Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.
1. Google is investing $US550 million into a major Chinese e-commerce player. The two firms will work together to create retail infrastructure in Southeast Asia.
2. Apple signed a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to develop original programming. The non-exclusive deal reportedly includes the likes of film, TV, applications, and books – just not podcasts.
3. Sales of CryptoKitties, a blockchain game for digital collectibles, are plummeting. Last year, investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures gave a total of $US12 million to CryptoKitties, but transactions are now a fraction of what they were in December.
4. More than 400 Washington Post employees signed an open letter to Jeff Bezos asking him to treat them fairly. They signed a petition calling for fair pay, benefits, and job security, decrying “shocking” current practices.
5. Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, Elliot Schrage, sent an apology email to an investor who accused him of sexism days before he announced his departure. There’s no suggestion that the incident was directly connected to his departure.
6. Hyped augmented reality startup Blippar lost $US45 million in its financial year 2016/17, on turnover of just $US7.6 million. The company said it was actively seeking new funding to stay afloat.
7. Parenting app Cleo raised $US10.5 million from Greylock Partners. Cleo is offered through employers, and provides parents with access to experts in areas like birth preparation and sleep.
8. China’s Huawei is desperately trying to convince Australian politicians it can be trusted. The company sent a letter to Australian politicians to assuage national security fears surrounding the company.
9. Amazon is selling films promoting conspiracy theories through Prime, according to The Sunday Telegraph. According to the newspaper, the company is promoting films by conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and David Icke.
10. Spotify investor Shakil “Shak” Khan has dropped a dramatic lawsuit against his brother. The dispute centred on Shak’s decision not to support his brother’s startup – and ended up dragging in Spotify just as it was planning to go public.
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