Hashtag Trending July 28 – Facebook increasing expectations for employees; Low smartphone sales in China; Senate advances U.S. semiconductor bill

Facebook to operate with “increased intensity”, smartphone sales in China slump, U.S. Senate advances multi-billion dollar bill subsidizing chip manufacturing.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, July 28, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

A memo sent by Facebook’s HR lead indicates increased expectations for employees, driving home the message that those with a low performance could lose their jobs. According to an article from Business Insider, Meta plans to operate with “increased intensity.” Its HR chief sent out a note in early July setting some expectations for managers to build high-performing teams. Those who fall short of the new level intensity should be transitioned out of the company, said Lori Goler, the head of HR. Other Meta executives have made internal comments and written notes alluding to possible job cuts. Additionally, Facebook internally announced a hiring freeze in the spring. Cuts this year could affect 10 per cent of the company’s 78,000 workers, Insider reported.

Source: Business Insider

Smartphone sales in China have dropped to volumes last seen in 2012. Research for Q2 2022 found that only around 60 million smartphones were sold in the quarter, less than half of China’s peak sales period in Q4 2016. The Register reported that the COVID-19 pandemic was cited as the main reason for the slump in sales. COVID-19 lockdowns in Chinese cities stopped consumers from going out and buying things. Chinese brands Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi all lost market share. However, analysts say that the second half of the year could be brighter for China’s smartphone sales with new upcoming foldable phones.

Source: The Register

On Tuesday The Senate voted 64 to 32 to advance a $280 billion funding package to boost domestic semiconductor technologies. The bill will now move to the House. If it’s passed there, it will then head to President Biden, who has signalled his support for boosting U.S. chip manufacturing and plans to sign the bill. The bill provides about $52 billion in grants for the semiconductor industry in addition to a 25 per cent tax credit for companies that build chip plants, or fabs, within the country. The bill also authorizes $200 billion to enhance scientific research.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Google has introduced aerial views of major landmarks on Google Maps for Android and iOS. Some of these landmarks include Big Ben in London, the Empire State Building in New York City and Alcatraz in San Francisco. According to Engadget, the new feature melds AI with billions of images to create realistic 3D views. Google is advertising the feature as a preview tool for tourists. This is just one of the updates Google is making to its Maps service. The company is also upgrading Maps’ cycling navigation with car traffic and road info. Additionally, Google has added new location-sharing notifications that let users know when a friend arrives at a destination.

Source: Engadget

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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