from testing in these cities?
WEAST: One of the reasons why we test in so many different cities is driving is so different in so many places around the world. And so if you
have ambitions to scale automated driving globally, you need to test globally.
So in Tokyo, for example, there's a lot of elevated highways with roads underneath, and then maybe a tunnel underneath that. So, that creates
unique challenges for mapping. In New York, of course, pedestrians, and all sorts of strange vehicles and horse drawn carriages are pretty commonplace.
In Israel, you have very different driving style yet again.
So, it's important for a company with ambitions to scale globally to be testing globally and make sure we can operate in any environment around the
SOARES: Let's talk about that. When do you envisage that this sort of technology will be available for consumers like fully self-driving cars?
What's the timeline -- the timeline vision here?
WEAST: We plan to release our first robo-taxi service directly to consumers in Tel Aviv in 2022. So, we are on track for doing that. We
believe though that the real prize is consumer automated vehicles, for you and I to be able to own a car in our garage that can autonomously drive us
anywhere we would want to be able to drive that car ourselves.
And for that, we think 2025 is the timeframe, but we need some additional innovations in terms of some new and novel kinds of sensors that allow that
car to drive anywhere under any weather condition.
SOARES: That's pretty soon there, 2025. What -- in order to get there, what are you lacking? What are you missing?
WEAST: The main thing is really just cost and scale. The technology as well as it works today, still a bit too expensive to fit into a consumer
vehicle that you and I could afford to purchase. And so, we've got to have new and novel kinds of sensors that are cheaper and more capable, because
if you own a car, and it's in your garage, you're going to expect it can take you anywhere you want to go. You don't want to have to drive 10 miles
to a geo-fenced area, and then suddenly, the autonomous features turn on.
So, it's both a combination of capability and cost to get the self-driving system into a profile that can fit into any consumer vehicle you could buy.
SOARES: And, Jack, you have the backing, I think we said at the beginning of the story, as I introduced you, of Intel, which bought the company in
2017. Do you already have auto companies kind of lining up to purchase your technology?
WEAST: Yes. One of the benefits of Mobileye's approach is that while we will be operating a robo-taxi service in Tel Aviv, for example, we also are
very lucky to have many OEM customers. Some of our largest customers around the world delivering driver assistance solutions today. So, whatever the
path to market might be, whether it's operating our own service, providing our system to an automaker, or providing vehicles to an existing ride
sharing service, we support all paths to market depending upon what the right thing to do is in that geography.
And the partnership with Intel has really been fantastic. You know, so for example, that sensing challenge I mentioned earlier, Intel's technologies
in silicon photonics, Mobileye, is we are using to build a new kind of LIDAR sensor that will be cheaper and have longer range and more capable
than other LIDARs that are on the market today.
So, the combination of Intel and Mobileye together is really fueling Mobileye's scale ambitions.
SOARES: Well, keep us posted on how that goes in New York. Jack Weast, Intel fellow and Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles Standards at
Mobileye, thank you very much, Jack. Great to have you on the show.
Now, up next, Crocs strides confidently into post lockdown life would record earnings. I speak to the CEO next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Now shares in Crocs are soaring more than 13 percent last time I looked. The shoemaker surprised Wall Street with
record revenues in the second quarter, up 93 percent compared to last year.
The company also revised up its outlook for the rest of 2021, and now, it says it expects revenue to jump this four-year compared to last. Look at
the price of the shares, up 12 percent or so.
Joining me now is Andrew Rees, the CEO of Crocs. Andrew, great to have you on the show. What a stellar quarter you have had. I suspect, because the
pandemic has meant most of us have been seeking comfort from home. How has business been globally for you?
ANDREW REES, CEO, CROCS: Well, business has been very strong, as you highlighted, you know, incredible revenue growth. And we've seen that
revenue growth really for four quarters in a row now. And as we look at the year, our expectation is between 60 and 65 percent revenue growth for the
If I look at around globally, particularly strong here in the U.S., but we also see really strong growth in EMEA so that's our Europe, Middle East and
Africa region, and also in Asia, despite some, you know, significant COVID impacts in Asia if you think about India during the second quarter where it
was obviously a very dire situation,
SOARES: of course, and Andrew, now, of course, we're starting to see people being vaccinated and returning to work. Do you worry at all that the
Crocs will be thrown in the back of the cupboard and that people simply won't be buying them at the same rate they were?
REES: No, not at all. Actually, if you kind of look at the trajectory of the company, we were on a really strong upward trajectory in terms of
growth and improved profitability as we came into the pandemic. I think we've benefited from the pandemic, but also being really smart about how we
appeal to our consumer base in terms of donating shoes to frontline healthcare workers, and really continuing to improve the desirability and
the considerations of brand through incredible marketing.
So yes, we're not concerned about a sort of pullback based on people going back to work. We think they should wear the Crocs to work.
