Enterprise

Philippines wants to tax Netflix, Spotify to increase coronavirus relief funds

Might add 12 percent to current prices

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After two months of community lockdowns, the Philippines’s response to the pandemic remains controversial at best. At the time of publishing, the country has 14,035 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 868 deaths.

Recently, Congressman Joey Salceda, currently chairing the Committee on Ways and Means, has proposed a new tax aimed against the country’s biggest social media and entertainment platforms: Facebook, Google, Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify.

Currently, the globally recognized companies are not taxed for putting up ads for goods on online marketplaces in the Philippines. Meanwhile, other entities still pay the 12 percent value-added tax.

As reported by Reuters, the proposed tax will siphon more funds into the country’s pandemic response, including a “national broadband project and digital learning [programs].” However, the bill’s provisions are not available to the public yet.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the tax is against both currently untaxed advertising and services. For merchants selling goods and advertising online, “only 50 percent… pay VAT.” Further, Salceda proposes that digital advertising, especially those done by foreign companies, must course through an official country representative.

For services, Salceda suggest an additional 12-percent tax on entertainment subscriptions. However, a big question lies on who will ultimately carry the blow of the new tax. Is it the company itself or the consumers through higher subscription fees? Right now, Netflix and Spotify subscriptions are slightly lower than their American counterparts. Netflix Philippines has declined to comment.

However, as a bill is still just a bill, no one knows if and when the new tax will push through.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is raising $1 billion to create more original content

Enterprise

Biden wants to make US tech ‘China-free’

Will affect chipsets and EV batteries

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For the past four years, the Trump administration has tried to severely impede the rapid expansion of Chinese companies on American soil. For the most part, Trump was largely successful in firing a horrific warning shot especially with Huawei as an example. Now that Trump is finally out of office, Chinese tech companies are hopeful that the Biden administration will be more lenient. Unfortunately, that might not be the case. According to a report, Biden is making the American tech industry “China-free.”

According to Nikkei, Biden is in the process of signing an executive order which will jumpstart a supply chain without China’s help. Instead, the United States will tap into partners in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

Currently, the plan will include semiconductors and EV batteries. Though the plan doesn’t include everything related to smartphones, it will ensure China-free chipsets going forward especially for Apple and Google. With enough resources and ties, the China-free goal should be feasible enough for the biggest American companies. However, for those without such resources, China might already be way too ingrained in how certain companies operate their business.

No one knows how the supposed deal will impact any Chinese companies already trying to succeed on American soil. However, a China-free supply chain might ruin business for Chinese suppliers.

SEE ALSO: iPad and MacBook production to shift from China to Vietnam

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Enterprise

OPPO will share VOOC technology with other companies

Named the Flash Initiative

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The ongoing charging wars is one of the (sometime, literally) hottest races to follow in the technology industry. Particularly, Chinese tech companies are rushing to build the fastest wired and wireless charging solutions for consumers. Because a war is a war, most brands are keeping their solutions for themselves without sharing. However, confirmed through a new initiative, OPPO is sharing its VOOC technology with other companies.

Today, OPPO has launched the Flash Initiative, which licenses the proprietary technology to other brands for third-party chargers. Currently, the initiative is available for Anker, FAW-Volkswagen, and NXP Semiconductors. Naturally, the most exciting among the three is Anker. The company is already known for making third-party, consumer-friendly chargers. Meanwhile, FAW-Volkswagen can potentially bring the super-fast charging solution to vehicles.

Besides the three companies, OPPO has not revealed whether other companies will eventually join the initiative. At the moment, the Chinese company is still keeping its precious charging technology close to its heart.

As of now, the VOOC technology can go up to 125W of wired charging speeds. According to past tests, the technology can reportedly fill up an empty smartphone in just a few minutes. Recently, OPPO also unveiled a 65W wireless charging solution to the public during MWC C.

Once accessible to other companies, charging might not be an issue for the everyday consumer anymore.

SEE ALSO: OPPO launches 125W flash charge, new VOOC, flash charge lineup

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Enterprise

Converge launches 4 new business-focused products

Improving connectivity for business customers

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A fast and reliable internet connection has proven to be an indispensable need, especially during these times. In line with this, Converge is launching four new products aimed at businesses. These products aim to improve connectivity for all enterprise users, improving efficiency as well as reducing any downtime.

The first of this product is Converge FASTER. With this, enterprises can send and receive files securely through their own networks. It also offers private WAN connectivity between a company’s headquarters, branches, satellite offices, or remote sites through a pure fiber GPON Network and Layer 3 networking service.

Meanwhile, business customers subscribed to the Direct Internet Access service can leverage Converge Time of Day. Through this, customers can double their subscribed bandwidth based on their chosen preset period, allowing them to maximize their budget.

Converge UPLOAD, on the other hand, focuses on boosting upload speeds to supplement IT services. As part of the Direct Internet Access service, it enables businesses to have reliable connectivity especially those relying heavily on sending intensive outbound requirements.

Finally, there is the Converge Connect. Customers can leverage a state-of-the-art MPLS backbone to deliver a high-capacity network-to-network interface for specific data service requirements. They can also customize and combine products and resources in one circuit to address vast and multiple connectivity needs for their businesses.

Interested business customers can visit Converge’s website for more information on these products.

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