Global Marketing News – 26th May 2015
Taiwan orders Taobao to leave the country
Taobao, the arm of Alibaba that deals with consumer-to-consumer ecommerce, has been ordered to end all business in Taiwan and leave the country within the next 6 months.
The company also faces a fine of 240,000 New Taiwan dollars, equivalent to just over £5,000.
The punishments were imposed after the company failed to obtain a permit to practice in Taiwan, a requirement for Chinese businesses wanting to operate in the country.
This is not the first time an Alibaba company has found itself in trouble with the Taiwanese authorities. Earlier this year, Taiwan ordered Alibaba.com to leave the country too as they also failed to obtain a license.
Taobao has released a statement saying it is currently in correspondence with the Taiwanese authorities and that it hopes to find a solution that will allow it to continue serving the Taiwanese market.
Online payments company Strip launches in Japan
The online payments company Stripe has announced that it has launched a private beta version in Japan, with ambitions for a full launch by the end of the year.
Companies can sign up by providing their business addresses and bank account details, and Stripe currently has no plans to restrict the number of companies it will allow to sign up to its private beta version.
Stripe hopes to attract Japanese businesses through its simple user interface and its single fee of 3.6% for all transactions. This single fee sets it apart from other online payment companies, that tend to raise their fees for transactions over a certain amount.
Stripe’s main competitors in the Japanese online payments market are PayPal Japan, Rakuten Checkout, GMO Payment Gateway, Spike and Line Pay.
Pinterest’s international dream
The co-founder of Pinterest, Evan Sharp, has spoken out about the company’s international vision for the future.
A team from the company recently moved to Japan in an attempt to scope out the market and to try to understand some of the specific challenges the app may face there.
The Japanese language is a major difference between Japan and Pinterest’s existing Western markets, which use the Roman alphabet. Sharp said the company would not rule out changing the user-interface to better suit the Japanese writing system.
He also said that, as well as Japan, Pinterest’s current focus for international expansion were the UK, French, German and Brazilian markets.
When questioned about whether Pinterest would consider moving into Africa, he commented that the company had not focussed on Africa so far, but did not rule out doing so in the future.
Pinterest is an image-based social media site with around 70 million users.
Baidu teams up with Taboola
The leading Chinese search engine Baidu has teamed up with the US content-recommendation company Taboola.
Baidu is also said to have invested around 25 million US dollars in Taboola, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Taboola, which is worth over 200 million US dollars, is a widget that places links to interesting content on publisher’s sites.
Its partnership with Baidu will allow it to enter the lucrative Chinese market. Taboola has commented on the partnership, saying: “We’re going to be spending a lot of time with Baidu figuring out the best way to approach the Chinese market and finding out the needs of publishers there”
25 years of Solitaire!
And finally, Windows is celebrating 25 years of Solitaire by allowing members of the public to compete against its best Solitaire-playing employees.
People can take part in the 25 year anniversary tournament using the Windows app on a PC or Windows smartphone.
Microsoft’s employees took part in a Solitaire tournament earlier this year to find the best players, and it is these winners that members of the public can play against in the tournament.
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