OSHA to investigate Illionis Amazon warehouse collapse
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revealed it has opened an investigation into the deadly collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. The collapse was caused by a tornado Friday that devastated the area and killed six workers. “OSHA investigates all workplace fatalities and we are supporting them,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said.
Intel to build $7bn state-of-the-art chip facility in Malaysia
Intel will spend $7bn to build a new chip packaging facility in Malaysia. The investment comes as chipmakers across the world work to address the global semiconductor shortages at a time Washington is advocating domestic production. The Malaysian Investment Development Authority has said Intel had chosen Malaysia's northern state of Penang to expand semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.
China's SenseTime postpones IPO after being placed in US investment blacklist
Chinese AI start-up SenseTime has postponed its $767m Hong Kong IPO after being placed on a US investment blacklist. The Department of Treasury said the company “developed facial recognition programs that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.” US investors are therefore bared from purchasing or selling publicly traded securities of SenseTime.
Meta opens up VR social platform Horizon Worlds
Meta has announced the opening of Horizon Worlds, its virtual reality world of avatars, to anyone 18 and older in the U.S. and Canada. Horizon Worlds launched in beta last year to select Oculus VR users. The launch is an important step of Meta's journey towards CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse. “Within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people," Zuckerberg said.
Microsoft set to obtain EU approval for the acquisition of Nuance - Reuters
U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp is expected to receive unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $16bn acquisition of artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications, Reuters reports. The deal comes amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of takeovers by tech giants and acquisitions where nascent start-ups and potential rivals are shut down.
US considering banning exports to Chinese chipmaker SMIC
U.S. officials are considering a Defense Department proposal this month to close the regulatory loopholes that have allowed Chinese chipmaker SMIC to buy critical U.S. technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposal is facing opposition from the Commerce Department. SMIC was added to a blacklist that denies it access to advanced manufacturing equipment from U.S. suppliers.
Software company HashiCorp raises $1.7bn in IPO
Infrastructure-as-a-code HashiCorp has raised $1.2bn in its initial public offering, after pricing 15m shares at $80 each, well above its initial range of $68 to $72 per share. The IPO values HashiCorp at a cool $14bn. HashiCorp sells software that’s used by enterprises to automate the management of their information technology infrastructure. Its customers include ABN AMRO and Mercedes-Benz.
Amazon fined $1.28bn by Italian authorities
Amazon has been $1.28bn by Italian antitrust regulators for abusing its market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a US tech giant in Europe. The e-commerce giant was accused of accessing exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, that help increase visibility and boost sales on Amazon.it. Amazon said it "strongly disagreed" with the decision and that it would appeal.
IoT platform Afero lands $50m in new funding
Afero has raised $50m for its security-focused IoT platform. The funding has come from Crosspoint Capital Partners, with Home Depot also contributing an undisclosed amount. Security has become a key element to IoT as companies add more and more connected devices. Afero's software enables secure communication across devices. "We're excited to support Afero," said a Crosspoint Capital spokesperson.
Issue 36
Digital Bulletin speaks to ten experts about the technology trends to watch in 2022. Elsewhere, we look at how the Great Resignation is impacting the tech industry.
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Apple set to become the first company valued at $3tn
Apple is poised to become the world’s first $3tn company as it emerged that a secret deal with China had helped fuel the iPhone maker’s growth in recent years. The deal has prompted Morgan Stanley to lift the company's rating to $200 per share, despite the fact that the company fell far short of its iPhone production targets for the year, blaming chip shortages and COVID-19-related disruptions.
Visa launches new service to advise banks about cryptocurrencies
Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. The move comes after a rise in the demand for crypto services, from digital currencies to NFT investments. A new global study by Visa showed that nearly 40% of crypto owners surveyed would be likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto services in the next year.
UK to phase out 2G and 3G mobile networks
The UK is to phase out 2G and 3G mobile networks by 2033. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said it is part of measures to increase the security of telecoms supply chains and to support the transition to faster mobile networks. The plans will free up spectrum - the radio waves used for sending and receiving information - to allow for the mass rollout of 5G.

AWS outage affects Europe and North America
AWS suffered a major outage on Tuesday which affected services in Europe and North America. The downtime lasted for around two hours, with companies like Netflix and Disney+ experiencing issues. "Many services have already recovered, however we are working towards full recovery across services," AWS said. The company revealed the outage was down to network services and APIs.
Twitter scoops up business messaging service Quill
Twitter has acquired a business messaging startup to improve its direct messaging service. Quill only came out of stealth in February after raising $16m in funding, but it will now close down with most of its team and tech transferring to Twitter. "We will continue to pursue our original goal — to make online communication more thoughtful, and more effective, for everyone," Quill said.
Liqid Inc. raises $100m
Composable data centre infrastructure startup Liqid Inc. has announced a $100m Series C funding round. The funding was co-led by Lightrock and affiliates of DH Capital, with participation from current investors Panorama Point Partners and Iron Gate Capital. Liqid will use the funding to scale and meet demand for its Liqid Matrix composable software and solutions.