Loyal cat won’t leave side of fatally struck companion

Loyal cat won’t leave side of fatally struck companion

2013-05-25 04:13:12 GMT2013-05-25 12:13:12(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

A pregnant cat was fatally struck by a vehicle and died on the side of a road in Changchun city, NE China’s Jilin province on May 23rd. A brown cat refused to leave the side of his companion for at least 7 hours and wouldn’t let any one, not even a dog, come close to the scene of tragedy.U47P5029T2D593509F28DT20130525121312U47P5029T2D593509F31DT20130525121312

The age of smart machines: Brain work may be going the way of manual work

The age of smart machines: Brain work may be going the way of manual work

May 25th 2013 |From the print edition


IN HIS first novel, “Player Piano” (1952), Kurt Vonnegut foresaw that industry might one day resemble a “stupendous Rube Goldberg machine” (or as Brits would say, a Heath Robinson contraption). His story describes a dystopia in which machines have taken over brain work as well as manual work, and a giant computer, EPICAC XIV, makes all the decisions. A few managers and engineers are still employed to tend their new masters. But most people live in homesteads where they spend their time doing make-work jobs, watching television and “breeding like rabbits”.

It is impossible to read “Player Piano” today without wondering whether Vonnegut’s stupendous machine is being assembled before our eyes. Google has designed self-driving cars. America’s military-security complex has pioneered self-flying killing machines. Educational entrepreneurs are putting enlightenment online. Are we increasingly living in Vonnegut’s dystopia? Or are the techno-enthusiasts right to argue that life is about to get a lot better? Read more of this post

P&G Looks for Steve Jobs-Like Sequel by Recalling ex-CEO

P&G Looks for Steve Jobs-Like Sequel by Recalling ex-CEO

Much like turning to Star Trek and Iron Man sequels for a safe way to ensure box-office sales, recalling popular former leaders has become a reliable corporate script in times of crisis.

“It’s about confidence,” said James Post, a professor at Boston University School of Management. “People have the confidence that they understand the challenges. They can put their reputation on the table and help stabilize the ship.” Read more of this post

China’s First Modern: Lu Xun was his country’s foremost revolutionary in literature, if not always in politics

May 24, 2013, 12:54 p.m. ET

China’s First Modern

Lu Xun was his country’s foremost revolutionary in literature, if not always in politics.


It’s hard to find a precise Western analogue for Lu Xun (1881-1936). He is China’s Dickens, for his mercilessly sharp portrayals of the era he lived through; he is Joyce, a re-maker of language and form. He has a good deal of Orwell, too, for his political commentary and the plain vernacular style that he championed. And, as a writer who in his final years became a figurehead of the literary left and was sanctified by his the Chinese communist leadership after his death, he has a touch of Gorky.

Lu Xun owes his immense literary reputation in mainland China primarily to his satirical fiction but also to the prose poems and polemical essays that he wrote in the last two decades of his life. In 1918, his surreal first short story in vernacular Chinese, “Diary of a Madman,” portrayed Chinese culture as cannibalistically eating its young. Its iconoclastic premise propelled him to the center of the New Culture Movement of the late 1910s. The two volumes of short fiction he produced between 1918 and 1925, “Outcry” and “Hesitation,” were admired for their portrayals of a China in a state of spiritual emergency: backward, impoverished and complacent. Read more of this post

How to Set the Foundations for B Grimm’s Next 135 years; B Grimm was established in 1878 and now is one of the oldest corporate citizens in Thailand.

