Business Feed

Trinidad & Tobago: Strategizing Social Media

Global Voices - Business Feed - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:23pm

ICT Pulse recommends 5 critical building blocks upon which organizations can develop an effective social media strategy.

Categories: Business Feed

Trinidad & Tobago: Strategizing Social Media

Global Voices - Business Feed - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:23pm

ICT Pulse recommends 5 critical building blocks upon which organizations can develop an effective social media strategy.

Categories: Business Feed

North Korea Rips Off Mac OS X

Global Voices - Business Feed - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:12pm

North Korea has released its own operating system, Red Star Linux, which remarkably resembles Apple's Mac OS X. One tech writer calls it ‘basically a Linux distro skinned to look like OS X‘ and if you want to check yourself, visit North Korea Tech blog who explains in detail with many screen shots. 

Categories: Business Feed

North Korea Rips Off Mac OS X

Global Voices - Business Feed - Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:12pm

North Korea has released its own operating system, Red Star Linux, which remarkably resembles Apple's Mac OS X. One tech writer calls it ‘basically a Linux distro skinned to look like OS X‘ and if you want to check yourself, visit North Korea Tech blog who explains in detail with many screen shots. 

Categories: Business Feed

China's Second Largest Online Retailer JD.com Files for US Stock Listing

Global Voices - Business Feed - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 9:02pm

JD.com Inc., a major Chinese e-commerce company, has filed to raise up to 1.5 billion US dollars in an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, making it the largest IPO of a Chinese Internet company in the states thus far.

JD is a major competitor to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China's biggest e-commerce company, which is also considering going public in what is expected to be a much larger IPO valued around 100 billion. JD's business model is more similar to that of Amazon.com in that it is a direct seller of goods held in sprawling warehouses, while Alibaba runs online marketplaces.

The company's most distinctive feature is its highly efficient delivery team that reaches third-tier cities and is currently expanding to rural villages. Below is the latest advertisement of the company that highlights its delivery service:

JD.com, founded by its chairman Richard Liu Qiangdong only ten years ago, had 35.8 million customer accounts by the end of the third quarter of last year. After two years of losses, the company said it registered a profit of 60 million yuan (about 9.9 million US dollars) in the first three quarters of last year, mainly due to interest income.

The company said it would use the funds raised to “acquire land use rights, build new warehouses and establish more delivery stations,” according to the filing. It currently operates 82 warehouses and 1,453 delivery stations across China.

Although the company's profit comes from its interest and the reach of its e-commerce platform is far behind Alibaba and Tencents, JD.com has its supporters. IT news commentators Xie Pu and Xu Ji highlighted the great potentials of the company's logistics, in particular its nationwide warehouse and goods delivery network:

????????????????????????????????????????????——????????????????????????

We support JD.com because Richard Liu sees the intertwine between the virtual and the real. In the past ten years, it built its logistics system. JD.com is a logistic infrastructure. It helps the company to sustain and expand its business.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

We support JD.com because it does not make easy money. E-commerce is no game and it has very little profit margin. To make money by building its logistic infrastructure and hiring tens of thousands delivery workers, this is not an easy task and the long-term effect will show.

China’s e-commerce boom

By 2015, China will have surpassed the US as the leading e-commerce market, according to consulting firm Bain & Company. On November 11, China marked its “Super Singles” day for jewelry and other sales to entice couples to shop for their loved ones. Sales hit five billion US dollars. By comparison, last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined reached around three billion dollars.

In such as huge market, local corporates such as JD.com perform much better than international giant corporates such as Amazon. Chinese New York Times columnist Li Chengdong compared JD.com and Amazon's performances in China on his Weibo:

??????????????????????10??????????????????????????????;?????????;??????????????;??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In the rest of the world, Amazon occupies the number one position in all its markets. The company has been in China for about ten years and its services in China are on average better than the rest of the world. Amazon has more money, better technology, more advanced warehouses than JD.com. If I have to explain why Amazon cannot beat down JD.com, it is because of Richard Liu. Amazon is run by a team of professional managers [rather than an entrepreneur like Liu].

