Riyadh Metro joins station branding ride

The Riyadh Metro project is part of the country’s ambitious program to reform the economy and society. (Reuters)
Updated 15 October 2017
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Riyadh Metro joins station branding ride

RIYADH — The $23 billion Riyadh Metro launched an auction on Sunday for private companies to name and advertise in select metro stops when the system opens in 2019, an initiative that could generate millions of dollars to help cover operational costs.
Construction on the 176-kilometer metro began in 2014 after contracts were awarded to consortiums headed by US construction giant Bechtel Corp, Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas and Italy’s Ansaldo STS.
The metro’s six lines and 85 stations are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2019. They will be served by electric, driverless trains in what officials describe as the world’s largest public transport system currently under development.
Construction has pushed ahead amid speculation the project could be scaled back or delayed following a slump in Saudi Arabia’s oil revenues. The metro is part of the country’s ambitious program to reform the economy and society.
Local and international companies licensed in the kingdom will be eligible to bid for naming and advertising rights at 10 stations, said officials from the state-run Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), which oversees the metro project.
Another 10 stations could be offered at a later auction. Bids must be submitted by Jan. 25 and winners will be announced by mid-2018, the officials said.
“(The revenues) will be allocated for running the train and supporting the public transit system in the city”, said Alwalid Alekrish, Director of Construction Development Projects and Project Director of the Riyadh Metro.
He declined to specify how much the auction was expected to generate, but the potential is large. The metro in neighboring Dubai has earned hundreds of millions of dollars with a similar initiative, according to local media.
Promotional materials suggested winning companies would have their logos plastered throughout the stations – at turnstiles, elevators, passageways and shopping areas.


Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

Updated 59 min 30 sec ago
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Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

  • Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week to address the concern
  • A court found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and banned sales of older iPhone models

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc. , facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older Apple iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would still likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.
“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Apple has said that all of its phone models remained on sale in mainland China and that it had filed a request for reconsideration with the court. All the models appeared to be available to buy on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case in China in late 2017, arguing that Apple infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.