The Week in Tech: Facebook and Google at the Center of Political TensionsBy Andrea Villar | Fri, 11/22/2019 - 11:58
Google is the latest Big Tech firm to set a limit on political advertising. The company will no longer let political advertisers target its users based on their political affiliation. It will also ban "demonstrably false claims," as well as misleading claims. Following its footsteps, Facebook is considering tightening its political advertisement rules. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has considered increasing the minimum number of people who are targeted with political ads from 100 to a few thousands.
In a new chapter of ‘Big Tech Companies Facing Trust Issues,’ Amazon claims it does not use data from individual third-party sellers to come up with its own products. However, it does use "aggregated data" to inform its private label brands, Jeff Bezos’ company said.
More news below:
- Yahoo Japan and Line will merge, creating Japan's biggest search engine. Yahoo Japan is owned by Softbank, which would gain control over Line’s Linepay payments service to combine it with its existing PayPay service.
- WeWork is laying off 2,400 employees (19 percent of its workforce) in an effort to cut costs and right-size the business. In a statement, a WeWork spokesperson said cuts were being made as part of the company's efforts to "create a more efficient organization" and refocus on the core office-sharing business.
- HP's board of directors rejected a proposal from Xerox to acquire the company. The board voted unanimously against the proposal, saying the price was too low. However, the company is open to explore a deal. Xerox gave HP an ultimatum to reconsider it, threatening to take its case to stakeholders.
- Google is heading to the US Supreme Court in a multibillion-dollar copyright clash with Oracle over code used in Android.
- TikTok chief Alex Zhu says he would reject a personal request from Xi Jinping to hand over user data or take down a video. The Chinese short-video app has generated skepticism among US lawmakers due to its provenance, even though the company says it stores US data locally with backups in Singapore.
- Alibaba raised US$11 billion in its Hong Kong secondary listing, which was the country’s largest listing since 2010.
- Microsoft said it had been granted a license from the US government to export software to Huawei. The US Department of Commerce confirmed it had begun issuing licenses for some companies to sell goods to Huawei.