Sidewalk Labs officially pulled out of Toronto after years of controversy, rideshare apps struggle during the pandemic, Telus’ revenue falls by nearly 20 per cent year over year.

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Sidewalk Labs pulls the plug on smart city project

The tug-of-war for Toronto’s infamous Sidewalk Labs’ smart city project ended yesterday when Alphabet officially announced its closure. Originally planned to be a futuristic city completed with cutting edge sensor technology, Sidewalk Labs was met with criticism almost from the get go. The opposition strongly voiced their concerns over personal privacy, data ownership, and data protection. In a statement, Sidewalk Labs blamed COVID19’s financial impact for the closure. Netizens are unconvinced, however, and have credited their protest for privacy to be the real reason.

There’s a bunch of chatter online about the impact the coronavirus is having on ride-hailing businesses. The pandemic has dragged Lyft’s ride-hailing business down by 70%, although first-quarter earnings surprised investors by unveiling a 23% uptick in revenue. Lyft has been unprofitable since going public in 2019, and has said that it’s planning to let go 17% of its workers, furlough 5% and cut the salaries of those remaining. Meanwhile, Uber is laying off 3,700 employees, or about 14% of its staff. CNBC reporting says CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will also give up his base pay for the year.

COVID-19 has painted the global economy in crimson. No one is safe from its outreach, including telecom giants like Telus. In its Q1 financial report, Telus reported a 19 per cent income decline year over year, and scrapped its fiscal guidance for 2020. Despite a gloomy-sounding outlook, Telus CFO Doug French said the company has taken measures to offset future losses in $250 million cost reduction initiatives. The company has also onboarded almost 120,000 tenants, up 14,000 from last year.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.



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