Some Tech Giants Hurt In Wake of Pelosi's Visit to Taiwanby@sheharyarkhan
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Some Tech Giants Hurt In Wake of Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan

by Sheharyar KhanAugust 8th, 2022
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In this week's tech brief: Apple retains the #1 spot, followed by Coinbase at #2, Tesla at #3, Microsoft at #4, and Amazon at #5.

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A lot has happened this past week. Thousands of people from across the globe tracked Nancy Pelosi's plane ✈️ ahead of its touchdown in Taiwan 🇹🇼, making it one of the most tracked flights of all time. Though some from those thousands were likely Chinese government officials whose "overreaction" led to the start of military exercises ⛈️ and other rebukes on a state-to-state level with the U.S. 🌎

But despite so much going on, all the HackerNoon team has been talking about is one thing this past week. A personal milestone long in the making: the Weekly Tech Brief turns 10! w00t, w00t! 🥳

Well.. not 10 in the strict sense that it's been a decade since we began publishing (we didn't!). BUT, this is the 10th version of the weekly tech brief, and we're supremely proud of the milestone! (Only 90 more to go to hit 100! But we'll get there, surely.) 🎊

That's ten weeks of using HackerNoon's unique data and pairing it with news insights to determine why they're rising and falling in the public consciousness. And we're definitely not going to stop here, so let us begin with the rankings for this week. *drum rolls*

#1. Apple 👑

Apple retained the #1 spot for a second week in a row, no small feat, all things considered. Never the one to risk its profits, the Silicon Valley firm has reportedly asked suppliers from Taiwan (the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors) to label products as having been produced in China to avoid strict custom enforcement rules by Chinese authorities in the wake of Pelosi's visit.  "Made in China" has been a longstanding order by China's ruling Communist Party, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province and thus a part of its territory (though the Taiwanese disagree).

#2. Coinbase 🪙

Coinbase is now just a day away from releasing its earnings and giving investors a look into its finances during its most recent quarter which was characterized by one bad news followed by another. Landing on the #2 spot this week, the crypto exchange's Q1 earnings were pretty miss, and experts expect more of the same for Q2. However, a newly announced deal with BlackRock to help the world's largest asset manager manage and trade Bitcoin may have briefly turned the fortunes around for the ailing crypto exchange's stock price.

#3. Tesla 🚗

Celebrities and their excessive use of private jets have been in the news lately because of the environmental toll of such travel. In the list? Billionaire Elon Musk, who you'd expect to give a f*ck about the environment given he owns Tesla, which landed on the #3 spot this week. Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn't the only thorn on the company's side: Pelosi's visit this past week to Taiwan prompted China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s largest maker of batteries for electric vehicles, to delay plans for a multi-billion dollar plant in the U.S. that would supply batteries to Tesla and Ford. Ouch!

#4. Microsoft 🪟

Barring some gaming related news, it was a relatively slow news week for Microsoft. It does not appear that Pelosi's visit had any direct impact on the company itself, which explains why it's been going down in rankings for the past few weeks. On the gaming front, the Redmond firm is partnering with Unity to make it easier for game creators around the world to publish to Xbox consoles and PC. Kotaku has a handy comparison of Xbox Gamepass and PlayStation's PS Plus in case you're on the fence.

#5. Amazon 📦

Amazon rounds off the rankings for this week, though based on everything we've read this week, it should have been higher. The eCommerce giant announced a $1.7 billion deal to buy iRobot Corp., the maker of the robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba. On the face of it, pairing Roomba with Amazon's other smart-home offerings, such as Alexa, could make your experience more seamless, but experts claim that Amazon's ambitions may be far beyond easing their customers' lives: it just might be an attempt to map your house, scooping up even more of your data, and perhaps upsell you its Prime membership. Yikes!

And that's a wrap! Thank you for reading this week’s Tech Company Brief. If you'd like to follow these rankings in real-time, feel free to head down here. See y'all next week.