Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- Facebook, Google, and other major tech firms face multi-billion dollar fines in the UK if they don’t clean up harmful content on their platforms. The UK’s digital minister, Margot James, suggested a new tech regulator could administer fines of up to 4% of companies’ global revenue.
- Facebook is building a digital payments system for WhatsApp which would let users send and receive cash without having to pay fees. It is reported to be a “stablecoin” – meaning the value of the coin is pegged to the value of a traditional currency.
- Tesla is eliminating most of its stores and going to an online-only sales model. It’s not clear how Tesla will achieve this e-tailing objective in the face of the resistance it has traditionally faced from franchised auto dealers in various US states.
- Tesla is finally releasing the long-awaited $US35,000 Model 3. US customers will reportedly be able to order the $US35,000 model starting on Thursday and will receive the vehicles as soon as March.
- Huawei said it designed a folding phone similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold – but killed it because it was so bad.The CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, Richard Yu, told Business Insider that he personally had killed off the floated design.
- Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats are begging Jeff Bezos to reconsider New York for HQ2 after Amazon abruptly announced plans to ditch the city. Cuomo has reportedly been speaking to Amazon execs, including CEO Jeff Bezos, to try and get the company to change course.
- Apple’s cofounder is worried the iPhone maker has fallen behind on folding phones. Steve Wozniak said he’s worried that Apple isn’t a leader in the newly minted folding phone market.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car company won’t be profitable by the first three months of next year, sending the stock down. He did add that the firm would be profitable by the second quarter.
- The chief financial officer of UK banking startup Revolut has resigned after reports of poor employee treatment and compliance problems. The Telegraph reported that Peter O’Higgins resigned this week.
- Lyft and Uber will both offer some of their drivers cash to bonuses to buy stock in their upcoming IPOs. Both companies will offer programs that give their most active and dedicated drivers cash bonuses which can be used to buy company stock at the listing price.
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