Enterprise

OnePlus opens its largest R&D facility

Catering the world’s second-largest smartphone market

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OnePlus is a solid example of a well-managed brand that started from scratch and went to dominate the markets. Within a short span of five years, the Chinese company has managed to dethrone legends like Samsung and Apple in the premium segment.

It started out in the southeast Asian markets and slowly made in-roads to India. This one market has played a pivotal role in turning the company’s fortunes thanks to insane demand and a thirst for value products.

Taking a step further, OnePlus has now opened its largest research and development facility in the Indian city of Hyderabad. Located at a central location, the city is not very far from the country’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru. In fact, the city caters to a range of other companies like Google and Amazon.

OnePlus plans to invest INR 1,000 crore (US$ 139 million) in the facility within the next three years. This center will work in tandem with the ones in Shenzhen and Taipei to develop India-specific OxygenOS features. This will also include OnePlus applications, designs, and more.

“In three years, we plan to grow the new R&D center in Hyderabad into our biggest globally. We plan to re-focus our R&D efforts on a large scale and drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on the software side with special emphasis on artificial intelligence, 5G, and IoT,” said Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus.

The facility will have house test labs for improving the camera, networking, and automation. It will also focus heavily on 5G testing, AI improvements, and performance testing.

The facility is spread across five floors with over 186,000 square feet of space. Further, the brand will be able to leverage easily accessible talent in and around Hyderabad. The inaugural event was also addressed by the working president of the elected government, K.T. Rama Rao.

Pete Lau with K.T Rama Rao

India is a developing economy and hence, a perfect market for premium phones. Adding to this, technology companies have doubled down on their investment in the country to avoid import duty and take advantage of government schemes like Make in India. While assembling is just the first step, long-term research and development are essential for a country to create its own industrial lobby.

With the on-going US-China Trade War, developing economies like India and Vietnam have a plethora of opportunities coming their way.

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Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Enterprise

Lazada’s 11.11 concludes with record-breaking sales

E-commerce is growing in the Philippines

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Lazada just had a blast with its 11.11 sale. This year’s sale sets new records for the online store company, with over 11 million deals from local and international brands sold to customers in the Philippines.

Lazada tallied one million sold items within the first hour of the 11.11 sale. One million users also shopped for various items on the website. By the end of the sale event, Lazada shoppers spent a total of 205 million minutes shopping on Lazada. That’s equivalent to watching a marathon of harry Potter for 187,000 times. Filipinos also proved to be shopping-savvy, collecting up to PhP 170 million worth of vouchers during the sale. One person’s shopping cart even amounted to a whopping PhP 1.2 million.

Bigger league of millionaire sellers

Dealers and sellers also set a record for increasing the membership of Lazada’s millionaire-seller league. The league, where sellers past a million peso sale mark earn membership, gained 1,140 new sellers because of the 11.11 sale.

Top brands in the 11.11 sale include Xiaomi for mobile category; CooCaa for home appliance; Pampers for mother’s care; Hydro Flask for general merchandise; Maybelline for health and beauty; and American Tourister for fashion.

This year’s 11.11 sale proves that e-commerce is booming the country. Globally, e-commerce is growing steadily, with China’s Singles’ Day event this year crossing the US$ 38 billion mark for total sales.

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Huawei might get a third extension in the US

Despite US promises to stop extensions

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When will Trump’s obsession with Huawei end? For more than two years, the US government has wandered into an on-and-off relationship with Chinese companies, especially Huawei and ZTE. Currently, the Chinese corporate world is suffering a massive ban on American soil.

Huawei, the ban’s main target, operates purely through a temporary extension granted by the US government. Unfortunately, the license runs out in a few days on November 18, US time. Even then, the current one is already the second extension since May’s definitive ban. In fact, the government already talked about ceasing the extensions altogether.

However, if their previous “promises” are anything to go by, even this particular promise was made on shaky ground. First reported by Politico, the government is expected to extend Huawei’s extension a third time. Unlike the previous 90-day extensions, however, the upcoming one will extend the company’s license by six months.

Though surprising, a third extension likely stems from the government’s recent headway with a more permanent deal. As such, the Trump administration will gain much more by keeping Huawei as a bargaining chip during the deal’s negotiations.

Still, this is getting tedious. For months, both the US and China have been in a relentless tug-of-war for Huawei’s right to operate. However, despite all the news, the issue hasn’t seen a definitive conclusion. Huawei is still in the same mire that it’s been in since May. Who knows when it will end?

SEE ALSO: Taiwan suspends sale of three Huawei phones

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