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ASUS is banned from using ‘ZenFone’ branding in India

As ruled by a court

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Much like most companies, ASUS identifies itself with one brand — the Zen lineup. Throughout the years, the Taiwanese company has released dozens of ZenFones and ZenBooks. With all the experience, ASUS has made Zen its own identity.

Naturally, if you take Zen away, ASUS is in for a marketing nightmare. Unfortunately, an obscure Indian smartphone maker is doing just that. Recently, the India-based Telecare Network has sued ASUS for using Zen as part of the latter’s branding.

According to the court case, Telecare Network has owned “Zen” and “Zen Mobile” since 2008. On their official website, Zen Mobile sells a good number of smartphones and feature phones. The site even advertises their aftermarket service as “Zen Care,” similar to ASUS’ own service. Regardless, ASUS’ usage came second. In comparison, ASUS started using “Zen” in 2014.

Of course, ASUS grew so much bigger than the Indian smartphone brand. Despite the presence of more competitive brands, ASUS is still a global player. Telecare Network’s move is a strategic one. The Indian company accuses ASUS of malicious intent in adopting the “Zen” branding.

In its defense, ASUS claims the universality of the Zen philosophy. Asustek chairman Jonney Shih drew a lot of inspiration from the Buddhist concept. ASUS’ defense hinges on “Zen” as a usable name in the public domain. The company defends that no one can claim exclusivity on the concept.

To ASUS’ chagrin, Indian courts did not see it that way. According to the courts, while the concept is universal as a Buddhist teaching, “Zen” is still an ownable property in the tech industry. Hence, the brand’s defense holds no ground. Moreover, the court can prove that Zen Mobile used the “Zen” branding way before ASUS.

As such, the court has banned ASUS from “selling, offering, and advertising” any devices carrying the “Zen” branding. The ban will take effect after eight weeks (or around the end of July). Further, both parties will have a second hearing on July 10.

Of course, the ban comes from India. However, India remains one of the world’s richest smartphone markets. This decision will likely have wide-reaching repercussions in the future. At the very least, ASUS needs a name change in India. If ASUS fails to defend itself, expect a whole new branding scheme.

SEE ALSO: ZenFone 6 is the best-rated phone for selfies on DxOMark

Enterprise

Globe launches network upgrade to improve connectivity by 2021

The telco is building more cell sites and rolling out fiber cable upgrades

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During the 2020 State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged telcos to improve their service as most Filipinos work or learn from home. Now, Globe is embarking on its largest network upgrade to keep up with growing demands for a reliable and faster Internet connection.

A three-pronged strategy for Globe network upgrade

As part of its upgrade, the telco has laid out a three-pronged strategy to improve connectivity for customers. The first part of the strategy is building more cell sites throughout the Philippines. The telco is working with different government sectors to make this possible. Through the support of the Anti-Red Tape Authority and Bayanihan 2, the process of obtaining permits to build cell sites is much faster and simplified.

This simplified process enabled Globe to construct 900 cell sites alone in 2020. The telco obtained 190 permits from 80 local government units, making key upgrades in several areas of Visayas and Mindanao possible. It has also built 32 new towers in several barangays across Quezon City.

The second part of Globe’s strategy is diversifying 4G frequencies for increased frequency and speed. Through this, more Filipinos can now enjoy faster 4G speeds and coverage anywhere in the country.

The final part of Globe’s strategy is intensifying its fiberization efforts nationwide. The telco is upgrading its old copper cables to newer fiber optic cables. A rollout of fiber lines happened in key areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao del Sur within the span of eight months.

Overall, the rollout represented a full 51.4% increase over its 2019 fiberization efforts. By now, the telco is in the process of migrating customers from copper lines to fiber.

Moving to 5G

Globe is also busy rolling out next-generation 5G networks across the country. Recently, it expanded the reach of its 5G network to nine more cities within Metro Manila. The network expansion follows the initial rollout that happened in busy commercial districts such as Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City.

Globe hopes to complete its network upgrade by 2021. It has already spent a considerable amount of money on undertaking this huge initiative. Hopefully, the promise of the better connection surfaces as the new year begins. After all, the Internet in the Philippines remains one of the slowest in Asia.

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Enterprise

Intel can legally supply Huawei with chips

Application approved

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Since last week, Huawei can no longer legally work with American companies or companies using American technologies. As such, the Chinese company is in total survival mode, stockpiling supplies to mitigate the losses. However, outside of their control, other companies are also working to restore balance to Huawei’s businesses. For one, Intel can legally supply Huawei with chips starting today.

Since the start of the Huawei debacle, barred companies can continue operations with Huawei through a government-sanctioned operating license. To get one, the companies must still apply for one. And the government hasn’t exactly rushed to approve applications.

Now, Intel’s application has officially passed approval from the government, according to a Reuters report. With the license, the chipmaking company can legally ship components for Huawei. The approval might help Huawei fill its stockpile for near-future smartphones or even find a permanent supplier for the long run.

Besides Intel, other component companies have also applied for similar licenses. Currently, China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is pending approval to continue business with Huawei. According to another report, Qualcomm has also applied for such a license.

Without a doubt, component companies are also feeling the sting of Huawei’s ban. Though Intel received its approval, the successes of other companies are still shrouded in mystery. At this point, no one knows how the Huawei debacle will finally end.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Store is your one-stop shop for everything Huawei

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Enterprise

Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts

Reportedly China-sponsored and inauthentic accounts

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With the American presidential elections fast approaching, Facebook is taking an active approach against potential election interference. For one, the social media platform is moderating its content more stringently for misinformation. Now, erring accounts are on the chopping block. Today, Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts in the Philippines.

If you’re worried about a potential violation of the right to free speech, the platform claims that the ban affects “inauthentic Chinese accounts,” according to a new security report. In a list containing more than 200 accounts, most were potentially interfering in Asian and American politics. Facebook also included more than 40 pages, nine groups, and more than 20 Instagram accounts.

Most of the accounts were based in the Philippines, commenting (and supporting) China’s claims on the West Philippine Sea and President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions. They also criticized Rappler. Posts were in English, Filipino, and Chinese.

On the flip side, the smaller chunk of suspended accounts is in the United States, showing support for both Democrats and Republicans.

Whereas the American-based accounts have only around 3,000 followers, the Philippines-based accounts have amassed more than 376,000 followers at the time of suspension. Meanwhile, the implicated groups drew in more than 60,000 followers. The accounts spent US$ 60 on ad spending in Chinese yuan. They also spent a whopping US$ 1,100 in Philippine peso.

Undoubtedly, Facebook is taking a more active approach against political interference. It marks a renewed approach compared to its efforts in 2016. Back then, the platform received a lot of flak for affecting the elections in both the United States and in Southeast Asia.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is paying users to delete their accounts

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