China Introduce New Law to Control Export of TikTok Technologies 

  • TikTok’s owner has said it will “strictly adhere to” new rules imposed by China over what technologies the country’s companies can sell overseas.
  • The export controls could potentially be used to block the sale of TikTok’s US operations.
  • The expanded list of restricted items covers some of the methods the app uses to target who sees which videos, a feature which has played a large part in TikTok’s success.
  • TikTok’s owner Bytedance has been in talks to sell TikTok to a US company after pressure from the US Government citing security concerns over user’s data.
  • Bytedance has faced criticism within its home country for having been seen to have caved-in to foreign pressure to sell off a prized asset.

Facebook Threatens News Share Ban in Australia 

  • Facebook has threatened to stop users from sharing news content in Australia as it prepares for a new law forcing it to pay publishers for their articles.
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants tech giants like Facebook and Google to pay for the content reposted from news outlets.
  • Last month Google warned its users that its search services could be “dramatically worse” as a result and Facebook’s latest move to block news sharing has escalated tensions between tech firms and regulators.
  • The social media network said that if the proposed legislation becomes law it will stop Australians from sharing news on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.
  • The ACCC responded to Facebook’s threat to block news content saying it was “ill-timed and misconceived”.

Zoom Sees Profits Double 

Calls to Raise Children’s Benefits 

  • A charity has called for the government to increase child benefit after research found an increasing number of families now use the payments to cover household necessities such as bills.
  • The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) surveyed 1,055 UK parents who  received the benefit over the summer found that 28% said they used it for general expenses, as opposed to 2% who did this when a similar study was done in 2012.
  • Currently, eligible families receive £21.05 a week for a first child, and £13.95 a week for any subsequent children. Those paid more than £60,000 a year do not get the benefit, and it is offset against tax for people earning between £50,000 and £60,000.
  • The CPAG has called for the support to be increased by £10 a week, saying the government had so far offered no specific support for struggling families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lockdown Pupils 3 Months Behind

  • Children in England are three months behind in their studies after lockdown, with boys and poor pupils worst hit, a teacher survey has suggested.
  • Research completed by The National Foundation for Educational Research has found that the learning gap between rich and poor pupils has grown by almost half since schools closed in March and concludes that a quick catch up with missed material is unlikely.
  • The new term begins in England and Wales this week. Schools are already back in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the government has said it is determined children should not lose out because of coronavirus.