Hashtag Trending – Google workers form union; BlackBerry soars; Wattpad acquisition

Google workers form a global union alliance, Blackberry stocks are soaring, and Wattpad gets acquired for international growth.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, January 26, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

Google workers to form global union alliance from technology

Google workers worldwide will be forming a global union alliance. The Alpha Global alliance, formed in coordination with the UNI Global Union, emerges after more than 200 workers recently formed a labour union in US and Canadian offices. The UNI represents roughly 20 million workers globally from the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK. UNI’s General Secretary Christy Hoffman said, “The problems at Alphabet – and created by Alphabet – are not limited to any one country, and must be addressed on a global level.”


Guess who’s back and soaring high on the stock market? Blackberry.  The Canadian tech giant’s shares are up 20% to its highest point since 2011. How you ask? According to reports its mainly investor enthusiasm and not major changes to the company. Small pieces of good news in the past weeks include a deal with Amazon to work on a connected cloud software program for cars. In January, it also settled a patent fight with Facebook. BlackBerry has firmly left the smartphone business behind, and is instead focused on securing them, as well as the thousands of sensors that are connecting to the internet. Its QNX software platform, for example, is already running in more than 175 million cars. Experts couldn’t really explain the sudden surge but Reddit boards are contributing to the investor hype. People are clearly seeing potential in the Waterloo-born success story.


Also, stop if you’ve heard this before – a company from another country is scooping up one of our startups! It would be nice to see it the other way around sometimes. Anyway, South Korean internet company Naver is acquiring Canada’s Wattpad in a deal worth more than a whopping $758 million. The Toronto-based social storytelling platform will continue to have its Canadian headquarters and operate independently – which is great to hear – but the new acquisition will amp up international growth. Wattpad’s success has been recognized as one of Canada’s largest global consumer internet brands,  according to the The Globe and Mail, as some self-published titles have caught the attention of Netflix and Hulu. [LinkedIn]

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. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.

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