23 April 2015 – Global marketing news
Baidu develops its own smartwatch OS DuWear
The leading Chinese search engine Baidu has announced that it has developed its very own operating system (OS) for smartwatches, called DuWear.
DuWear is open platform and based on Android. Baidu has said that it will be available to download to the Sony Smartwatch 3 and the Moto 360 smartwatch later this month, and that a major tech manufacturer has stepped forward to create a smartwatch that uses DuWear as its default OS.
This smartwatch will be sold on the Baidu Future Store e-commerce platform, which sells smart technology produced by Baidu.
DuWear will include search, map and weather services, and will also let users easily access stock information and biological information such as the wearer’s heart rate. Users will also be able to make voice-searches using the OS, by saying “Hi Baidu” before verbalising their query.
EU to look at comparison-shopping sites in Google anti-trust probe
The plight of comparison-shopping websites such as LeGuide, Nextag, and BizRate is set to take centre-stage in the upcoming EU antitrust investigation into Google.
Comparison-shopping websites, which allow users to compare products and prices, have dropped significantly in Google’s search engine results pages in recent years.
This is due to Google tweaking its ranking algorithm to demote comparison-shopping sites and push merchant shopping sites up instead, a process that began in 2007.
While Google insists that displaying merchant sites over comparison sites boosts user experience, and pointed out that the popular sites Amazon and Ebay have largely usurped comparison sites, some comparison websites have accused Google of anti-competitive practices.
Of particular concern is the fact that Google Shopping adverts, which show up in the search results above and to the right of organic results, look like product listings and draw attention away from the organic results.
WhatsApp has 800 million monthly active users
The mobile messaging app WhatsApp has reached 800 million monthly active users, and expects that it will have 1 billion monthly active users by the end of the year.
WhatsApp has been experiencing strong growth over the last year, gaining around 100 million active users around every 4 months.
WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app in the world. Its main competitors worldwide are the Facebook Messenger app, WeChat, Skype, Line, Viber and BBM.
Lippo wants to raise $200 million for e-commerce project
The Indonesian company Lippo wants to raise 200 million US dollars to develop its e-commerce business in its first round of funding, which will be lead by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse.
Lippo has ambitions to “dominate e-commerce in Indonesia” and plans to use the money to develop its own payment and chat services.
Lippo is already somewhat involved in the Indonesian e-commerce market, with 500 million US dollars set aside for the development of an online department store.
It also owns much of the online infrastructure, such as satellites, data centres, fibre optic cables and 4G mobile network base stations.
The Indonesian e-commerce market is relatively undeveloped, with just 17% of the population having access to the internet and foreign investors such as Alibaba and Softbank only recently turning their attentions to the country.
Germany’s wearable market growing
And finally, Germany’s wearable technology market is set to continue to grow this year, according to research by PwC.
In a study of over 1,000 German adults, 17% said they owned a wearable device already. Of those who did not have a wearable device, 44% of men said they were interested in buying a smartwatch, and 44% of females said they were interested in buying a fitness band.
Over 3.5 million wearable devices were sold in Germany last year, with smartwatches coming out on top in terms of growth, with over 600% more being sold last year compared to 2013.
The uptake of wearables is expected to climb by 25% this year across Europe, with this trend set to continue to 2018. By that time, the wearables market is predicted to be worth almost 10 billion Euros.
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