Global Tech Roundup: China’s central bank promises more fintech crackdowns
This week, as usual, is a mix of some applaudable and not so captivating stories in the world of tech. The service disruption from the Facebook Company’s platforms remains one of the lows of the week for a lot of people, but there are definitely some highs.
Microsoft has finally begun its planned rollout of Windows 11. Over the coming weeks, we should begin to notice better looks and efficiencies on a number of people’s PCs.
Here are some other interesting stories in the world of tech this week that you probably have missed.
Tesla plans to move its headquarters to Austin, Texas.
The popular car manufacturer, Tesla, has announced plans to move its headquarters away from the Silicon Valley, where it had existed for a couple of years, to its new factory in Austin, Texas.
This announcement was made by its CEO Elon Musk. But he claims the company will still continue to operate its electric vehicle factory in Fremont, CA with plans to also increase production capacity by 50%.
“Just to be clear,” he stated at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, “we will continue to grow our business in California.” “As a result, Tesla will not be leaving California.”
With this move, the popular car manufacturer will no longer have its headquarters in the state where its automobiles are the most popular, but rather to where it will become illegal for it to sell its cars directly to consumers, due to the state laws banning companies from doing so.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, once claimed that the move to Austin -over other locations- was because employees were very willing to move there.
Speaking of employees, the car manufacturer has also been ordered to pay $137 million in damages to a former black worker at its Fremont plant for failing to protect him from being abused.
The former employee, Owen Diaz, claimed black workers regularly faced racist slurs on the factory floor and racist graffiti in the bathroom. The jury at a San Francisco court awarded Mr Diaz $130 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million for emotional distress.
China’s central bank promises more hostile measures
The Chinese government says it is making plans to further strengthen the supervision of its online payment industry and has promised a continued crackdown on the country’s technology giants.
The Chinese authorities have for about a year specifically targeted a range of their homegrown tech companies. These include renowned e-commerce giant, Alibaba, and food delivery titan, Meituan, for alleged aggressive harvesting of consumer data and monopolistic practices.
According to the country’s central bank governor, this move is part of a wider policy by the government to tighten its grip on its economy and also has a series of restrictions targeted at properties, casinos, and private education.
In a keynote speech at a bank for international settlements conference, Yi Yang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, said:
“We will continue to cooperate with anti-monopoly authorities to curb monopolies and actively deal with algorithm discrimination and other new forms of anti-competition behaviour.”
The Chinese central bank, late last September, announced that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country are illegal and effectively banned digital tokens such as Bitcoin. This caused a serious strain with the price of bitcoin falling by more than $2,000 as China is one of the world’s largest crypto-currency markets.
Amazon opens its first non-food store in the UK.
Retail giant, Amazon, on Wednesday announced that it is expanding the presence of its chain of physical stores in the UK and has opened its first non-food product shop in Britain.
The company opened a new outlet southeast of London that will compete with local stores for non-food items. The store has its shelves stocked with items such as toys, books and electronics that have each had at least a 4-star rating from Amazon’s UK customers.
Amazon in March started its first non-US Amazon Fresh convenience store in London, where customers can simply walk in, choose their groceries and walk out, while a tracking system gets to charge their shopping to their bank accounts.
The company says it hopes to change consumer shopping habits, and this latest UK launch will send a warning to the major industry players that competition could even become more fierce.
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