Ways to sustain family business

Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn
The Nation May 25, 2013 1:00 am

Academic offers advice at workshop on B Grimm

In the era of globalisation, family-owned businesses are facing major challenges to ensure long-term sustainability. Christine Blondel, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at the global business school INSEAD, said family businesses had some specific strengths and weaknesses. She said the major problems in such ventures were caused by family fights that flared up because they had no clear rules of the game. These internal battles occur because some family members work for the business while some do not, and they have not communicated enough. They do not understand enough what is going on in the business. Another risk occurs when family members lose the entrepreneurial spirit that made their business a success. One of the most important points is that they have to ensure that this spirit is kept alive from generation to generation. Blondel this week held a workshop titled “How to Set the Foundations for B Grimm’s Next 135 years” for the management and executives of that family-owned business, which was established in 1878 and now is one of the oldest corporate citizens in Thailand. Owned by the third generation of the Link family – Harald Link, chairman of B Grimm, and Caroline Link, president of B Grimm Real Estate – it is a multifaceted business active in the fields of energy, cooling, healthcare, lifestyle, transport and real estate. Read more of this post

‘Meddling’ business owners hold back growth

‘Meddling’ business owners hold back growth

Entrepreneurs need to stop being “meddlers, heroes and artisans” and adopt more of a hands-off, “strategic” role so their businesses can grow, according to the Cranfield School of Management. Cranfield said “becoming a strategist is necessary for leaders to outline a vision in order to grow the business and effectively motivate employees”. Photo: © Chris Ryan / Alamy

By James Hurley

1:28PM BST 24 May 2013

Too many British business owners can’t let go of routine tasks and spend too little time managing staff and planning their organisation’s future, the business school said. Research by Cranfield, based on its work with more than 1,500 business owners, identified four common leadership styles among business leaders: ‘strategists’, ‘meddlers’, ‘heroes’ and ‘artisans’. Only a small proportion of entrepreneurs are ‘strategists’, the ideal category, Cranfield said. This group “gives their managers the tools to do their job”, leaving the business owner to carry out future planning. ‘Meddlers’ hold back the growth of their business by holding on to day-to-day management tasks. “Staff are hired to take responsibility but are not empowered to do so and the boss isn’t making time to plan,” Cranfield said. Read more of this post

Growth in Options Trading Helps Brokers but Not Small Investors; Brokerage firms say that options, traditionally used by professional traders, can be profitable for ordinary investors, but this does not square with many investors’ experience

May 24, 2013

Growth in Options Trading Helps Brokers but Not Small Investors


Some of the brokerage firms that helped pique American’s interest in stocks are now luring them into something much riskier: stock options.

As the stock market soars to new heights, E*TradeAmeritrade and Charles Schwab are advertising the potential rewards of options, which give buyers the right to buy or sell stocks at predetermined prices in the future. Options, like their cousins, futures, have traditionally been the domain of Wall Street traders. But the brokerage firms say futures and options can be profitable for ordinary investors, too — a claim that, while true, does not square with many investors’ actual experience. Read more of this post

How to Use Stock Splits to Build a Winning Portfolio

May 24, 2013, 5:29 p.m. ET

How to Use Stock Splits to Build a Winning Portfolio



The price of Noble Energy NBL -1.15% shares will be cut in half this coming Wednesday, when the oil-and-gas-exploration company’s previously announced 2-for-1 split goes into effect. This will follow close on the heels of two other companies whose stocks this past week also fell because of 2-for-1 splits: consumer-products company Colgate-Palmolive CL +0.33% and A.O. SmithAOS -0.10% a water-heater manufacturer. In fact, so far this year 25 NYSE or Nasdaq National Market companies have split their shares by 2 for 1 or more, according to data provider Mergent. The number of such companies has been rising steadily along with the bull market; for all of 2009, for example, there were just 12 such splits. Should you change your opinion of Noble Energy, or any of these other companies, just because they split their shares? It is difficult to see why you should. A 2-for-1 split, for example, merely means you now own twice as many shares that are worth half as much. But try telling that to Neil Macneale, editor of an investment-advisory service called “2 for 1,” whose model portfolio contains only those stocks that have recently split their shares, holding them for 30 months. Over the past decade, according to the Hulbert Financial Digest, that portfolio has produced a 14% annualized return, far outpacing the 8% gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, including dividends. Read more of this post

Beware of ‘Bargain’ Stocks; Why a Low Share Price Alone Doesn’t Make for a Good Value

