Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed on Monday that the US will grant Huawei a second 90-day license following its blacklisting. But President Trump has told reporters he doesn’t want to do business with Huawei “at all.”
- President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he had spoken with Apple CEO Tim Cook about the impact of US tariffs on Chinese imports as well as competition from South Korean company Samsung. Trump said Cook “made a good case” that tariffs could hurt Apple given that Samsung’s products would not be subject to those same tariffs.
- Facebook and Twitter acknowledged that the Chinese government had been running a coordinated social media propaganda campaign targeting protesters in Hong Kong. Twitter said it detected 936 accounts originating in China, while Facebook detected five accounts, seven pages, and three groups.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook’s argument that tariffs would benefit Samsung and hurt Apple doesn’t make a lot of sense. Apple’s declining iPhone sales have little to do with Samsung, and more to do with its decision not to focus on new internet users in emerging markets.
- Amazon, Facebook, and Google testified on Monday at a hearing by the Office of the US Trade Representative about France’s new digital services tax, which will deprive them of millions of dollars in revenue. The three, along with other major US tech firms, were expected to argue that the tax is punitive and risks raising prices for consumers and partners in Europe.
- Facebook’s plan to integrate Instagram and WhatsApp more closely could hinder any attempts to break up the social media giant, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons said in an interview. Simons said all options were on the table as the FTC investigates Facebook for potential antitrust violations, but added that any attempt from Mark Zuckerberg to combine the social media company’s three major brands could complicate any case.
- Representatives from as many as a dozen states met with DoJ officials to discuss a multi-state effort to investigate big tech companies like Facebook and Google. The states may announce their own, but coordinated, investigations as early as next month, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Tesla relaunched its ailing solar business with a panel-rental program, CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Sunday. Rental rates for solar panels will start at $50 a month, with customers paying $65 in California.
- Apple has released the official trailer for its coming original series “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. The TV show will premier in the fall exclusively on Apple’s new subscription streaming service, Apple TV Plus.
- Uber has hired a new UK chief as its gears up to ask for another license renewal in London. Melinda Roylett, who joins from Square, will be tasked with rekindling relations with London’s regulators.
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