The Week in Tech: Google Appoints Director of Google Cloud MexicoBy Andrea Villar | Fri, 11/15/2019 - 13:46
This week, Google unveiled it has been secretly amassing the medical data of millions of people as part of an arrangement with the hospital chain Ascension. The initiative is reportedly called ‘Project Nightingale’ and its aim is to help Google design new software for care recommendations, Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Neither patients nor doctors were informed about it, but Ascension and Google claim it's all legal.
Meanwhile, Google appointed its first Director of Google Cloud Mexico on Wednesday in Mexico City. Julio Velázquez has a treacherous road ahead when it comes to winning potential clients. Some of Google Cloud's recent major customers in Mexico include Coppel, GNP and Yalochat.
Regarding the Amazon-Microsoft row, Amazon said it will go up against the Pentagon. Jeff Bezos’ company announced that it will challenge the US Defense Department’s ruling to award a US$10 billion JEDI contract for cloud services to Microsoft, amid reports that Trump personally stepped in to influence the decision.
In other news, Alibaba logged more than US$38 billion in purchases during its Singles' Day bonanza, exceeding last year's record haul after a 24-hour shopping marathon. However, Alibaba Co-founder Jack Ma said the company's Singles Day performance failed to meet expectations. Ma blamed the hot weather and the fact that the huge shopping event fell on a weekday.
The financial reports season is not over yet and this week Tencent Music reported better-than-expected revenue for 3Q19, as the music streaming service added more paying subscribers. However, the monthly average revenue per paying user was up just 7.4 percent, the slowest rate since the company went public in December. WeWork's losses piled up in 3Q19, reflecting the fast-growth strategy followed by ousted CEO Adam Neumann. The company reported losses of US$1.25 billion, up more than 150 percent from a loss of US$497 million in 3Q18. Occupancy rates decreased to 79 percent, their lowest figure since mid-2017.
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- Google will remove content categories from ad auctions to comply with privacy law. The company has agreed to change its real-time bidding system to protect personal data.
- Alibaba is planning a secondary listing in Hong Kong, which is likely to take place in the last week of November and raise approximately US$13 billion, CNBC reported. Alibaba got the greenlight from Hong Kong regulators on Tuesday to go ahead with the share sale.
- WeWork is looking for a new CEO and has talked with T-Mobile head John Legere about running the troubled co-working company, people familiar with the matter said.
- Instagram will pick up the tab for some celebrities' video production costs, as long as they do not talk politics or elections.
- Disney officially entered the streaming arena. Its Disney+ service debuts with an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars, original series and a cheap price. The US$7-per-month ad-free service is poised to set the standard for other services like WarnerMedia's HBO Max. Disney signed more than 10 million customers for its streaming services within the first day of its broad international launch.
- Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler is in talks to create original content for Apple TV+, CNBC confirmed.
- Microsoft made some progress on hiring more women and minorities, but the numbers are still not great. Dell Technologies announced a new diversity goal that will take more than a decade to attain.