Top Technology News June 25 30 Twitter India Jack Dorsey Xiaomi Fire Layoff Apple Stock Price Boom OnePlus Nord 3 Nothing Phone 2 Microsoft Activision

Twitter facing a Rs 50 lakh penalty in India, Microsoft stressing that Activision exclusives will never be a reality (ahead of a $69-billion takeover), Xiaomi reducing its India task force — the world of tech was dominated by these headlines over the past week. Let’s take a deep dive. 

Twitter Faces Penalty

The Karnataka High Court has levied a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Twitter following the platform’s legal challenge against the blocking orders issued by the IT ministry. The court dismissed Twitter’s plea to suspend the government’s order and justified the imposition of the penalty due to the platform’s actions. The government had directed Twitter to take down specific accounts that featured tweets related to the farmers’ protests and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Twitter argued that the blocking orders lacked proper procedural and substantive validity, and constituted an excessive exercise of power. Last year, the IT ministry issued a notice to Twitter, cautioning that failure to remove the tweets would result in the forfeiture of the platform’s safe harbour immunity provided under Section 79(1) of the IT Act. In response, Twitter approached the court, questioning the directive to block user accounts and its implications for freedom of speech. Twitter’s legal representative contended that blocking 1,200 accounts on their platform, despite the content being available in printed media and on television, would lead to bias.

Click here to read our full report.

Meanwhile, Twitter has introduced a new feature for its paid subscribers, known as Twitter Blue, which allows them to post significantly longer tweets. The character count for tweets has been expanded to 25,000, but it is important to note that this increased limit is applicable only to users who have subscribed to the paid service. 

Xiaomi India Downsizes

In an effort to reduce its workforce to less than 1,000 employees, Xiaomi India is planning employee layoffs. The decision is driven by multiple factors, including a decline in the company’s market share in the country, increased government scrutiny of the smartphone manufacturer, and the necessity to streamline its operations. 

Several former and current employees disclosed that Xiaomi India had around 1,400-1,500 employees at the beginning of 2023. However, in recent weeks, the company has already terminated approximately 30 employees, with the likelihood of more employees receiving similar notices in the coming months.

Click here to read our full report. 

Apple Stocks Boom

On Wednesday, Apple stocks reached a new all-time high during intra-day trading, approaching a market capitalisation exceeding $3 trillion for the first time. The shares of the iPhone manufacturer surged by up to 1 per cent, reaching $189.90, which marked their highest value ever. Although the stock slightly retreated from its peak, it still maintained a 0.4 per cent increase, trading at $188.81. As per Refinitiv data, Apple’s current stock market value is estimated at $2.97 trillion.

Notably, on January 3 last year, Apple’s stock market value briefly surpassed the $3 trillion milestone during intra-day trading but closed just below that threshold. The recent upward trajectory in the shares of this globally renowned company can be attributed to the impressive recoveries witnessed by several influential technology firms on Wall Street throughout this year. These rebounds have been driven by the expectation that the Federal Reserve’s cycle of interest rate hikes is nearing its end, along with a sense of optimism surrounding the potential of artificial intelligence.

Click here to read our full report.

Microsoft Against Activision Exclusives

To address concerns regarding potential antitrust issues, the leaders of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have reassured regulators about their proposed merger, valued at $69 billion, stating that it would not result in an unlawful concentration of power. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, emphasised that making Activision games exclusive would be strategically illogical and directly contradicted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) claim that it would grant Microsoft exclusive rights to highly popular titles such as Call of Duty, while disadvantaging other gaming platforms.

During a testimony that lasted around 45 minutes, Nadella asserted that Microsoft has always advocated for software accessibility across multiple platforms, showcasing the company’s commitment to widespread availability. In response to inquiries about whether Microsoft would be incentivised to restrict access to games on Sony’s PlayStation in order to promote the sale of Xbox consoles, Nadella affirmed that it would be economically and strategically nonsensical to do so.

Click here to read our full report.

OnePlus Nord 3 Design Teased

Ahead of its upcoming launch, OnePlus has officially provided a glimpse of the OnePlus Nord 3 5G smartphone, revealing the design of its back panel. The company shared the first look of the highly anticipated OnePlus Nord 3 5G, which will be unveiled globally on July 5, 2023, alongside several other products including the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G, OnePlus Nord Buds 2r, and OnePlus BWZ2 ANC. The OnePlus Nord 3 5G will be available in two distinctive colour options: Tempest Gray and Misty Green. The Tempest Gray variant features a textured matte finish, conveying a sense of strength and longevity, while the Misty Green colourway showcases an elegant and glossy appearance, providing a delightful tactile experience.

Click here to read our full report.

Speaking of upcoming launches, July appears to be a pretty exciting month for tech aficionados. Apart from OnePlus Nord 3, two other much-awaited phones will finally see the light of day — Motorola Razr 40 Ultra and Nothing Phone (2). 

Check out our pick of the top smartphone launches we’re looking forward the most to in July.

That’s it from the world of tech headlines this week. Stay tuned to this space for more top stories next week.

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