Tag Archives: Europe

China's Xiaomi swings to net profit in third-quarter on robust sales in India, Europe
November 19, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Monday it swung to a net profit in the third quarter, beating analyst estimates, driven by robust sales in India and Europe.

Xiaomi branding is seen at a UK launch event in London, Britain, November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Profit for the three months through September reached 2.48 billion yuan ($ 357.23 million), versus an 11 billion yuan loss in the same period a year earlier. That compared with a 1.92 billion yuan average of five analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv Eikon.

Xiaomi also said operating profit sank 38.4 percent to 3.59 billion yuan in the third quarter. Revenue rose 49.1 percent to 50.85 billion yuan.

The mixed results come amid a slowdown in smartphone purchases both in China, where Xiaomi once was the top-selling handset brand, and overseas.

Nevertheless Xiaomi, along with fellow low-cost handset makers Oppo and Vivo, accounted for around a quarter of the global smartphone market in the first half of 2018, showed data from researcher IDC.

Xiaomi’s fastest-growing markets are India, where it has had success with its budget Redmi phone series, and Europe, where it entered in 2017 with launches in Russia and Spain. Earlier this month it released its flagship Mi 8 Pro device in Britain.

But to weather the global market slowdown, analysts said Xiaomi needs to expand to new markets and also sell more higher-priced devices with wider profit margins.

The firm has been adding new brands to its smartphone portfolio to target niche consumers. Concurrent with today’s earnings, it announced a partnership with Meitu Inc, a maker of a photo app popular with young women, to sell phones under its brand. Earlier this year it launched Black Shark, a phone targeted at gamers, and Poco, a value-for-money device aimed at India.

Mo Jia, who tracks China’s smartphone makers at research firm Canalys, said attempts to sell more expensive devices requires changing its brand perception.

“It’s still very hard for Xiaomi to change its perception of being a low-end device manufacturer as the majority of its smartphone shipments are the Redmi series.”

Xiaomi also aims to transform itself from a smartphone firm into a software company. As the firm prepared for its IPO, founder Lei Jun touted internet services – namely advertisements placed on the firm’s in-house apps – as its future and key differentiator from other handset brands.

In the third quarter, Xiaomi’s smartphone division grew revenue by 36.1 percent while its internet service division grew 85.5 percent. But phones made up 64.6 percent of total sales, while internet services made up 9.3 percent.

The results are the second set released by Xiaomi since the smartphone maker raised $ 4.72 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) in June, valuing the firm at about $ 54 billion – around half of some earlier industry estimates of $ 100 billion.

Its shares have fallen roughly 20 percent since they started trading in July amid a broader Chinese stock market sell-off and concern about a slowdown in China’s tech industry.

Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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Goldman-backed fintech startup Marqeta launches in Europe
October 22, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Marqeta, a U.S. financial technology startup that helps young companies including digital-only banks issue payment cards, has expanded into Europe, the company said on Sunday.

The company will service the region from London, where it has hired at team of five and signed up new clients, it said.

Backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Visa Inc, Marqeta has developed a platform that it says makes payment card issuing and processing simpler and more efficient for businesses.

It is expanding in Europe through its partnership with Visa.

Marqeta’s U.S. clients include some of the most well-known new entrants in finance such as Square Inc, the payments company founded by Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey, and Affirm, the lending startup led by PayPal Holdings Inc co-founder Max Levchin. It also works with Alipay, the payments business spun out of China-based technology company Alibaba Group Holding.

Britain and the rest of Europe are a promising market because of the growing cohort of young digital-only banks and fintech startups based there, Marqeta’s founder and CEO Jason Gardner said in an interview at an industry conference in Las Vegas.

“We have invested an enormous amount of resources in tech and operations, and have been quietly building a presence there,” Gardner said.

While the company plans to open another office somewhere else in the region, Gardner said the UK’s decision to leave the European Union had not been a concern when picking its first base in Europe.

New entrants in the banking and payments market, such as financial technology startups and challenger banks, have acquired a larger share of industry revenues in the UK than their counterparts in the U.S. and the rest of Europe, according to a report by Accenture.

In the UK new entrants have secured 14 percent of the total €206 billion ($ 238.45 billion)in industry revenues, compared to the 3.5 percent the total $ 1.04 trillion captured in the U.S., according to the report.

Founded in 2010, Marqeta has raised a total of $ 116 million in venture capital, most recently in a round led by Iconiq Capital with participation from Goldman Sachs.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; editing by Grant McCool

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WhatsApp raises minimum age in Europe to 16 ahead of data law change
April 24, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

LONDON (Reuters) – WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook Inc (FB.O), is raising its minimum age from 13 to 16 in Europe to help it comply with new data privacy rules coming into force next month.

FILE PHOTO: The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

WhatsApp will ask European users to confirm they are at least 16 years old when they are prompted to agree new terms of service and a privacy policy provided by a new WhatsApp Ireland Ltd entity in the next few weeks.

It is not clear how or if the age limit will be checked given the limited data requested and held by the service.

Facebook, which has a separate data policy, is taking a different approach to teens aged between 13 and 15 in order to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law.

It is asking them to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform, otherwise they will not see a fully personalized version of the social media platform.

But WhatsApp, which had more than 1.5 billion users in January according to Facebook, said in a blog post it was not asking for any new rights to collect personal information in the agreement it has created for the European Union.

“Our goal is simply to explain how we use and protect the limited information we have about you,” it said.

WhatsApp, founded in 2009, has come under pressure from some European governments in recent years because of its end-to-end encrypted messaging system and its plan to share more data with its parent, Facebook.

Facebook itself is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, setting off wider concerns about how it handles user data.

WhatsApp’s minimum age of use will remain 13 years in the rest of the world, in line with its parent.

GDPR is the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, giving Europeans the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and some other tech firms have said they plan to give people in the United States and elsewhere the same protections and rights that Europeans will gain.

European regulators have already disrupted a move by WhatsApp to change its policies to allow it to share users’ phone numbers and other information with Facebook to help improve the product and more effectively target ads.

WhatsApp suspended the change in Europe after widespread regulatory scrutiny. It said on Tuesday it still wanted to share the data at some point.

“As we have said in the past, we want to work closer with other Facebook companies in the future and we will keep you updated as we develop our plans,” it said.

Other changes announced by WhatsApp on Tuesday include allowing users to download a report detailing the data it holds on them, such as the make and model of the device they used, their contacts and groups and any blocked numbers.

“This feature will be rolling out to all users around the world on the newest version of the app,” it said.

The blog post also points to safety tips on the service, such as the ability to block unwanted users, and delete and report spam.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Adrian Croft

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