Tag Archives: Online

IKEA teams up with Russian Post to deliver online orders
October 11, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – IKEA Group on Thursday signed a delivery cooperation agreement with Russian Post in a bid to reach more customers as it develops its local online business.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of IKEA is seen above a store in Voesendorf, Austria, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo

In a joint statement, the two companies said they were currently negotiating the terms of the agreement, which is expected to start in 2019.

“The cooperation with Russian Post is an important step towards creating an efficient system of multi-channel sales,” said Pontus Erntell, the furniture retailer’s Russia country manager.

“The large network that the federal (postal) operator has will allow all residents of Russia to have access to our offering,” he added.

IKEA, known for its flat-packed self-assembly furniture, owns 14 hypermarkets in 11 Russian cities. In the past year, it has focused on bringing customers online and that business now accounts for 8 percent of its Russian turnover.

Erntell earlier said that IKEA was looking to sign strategic partnerships with Russian companies to boost its local online business.

State-run Russian Post has 42,000 branches across Russia.

Reporting by Maria Kolomychenko; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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Chinese online group Pinduoduo targets up to $1.63 billion in U.S. IPO
July 16, 2018 6:53 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Chinese online group discounter Pinduoduo is planning to raise up to $ 1.63 billion from a U.S. listing, its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange showed, in what will be one of the biggest U.S. float by Chinese firms in four years.

Pinduoduo, owned by Walnut Street Group, plans to sell about 85.6 million American Depositary Shares in its initial public offering (IPO) at a price range of $ 16 to $ 19 each, according to its filing, which was uploaded to the exchange website on Monday.

The company, backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, will open the book to institutional investors on Tuesday and price its IPO next Wednesday, said two people close to the transaction.

Pinduoduo expects to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “PDD.”

The company is the latest in a series of Chinese tech groups flocking to list in New York or Hong Kong, seeking to replenish its coffers amid the fierce competition with domestic rivals, notably e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com, even as trade tensions between China and the United States rattle global markets.

China’s Meituan Dianping, an online food delivery-to-ticketing services platform which rivals Alibaba-backed food-delivery peer Ele.me, is also looking to launch its IPO of over $ 4 billion in Hong Kong in coming months.

Loss-making Pinduoduo, set up by former Google engineer Colin Huang in 2015, also counts Sequoia Capital China as a major investor.

In an initial filing, the company, which allows consumers to group together to increase the discounts offered by merchants, claimed 103 million active users of its mobile platform as of the end of March.

The Shanghai-based firm was valued at $ 15 billion in an April fundraising round and was looking to double that, Thomson Reuters publication IFR has reported.

Thanks to its low-priced products and larger user base in China’s smaller cities, the company’s gross merchandise volume exceeded 100 billion yuan last year, a milestone for Chinese e-commerce firms that took Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace five years and JD.com 10 years to reach. Pinduoduo’s revenues have grown sharply, reaching 1.38 billion yuan ($ 206.4 million) in the first quarter of 2018 from 37 million yuan a year ago. Net losses, however, remained broadly steady at 201 million yuan.

CICC, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and China Renaissance are advising Pinduoduo, according to the filing.

Reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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New Zealand's Z Energy flags possible data breach in online card system
June 27, 2018 6:21 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – New Zealand-based fuel supplier Z Energy Ltd on Wednesday said it has been presented with evidence that customer data from its Z Card Online database was accessed by a third party in November 2017.

The database held customer data such as names, addresses, registration numbers, vehicle types and credit limits with the company, Z Energy said in a statement. The data accessed did not include bank details, pin numbers or information that would put customer finances directly at risk, it said.

Z Energy did not specify the extent to which its customer data had been compromised.

The company said it had notified affected customers and advised the Privacy Commissioner of the breach. It said the system in question had been closed since December 2017.

The Z Card allows customers to manage fuel accounts online, and is used primarily by companies with vehicle fleets.

Z Energy said it had been made aware of a potential vulnerability in the system in November, but had not found evidence of any data breaches at that time.

Z Energy operates in both New Zealand and Australia. New laws in Australia requiring companies to report data breaches took effect in late-February this year.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru

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Why I'll Be Using Xbox One Instead Of PS4 For All My Online Gaming Going Forward
June 19, 2018 6:06 pm|Comments (0)

Credit: Epic Games

I’ve put time, effort and money into my Fortnite: Battle Royale account, linked to my PS4. I’ve got the John Wick skin with the Glider to match. I’ve got Raven, Lightshow, Super Striker and a few more premium skins. I’ve got a fully-levelled Carbide and I’ll have The Visitor as soon as some people land in Snobby Shores so I can kill them. I have a little home in the game, a locker where all my past achievements and indulgences sit in a nice little stack. When season 5 starts, however, I’m packing it in. I’ll start a new account on my Xbox One and go from there. I’ll do the same for all other games going forward.