May 24, 2013, 6:14 p.m. ET

Beware of ‘Bargain’ Stocks

Why a Low Share Price Alone Doesn’t Make for a Good Value



Bargain hunters shopping for underpriced U.S. stocks in the ongoing rally could end up with less than they bargained for. The pool of large-company stocks with prices that are lower than they were at the end of 2012 is getting perilously small. All but 40 of the stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index are up so far this year. Just 35 others are up by less than 5%. The S&P 500 has jumped 16%, not including dividends, so far this year. U.S. stocks held firm Thursday despite a 7.3% drop in Japan, though the S&P lost 1.1% for the week. That so few stocks are in the red so far this year suggests the stragglers are unlikely to catch up to the overall market soon, experts say. For investors, that makes the discount bin a potentially risky place to buy. “I don’t believe the laggards are going to arise from the dead any time soon,” says Kim Forrest, a senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, which manages about $1.3 billion. Value investors like Ms. Forrest hunt for stocks of companies that are underappreciated and undervalued. It is an approach championed by Warren Buffettand many other bargain hunters. But a low share price isn’t the same thing as a good value, particularly if the weakness reflects some fundamental problem facing a company or its industry. Read more of this post

China’s consumers look for alternatives for their savings and their smartphones, at the expense of state firms

Updated May 24, 2013, 7:03 p.m. ET

China’s Consumers Fight Back, Explore Options



BEIJING—On a freezing winter evening, Philip Chow jumped a long taxi line at Beijing’s airport by using an app on his smartphone that signaled to drivers he would pay a tip for a quick pickup. The app, called Didi Dache—Honk Honk, Catch a Cab—is among the latest examples of a new force sweeping China: consumer power. Chinese households are signaling impatience with government controls that cut against their interests. They have started to win important victories, not just finding ways around artificially low fare levels that reduce the number of taxis on Beijing’s streets, but also alternatives to high cellphone costs by state-run telecom firms and low interest on their savings in state-run banks. Read more of this post

Guns and sugar: More governments are insisting that weapons-sellers invest in side deals to help them develop their industries. This is a bad idea

Guns and sugar: More governments are insisting that weapons-sellers invest in side deals to help them develop their industries. This is a bad idea

May 25th 2013 | NEW YORK |From the print edition


IMAGINE that Apple could sell iPhones in Brazil only if it ploughed 20% of its projected revenues there into local technology firms. That may sound absurd, but this is what happens when governments buy arms from foreign contractors. In procurement it is standard to supplement the main deal with a side contract, usually undisclosed, that outlines additional investments that the winning bidder must make in local projects or else pay a penalty. Welcome to the murky world of “offsets”.

The practice came of age in the 1950s, when Dwight Eisenhower forced West Germany to buy American-made defence gear to compensate for the costs of stationing troops in Europe. Since then it has grown steadily and is now accepted practice in 120 countries. It has its own industry newsletter and feeds a lively conference circuit. The latest jamboree, hosted by the Global Offset and Countertrade Association, was held this week in Florida. Defence executives, officials and middlemen gathered there amid forecasts that the industry could double in size over the next few years. Yet its very structure serves to mask a build-up in the unrecognised financial liabilities of companies. It also, critics argue, fosters corruption, especially in poorer parts of the world. Read more of this post

China’s SOEs face poor profit prospects

China’s SOEs face poor profit prospects

English.news.cn   2013-05-24

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) — With China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) posting growth of just 5.3 percent from January to April this year, prospects for the SOEs’ profitability in 2013 remain poor, analysts said. The SOEs saw their total profit growth slow to 5.3 percent year on year to reach 689.13 billion yuan (111.32 billion U.S. dollars) in the first four months, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The growth rate was lower than the 7.7-percent increase recorded for the first quarter and average growth of 5.8 percent in 2012, official data showed. The SOEs lost their position as the country’s most profitable sector in 2012, when China COSCO Holdings Co., the country’s largest shipping company, lost 9.56 billion yuan after a deficit of 10.45 billion yuan for 2011. Read more of this post

Phil Mathews, the Sydney-based hedge fund manager of Sabre Fund nominated by Barron’s as the best performing manager in the world, is under investigation by the corporate watchdog ASIC

Hedge fund manager under investigation by ASIC


Exclusive | Reclusive hedge fund manager Phil Mathews, who made his fortune punting on speculative energy stocks, is under commercial pressure and his trading practices are being investigated by the corporate watchdog.

