Global Marketing News – 10th November 2015
Sogou sues rival Baidu for patent infringement
The Chinese internet company Sogou has sued its rival Baidu for patent infringement after accusing the latter of lifting elements from its input method editor (IME) without permission.
The IME allows users to type in Latin characters and have these transcribed into Mandarin Chinese characters.
If the court case against Baidu is successful, the search giant will be ordered to pay Sogou 80 million Yuan, equivalent to just over 12.5 million US dollars.
Commentators have noted the fact that Sogou’s press release detailing the case is written in English, implying that the move is as much a warning to foreign competitors thinking of entering the Chinese market not to lift elements of its software as it is about getting compensation from Baidu.
Naver enters into partnership with France
The South Korean internet giant Naver has entered into a partnership with France.
Under the agreement, Naver will promote French culture, lifestyle, events, tourism, language, education and economy in 2016, dubbed “The Year of France in Korea”.
In addition, French films and musicians will be promoted on Naver’s TV Cast and Music platforms to help actively introduce them to a Korean audience.
Naver will also share its digital expertise with the French government to help teach them how to digitise their cultural heritage.
Naver has also said it will invest in relevant, promising French start-ups.
Naver is the biggest internet company in South Korea. It is most well-known for its search engine of the same name, which accounts for around three-quarters of the search engine market in the country.
Skyscanner creates voice search engine for Alexa
The travel company Skyscanner has created a voice-based search engine that will be integrated into Alexa, also known as Amazon Echo, a search service offered by Amazon.
Users will be able to talk to Alexa to research flight travel routes. Alexa will ask the user questions in a conversational format, allowing the search engine to filter travel routes to find the best route for the user.
Skyscanner says it is the first travel company to develop a search engine that can be integrated into Alexa.
A spokesperson from Skyscanner commented on the development, saying: “Voice integration is an important feature for the travel industry, and the digital world in general. Conversational integration is appearing in everything from wearables to cars to mobile apps, reinforcing that conversation and messaging are fast becoming mainstream.”
Viettel launches internet and mobile services in Tanzania
The Vietnamese mobile operator Viettel has entered the Tanzanian market, launching broadband internet and mobile services in the country.
Over the last year it has been building the necessary infrastructure, laying down 18,000km of cables.
The infrastructure covers both urban and rural areas and means that 81% of Tanzanians now live in areas that have internet connectivity.
The rollout includes 1,500 villages that did not have access to the internet previously.
Viettel has said it hopes the internet and mobile rollout will help empower Tanzanians, saying: “Our entry into Tanzania reflects our belief that when telecommunications services are accessible to everyone, and become a part of everyday life, they can be a driving force contributing to socio-economic development for the country as a whole.”
This is not Viettel’s first entry in the African continent. Earlier this year it also launched mobile and internet services in Burundi, Cameroon and Mozambique.
Which European countries spend the most online?
And finally, research by Expert Market has revealed which countries in Europe spend the most money on online shops.
The study looked at the average amount a money users spent online in different countries.
It found that Norwegians spent the most online, with the average user spending 2,448 US dollars on ecommerce sites per year.
Denmark took second place, followed by the UK, Switzerland and Finland, with average users from these countries spending between 1,744 and 1,548 US dollars online.
Serbia came at the bottom of the table, with the average user spending just 105 US dollars on ecommerce sites per year. Other Eastern European countries were also near the bottom of the table, with Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Croatia only spending marginally more.
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