Last week, Sony put its foot in it and has, after some apparent consideration, decided to leave it there. Epic Games released Fortnite: Battle Royale on Switch to expected fanfare, giving people who want to play the game on the go a much more accurate option than the excellent if lacking mobile port. The dream was clear: I could play Fortnite on PS4 at home, and then use my Switch when I was on the road or just out of the house. But that’s not how Sony saw its dream, and it’s locked my account out of ever playing on Switch. The company hasn’t exactly been supportive of crossplay in the past, but this is the first time it’s caused it any serious trouble.

With this looking hostility to crossplay lurking in the background, it leaves me wondering if I’ll get left behind in other games if I start my account on PS4 if and when a Switch port appears. The Switch won’t get every major game, but it will get some, and it doesn’t appear that Sony has any intention of letting its platform play nice any time soon–it’s also just easier to keep these things all in one place. The Xbox One works just fine, thank you very much, and I may as well just play here: watch the free market at work.

Am I certain to run into crossplay or cross-progression problems if I’m playing a game on PS4? No, I’m not. Crossplay is a relatively new phenomenon in the industry and not all that widespread. But Fortnite is instructive about how things can go wrong even if you didn’t necessarily expect them to: when I first started playing I just booted it up on PS4 like I usually do, and it was fun when I found I could move my progression to mobile or PC. But I had grown accustomed to his, and so when I wanted to play on Switch I was pretty annoyed to find out I’d have to start my Battle Pass all the way over. It’s not the worst problem, but it’s one place where the Xbox One now has a clear, inarguable advantage. As a multiplatform player with the choice to migrate it feels like the only natural move.

Going forward, it just seems silly to invest time into levelling an account on Sony if crossplay might be in the cards sometime in the future, and I have to imagine some other multiplatform players are feeling the same way.

Right now, this isn’t such a bee in Sony’s bonnet. I already have a PS4 Pro, and so the company loses out on a small amount of PSN percentages if I buy my V-Bucks on Xbox Live. But that’s now. If this continues to be a problem, this could be the reason that people choose to buy the next Xbox over the next PlayStation in what appears to be an increasingly crossplay friendly future. And that’s not just a bee in Sony’s bonnet, it’s a hornet in its hat.

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Carrefour, Google sign online shopping tie-up in France
June 11, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s largest food retailer Carrefour (CARR.PA) is teaming up with Google (GOOGL.O) to boost its online shopping business on its home turf, where rivals are also launching e-commerce offensives.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Carrefour is seen on shopping trolleys at the Carrefour Lingostiere in Nice, France, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

Carrefour said on Monday that from next year its groceries would be available on the U.S. search engine’s new dedicated shopping site in France, or through Google-operated systems such as connected speakers and voice-assisted devices.

The tie-up comes amid a broader shake-up in France’s competitive food retail market as retailers invest in online platforms and home delivery services to win over clients and ward off in-roads by U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon.

Casino’s upmarket Monoprix chain in March became the first French retailer to agree to sell products on Amazon. Casino also has a home delivery partnership with UK online retailer Ocado (OCDO.L).

Alphabet Inc’s Google, meanwhile, has been pushing to roll out new shopping services to retailers such as Walmart (WMT.N), enabling them to list products on a special shopping site or Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

The U.S. firm hopes the program will allow retailers to capture more purchases on mobile phones or smart home devices. The Carrefour deal marks the first partnership in France.

The companies said in a statement they would open an innovation lab in Paris this summer, in partnership with Google Cloud, for research into artificial intelligence that can be used in consumer services.

Google will also roll out its G Suite productivity tools – where it rivals Microsoft Office – to the entire Carrefour group and its 160,000 employees, the companies said.

Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; Editing by Mark Potter

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Cisco pulls all online ads from YouTube
May 11, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) is pulling all online ads from YouTube due to fears of the ads appearing on sensitive content on the platform, Cisco’s chief marketing officer, Karen Walker, said in a blog on Wednesday.