However, Jing Nanke, who is customer of both Amazon and JD.com, disagreed with Li's judgement:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Nonsense, I am customer of both online platforms and I like JD better. Its customer service, delivery service and platform friendliness is better than Amazon. I don't think Amazon can gain an upper hand in China.

Lingpeng1973 said the “professional managers” of Amazon are poor at localization of e-commerce:

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The professional managers don't understand how to run e-commerce in China and they are responsible to Seattle. They don't want to make mistakes rather than taking risks to compete for success. Thus, when competing with Richard Liu and Li Guoxin [CEO of Dangdang.com, China's biggest online bookstore], who play the game differently, it barely makes business. Because of Amazon's super technology and warehouses, it had great potential before. Now that JD.com, among others, have established themselves in China, Amazon has lost its edge.

Li Guoqing, CEO of another online retailer, Dangdang.com, believed that going public in the US could help JD.com to improve the company's capital flow and transparency:

???????????????????????“13?????14????”????????14?Q1????????????????????????????????

Now the US capital market is becoming overheated, which offers good timing for fundraising. Liu once said “JD will gain profits in 2013 but will not go public in 2014″, but I would advise him to go public in the first quarter of 2014 so as to improve capital flow and increase audit transparency.  

Categories: Business Feed

China's Second Largest Online Retailer JD.com Files for US Stock Listing

Global Voices - Business Feed - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 9:02pm

JD.com Inc., a major Chinese e-commerce company, has filed to raise up to 1.5 billion US dollars in an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, making it the largest IPO of a Chinese Internet company in the states thus far.

JD is a major competitor to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China's biggest e-commerce company, which is also considering going public in what is expected to be a much larger IPO valued around 100 billion. JD's business model is more similar to that of Amazon.com in that it is a direct seller of goods held in sprawling warehouses, while Alibaba runs online marketplaces.

The company's most distinctive feature is its highly efficient delivery team that reaches third-tier cities and is currently expanding to rural villages. Below is the latest advertisement of the company that highlights its delivery service:

JD.com, founded by its chairman Richard Liu Qiangdong only ten years ago, had 35.8 million customer accounts by the end of the third quarter of last year. After two years of losses, the company said it registered a profit of 60 million yuan (about 9.9 million US dollars) in the first three quarters of last year, mainly due to interest income.

The company said it would use the funds raised to “acquire land use rights, build new warehouses and establish more delivery stations,” according to the filing. It currently operates 82 warehouses and 1,453 delivery stations across China.

Although the company's profit comes from its interest and the reach of its e-commerce platform is far behind Alibaba and Tencents, JD.com has its supporters. IT news commentators Xie Pu and Xu Ji highlighted the great potentials of the company's logistics, in particular its nationwide warehouse and goods delivery network:

????????????????????????????????????????????——????????????????????????

We support JD.com because Richard Liu sees the intertwine between the virtual and the real. In the past ten years, it built its logistics system. JD.com is a logistic infrastructure. It helps the company to sustain and expand its business.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

We support JD.com because it does not make easy money. E-commerce is no game and it has very little profit margin. To make money by building its logistic infrastructure and hiring tens of thousands delivery workers, this is not an easy task and the long-term effect will show.

China’s e-commerce boom

By 2015, China will have surpassed the US as the leading e-commerce market, according to consulting firm Bain & Company. On November 11, China marked its “Super Singles” day for jewelry and other sales to entice couples to shop for their loved ones. Sales hit five billion US dollars. By comparison, last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined reached around three billion dollars.

In such as huge market, local corporates such as JD.com perform much better than international giant corporates such as Amazon. Chinese New York Times columnist Li Chengdong compared JD.com and Amazon's performances in China on his Weibo:

??????????????????????10??????????????????????????????;?????????;??????????????;??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In the rest of the world, Amazon occupies the number one position in all its markets. The company has been in China for about ten years and its services in China are on average better than the rest of the world. Amazon has more money, better technology, more advanced warehouses than JD.com. If I have to explain why Amazon cannot beat down JD.com, it is because of Richard Liu. Amazon is run by a team of professional managers [rather than an entrepreneur like Liu].

However, Jing Nanke, who is customer of both Amazon and JD.com, disagreed with Li's judgement:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Nonsense, I am customer of both online platforms and I like JD better. Its customer service, delivery service and platform friendliness is better than Amazon. I don't think Amazon can gain an upper hand in China.

