The final week of February has been stocked with surprises. From the launch of Spotify in several markets across Africa to the addition of Bitcoin to Google’s financial platform, the whole tech community was abuzz with interesting news.
Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.
Jack Ma falls to No. 4 in China
Alibaba founder, Jack Ma has lost the title of China’s richest person. This comes after the billionaire’s business empire came under regulatory scrutiny.
Ma fell to fourth place on China’s Hurun Global Rich List which brings his total personal wealth to $55 billion.
According to reports, the drop came after China’s regulators reined in Ant Group and Alibaba on anti-trust issues. This is the first time the billionaire’s ranking has dropped in three years.
Zhong Shanshan is China’s current richest person, with a wealth of $550 billion yuan ($85 billion). He climbed to the top spot for the first time after an incredible growth of his bottled-water company and vaccine maker, Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise.
Microsoft Mesh brings people together in mixed reality
Microsoft has introduced Microsoft Mesh, a new mixed-reality platform that allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences on many kinds of devices.
The platform aims to enable users to interact in a “shared holographic world.
Using Microsoft mesh requires the appropriate headset. At first, users will appear to each other as virtual avatars, but the vision according to Microsoft is to eventually offer “holoportation” capabilities, so that users can appear as themselves in the Mesh space.
Devices that currently support the technology include Microsoft’s own mixed-reality headset, the HoloLens 2. However, Microsoft says it will soon be accessible from a range of virtual reality headsets, smartphones, tablets and PCs.
Square Acquires Jay-Z’s Tidal for $297 million
Square, the fintech company founded by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, is acquiring a majority stake in Tidal, a music streaming service owned by Jay-Z.
According to reports, the company is paying $297 million in cash and stock for a significant majority ownership stake. It added that Tidal will operate independently alongside Square’s other ventures.
Jack revealed that the acquisition is geared at finding “new ways to help artistes support their work just as Square gave sellers new tools to make money.
WhatsApp’s launches video and voice calls on Mac and PC
WhatsApp’s desktop app for Mac and PC can now carry out voice and video calls. The company announced this during the week.
The new feature will offer end-to-end encrypted calls to other WhatsApp users on both computers and mobile devices. However, the desktop app will only support one-to-one calling, not group calls.
Voice and video calling isn’t a new idea for WhatsApp as the mobile apps for Android and iOS already offer the feature. However, the feature is just launching to all WhatsApp users on desktop.
To use the new video calling feature, you’ll have to set up the WhatsApp desktop app on either Mac or PC, which requires that you are already a WhatsApp user on mobile.
Google adds Bitcoin, Ethereum on its finance platform
Google has added Bitcoin and other selected cryptos to its finance platform. This comes at a time when several big techs have been aadopting and enging with cryptocurrency.
Mastercard had earlier disclosed it would open up its network to some cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. Similarly, PayPal and BlackRock have made big moves to support crypto.
With its latest move, Google would be giving Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash more limelight and investor trust.
The world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has risen above $50,000 following the long wave of mainstream approval over past months.
You can check out other news that happened during the week here. Have a nice weekend!!
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