Phil Mathews’ $1 billion oil win

Alan Kohler10 Jun 2008, 7:35 AM1

Phil Mathews, the Sydney-based fund manager nominated by Barron’s as the best performing manager in the world, seems to have made a billion dollars in May alone from oil futures. It looks like he is now personally worth as much as $2 billion as a result of his incredible oil bet. That would make him Australia’s 13th richest person, just ahead of Lang Walker and behind John Gandel, except the BRW rich list editors haven’t discovered him yet. His Sabre Fund ended April with $906 million; it is now worth around $2 billion. He has told me that the three funds he manages are now worth around $3 billion. About two-thirds of the money in the funds is believed to be in his name. Read more of this post

With almost two-thirds of Australia’s top 100 companies listed on the stock exchange have subsidiaries in tax havens or low-tax jurisdictions, there are fears the structures are being used to minimise tax

Island allure: The tax secrets of big business

May 25, 2013

Georgia Wilkins and Ben Butler


With many of Australia’s largest companies owning offshore subsidiaries in exotic locations, there are fears the structures are being used to minimise tax. ‘The rules… were developed for the industrial age’ said Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury. Very few Australians will have heard of Burdekin Investments, one of the thousands of low-profile post-box companies that makes its home at Ugland House, a resort-style office building in George Town, the capital of Caribbean tax haven the Cayman Islands. It keeps a much lower profile than its parent, Australia’s biggest company, Commonwealth Bank, whose logo is proudly borne by the group’s branches on shopping strips across the country. But thanks to tax authorities and governments desperate to plug budget gaps, tax-haven companies such as Burdekin are getting more attention. There have already been investigations into the tax paid by technology multinationals in Britain and Australia, and this week the US followed suit, with the powerful Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations inquiring into the tax affairs of Apple.

Read more of this post

Korea’s prosecution may seek an arrest for CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun on charges of tax evasion, stock manipulation and breach of trust

2013-05-24 18:26

CJ chairman may face arrest

The prosecution may seek an arrest for CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun on charges of tax evasion, stock manipulation and breach of trust, a senior prosecutor said Friday.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office (SCDPO) wants to take the 53-year-old businessman into custody for questioning about his role in dodging tens of billions of won of income tax, manipulating stocks of CJ’s affiliates and damaging the group’s interest by helping his siblings, the prosecutor said. Investigators suspect Lee did not pay at least 10 billion won of income tax while trading stocks of affiliates, such as CJ Corp., CJ CheilJedang and CJ E&M, using “borrowed” names. CJ Corp. is the group’s holding company, while CJ CheilJedang and CJ E&M are its flagship food and entertainment firms. Lee is suspected of manipulating those stock prices using slush funds hidden in foreign banks based in Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong. As the funds are from foreign countries, they were taken to be foreign investors, which helped boost the stock prices of the companies. In Korea, foreign investors’ stock purchases are seen as a “buy signal” for local investors, and their trade patterns affect the market greatly. In terms of the breach of trust allegation, investigators are looking into why CJ Corp. bought CJ America’s financially-weak affiliate, which Lee’s sister Lee Mi-kyung owned, damaging the company’s value. Chairman Lee is the major shareholder of CJ Corp., the holding company of the group. Lee may face up to 11 years in prison if the allegations are true. According to the related laws, those who take more than 30 billion won in illegal gains from stock manipulation are subject to up to 11 years jail term. Charges of breach of trust and tax evasion vary from four to 11 years in prison according to the amount of money. Investigators have obtained credible evidence, including testimony from a former executive who handled the company’s finances, that Lee hid as much as 350 billion won in more than 300 different bank accounts in Hong Kong, according to prosecution sources. They suspect CJ also established special purpose companies in the British Virgin Islands, a well-known tax haven, to evade taxes and create slush funds. Prosecutors are also expanding their probe into allegations Lee transferred part of a secret fund worth 50 billion won to his two offspring, without paying gift taxes. Read more of this post

