Apple working with Chinese telecom firms to reduce spam

China is Apple’s second-largest market and it said earlier this week that revenue in the country jumped 19 percent in the June quarter on strong iPhone X sales. (Reuters)
Updated 02 August 2018
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Apple working with Chinese telecom firms to reduce spam

BEIJING: Apple is working with Chinese telecom firms to find ways to reduce spam received through its messaging service, days after it was accused by state media of allowing illegal content on its platform, China News Service reported on Thursday.
The iPhone maker has been targeted by China’s state media through the past week and the official state broadcaster railed against it in a 30-minute special report on Tuesday, saying Apple allowed illegal content such as gambling apps.
Apple is exploring ways to cut spam messages, including using advanced technology to identify junk messages and rolling out more tools to block hostile accounts, an Apple official was quoted by the state-run China News Service as saying.
“We’ve been working to reduce the issue of spam for quite some time,” an Apple spokeswoman said in an email.
She declined to comment on the China News Service report that it was working with the country’s telecom firms.
China is Apple’s second-largest market and it said earlier this week that revenue in the country jumped 19 percent in the June quarter on strong iPhone X sales, showing investors it still had game even as cheaper Chinese rivals gain ground.
Beijing has criticized Apple before but the fresh attacks come as Chinese regulators have launched a new campaign to clean up spam and unsolicited calls, which are a pervasive issue in China where phone numbers are often sold on black markets.
The criticism highlights an increasingly fraught balancing act for the firm in the world’s biggest smartphone market at a time of mounting trade tensions between China and the United States. Both countries have imposed tariffs on exported goods and are fighting over patents and technology.
While China is limited in its ability to match tariff for tariff, it has stepped up scrutiny of business dealings involving US firms including Facebook Inc. and recently scuppered a deal between US chipmakers Qualcomm Inc. and NXP Semiconductors.
Alphabet’s Google, which quit China’s search engine market in 2010, will block some websites and search terms from the version of its search engine that it plans to launch in China, two sources have said.


Daimler, BMW to invest $1.13 billion in venture to rival Uber

Updated 2 min 5 sec ago
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Daimler, BMW to invest $1.13 billion in venture to rival Uber

  • Carmakers Shifting beyond manufacturing and car sales toward pay-per-minute or pay-per-mile systems
  • Carmakers face marginalization by cash-rich technology firms unless they develop services based on vehicle usage
BERLIN: German carmakers Daimler and BMW unveiled a joint ride-hailing, parking and electric car charging business on Friday to compete with mobility services provided by Uber and other tech firms.
The luxury car firms said they would invest more than €1 billion ($1.13 billion) to expand the joint venture, shifting beyond manufacturing and car sales toward pay-per-minute or pay-per-mile systems.
Consultancy PwC has said carmakers face marginalization by cash-rich technology firms unless they develop services based on vehicle usage.
Established ride-hailing firms have been expanding. China’s Didi Chuxing aims to build its business in Latin America and Uber is gaining a stranglehold on its US market.
“Further cooperation with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are also a possible option,” Daimler’s Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said.
Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing brand will be combined with BMW’s DriveNow, ParkNow and ChargeNow businesses, with both carmakers holding 50 percent stake in the venture.
The venture has five strands: REACH NOW, a smartphone-based route management and booking service, CHARGE NOW for electric car charging, FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing, PARK NOW for parking services and SHARE NOW for car-sharing.
“These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously,” said BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger.
BMW and Daimler are working to develop autonomous cars, vehicles which could enable them to up-end the market for taxi and ride-hailing services.