By Anirban Nag India’s peak festival season did little to lift economic activity last month, suggesting growth is in for yet another quarter of slowdown. The dial on a gauge measuring activity in October remained stuck in the same place it was a month ago. A majority of eight high-frequency indicators compiled by Bloomberg News showed weakness based on the three-month weighted average reading. The dashboard measures “animal spirits,” a term coined by British economist John Maynard Keynes to refer to investors’ confidence in taking action. The poor reading signals a protracted slowdown, and may influence the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates for a sixth time this year in December. The RBI has already cut rates by a cumulative 135 basis points in 2019 after economic expansion slowed to a six-year low of 5% in the April-June period. Data for the July-September quarter, due November 29, will probably show growth was subdued, if not weaker. Here are … [Read more...] about Festival of Lights fails to revive India’s sullen animal spirits
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Chinese handset maker Realme has made its entry into India’s premium segment with the launch of X2Pro smartphone to take on the likes of OnePlus, Samsung and Apple, and is now claiming to disrupt the segment with a slew of premium phones. “We wanted to change the definition of the premium segment. It is not about pricing but giving experience. We are offering all features from the latest chipset to the fastest charging. we will keep on expanding the portfolio. It is just an entry and we have many more devices to come,” Madhav Sheth, India CEO, told ET. All other BBK Electronics companies—OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo—are already present in the premium segment. OnePlus has consistently maintained its lead in the premium segment (Rs 30,000 and above). It was the only premium smartphone brand to surpass 0.5 million shipments mark the third quarter. Faisal Kawoosa, founder analyst at TechArc said that Realme’s acceptability in the premium segment will be … [Read more...] about Realme to drive competition in premium segment; bullish on offline expansion
Snap continues to rebound, adding 13 million daily active users to Snapchat this past quarter. Those added users bring the total number of people using the app around the world every day to 203 million, which is the highest it’s been since Snap went public. The growth indicates that Snap’s investment in product features for a more global user base is paying off and that its luck in creating viral face filters is helping it grow, too. Snap estimates that between 7 and 9 million users joined because of the face filters with the remaining 4 to 6 million users being attributable to the company’s broader product focuses. Last quarter, it released an updated, optimized version of its Android app after years of Android users complaining about a lagged experience and poor quality. Given that most of the world’s population uses an Android device, the redesigned app clearly makes it appealing and functional for more people. CEO Evan Spiegel said in prepared remarks today … [Read more...] about Snap adds 13 million daily active users as it gets serious about global expansion
By Madlen Davies, Matthew Chapman, Jana Kasperkevic, Ben Stockton The embattled American vape company Juul is pushing foreign governments to ditch strict e-cigarette regulations as it aggressively expands across the globe in an attempt to offset lost profits in the U.S. Juul, which sells sleek e-cigarettes and flavored nicotine “pods” that have become a craze among American teenagers, is planning to enter new markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia. As it expands, the company has spent millions of dollars lobbying politicians in an attempt to preempt or roll back relevant regulations on products in several different countries. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal Juul has met politicians, regulators and officials to lobby on vaping rules, putting forward health claims it cannot legally make in the U.S. It has also launched glossy marketing campaigns that attempt to portray the company as a responsible alternative to smoking—a … [Read more...] about Juul Plots Global Expansion Amid Vaping Deaths in U.S.
Human destruction of the living world is causing a “frightening” number of plant extinctions, according to scientists who have completed the first global analysis of the issue. They found 571 species had definitely been wiped out since 1750 but with knowledge of many plant species still very limited the true number is likely to be much higher. The researchers said the plant extinction rate was 500 times greater now than before the industrial revolution, and this was also likely to be an underestimate. “Plants underpin all life on Earth,” said Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was part of the team. “They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, as well as making up the backbone of the world’s ecosystems – so plant extinction is bad news for all species.” The number of plants that have disappeared from the wild is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians combined. The new … [Read more...] about ‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey