Netflix cancels its basic plan in Canada, IRL ceases operations, and Shein’s influencer stunt fails to succeed

Welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), a weekly recap of the latest tech news. If you’re new here, sign up to receive WiR in your inbox every Saturday. In this week’s digest, we cover Netflix discontinuing its basic plan in Canada, the shutdown of the social app IRL due to fake users, and the success of the Flipper hacking device. We also discuss Lenovo’s innovative Yoga Book 9i, DeepMind’s new chatbot, and Robinhood’s acquisition of X1. Plus, we touch on Shein’s PR troubles, Databricks’ acquisition of MosaicML, and ChatGPT’s partnership with Bing.

In Canada, Netflix has quietly removed its $9.99 CAD per month basic plan for new subscribers, leaving a gap between the ad-supported and standard plans. Meanwhile, IRL, a social app, shut down after an internal investigation revealed that 95% of its reported 20 million users were bots. Lenovo’s Yoga Book 9i, a dual-screen laptop, impressed many at CES and shows the potential of the dual-screen concept. The Flipper hacking device, which allows users to manipulate various systems, has been a massive success, with the company expecting to sell $80 million worth of products this year.

In other news, Robinhood announced its acquisition of credit card startup X1 for $95 million. Shein, a fashion company planning an IPO, faced criticism for inviting influencers on a curated visit to its Chinese factory as an attempt to rebuild its image. Databricks acquired MosaicML, an open-source startup specializing in neural networks and generative AI tools, for $1.3 billion. And ChatGPT Plus subscribers can now use the chatbot to search Bing for answers to their questions.

Lastly, if you’re looking for some podcast recommendations, check out the latest episodes of Equity, Found, Chain Reaction, and The TechCrunch Podcast. And don’t forget, TechCrunch+ subscribers have access to exclusive commentary, analysis, and surveys.

That’s a wrap for this week’s recap. Stay tuned for more tech news, and make sure to join us at Disrupt 2023 in San Francisco this September! You can save up to $600 on your pass by using promo code WIR. Learn more at the Disrupt website.

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