Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.
- Apple is planning three new iPhone models in 2019, including a successor to the iPhone XR. One of the new models will include a triple camera, while the others will include a double rear camera, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Wang Weijing, an executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, has been fired following charges of espionage in Poland. It’s the second arrest of a Huawei executive in two months after Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer and its founder’s daughter, was arrested for violating US sanctions in conducting business with Iran.
- Chinese tech giant Tencent has unveiled a Siri-like digital assistant for the WeChat app, which is huge in China. The new assistant is called Xiaowei and will plug into other apps like Tencent’s music service QQ.
- Apple plans to launch its HomePod smart speaker in China. It will be available from January 18th, the company said.
- Epic Games has waded into the weird feud between game engine firm Unity and British cloud gaming service Improbable. Epic said it would partner Improbable on a $US25 million fund to compensate game developers affected by Unity booting Improbable.
- Workplace chat service Slack is planning to go public through a direct listing rather than an IPO. Spotify made waves when it chose to bypass a traditional offering and pursue a direct listing.
- Instagram has completely replaced TV as the most important way for advertisers to reach young people, according to analysts at Cowen. Cowen surveyed major US ad buyers, and it found that for new branding campaigns, the buyers would overwhelmingly pick the Facebook-owned Instagram as their first choice.
- SpaceX is laying off 10% of its workforce, according to the LA Times. SpaceX has more than 6,000 employees and has been working rapidly to build and start testing a prototype of its brand new rocket system.
- Verizon is quietly testing its own cloud gaming service, according to The Verge. Verizon has been quietly recruiting gamers to test Verizon Gaming, which will eventually make its way to Android phones.
- Apple’s long-awaited AirPower wireless charger might be in production, according to tweets picked up by MacRumors. Chinese manufacturer Luxshare Precision has reportedly started production of the charger.
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