Apple Pay’s next move could be phone-to-phone payments
The launch this week of Apple Pay is giving many people their first taste of NFC payment technology, which allows them to buy things in a store by bringing an iPhone 6 close to a compatible terminal. But the NFC standard also allows payments to be made directly between smartphones. Apple and its competitors, such as Google Wallet, don’t offer support for that part of the standard, but the technology already exists inside many of today’s NFC-equipped phones and could one day allow retailers to accept NFC payment using smartphones.
Huawei doubles its premium smartphone shipments globally
Huawei said third-quarter smartphone shipments jumped 26 per cent year-on-year, doubling the number of devices it shipped in the high-margin premium market dominated by Samsung and Apple. The Shenzhen-based firm, which is also the world’s second-largest telecoms equipment maker – and the third largest smartphone maker – shipped 16.8m units globally in the quarter ending 30 September, according to Huawei’s filings.
China Telecom, Unicom to build content delivery firm
China Telecom Corp and China Unicom Hong Kong could soon jointly invest in a new content delivery network (CDN) company that would speed up Chinese users’ Internet access, a Chinese paper reported on Friday. The proposed firm would be run by China Telecom’s cloud computing subsidiary, according to a 21st Century Business Herald report citing an unnamed senior China Telecom employee. Rumours of a CDN joint venture between the country’s second- and third-largest carriers have existed for more than year.
Business Times Singapore
Airbnb valued at $13 billion
Online home-rental marketplace Airbnb Inc valuation is set to be valued at $13 billion (8.11 billion pounds), up from its $10 billion valuation in March this year, as it discusses an employee stock sale, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Airbnb has met with investors to sell employee shares, and the funds from the sale would go to the employees rather than raising any new capital for the company, the report said, citing two people familiar with the matter.
MasterCard to offer free Wi-Fi to cardholders visiting Britain
MasterCard will offer its customers free Wi-Fi when travelling abroad as part of its Priceless Cities initiative. Customers can download a mobile app, developed by BSkyB-owned company The Cloud, before travelling, which will allow them to use the more than 22,000 Wi-Fi hotspots available in the UK.
Government allocates £3 million to fund online piracy fighting
The government has allocated a further £3 million to fund the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) until 2017, in a move reflecting the growing challenges posed by online piracy and copyright infringement. Announcing the funding, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “This important investment, funded by the Intellectual Property Office, will enable the unit to become truly established.”
BBC America now almost half-owned by US cable company AMC
BBC America has just become much more American, after US cable television broadcaster AMC acquired a 49.9 per cent stake in the business. BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, sold the minority share for $200 million, in a deal which will allow BBC America to cut costs as the same time as gaining access to AMC’s creative team.
Facebook launches Rooms app for anonymous sharing of interests
Facebook has taken the wraps off a new app for iOS called Rooms that brings people together around their interests. A “room” is a feed of photos, videos and text like Facebook or Instagram, but the focus is on a single topic chosen by the person who created it.
Groupon unveils merchant self-promotion with ‘Pages’
Groupon has launched more than 7m listings for merchants through a new service called Pages, which aims to transform the site into a resource for ratings, tips and deals for local businesses in the US. Groupon is to use the new pages as a platform to publish more than 20 million validated ratings and tips from real customers that it has already gathered, highlighting the unique aspects of local businesses.