Newstapa, also known as the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ), is at the center of a storm of controversy after it published the first list of 245 Koreans who own offshore front companies

2013-05-23 17:07

‘Newstapa’ rocks nation

By Kang Hyun-kyung

Newstapa, also known as the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ), is at the center of a storm of controversy after it published the first list of Koreans who own offshore front companies.

The independent Internet news provider is the only Korean media outlet which is part of the global project, “Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze,” spearheaded by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ). Read more of this post

China Plans to Reduce the State’s Role in the Economy? Prime minister Li Keqiang’s speech to party cadres contains some of the boldest pro-market rhetoric they have heard in more than a decade

May 24, 2013

China Plans to Reduce the State’s Role in the Economy


SHANGHAI — The Chinese government is planning for private businesses and market forces to play a larger role in its economy, in a major policy shift intended to improve living conditions for the middle class and to make China an even stronger competitor on the global stage.

In a speech to party cadres containing some of the boldest pro-market rhetoric they have heard in more than a decade, the country’s new prime minister, Li Keqiang, said this month that the central government would reduce the state’s role in economic matters in the hope of unleashing the creative energies of a nation with the world’s second-largest economy after that of the United States. Read more of this post

Myanmar’s currency has plunged more than 7% over the past month to the lowest since it was floated last year, raising concern about economic stability in Asia’s newest democracy

Saturday May 25, 2013

Kyat slumps as imports flood into Myanmar

YANGON: Myanmar’s currency has plunged more than 7% over the past month to the lowest since it was floated last year, raising concern about economic stability in Asia’s newest democracy.

The drop coincides with a construction boom in Myanmar’s commercial capital, Yangon, which is fuelling demand for dollars as builders import equipment and materials, part of a scramble by investors to tap one of the world’s last frontier markets after an easing of sanctions by Western countries.

Money changers such as Kyaw Naing say people are hoarding dollars, expecting further rises, in the first major bout of currency speculation since Myanmar emerged from military rule in March 2011 and introduced political and economic reforms. Read more of this post

“English Bay shouldn’t become a parking lot for supertankers”; Crude Landlocked as Canadians Join U.S. to Halt Pipelines

Crude Landlocked as Canadians Join U.S. to Halt Pipelines

British Columbia, the Canadian province whose official slogan to its own beauty is “Super, Natural,” is invoking another saying: “No more supertankers.”

That’s potentially big trouble in a nation where oil exports amount to $73 billion annually and the industry employs more than 550,000 workers. It’s also a bad omen for nations, notably China, that have invested billions in Canadian oil projects with expectations that they will one day be able to buy vast quantities of heavy Canadian crude.

To do that means not just pumping it from the vast tar sands — thought to hold as many as 170 billion barrels — lying mainly to the east in the neighboring province of Alberta. It also means building pipelines to carry that heavy oil, known as bitumen, west to the coast. From there, fleets of supertankers will be needed to ship it across the Pacific to Asian markets that desperately want cheap oil. Read more of this post

Olive Oil Displaces Debt at Heart of European Bottleneck

Olive Oil Displaces Debt at Heart of European Bottleneck

It had the same ingredients as Europe’s debt-crisis drama: a battle between north and south, British defiance, media jeering, and murky decision-making starring a cast of unidentified technocrats.

The conflict was put to rest yesterday: the European Union decreed that restaurants in its 27-nation market can continue to put refillable olive-oil bottles on tables, dropping a ban that was scheduled to take effect in 2014.