A logo of Cisco is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The blog, which seemed to have been removed from Cisco’s website on Thursday, said the company would not like its ads to “accidentally end up in the wrong place, such as on a streaming video with sensitive content,” adding that the network gear maker will continue to use YouTube as a platform to share Cisco’s video content.

Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O), which owns YouTube, said it has partnered with advertisers to make changes.

“We have partnered with advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency. We are committed to continuing this dialogue and getting this right,” a Google spokesperson told Reuters.

Cisco’s action follows a CNN report cnnmon.ie/2jOhAXZ in April that said ads from over 300 companies, including Cisco, ran on extremist channels on YouTube.

The companies may have unknowingly helped finance some of these channels through the advertisements they paid for YouTube, according to the CNN report.

Cisco did not respond to a request seeking comment on the blog’s removal from its website.

YouTube said in a report released last month that it had deleted about 5 million videos from its platform for content policy violations in last year’s fourth quarter before any viewers saw them.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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The NRA Massively Increased Online Advertising After the Parkland School Shooting
March 24, 2018 6:08 pm|Comments (0)

As activists from around the country gather in Washington to march for gun safety regulation, new data shows that the National Rifle Association has been aggressively resisting their message through online ads. In the weeks following the school shooting that triggered Saturday’s protests, the NRA spent more than six times its prior daily average on digital ads – including some that appeared with media intended for children.

The finding came from the digital research firm Pathmatics, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The NRA briefly suspended its online ad efforts after a February school shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But Pathmatics found that over the 24 days after the ads resumed, the NRA spent an average of $ 47,300 per day, up from an average of $ 11,300 per day before the murders.

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The ad spending was primarily focused on social media, with Facebook pocketing an average of $ 34,000 of it per day. The NRA also climbed the ranks of the biggest-spending YouTube advertisers, and Pathmatics found that some NRA ads were displayed with videos from Kids’ Toys, a very popular channel featuring two youngsters reviewing Barbie dolls and Lego playsets.

A media commentator told the Tribune that this odd placement probably showed the NRA’s desire for broad reach, rather than the targeting of any specific audience. The NRA reportedly continued to use long-running ads after the shooting, most of them aimed at increasing memberships.

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Careem acquires Middle East online restaurant listing platform, to trial food delivery
February 18, 2018 6:01 am|Comments (0)

DUBAI (Reuters) – Careem, a Middle East competitor to Uber Technologies [UBER.UL], said on Sunday it had acquired RoundMenu and would start trialing food delivery services through the restaurant listing and reservation online platform this month.

The Dubai-based ride hailing firm acquired the website and app for an undisclosed sum.

“Careem will begin testing a delivery capability for RoundMenu customers on a small scale later this month,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

RoundMenu has a presence in 18 cities across nine Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, according to its website.

There is demand for delivery services in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf Arab states where temperatures can soar above 50 degrees in the summer.

Several food delivery companies, including Talabat, Zomato, UberEats, and Deliveroo, are active in the region.

RoundMenu has raised $ 3.1 million in funding since it launched in 2012, the Careem statement said.

Careem said in June it would accelerate expansion plans after raising $ 500 million from investors, including German carmaker Daimler and Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding.

In July, it took a minority stake in an Egyptian start-up that connects commuters with private buses in Cairo.

Reporting by Alexander CornwellEditing by Shri Navaratnam

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Britain urged to prosecute social media firms over online abuse
December 13, 2017 12:39 am|Comments (0)

LONDON (Reuters) – Social media companies should face prosecution for failing to remove racist and extremist material from their websites, according to a report by an influential committee.

FILE PHOTO – A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person’s eye, in Zenica, March 13, 2015.REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Prime Minister Theresa May’s ethics watchdog recommends introducing laws to shift the liability for illegal content onto social media firms and calls for them to do more to take down intimidatory content.

Social media companies currently do not have liability for the content on their sites, even when it is illegal, the report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life said.

The recommendations form part of the conclusions of an inquiry into intimidation experienced by parliamentary candidates in an election campaign this year.

“The widespread use of social media has been the most significant factor accelerating and enabling intimidatory behavior in recent years,” the report said.

“The committee is deeply concerned about the limited engagement of the social media companies in tackling these issues.”

While the report said intimidation in public life is an old problem, the scale and intensity of intimidation is now posing a threat to Britain’s democracy.

FILE PHOTO – People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

The report found that women, ethnic minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political candidates are disproportionately likely to be the targets of intimidation.

The committee heard how racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic abuse is putting off some candidates from standing for public office.

Platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are criticized for failing to remove abusive material posted online even after they were notified.

FILE PHOTO – A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

The committee said it was “surprised and concerned” Google, Facebook and Twitter do not collect data on the material they take down.

“The companies’ failure to collect this data seems extraordinary given that they thrive on data collection,” the report said. “It would appear to demonstrate that they do not prioritize addressing this issue of online intimidation.”

Twitter said in a statement it has announced several updates to its platform aimed at cutting down on abusive content and it is taking action on 10 times the number of abusive accounts every day compared to the same time last year.

YouTube declined to comment, while Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Many politicians have become more vocal about the abuse they face after Labour’s Jo Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two young children, was shot and repeatedly stabbed a week before Britain’s Brexit referendum last year.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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How to Watch Thanksgiving Football Online for Free Without Cable
November 23, 2017 12:05 am|Comments (0)

Thanksgiving’s three NFL matchups might be some of the most-watched games all year. But there’s a catch—the games between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m., and New York Giants and Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m., could have fewer viewers than years past, because of an increasing amount of cable subscribers who are cutting the cord.

But you don’t need cable to catch these games. If you’ve got a high-speed internet connection, there’s a lineup of live streaming television services that have put in a lot of practice for Thursday’s big games, which will air on FOX (fox), CBS (cbs), and NBC, respectively.

Since those are major, over-the-air networks, the easiest way to catch the games is to plug a digital, over-the-air antenna—if you have one—into the back of your television and change the channel to your local affiliate. But if you don’t have that hardware, catching the game could be as simple as downloading a smartphone app and setting up an account. Here are the live streaming television services that offer free trials that include FOX, CBS, and NBC.

DirecTV Now

You can watch games on Thanksgiving using DirecTV Now‘s seven-day free trial. After that time, the service costs $ 35 per month for a package with at least 60 live channels. That basic-level plan includes CBS, FOX, and NBC, but beware—not every subscriber is guaranteed to get those local channels (a problem that plagues all these streaming services). So, before the opening snap, check your local channel availability here.

Fubo TV

A streaming television service geared towards sport fans, Fubo TV has a seven-day free trial which offers 70 channels. After the trial is up, the service costs $ 19 per month for the first two months, and $ 39 per month after that. Packing all sorts of sports networks like Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports, and NBC Sports Network—as well as the NFL Network—it’s made for fans of the gridiron, and not just on Thanksgiving. For an extra $ 9 per month, you can get NFL Red Zone and six different PAC12 channels, which turn this streaming service from a turkey day side dish into a season-long, all-you-can-eat football buffet.

Hulu with Live TV

Like DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV also offers CBS, FOX, and NBC, but it also comes with its deep library of on-demand shows, which may be good if one of the games turns into a blowout. The service is free for a week, after which it runs $ 39 per month. There’s also an option to add on a cloud DVR service, which might be a smart investment if you’ve got a house full of people distracting you from the game, or if you want to watch the halftime show again.

Sling TV

Sling TV offers a seven-day free preview as well as FOX and NBC, but you can only get those channels in select markets and on its higher-tiered “Blue” plan, which costs $ 25 per month after the trial. (Sling’s lower tiered “Orange” plan costs just $ 20 per month, but doesn’t have those networks.) But while Sling TV Blue also offers the NFL Network, so it might be worth keeping after Thanksgiving, if you’re a big football fan. But there is one downside to going with Sling TV: No CBS, which means no Chargers versus Cowboys game.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is a dicey proposition for football plans, but if you’ve got a PlayStation 4, it might be the streaming service for you. The service has a five-day free trial and costs as little as $ 39 per month after the promotional period ends, but you’ll want to go for either the $ 45 “Core” or $ 55 “Elite” plan, because they both pack NFL Network. Also, from Sony’s description of PlayStation Vue’s services, it’s unclear what networks the plans include, and not just because of channel availability by zip code. For instance, some pages on Vue’s website say that CBS, FOX, and NBC are included, but others only list FOX. Inconsistencies like this might cause a fumble on Thanksgiving, so beware.

YouTube TV

Google’s take on live, streaming television, YouTube TV, has a seven-day free trial, 40 channels and an infinitely large cloud DVR capability for $ 35 per month. It’s got all the major networks, including CBS, FOX, and NBC, but the catch is that it’s only available in select markets (though, there are quite a few). YouTube TV subscriptions also give viewers access to YouTube Red, which has all sorts of original content.

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