SOARES: Yes, and as you were talking, we're looking at a share price graph of Crocs for the past two years, you see that the increase, in fact,
started in April 2020 and it has continued to surge. The company, Andrew, is diversifying. It is pushing from where I was looking into sandals and
platform soles. But you've also had collaboration with celebrities and other brands such as Balenciaga, one of them.
How important has this been, Andrew, to creating kind of excitement around the brand?
REES: Yes, look, I brought a marketing strategy of which a key component is collaborations. It is hugely important, right? You mentioned Balenciaga,
we just launched our second collaboration with Balenciaga, we did one a number of years ago, and they get a great deal of attention, they get a
great deal of buzz.
But the secret to our collaboration strategy is a very broad spectrum of people that we collaborate with. So, in the last quarter, we collaborated
with, you know, a skate web brand, Palace in London; you know, a noodle ramen brand in South Korea; and Balenciaga, as you mentioned, pretty
diverse. And it brings a great deal of creativity, interest, and excitement to the brand.
And I think you might have also seen, you know, earlier on the quarter StockX called out the growth in terms of the resale of our products. So,
that's the limited supply that exists on many of our products, which then cause people to trade them in the aftermarket. So it's very, very important
in terms of bringing heat to the brand.
SOARES: Yes, I mean, what is fascinating about Crocs is that you have both blind loyalists, Andrew and those uncompromising cynics. Do you think that
you will ever appeal to everyone?
REES: Absolutely not. We don't want it, right? So, you know, it's a very polarizing brand and that is one of the core strengths of the brand, it is
those loyalists that we have and we get pictures from them every day, they may have 30 or 40 pairs in their closet. And then we get other people that,
you know, are complete cynics and will take to social media to deride the brand, and it is that tension that is really, really important.
It allows us to get a lot of free publicity, and I think it is a really important component of the dimensions of a brand. So, you know, yes, we
want more people to think of the brand is relevant to them. So, one of the things that we look very closely is brand relevance, and that's been rising
We've had four years in a row now of double digit improvement in terms of brand relevance, which means more people think it's for them, so that's
SOARES: When I was looking at your earnings report, something that stood out for me, Andrew, is this idea that -- the commitment you're making to
transition to net zero emissions by 2030. Give us a sense of how you're able to do this and whether this has been driven in any way by customer
REES: Look, I would say, firstly, we've been working on this for quite some time now and it's now that we feel comfortable in terms of revealing
it and making that commitment.
It is absolutely driven by customer demand, right, and it's also driven by our desire as a company to do the right thing for our communities and for
REES: So, the younger consumer in particular, and also the global consumer is very interested in the environmental responsibility that a brand takes.
And if you are irresponsible, they will migrate away from you; if you are responsible, they will certainly put you higher up in their consideration
So that is an important factor. That being said, we've been working out for some time. We're able to do this from a number of different mechanisms.
One, first, I'd call out is our product today, so our Classic Club, that's the club that you're familiar with already has an incredibly low carbon
footprint of 3.94 kilograms of carbon. That's way below what, you know, many other footwear offerings would be.
And then in terms of how we can further reduce that, we're looking at both sustainable ingredients that go into that product. So, today, much of that
product is derived from a petroleum based input. We're working with a major chemical company to derive those inputs from sustainable resources, and
we're well advanced with that and we think we will be able to dramatically increase the proportion of our product that's coming from that, and we'll
have announcements around that in the future.
But we're also looking at where we get our energy from, we're looking at our packaging, we're looking at reuse and resale of our products. So, we're
trying to look at all aspects of the carbon footprint, and we're very confident we can reduce the footprint and then offset the remainder.
SOARES: Andrew Rees, the CEO of Crocs. Thanks very much Andrew for taking the time to speak to us here on FIRST MOVE.
Still to come right here on the show, Bitcoin on the rise again following Elon Musk's latest comments on the cryptocurrency. What did he say this
time? Clare Sebastian, join me next.
SOARES: Now, Elon Musk, one of the loudest voices in the crypto world clarifying his position as an investor, as well as a supporter. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: If the price of Bitcoin goes down, I lose money. I'm not sort of you know -- I pump, but I don't dump. So you know, it's a
case of -- I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling or anything like that, and I would like to see Bitcoin succeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, the Tesla CEO also said his company will likely start accepting Bitcoin again. Clare Sebastian has been monitoring all, she joins
me now from New York and Clare, and we know that he is a supporter of Bitcoin, but he does have -- he still has, I should say environmental
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa. It is interesting, he said, he doesn't pump up the price of Bitcoin because he has really been
responsible this year for a significant decline in the price of Bitcoin. Many will attribute the huge falls that we've seen in that cryptocurrency
since mid-May when Elon Musk announced that Tesla was suspending accepting Bitcoin for car payments. That really was a significant trigger in those
declines in Bitcoin.
