NewsBytes Briefing: Reliance could back TikTok's business, and more
In the updates since last night, TikTok's parent company ByteDance was reported to have approached Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries for a potential investment in the video service's India business. The companies have been in talks since last month but have not yet reached a deal, which can turn out to be a life-saver for TikTok's currently banned India operations. Here are other major developments.
After a California judge ordered Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as full-time employees rather than contractors, the companies threatened to cease operations in the state. "It's hard to believe we'll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly," Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, noting it would force a shutdown. Both Uber, Lyft plan to appeal the court's decision.
In a major step forward in the race for space, Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace became the first private Indian company to test-fire an upper-stage rocket engine. The milestone comes as the two-year-old start-up moves to test-launch its first rocket by December 2021 and then create a line of 'Vikram' launch vehicles in the years to come.
Apple has released iOS 13.6.1, fixing a major problem reported by iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max users - a green screen tint after unlocking. The issue surfaced more than two months ago after iOS 13.4 update and was related to a "thermal management issue," according to Apple. Notably, the latest update also fixes issues with storage space and the new Exposure Notification framework.
Among other things, Facebook has updated its app to show a warning screen highlighting information about COVID-19-related posts, like its original source and when it was first shared. Dropbox launched its password manager and secure vault for paid users, while Motorola teased a launch event for September 9, where we might see the next-generation of RAZR foldable phone.
On Wednesday, India reported roughly 67,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 23.95 lakh. The death toll crossed 47,000 with over 900 more fatalities. For vaccine, Nature published a study indicating the efficacy of Pfizer's shot, while India's Expert Committee on vaccines discussed the parameters of procuring, manufacturing, and administering the shots to the public.