A week after a little-known committee endorsed the mandate, EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos scuttled it, pledging instead a regulation that “takes account of the lives of everyone, not only some, to avoid this sort of misunderstanding.” Read more of this post

Wal-Mart Plasters Stores With Green Dots to Stay Stocked

Wal-Mart Plasters Stores With Green Dots to Stay Stocked

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is turning up the pressure to keep its shelves adequately stocked by proposing to tie executive compensation to the issue — and has asked an outside auditor to alert workers which items to focus on by plastering U.S. stores with neon green dots.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that Wal-Mart had trouble keeping its stores stocked as it cut back on workers per store. That has cost sales and driven away frustrated shoppers. In April, Acosta Inc., a Jacksonville, Florida-based consulting firm, began the green-dot program in Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores after previously conducting shelf audits without telling workers what items would be monitored.

The effort Wal-Mart (WMT) is expending to fix its stocking issues is notable for a chain that became the world’s largest retailer in part by gaining mastery over its supply chain and logistics. Read more of this post

Soldiers Turn Entrepreneurs as One Million Exit Military

Soldiers Turn Entrepreneurs as One Million Exit Military

Robert Rummells, a U.S. Army Ranger for 22 years, says it was a natural transition when he opened a Mosquito Joe pest-control franchise in Richmond, Virginia, earlier this month.

“I’m an outdoor type of guy, and I didn’t want to be chained to my computer in an office, talking on the phone,” said the 49-year-old, who tried jobs such as installing equipment at a community college and simulated firearms training after retiring from the military in 2009. “I learned I needed to work for myself.”

As more former service personnel turn to entrepreneurship, they’re generating jobs that are helping to cut the unemployment rate for veterans to a four-year low of 6.2 percent in April, lower than the 6.9 percent rate for adult non-veterans. The boost to the labor market matters: More than a million Americans are projected by the White House to transition out of the military through 2015.

One growing option is franchising. Veteran-owned franchise openings reported last year increased by 11,469 compared with 6,081 in 2010, according to the International Franchise Association, a Washington-based trade organization. Read more of this post

Outrage Grows Over Scandal-Tainted Malaysia State Boss; Despite earning a civil servant’s salary for three decades, Taib Mahmud, the powerful chief minister of Sarawak, is reputed by critics to be one of Asia’s richest man with $15 billion

Outrage Grows Over Scandal-Tainted Malaysia State Boss

By Agence France-Presse on 7:16 pm May 23, 2013.

Kuching. Despite earning a civil servant’s salary for three decades, Taib Mahmud, the powerful chief minister of Malaysia’s Sarawak state, is reputed by critics to be one of Asia’s richest men. Taib, 77, and his family are accused of massive corruption and running Malaysia’s largest state like a family business, controlling its biggest companies with stakes in hundreds of corporations in Malaysia and abroad. A Rolls Royce and flashy jet cover his transportation, while a vast war chest has kept his political authority unrivaled in 32 years in charge of the resource-rich Borneo island state, which remains one of Malaysia’s poorest. “The amount of control he has is astounding. He has been able to dominate politics and society here for nearly four decades,” said Faisal Hazis, a political scientist with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. But pressure is rising both at home and abroad for action against a man referred to by his harshest critics as the “thief minister” and viewed as the prime example of a culture of corruption fueling public disgust. Swiss-based activists Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), citing financial records, last year estimated the 77-year-old’s worth at $15 billion, which would make him Malaysia’s richest person. Such revelations are hugely embarrassing for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who faces a slide in support due in part to corruption blamed for bleeding the country of billions of dollars annually. Read more of this post

As more people do their banking and investing online, the lack of a paper trail poses a problem for business partners, executors and heirs

May 24, 2013

Leaving Behind the Digital Keys to Financial Lives


BOB GINSBERG, a retired production manager for an educational publisher, is worried that he does not know any of the logins and passwords for online accounts belonging to his partner or brother and they do not know his.

