Reddit says government data requests more than doubled in 2018


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Reddit has said the number of government requests for user data has more than doubled in 2018 than on the previous year.

The news and content sharing site said in its latest transparency report, posted Wednesday, it received a 752 requests from governments during the year, up from 310 requests a year earlier.

Broken down, that’s 171 requests to preserve account data — up from 79 requests in 2017; and 581 requests to produce user data — up from 231 requests.

Reddit said it complied with 77 percent of requests to turn over user data, and 91 percent of preservation requests. However, the company says it “only processes preservation requests” that originate in the U.S.

For the year, the company said it was asked by the U.S. government to remove “an image and a large volume of comments made underneath it for potential breach of a federal

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A government propaganda app is going viral in China


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


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Besides binge-watching TikTok videos and battling enemies in the magical land of mobile games, many Chinese people may also pass time during the upcoming Lunar New Year on Xuexi Qiangguo, a news and chat app developed by the country’s top ideology officials.

The app managed to top the Chinese App Store between January 22 and 25 before two ByteDance apps pushed it down to the third place this week, download statistics from App Annie shows. At a glance, the news section is almost exclusively about the Communist Party and president Xi Jinping.

xuexi qiangguo

The app is almost exclusively about the Communist Party and president Xi Jinping.

It doubles as an instant messenger, with development support provided by Alibaba’s Dingtalk enterprise communications tool. That means users can log in via their Dingtalk account and chat with their Dingtalk contacts directly over Xuexi Qiangguo. Alibaba explains this is a “regular business collaboration” between Dingtalk’s

xuexi qiangguo
xuexi qiangguo

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Tesla plans ‘rapid build out’ of China factory as tariffs weigh down automaker


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


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Tesla plans to speed up construction of a factory in Shanghai as tariffs, shipping costs and missed incentives continue to drive up the price of the company’s electric vehicles and dampen demand.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have led to 40 percent tariffs on Tesla vehicles compared to 15 percent duties placed on imported autos from other countries, the company said in its production and delivery report issued Tuesday. The tariffs, combined with the cost of shipping its vehicles via ocean carrier and the lack of access to cash incentives that are available to locally produced electric vehicles, has put the company at a disadvantage, the company warned.

As a result, Tesla said it’s now operating at a 55 percent to 60 percent cost disadvantage compared to the exact same car locally produced in China.

“This makes for a challenging competitive environment, given that China is by far

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Google is quietly formulating a new strategy for China


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Google is slowing piecing together a strategy for China to ensure that it doesn’t miss out on the growth of technology in the world’s largest country. It’s been months in the making through a series of gradual plays, but further evidence of those plans comes today via a product launch.

Files Go — a file manager for Android devices released last yearhas made its way to China today. Not a huge launch, for sure, but the mechanisms behind it provide insight into how Google may be thinking about the country, where it has been absent since 2010 after redirecting its Chinese search service to Hong Kong in the face of government pressure.

For Files Go, Google is taking a partner-led approach to distribution because the Google Play Store does not operate in China. The company is working with Tencent, Huawei, Xiaomi and Baidu, each of which will stock the app

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