UK trade fair industry warns 30,000 jobs at risk

A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames in London. Britain’s Finance Ministry has spent more than £25 billion ($30.72 billion) on a furlough program that is supporting 9.3 million jobs. (AFP/File)
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Updated 14 July 2020

UK trade fair industry warns 30,000 jobs at risk

  • The threat of a second wave of COVID-19 cases triggered further uncertainty about reopening plans worldwide

LONDON: Around 30,000 jobs in Britain’s events industry are at risk due to increased uncertainty about when trade fairs and exhibitions could resume in the UK, an industry body representing event organizers, venues and suppliers warned on Monday.

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) said companies would need at least eight to twelve weeks to restart exhibitions, calling on the government to set a date for reopening.

The coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing lockdown led to widespread cancelations and postponement of events to later this year or until 2021, while the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 cases triggered further uncertainty about reopening plans worldwide.

“Failure to provide a go-live date impacts the ability of almost 180,000 businesses to recover,” said Chris Skeith, CEO, Association of Event Organizers.

The world’s biggest exhibitions organizer Informa, which is based in London, held its first major event in Shanghai this month.

A spokesman for Informa said the company has seen countries, which make up the majority of its business, such as Germany, France, China, parts of the United States and Australia open for commercial gatherings.

“Nevertheless, the Group believes it is in everyone’s interests for the UK to catch up and give the green light to commercial gatherings too,” he added.

The exhibitions industry in the UK supports 114,000 jobs, according to the EIA.

An estimated 60 percent of the sector’s supply chain will not reopen in October, when the government’s job-supporting furlough scheme ends, the EIA added.

Britain’s Finance Ministry had said it spent more than £25 billion ($30.72 billion) on a furlough program that is supporting 9.3 million jobs. Earlier this month, it had promised another £30 billion to head off an unemployment crisis.


Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

Updated 14 August 2020

Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

  • Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store
  • Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games

NEW YORK: Apple and Google dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.
Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games, which has long been a sore spot with developers.
Fortnite is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple’s iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PC and Mac computers and Android phones.
Apple and Google said the service violates their guidelines.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in statement.
Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store. Android users can download the app from other app stores, although that’s generally not an option for iPhone users.
Epic Games did not immediately return a request for comment. Epic’s Fortnite Twitter account said the company would debut a new short film called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” a seeming parody of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. It has also filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court in Northern California for dropping Fortnite.