Techmeme
February 3, 2021, 2:05 PM

Top News

Jeff Bezos / About Amazon:
In letter to employees, Bezos says his transition is not a retirement and he'll use his time to focus on the Day 1 Fund, Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, and WaPo  —  Fellow Amazonians:  —  I'm excited to announce that this Q3 I'll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO.
Amazon Investor Relations:
Amazon reports Q4 net sales of $125.6B, up 44% YoY, net income of $7.2B, up from $3.3B YoY, with full year net sales increasing to $386.1B, up 38% YoY  —  Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will transition to role of Executive Chair in Q3, Andy Jassy to become Chief Executive Officer of Amazon at that time
Brad Stone / Bloomberg:
CNBC:
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
Todd Haselton / CNBC:
Robert McMillan / Wall Street Journal:
SolarWinds CEO says hackers had breached the company's Office 365 email system for at least nine months starting December 2019  —  Investigators still don't know how the company was breached in attack that will cost millions  —  The newly appointed chief executive of SolarWinds Corp …
Bloomberg:
Report: Apple plans $3.6B investment in Kia, with a deal on Feb. 17, and aims to start making cars in Georgia, US in 2024, with initial target of 100K cars/year  —  - Local media report says deal may be signed later this month  — Hyundai last month confirmed then backed away from Apple talks
Sara Fischer / Axios:
TikTok will prompt users to seek credible information if they try to share videos flagged as misleading, and disincentivize creators from uploading such content  —  TikTok will begin asking users to seek credible information about a topic if they try to share a video that carries …
Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge:
Google rolls out an update for Android TV with a refreshed UI that is similar to Google TV on Chromecast  —  A fresh look for Google's (other) smart TV software  —  Google is rolling out a new update for Android TV that gives its smart TV OS a fresh new look — one that's almost identical …
Sam Byford / The Verge:
Sony says it shipped 4.5M PlayStation 5 units worldwide in 2020, and reports revenue of $8.4B in Q3, up 40% YoY, operating profit of $763.3M, up 50%  —  A similar figure to the PS4 launch  —  Sony shipped 4.5 million PlayStation 5 units worldwide in 2020, as revealed by information published alongside …
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Box says it has acquired Dutch cloud-based e-signature startup SignRequest for $55M and plans to launch Box Sign in summer 2021  —  Cloud storage and collaboration giant Box has announced plans to acquire SignRequest, a cloud-based electronic signature (e-signature) startup based in the Netherlands, in a deal worth $55 million.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Jack Ma's Ant Group has reached an agreement with Chinese regulators to turn Ant into a financial holding company, subject to bank capital requirements  —  - Ma's fintech giant will become a financial holding company  — Ant is still exploring a potential IPO, but timeline unclear
BuzzFeed News:
Facebook says it will try to protect posts that criticized Myanmar's military and its coup and will remove content that praises or supports the coup  —  After failing to stem the hate speech and misinformation that fueled a genocide in Myanmar, Facebook now says it plans …
Anne Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Spotify reports Q4 results: 345M MAUs, up 27% YoY, as paying subscribers grew to 155M, up 24% YoY, topping expectations; revenue was up 17% YoY to €2.17B  —  But streaming giant offers conservative outlook for the current year as new sign-ups could ebb
Matthew Ball / MatthewBall.vc:
Apple's iOS is inhibiting the growth of the future internet but regulators can remedy that by forcing Apple into competition in app distribution and payments  —  Chapter One: The Creation of Today's Internet and the Needs of Tomorrow's  —  One of the neat things about the internet is who created it, why, and how.
Jesse Pound / CNBC:
GameStop's shares closed for the day at $90 on Feb. 2, down from a peak of $483 last week, as other Reddit-fueled stock trades like AMC suffer similar reversals  —  - Shares of GameStop skidded further before Tuesday's opening bell, with shares of the volatile retail-trader favorite sliding more than 40% …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
India warns Twitter to comply with its order to block content related to a farmer protest and not “assume the role of a court and justify non-compliance”  —  India has issued a notice to Twitter, warning the American social firm to comply with New Delhi's order to block accounts …
Jay Greene / Washington Post:
As Alabama warehouse workers prepare to vote on unionization, Amazon is sending workers 5 texts/day and putting flyers in bathrooms urging them not to unionize  —  The stakes couldn't be higher for the e-commerce giant, which is fighting the biggest labor battle in its history on U.S. soil
Kris Holt / Engadget:
Facebook rolls out Messenger for Oculus Quest, as well as App Lab, letting developers distribute apps outside the Oculus Store without needing to sideload  —  Facebook is continuing to stitch its services more closely together — it's now rolling out Messenger on Oculus.
Katie Roof / Bloomberg:
Brightwheel, which builds tools for preschools, like an app to communicate with parents, raises $55M led by Addition at a $600M valuation  —  - ‘Shark Tank’ alum helps kids safely return to preschool  — $55 million startup investment led by Lee Fixel's Addition
More: PRWeb
Reuters:
Microsoft says it supports Australia's proposed new laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news content and it would be “willing to live by these rules”  —  (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it fully supported proposed new laws in Australia that would force internet giants Google …

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Jill Lepore / New Yorker:
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet: