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Russia orders Twitter to store data within its borders

Global marketing news – 10 November 2015

Russia orders Twitter to store data within its borders

The Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has ordered Twitter to store details of its Russian users in data centres located in Russia.

If Twitter does not comply, Roskomnadzor has the power to impose fines and even block the site.

Twitter has so far refused to comment on the issue.

This is not the first time that Roskomnadzor and Twitter have been at loggerheads.

Earlier this year, Roskomnadzor demanded to know why Twitter had not released any account holders’ details in response to 108 such requests from the Russian government, despite complying with 80% of requests from the US government.

Its latest demand, that Twitter host information about Russian users on Russia soil, has caused concern amongst human rights groups that the Russian government is trying to exert even more control over the internet in the country.

Mobile internet evolution in Middle East and North Africa

Research by the GSMA has predicted how the mobile internet landscape will evolve in the Middle East and North Africa over the next 5 years.

The proportion of 3G and 4G mobile connections in the region is expected to rise from the current level of 34% to 69% by 2020.

However, despite the number of mobile broadband subscriptions set to skyrocket, the number of actual people with mobile broadband is expected to rise only slightly from its current level of 54% to 57%.

This suggests that the rise in mobile broadband subscriptions will mainly be due to affluent Arabs buying second smartphones, rather than a wider segment of society becoming more connected.

This inequality is a key theme to the GSMA report.

It highlighted that while some countries have high levels of smartphone adoption, such as the UAE and Qatar at 83%, other countries such as Iraq, Palestine, and Yemen have smartphone adoption rates of just 17%.

Palestine also fared poorly when looking 3G coverage, with the study revealing it to be the only country in the Middle East and North Africa not to have universal 3G coverage.

Singles’ Day 2015 a huge success

The annual Chinese ecommerce day Singles’ Day has been an unprecedented success this year.

Singles’ Day was on the 11th November and is traditionally the busiest online shopping day of the year in China, similar to Black Friday in the US. It began in the 1990s as an alternative to Valentine’s Day.

The two biggest ecommerce sites, Alibaba and JD, both reported record-breaking sales.

At the end of the 24 hour bonanza, Alibaba reported sales of 91 billion Yuan, equivalent to 14.3 billion US dollars, up 60% on last year.

Similarly, although JD did not report its exact sales figures, it did confirm that orders were up 130% on last year.

Both sites reported that the majority of online shoppers were accessing their sites via mobile devices. With 86% of China’s 650 million internet users going online using their smartphones, mobile marketing has become hugely important when targeting Chinese consumers.

Uganda urged to embrace digital age

And finally, businesses in Uganda have been urged to embrace the digital age and set up websites and social media accounts.

At a seminar for businesspeople held in the Ugandan capital, the CEO of the mobile directory Africa 118 Jerome Mukunda said that it was becoming increasingly vital for businesses to have a digital presence if they want to succeed.

“Having an online presence such as a website sells the businesses across borders,” Mukunda said, also urging businesses to ensure their accounts books are in order.

Earlier this year, Google recognised the future potential of Uganda’s internet market, choosing the country to be the pilot for its Google Link project, which involved laying fibre optic cables to improve internet access in the country.

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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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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