Lingpeng1973 said the “professional managers” of Amazon are poor at localization of e-commerce:

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The professional managers don't understand how to run e-commerce in China and they are responsible to Seattle. They don't want to make mistakes rather than taking risks to compete for success. Thus, when competing with Richard Liu and Li Guoxin [CEO of Dangdang.com, China's biggest online bookstore], who play the game differently, it barely makes business. Because of Amazon's super technology and warehouses, it had great potential before. Now that JD.com, among others, have established themselves in China, Amazon has lost its edge.

Li Guoqing, CEO of another online retailer, Dangdang.com, believed that going public in the US could help JD.com to improve the company's capital flow and transparency:

???????????????????????“13?????14????”????????14?Q1????????????????????????????????

Now the US capital market is becoming overheated, which offers good timing for fundraising. Liu once said “JD will gain profits in 2013 but will not go public in 2014″, but I would advise him to go public in the first quarter of 2014 so as to improve capital flow and increase audit transparency.  

Categories: Business Feed

Clashes between Police Forces and High School Students in La Réunion Island

Global Voices - Business Feed - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 5:28am

Clashes between students and police forces broke out on January 31 and February 1 in Saint-Denis, La réunion Island. Some shops in the district of La Chaudron were looted and some vehicles were torched, according to a police source. Anne Mariotti, a reporter at  Journal de l’île de la Réunion, writes that residents are confused about the causes of the violence [fr]:

L’incompréhension, aussi, parce qu’il ne s’agit pas de magasins de première nécessité! J’ai parlé à la gérante d’un magasin de hi-fi, qui ne comprenait pas: ça n’a plus rien à voir avec une manifestation contre la vie chère.  

[Residents] don't understand because the shops that were attacked are not selling staple products. I talked to one audio shop manager who was at loss with the attacks : this has nothing to do with protesting the cost of living anymore.

This infographic shows the statistics on violence in La Réunion Island in the recent years [fr]:

Statistics on violence in La Réunion Island via Insee – Public Domain

Categories: Business Feed

Hollywood-Style Bank Heist in Bangladesh Ends in Arrest

Global Voices - Business Feed - Sun, 02/02/2014 - 6:54pm

Rapid Action Battalion personnel pose with the mastermind of the Kishoreganj Sonali bank heist, Sohel (in red-white shirt), and his assistant along with the recovered 165 million taka before the press at the elite force's headquarters in Dhaka. Image by Reza Sumon. Copyright Demotix (28/1/2014)

The mastermind behind the biggest bank robbery in Bangladesh history has been arrested. 

“Sohel” along with accomplice “Idris” pulled off a Hollywood-style bank heist of 169 million Bangladeshi taka (about 2.2 million US dollars) from Sonali Bank [bn] in Kishoreganj, 130 kilometers north of the capital Dhaka, by digging an underground tunnel 30 feet long to reach the bank's vault. 

The feat was short-lived and they were nabbed by police two days later with most of the loot. Sohel confessed to the daring plot, admitting that he had planned [bn] the heist two years ago. Accordingly, he rented a house next to the bank and started digging the three-foot-wide tunnel. After a year and a half, he said could reach the bank's vault. He did all the digging during business hours in broad daylight when there was a lot of noise on the street, so people didn't suspect anything. Sohel even managed to start an affair [bn] with a bank employee to gather information for the theft.

Netizens have been widely discussing the robbery on social media. Many have pointed out this crime's resemblance to Hollywood blockbusters like “Sherlock Holmes”, “The Bank Job”, “Shashank Redemption” and “The Lady Killers” and Bollywood movies like “Dhoom 3″.

A reader commented on the popular Bangla daily Prothom Alo's report:

????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ????! ?? ????????? ????? ????? ??????? ??? ????????? ????? ?????? ??????! ??? ??? ???? ????? ??????? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ?? ???? ????

There was a similar story in a Sherlock Homes movie where a tunnel was dug from a nearby home. Perhaps even professional thieves have been astounded by Sohel's feat. I was surprised to learn that so much money was kept open in the bank. Is there no secured drawer in the vault in that branch?

