Global Marketing News – 10th May 2016
The Chinese internet company Qihoo 360 has suspended all medical marketing on its sites.
The decision comes during an investigation into Baidu, which began with accusations of false medical advertising aimed at the search engine following the death of a Chinese student.
Qihoo has since announced that it is to remove its medical adverts until the investigation is completed, and said that it realises that “as long as online promotion for the medical industry exists, it is not possible to eliminate the harm that users could encounter”.
This all comes as part of the fallout of the death of Wei Zexi, who died after experimental treatments he found on Baidu failed to treat his cancer.
After his death, the Chinese police begun an investigation into Baidu’s accountability, which appears to have been the catalyst for Qihoo’s recent decision.
The smartphone industry in India is projecting that smartphone penetration will reach over 500 million users within the next three years.
However, whilst the number currently sits at 350 million users, the Indian Communication and IT manager Ravi Shankar Prasad expects the country to reach its target of 500 million by as soon as the end of this year.
Research firm CMR announced that in Q1 this year, 23.4 million smartphones were shipped in India, with a forecasted 130 million due to be shipped by the start 2017.
Prasad said that the accelerated surge in sales was due to people becoming more digitally literate, enabling them to make video calls to friends or family in distant parts of the country, a trend he said the government would like to push.
According to Twitter, Latin American use of the social media site has increased year on year, yet again.
The country with the highest user base is Brazil, with over 40 million users, followed by Mexico with 35 million.
However, growth does appear to be slowing.
In a separate report from eMarketer, while Twitter user growth was 41.1% in 2014, it decreased to 15% and then 12% in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
This growth is expected to begin to plateau, with a predicted increase in users of 6.3% across Latin America in 2020.
However, the increase in user base is forecasted to decrease even more in places like Mexico, which by 2020 is only expected to see growth of 3.5%.
Smartphone penetration is on the rise in Qatar, directly effecting the way people in the country get information.
In a survey conducted by the Northwestern University in Qatar, it was shown that more people in the country are getting their news online than are getting it through a print newspaper, with 42% of the population now reading news digitally.
It also showed the extent to which people are shifting from television to online video in the region, after daily TV viewing figures dropped 16% in Saudi Arabia and 21% in Qatar.
The survey also covered the issue of online censoring, asking participants who they thought was responsible for blocking ‘objectionable’ content, an issue which split all countries in the Middle East.
More nationals in Qatar believe it is the government’s job to block content, while in the surrounding countries of the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Tunisia, the majority believe it is down to the user to avoid bad content.
And finally, it has been announced that when Chinese students take their university entrance exams next year, they will be joined by a robot!
The government-funded AI project will take the country’s notoriously difficult gaokao test, along with nearly 10 million Chinese students.
The AI, which has been called the “Gaokao Robot”, will take the Language, Maths and Culture tests with the aim of scoring highly enough to meet the requirements for university.
It is reported that the machine will be able to read and understand questions, as well as using common sense and use outside knowledge.
Built under China’s 863 program, the robot’s best score so far has been 115 out of 150 on a maths test.
However, the builders of the AI believe that by the middle of next year, when it will sit the test, it will be good to take part in the top-tier maths exam.
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