Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wal-Mart to invest $50 million in China online grocer New Dada

A Walmart store is seen in Encinitas, California April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Wal-Mart Stores Inc will invest $50 million in Chinese online grocery and delivery firm New Dada, the U.S. retailer said on Friday, extending its tie-ups with local online players to help boost sales in the world's second-largest economy.

Wal-Mart shifted its China strategy earlier this year when it sold its own online platform Yihaodian in exchange for a stake in local e-commerce giant Inc. New Dada is a joint venture part-owned by

The investment in New Dada will help Wal-Mart target Chinese shoppers with faster delivery times in a popular but fiercely competitive online grocery market. New Dada has over 25 million registered customers and delivers in over 300 Chinese cities.

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Stephen Coates)
This article was first seen on Reuters

Friday, October 21, 2016

Can Airbnb’s Business Model Survive?

A 3D printed people's models are seen in front of a displayed Airbnb logo in this illustration taken, June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
By Heather Somerville and Tina Bellon | SAN FRANCISCO/BERLIN
Airbnb, the online lodging service that investors now believe is worth $30 billion, faces a reckoning.

In eight years of torrid growth, the company has often clashed with local public officials seeking to minimize the impact of short-term rentals on neighborhoods and urban housing markets. Now, those simmering tensions are starting to boil.

The New York state legislature has passed regulations that Airbnb says could seriously damage its business in New York City, the company's largest U.S. market; Governor Andrew Cuomo has until Oct. 29 to decide whether it will become law. The German capital of Berlin recently passed a law banning most short-term rentals, and Barcelona and Amsterdam are imposing steep fines for listings that violate laws there.

Ground zero for Airbnb’s fight against tightening regulations is its home of San Francisco, where the company has sued to block a new requirement that it reject booking fees from property owners who have not registered with the city.

The case is a crucial test of Airbnb’s business model. The company argues it cannot legally be held responsible for how landlords use its platform. If it is required to enforce local laws on short-term rentals, that could drastically reduce listings - and revenue - in some of its biggest markets.

Other cities looking to rein in Airbnb are watching the proceedings and looking to the city's law as a potential model, said James Emery, deputy city attorney of San Francisco.

"Throughout the country, people representing cities have called me to ask what's going on with the litigation," he said.

Airbnb's legal argument relies on a 20-year-old statute designed to protect free speech online, known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The company asserts in its lawsuit that San Francisco "impermissibly treats Airbnb as the publisher or speaker of third-party content" when it is merely a platform for communications between property owners and guests.

Other online marketplaces - such as Amazon (AMZN.O), eBay (EBAY.O), and Craigslist – have cited the same law to shield themselves from liability for any improper transactions among users of their services.

In the San Francisco case, U.S. District Judge James Donato said at an Oct. 6 hearing he wasn't "seeing the link" between free speech protections and San Francisco's short-term rental regulations. Donato is expected to issue a ruling soon.

Airbnb has also sued the Southern California city of Anaheim, home to the Disneyland theme park, and the nearby beach city of Santa Monica, over regulations that the company contends are illegal.


Airbnb takes a cut of the revenue when a room or a home is booked and charges a service fee to guests. The company says it helps communities by enabling middle-class families to make extra money.

It also points to agreements with officials in nearly 200 locales around the world, mostly for tax collection and in some cases for broader short-term rental regulation.

Critics counter that, in popular tourist destinations, Airbnb takes affordable housing off the market, drives up home prices and disrupts neighborhoods with streams of transient visitors.

As regulatory threats loom, Airbnb on Wednesday announced it would create an online registration system for property owners and automate the enforcement of Airbnb's existing rules in New York and San Francisco, which limit operators to a single listing of an entire residence.

New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, sponsor of the New York legislation, was unimpressed by Airbnb’s announcement.

"It's preposterous. Maybe half their listings are illegal" in New York City, she said. "It's part-and-parcel of the business model.”

Existing New York state law bars most urban apartment-dwellers from renting out their units for less than 30 days if they are not present.

The law recently passed by the state legislature would bar even advertising a rental that violates that existing law, which could help regulators crack down on Airbnb itself in addition to the users of its service.

Airbnb has said it will sue New York state if the governor enacts the law. The company said it has taken down nearly 3,000 illegal listings in New York City over the past year, and reports 44,622 total listings in the city as of Sept. 1.


In Berlin, Airbnb is fighting a city demand that it turn over information to help enforce a new law imposing fines of up $110,000 on people renting out more than 50 percent of their homes for less than two months - among the strictest regulations worldwide.

