Hashtag Trending, May 13, 2021-to-fire’; new Google data centre in Quebec

Hashtag Trending, May 13, 2021-to-fire’; new Google data centre in Quebec thumbnail

Chinese tech company Xiaomi is no longer on the U.S. trade ban list, Amazon is accused of hiring and firing workers to meet a turnover quota, and Google is building a new data centre in Quebec.

It’s all the tech news that’s got people buzzing right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, May 13 and I’m your host Alex Coop.

The U.S. Department of Defense will remove Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from a trade ban list, once again allowing Americans to invest in the company. The DoD instated the ban in January after it alleged Xiaomi of having ties with China’s military. The company denied the accusations, calling the trade ban unconstitutional and sued the U.S. government in response. The ban was halted in March after a federal judge found its process to be “deeply flawed”, and it was fully lifted today.

Some Amazon managers say they ‘hire to fire’ people just to meet the internal turnover goal every year from technology

Speaking of accusations, Amazon has been accused of pulling a “hire-to-fire”, a practice in which a company hires, then fires, a portion of its employees every year to meet a quota. In a statement to Business Insider, an Amazon spokesperson denied that the company endorses such practices and that it does not use the term “hire-to-fire”. But an internal document obtained by Business insider showed that Amazon’s senior leadership closely tracks its turnover goals. This includes Andy Jassy, Amazon’s upcoming CEO. The document showed that Jassy is expected to replace six per cent of his division through “unregretted” departures on a seemingly annual basis. Managers can also randomly select employees to place into performance coaching programs called Focus and Pivot, often with vague expectations. If the employee fails to meet the objective, they can be ushered out the door.

Our final story is more cheery. Google is dropping $735 million into a new data centre in southwestern Quebec. Once operational, the data centre is expected to hire 20 to 30 talents in skilled roles. The investment is a part of Google’s big picture to invest in Quebec and to increase sustainability. The company entered the province with a Montreal office in 2004 and expanded into a second office in 2020. Additionally, Google said its investment in Quebec will be important in its journey to achieve its sustainability goals, which includes running the entire business on clean energy 24/7.

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. I’m Alex Coop, thank you for listening.

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