News digest 04.01.2021

2020 year in review: 10 mobile milestones

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Year-to-date, consumer spending has now reached approximately $106 billion globally between January 1 and December 17. This figure represents 30 percent growth year-over-year when compared to the same period in 2019.
It’s been an eventful year for TikTok, which has reached nearly 2.6 billion installs globally to date, including Douyin on iOS in China. In Q1 2020, it set a new record with 315 million installs globally.
From January to November, Business apps saw approximately 3.6 billion installs globally from across the App Store and Google Play. This figure is more than double the 1.5 billion installs the category saw in the same period in 2019, representing 140 percent Y/Y growth.
This year has already seen five titles surpass $1 billion, with PUBG Mobile from Tencent leading the way at $2.6 billion, up 64.3 percent from 2019. Another Tencent game, Honor of Kings, has accumulated close to $2.5 billion in player spending, up 42.8 percent from the year prior.

Google pilots a search feature that aggregates short-form videos from TikTok and Instagram

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Google is testing a new feature that will surface Instagram and TikTok videos in their own dedicated carousel in the Google app for mobile devices.
The feature itself expands on a test launched earlier this year, where Google had first introduced a carousel of “Short Videos” within Google Discover — the personalized feed found in the Google mobile app and to the left of the home screen on some Android devices.

China's economy set to overtake U.S. earlier due to covid fallout

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The Chinese economy is set to overtake the U.S. faster than previously anticipated after weathering the coronavirus pandemic better than the West, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The world’s biggest and second-biggest economies are on course to trade places in dollar terms in 2028, five years earlier than expected a year ago.
In its World Economic League Table, the consultancy also calculated that China could become a high-income economy as soon as 2023. Further cementing Asia’s growing might, India is set to move up the rankings to become the No. 3 economy at the end of the decade.

Apple begins lowering app store commission to 15%

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Apple began emailing eligible developers about their acceptance into the program, noting that the reduced 15% commission rate would go into effect by January 1, 2021. And as it turns out, Apple isn't waiting long to flip the switch, as some developers are already starting to see the 15% rate applied to their earnings.

Google employees seek to form a union

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Of the roughly 227 workers who have so far signed on to support the union, they have all committed to set aside 1% of the yearly compensation to go toward union dues. The bulk of the workers who have signed on are mostly based in offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Cambridge.
Efforts to unionize at Google and Alphabet come following the creation of unions at tech companies Kickstarter and Glitch early last year.

Delhi High Court rejects Amazon challenge to $3.4 billion Reliance deal

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The Delhi High Court refused to restrain Amazon from interfering in Kishore Biyani-headed Future Retail’s $3.4 billion deal with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retail by writing to statutory authorities.
In August, retail conglomerate Future Group struck a $3.4 billion asset sale deal with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). Amazon then sent a legal notice to Future, alleging the retailer’s deal breached an agreement with the American e-commerce giant.
This was because last year, Amazon had bought a 49 percent stake in one of Future’s unlisted firms Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) for Rs 1,430 crore.

Jack Ma's wealth tumbles by $12 billion in 2 months

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Ma's net worth has dropped as China tightens rules for the financial technology industry in the country.
Beijing wants more oversight of Ma's financial empire: Ma's Ant Group has reportedly been forced to create a separate holding company for the group's financial operations.
The holding company will be regulated by China's central bank, potentially curbing its ability to expand at the rate it has been in the past few years.

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