Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- The sudden scrutiny and scepticism hitting Google and other Big Tech companies is “here to stay,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Axios Tuesday after he testified for more than three hours on Capitol Hill. When asked if Google would be broken up, Pichai cited investment in emerging technologies as a benefit of bigness.
- Trump administration officials have been trying to treat the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and the US-China trade talks as two separate issues. But Trump undermined that argument on Tuesday by suggesting Meng could be used as a bargaining chip in the trade talks.
- Chinese researchers working in hi-tech sectors were warned not to take any unnecessary trips to the US.Staff at a research agency were also told in an internal memo that if they did have to travel to the US, they should remove any sensitive information from their mobile phones and laptops.
- People are attacking Waymo’s self-driving cars in Arizona by slashing tires and, in some cases, pulling guns on the safety drivers. Twenty-one instances of people attacking Waymo cars have been recorded, according to the Arizona Republic, citing police reports.
- Facebook settled a $US500 million lawsuit over virtual reality after a years-long battle. Facebook was sued for $US2 billion by Zenimax Media, the former employer of an Oculus executive, but the two firms reached a settlement.
- Amazon’s public policy exec got booed in a meeting with New York council members when he evaded a question about the company’s business with immigration agencies. In response to a question about Amazon’s relationship with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, VP Brian Huseman said: “We believe the government should have the best available technology.”
- Los Angeles City Council has started to regulate Airbnb, approving a new set of home-sharing rules that bars residents from renting out homes that are not their primary residence or are under rent control. The new law, set to go into effect in July, also caps the number of days a host can rent out their home or a room to 120 days a year, though there are exceptions.
- Employees at Amazon’s new warehouse in New York City are pushing to unionise, according to Bloomberg.It’s the latest challenge on Amazon’s plan to build a major new campus in the area.
- The Chinese government has not approved any new video games for release in the country since March 2018, and the freeze could continue into early 2019. China recently announced the formation of an Online Games Ethics Committe, but the committee’s first batch of reviews resulted in zero approvals.
- Samsung is backing aware from a proposed collaboration with a fake streetwear brand, after it emerged the firm was partnering with a counterfeit version of Supreme. Samsung wouldn’t say if it knew about the copyright dispute before its purported partner, Supreme Italia, and the original New York company Supreme.
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