Hashtag Trending – Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion megacity, Uber introduces new fees for long trips

Saudi Arabia is planning a $500 billion megacity, Uber is charging extra for long trips, and Huawei has shipped a ridiculous number of smartphones so far this year.

From Reddit, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced plans to build a new city on the Red Sea coast that will operate independently from the existing governmental framework. The Saudi government is putting up more than $500 billion dollars for this project, called NEOM, which will be completely powered by clean energy and have no room for the traditional Saudi lifestyle. Promotional videos show women jogging free of head coverings and working alongside men in public. The ambitious plan includes a bridge spanning the Red Sea to connect it with Egypt and the rest of Africa, and it’s already chosen an area of approximately 26,000 square kilometres for the development.

From Facebook, Uber is adding new fees to sweeten the pot for drivers who may be reluctant to drive longer distances for out of the way pickups. The company has acknowledged that some trips, especially out to rural or suburban areas, are not fair for the driver from a compensation point of view. Riders will see these extra pickup fees as part of their upfront fare on trips on the app. Uber’s algorithm will essentially guess how long it will take for your driver to get to your location, then charge you based on that. One example Uber provided The Verge was an extra charge of $5.77 for a 4.2-mile pickup that took 11.2 minutes of driving. Specifics of where and when this will be rolled out first have not been released yet.

And finally from Google, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has managed to ship over 100 million smartphones in the first three quarters of 2017, which translates to a 19 per cent year over year increase. Huawei’s incredible performance this year has seen it surpass Apple as the second largest smartphone vendor in the world, and with reports that Apple may on ship half the number of iPhone X devices this year than it expected thanks to complications with face authentication, Huawei may actually hang on to that title. The company aims to introduce more mid-range and premium products going forward.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacshttp://www.itwc.ca
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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