13 March 2015 – Global Marketing News
Yahoo under pressure to sell Yahoo Japan
Yahoo is facing pressure to spin off its stake in Yahoo Japan, which it partially owns with SoftBank.
The pressure is coming from investment company Starboard Value which has voiced its concerns that Yahoo Japan is an expensive venture doomed to fail, saying: “In our view, continuing to invest huge sums to alter Yahoo’s competitive position in markets or product categories where the company has little history of past success will prove an expensive endeavour likely to produce sub-scale businesses, with potentially little competitive advantage, and suboptimal profitability.”
Spinning off Yahoo Japan would earn Yahoo an estimated 3.1 billion US dollars.
Yahoo recently agreed to a similar deal, starting proceedings to split off its 40 billion US dollar stake in the Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.
Yahoo has said it will not consider spinning off its share in Yahoo Japan until the latest Alibaba deal is complete. Yahoo Japan is currently trailing behind Google in Japan, with a 40% market share compared to Google’s 57%.
EU antitrust chief not afraid of legal battles with Google
Europe’s new antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has made it clear that she is not afraid to send cases to the European courts.
This is a change in tactic from her predecessor, who preferred to avoid lengthy court cases in favour of speedy and not always successful negotiations.
Vestager is currently deciding how to deal with Google, which has been accused of using its dominance in the search industry to get ahead in other industries, for example by listing their own shopping, mapping and booking sites above competitors.
She has rejected American complaints that the EU is targeting US companies in particular, insisting that she is being fair, saying: “No matter the ownership of a company – be it American or Russian or European – if you want to be in the European market, you are faced with the same set of competition rules and we will do our best to enforce them no matter your nationality.”
Twitter opens office in Hong Kong
Twitter has opened an office in Hong Kong.
Twitter is blocked in China, but this has not deterred the social network. It insists that it can still make money in China by attracting Chinese celebrities and companies that want to reach an international audience.
It is not the first social network to open a Chinese office despite being blocked in the country, Facebook also opened an office in China last year, also arguing that it did not matter that it was blocked in the country, as there was still advertising money to be made.
A Twitter spokesperson commented on the opening of the Chinese office, saying: “Opening our Hong Kong office now and hiring a sales team to work directly with advertisers across the Greater China market will contribute to our next phase of growth in Asia.”
The changing search engine market in South Korea
A recent study by Gallup Korea has revealed a shift in search engine preferences over the last decade.
The survey, which was conducted in 2004 and 2014, revealed that Naver’s popularity has grown massively, with over 70% of Koreans today saying it’s their favourite search engine, compared to just 20% in 2004.
Naver’s success has been at the expense of Daum and Yahoo, which have both seen their popularity plummet over the last 10 years. Almost half of Koreans favoured Daum and 20% favoured Yahoo in 2004, compared to just 19% and 1% who said Daum and Yahoo were their favourite search engines today.
The survey also revealed the most popular luxury brands in Korea today, with Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada coming top.
US retailer Target launches marketing campaign targeting Hispanics
And finally, the American retail company Target has launched a marketing campaign targeting Hispanic audiences.
The campaign, called “Sin Traducción” or “Without Translation”, is a series of videos that highlight Spanish words that do not have an English translation.
One video focuses on “arrullo” meaning the best environment for getting a baby to sleep, whilst another focuses on “sobremesa” meaning the time spent with loved ones after a meal.
Target has explained why they launched the campaign, saying: “The Hispanic guest loves Target but we’re always looking to connect on a deeper level. ‘Sin Traducción’ does exactly that. It’s a way for Target to make a connection with our Hispanic guest on a deeper, more emotional level.”
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