Enterprise

Second GNI Innovation Challenge is now accepting applicants

Winners get a US$ 250,000 funding

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Google News Initiative hosts the annual Innovation Challenge to support projects in journalism and for its second year, they are now accepting applicants from the Asia-Pacific region.

This year’s Innovation Challenge will focus on projects that increase audience engagement for news providers. Everyone can apply as long as they commit to an authentic and trustworthy news ecosystem.

To apply, applicants must come from eligible countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Google will ask for project descriptions and budget information on its online application form. All projects must have clear indicators showing its impact from a user and/or business perspective. Also, there is a one-year deadline for delivering the project.

There are four criteria for judging: impact on news ecosystem, innovation, feasibility, and inspiration. Winners of the challenge will receive a funding of up to US$ 250,000 and 70% financing for all the projects’ costs.

To know more about the Innovation Challenge, visit Google News Initiative website.

The Google News initiative is Google’s effort to help the news industry. It builds products, partner with organizations, and conducts programs to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Enterprise

Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars

Officially a billionaire

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A few years ago, Apple earned the highly distinguished status of becoming a trillion-dollar company. Without pausing to catch its breath, the company is already barreling towards the 2-trillion mark. Coinciding with his company’s success, Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Cook’s net worth has just passed the US$ 1 billion mark just as Apple’s shares substantially grew last week. Just recently, the company announced a 4-in-1 split for its stocks due to the success.

The Apple CEO’s new position in the success column is an interesting one. Unlike his peers in the industry, Cook is one of the few CEOs who did not found his own company. The current leader took over the reins from the late Steve Jobs back in 2011. Since then, Apple’s success skyrocketed to its current status today. Back in 2015, amidst all the riches he acquired, Cook promised to give away most of his money to philanthropic endeavors.

Apple’s recent success is a stroke of good news compared to other big tech companies in the US. Last week, the biggest tech CEOs faced an onslaught of antitrust issues surrounding the tech industry. For example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg failed to defend his bullying and acquiring tactics to stomp competitors down. Though surviving this barrage, Apple is currently facing its own set of issues worldwide, including antitrust issues in the EU and a strange branding lawsuit in Canada.

If the current trend continues, Apple is set to ascend even further up the ranks of tech companies in the near future.

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Enterprise

WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide

Sinks by up to 30 percent

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Last week, President Donald Trump signed an official executive order banning TikTok and WeChat starting September 15. Though the spotlight is on TikTok, the pending WeChat ban can also impact the technology industry quite heavily. According to an analyst’s report, the WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), the impending ban will determine the iPhone’s fate in the Chinese market. WeChat, a platform owned by Tencent, is a popular messaging app in China. While the app’s presence is drastically lesser in other territories, Chinese immigrants also use the platform to stay in touch with relatives back in China.

If the ban passes, Apple’s App Store can potentially remove the app for all users around the world. Currently, the executive order’s wording is still vague. No one knows if a ban will remove WeChat from American iPhones or all iPhones all over the world.

In the best-case scenario wherein it’s only the US, global iPhone sales will likely drop by up to only 6 percent. This likely pertains to Chinese immigrants in the US. However, in the worst-case scenario wherein iPhones everywhere lose the app, Apple’s sales will sink by up to a whopping 30 percent.

Despite the overwhelming dominance of Chinese brands in China, Apple still retains a sizable share in the country’s market. Compared to last year, the American brand’s market share actually grew in size. If Kuo’s more pessimistic scenario comes to pass, Trump’s orders might have inadvertently doomed Apple’s business in China.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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Enterprise

Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo

Five-person startup vs. trillion-dollar company

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As the saying goes, “apples and oranges.” Apparently, the well-known idiom doesn’t apply for the iPhone makers of the same name. If your company uses any fruit-themed logo (even if it’s not an apple), Apple will see their own logo and go at you with the full force of their legal team. In a strange turn of events, Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo.

Reported by Canadian outlet iPhone in Canada, Prepear, a meal-planning startup with only five people, is facing legal action from the trillion-dollar Apple because of their logo. Super Healthy Kids, another startup from the founders of Prepear, shared their woes on Instagram. As the name suggests, Prepear uses a pear-shaped logo in lime green. According to the post, Apple thinks that the Prepear logo looks too similar to the globally known Apple logo.

Now, if you squint enough, you might find a few similarities. Both have a leaf hanging near the stem, for example. However, both logos are quite arguably far enough from each other. In fact, their brand identities are very distinct from each other.

Along with the Instagram post, Prepear has also started a Change.org petition, in hopes of stopping Apple’s legal action against them. In the petition, the startup is calling out Apple for bullying other smaller startups with fruit-themed logos. “Most small businesses cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to fight Apple,” the petition said.

In the same vein, big tech companies in the US are facing a lot of antitrust issues. Just recently, a court hearing caught Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg lying under oath. The social media company stole, bullied, and acquired rival companies to take them out.

Of course, Apple is no stranger to weird court cases from people in the past. However, this is one of the rare instances when the company itself is pursuing legal action for strange reasons against smaller entities.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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