Top tech stories today: January 18, 2024

Don’t bother with the online scavenger hunt! We’ve gathered the need-to-know global tech scoops for January 18, 2024. Let’s keep you informed without the hassle!

1. Musk’s X approved for Virginia money transmitter license

Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, secures a money transmitter license in Virginia, marking its 17th approval across the U.S. Elon Musk aims to expand X’s services into a comprehensive “everything app,” emphasizing peer-to-peer payments. Challenges persist with slower approvals in New York and California. (Reuters)

2. Samsung to embed Google’s generative AI tech in S24 smartphone series

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series, which will go on sale around end-January, plan to integrate Google’s generative AI technology, including Gemini Nano and text-to-image tech. The collaboration positions Samsung as an early adopter of Google’s advanced language model, enhancing AI capabilities in applications and photo editing on the S24 smartphones. (Reuters)

3. Google releases AI multisearch feature in US

Google has launched a multisearch feature in the U.S., enabling users on selected smartphones to search using both image and text simultaneously through AI. The feature, available from Jan. 31, enhances user experience without switching apps, showcasing Google’s commitment to AI advancements. (Reuters)

4. Apple overtakes Samsung as top seller of smartphones

Apple surpassed Samsung as the world’s top smartphone seller, ending Samsung’s 12-year streak, with Apple commanding a 20% market share in 2023. Apple and Transsion were the only top five vendors to achieve sales growth in a declining market. (Reuters)

5. Iowa sues TikTok alleging parents misled about inappropriate content

Iowa’s attorney general is suing TikTok, alleging the platform misled parents about children’s access to inappropriate content. TikTok, facing consumer fraud claims, emphasizes its safeguards. This adds to U.S. states’ legal actions, demanding financial penalties and a halt to deceptive conduct. (CNA)

6. Samsung packs newest Galaxy S24 smartphones with AI functions to beat Apple

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S24 smartphones aim to rival Apple with AI features, including real-time two-way voice translation in 13 languages, on-device AI functions, and innovative image searches. The move comes as Samsung faces increased competition and seeks to attract buyers with advanced AI capabilities. (Reuters)

7. CNN boss plans to merge newsgathering ops, explores digital subscription model – WSJ

CNN’s CEO Mark Thompson plans to merge all newsgathering operations into a unified unit for television, streaming, and digital platforms. Thompson is exploring monetization options, including potential subscriptions, and aims to capitalize on the vertical video format popular among younger audiences. (Reuters)

8. Volvo Cars sees ‘tremendous growth’ in EVs, CEO says

Volvo Cars’ CEO, Jim Rowan, expresses confidence in “tremendous growth” in the EV market, countering gloomier projections from rivals. Volvo aims for EVs to contribute half of its sales by mid-decade and achieve a fully electric lineup by 2030, citing strong demand, particularly in Europe. (Reuters)

9. Sweden’s Northvolt commits to invest in EV battery plant in Germany

Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt confirms its commitment to invest in an EV battery plant near Heide, Germany. The planned major investment, supported by 902 million euros ($980.02 million) in German state aid, is expected to create around 3,000 jobs. (Reuters)

10. Netflix’s app won’t work on the Vision Pro

Netflix won’t have a dedicated app for Apple’s Vision Pro headset, requiring users to watch content through a web browser. This contrasts with other streaming services supporting the headset. Netflix’s absence may impact the appeal of the $3,499 device for streaming enthusiasts. (the Verge)


Cassie Gong

Cassie is a news reporter at BTW media focusing on company profiles, interviews, podcasts, networking, sustainability, and AI. She graduated from Newcastle University, UK with a Master’s degree in Translating & Interpreting and now works in London and Hangzhou. Send tips to

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