At 72, he said his concern was not about Facebook or e-mail. It was for their financial lives, which have migrated online, making paper account statements anachronistic. Now, when people die without disclosing their financial affairs to anyone, there is often no paper trail for heirs to follow.

“You’d never know someone else’s financial arrangements, but if it was paperwork you’d have a clue,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “I’m entirely comfortable doing absolutely everything online. But if I have to take over for my brother or my partner, I don’t have any of their information.” Read more of this post

Taobao Turns Ten: A Look Back

Taobao Turns Ten Today: A Look Back

By Tracey Xiang on May 10, 2013

Taobao – “exploring treasures” in Chinese – now is a household name in China. Ten years ago, Alibaba wanted to try out the online auction by putting up a Nokia phone online. That phone turned out to be the first item on the customer-to-customer platform. eBay-like auction, however, never prevailed in China. Taobao simply became the biggest marketplace for online retailing. The total value of transactions processed through Taobao was 34 million yuan in 2003 while the number for 2012 (Tmall is included) was over one trillion yuan ($ 161 bn). It processes 24 million yuan worth of sales each day, said Jack Ma at Taobao’s tenth anniversary event tonight. There are over 6 million retailers on the platform serving almost every Chinese netizen. Peripheral industries including e-commerce solution and logistics were created or boosted thanks to Taobao. To this day, in most places in China, even if some Chinese don’t buy anything on Taobao with their own fingers, they must have young colleagues in the office or relatives to do it for them — recognizing it, Taobao even rolled out a program called Cousin letting people who are capable of using Taobao to purchase and make payments for other people. Read more of this post

Four simple strategies for monetizing your video content

Four simple strategies for monetizing your video content

ON MAY 24, 2013

Recently, some of YouTube’s content partners have expressed their displeasure with the returns they’ve been seeing from the video behemoth. While views have continued to increase over the last few years, ad revenue remains unimpressive. And while content creators would be well advised not to bet the house on YouTube to begin with, the problem of successful monetization is one that the industry has yet to fully master. Even the biggest creator networks and media companies still struggle to justify the expenses involved in video production. While there’s no magic bullet for this issue, content creators should be aware of all of their options in order to drive the best returns.

Here are four worth considering: Read more of this post

Twitter Introduces Charts By Genre And Popularity For Its #Music Service; Everyone in a band wants to know how well they stack up against others. In fact, some artists didn’t see the service coming at all, and were pleased with all of the new attention they were getting

Twitter Introduces Charts By Genre And Popularity For Its #Music Service


Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

We’ve confirmed with Twitter that it has rolled out a new part of its #Music service for the web, charts that we were accustomed to from the company We Are Hunted, that it acquired and now powers the service. The charts are broken up into a few areas: the familiar genre breakdown, as well as some categories like “Superstars” and “Unearthed” that appear to be built based on current Twitter trends and trajectory of artist mentions. This is leveraging all of the data that Twitter is collecting from tweets that include links to tracks from popular and emerging artists.

screenshot_5_22_13_11_58_am Read more of this post

Tech giants are finding lots of bolt-on acquisitions to splash out on

Tech giants are finding lots of bolt-on acquisitions to splash out on

May 25th 2013 | SAN FRANCISCO |From the print edition


BLOGGERS worried that Yahoo could stifle the youthful, rebellious spirit of Tumblr, a blogging service that it bought for $1.1 billion on May 20th, might want to keep an eye on whether Tumblr’s boss, David Karp, is asked to tone down his language. In a message on his firm’s staff blog this week, Mr Karp stressed that the deal with Yahoo would leave Tumblr with plenty of independence—“We’re not turning purple,” he wrote, referring to the corporate colour scheme of its new owner—before signing off with a distinctly uncorporate: “Fuck yeah, David.”

