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The Tech Weekender: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp come under fire in India, Honor's first independent smartphone, a new Snapdragon chip and more

In case you missed them, here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ending January 23.

January 23, 2021 / 11:09 AM IST
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has worded a strong letter to WhatsApp saying its new privacy policy is invasive and has asked the messaging app to withdraw the proposed changes. The government was specifically unhappy with the 'all or nothing' approach that the company took when it did not give its user a choice to opt-out from accepting the privacy policy but still use the app. The government also pointed out how Indian users are being subjected to differential, discriminatory treatment when compared to European counterparts. 
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has worded a strong letter to WhatsApp saying its new privacy policy is invasive and has asked the messaging app to withdraw the proposed changes. The government was specifically unhappy with the 'all or nothing' approach that the company took when it did not give its user a choice to opt-out from accepting the privacy policy but still use the app. The government also pointed out how Indian users are being subjected to differential, discriminatory treatment when compared to European counterparts. Additionally, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology summoned representatives of social media companies Twitter and Facebook on January 21 to discuss "misuse of their platforms".
Back in December we learned that the Snapdragon 888 SoC will power the Android flagships of 2021. However, Qualcomm unveiled another Snapdragon 8-series chip this week, in the form of the Snapdragon 870 SoC. The new SD870 is based the 7nm process as the Snapdragon 865. It is a faster version of the Snapdragon 865+ and has the highest clocked CPU, at 3.2GHz, of any smartphone chipset.
Back in December, we learned that the Snapdragon 888 SoC will power the Android flagships of 2021. However, Qualcomm unveiled another Snapdragon 8-series chip this week, in the form of the Snapdragon 870 SoC. The new SD870 is based on the 7nm process as the Snapdragon 865. It is a faster version of the Snapdragon 865+ and has the highest clocked CPU, at 3.2GHz, of any smartphone chipset.
This week saw the launch of several new smartphones. Leading the pack was the Oppo Reno5 Pro, which debuted as the company’s first mid-range 5G phone in India. Another major launch was saw the arrival of the Vivo X60 Pro+, which has been retrofitted with an extremely capable 50 MP quad-camera setup, Snapdragon 888 SoC, and a 120Hz OLED panel. Honor launched its first smartphone since its separation from Huawei. The Honor V40 5G features by the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, a 120Hz OLED panel, and a 50 MP triple-camera setup.
This week saw the launch of several new smartphones. Leading the pack was the Oppo Reno5 Pro, which debuted as the company’s first mid-range 5G phone in India. Another major launch saw the arrival of the Vivo X60 Pro+, which has been retrofitted with an extremely capable 50 MP quad-camera setup, Snapdragon 888 SoC, and a 120Hz OLED panel. Honor launched its first smartphone since its separation from Huawei. The Honor V40 5G features by the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC, a 120Hz OLED panel, and a 50 MP triple-camera setup.
This week, FAU-G, an Indian-made PUBG Mobile alternative, racked up over four million pre-registrations on the Google Play Store. FAU-G was developed by nCore Games in collaboration with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. Vishal Gondal, co-founder and chairman of nCore Games, confirmed the four million pre-registrations to IGN India. He said that the tally doesn't account for the low-end devices being allowed to register. As of now, FAU-G is only playable on Android, although lower-end Android phone users will have to wait after the January 26 release to try out the game.
This week, FAU-G, an Indian-made PUBG Mobile alternative, racked up over four million pre-registrations on the Google Play Store. FAU-G was developed by nCore Games in collaboration with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. Vishal Gondal, co-founder and chairman of nCore Games, confirmed the four million pre-registrations to IGN India. He said that the tally doesn't account for the low-end devices being allowed to register. As of now, FAU-G is only playable on Android, although lower-end Android phone users will have to wait after the January 26 release to try out the game.
MediaTek also announced two new 5G chips in the form of the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100. Both Dimensity chips are built around the 6nm process. MediaTek claims that the new 6nm chips will come with “unrivalled AI, camera, and multimedia features for powerful 5G experiences.” Realme will be among the first OEMs to launch a phone with the new Dimensity 1200 chip, with Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo set to follow suit.
MediaTek also announced two new 5G chips in the form of the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100. Both Dimensity chips are built around the 6nm process. MediaTek claims that the new 6nm chips will come with “unrivalled AI, camera, and multimedia features for powerful 5G experiences.” Realme will be among the first OEMs to launch a phone with the new Dimensity 1200 chip, with Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo set to follow suit.
Netflix’s global subscribers crossed 200 million at the end of 2020 and projected it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its broad slate of TV shows and movies. Shares of Netflix rose nearly 13% in extended trading. The world's largest streaming service had raised $15 billion through debt in less than a decade. Netflix said it will explore returning excess cash to shareholders via share buybacks. It plans to maintain $10 billion to $15 billion in gross debt.
Netflix’s global subscribers crossed 200 million at the end of 2020 and projected it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its broad slate of TV shows and movies. Shares of Netflix rose nearly 13% in extended trading. The world's largest streaming service had raised $15 billion through debt in less than a decade. Netflix said it will explore returning excess cash to shareholders via share buybacks. It plans to maintain $10 billion to $15 billion in gross debt.
YouTube is finally ready to embrace platform navigation through hashtags. This week, Google completed the rollout of landing pages that organize videos using metadata tags. Now, if you click on specific hashtag on the mobile or desktop version of the YouTube app, you will be directed to a new dedicated page that contains the videos with that hashtag, “which are sorted to keep the best videos at the top.”
YouTube is finally ready to embrace platform navigation through hashtags. This week, Google completed the rollout of landing pages that organize videos using metadata tags. Now, if you click on a specific hashtag on the mobile or desktop version of the YouTube app, you will be directed to a new dedicated page that contains the videos with that hashtag, “which are sorted to keep the best videos at the top.”
Vi (Vodafone Idea) has partnered with MFine to help users connect with doctors and hospitals at no extra charge, right from their homes. Vi users will be able to leverage the first AI-powered healthcare platform in India by connecting with over 4,000 doctors and 600 partner hospitals. Apart from getting instant chats, Vi users can also go on video calls with doctors. The company believes that the partnership will transform the way the healthcare industry in India operates.
Vi (Vodafone Idea) has partnered with MFine to help users connect with doctors and hospitals at no extra charge, right from their homes. Vi users will be able to leverage the first AI-powered healthcare platform in India by connecting with over 4,000 doctors and 600 partner hospitals. Apart from getting instant chats, Vi users can also go on video calls with doctors. The company believes that the partnership will transform the way the healthcare industry in India operates.
Carlsen Martin

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