By the London technology team
Migration quango says UK tech hurt by immigration rules
Just as the Conservatives missed their immigration target (by 200,000), the Migration Advisory Committee said that UK tech start-ups and scale-up can’t get the staff so more should be done to attract foreign cyber-security specialists, developers and data scientists to the UK.
This is politically awkward for the Conservatives who talk tough on immigration, but also want to support a sector that has openly stated that current immigration policies hamper growth. However, with such a charged debate around immigration, there is little chance of parties speaking up and pointing out that some of Britain’s most promising companies are being held back by immigration and visa rules.
Two billion people now use smartphones
The astonishing news broke this week that over two billion people are now using smartphones, according to Strategy Analytics research. To put that into context, this equates to 30% of a global population of approximately seven billion.
The news, whilst impressive, is perhaps unsurprising as smartphones have increasingly become the hub by which people run their lives. From WhatsApp-ing to the casual game of Candy Crush Saga, it at times seems that there are more members of the public looking at their phones on the street than not.
Smartphone manufacturers and telcos will no doubt welcome the news, but the pressure will remain on them to ensure that they continue to release devices with improved functionality in order to encourage users to upgrade their handsets.
Mary Lennighan wrote about the story for Total Telecom.
Western tech faces Chinese wall
China barred several western technology providers from selling their wares to the finance sector this week, prompting a fierce backlash from firms already fed up with the bewildering rules that come with operating in China. To many, this blacklisting is pure protectionism whilst others attribute it to cyber-security concerns or retaliation after the US did something similar.
Tech vendors are desperate to succeed in China given its rising wealth and potential sales volumes, but often have to face insurmountable red-tape and conditions to get to market. Business groups have already claimed these hoops are artificial and breach international trade laws, with the European Commission promising to raise the issue with Chinese counterparts.
Paul Carsten broke the news for Reuters.