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Apple Says ITunes Movies, Book Services Closed Down in China

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Apple

Apple Inc.’s iTunes Movies and iBooks service were closed down in China last week, less than seven months after they started operations.

Apple wants to restore services “as soon as possible,” the company said in a one paragraph e-mailed statement without providing a timeframe. The closings were ordered by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

In February, the regulator and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released new rules governing publication of virtually all types of Internet content in China. The regulations took effect last month.

Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, is Apple’s largest market after the U.S., with the company rolling out new services amid slowing growth for device sales. For the three months ended December, revenue in the region rose 14 percent to $18.4 billion and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook plans to continue investing despite an economic slowdown.

Apple was the third-largest smartphone vendor in the December quarter with 12.5 percent of shipments, according to researcher Canalys. That trailed Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp., who each had about 15 percent.

Last month, President Xi Jinping said China would accept foreign Internet companies as long as they abide by Chinese laws and regulations.

Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Mobility Startup, Moove Secures $20M Financing From BII to Scale Operations in Nigeria

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Moove

Moove, a mobility fintech democratising access to vehicle ownership in Africa has secured US $20 million in a 4-year structured credit investment from British International Investment (BII), the UK government’s Development Finance Institution (DFI), formerly known as CDC Group.

Moove is democratising access to vehicle ownership by providing revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility entrepreneurs. The mobility fintech is creating sustainable employment opportunities to empower those otherwise excluded from financial services by embedding its alternative credit scoring technology onto ride-hailing, e-logistics and instant delivery platforms, and using proprietary performance and revenue analytics to underwrite vehicle loans.

Since its launch in 2020, Moove has rapidly expanded its operations within Nigeria and has entered into new African markets including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, as well as Europe, Middle East and Asia markets.

According to the mobility company, the collaboration between Moove and BII reflects BII’s focus on mobilising capital to build self-sufficiency and market resilience in Nigeria and improve access to inclusive economic opportunities while helping to catalyse the country’s boundless entrepreneurial ambition.

Investors King gathered that Moove was the first business to qualify for BII’s BOLD (Black Ownership and Leadership Development).

Speaking on the new funding, Ladi Delano, co-founder/ co-CEO at Moove, said, “we’re incredibly proud to welcome onboard a world-class partner such as BII, whose strategic support will play a key role in our mission to build the world’s largest integrated vehicle financing platform for mobility entrepreneurs.

“With our new funding, we’re now in an even stronger position to use our technology and productivity data in creating a more inclusive financing ecosystem, whilst also tackling the unemployment problem affecting over a third of Nigerians by generating the opportunity for more seamless and sustainable employment.”

The CEO of BII, Nick O’Donohoe commented on how BII’s new five-year strategy is driving its investment in the world’s first mobility fintech.

“Investing in the prosperity of Nigeria’s growing population requires innovative new partnerships that can leverage the country’s abundant capabilities and expertise. In Moove, BII has a partner that aligns with our commitment to back dynamic tech-enabled businesses that can help accelerate impact in Nigeria by strengthening the country’s informal transport industry,” he said.

“I am delighted that not only will BII’s investment help to create jobs and provide entrepreneurial self-starters with the means to own their vehicles, but Moove’s clear focus on gender diversity will foster inclusive economic opportunities for women, both within the company’s workforce and among its drivers,” he added.

Nigeria is the BII’s biggest investment market in Africa, with a portfolio of nearly US $570 million, through more than 100 businesses and 43 funds, which collectively support almost 45,000 jobs across the country in 2020.

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Startups

Nearly 70% Forecast the Value of Start-ups in Africa Will More Than Double in Five Years

African business leaders are predicting a boom in start-up businesses across the continent as the number of working-age people launching new firms expands,  new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows.

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Start-up - Investors King

African business leaders are predicting a boom in start-up businesses across the continent as the number of working-age people launching new firms expands,  new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows.

Start-ups across the continent are currently valued at around $7.6 billion – around 0.2% of the total $3.8 trillion value of start-ups globally** – but nearly seven out of 10 (69%) of senior African business executives believe that will more than double in the next five years.

The rise in the predicted value of start-ups will be driven by growth in the numbers of people starting companies, the study with African business leaders from companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion found.

Before the pandemic around 22% of working age adults on the African continent started new businesses***. But the research among senior executives based in Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania found they expect that number to grow.

More than two out of five (43%) business leaders believe around a quarter of working age adults will have started their own businesses within five years. Almost all (97%) questioned expect the rate to increase from the pre-pandemic 22%.

Business leaders worry new business creation could be blocked by cumbersome regulations and a lack of digital skills due to poor internet connectivity seen as the biggest issues ahead of limited funding and fragmented markets.

They are hopeful about improvements – 70% expect the regulatory issue to become less of a problem over five years while 60% believe the digital skills gap on the continent will close.

World Mobile is aiming to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa which is essential to improving digital skills.  It is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.

Its blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts prices compared to traditional telecom operators and World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.

Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “The numbers of Africans starting their own businesses pre-pandemic was already very impressive and it is interesting to see that senior business leaders across the continent expect even more expansion.

“More than doubling the value of start-ups on the continent over the next five years will have a major impact on employment and standards of living and governments are working hard to make this happen by removing regulation and addressing the digital skills gap.

“We are focused on providing affordable and reliable internet connectivity and in addition we are going to work with governments to support projects such as providing free, unlimited internet access to schools across Zanzibar.”

World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.

The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.

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Telecommunications

Airtel Redeems $300 Million of its $1 Billion Guaranteed Senior Notes

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Airtel on Wednesday announced that its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., has launched a cash tender offer to redeem about $300 million of its $1 billion of 5.35% Guaranteed Senior Notes due in 2024.

According to the telecommunications giant, the tender offer will expire on 19 July 2022, unless amended or extended by BAIN at its sole discretion. However, there is an early tender deadline of 5 July 2022 for noteholders wishing to tender their notes for preferential early tender consideration.

In a statement obtained by Investors King, Airtel said “All Notes accepted for purchase will be cancelled ahead of their maturity in May 2024. BAIN reserves the right at its sole discretion to amend or waive any of the terms of the tender offer.

“A further announcement will be made following completion of the tender offer. This early redemption will be made out of Group cash reserves and aligns with the continuation of our pursuit of a reduction of external foreign currency debt at Group level.”

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