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Buzzfeed Engages Powerful Local Partner for Japan Launch

Global Marketing News – 24th August 2015

Buzzfeed teams up with Yahoo to enter Japan

Buzzfeed is to launch in Japan later this year after partnering up with Yahoo Japan.

In the mutually beneficial agreement, Buzzfeed will provide content to Yahoo Japan, and Yahoo Japan will drive traffic to Buzzfeed’s site.

Buzzfeed is a news and entertainment site that specialises in publishing fun and sharable articles, often in the form of lists.

It will face stiff competition when it enters the Japanese market, where local sites Virates and Curazy are already well-established.

It hopes that its partnership with Yahoo Japan will give it an edge over its competitors. Yahoo Japan is one of the most popular online portals in the country, with 88% of Japanese internet users using the site.

It isn’t the first time that Yahoo Japan has partnered with a Western brand. Last month, it partnered up with the travel price comparison company Skyscanner to launch a travel search engine.

Japan is just the latest international market that Buzzfeed has entered. Earlier this year it entered Germany, Mexico and India, and it also has sites for the UK, Canada, Australia and France.

45% of Buzzfeed readers are from outside the US, with the upcoming launch in Japan set to push this up even higher.

Tencent invests $50 million in Kik

The leading Chinese internet company Tencent has invested 50 million US dollars in Kik.

Kik is a social messaging app. It is particularly popular amongst Western teenagers, with 70% of users being aged between 13-24 years old and around 40% of American teenagers regularly using the app.

Tencent has a vast amount of experience in social messaging apps, having developed the hugely popular Chinese social messaging apps WeChat and QQ, which both have over 600 million monthly active users.

WeChat allows users to message one another, do online shopping, play games and order taxis, much more than the basic messaging service that Kik currently offers.

Kik hopes that Tencent’s investment will help it to develop in the same direction, into a more complex and fulfilling app.

It will give Kik a boost against its main competitors: the Facebook Messenger app, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Google releases Hot 2 smartphone in Africa

Google has released its latest cheap smartphone Hot 2 in Africa, as part of its Android One initiative.

The Android One initiative aims to produce affordable smartphones running on the latest version of Android for customers in developing countries.

The Hot 2 smartphones are being sold in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Morocco and the Ivory Coast at a cost of 88 US dollars.

They run on the latest version of Android, Lollipop, and will also be able to run the next version to be released, Marshmallow.

With Africa being a key frontier for future online growth, Google is keen to get users onto smartphones running its Android operating system. Commentators have pointed out that this will give Google millions of new customers using its search and advertising services.

Airbnb to enter China

The home-rental giant Airbnb has said that it wants to expand into China.

Airbnb allows users to post ads for spare rooms or apartments, with guests and hosts being able to connect and rate each other after their stay.

The website currently has around 1.5 million listings, with users coming from 34,000 cities in 190 countries.

China was chosen as the next market for Airbnb’s international expansion due to the booming Chinese travel industry; Airbnb has seen a staggering 700% increase in the number of outbound bookings from Chinese customers in the last 12 months alone.

The company is going to team up with local giants China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China in order to produce a localised Chinese platform that conforms to strict Chinese data rules.

South Africa passes internet censorship bill

And finally, the South African government has passed a bill that includes clauses covering internet censorship.

The Bill, an amendment to the Film and Publications Act (1996), still needs to be passed by Parliament’s communications portfolio committee and the National Assembly before it becomes law.

The controversial section says that the Film and Publications Board can remove any content from the internet if it is deemed to be “potentially harmful and disturbing to children”.

Commentators have hit out against the Bill, saying that it threatens freedom of expression.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over 15 years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programmes Webcertain’s International Search Summit and International Social Summit, Barcelona-based conferences focusing on international and multilingual digital marketing. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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