D.C. readers: You're invited to Mind the Skills Gap tomorrow at 8am. Join Axios' Kim Hart for a look into the role that policy, business and education leaders play in offsetting the skills gap.
Facebook's reputation took a deep dive over the past year, staggering under an avalanche of controversies, according to the new Axios Harris Poll 100.
Why it matters: Other tech giants, including Google and Apple, have seen their reputations decline as well, notes Axios tech editor Scott Rosenberg. But Facebook's especially steep drop in the new poll suggests that the social network may be uniquely vulnerable to a loss of public confidence.
Flashback: In case you have forgotten, Facebook's annus horribilis included...
The big picture: Facebook has lagged its tech-behemoth brethren from the year it first entered Harris' list in 2013. But the latest rank represents a new low.
Amazon, which fell from the top position to second place in the Harris poll, is coasting serenely above the privacy-controversy maelstrom.
The bottom line: Facebook hasn't suffered too much damage from all of the scrutiny so far — there's no sign that masses of users are deleting their accounts. But the reputational damage could become a problem if it starts having an impact on how much time users spend on Facebook and how much they share.
Go deeper: Check out our full exclusive poll on all 100 companies plus see our methodology here.
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
County officials yesterday laid out the details of the deal giving Amazon incentives to bring its headquarters expansion to the D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia.
Why it matters: A vote by the Arlington County Board on the draft deal approaches amid mounting scrutiny of financial incentives promised for corporate expansions, Axios' David McCabe reports.
The bottom line: The deal includes the expected estimated $23 million in financial incentives — and seems unlikely to quell activist fears that the county is making huge concessions to Amazon, while getting little in return.
The draft deal, first reported by the Washington Post, includes:
The agreement gives no indication that the county will insist Amazon meet demands from critics, like dictating conditions for construction workers on the project or abandoning the work it does for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
The chairman of the Arlington County Board told the Post that the body could still push the company to make concessions — but not in the incentives agreement. (There are also limitations on what the county government can mandate here, he said.)
What's next: The board is expected to vote on the proposal on March 16.
A proposal from the Trump re-election campaign to create a national, wholesale 5G network is drawing criticism from FCC commissioners on both sides of the aisle.
What's happening: On Tuesday, Republican FCC commissioner Brendan Carr joined Democratic colleague Jessica Rosenworcel in speaking out against the plan.
Carr, who's been a leading evangelist for 5G on the commission, wrote an op-ed for the National Review:
“The U.S. won the race to 4G and secured billions of dollars in growth for the U.S. economy by relying on America’s exceptional free market values. We must double down on that winning playbook instead of copying China’s."
Rosenworcel, the senior Democrat on the commission, told Axios that the concern over 5G is a worthy one, but a national network isn't the right way to go.
"There is a worldwide race to 5G and other nations are poised to win," she said. "But this proposed remedy really misses the mark. It’s not the right way forward."
The campaign itself has walked back the plan, suggesting it reflects the personal opinion of campaign chair Brad Parscale.
Why it matters: The agency designated to oversee telecom networks is showing a united front on why this isn’t a workable approach, while at the same time acknowledging the importance of 5G and concerns about China.
An Intel technician in 2000. Photo: Gilles Mingasson/Liaison/Getty
My Axios colleague Kaveh Waddell took a look at the twin challenges facing U.S. chipmakers in the battle for AI supremacy.
Not only do companies like Intel and Nvidia face competition from China, but they are also seeing some of their biggest customers opt to do their own chips, tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon.
Driving the news: In a new policy paper shared first with Axios, Intel is calling on the government to implement a national AI strategy that will position the U.S. to beat upstarts in China and elsewhere.
Background: The semiconductor industry has been flooded with new entrants in the U.S., Europe, and China, each playing for a piece of a new pie that nobody's quite sized up yet.
What Intel wants: The government should unlock its vast stores of data — a move that, while raising thorny privacy questions, is meant to erase China's massive data advantage.
What we're watching: China's rise "hasn't happened yet in the AI market, but it will," Rao says. "I have no doubt."
Go deeper: Kaveh has more here.
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