Enterprise

Apple is banning anti-China messages from engravings

In Hong Kong and Taiwan

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Though a relatively small part of their repertoire, one of the more unique services that Apple offers is the ability to engrave their devices with whatever a user desires. Well, almost anything. As it turns out, the company has its limits. And, according to a new report, those limits can be political. Apple is reportedly prohibiting anti-China messages from being engraved in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

According to a research website The Citizen Lab, Apple will not engrave 1,045 keywords in mainland China. However, the company is also banning 542 keywords in Hong Kong and 397 keywords in Taiwan. Apparently, half of those blocked terms are political in nature.

Apple users can’t have any messages related to democracy, human rights, or rebellion. They also can’t engrave any keywords related to the Tiananmen Square and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong.

The censorship is problematic, of course. Though censorship is par for the course in China, Apple is implementing the same limits to Hong Kong and Taiwan, which have both declared their independence from China.

According to the report, Apple is merely agreeing to China’s demands to maintain a consistent form of revenue from the mainland. Though China is filled with other competitors, the country is still an important part of Apple’s ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Apple can soon scan your messages for nudity

Enterprise

Google: Digitizing businesses key to P5 trillion value by 2030

Google to play big part in PH economy

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Image by Genevieve Catapangan

The digital transformation of businesses could create up to PhP5 trillion in annual economic value by 2030, a new Google Philippines-commissioned report finds.

Of this value, PhP3.5 trillion could come from technologies that help businesses mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future similar events.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Businesses derive 363.4 billion pesos in annual benefits from Google tools and services, through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money;
  • App developers in the Philippines earn 384 million pesos in annual revenue through Google Play, reaching over one billion users globally;
  • Consumers receive 214.5 billion pesos in annual benefits by experiencing greater convenience, access to information, and enhanced productivity. Search saves users almost five days a year; and
  • By enabling businesses to unlock new revenue streams and expand their businesses through the use of Google Ads, AdSense, and YouTube, Google indirectly supports over 110,000 jobs in the Philippines

This could be a game-changer for the Philippine economy, as the country is still hard-struck by the global health situation and has lagged far behind other nations.

Prepared by economists at AlphaBeta, the report explores eight transformative technologies and the robust economic potential they bring to Philippine industries.

This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) which can be used to drive data-based public health interventions, mobile internet to help digitize retail distribution channels, and the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in supply chain tracking.

Digitizing MSMEs

To fully realize and unlock the opportunities presented by digital transformation, the report has identified three main pillars of action the Philippines could take: enhancing digital skills training and education, accelerating digital adoption and innovation, and promoting digital trade opportunities.

There exists a huge potential for the Philippines, and a lot of positive work has already been done in this area within the last year.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its secretary Ramon Lopez is wary of the important role digital transformation plays when it comes to the country’s economic recovery post-pandemic.

Which is why Google and the DTI have been digitizing small businesses through its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Caravan campaign for the past two years, being able to train more than 46,000 MSME business owners and employees.

In fact, Google’s tools and services are already helping the Philippine digital economy, as local business, consumers and the wider society derive over 578 billion pesos in annual benefits through increased revenues and millions of connections online.

Increasing sales

One of the businesses that benefited from the digital training workshop is Germano’s Chilli which continues to thrive until today.

Germano’s Chilli started in 2008 to recreate the experience of eating chili garlic from restaurants to people’s homes. The concept was fairly new at that time and the business struggled with brand awareness.

Owner Gerome Panlilio then took a Google Philippines-hosted seminar in 2018 to get himself acquainted with features such as Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) on Google Search and Maps, as well as vital knowledge and tools.

This enabled his products to be searchable online, which led to more revenue. Before the pandemic, Germano’s Chilli’s online sales only peaked at 3 percent, but in the past year and a half, it increased to 15 percent.

Digitizing is the way to go

Google Philippines is aiming to aid more businesses like Germano’s Chilli, creating a world that supports digital freelancing and accelerates the shift towards digital payments to let go of disruptions to business operations.

Providing business such access to global markets and equipping them with the necessary digital capabilities to expand reach, business will be able to manage the long-term economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Facebook reportedly planning to change its company name

To focus more on the metaverse

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Facebook really doesn’t want to be Facebook right now. Amid the wave of situations plaguing the company now, Facebook is reportedly changing its company name later this month.

Reported by The Verge, Facebook is changing its company name to focus more on other products in its lineup. Currently, Facebook’s name comes from its huge social media network. Since the start of its network, the company already expanded into different industries including the virtual and augmented reality markets.

Facebook’s new name will reportedly focus on these new products which they have collectively named the metaverse. Even outside of its new peripherals, they also own other networks like WhatsApp and Instagram.

However, a paradigm shift might not be the only reason for a name change.

A tough whistleblower situation has recently revealed a lot of controversies going on behind the scenes of the social media platform. And it’s not their first controversy either. Prior to the ongoing situation, the company was already facing anti-competition controversies last year. A rebrand can potentially save the company from further damage.

Facebook isn’t the first among its contemporaries to create a new company outside of what it is known for. Google, arguably the most popular example of such, founded its current umbrella company called Alphabet. Though Google still exists, Alphabet deals with the brand’s other endeavors.

For its part, Facebook will reportedly announce its new name during its Connect conference on October 28.

SEE ALSO: Ray-Ban, Facebook team up to create Ray-Ban Stories

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Enterprise

Converge commits to 100% renewable energy

Its main office now runs in clean energy

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Converge finally switches to 100 percent renewable energy to power its main office in Pasig City. The company committed to a total of 2.5 megawatts of geothermal energy up to 2023.

First Gen, a clean energy corporation, will be the energy provider for the Internet company. Converge is serious about reducing its carbon footprint and marching its sustainability commitment.

“The Philippines is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and this has direct implications on the future of our business too. We have chosen to take decisive action now. This is the first major step in our journey to becoming carbon neutral,” said Benjamin Azada, Converge’s Chief Strategy Officer.

The clean energy will be sourced from the Tongonan geothermal power plant in the province of Leyte. During the first year, the energy firm will provide a maximum of 1.5 megawatts, and will increase to 2.5 megawatts through its second year.

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