Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.


  1. Chinese surveillance giants blacklisted by Trump’s administration are set to appear at a major US security trade show. Hikvision and Dahua were blacklisted last year because of their implication in the persecution of the Uighur people in China’s Xinjiang region.
  2. Google is letting its tens of thousands of Bay Area employees work from home due to coronavirus. On Thursday, the tech company emailed employees to tell them that they can work remotely, according to a source familiar with the matter.
  3. Facebook recommends that all Bay Area employees work from home due to coronavirus fears. “The health and safety of our teams, their loved ones and our neighbors remain a top priority,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.
  4. An employee at the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative tested positive for coronavirus. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s charitable organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has now made it mandatory for all employees to work from home.
  5. TikTok has banned the viral ‘skull-breaker’ challenge after injuries to teens trying the stunt on both sides of the Atlantic. The stunt involves two people kicking the legs from underneath a third person, causing them to fall over dangerously.
  6. Former Uber exec Anthony Levandowski has filed for bankruptcy after being ordered to pay $179 million to Google. Levandowski was accused of stealing 14,000 confidential files when he left Google and later worked on self-driving vehicles at Uber.
  7. Google’s DeepMind has shared AI-generated predictions about the coronavirus that could help researchers stem the global outbreak. These predictions were drawn from DeepMind’s new deep learning system but have yet to be experimentally verified, DeepMind noted.
  8. London and Dublin-based venture capital firm Frontline Ventures has unveiled FrontlineX, an $80 million fund. The goal is to help US software firms expand into Europe.
  9. A Twitch streamer was banned after firing a gun during a livestream inside his house. The streamer seemed to accidentally discharge the gun inside his house while making a joke.
  10. Musician Grimes confirmed that Elon Musk is the father of the child she’s expecting in May. Grimes revealed in early January that she was pregnant, but until now, she hadn’t confirmed whether Elon Musk is the father.