10 Things in Tech: Netflix & TikTok hit pause in Russia
Let's dive in.
1. Netflix and TikTok suspended services in Russia. In a protest of the country's invasion of Ukraine, Netflix has pulled its services, Variety first reported. TikTok, too, is halting all livestreaming and video uploads in Russia.
- Netflix's decision follows its announcement last week that it'd be pausing all future projects and Russian acquisitions, as well as removing all state-run programming from its site.
- The media companies join a growing list of major firms that have stopped doing business in Russia after its invasion.
- Last week, Russia began closing itself off from the world's internet. Claiming "discrimination," the country's
techregulator blocked Facebook and Twitter — marking "a fork in the road in the history of the planet," a former US ambassador to Russia warned.
In other news:
2. Tesla got the green light to start production at its German car factory. The conditional approval is a big win for CEO Elon Musk, whose company has been working to expand production capacity worldwide and defend its share of the EV market. What we know so far.
3. Facebook is quietly testing paying creators. Screenshots viewed by Insider show Facebook's parent company, Meta, has been shelling out bonuses to some influencers for views and engagement on their posts. Creators share their experiences with the bonuses.
4. Lawmakers have called for an investigation into Amazon's absence policy for workers. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others have asked for investigations into whether Amazon's policy breaks federal laws. Get the full rundown here.
5. At a conference for VCs, everyone was talking about shrinking startup valuations — and waistlines. At the glitzy Upfront Summit, attendees were buzzing about venture deals taking longer to complete and startups being valued at considerably less (and about the healthy snacks, like sheets of seaweed). What everyone was talking about at the conference.
6. Airbnb is suspending operations in Russia and Belarus. The company will block calendars from accepting new bookings in both countries, and will restrict users in Belarus and Russia from making new reservations as guests, until further notice. Here's what you need to know.
7. Randi Zuckerberg is laughing off the hate over her crypto music video. Zuckerberg, sister of Mark, released a parody music video (you can watch it here) that some called "cringy" — but she explained she's willing to take the criticism if it means inviting more women to learn about crypto. Here's what she told us.
8. This person quit his dream job to become a full-time TikToker. Josh Harmon quit his job at NBC's "Today" show to become a social media creator, and already has 3.7 million followers and appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. He explains how he did it.
Odds and ends:
9. Polestar unveiled an electric sports car concept with a drone that films your driving. Called the O2, the convertible has a built-in drone that flies at up to 56 mph to film scenic drives. Check out the Polestar O2 here.
10. Wingstop wants to sell chicken wings in the metaverse. The fast-food chain filed a trademark that covers "downloadable virtual goods," including NFTs and virtual food and drinks. More on the plans for wings in the metaverse.
What we're watching today:
- The JMP Securities Technology Conference takes place today and tomorrow in San Francisco.
- MozFest, a festival on the future of the web, starts today.
- The Global Women in Data Science (WiDS) Conference is happening today.
- A Google employee of 11 years says he and his wife stared at each other in 'disbelief' when they realized they'd both been laid off by the company
- A Google engineer of 8 years says his 'spidey-senses' detected incoming layoffs — and felt 'isolated' when his 'faceless' severance email arrived
- 6 signs that you're in a one-sided relationship and how to find balance
- Rajinikanth issues public notice on infringement of rights, warns legal action
- Govt likely to float global tender for HPV vaccine in April; Merck, Serum Institute may participate
- Finance Ministry to stick to privatisation of already announced CPSEs next fiscal
- 70-plus Indian startups show exit door to 21K techies, more pink slips coming
- Steps taken in subsidence-hit Joshimath inadequate, declare Himalayas eco-sensitive zone, say experts