News digest 07.12.2020

PhonePe is raising USD $700 mn; firm valued at USD $5.5 bn

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Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, announced a partial spin-off of PhonePe, the digital payments platform in the country. Registered users of the platform can send and receive money, recharge their mobiles, DTH, data cards, pay at stores, make utility payments, buy gold and make investments.
Within four years since its founding, PhonePe crossed the 250 million registered user milestone, with over 100 million monthly active users (MAU) generating nearly a billion digital payment transactions in October 2020.

App Store Small Business Program: how it works

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Existing developers who made up to 1 million USD in proceeds in 2020 for all their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission.
If a participating developer surpasses the 1 million USD threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.
If a developer’s proceeds fall below the 1 million USD threshold in a future calendar year, they can re-qualify for the 15% commission the year after.
Developers must identify any Associated Developer Accounts to determine proceeds eligibility

Google december 2020 core update is rolling out

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Google announced it is rolling out a new core update, the December 2020 core update. This is the third core update of the 2020 year, the first one was the January 2020 core update and the second one was the May 2020 core update.
Historically, Google has released a core Google algorithm update every few months or so. It has been just about seven months since the May 2020 core update, which took place on May 4, 2020. So this one took a lot longer than previous updates to roll out.

Global ad market will take years to recover from COVID-19

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Global advertising spend is on course to fall by 10.2% – $63.4bn – to $557.3bn in 2020, WARC Data predicts, as traditional media have their worst year on record.
The details are set out in a new report, WARC Global Advertising Trends: State of The Industry 2020/21, which says it will take at least two years for the global ad market to fully recover. A forecast 6.7% rise in 2021 will only recoup 59% of 2020’s losses; the market would need to grow by 4.4% in 2022 to match 2019’s peak of $620.6bn.

China’s live-streamers use fake traffic and virtual gifts to draw real eyeballs

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The practice of paying for fake accounts to boost live stream viewer counts and virtual gift purchases is an ‘open secret’ in the industry, experts say.
Reasons range from pushing up live streams in recommendation rankings to earning fatter commissions from brands, but regulators are catching on.

China's Ant Group considers Paytm stake sale amid tensions with India

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Chinese fintech giant Ant Group is considering selling its 30% stake in Indian digital payment processor Paytm amid tensions between the two Asian neighbours and a toughening competitive landscape, people with direct knowledge of the matter said

Amazon boasts of ‘biggest holiday season’ ever as in-store shopping plummets

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Amazon says it has just had its “biggest holiday season to date” as customers turned to the site to shop rather than venturing out to physical stores. Although CNBC notes that the company did not share actual sales figures for either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, in a blog post the company revealed figures for independent sellers on its platform. Amazon says these sellers saw over $4.8 billion in sales through the two shopping days worldwide, an increase of 60 percent over last year.

Google reports over 2 million fishing sites in 2020 YTD

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According to data analyzed by the Atlas VPN research team, Google registered 2.02 million fishing websites in 2020 Year-to-Date (YTD).

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