13 April 2015 – Global Marketing News
Will Twitter be bought by Google?
Google is rumoured to have expressed an interest in buying the social network Twitter.
Neither Twitter nor Google have confirmed the speculation, but it is rumoured that two companies have approached the social network expressing a “serious interest” in buying them, with Google being one of them and the identity of the other interested company remaining unknown.
Shares in Twitter went up in value by a staggering 1.5 billion US dollars following the rumours, a jump of almost 5%.
The social network is now worth 34 billion US dollars, within comfortable reach of Google, who have 60 billion US dollars available to spend.
Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social networks, with a global userbase of 288 million monthly active users.
Alibaba set to overtake Baidu for mobile internet advertising share in China
The ecommerce giant Alibaba looks set to overtake the search engine Baidu to hold the largest share of mobile internet advertising in China.
This has been fueled by the rise of mobile ecommerce, which has tripled in China in the last year, with shoppers now spending over 900 billion yuan using their mobile phones.
Alibaba’s userbase almost doubled last year, and now stands at over 250 million and shows no signs of slowing down.
Baidu’s mobile ad revenue is expected to increase by around 75%, but this will still not be enough to catch up with Alibaba.
The situation has been compounded in recent weeks as many private Chinese hospitals have announced they are boycotting advertising on Baidu.
Members of the Putian Healthcare Industry Chamber of Commerce, equivalent to 8 out of 10 private hospitals in China, say the boycott is in response to Baidu putting pressure on them to increase their ad spending by an unreasonable amount.
This is a big blow to Baidu, which generates 30% of its advertising income from the medical sector.
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Indian ecommerce giant Snapdeal acquires online payment service FreeCharge
The Indian ecommerce giant Snapdeal has acquired the online payment service FreeCharge, for an estimated 450 million US dollars.
FreeCharge is an Indian payment service that gives users coupons when they pay bills or top up their phones via the service.
It has over 15 million users, of which 85% access the service via a mobile phone rather than through a computer.
The high proportion of mobile users is speculated to be one of the key reasons behind its acquisition by Snapdeal. Mobile is becoming a key battleground in the Indian ecommerce market, so taking over FreeCharge may give Snapdeal the edge over its main rivals Amazon and Flipkart.
FreeCharge is not the only company Snapdeal has bought recently; they have also acquired the online luxury goods ecommerce platform Exclusively, the loans company Rupeepower and the recommendations service Wishpicker.
Worldwide ecommerce sales to reach £1 trillion this year
Research by AT Kearney has predicted that worldwide ecommerce sales will reach almost 1 trillion US dollars this year.
This is an increase of 18% compared to last year, with further growth of 16% predicted in 2016.
When ranking individual countries for “online market attractiveness”, the US came out on top, overtaking China which slipped to second place. They were followed by the UK, Japan, Germany, France and South Korea.
Electronics were the most popular product category for people to buy online, closely followed by clothing, services, books and tickets. At the other end of the spectrum, groceries and household items were the product types least likely to be bought online.
More Saudis now book travel online
And finally, more Saudis are now booking travel online, with the number of online bookings increasing by 40% last year.
Saudis spent 6.5 billion Saudi Riyals online, equivalent to over £1 billion, on foreign and domestic travel last year, with this predicted to double to 13 billion Saudi Riyals by 2019.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the Middle East, with a healthy internet penetration of 60%, and a smartphone penetration of almost 75%. The effect of this mobile internet penetration is clear, with an almost 30% increase in hotel bookings made on mobile last year.
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