Airbnb is "confident it would find a favorable agreement" with the city," said Peter Huntingford, Airbnb head of public affairs for Europe.

But with the city intent on collecting data and Airbnb intent on refusing, another legal battle looms.

"If Airbnb intends to risk a trial, we are prepared to walk down that path,” said Martin Pallgen, a Berlin Senate spokesman.
In Barcelona, Airbnb's third-largest market in Europe, the city is imposing fines that exceed $65,000 for listings without proper licenses. Amsterdam city officials in April started scraping data from Airbnb and other short-term rental websites to root out illegal hosts because Airbnb will not turn over details on violators.

In its Wednesday announcement, Airbnb put forward what the company's head of global policy and public affairs, Chris Lehane, called a "comprehensive regulatory strategy" targeted at "rooting out bad actors."

But the new proposals stopped short of any commitments to share information or enforce bans on short-term rental operators, which many cities say is crucial for effective regulation.

Critics contend that a large portion of Airbnb listings are offered by commercial operators with multiple properties who are essentially running illegal hotels. The company, they argue, has effectively turned many residential neighborhoods into tourist zones.

In Los Angeles, a study by the pro-labor Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy found that property owners with two or more listings generated 44 percent of all Airbnb revenue in Los Angeles.

Airbnb, in a statement, disputed that conclusion and called the group's analysis "misleading."

In New York City, the state Attorney General found that, between 2010 and 2014, more than 300,000 Airbnb reservations violated the law, representing about $304 million in booking revenue, with about $40 million of that going to Airbnb.

Public officials need to prioritize the rights of full-time residents over landlords and visitors, said Rosenthal, the New York Assemblywoman.

"I represent New Yorkers," she said. "I don't represent tourists, and my responsibility is not to protect their cheap deal at the expense of New Yorkers."

(Reporting by Heather Somerville in San Fancisco and Tina Bellon in Berlin. Additional reporting by Dan Levine.; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Brian Thevenot)
This article was first seen on Reuters

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Yahoo profit beats Wall St., some analysts worry over effect of hack

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer delivers her keynote address at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in this January 7, 2014, file photo. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files
By Deborah M. Todd | SAN FRANCISCO
Yahoo Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit on Tuesday, a boost for the beleaguered company whose deal to sell its core business to Verizon Communications Inc has been shaken by a massive data breach.

Verizon's general counsel said last week that the hack, which affected at least 500 million email accounts in 2014, could have a material impact, possibly allowing Verizon to withdraw from the $4.83 billion deal.

Tuesday's results provided at least an initial indication that the data breach has not led to a quick exodus of Yahoo customers, as some had feared. Customer trends showed growth in pageviews and email usage, Yahoo said.

Still, analysts were split on whether the results dispelled doubts about the deal going through. Yahoo said in a filing with securities regulators shortly before the breach was disclosed that it knew of no cyber risks, raising questions about whether Verizon was informed of the breach in a timely fashion.

JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said it was too early to tell if the breach would cause lasting damage, and called customer trends "encouraging."

"The message here is email and messaging is a very sticky product and people want to get to their messages," said Josey.

But Fatemeh Khatibloo, a security analyst with Forrester Research, said the uptick in pageviews and email usage could be the result of "500 million people trying to figure out if they're exposed."

Any loss of users in the future, lawsuits related to the breach and a pending Federal Communications Commission vote that could limit how telecommunications companies can use customer data may encourage Verizon to try and back out of the deal, said Khatibloo.

However, Scott Kessler, an analyst with CFRA Research, said the fact that Yahoo did not see an immediate decline in users was a sign the breach may not be a material adverse change that would affect the Verizon deal.

"The bottom line here is from a fundamental operational and financial perspective, it doesn't seem like much has changed at the company over the last quarter," he said.

Legal experts have said Verizon would have to clear a high hurdle to prove that the breach amounted to a material adverse change that would allow it to pull out of the deal.


Another positive sign for Yahoo was that revenue from Mavens - the mobile, video, native and social advertising units that Chief Executive Marissa Mayer touts as its emerging businesses - rose 24.2 percent to $524 million.

Still, the business showed continuing declines in major revenue categories. Gross search revenue fell 14.1 percent to $752.5 million.

Total revenue rose 6.5 percent to $1.31 billion, just beating the average analyst estimate of $1.30 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. But after deducting fees paid to partner websites, revenue fell to $857.7 million from $1 billion.

Yahoo said on Friday it would not hold a call or webcast after the release of the results, citing the Verizon deal.

