Chinese tech giant Huawei has been all over the news lately. The company — which is the second biggest smartphone seller in the world (ahead of Apple and second only to Samsung) — has been the target of new restrictions on its business by the Trump administration. But what exactly does Huawei do and why is the US government worried about it? Recode’s Emily Stewart takes a close look at “one of the biggest technology companies in China” that carries both “Google’s name recognition and Verizon’s major role in US telecommunications.” For nearly a decade, the US government has suspected that Huawei could be using its technologies to spy on behalf of the Chinese government. As those suspicions escalate into concrete trade restrictions with real financial consequences, it could stand to devastate Huawei’s operations.
[Emily Stewart / Recode]
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President Trump’s new “merit-based” immigration proposal may not be as good for tech as it seems. That’s because while the proposal would prioritize granting visas to high-skilled foreign workers with “extraordinary talent,” “professional and specialized vocations,” and “exceptional academic track records” — it would make it harder for them to bring along their family members. President Trump “has already made it more difficult — and expensive — to hire high-skilled tech workers from other countries,” writes Rani Molla, in part by ending work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders. As Molla writes, “Not allowing high-skilled tech immigrants to bring their families would inhibit workers’ willingness to accept jobs here” — citing that “tech immigrants are increasingly choosing to take jobs in Canada, where the immigration policy is more liberal.”
[Rani Molla / Recode]
As Game of Thrones wraps up its final season, could winter be coming for HBO’s $14.99-a-month streaming service, HBO Now? HBO Now users are around twice as likely (19 percent) to cancel their subscription when a specific show ends compared to other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, according to a new study from market research firm Mintel. HBO’s Game of Thrones, which is the network’s most popular show after Westworld, has brought a record number of sign-ups to HBO Now, which currently has 8 million subscribers. But as the season wraps up, there could be a “mass exodus,” as Sarah Perez writes. The study also showed that HBO Now “doesn’t have any significant traction beyond consumers who already subscribe to four or more over-the-top streaming services.” Meanwhile, HBO has already “greenlit plans for a Game of Thrones prequel” and “has other spin-offs in the works” to keep fans coming.
[Sarah Perez / TechCrunch]
How Finland is “winning the war on fake news.” In recent years, the Finnish government has taken an educational approach to informing its people how to disengage from fake information on the internet. That education program includes free online-specific media literacy training for many of Finland’s 5.5 million residents — including journalists, politicians, teachers, and students. It seems to be paying off, as the country topped a list of 35 countries in a study that measured media literacy. Of course, it may be easier to stop online trolls from stoking tensions in Finland compared to other places, because as CNN’s Eliza Mackintosh writes: “The small and largely homogenous country consistently ranks at or near the top of almost every index — happiness, press freedom, gender equality, social justice, transparency and education — making it difficult for external actors to find fissures within society to crowbar open and exploit.”
[Eliza Mackintosh / CNN]
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