Role reversal. Speaking of China, Google may be making a return, of sorts, to the mega-market it left in 2010. The company is planning to launch a government-approved, censored version of its search service in China, code-named Dragonfly, The Intercept reports citing internal Google documents and people familiar with the plan. Google didn’t comment to the publication.
Not quite a trillion yet. Still in the far east, Apple reported results for its fiscal third quarter, and sales to the greater China region gained a healthy 19% to $9.6 billion. Overall revenue jumped 17% to $53.3 billion and earnings per share gained 40% to $2.34. Both figures were slightly better than Wall Street expected and Apple’s shares were up 4% in premarket trading on Wednesday. CEO Tim Cook also gave the strongest hints yet that Apple is planning a subscription video service. Asked about the company’s deal with Oprah Winfrey, Cook said Apple is “working on a project that we’re not really ready to share all the details of it yet,” adding “I couldn’t be more excited.”
Large and in charge. And finally, still speaking of China, the country appointed a new Internet czar. Zhuang Rongwen, 57 and a close associate of President Xi Jinping, will head the Cyberspace Administration of China, which sets industry guidelines related to technology, cybersecurity, and censorship.
Not so fast. The Internet will not be flooded with plans for making untraceable plastic gun parts on a 3D printer—at least not yet. Federal District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking a nonprofit called Defense Distributed from posting the plans. The Obama administration had sued to block the nonprofit run by Cody Wilson from posting the plans in 2015 but the State Department settled that case last month.
Look up. French lawmakers voted to ban smartphones in schools, covering kids up to the age of 14 or 15. Smartphones were already banned in the classrooms of French primary and middle schools since the start of the decade, but had been allowed on other parts of school grounds.
Avoiding the wild west. Genetic testing companies including Ancestry and 23andMe agreed to a voluntary set of more stringent rules to protect the privacy of customer DNA data. Under the new guidelines, companies must get “separate express consent” before providing genetic information to third parties. They also promised to provide “detailed transparency about how Genetic Data is collected, used, shared, and retained.”
Fooled me once, shame on me. In the run up to the November midterm elections, Facebook said it uncovered evidence of additional meddling by unknown “bad actors.” The company said Tuesday that it removed 17 profiles, eight pages, and seven Instagram accounts that were exhibiting “inauthentic behavior.” Some of the now-removed pages were titled “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” “Mindful Being,” and “Resisters.”
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Wither MoviePass? Helios and Matheson Analytics, parent of the too-good-to-be-true service, has been running out of cash lately. On Tuesday, it increased the price of a standard monthly plan to $15 and limited subscribers’ access to first run movies. Shares of the company went on a wild ride, jumping to $2 before plunging to 50 cents, down 38% on the day.