Analysts at Needham & Co said in a note on Tuesday that decision troubled them, given doubts cast over the Verizon deal by the data hack, and they cut their rating on Yahoo to 'hold' from 'buy'.
Yahoo's shares were up about 1.3 percent in extended trading after the close on Tuesday.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, net income attributable to Yahoo rose to $162.8 million, or 17 cents per share, from $76.3 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding some items, the company earned 20 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate of 14 cents.

Verizon plans to combine Yahoo's search, email and messenger assets as well as advertising technology tools with its AOL unit, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion.

The deal would transform Yahoo into a holding company, with a 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a 35.5 percent interest in Yahoo Japan Corp as well as Yahoo's convertible notes, certain minority investments and its non-core patents.

The deal is expected to close in early 2017, after which Yahoo plans to change its name and become a publicly traded investment company.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian, Jonathan Weber and Bill Rigby)
This article was first seen on Reuters

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mobile Phone Manufacturing Companies in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a country where every impossible is possible. Think about the telecommunication industry. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing country recognized across the world in case of mobi technology.
According to the telecoms regulators, the number of mobile subscribers was a little over 130.8 million by the end of 2016, as per the sale of SIM cards.
According to BTRC data, Bangladesh had 130 million mobile users.So you just again think about the possibility I think.
However due to this telecommunication revolution In Bangladesh there are many mobile phone manufacturing companies already peeped. Below mentioned are the top mobile phone manufacturing companies in Bangladesh.

Symphony Mobile:
It's kinda Mostly used mobile handset in Bangladesh. Whenever you will travel in any place in Bangladesh you will definitely hear a common ringtone and it's about symphony’s ring tone I can assure you. Symphony Mobile is a sister concern of EDISON Group. EDISON Group, one of the encouraging and evolving business groups, is founded with the aim of enhancing all aspects of life for the customers with powerful brands, reliable products and services.
Groups first company SB Tel Enterprise Ltd, established in 2005, started mobile phone business under SYMPHONY brand in 2008 providing new experience to the consumers through continuous innovation and product diversification. The brand has been enjoying indisputable leading position in mobile phone industry. Another two supporting businesses – symphony accessories and mobile application (value added service- “Fun Store” powered by MoMagic Bangladesh)- added significant value to the Symphony mobile phone users Since 2011.

Read More:Number of Smart Phone User in Bangladesh

Walton Mobile:

A sister concern of walton group is Walton Mobile. This company started a new dimensional journey in Bangladesh. Experience the best from Walton Smartphone, offers innovative and user-friendly mobile devices with elegant design, premium build quality, superior performance, customizable software with the latest Android operating system, and to bring high-end smartphones & making it affordable for customers.
Walton Smartphone offers a wide variety of services and features that will enrich your mobile using experience.
Walton Mobile nowadays is very popular in other Asian countries Mostly in Nepal, India and so on.

Elite Mobile:

A very young entrepreneur in Bangladesh started the journey of Elite Mobile. Elite Technologies is a new generation lifestyle technology provider in the field of smartphones and telecommunications. By the way his manufacturing set up in China by the way its origin and creation in Bangladesh.
Stay Tune

Tesla, Panasonic to collaborate on solar manufacturing

A man looks around Tesla Motors' Model S P85 at its showroom in Beijing January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo
Elon Musk's Tesla Motors said it would collaborate with its longstanding battery partner, Japan's Panasonic Corp, to manufacture solar cells and panels at a New York factory.

The agreement, a non-binding letter of intent, is contingent on shareholder approval of Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity Corp, the electric car maker said in a statement issued late on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but officials in New York said production would take place at a factory SolarCity is building in Buffalo.

Panasonic is expected to begin production at the Buffalo facility in 2017 and Tesla intends to provide a long-term purchase commitment for those cells.

Tesla said it will use the cells and modules in a solar energy system that will work seamlessly with its energy storage products Powerwall and Powerpack.

Tesla is acquiring SolarCity, in which Musk is also a large shareholder and is run by his first cousins, as part of a strategy to build a clean-energy consumer brand.

Last year, SolarCity said it would manufacture a new kind of solar panel at the plant that would be the most efficient yet at transforming sunlight into electricity.

SolarCity has pledged to spend $5 billion over 10 years on its RiverBend factory in New York in return for $750 million in tax breaks and other investments by the state. The state funding is part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's pledge to spend $1 billion on economic development in the Buffalo region.

A Panasonic spokeswoman in Japan declined to offer details on the collaboration. SolarCity and Tesla did not immediately respond to queries sent to a SolarCity spokeswoman who said she could direct questions to both companies.

