Global Marketing News – 20th November 2015
Naver embarks on mobile-only strategy
The leading South Korean search company Naver has announced that it will be entering into a mobile-only strategy, pitching it into direct competition with other mobile-based service giants such as Google and Alibaba.
It will be reorganising all of its services, including its search, live streaming and messaging services, to serve mobile users rather than desktop users, with the aim of creating a better mobile experience.
South Korea has one of the most mature smartphone markets in the world, with a penetration rate of over 100%.
Naver also confirmed that it would be working on expanding some of its services to an international market.
A spokesperson from the tech giant explained why it was moving from a mobile-first to a mobile-only strategy, saying: “A mobile device has become a vital part of our everyday lives, just like a part of the body. We will provide optimised services so that users can find the most meaningful content at the moment, enjoy without delays, and share vivid experiences on the spot in real time with anyone in other regions.”
Qihoo 360 wins court case against rival Sogou
The Chinese tech company Qihoo 360 has won a court case against rival Sogou.
In 2013, Qihoo 360, China’s biggest online security company and the country’s second biggest search engine, said that it had detected serious security issues in rival search engine Sogou, which ranks third in the country.
Sogou denied it had any security issues and sued Qihoo 360 for abusing its dominance in the security market to further its search engine business.
Qihoo 360 appealed this and it is this appeal that has just won in the courts, with the court ruling that Sogou really did have security issues and Qihoo 360 was simply stating a fact rather than dishonestly trying to damage the reputation of its competitor.
Such allegations and counter-allegations may seem shocking to people outside of China, but these practices are fairly commonplace within the country, where the internet has been referred to both as “the Wild West” and a censorship blackspot.
Social media has big impact on travel decisions
Research by VisitBritain has found that almost 70% of travellers are tempted to visit a specific new location if they have looked at holiday pictures of the place taken by friends and family on social media.
The research highlights the importance of social media in the travel industry, with photos by friends and family being joined by online reviews as key factors that help travellers decide whether to visit a location or not.
Three-quarters of those surveyed said they read online reviews before deciding whether to visit a location, with around 20% writing reviews after they’d visited somewhere.
The news comes as separate research by Emarketer found that mobile bookings were becoming more and more popular in the US.
Currently 44% of digital travel bookings in the US take place on a mobile device, but next year this is expected to increase to 52%, making mobile the majority digital travel booking medium.
The rise has been attributed to improved mobile optimisation by travel booking websites, making it simpler and easier for mobile users to book their holidays from their mobile devices.
Digital landscape in Afghanistan revealed
And finally, data from The Asia Foundation has revealed the digital landscape in Afghanistan.
Around 80% of Afghan households contain at least one mobile phone, and around 20% contain at least one person who has access to the internet.
When it comes to how Afghans obtain news and information, radio was the most common method, cited by three-quarters of respondents. Television came in second place at 62%, with mobile phones accounting for 50% and the local mosque accounting for 48%.
The proportion of people using the internet and televisions to find out the news is gradually increasing.
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