Zuckerberg Still Rich Despite Drop in Net Worth

27 Sept 2022

Well, that didn't take long. Authorities in London were busy this past week arresting a teenager based in Oxfordshire for their involvement in the recent Uber and Grand Theft Auto VI leaks, the latter taking the internet by storm. One can only assume that the teen's negotiation skills weren't up to par, though whatever the case, this must be a difficult time for the teenager and everyone else involved, not that it absolves the hacker of their crime.

Uber's stock price, like its ranking on HackerNoon, continues to decline in the wake of the hack. The company was down to the #19 spot after seeing a decline of 26.5% in trending interest this past week. 📉

Though what doesn't seem to be in decline is Facebook, which continues to remain at the top of the tech company rankings. Yes, the social media OG is #1 again, who would've thought? A quick Google search of Facebook founder and sometimes human, sometimes (not) lizard Mark Zuckerberg 🦎 shows that Daddy Zuck is in beeg beeg trouble.

Apparently, investors aren't too keen on Zuckerberg's new-found focus on the metaverse, even though the tech entrepreneur is betting his all on the emerging technology — going as far as to rebrand Facebook's corporate name to Meta.

Investors' lukewarm response to Zuckerberg's plans has impacted his personal net worth, which is down by $71 billion, or over 55%, so far this year, Bloomberg News reports. Trouble has been brewing at Meta ever since Zuckerberg announced the company's new direction: Facebook announced a decline in user numbers for the first time in its history; whistleblower Frances Haugen alleged Instagram (also owned by Meta) knew of the negative impact it was having on teenage girls; and Meta reported a decline in its net income during the second quarter of the year.

Despite the drop in his net worth, which is largely derived from a 13% stake in Meta, Zuckerberg is still the 22nd richest person on the planet at the time of writing.

India First 🇮🇳

Outside of the Western Hemisphere, a number of developments are brewing in India as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on foreign tech companies.

The world's largest democracy is pushing smartphone makers to enable compatibility with its home-grown navigation systems — called Navigation with Indian Constellation, or NavIC for short — in new devices sold in the country starting next year. NavIC is designed to rival the widely used U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), and the Indian government says the system provides more accurate domestic navigation and that its use would benefit the economy, according to Reuters.

Insiders tell Reuters that phone manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple, are not happy with the development since it would require hardware changes, resulting in increased costs.

While it's too early to predict how the push will pan out, Apple may have a bargaining chip under its sleeve: the tech giant announced it will begin manufacturing its latest iPhone 14 in India, which would be a big boost for the country of 1.38 billion people. It's highly likely that Apple could use this announcement as a negotiation tool.

Samsung too could use its position as a major phone manufacturer in India to its advantage. But again, this is just speculation.

While Samsung ranked #66 in this week's ranking, Apple stood at the #4 spot.

Gulati says bye-bye 👋

Reuters further reported that Google's head of public policy for India, Archana Gulati, has resigned just five months into her role. While it's not clear why Gulati resigned, the timing couldn't have been more critical: India's competition watchdog is close to announcing its decision on at least two antitrust cases against Google in the country.

Google ranked #3 in this week's ranking.

Intel chip manufacturing comes to the EU 🇪🇺

Intel, which ranked #62 this week, has reportedly narrowed down the preferred location for building chip manufacturing capacity in the EU. According to this report, the company has picked the town of Vigasio in the northeastern Veneto region of Italy for a new multibillion-euro chip factory.

The move is part of a wider plan to invest as much as $77.5 billion to develop building capacity across the EU over the next decade.

Speaking of the EU.. 🇳🇱

Coinbase, which ranked #5 this week, recently announced that it gained regulatory approval in the Netherlands to offer its services to Dutch users. Will this help boost the company's prospects? Only time will tell..

And that's a wrap! Thanks for reading Tech Company Brief Issue #17! If you'd like to see which tech companies are rising and falling in the public consciousness, feel free to head down here. See y'all next week.