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China Hits Back at US Over TikTok Ban on Federal Devices



China has accused the United States of overreacting after ordering federal employees to delete the video software TikTok from government-issued phones.

The White House told government organizations 30 days on Monday to guarantee that staff were not using the Chinese-owned app on federal devices.

The ruling comes on the heels of similar actions by the EU and Canada in recent weeks.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman accused the US of exploiting state authority to restrict foreign enterprises.

“We firmly oppose those wrong actions,” spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters during a news briefing on Tuesday. “The US government should respect the principles of market economy and fair competition, stop suppressing the companies and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies in the US.”

“How unsure of itself can the world’s top superpower like the US be to fear young people’s favourite app like that,” she added.

In recent months, Western officials have grown more concerned about the popular video sharing app, which is controlled by the Chinese corporation ByteDance.

TikTok has been accused of harvesting user data and passing it on to the Chinese government, with some intelligence services concerned that sensitive material may be exposed if the app is downloaded on official computers.

The firm argues that it works in the same manner as other social media companies and that it would never comply with a data transfer request.

On Monday, US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young instructed agencies to remove the app from all state-issued phones in order to preserve sensitive data.

The advisory is a “important step forward in addressing the threats presented by the app to sensitive government data,” according to the agency.

The White House, as well as the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, have already blocked TikTok from their devices.

The decision emphasized the Biden administration’s “ongoing commitment to defending our digital infrastructure and preserving the security and privacy of the American people,” according to US Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha.

The decision on Tuesday comes after the US House of Representatives passed legislation in December prohibiting the use of TikTok on government-issued phones and giving the White House 60 days to publish agency directions.

And congressional Republicans are expected to pass further legislation in the coming weeks which would give President Joe Biden the power to ban the app nationally.

“We hope that when it comes to addressing national security concerns about TikTok beyond government devices, Congress will explore solutions that won’t have the effect of censoring the voices of millions of Americans,” a TikTok spokesperson told the BBC.

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Elon Musk Values Twitter 54.5% Less Of $44bn He Bought It



Elon Musk Values Twitter 54.5% Less Of $44bn He Bought It

Elon Musk has put the current value of Twitter at $20 billion, less than half the $44 billion he paid for the social media platform just five months ago, according to an internal email.

The email to employees referred to a new stock compensation program in the San Francisco-based company and the allocation of shares to employees of X Holdings, Twitter’s umbrella company since Musk purchased it in late October.

The compensation plan values the platform at $20 billion, slightly more than Snapchat’s parent company Snap ($18.2 billion) or Pinterest ($18.7 billion), both of which are publicly traded, unlike Twitter.

Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla Inc. and aerospace group SpaceX, said that Twitter would allow its employees to cash in shares every six months.

In the internal email, Musk describes the brutal contraction in Twitter’s value. He says the platform faced such grave financial difficulties that at one point it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

“Twitter was trending to lose ~$3B/year,” Musk said in a message posted Saturday on the platform.

He cited a revenue drop of $1.5 billion a year and a debt-servicing burden of the same amount — leaving it with “only 4 months of money.”

Musk, Twitter’s majority shareholder, added simply: “Extremely dire situation.”

But he then said that “It looks like we will break even” in the second quarter of the year, with advertisers — many of whom fled the platform after the mercurial billionaire bought it — now beginning to return.

Since taking control, Musk has sharply cut the group’s payroll from 7,500 employees to fewer than 2,000.

He said in the email that he sees a “clear but difficult path” to a valuation of $250 billion, without specifying how long that might take.

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Intel Co-founder, Gordon Moore Dies, Aged 94



Intel Co-founder, Gordon Moore Dies, Aged 94

Gordon Moore, a pioneer in the microprocessor industry and a co-founder of Intel, which at one time was the world’s largest semiconductor maker, died on Friday at the age of 94.

Moore was a giant in the technological transformation of the modern age, helping companies bring evermore powerful chips to smaller and smaller computers.

An engineer by training, he cofounded Intel in July 1968, eventually serving as president, chief executive and chairman of the board.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, said Moore died “surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii.”

In its early days, Intel was known for continuous innovation, growing to become one of the biggest, most important companies in technology.

In an article in 1965, Moore first coined a theory that later became known as “Moore’s Law.” It stated that integrated circuits would essentially double in power every year. He later revised the law to say the doubling would occur every two years.

The axiom held true for decades and became synonymous with the rapid rate of technological change in the modern world.

“All I was trying to do was get that message across, that by putting more and more stuff on a chip we were going to make all electronics cheaper,” Moore said in a 2008 interview.

After earning his Ph.D. from CalTech, Moore and a colleague in 1957, joined Fairchild Semiconductor Laboratory, one of the earliest firms to manufacture commercially viable transistors and integrated circuits.

As the company grew, the seeds were planted for the transformation of the peninsula of land south of San Francisco into what became known as Silicon Valley.

Moore and long-time colleague Robert Noyce struck out on their own in 1968, bringing along a third, Andy Grove, who would become a future Intel CEO.

Moore retired from Intel in 2006.

Over his lifetime, he donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes through the foundation he set up with his wife of 72 years, Betty.

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YABATECH, MTN Collaborates On Youth Empowerment And Skill Development



YABATECH, MTN Collaborates On Youth Empowerment And Skill Development

To fund skill development and youth empowerment, telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria has teamed with Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH).

Through the cooperation, MTN will be able to assist and finance the progress of 20 students who will enroll in the future skill-in-demand initiative at the school.

According to a statement from Yabatech’s public relations officer, Joseph Ejiofor, under the one-year collaboration, which is subject to renewal, MTN will give the top 10 winners mobile phone startup kits worth N345 700 apiece to equip them with the resources they need to launch successful enterprises.

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He continued by saying that MTN would pay a sponsorship fee of N5,457,000, which would cover transportation costs for 20 enrolled students, three months’ honoraria to facilitators of theoretical training for 20 students, three months’ honoraria to master craftspeople for practical training for 20 students, and complete mobile phone-related startup kits for 10 students.

“The sponsorship fee will be paid in advance to assist the college subject to the provisions of the agreement, while MTN shall withhold the cost for full mobile phone-related startup kits until the top 10 recipients emerge at the end of the program.

“The good gesture from MTN gladdens the heart of management, staff, and students of the college, and the leadership of the school is full of appreciation to the telecommunication giant for the benevolence act and for the partnership,” Ejiofor said.

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