Zain profits fall as pandemic hits pilgrim packages 

Zain said that the decline in revenues was partially offset by a drop in operating expenditure and better cost management to limit the impact of the pandemic. (Screengrab)
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Updated 14 July 2020

Zain profits fall as pandemic hits pilgrim packages 

  • Halt of the Umra season contributed to a decline in the sale of visitor packages
  • The telco reported second-quarter net income of about SR59 million, a 54.6 percent decline on the year before

RIYADH: Saudi telecom company Zain KSA said profits more than halved as the halt of the Umra season contributed to a decline in the sale of visitor packages.
The telco reported second-quarter net income of about SR59 million, a 54.6 percent decline on the year-earlier period, according to its preliminary results filing published on the Tadawul on Tuesday.
“The estimated impact from COVID-19 outbreak in Q2 potential revenue is SR186 million mainly from the drop in prepaid, postpaid, devices, and visitor packages and the halt of the Umra season” the company said in a statement.
Regional telecom companies generate millions of dollars in earnings from the sale of prepaid data packages for visitors each year, but the spread of the coronavirus pandemic meant such sales all but dried up as travel came to a standstill. 
Zain said that the decline in revenues was partially offset by a drop in operating expenditure and better cost management to limit the impact of the pandemic.
It spent about SR1.86 billion on capital expenditure in the first half of 2020, with some SR607 million of that related to the acquisition of new spectrum in addition to the rollout 5G.

Zain KSA became the Kingdom’s third mobile network operator when it launched in 2008.


Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

Updated 03 August 2020

Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

  • Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004

SHANGHAI: Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
The company is calling for $1.43 billion in damages and demands that Apple cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” products that infringe on the patent, it said in a social media post.
Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters was not immediately available to find a copy of the court filing.
The lawsuit marks the continuation of a row that has been ongoing for nearly a decade.
Shanghai Zhizhen first sued Apple for patent infringement in 2012 regarding its voice recognition technology. In July, China’s Supreme People’s court ruled that the patent was valid.