Shihab Shahin commented in the same report:

‘?? ?????? ??’ ??????????? ???? ???????? ???????!

This heist is planned according “The Bank Job” movie.

Mumin Hemin commented on online portal BDNews24.com's report that the thief should have taken a cue from the film “The Italian Job”:

??? ????? ???? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?????, ??? ???? ????? (!!) ???? ??? ??? ???-?????? (!!) ??? ??? ???????? ??? ??????? ???, ????? ???? ??????? ???? ???????? ?????????? ????? ??????? ?????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ???????? ???? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?? ??? ??, ????? ??????? ???? ???? :D

He completed the job with patience. His head is cool, that is evident. He did not panic seeing a lot of money. He went home, prayed his Isha prayers (!!) and then secured the loot solemnly. With that coolness, he could be an actor in the sequel to “Shashank Redemption“. But he should have watched “The Italian Job” a few times. The heist isn't everything, you have to keep that money. :D

On Facebook, Shahriar Tanvir called this robbery a copycat of “The Lady Killers”:

???? ”???? ??????” ????????

?????? ?????? ??????? ?? ??????? ????? ????, ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ???, ?? ??????? ?????? ????? ??? : )

For hose who did not watch “The Lady Killers“:

That movie has a similar story, digging a long tunnel to rob a bank. This is just like the movie. No more spoiler alerts :)

Sohel has become a hero for many and his fate has saddened them. Journalist Provash Amin wrote on Facebook:

‘??????? ?????? ?????? ?????????’ ??????? ???? ????? ???? ??????? ????????? rab ?? ???? ????? ??? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ?????????, ??????????, ?????????? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ?????

So sad to see Habib alias Sohel, the hero of the “operation Sonali Bank Kishoreganj” movie, being arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). Such a creative, talented and patient human being should be employed for a good cause.

Science-fiction writer Shezan Mahmud also expressed his sympathy for Sohel:

?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ?? ??????? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ???????? ??? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ???? (?????? ???? ??) ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? (???? ??? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ????); ??? ??? ??? ????? ???'?? ???? ??????????, ?????? ????, ???? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ???, ???? ??? ???????? ???????? ?? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?? ???????? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ?????!

I feel sorry for Sohel and his assistant because they were finally caught with all that money. He dug the tunnel for two years to steal (I won't say rob) the money, but he was caught before enjoying the loot (it is harder to keep than to earn). If only they could learn how corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and unethical businessmen loot more than that and know how to hang on to it. There is no respect for perseverance in this country. We acknowledge Sohel's perseverance at least.

On Facebook, Zico suggested that the thieves’ talents should be employed to complete the design for road construction in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh:

?????? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ????????? ????? ?????

The guy who could steal 169 million should not be kept behind bars. He should be employed to work on the road map of Dhaka. He could build a number of [much needed] underpasses in the city.

Kazi Prottoy and Apala Sengupta contributed to this post
Categories: Business Feed

‘Mistreated, Insulted and Disrespected': World Bank Releases Social Inclusion Report

Global Voices - Business Feed - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:07pm

Photo taken by @hivocolab during the launch of the World Bank's “Inclusion Matters” report in Uganda. Used with permission.

Certain groups of people in all countries seem to be left behind despite their home country's progress. The social exclusion of these people – not always minorities, and not always in poor or undemocratic countries – has costly economic, political and social consequences, according to a new report from the World Bank.  

For example, the report notes that in Uganda where electricity coverage is low, almost half of respondents from the Buganda ethnic group reported having electricity, compared to less than 5 percent of the minority Lugbara and karamajong ethnic groups. Some excluded groups have been denied opportunities for hundreds of years, such as Native Americans in the United States.

It also points out that poverty and exclusion are not the same. In some societies, even the rich can be excluded, as might be the case with wealthy homosexual men in some African countries.

The launch of the report, titled “Inclusion Matters”, was held on 27 January 2014 in Kampala, Uganda alongside a public dialogue on the topic of social inclusion. Tarsis Kabwegyere, the Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Ugandan Prime Minister, and Mary Karoro Okurut, the Ugandan Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, attended the event; notably, Dr. Zac Niringiye, an outspoken former bishop of Kampala West, was among the panelists.

