Briefings

Trudeau is months away from a Huawei decision, sources say

The government security review of 5G technology that could result in a ban on Huawei will reportedly not be finished any time soon. Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the final decision would not be affected by Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye’s warning yesterday that there will be “repercussions” for a Huawei ban. (Bloomberg)

Tesla to cut workforce by seven per cent after ‘most challenging’ year

The company will lay off about 3,400 employees, CEO Elon Musk announced in an email to staff on Friday. “While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people,” Musk wrote, noting competition from legacy car makers has placed pressure on the company to produce cheap vehicles on a short timeline—something Tesla hasn’t yet mastered. (Financial Times)

With offers below expectations, Hootsuite abandons auction process

In October, the social media software company hired Goldman Sachs to look into what price it could expect to be valued at in the case of its sale to a private-equity firm. Hootsuite talked to dozens of such firms, and some—like KKR & Co. and TPG Capital—indicated how much they might be willing to pay. Those offers came in well below the $1 billion the company was anticipating, so Hootsuite ended the process in late December 2018. (Globe and Mail)

Joe Canavan takes over as CEO of Next Canada

Canavan has been a board member at the non-profit since 2010. He takes over the role of CEO from Sheldon Levy, who was named a special adviser to Minister of Small Business Mary Ng in December 2018. (Investment Executive)

Shopify appoints former Uber Eats exec Ian Black as director of retail

Black was the head of Uber Eats’ American and Canadian divisions. Under his tenure—which started with him acting as Uber Canada general manager in 2014—Uber became legal in Toronto by 2016, and he launched its Uber Eats offering in the city. Black will work from Shopify’s Toronto office. (BetaKit)

Reliance to launch new e-commerce platform

The Indian conglomerate—run by billionaire scion Mukesh Ambani—is launching an online shopping platform. The platform will connect to the company’s brick-and-mortar retail locations, but also sell products from small shopkeepers, starting with 1.2 million businesses in the state of Gujarat. (Livemint)

ACLU is suing Trump administration over social media surveillance

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Northern California filed a lawsuit against seven federal agencies seeking information on their social media surveillance activities, specifically those related to “extreme vetting.” The agencies—including the U.S. Department of Justice, several immigration agencies and the FBI—are accused of failing to produce information about their social media-monitoring tools and practices in response to a freedom-of-information request filed by the ACLU in 2018. (Fast Company)

Facebook is secretly building LOL, a meme hub for teens

The social media giant has been secretly testing a feed for video memes, called LOL, for months. The product is in private beta with a focus group of approximately 100 high schoolers, all of whom signed non-disclosure agreements with parental consent. (TechCrunch)