Panasonic is already working with the U.S. automaker to supply batteries for the Model 3, Tesla's first mass-market car.
Tesla and SolarCity Corp shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed merger on Nov. 17, and the automaker said it would provide plans for the combined company ahead of the vote.

(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Steve Orlofsky)
This article was first seen on Reuters

Sunday, October 16, 2016

China to launch manned space mission Shenzhou 11 on Monday

Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (L) and Chen Dong wave at a news conference before China launches the Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft, in Jiuquan, China, October 16, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS
By Jake Spring and Meng Meng | BEIJING
China will launch a two-man space mission, Shenzhou 11, on Monday, officials with the space program said, taking the country closer to its ambition of setting up a permanent manned space station by 2022.

President Xi Jinping has called for China to establish itself as a space power, and it has tested anti-satellite missiles, in addition to its civilian aims.

China says its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.

After Monday's launch at 7:30 a.m. (2330 GMT) in the remote northwestern province of Gansu, the astronauts will dock with the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, where they will spend about a month.

"This mission is characterized by its longer duration and more tests," Chen Dong, the junior astronaut on the mission, told reporters in a televised news conference. "We will focus on improving our ability to handle emergencies in orbit, medical first aid, mutual rescue capabilities and space experiments."

Shenzhou 11 will be the third space mission for Jing Haipeng, who will command the mission and pass his 50th birthday in space.

The spacecraft, whose name translates as "Divine Vessel", will also carry three experiments designed by Hong Kong middle school students and selected in a science competition, including one that will take silk worms into space.

China launched its second experimental space lab Tiangong 2, or "Heavenly Palace 2", last month.

While China to date has focused on near-Earth space exploration, future missions will be bigger and go farther than 400 km (249 miles), said Zhang Yulin, an official with the space program and the Central Military Commission.
The country's space program will soon move from exploratory testing to normal operations with the launch of the next space station, Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang as saying.

"Then spacecraft launches won't be like now, one every few years, instead there will be several each year."

(Reporting by Jake Spring and Meng Meng; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
This article was first seen on Reuters

Saturday, October 15, 2016

China signs deals worth billions with Bangladesh as Xi visits

China's President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony for Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko (not in picture) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee
By Ruma Paul | DHAKA
Chinese President Xi Jinping, stepping up a competition with India for regional influence, said on Friday ties with Bangladesh would be enhanced to a strategic partnership as the two countries signed 27 agreements worth billions of dollars.

Xi, making a first trip by a Chinese president to Bangladesh in 30 years, boosted involvement in Bangladeshi infrastructure at a time when Japan has also increased investment in the country located on the Bay of Bengal.

"We agreed to elevate the relations between China and Bangladesh from a closer comprehensive partnership of cooperation to a strategic partnership of cooperation," Xi said after talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

India has long considered Bangladesh as part of its area of influence and under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boosted economic links with it as well as with other neighbors including Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Last year Modi announced a $2 billion credit line during a visit to Dhaka, but China is set to go well beyond that.

Ahead of Xi's visit, Bangladesh junior finance minister M.A. Mannan said the deals the two countries planned to sign would involve Chinese funding of about $24 billion, Dhaka's biggest foreign credit line yet.

Among the agreements sealed on Friday was a 1,320 MW power plant that China will build, officials said.

China's TBEA signed a power grid deal worth $1.6 billion with Dhaka Power, following a pact that Jiangsu Etern's consortium signed on Thursday to strengthen Bangladesh's power grid network valued at $1.1 billion.

"We reached a consensus to work together in trade and investment and other key areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy and power, information technology and transportation," Hasina said.

Xi visited Dhaka en route to a BRICS summit of the world's leading emerging economies in Goa, India.

Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said there was room for both India and China to support development in Bangladesh.

"I really don't think there is a zero sum game going on... Bangladesh welcomes both Chinese and Indian investment," said Zhao.

China is currently Bangladesh's biggest trade partner with annual turnover of around $10 billion which is heavily in favor of Beijing.
"Xi's visit will set a new milestone," minister Mannan told Reuters. "Our infrastructure needs are big, so we need huge loans."

Bangladesh has backed Xi's "One Belt, One Road" initiative to boost trade and transport links across Asia and into Europe, seeing it as an opportunity to lift growth.

India has reservations about the plan, amid worries that it is an attempt to build a vast zone of Chinese influence.

($1 = 78.40 taka)

(Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Mike Collett-White and John Stonestreet)
This article was first seen on Reuters