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Global Mobile Internet Userbase to Reach Two Billion

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More than two billion people globally will use mobile devices to connect to the Internet in 2016, with countries like India, China and Indonesia leading the way, research firm India Data Corporation said.

According to www.economictimes.indiatimes.com, overall, an estimated 3.2 billion people representing 44 per cent of the world’s population will have access to the Internet in 2016.

“Growth in Internet access is taking place around the world, but some countries are seeing particularly rapid growth. China, India and Indonesia lead the way and will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the course of the next five years,” the portal quoted IDC as saying in a statement.

The combination of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks are making accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them, it said.

According to Internet and Mobile Association of India, India was expected to reach 402 million by December 2015, registering a growth of 49 per cent over 2014. About 306 million of these are expected to access Internet from their mobile devices.

IDC said the global mobile Internet userbase is forecast to grow at two per cent annually through 2020 unless significant new methods of Internet access are introduced.

Efforts by Google, SpaceX, and Facebook among others to make the Internet available to the remaining four billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway.

However, it remains unclear how successful these endeavours will be and when they will be operational at scale, IDC said.

“Over the next five years, global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25 per cent per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising,” Program Director of Strategic Advisory Service, Scott Strawn said.

More than two billion use email and read news online and more people than ever before are making purchases online, the statement added.

Internet start-ups in India are joining the front line against Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll out free Internet to the country’s masses.

The government has ordered Facebook’s Free Basics plan on hold while it decides what to do.

The program, launched in more than 35 developing countries around the world, offers pared-down web services on mobile phones, along with access to the company’s social network and messaging services, without charge.

But critics say the program, launched 10 months ago in collaboration with Reliance Communications, violates principles of net neutrality, the concept that all websites on the internet are treated equally. It would put small content providers and start-ups that don’t participate in it at a disadvantage, they say.

“India is a test case for a company like Facebook and what happens here will affect the roll out of this service in other smaller countries where perhaps there is not so much awareness at present,” said Mishi Choudhary, a New York-based lawyer who works on technology and Internet advocacy issues.

Also at stake is Facebook’s ambition to expand in its largest market outside the United States. Only 252 million out of India’s 1.3 billion people have Internet access, making it a growth marke ..

In a letter seen by Reuters, the heads of nine start-up including Paytm, backed by China’s Alibaba Group, and dining app Zomato, have written to the watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India urging it to ensure Internet access was allowed without differential pricing.

The executives said in the letter, dated Tuesday, that differential pricing for Internet access would lead to a “few players like Facebook with its Free Basics platform acting as gate-keepers”.

“There is no reason to create a digital divide by offering a walled garden of limited services in the name of providing access to the poor,” they wrote.

According to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg “We know that for every 10 people connected to the Internet, roughly one is lifted out of poverty,” he wrote in The Times of India newspaper this week. “We know that for India to make progress, more than 1 billion people need to be connected to the Internet.

“What reason is there for denying people free access to vital services for communication, education, healthcare, employment, farming and women’s rights?”

A company spokesman said the aim of Facebook’s Free Basics initiative was to give people a taste of what the internet can offer. And Facebook has issued a series of full-page newspaper advertisements and set up billboard banners in an unusual and aggressive campaign to counter the protests.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Elon Musk Promises to Reward Best Carbon Technology $100 Million

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Elon Musk Promises to Reward Best Carbon Technology $100 Million

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tesla Inc. has announced that he will donate $100 million in reward for the best carbon capture technology.

The richest man in the world disclosed this in a tweet on Thursday.

“Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk tweeted. “Details next week.”

Elon R Musk gained +$375 million in the last 24 hours to take his total gain in net worth this year to $32 billion and $202 billion total net worth.

Musk, who worth just about $27 billion in January 2020, has risen through the rank to top the world’s richest billionaire index.

The $100 million would be Musk’s largest known donation to date and represents around 0.05 percent of his net worth.

In 2012, Musk signed “The Giving Pledge” to join the list of billionaires that promise to donate half of their fortune to charity in their lifetime or in their wills.

Musk worth just $2 billion when he signed the pledge.

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after last week’s Capitol riot.

Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last week.

Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement.

The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a ‘minimum’ of 7 days,” the statement read.

The video-sharing platform also said it will be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Trump’s channel because of safety concerns.

Facebook last week suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Biden’s election victory.

In announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump used the platform to incite violent and was concerned he would continue to do so.

Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.

The company also deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, without any evidence, that Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of satanist liberals.

Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch.

The president’s YouTube account has amassed 2.77 million subscribers.

The home page of the Trump channel featured a month-old video of Trump casting doubt on the voting process in November’s presidential election, and had logged some 5.8 million views.

On Tuesday, an activist group called on YouTube to join other platforms in dumping Trump’s accounts, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.

(AFP)

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

While the pandemic has devastated countless businesses, it has provided a major boon for eCommerce platform Shopify.

Shopify’s stock rallied by 169.9% in 2020 compared to the industry’s 26.6% growth. As of mid-December 2020, according to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish site Sijoitusrahastot, it had a 90 RS rating, which means that it had outperformed 90% of stocks during the year.

Based on the Zacks Consensus Estimate, its Q4 earnings per share (EPS) are set to jump by 188.37% to $1.24 while its sales will grow by 78% to $899.2 million. For the full year 2020, analysts project a massive 1,137% jump for the Shopify EPS.

Shopify Merchants Sell Over $5.1 Billion on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Since Shopify went public in 2015, its stock has risen over 40-fold to more than $1,200 at the end of December 2020. Between 2016 and 2019, it skyrocketed by over 1,400%.

The eCommerce platform’s earnings for Q1 to Q3 2020 grew at an average of 552%. That was well above the 101% three-year average. In Q3 2020, its revenue nearly doubled from $390.6 million to $767.4 million.

Earnings in Q3 2020 rose from a net loss of 29 cents to $1.13 per share. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) soared by 109% reaching $30.9 billion, compared to 46% in Q1 2020 and 119% in Q2 2020. For the first nine months of 2020, there was a revenue increase of 82%.

For the first time, Shopify’s GMV surpassed that of eBay in Q2 2020, doing it again in Q3 2020. It claims to have a 6% share of the US market, higher than eBay’s but lower than Amazon’s 37%.

During the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, merchants on the Shopify platform sold goods worth $5.1 billion. Compared to 2019, this marked a 76% uptick and set a new record. Comparatively, independent businesses on Amazon sold goods worth $4.8 billion. The number of buyers on Shopify increased by 50% year-over-year (YoY) to 44 million during that weekend.

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