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Chinese Hoverboard Firm Counter-Attacks US Rival

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Hoverboard

The tables have turned on a US-based hoverboard maker that sued a Chinese competitor for patent infringement.

Future Motion’s complaint led to Changzhou First International Trade’s products being seized at the CES tech trade show in January.

But the Chinese firm is now seeking $100,000 (£69,900) in damages plus reimbursement of its legal fees after the Californian firm dropped its claim.

Changzhou said there had been no reasonable basis for its rival’s case.

Restraining order

Both Future Motion and Changzhou make electric-powered hoverboards that are unusual for having a single central wheel rather than one at each end.

In January, Future Motion’s chief executive Kyle Doerkson told the BBC that Changzhou’s Trotter product was a “knock-off” of its own more expensive Surfing Electric Scooters.

“We have design and utility patents that cover our invention,” he added.

US marshals enforced a restraining order after receiving a complaint from the US firm, which led to the closure of Changzhou’s stall at the CES tech show on 7 January.

Footage of the incident was posted online by the news agency Bloomberg and it was widely reported elsewhere.

Dismissed case

Changzhou subsequently rejected the allegations, saying a side-by-side comparison of the two firms’ products demonstrated that the platform, footpad and tyres designs were “plainly dissimilar to the ordinary observer”.

Furthermore, Changzhou said that the actual scope of Future Motion’s patents were much narrower than had been indicated and that US firm could in no way could claim the rights to “all one-wheeled, self-balancing vehicles”.

Future Motion maintains its claims, dismissing the first of the points as “legal puffery” and insisting that it still believes its intellectual property was infringed.

However, on 4 February it told the court that it wanted to voluntarily dismiss the case.

“We had achieved our goal of preventing [Changzhou’s] exhibition at CES,” Mr Doerkson told the BBC.

“Looking forward at the cost-benefit of continued litigation to seek an injunction, we decided that that cost benefit did not pencil out for us and that our intellectual property budget would be better spent in other ways.”

But Changzhou has since petitioned the judge to re-open the case saying it wants to be reimbursed for “business expenses incurred, lost sales suffered, and reputational damage”.

Moreover, the Chinese firm is also demanding Future Motion be forced to issue a press release notifying the public that it had dismissed its original claims.

Future Motion’s lawyer told the BBC it plans to formally oppose these demands once Changzhou’s legal team has filed some additional paperwork.

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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Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup

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Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.

Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.

Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion

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The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales

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Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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