Google signs patent deal with WeChat developer Tencent amid China push

Google did not disclose the scope of the new patent deal and Tencent did not immediately respond to questions about which products the patent agreement will cover. (Reuters)
Updated 19 January 2018
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Google signs patent deal with WeChat developer Tencent amid China push

BEIJING: Alphabet’s Google has agreed to a patent licensing deal with Tencent Holdings as it looks for ways to expand in China where many of its products, such as app store, search engine and email service, are blocked by regulators.
The US technology company has signed similar agreements before with Samsung, LG and Cisco Systems, but the deal with Tencent is a first with a large Chinese tech firm.
Google has previously said that agreements such as these reduce the potential of litigation over patent infringement.
The agreement with the Chinese social media and gaming firm Tencent covers a broad range of products and paves the way for collaboration on technology in the future, Google said on Friday, without disclosing any financial terms of the deal.
Tencent oversees China’s top social media and payments app, WeChat, which has close to a billion users. It also oversees one of the country’s most popular app stores and hosts the country’s biggest gaming and livestream platforms.
Google did not disclose the scope of the new patent deal and Tencent did not immediately respond to questions about which products the patent agreement will cover.
“By working together on agreements such as this, tech companies can focus on building better products and services for their users,” said Mike Lee, Google’s head of patents.
Over the past year, Google has indicated that it was looking to increase it presence in the restrictive Chinese market, with the launch of a local AI research lab, introduction of a version of its translation app and expansion into new cities.
The company announced this month that it had invested in Chinese livestream gaming app Chushou, which is similar to Google’s own YouTube game livestreaming services.
In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke at a conference in China hosted by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which oversees censorship in the country.


GCC citizens eye properties in Oman as number of buyers rises

Many Gulf nationals often buy properties in prominent tourist spots. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 October 2018
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GCC citizens eye properties in Oman as number of buyers rises

  • An increase of 17.63 percent has been recorded

DUBAI: The number of GCC citizens buying properties in Oman has risen by 17.63 percent according to the country's National Center for Statistics and Information, local daily Times of Oman reported on Sunday.

The statistics show that 1,038 properties were purchased by GCC nationals in August 2018, compared to the 855 purchased last year.

“The increase in the number of GCC nationals’ ownership of plots in Oman is because they benefit from the returns on investment in the real estate sector and its value, compared to some other Gulf states. Some of them also buy plots because they have relatives in Oman and want to live near them. Some have inherited land plots because they are of Omani origin, in addition to the desire of many investors to own property in some provinces because of the weather and moderate climate,” an official from Oman’s housing ministry said.

GCC nationals often buy properties in prominent tourist spots in Oman, according to Ahmed Al-Hooti, a member of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Many nationals from Saudi, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain come here and buy properties in popular tourist spots such as Salalah, Masirah Island, and eastern beaches such as Ras Al Hadd for activities such as fishing,” Al-Hooti said.