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Apple Says ITunes Movies, Book Services Closed Down in China

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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

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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Again, IBM Revenue Plunges for Third Consecutive Quarter

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IBM Revenue Declined for a Third Straight Quarter in the Third Second Quarter

IBM revenue plunged for a third-straight quarter in the period ended September 30, 2020, according to the latest financial results of the company.

The company’s revenue declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, while revenue from IBM Global Business Service declined by 5 percent to $4 billion with Global Technology Services unit recording a 4 percent decline in revenue to $6.5 billion.

Again, the Systems segment that includes mainframe hardware and software experienced a 15 percent decline in revenue to $1.3 billion. The company’s global financing revenue plunged by 20 percent to $273 million.

However, revenue from Cloud and Cognitive Software segment that includes Red Hat rose by 7 percent to $5.6 billion.

The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement. “Separating the managed infrastructure services business creates a market-leading standalone company and further sharpens our focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. This will accelerate our growth strategy and better position IBM to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.

The decline in earnings was in line with the company’s pre-announcement that COVID-19 would impact its overall performance this year.

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Paystack Stripe: Stripe Pays Over $200 Million to Acquire Nigerian Paystack Startup

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Stripe Acquires Paystack for Over $200 Million

Stripe, American financial services, and online payment processing for internet businesses headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, is in the process of acquiring Paystack, a Nigerian based online payment processing startup.

While the terms of the deal are not in the open, sources familiar with the deal said Stripe is paying over $200 million to acquire the Nigerian startup.

Paystack presently has about 60,000 customers that cut across small businesses, fintechs, schools, online betting companies and larger corporations. The sources said the plan will be to continue operating independently in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Suggesting this is one of the reasons Stripe raised $600 million in funding earlier this year to expand its API-based payments services into more regions.

There is enormous opportunity,” said Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch. “In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

Shola Akinlade, the CEO of Paystack said the deal will help the company expand in Nigeria and beyond. “Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us,” said Akinlade, who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO).

For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move.

The deal is expected to boost the attractiveness of Nigerian startups, especially the fast-growing fintech industry.

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Facebook, Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS), Others Partner to Boost Blood Donations in Namibia

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Facebook, Others Partner to Improve Blood Donations in Namibia

Facebook Inc, the world’s leading social media giant, has partnered the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to launch a new feature to encourage people to donate blood.

This means, starting from today people between the ages of 18 – 66 now have the option to sign up as blood donors on Facebook, be notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations and invite friends to donate as well.

Accordingly, the same feature was launched in Chad, Guinea and Mali today, meaning Facebook blood donating feature is now available in 12 Africa nations. Other African nations enjoying the feature are Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The program that was first launched in 2017 has now attracted more than 70 million people who have signed up on Facebook to donate blood through partnerships centres around the world.

Speaking on the initiative, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa, said: “COVID-19 has changed how and where people can give blood, causing countries around the world to experience shortages of voluntary blood donations at this critical time. In keeping with our Mission, we recognized the role Facebook can play in connecting people that want to donate blood with opportunities to do so. The partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services is such an important one. We strongly believe it will enable Namibians to make a positive impact to the blood donation ecosystem in the country.

Zita Tobin, Manager, Donor Recruitment and PR for NamBTS said: “We are truly excited by the partnership with Facebook the tool will assist us bolster our blood collections during the pandemic and beyond, as only 1% of the population donate blood”

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