Global Marketing News –17th March 2016
Google loses Android appeal in Russia
A Russian court has upheld a ruling that Google abused its dominant market position in the Russian mobile market, after rejecting an appeal from the internet giant.
In 2015, the Russian regulator investigated Google over whether its Android operating system was unfairly blocking other search engines on Android phones.
Google is set as the default search engine on all Android phones, and handset manufacturers are unable to preinstall alternative search providers.
With Android being the most popular operating system in Russia, accounting for 86% of all Russian smartphones, there were concerns that Google’s practices were unfair and illegal under Russia’s antitrust laws.
The internet giant was found guilty, and Google was told to change how it works with smartphone manufacturers, and allow other search engine apps to be preinstalled on Android smartphones.
Now that Google’s appeal against this ruling has been rejected, it must either comply with the Russian court’s demands, or face stiff fines.
Bangladesh Trade Portal launches to educate cross-border traders
Bangladesh has launched an online portal aimed at providing information to Bangladeshi and foreign companies that want to engage in cross-border trade.
The Bangladesh Trade Portal explains import and export regulations and procedures, and outlines national and international trade agreements that Bangladesh is involved in.
It also contains guidance notes and forms, and information about licences, fees, permits and penalties.
The portal is run by the Bangladeshi government’s Ministry of Commerce and will be kept up to date by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The portal is available in both Bangla and English.
Bangladesh is being seen as an increasingly important target market for international businesses, due to its growing online population, growing middle class and lack of competition in the market.
Xiaomi turns attention to the Indian market
The budget smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has turned its attention to the lucrative Indian market after its sales started slowing down in its home market of China.
Xiaomi keeps its costs down by selling its phones solely online rather than from brick-and-mortar stores, but despite this the company failed to reach its global sales target of 80 million phones in 2015.
It hopes that growth in the Indian ecommerce market will help it to plug this gap. Currently 30% of phones sold in India are sold online, but this is expected to rise to 50% in the next 2 years.
Around 50 million Indians currently buy items online. This is expected to rise to 320 million by 2020, according to predictions by Morgan Stanley.
Zalando launches new fashion app Fleek
The European fashion ecommerce company Zalando has launched a new fashion app called Fleek.
The app, which is in German and is currently only available on iOS, aims to “inspire” users by showing them fashion items.
The app shows users pictures of new fashion trends each time they tap on the app, and also links to over 1,000 brands and their social media channels.
Fleek contains several in-app fashion stores, meaning that users can view fashion items, be inspired, and buy these items all without leaving the app.
Fleek is just the latest app that Zalando has launched in its attempt to dominate the fashion-as-a-service market in Germany and other European countries. It also owns the branded Zalando app, Zipcart, Seen At and Movmnt.
Zalando saw its online sales grow by 36% last year. It sold over 3 billion US dollars’ worth of clothes and shoes in 2015, with Germany, Austria and Switzerland being the company’s biggest markets.
Online entertainment “hosts” becoming popular in China
And finally, so-called live internet hosting is taking off as a career in China, especially among young women.
Live internet hosts film and broadcast themselves live to their fans, doing anything from singing to eating and anything in between.
Most viewers are young, unmarried males, and most “hosts” are young females, recruited through talent agencies by big name companies such as Baidu, Tencent and YY.
It’s lucrative work if you can get it, with some hosts making 30,000 US dollars per month.
The live internet hosting market is becoming ever more popular, and is expected to see a growth rate of 80% per year for the next 5 years.
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