Top tech stories today: January 24, 2024

Say goodbye to endless web searches for tech news! Discover a brief and captivating recap of global tech highlights right here. Dive in now!

1. North Korea’s AI development raises sanctions concerns, report says

North Korea is investing in AI and machine learning, employing the technology for COVID-19 response, nuclear reactor safety, and wargaming simulations, despite international sanctions posing challenges in acquiring AI hardware. Collaboration with foreign scholars raises concerns over sanctions. (U.S.News)

2. Google cancels contract with an AI data firm that’s helped train Bard

Google terminated its contract with Appen, an Australian data firm involved in training its AI models for Bard, Search, and other products. Appen, also serving Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon, faces the impact on its revenue, with $82.8 million from Google alone in 2023. Transition efforts are underway. (The Verge)

3. Google is using AI to organize and customize your Chrome browser

Google’s Chrome browser introduces AI features, including a Tab Organizer to group similar tabs, AI-upgraded theme generation, and a “Help me write” feature for text boxes. Google plans further AI integration, hinting at the inclusion of its Gemini model. These updates aim to enhance user experience and streamline browsing. (The Verge)

4. Bitcoin down 20% from post-ETF highs

Bitcoin has dropped 20.6% from its recent high of $49,000 following the approval of the first spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S. The decline was driven by selling from investors anticipating the approval, capital outflows from Grayscale, and asset sales from bankrupt FTX exchange. Coinbase shares dipped 4% after a JPMorgan downgrade, citing potential disappointment in the bitcoin ETF catalyst. (CNA)

5. SAP announces restructuring plan covering 8,000 employees, provides 2024 outlook

German software firm SAP unveils a €2 billion restructuring, cutting 8,000 jobs for AI-driven growth. The company plans a €1 billion investment in AI startups, aiming for €500 million in operating profit gains by 2025. SAP anticipates double-digit revenue growth in its cloud business for 2024. The 2025 operating profit target is adjusted to €10 billion. (CNA)

6. Netflix hits fourth-quarter subscriber record, fueled by ‘The Crown’ and ‘The Killer’

Netflix surpasses Q4 subscriber estimates with 13.1 million additions, hitting a record of 260 million total subscribers. Revenue rises to $8.8 billion. The company expects strong double-digit growth in 2024, investing in advertising and anticipating further industry consolidation. (CNA)

7. Microsoft’s Bing, Edge to be exempt from Europe’s DMA 

Microsoft’s Bing, Edge, and advertising services are reportedly exempt from Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) as European watchdogs found them not dominant enough. Microsoft is expected to comply with DMA for other products such as the Windows operating system and professional network platform, LinkedIn. (The Economic Times)

8. Apple bids to throw out $1 bln UK lawsuit over app store fees

Apple seeks dismissal of a nearly $1 billion mass lawsuit in the UK, representing over 1,500 app developers, alleging unfair App Store fees of up to 30%. Apple argues 85% of developers pay no commission. (Morningstar)

9. Ericsson appoints Lars Sandström as new CFO

Ericsson appoints Lars Sandström as Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Carl Mellander, effective April 1, 2024. Sandström, currently CFO at Getinge, brings extensive experience, contributing to Ericsson’s strategy in mobile networks and enterprise expansion. (Ericsson)

10. Startup AiDash raises $50 million for tech using AI, satellites to spot wildfire risk

California startup AiDash secures $50 million in funding for its AI and satellite technology detecting fire and weather risks on power lines, aiding utilities and addressing climate challenges. Investors include Lightrock, National Grid, SE Ventures, Shell Ventures, and Edison International. (U.S.News)

11. The IPv6 city — Xiong’an China | APNIC Blog

Xiong’an, a new Chinese city, is building a model for future digital cities by prioritizing IPv6 deployment, aiming to deploy 198,000 sensors per square kilometer and over 1 million Internet of Things (IoT) terminals per square kilometer. The city has a dual-stack transition system to facilitate access between IPv6 and IPv4 resources. (APNIC)


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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