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Why tech giants will boycott Hong-Kong

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Global tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter have all warned Hong Kong’s government that they may depart the city-state if the proposed data-protection laws are enacted

In a private letter, the companies say they are concerned that employees could be subject to criminal investigations and charges.

“The only way to avoid these sanctions for technology companies would be to refrain from investing and offering the services in Hong Kong,” the AIC said in its letter, according to the Journal.

The proposed laws will make tech giants liable for when an individual’s information is shared maliciously without their permission.

Also known as “doxing”, it refers to the act of “revealing people’s personal information such as real name, home address or workplace online” without consent.

The Journal notes that this practice became prevalent when pro-democracy protests broke out in the city in 2019.

Hong Kong’s government has announced the amendments to the legislation in response to doxing being used during protests in the city.

In the letter, the companies say “the only way to avoid these sanctions for technology companies would be to refrain from investing and offering the services in Hong Kong.”

“The amendments will not have any bearing on free speech,” a spokesperson for Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data told the Journal, acknowledging that the AIC’s letter had been received.

According to the spokesperson, the city’s government “strongly rebuts any suggestion that the amendments may in any way affect foreign investment in Hong Kong.”

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Tech

SpaceX funded flying car company boasts huge pre-orders

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Alef Aeronautics, a pioneering flying car company backed by SpaceX, has announced a significant milestone in its journey towards revolutionizing personal transportation.

The California-based firm revealed that preorders for its futuristic electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle have surpassed 2,850, signaling robust demand for its innovative technology.

The Alef Model A, a two-seater flying car, has garnered widespread attention, with eager customers securing preorders by placing a $150 deposit online.

Alef aims to offer customers flexibility by allowing them to withdraw their deposits at any time, ensuring they’re not committed to the purchase.

Groundbreaking offering

With a planned price tag of $300,000 per vehicle, the cumulative order value from the preorders has exceeded $850 million, underscoring the significant market interest in Alef’s groundbreaking offering.

Jim Dukhovny, CEO of Alef Aeronautics, expressed pride in achieving this milestone, highlighting the Model A’s position as the bestselling aircraft in history, surpassing established aviation giants like Boeing and Airbus.

Despite the substantial investment required from prospective buyers, Dukhovny emphasized the necessity of the higher price point for Alef’s startup operations.

Alef is committed to delivering cutting-edge technology and ensuring the utmost safety and performance standards, factors that contribute to the pricing strategy.

The Alef Model A, showcased as a half-size model at the Mobile World Congress, distinguishes itself from competitors with its innovative design.

Unlike traditional eVTOLs, which often resemble drones or helicopters, the Model A bears a closer resemblance to a conventional car, with a mesh shell housing rotors that facilitate vertical takeoff and landing.

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Apple unveils M3 powered MacBook Air

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The unveiling includes updated models in both 13-inch and 15-inch variants, showcasing Apple’s continued innovation in the laptop market.

The M3 chip, initially introduced in October alongside versions for the iMac desktop and MacBook Pro laptops, aims to enhance performance and user experience across Apple’s product lineup.

The introduction of these new MacBook Air laptops comes as Apple reported $7.78 billion in Mac revenue during its fiscal first-quarter earnings, reflecting a modest growth of less than 1%. With the latest computers boasting advanced features and capabilities, Apple anticipates a potential boost in sales.

Key enhancements in the new MacBook Air lineup include sharper 1080p webcams, support for faster Wi-Fi networks, and an impressive battery life of up to 18 hours.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Design is consistent

Despite these improvements, the design of the laptops remains consistent with earlier models.

Notably, the M3 chip enables users to connect up to two external displays, a notable improvement from previous chip iterations which supported only a single screen.

Apple’s marketing strategy around artificial intelligence (AI) takes center stage with the new MacBook Air release.

The company brands the MacBook Air as the “world’s best consumer laptop for AI,” signaling a heightened focus on AI capabilities. This shift in language suggests Apple’s intent to compete with emerging Windows laptops marketed as “AI PCs.”

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Headache for Musk and Tesla as Chinese EV slashes prices

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China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has unveiled a new version of its best-selling car at a price lower than its predecessor.

It signals a fierce price battle in the world’s largest automobile market.

In a bid to maintain its competitive edge, BYD has slashed prices for several models, following similar moves by rivals.

The price change represents a significant 12% reduction compared to the final sales price of its predecessor.

Analysts suggest that BYD’s aggressive pricing strategy aims not only to capture a larger share of the domestic market but also to enhance profitability through increased exports.

As competition intensifies and consumer preferences evolve, manufacturers like BYD are strategically adjusting their pricing strategies to remain competitive and sustain growth both at home and abroad.

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