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Stories you may have missed from the world of business


No astrovans for SpaceX, crews riding to rockets in Teslas

Astronauts launched by SpaceX in coming months will ride to their rockets in high fashion. Instead of using a retro-style astrovan, SpaceX crews will travel to the launch pad in Tesla sports cars. Elon Musk, who runs both SpaceX and the electric car company, used Teslas to get around Kennedy Space Center in Florida for Sunday’s launch escape test. No one was aboard, just two mannequins. But during a launch dress rehearsal on Friday, the two NASA astronauts assigned to the first SpaceX crew got a lift to the pad in a Tesla Model X. The sleek white-and-black spacesuits worn by Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken matched the white Tesla roadster with wing-like doors. A SpaceX employee drove them to the pad. A second white Model X carried SpaceX support staff. SpaceX confirmed Sunday that this will be the transport for crew missions moving forward. The first SpaceX launch could be as soon as April. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Davos chief welcomes both Trump and climate activist Thunberg to forum

The head of the World Economic Forum says it’s reassuring that President Trump and climate activist Greta Thunberg will both return to its annual meeting in Davos this year, noting that the environment will be a key concern. The forum is shifting its focus of recent years from how technology is transforming lives to the environment and responsible business practices that promote jobs, fight climate change, and work for social good along with profit-making. The environment could be an uncomfortable subject for Trump, who has called for greater use of coal, stripped away environmental protections, and played down concerns about climate change. Trump has also moved to take the United States out of the 2015 Paris accord to fight climate change. WEF founder Klaus Schwab said Trump is welcome because of his role on the world stage, while Thunberg will keep the focus on the environment. Both will speak Tuesday. Time magazine chose Thunberg as its “Person of the Year” for 2019. Of climate change, he said, “Now we have recognized the urgency, because we know the window to act is closing,” adding that he hopes to inject ‘‘this sense of urgency into the meeting.” Companies recognize “doing good . . . it’s a precondition for some long-term survival,’’ he said. He brushed aside critics who fault the forum as a vacation for out-of-touch elites. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Gap backs away from plan to spin off Old Navy

Gap Inc., the apparel retailer searching for a new CEO, will no longer seek to establish Old Navy as a standalone company. The plan, announced under previous chief executive Art Peck, had sought to unlock value for investors by taking advantage of Old Navy’s fast growth via a spinoff. But its performance has deteriorated in recent quarters and Peck was removed last year. “We have learned a lot and intend to operate Gap Inc. in a more rigorous and transformational manner that empowers our growth brands, Old Navy and Athleta, and appropriately focuses on profitability for Banana Republic and Gap brand,” said Robert Fisher, Gap’s interim CEO. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Snap CEO Spiegel says TikTok could grow bigger than Instagram

Snap Inc.’s chief executive, Evan Spiegel, said TikTok could become bigger than Instagram. The Chinese giant ByteDance Inc. has emerged as the world’s most valuable startup thanks to the explosive popularity of TikTok, on which users share short clips of lip-syncing and dance videos. The short-form video service has about 400 million active daily users, a Niko Partners analyst estimates. “I love TikTok,” Spiegel said Sunday at the annual Digital Life Design Conference in Munich. “I’m a big fan.” The App intelligence company App Annie ranked TikTok just behind Instagram in terms of monthly active users in 2019. Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in 2018. Ironically, TikTok’s growth can in part be credited to Instagram’s owner, Facebook Inc. ByteDance has long spent money to advertise the app on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. — BLOOMBERG NEWS