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Facebook accused of tracking users without consent

Global marketing news – 22 May 2015

Facebook accused of tracking users without consent

Facebook has come under fire by the Belgian Privacy Protection Commission for tracking users without their consent.

The Commission said that Facebook’s practices amounted to them “trampling” on European privacy laws. They also accused the social network of being evasive when it came to answering questions and of not providing clear answers about what it was using the tracking data for.

Facebook has hit back against the Belgian Commission, throwing doubt on their authority and claiming that the social network complies with Irish privacy laws, where the company’s European headquarters is based.

This is not the first time that Facebook and the Belgian Privacy Protection Commission have gone head to head. Earlier this year, the Commission criticised Facebook for having complex and difficult-to-navigate privacy settings.

Netflix to enter China with partner Wasu

The video streaming service Netflix has announced that it will be teaming up with the Chinese internet company Wasu in an attempt to enter the Chinese market.

The announcement is an apparent U-turn on its previous announcement that it would be entering China without any help from local companies. It said just 2 months ago that to partner up with a local company would be “very complex and very difficult to manage, and ultimately difficult to be successful”.

The new announcement seems to show that Netflix has realised the difficulties of foreign companies trying to enter China alone. Foreign companies are required to apply for a license from the Chinese government, a difficult and time-consuming process.

Netflix’s choice of Wasu as its partner has raised a few eyebrows, with commentators seemingly puzzled about why Netflix chose the company when there are other, more well-known internet providers available.

Furthermore, Wasu, although backed by Jack Ma and Alibaba, does not have a successful track record in the entertainment sector. This has led some commentators to question whether Netflix truly knows what it is doing in its attempt to enter the Chinese market.

WeChat growth in Malaysia

The social messaging app WeChat is experiencing huge growth in Malaysia.

WeChat’s active userbase in Malaysia has increased by over 1,000% in the last 2 years. The app has almost 550 million users worldwide and a staggering 95% of Malaysians with smartphones have downloaded the app.

WeChat has said it is pleased with its success in the country and that it plans for even more growth in the future, saying: “We are excited about WeChat’s stellar growth momentum both globally and throughout Malaysia. We will continue to focus on enhancing user interaction by broadening the activities from social and communications to gaming, entertainment, media content and beyond.”

Chinese consumers do not need smartwatches

Research by CTR Market Research has revealed that Chinese consumers simply do not think they need a smartwatch.

CTR Market Research first conducted the survey in March, when they asked Chinese consumers whether they intended to buy an Apple Watch and why. In April they asked the same questions.

The study found that in March, 41% of respondents who said they did not intend to buy an Apple Watch said their decision was because they did not think they needed one. In April this reason rose to account for 56% of respondents who said they did not intend to buy an Apple Watch.

Another key reason for Chinese consumers shunning smartwatches was their price, with over a third of all respondents saying that they were too expensive.

Mikhail Parakhi is new Yandex Chief Technology Officer

And finally, Mikhail Parakhin has been appointed as Yandex’s new Chief Technology Officer.

Parakhin is the first person to take on the role since the death of the late Ilya Segalovich in 2013. He will be in charge of search, advertising and infrastructure at Yandex.

Parakhin used to work in Yandex’s search division, having previously worked at Microsoft. Yandex is the leading search engine in Russia.

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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Immanuel Simonsen

Research Manager at Webcertain
As the Research Manager of multilingual web marketing agency Webcertain, Immanuel heads up the company’s global market research activities and large content marketing projects. He is the author of several reports and guides, including ‘The Essential Guide to Rel-Alternate-Hreflang’ and ‘The Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013’. Apart from being a tutor at the International Marketing School -- teaching online marketing professionals on business opportunities around the globe -- Immanuel is a regular speaker at the International Search Summit, a leading event series dedicated to multilingual search and social media marketing.

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