Three news to start your week: May 6

Stay informed with three key news updates: Meta faces EU investigation, Ericsson warns of overregulation in Europe, and China relocates forced laborers amidst US scrutiny.

Three news to start your week: May 6

Meta faces EU investigation over election disinformation

(The New York Times)

The European Union has launched a rigorous investigation into Meta, an American tech giant, for disseminating false information on Facebook and Instagram. The focus of this probe is the company's alleged mishandling of misleading advertisements and potential negligence in safeguarding the integrity of elections.

EU officials criticized Meta for not having enough protections to prevent misleading ads, deepfakes, and other deceptive information from being used to exploit political differences and influence online elections.

This development places significant pressure on Meta to implement more stringent measures ahead of the upcoming summer elections in the 27 EU countries, which will determine new members of the European Parliament. The voting period, scheduled for June 6-9, is under intense scrutiny for any signs of foreign interference, particularly from Russia. 

The Meta investigation underscores the more assertive approach taken by European regulators in regulating online content compared to authorities in the United States, where considerations for free speech and other legal protections limit the government's role in overseeing online discourse.


Ericsson chief says overregulation 'driving Europe to irrelevance'

(Financial Times)

The CEO of Ericsson, Börje Ekholm, has issued a stark warning, stating that Europe's preoccupation with regulation is driving the region towards irrelevance. He further cautioned that the region's competitiveness is being severely compromised and called for immediate changes in antitrust policy.

Ekholm stated in an interview with the Financial Times that Europe is lagging in various aspects of digital infrastructure, putting it at risk.

He said that Europe's focus on regulation is making it less competitive and relevant. He believed it was on the way to becoming a place known for its cultural and natural beauty but with no industry left.


China's moving forced laborers amid US crackdown: Biden official

(The Wall Street Journal)

A Biden administration official has revealed that there is a growing number of forced laborers being transferred from China's Xinjiang region to other parts of the country. This poses a significant challenge to corporate efforts to comply with the US supply-chain crackdown. The deputy undersecretary for international affairs at the US Labor Department, Thea Lee, highlighted that China is increasingly relocating Uyghur forced laborers and other minorities from Xinjiang to work in different regions of the country.

While Lee did not specify the exact destinations of these workers, investigations by nonprofit journalist groups have uncovered instances of them being sent to various locations, including seafood-processing plants throughout the country. These developments are unfolding against the backdrop of the US government's ongoing efforts to enforce a ban on the import of most goods with ties to Xinjiang, which was enacted due to concerns about forced labor.