Techmeme
August 31, 2021, 10:55 PM

Top News

Jiyoung Sohn / Wall Street Journal:
South Korea's National Assembly passes a bill that forces Apple and Google to allow alternative payment systems in their app stores  —  Seoul requires the companies to allow competing payment systems, threatening their 30% cut of most in-app digital sales  —  SEOUL—Google and Apple Inc …
Bloomberg:
Source: Apple's upcoming Watch is suffering production snags as manufacturers adjust to a new design, likely leading to supply constraints or shipment delays  —  - Revamped device has a larger screen and other new features  — Wearables category has been one of fastest-growing for Apple
Zoe Schiffer / The Verge:
Apple bars staff from making a Slack channel about pay equity; Apple says it's because it's not work related, despite other channels on pets and jokes  —  The company's rules around Slack usage are not being evenly enforced  —  Apple has barred employees from creating a Slack channel to discuss pay equity.
New York Times:
Investigation shows Accenture is Facebook's biggest content moderation partner, employing over a third of its moderators, with annual contracts exceeding $500M  —  The social network has constructed a vast infrastructure to keep toxic material off its platform.  At the center of it is Accenture, the blue-chip consulting firm.
Garett Sloane / Ad Age:
LinkedIn is abandoning its Stories format at the end of September and has told advertisers to adjust their ad campaigns accordingly  —  Brands will have to adjust ad campaigns when video format leaves the platform after September  —  LinkedIn is telling advertisers to prepare for the end …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft says Windows 11 will not support Android apps at launch on October 5; support for Android apps will likely arrive in 2022  —  Microsoft will start testing Android apps on Windows 11 in the coming months  —  Microsoft won't ship support for Android apps on Windows 11 in time for the operating system's launch on October 5th.
Daisuke Wakabayashi / New York Times:
Sundar Pichai informs Google employees that plans to return to offices are being pushed back again, from October to January 10  —  Google is pushing back its return-to-office date by three months, to Jan. 10, in a decision that reflects the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Scott Chipolina / Decrypt:
El Salvador's plan to make Bitcoin legal tender has been unpopular, with protests over concerns of money laundering, forcing trade in BTC, unconstitutionality  —  El Salvador will soon accept Bitcoin as legal tender, but not everybody shares the President's enthusiasm as citizens took to the streets this week.
Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter:
United Talent Agency signs NFT art projects CryptoPunks, Meebits, and Autoglyphs, all created by Larva Labs, for representation across film, TV, games, and more  —  The agency will represent the crypto-art projects from Larva Labs for film, TV, video games, and publishing projects …
Vildana Hajric / Bloomberg:
FTX acquires US-regulated crypto derivatives exchange LedgerX for an undisclosed sum, to expand its futures and options products in the US  —  - Strategy is to offer array of assets in regulated markets  — Majority of global crypto volume trades through derivatives
TechCrunch:
Roundup of 180+ companies that launched at YC's Summer 2021 Demo Day 1, including food delivery, investment, edtech, AI, and payment startups  —  Today Y Combinator kicked off the Demo Day cycle for its Summer 2021 cohort.  The collection of early-stage startups on day one-of-two alone numbered …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Sources: Amazon is developing a live audio feature, led by its Music division, with a focus on live music and potentially radio and podcasts  —  Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Alpaca, which offers APIs for fintech apps to connect and trade in US stocks, raises $50M Series B led by Tribe Capital and says it is expanding into crypto  —  Alpaca said this morning that it has closed a massive $50 million Series B round of capital.  TechCrunch previously covered …
Bloomberg:
Checkr, whose tech for employment background checks is used by Uber, Airbnb, and others, raises a $250M round led by Durable Capital at a $4.6B valuation  —  Checkr, a technology platform for employment background checks, has raised $250 million in a financing round that more than doubles its valuation from earlier this year.
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Source: Facebook plans to downrank current events content and political posts in the News Feed, after users approved of tests that limited such content  —  Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned.
Riley de León / CNBC:
Data analytics company Databricks raises $1.6B Series H led by Morgan Stanley's Counterpoint Global fund at a $38B valuation, up $10B from February  —  - Databricks has raised a $1.6 billion Series H funding round that boosts its valuation to $38 billion.  — Its latest funding round …
Mark Scott / Politico:
Facebook says it accidentally removed thousands of posts around the Jan. 6 riots from Crowdtangle, blaming a now fixed error that has existed since at least May  —  The social media company said it was a technical error, and has been fixed, but tens of thousands of posts are still missing.

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