It is not surprising that Yahoo’s purchase has unnerved many Tumblr users. After all, the internet giant has a record of buying promising young tech firms such as Delicious, an online-bookmarking service, and GeoCities, which hosts websites, and then neglecting them. The rich price paid for Tumblr, which reportedly made just $13m of revenue last year, is also fuelling doubts about the deal. According to an estimate by John Saroff, a former Google executive, Tumblr would need to generate at least $108m of revenue a year to return more than the opportunity cost of the capital that Yahoo is tying up in it. Read more of this post

INFOGRAPHIC: Inside The Mobile Real-Time Bidding Ad Ecosystem

INFOGRAPHIC: Inside The Mobile Real-Time Bidding Ad Ecosystem

Josh Luger | May 24, 2013, 3:30 PM | 1,279 | 

Real-time bidding, or RTB, is a style of programmatic buying in which digital advertising opportunities are auctioned off in real-time. The auctions take place in milliseconds as advertisers bid on the right to show you an ad immediately after you open an app or click to a new web page. On the desktop it’s a powerful technique to deliver the right ad to the right consumer at the right time and place. On mobile, it could be more powerful since consumers take their devices everywhere — to the mall, the car dealership, Starbucks, etc. In a recent reportBI Intelligence analyzes programmatic bidding and real time bidding, analyze how it may help solve the mobile advertising CPM problem, and detail its recent impact and successes. We also examine the potential obstacles to its widespread adoption, and look at how the holy grail of mobile advertising – controls and efficiencies – may be reached through its use. By all accounts, RTB grew tremendously in 2012 across the mobile advertising ecosystem. Some of the most promising highlights include: Adfonic: Launched a mobile demand-side platform with RTB in October 2012, says it saw a quarterly increase of 22 billion RTB ad requests in the third quarter of last year — a full three-quarters of its growth— thanks to Android and iOS RTB inventory.  Nexage: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that RTB more than doubled its share of revenue on the platform between May and October of last year. RTB’s revenue share grew 37% every month.  MoPub: A mobile ad exchange, it reported that the number of winning RTB auctions increased 162% over the third quarter of 2012. It’s not just that more real-time auctions are happening. There are also more bids being placed on each RTB-mediated ad request, a metric sometimes referred to as “bid depth.” Nexage, whose mobile RTB exchange is 18 months old, saw the number of bids per auction grow 96% between the second and third quarter of last year. MoPub reported bid depth of 1.6 bids per auction in June 2012, up from 0.4 bids per auction in January.


Shares in Britain’s biggest pawnbroker H&T slide as it warns that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its profits

Gold price collapse hits pawnbroker profits

Shares in largest British high street gold buyer H&T slide as it warns that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its profits

Rupert Neate

guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 May 2013 17.06 BST

Britain’s biggest pawnbroker on Friday warned the collapse in the goldprice will knock its profits. H&T, the largest British high street gold buyer, warned that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its pre-tax profits. The stock market warning sent the company’s shares tumbling more than 11% on Friday to 224p. Pawnbrokers have been surfing on the wave of soaring gold prices for the last few years with TV adverts and websites encouraging consumers to cash in their jewellery. But gold has lost almost a fifth of its value so far this year as some investors lose faith in the metal as a safe haven. Gold was trading at $1386 an ounce on Friday, significantly below the $1,600 an ounce price when H&T last updated investors. The company, which trades in 186 shops and a further 24 pop-up “GoldBar” kiosks in shopping centres, made a £12m profit from buying and selling gold last year, buying up more than £40m of gold from customers and selling it on for £52m. Those profits were down from “super-normal” profits of £17m in 2011, when it benefited from the “rising gold price environment”. H&T said it expected the collapse in the gold price would lead to more unwanted jewellery being resold to consumers rather than sold as scrap to metal dealers. “We sell as much as we can through shop windows, and anything that we can’t gets sold as scrap – but that is subject to the gold price,” a spokesman said. “As the price falls we expect more will be resold as jewellery rather than melted down.” Rival pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has already warned investors that it has been forced to “revise down” its profit expectations because of the gold price collapse.

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