SEBASTIAN: Now, these environmental concerns are still going on, but Elon Musk did say that he is seeing some improvement. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUSK: We want to do a little bit more diligence to confirm that the kind of the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely sort of at or
above 50 percent, and that there is -- that there is a trend towards increasing that number. And if so, then Tesla will resume Bitcoin accepting
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: Well, Isa, we don't know when Tesla will resume accepting Bitcoin, but we do know that he has a point when it comes to some
improvements. There are signs of improvements in the energy mix of Bitcoin, for example, China used to be at the beginning of last year, more than 70
percent of Bitcoin mining we know China is very coal intensive. This April, it was about 46 percent of Bitcoin mining.
So, that would suggest that it is not conclusive, that there is a higher percentage of renewable energy, but of course, Bitcoin is still extremely
energy intensive, still use according to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance more energy in a year than Austria.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, Clare, does he still have the ability to move crypto markets?
SEBASTIAN: It certainly looks that way. So, this wasn't just the Elon Musk speaking. He was at an event with Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood of Ark
Invest, two very well-known Bitcoin proponents, and this was a spectacle for the crypto community and the price of Bitcoin did go up about 10
percent, almost 10 percent in the hours before they spoke in a sort of virtual gathering together.
And this wasn't just because of the suggestion from Musk that he might -- that Tesla might start reaccepting Bitcoin as payments for cars. He also
revealed in his own portfolio, he owns Bitcoin, Tesla owns Bitcoin. We knew that, but SpaceX also owns Bitcoin. That was news.
And it's not just Bitcoin that he was able to pump up, he also owns Ethereum, and of course, Dogecoin and the values of those cryptocurrencies
went up as well in the hours before this event.
SOARES: Clare Sebastian there for us in New York. Thanks, Clare. Great to see you.
Now, the Tokyo Games will be unlike any Olympics we've seen before, along with the pandemic restrictions and a one-year delay.
Two sports really make their Olympic debut on Sunday. That is surfing and skateboarding.
CNN's Blake Essig finds out more with the help of an underground skateboarding crew.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At Triangle Park in Osaka, creativity is king. Here, it doesn't matter who you are,
where you come from, or how much air you catch. It's all about innovation, artistic, and self-expression.
CHOPPER, SKATEBOARDER FROM THE OSAKA DAGGERS (through translator): People should feel free when they skateboard. It's better if there are no rules.
ESSIG (voice over): For more than 30 years, this park has been home to Japan's underground skateboard scene, the birthplace of alternative skate,
and a diverse crew of skaters known around the globe is the Osaka Daggers.
Taiichiro Nakamura, better known as Chopper is considered by many as its father. He has been skateboarding on the streets of Osaka since he was a
CHOPPER: Skateboarding represents freedom and diversity for me. So, I'm trying to inspire younger people to value those ideas, too. We want to
foster an environment where everyone is free to express their own unique style.
ESSIG (on camera): The Osaka Daggers are not a team, but instead a culture, a pioneering group that was once considered nothing more than
rebels and misfits now represents the foundation of skateboarding here in Japan.
ESSIG (voice over): A foundation that Daisuke Hayakawa, coach of the Japanese Olympic skateboard team says will in a sense, be on display when
skateboarding makes its Olympic debut at The Games here in Tokyo.
DAISUKE HAYAKAWA, JAPANESE OLYMPIC SKATEBOARD TEAM COACH (through translator): At the Olympics, people will be able to see how skaters
express their creativity and ideas through skateboarding. While skateboarding became an Olympic sport, it is important to remember the
culture around it.
ESSIG (voice over): A culture that could become more widely accepted as the sport goes mainstream.
HAYAKAWA (through translator): I think the future is bright for skateboarding.
ESSIG (voice over): Back in Osaka, while the Olympics have already had a big influence on shifting perceptions around skateboarding, these skaters
say acceptance and change remains a constant struggle, and skating here is still technically against city rules.
CHOPPER (through translator): From the outside, it looks like this park belongs to young people, but when we skateboard here, the police always
ESSIG (voice over): But that hasn't stopped Chopper and his crew from doing what they love at Triangle Park, and just down the street at the
indoor skate park, sharing the passion and culture embedded in their DNA with next generation.
HOKUTO YONEMURA, SKATEBOARD (through translator): I started skateboarding when I was three. I think it's a really fun sport.
ESSIG (voice over): Hokuto Yonemura, at nine years old is the youngest Osaka Dagger, a talented skater with big aspirations.
YONEMURA (through translator): I want to make it to the Olympics because I really want to win the gold medal.
ESSIG (voice over): A dream starting this year that could become a reality as sport and culture collide for the world to see.
Blake Essig, CNN, Osaka.
SOARES: The question is, why is Blake Essig not trying it out?
Now, finally on FIRST MOVE, the Hubble struggle is over. The space telescope is working normally again after a mysterious glitch that lasted
nearly a month. NASA engineers say they successfully switched the backup hardware. They are now watching a pair of colliding galaxies and a galaxy
with unusually extended arms. Really, pretty fascinating stuff.
And that's it for us. Thanks very much for watching. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.
Do stay right here with CNN.