10 things in tech you need to know today, November 18


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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

  1. Apple banned all vaping apps from the App Store. The firm banned all 181 vaping-related apps from the App Store amidst growing health concerns.
  2. Xbox head Phil Spencer says it’ll be “many years” before video game streaming becomes mainstream. Spencer was speaking to the BBC about Xbox’s Project xCloud, a rival to Google’s upcoming game streaming service Stadia.
  3. TikTok has now been downloaded more than 1.5 billion downloads worldwide on the App Store and Google Play. Mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower says the app has been downloaded more than 600 million times so far this year.
  4. The owner of TikTok is reportedly in talks with major record labels to launch a music streaming service. ByteDance is in talks with big music labels — Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music — for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, according to the Financial Times. 
  5. The UK Labour party wants to tax Amazon, Facebook and Google to fund a $25 billion plan for free, high-speed internet for the whole country. The party floated plans on Thursday to buy up most of the UK’s existing internet infrastructures for an estimated cost of £20 billion (around $25 billion), which it pledged to massively expand. 
  6. Apple’s iPhone 11 is proving an early success in China, according to official data. Apple shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October, Bloomberg reports.
  7. Twitter will ban all politicians from advertising on its platform, but it will make a few exceptions for news publishers and causes. Twitter’s political ads policy prohibits any ads mentioning political candidates, elections, and ballot measures, but exempts news publishers and certain “cause-based” ads.
  8. Google is cutting back on its popular TGIF all-hands meetings as it reels from unprecedented leaks and unrest. CEO Sundar Pichai said the move was in response to a “coordinated effort” to share conversations outside Google as well as a desire to make better use of employees’ time.
  9. SoftBank is planning to combine Yahoo Japan with messaging service Line. According to Bloomberg, the deal is pencilled in to happen in October 2020.
  10. President Trump will tour Apple’s manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, CNBC reports. The tech giant shifted production of its Mac Pro to Austin in September after securing a series of tariff exemptions for computer parts.

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