Weekly Roundups

Tech Companies Join Forces Against COVID-19

By Andrea Villar | Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:53

More and more, tech companies are collaborating in the fight against COVID-19 and in favor of their users. This week, YouTube and Netflix agreed to reduce their streaming quality in Europe to avoid internet gridlock in the region as Europeans switch to work from home. The move came after EU Industry Chief Thierry Breton urged these companies to take measures to reduce the strain on networks, as thousands of people start working from home due to quarantines across Europe and telecom providers like Vodafone report spikes in internet traffic. Also, everyone's talking about Zoom, which is benefiting from everyone being trapped at home. 

Meanwhile, Amazon is prioritizing medical supplies, household staples and other high-demand products at its warehouses. Independent sellers will not be allowed to ship other products to Amazon's warehouses until April 5.

But there is good news behind the panic. For the first time since COVID-19 appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, China recorded no locally transmitted cases. In recent days, China has increasingly focused its counter-outbreak efforts on inbound travelers. China's 81,000 cases and 3,249 deaths now only account for about 37 percent of total global infections and deaths.

More news below:

  • Pornhub is offering free premium memberships to countries under COVID-19 quarantine, reported CNBC.

  • Apple is closing all its stores outside of Greater China until March 27 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contagion. Apple is also limiting bulk online purchases of iPhones amid supply constraints. Nike is also temporarily closing all its stores in the US and in other parts of the world. 

  • However, there are winners and losers. Verizon CEO said its web traffic spiked 20 percent in one week with everyone working from home.

  • Walt Disney will make Frozen 2 available on its streaming platform Disney+ three months ahead of schedule, saying it was hoping to provide families "with some fun and joy during this challenging period."

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst