Alibaba buys German data analysis start-up

The transaction marks the first full takeover by a Chinese company on Berlin’s growing startup scene. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Alibaba buys German data analysis start-up

BERLIN: China’s Alibaba Group Holding has acquired German data analysis firm Data Artisans, the Berlin-based startup said, in a deal reported to be worth around 90 million euros ($103 million).
The transaction marks the first full takeover by a Chinese company on Berlin’s growing startup scene. In the last significant deal, Alibaba’s rival Tencent Holdings participated in a $160 million funding round for online bank N26 in March 2018.
Data Artisans CEO Kostas Tzoumas said Alibaba would also invest an undisclosed sum in the company to develop Apache Flink, its open-source software that can process large data volumes, and to expand into new business areas.
The price of the deal was reported to be 90 million euros in the media, including German newspaper Handelsblatt. Data Artisans declined to comment on the purchase price.
Alibaba, which competes with e-commerce group Amazon.com , has been a customer of Data Artisans since 2016. The German company, which was founded in 2014, also serves clients including Netflix and Uber.
“Typical use cases include live fraud detection, direct interaction with Internet users and real-time financial transactions,” said Tzoumas.
Alibaba said this week it was deepening its partnership with Data Artisans and collaborating to develop software that can process large amounts of data. ($1 = 0.8728 euros)


Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

Updated 20 January 2019
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Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

  • Japanese journalist says they have to cover the summit because the Mideast region is too important for Japan
  • TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks

BEIRUT: Journalists from across the world gathered in Lebanon’s Beirut Waterfront to cover the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit on Sunday despite the tumultuous days leading up to the event.

It was not just Arab and Middle Eastern journalists who were present at the summit’s official media center; reporters from Japan, Europe and the US were also in attendance. 

There were conflicting reports on the number of journalists attending, ranging from 600 to double that. The summit’s official spokesman Dany Najim said 1,200 journalists covered the event. 

In addition to journalists working with news organizations and institutions were those traveling as part of country delegations. 

The Arab League sent 11 journalists, while official numbers put an average of 10 journalists per delegation. 

“We must cover the summit. The region is very important to us. It’s where we buy oil and gas,” said a Japanese journalist.

TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks. While they were placed in a hall adjacent to the main summit meeting room, two large screens were continuously airing the summit’s activities and talks.

Rigid security protocols were in place for the safety of attending delegations. Roads starting from Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel in Minet Al-Hosn district all the way to Al-Nahar newspaper’s offices in Martyrs’ Square were closed as part of a security zone. 

Transportation of journalists was organized by the summit, where a bus was available round the clock to pick them up and take them to the Monroe Hotel — the media hub for the summit — in Minet Al-Hosn, before taking another bus to the Beirut Waterfront.

Several stores and restaurants were forced to shut for the days of the summit, while some issued mass text messages to the public to announce that they will stay open.

This is the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The previous ones were hosted by Kuwait in 2009, Egypt in 2011, and Saudi Arabia in 2013.