Global Marketing News – 18th September 2015
China excluded from Rocket Internet’s Asian expansion
Rocket Internet has pledged to create a new business every three months in Asia, but is purposefully avoiding China.
Rocket Internet is famous for helping to launch internet-related companies in new markets based on proven business models.
On its website it states that its aims is to become the biggest internet platform outside of China and America, choosing to focus on markets where it can have an advantage and which have fewer barriers to entry.
It has typically struggled in Asia, having previously seen failures when attempting to launch an online discounts start-up in China and a taxi-hailing start-up in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Rocket Internet’s fresh push into Asia comes as smartphone penetration rises in Asia and as it enters into a partnership with the Qatari telecoms company Ooredoo.
Ooredoo is currently building mobile networks in Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Pakistan, and Rocket Internet aims to develop ecommerce apps for these regions to encourage people to use the networks.
Cross-border ecommerce payments platform for China and Russia launches
The Mozido-owned company PayEase has launched a cross-border ecommerce payments platform for China and Russia.
The payments platform, called TradeEase, aims to help facilitate B2C trade between the two countries.
Retailers from both countries will be able to put their products either on the ecommerce site or in a physical store, with TradeEase handling the payment.
The platform aims to have 800 Chinese online shops and 1 million Russian consumers by the end of the year. It has not released details of how many Russian online shops and Chinese consumers it hopes to attract.
Russia and China have a blossoming trade relationship. Russia’s cross-border ecommerce market is currently worth 5 billion US dollars and grew at a rate of 70% last year.
Earlier this year, the Russian ecommerce site Ozon entered China, and the Chinese ecommerce sites Alibaba and JD moved into the Russian market.
Cambodia cracks down on internet freedom with “online crimes” department
The Cambodian government has set up a department to deal with “online crimes”, leading to a backlash from human rights groups who say it is a government attempt to crack down on freedom of speech.
The Cambodian government insists the laws will be used to crack down on hacking, threats to national security, the incitement of criminal activity, and offensive language.
Human rights groups and opposition politicians however say it amounts to censorship.
A spokesperson from the Cambodian human rights group Licadho said: “The government intends to control and restrict those who wish to criticize the current government. Many Cambodians dare to criticize the government through social networks, especially Facebook.”
An opposition politician also spoke out against the new department, saying: “I’m afraid this is a systematic crackdown on opinion.”
Mobile growing fast in Middle East and Africa
The Middle East and Africa are two of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, according to research by Emarketer.
An estimated 606 million people in the region currently have a mobile phone, equivalent to 43% of the population.
This is expected to rise to 789 million people within 4 years, equivalent to 51%.
There is quite large regional variation, however. In the United Arab Emirates, for example, around 80% of the population already has a mobile, compared to less than 40% in Nigeria.
The majority of mobile devices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are smartphones and tablets, with wealthy young people and people upgrading from feature phones to a cheap smartphones being the driving forces behind smartphone uptake.
Tiny South American country in big row with Google Maps
And finally, the tiny South American country of Guyana has found itself in the middle of row over place names with Google Maps.
An English-speaking area, with English road names, is shown on Google Maps with Spanish road names.
This has caused controversy because it is in an area that is being disputed by its Spanish-speaking neighbour Venezuela.
Locals have interpreted the Spanish Google street names to mean that the search giant is supporting Venezuela’s claim to the land and ignoring Guyana’s sovereignty.
The Guyanese government has asked Google to correct the street names. Google has not yet commented on the issue.
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