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Souq Is The Middle East’s First Unicorn Company

Global Marketing News – 2nd March 2016

Souq is the Middle East’s first unicorn company

The Middle Eastern ecommerce site Souq has received 275 million US dollars’ worth of funding, the largest ever amount of money to be raised in one funding round for a Middle Eastern ecommerce company.

It is now estimated to be worth 1 billion US dollars.

Souq has said it will use the money to “drive further growth by investing in technology, scaling our marketplace operations, launching new product categories and recruiting the best talent”.

Souq is the most popular ecommerce site in the Middle East and Egypt, with around 45 million people using the website every month. It offers around 1 million different products across 31 product categories.

“Right to be forgotten” recognised in Japan

A Japanese court has recognised the “right to be forgotten” for the first time, in a case against Google.

The case involved a man who was arrested for child prostitution and pornography offences three years ago. The man had demanded that Google removed links to articles about his arrest, arguing that as three years had passed he had a “right to be forgotten”.

The court ruled that the links should be removed as time had passed since the offence and because it was hindering his rehabilitation.

This means that Japanese criminals will now be able to ask Google to remove links to news reports about them, with the judge’s vaguely-worded caveat that it would depend on the “nature of the crime”.

The case has sparked debate on how best to balance the right to be forgotten with the public’s right to know about dangerous criminals.

Ecommerce empowers women and young people in Pakistan

The rise of ecommerce in Pakistan is empowering women and young people.

Pakistani ecommerce sites such as Kai and Kaymu are allowing previously disadvantaged groups to sell their hand-made products online.

Strong demand for traditional, authentic Pakistani products means that online sellers have the opportunity to tap into a large and eager-to-spend audience.

The rise of ecommerce is being put down to several factors, including rising internet penetration, the falling price of smartphones in the country and improved infrastructure. Smartphone shipments rose by 123% in 2015, with broadband penetration rising from 3% to 15% in the last year.

5G mobile tech to be available in China by 2020

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has announced that 5G mobile technology will be available in the country by the end of 2020.

A high quality 5G network would lead to super-fast internet connections and could also enable the internet of things to proliferate.

China isn’t the only country looking to 5G technology. The American telecoms company Verizon intends to roll out a 5G network next year, and companies in South Korea and Finland are also running their own 5G tests.

The need for 5G mobile internet is becoming ever more urgent, with 30 times more mobile internet traffic expected in 2020 compared to 2010 worldwide.

AB InBev launches a beer ecommerce platform

And finally, the beer company AB InBev has launched a pilot ecommerce platform.

The platform has been launched in Canada, Mexico and Brazil and allows users to buy their favourite drinks online.

It aims to attract tech-savvy customers who may not be reachable by traditional advertising methods.

Other beer companies have also been turning to ecommerce as an alternative way to attract customers and make sales, with Pernod Ricard and Heineken both trying their hand at online sales platforms.

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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Cal O'Connell

Lead Videographer at Webcertain
Cal has been the Lead Videographer at Webcertain for nearly seven years, creating a whole range of digital video content. As his main passion, and with over ten years of experience, he also has a hand in making feature films, short films and other online content, as well as providing his voice (and sometimes his face) to videos. In addition to Webcertain’s content, he also plays a part in creating content for a wide selection of our clients!

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