Bulletins

Elizabeth Holmes testifies in her defense

The former Theranos CEO began her testimony on Friday.

Theranos founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes

Elizabeth Holmes has taken the stand.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes took the stand in a San Jose courtroom on Friday, beginning her testimony in the criminal fraud case against her.

So far, Holmes' attorneys have stuck to a few themes of her defense, including highlighting Holmes' inexperience as a college dropout and pointing the finger at Sunny Balwani, Theranos' former COO and president. She began her testimony by covering her background and how she came up with the idea of Theranos during college.


Her testimony comes after 11 weeks of prosecution with 29 witnesses called by the U.S. government. Despite it being the time for the government to make its case, Holmes' defense team has so far spent more hours interrogating witnesses during cross-examination than the government's attorneys did.

The prosecution rested on Friday and ended up removing a charge against Holmes after a patient was unable to testify. She now faces 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Her testimony is expected to resume next week.

Latest Bulletins

The municipal government of Beijing is rolling out a centralized ed-tech platform for middle schoolers. It aims to meet the still-high demand for academic tutoring after China’s July ban on private tutoring.

The platform has been tested in nine school districts in Beijing but will expand to nine more — covering more than 330,000 students across the entire city — by Jan 1, 2022. It allows middle school students to access the platform through laptops or smartphones and connect with public school teachers every weekday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

All tutoring activities on this platform will take one of four forms: one-on-one tutoring, live group classes, a Q&A platform that offers automatic replies and human replies and recorded lessons. Some of the features, like the Q&A platform that allows students to upload a photo of an exam question and searches it in an academic database, closely resemble the ed-tech product provided by Chinese companies like Yuanfudao.

Both students and teachers are participating on a voluntary basis. Theoretically, a teacher can be compensated up to 100,000 yuan (about $15,760) in a school year, even though the number isn’t particularly appealing considering how well-paid private tutors were before the ban.

Beijing is planning to come up with a blacklist designated to limit the primary way in which Chinese companies have raised funds abroad, effectively making it more challenging for China’s tech firms to list overseas, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The blacklist will include Chinese startups in sectors that handle sensitive data or trigger national security concerns that plan to go public in overseas stock exchanges through the so-called variable interest entities (VIEs) scheme. Chinese authorities could release the negative list as early as this month, according to the FT. Companies that are already listed abroad using VIEs scheme won’t be affected.

The VIE is a legal structure many Chinese companies — including giants like Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent — have used for decades to evade foreign investment restrictions on overseas listings. Stateside, the SEC is also looking to restrict Chinese VIEs.

The upcoming negative list is Beijing’s latest regulatory move to rein in China’s tech industry.

China’s central securities regulator on Sunday denied a Bloomberg report that claimed China was seeking to block VIEs from listing overseas, adding that it was also not pushing companies using the structure to delist from U.S. exchanges.

When asked by her attorney if she ever intentionally misled investors in failed blood-testing startup Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes confidently responded, "Never."

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Bulletins