Enterprise

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

Apple is not interested in TikTok

TikTok is still up for grabs

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With TikTok virtually up for auction, everyone is getting in on the discussion for an acquisition. Last weekend, President Donald Trump announced a definitive ban against the popular video-sharing platform unless an acquisition deal is done before September 15. Around the same time, Microsoft rose to the fore as the likeliest suitor for the Chinese company. That said, other companies are still popping up in the discussion, one way or another. Today, for example, a source confirms that Apple is not interested in TikTok.

The strange confirmation isn’t unprecedented. Earlier, an Axios report hinted at Apple’s interest in TikTok, citing sources from outside Apple. Naturally, everyone wanted to know whether the American company genuinely wanted TikTok or not.

However, in response to the report, various spokespersons have taken to the media to express their company’s opinion on the matter. It’s definitive. Apple is not discussing a TikTok acquisition. The company doesn’t show interest in one either.

Compared to Microsoft, Apple doesn’t exactly have a lot of stake in the matter. The company has not entered the social media industry, making a TikTok-inspired entry unlikely. On the other hand, Microsoft owns LinkedIn, a comparatively smaller social media platform beside giants like Facebook and Twitter. The company can gain from a company of TikTok’s size.

Currently, the TikTok conundrum has a lot of moving parts. Outside of Trump and Microsoft, ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, has expressed interest in moving the platform’s headquarters to the UK, rather than the US. Also, China has weighed in, calling any plan “an open robbery.”

SEE ALSO: TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

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Enterprise

China won’t allow US to steal TikTok

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TikTok’s fate is in the hands of two dueling nations: China and the US. While TikTok is currently a Chinese company, the US government wants to either acquire the platform or kick it out of America entirely. This past weekend, Trump announced plans to ban the platform unless an acquisition deal is concluded by September 15. For its part, China has finally responded to the ongoing issue. According to state media, China won’t allow US to steal TikTok.

Reported by Reuters, the state-run China Daily made the comments against the American plan. “China will by no means accept the ‘theft’ of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab,” the report said.

Another state-run publication has likewise compared the acquisition plan to an “open robbery,” turning American into a “rogue country.”

Currently, Microsoft is discussing an acquisition of the popular video-sharing platform. By the end of Sunday, Trump seemingly stamped his approval on the plan, giving TikTok 45 days for a deal. On the other hand, TikTok is deliberating a separate move: transferring its headquarters to the UK, thereby upending Trump’s and Microsoft’s plans.

None of the involved parties have agreed to a conclusion so far. The next 40 or so days will prove critical for TikTok, the US, and China. In any case, China is finally getting in on the decision, just as it did for Huawei.

SEE ALSO: TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

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Enterprise

TikTok is considering moving to the UK

Moving away from the US and China

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Since the end of last week, TikTok has scrambled to find a solution for its woes in the US. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced a definitive ban against the Chinese video-sharing platform. By the end of Sunday, the American leader pivoted and warmed up to the idea of an American acquisition led by Microsoft. Trump then gave ByteDance a 45-day deadline to reach an amenable deal between the two parties. Though presenting itself as a yes or no deal, the acquisition plan has spawned an all-new direction. Going against the American plan, TikTok is considering moving to the UK.

Reported by Britain’s The Sun, ByteDance is expected to announce a plan to establish TikTok’s headquarters in London. The expected plan is a plot twist for the Chinese company. Instead of benefiting both Microsoft and Trump, TikTok can kick both to the curb and approach a different market.

With a move to London, TikTok can potentially appease the cybersecurity concerns of all parties voting against the platform. According to the report, a move will prove beneficial to both TikTok and London. One minister was even quoted saying: “This isn’t like Huawei where there are national security concerns.”

Despite the seeming benefit of such a decision, Trump might not agree to the plan regardless. His latest directive advises TikTok to make a deal with an American corporation within 45 days.

Regardless, TikTok is up for grabs. Wherever TikTok plans to move (if they plan to move), both parties will stand to gain. The video-sharing platform is among one of the top apps used today.

SEE ALSO: TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

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