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Hashtag Trending, July 8 – WeChat drops LGBTQ content; Pentagon’s Microsoft deal fizzles; The Canadian Sector’s explosion

Script prepared by Jori Negin-Shecter.

Chinese social media giant WeChat is shutting down LGBTQ accounts, the Pentagon has cancelled a defence deal with Microsoft, and the Canadian tech sector is booming, but is it for real?

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, July 8 and I’m your host Tom Li.

China’s largest social media app WeChat has been deleting accounts related to LGBTQ topics according to an article from The Associated Press. The social media powerhouse reportedly notified the owners of these accounts that they had “violated rules” but gave no further details after the sweeping ban on Tuesday evening. AP reported further that it was unclear if Chinese authorities had been responsible for the ban, however, the move comes during a period of increasingly strict attitudes on LGBTQ topics, as well as efforts to tighten political control from Beijing. Despite this, Homosexuality has been decriminalized in China since 1997. WeChat is operated by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, a group that owns stakes in several other high-profile ventures including video game giant Epic Games and social media website Discord.

The Pentagon has cut ties with Microsoft on a disputed cloud-computing contract worth more than $10 billion USD. In a statement, the Pentagon explained that due to an evolving and shifting technology landscape the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, or JEDI for short, no longer met the requirements to fill the Department of Defence’s capability gaps due to frequent delays. The move by the Pentagon is also notable due to the numerous legal challenges from Amazon on the original JEDI contract. Amazon argued that the original deal was heavily influenced by then-President Donald Trump’s disdain for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The Pentagon says that they plan to replace the program with a new cloud computing program that will see involvement from both Amazon and Microsoft, as well potentially including other large cloud service providers like Google and IBM.

And finally, the Globe and Mail has released a glowing report of the Canadian tech sector, praising its growth over the last calendar year and the positive signs going forward. The piece details that Canadian companies are pacing to shatter the inflation-adjusted record for venture capital funding in 2021, with COVID-related surges in technological adoption helping lead the charge within the sector. The report expands further, noting that many Canadian companies have also taken the opportunity to scale up in recent years, moving away from the tendency to sell out to larger firms earlier on in their life cycles as they had done in the past. One expert quoted in the article explained that the Canadian market has been trending in the right direction over the last several years, and that “Every part of the ecosystem is a lot stronger” than it was a decade ago.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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