Briefings

Google CEO: ‘No plans’ to launch Chinese search engine

In his first testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Sundar Pichai spent much of his time answering questions of liberal bias on Google ("Our algorithms have no notion of political sentiment"), and whether the search giant is a monopoly (“Definitely not”). He also spoke briefly of Google’s efforts to re-enter the Chinese market, saying, “Right now, we have no plans to launch in China.” (Axios)

British Prime Minister Theresa May to face no-confidence vote tomorrow

Multiple media outlets reported late Tuesday afternoon that members of May’s Conservative party will launch a non-confidence vote tomorrow. This follows May’s last-minute decision not to hold a vote she looked likely to lose on the Brexit deal her government negotiated with the European Union, and a refusal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reopen talks. (The Logic)

Canada Goose caught in Huawei crossfire as Chinese pitch Canadian product boycott

The company has lost 20 per cent of its value on the TSX since news of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities. The drop follows users on Chinese social media platform Weibo calling for a boycott on the jackets—which have become intensely popular in China—in retaliation to Meng’s arrest. (CBC)

Uber whistleblower warned about safety

Five days before a driverless Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Robbie Miller, an operations manager in the company’s autonomous vehicle unit, sent an email to the department’s top executives warning them that the software was dangerous. The 890-word email raised concerns about the frequency of accidents, that near-misses were ignored or not properly investigated, and about backup drivers who lacked proper training and vetting. (The Information)

Michael Nobrega, the acting CEO fired from Waterfront Toronto board, calls report’s criticisms ‘constructive’

Nobrega was fired from his position on the board of directors by the Ontario government last week, following the province’s auditor general’s report. Responding to calls from critics to scrap the project and start a new Request-For-Proposals (RFP) process, Nobrega said that would be difficult. “You would be looking at a lot of lawsuits,” he said. He also noted that Waterfront Toronto still had “a number of off-ramps or exit strategies” in its agreement with Sidewalk Labs. (Globe and Mail)

Staples Canada to offer co-working space in new concept store

Originally known for its office supply stores, Staples Canada is rebranding as a “working and learning company” with the launch of its new concept store based in Kirkland, Que. The second location housing this new concept will open in Toronto in January, and will include a co-working space called Staples Studio. (Staples Canada Inc.)

Apple hit with sales ban in China

A Chinese court has granted Qualcomm, an American telecommunications equipment company, an injunction against Apple, which will halt the sales and imports of most iPhones in the country. On November 30, the court ruled that several Apple devices violate two Qualcomm patents related to resizing photos and managing apps. (Wall Street Journal)