20 March 2015 – Global Marketing News
Yandex heads to China as Yahoo leaves
The Russian search engine Yandex has announced that it plans to open an office in Shanghai in an effort to enter the Chinese market.
It doesn’t plan to take on local giant Baidu in the Chinese search engine market directly, but instead intends to help Chinese businesses that want to target Russia.
Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia, with around 60% of the search engine market share. It has recently turned its gaze internationally, having launched in Turkey in 2011 where it has slowly but steadily been growing in popularity.
Its latest entry into the Chinese market reflects the two countries’ increasingly close trade relationship, with imports and exports between the countries having increased significantly in recent years.
Yandex is not the first Russian internet company to open an office in China, with the popular Russian social network VK having opened an office in the country last year.
The news of Yandex’s entry into China comes at the same time as Yahoo announced that it was leaving the market, closing its only office in the country and laying off around 350 employees.
Yahoo has slowly been drawing back from the Chinese market in recent years, having stopped offering Yahoo Mail in the country in 2013 and more recently starting proceedings to split off its 40 billion US dollar stake in the Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.
Yahoo said that it had come to the decision to leave China as it simply wasn’t profitable, with local giants Baidu and Qihoo dominating the search engine landscape.
A spokesperson for China Market Research also commented on the exit, saying that: “When you’re as weak as Yahoo globally, it doesn’t make sense to have a research and development arm in China since it’s too expensive.”
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Rakuten to accept the virtual currency Bitcoin
The global ecommerce giant Rakuten has announced that it will soon accept the virtual currency Bitcoin on its American, German and Austrian platforms.
Rakuten has partnered with Bitnet, a start-up that produces Bitcoin platforms, to implement the rollout.
Tech in Asia speculates that it is only a matter of time until Bitcoin is introduced as a payment option in Rakuten’s home Japanese market, a move which could push the online currency from being a fringe technology to the mainstream.
Rakuten commented on the introduction of the Bitcoin currency on its platform, saying: “Rakuten’s mission is to empower the world through the Internet. Not only can Bitcoin support this vision by helping our merchants better compete globally, but it also has the potential to benefit society by enhancing the security, privacy, and convenience of financial transactions.”
Pinterest valued at $11 billion
The image-based social network Pinterest has been valued at 11 billion US dollars, more than double what it was worth last year.
Pinterest’s rapid rise in value has been put down to the introduction of promoted pins, which advertisers can buy in order to reach a wider audience.
Pinterest has confirmed that it will continue to focus on advertising as its main source of income growth, and also plans to enter new countries.
Its international audience is growing fast, with 40% of users now being outside the US, up from 28% in 2013.
Adidas announces huge global online sales growth
And finally, the sports retailer Adidas experienced huge global online sales growth last year, according to their end of year 2014 report.
The report revealed that Adidas’ overall global sales increased by just over 2% last year. When this was broken down into online and physical sales, however, it was shown that global online sales went up by a staggering 69%.
Online sales accounted for 3% of total sales, bringing in over 460 million US dollars.
Adidas said it plans to continue this online growth, and intends to extend its ecommerce platform to the new market of Latin America.
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