Explaining the concept of social inclusion, the World Bank website said:

Some people – because of personal or group characteristics, such as social status, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation – are mistreated, insulted, and disrespected. These people may either avoid situations that expose them to mistreatment, they may submit to their “fate”, or they may protest against it.  All these responses are cries for inclusion. 

Twitter users joined in the conversation using the hastag #inclusionmatters.

Journalist Henry Lutaaya asked:

@DasMaitreyi Why did #InclusionMatters ignore international community role in excluding billions of pipo from trade, fueling climate change

— Henry Lutaaya (@henrylutaaya) January 29, 2014

Electronic Kasujja noted:

Policy choices of the country determine whether there will in fact be less exclusion and more inclusion. #inclusionmatters

— Electronic Kasujja (@ekasujja) January 28, 2014

Activist and storyteller Javie Ssozi quoted Niringiye speaking about Uganda:

The tragedy with this country is we have failed to implement basic ideas. To make UPE [Universal Primary Education] work is not rocket science. Rev Zac #InclusionMatters

— Javie Ssozi (@jssozi) January 28, 2014

Mark Keith Muhumuza, a business and financial journalist in Uganda, quoted the report:

On accessing markets, WB report reads “Urban land markets are notoriously skewed in favor of the rich in powerful;” #inclusionmatters

— Mark Keith Muhumuza (@mumakeith) January 28, 2014

Web portal UGO Uganda wrote:

Hon.Tarsis Kabwegyere says inclusion and exclusion is about power #InclusionMatters http://t.co/MpqndJuKEo

— UGO Uganda (@UgoUganda) January 28, 2014

Cedric Anil, a blogger, quoted Minister of General Duties Kabwegyere:

It's hard to be distributive when 90% of the people are poor -Hon. Kabwegyere #inclusionMatters report launch #World Bank

— Cedric Anil (@cedricanil) enero 28, 2014

Javie Ssozi questioned the assertion that government has a plan for social inclusion:

Pius Bigirimana says “government has got a plan to ensure that no one is excluded”. Sounds exciting! What's the plan? #InclusionMatters

— Javie Ssozi (@jssozi) January 28, 2014

As the dialogue concluded, Charles Banda, a digital and new media consultant, wanted to know:

What next after the launch of the @WorldBankAfrica #InclusionMatters report ? do the young people feel included? pic.twitter.com/VEIqk5Yj1e

— Charles E. Bbanda™ (@bbandac) January 28, 2014

Categories: Business Feed

Stephanomics

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 8:59am
Letter-writing by economists is back in vogue
Categories: Business Feed

Stephanomics

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 8:59am
Letter-writing by economists is back in vogue
Categories: Business Feed

Bus firm wins 2012 Olympics order

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 8:14am
Aberdeen-based FirstGroup wins a major contract to run bus services for spectators at the London 2012 Olympics.
Categories: Business Feed

Banks sale 'may take five years'

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 8:00am
Taxpayers may have to wait until 2015 before they can get back the £40bn lent to prop up failing banks, the BBC understands.
Categories: Business Feed

Top flight ponders Euro play-offs

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 7:50am
The Premier League considers introduce a lucrative play-off match for the fourth and final Champions League place.
Categories: Business Feed

Top flight ponders Euro play-offs

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 7:50am
The Premier League considers introduce a lucrative play-off match for the fourth and final Champions League place.
Categories: Business Feed

Darling defends UK deficit plan

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 7:29am
Chancellor Alistair Darling defends his approach to the UK's budget deficit, saying quicker spending cuts could harm the economy.
Categories: Business Feed

New front for cybercrime battle

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:33am
A new team is created in an attempt to strengthen a challenge to online fraudsters that has yet to result in any convictions.
Categories: Business Feed

New front for cybercrime battle

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:33am
A new team is created in an attempt to strengthen a challenge to online fraudsters that has yet to result in any convictions.
Categories: Business Feed

Sarkozy to discuss pension reform

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 5:46am
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet key unions later to discuss controversial plans to reform the pensions system.
Categories: Business Feed

Testing times

BBC News - Business Feed - Mon, 02/15/2010 - 5:11am
Credit is hard to come by for small US businesses
Categories: Business Feed
Syndicate content