Technology
Microsoft sells MSN China operations
Beijing : US tech giant Microsoft has sold MSN China -- a Chinese edition of its global web portal -- to its local partner Xichuang Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd founded by the portal's top executive.
 
Microsoft said on its official blog that it had signed an agreement to sell MSN China, effective from September, reported Chinese website caixin.com.
 
The financial terms were not disclosed.
 
Xichuang Technology was co-founded late in 2015 by Liu Zhenyu, MSN China's former General Manager.
 
According to the report, Microsoft's MSN China portal never took off owing to government regulations and stiff competition from local rivals.
 
MSN China has strong rivals like Sina and Tencent but according to Microsoft, China is still one of its strategic markets.
 
"After selling off the unpopular unit, Microsoft will continue to invest in China in other businesses, including computing and cloud services," the statement said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Data tariff ain't cheap in India, scope for 75% cut: Study
New Delhi : If you thought data tariff in India offered by telecom service providers was cheap, a top global consulting firm focused on digital media not only says it is pretty steep even by developed nations' standards, but also calls for a 75-per cent cut to push usage.
 
"India's current data tariff (based on current average revenue per GB of Rs 228) is significantly higher than that of relevant developed and developing countries, when adjusted for the per-capita incomes to normalize for affordability levels," says Analysys Mason.
 
"India's data tariffs (price of 1GB pack) as percentage of GNI (gross national income) per capita is currently 2.6 per cent -- whereas, on an average, the developed economies' data tariff, as a percentage of GNI per capita, currently stands at 0.4-0.5 per cent," it adds.
 
In other words, an average user of data in India spends 2.6 per cent of her/his annual income to consume 1GB of data per month -- which is way higher than the average of 0.2-0.4 per cent of the annual income that is spent by their counterparts in developed markets.
 
"Our analysis concludes that a 75 per cent cut in data tariffs (average revenue per GB of Rs 57) alone could increase the user base to 645-667 million SIMs, and the level of monthly data usage to around 4.2-4.3 GB per SIM in 2019-20," the Analysys Mason study says, in the given scenario.
 
Interestingly, the study says that telecom companies won't actually lose out by lowering tariffs.
 
It underscores that in terms of affordability, an average monthly increase in data usage to 10.2 GB at a discounted tariff of Rs 57 per GB, with 10 per cent contribution from voice, translates into a total increase in monthly average revenue per user of Rs 645.
 
The study has come against the backdrop of a price war among telecom operators on data, even as a new player -- Reliance Jio -- that has pumped $21 billion into its new telecom venture, is now gearing up for the commercial launch in the near future.
 
The study does not name any Indian telecom operator, but says while 3G capacity in India has been improving rapidly, that in the case of 4G has actually exceeded demand for the first time, thanks to the new entrant's (read Reliance Jio's) extensive network roll-out.
 
"From a network availability perspective, the abundance of 4G supply could change the consumers' consumption behaviour for the first time in the country, as subscribers get access to higher quality high-speed broadband networks."
 
Another plus point which consumers can look forward to is in terms of devices. The study says with rapid convergence of 3G into 3G+4G devices, and a steep decline in their prices, the availability and affordability will stop being a barrier to in the the coming years.
 
But it does not have much to say on content. It finds that even though this segment, particularly short-format videos, has driven the growth in mobile data usage in India, the availability has been a challenge, especially among the non-English speaking masses. 
 
"Google estimates that next 300 million Net users in India will come from non-English speaking population. However, at present, the supply is heavily skewed towards English content, which is of little relevance to the next wave of Internet users in India."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Mahesh S Bhatt

3 months ago

Jio ko maaldar banana hai Modi sarkar ko So relax & pay chill Mahesh

Excise, VAT exempted goods by states should be GST exempt: FICCI
India Inc. proposed on Tuesday that goods fully exempted from excise duty and VAT by states be categorised as exempted goods in the GST regime, which should be implemented after a minimum of 6 months from the date of adoption of the GST law by the GST Council.
 
"Goods fully exempted from the levy of excise duty and VAT by all the states be categorised as exempted goods in the GST regime as well," Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said in a release following a meeting here with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on the Goods and Services Tax.
 
"Goods chargeable to nil rate of excise duty but charged to VAT in most states could be identified for levying a merit rate of GST. All other goods (except jewellery and demerit goods) could be subjected to the standard rate," the statement said.
 
"As per current indications and reports, goods will be categorised as being subject to merit rates (12%), standard rates (18%) and de-merit rates (40%).
 
"Certain goods will be exempt from GST while bullion and jewellery would be charged to 1% / 2%," FICCI added regarding classification of goods for applying GST rates.
 
In this connection, the industry chamber suggested that with a view to check inflation and check the tendency to evade taxes "the merit rate should be lower and the standard rate should be reasonable."
 
On implementing GST, FICCI said that in order to provide adequate time to trade and industry to prepare "for a hassle free roll out of the GST regime", a minimum of 6 months time should be permitted from the date of the adoption of the GST Law by the GST Council.
 
"Additional time would be required in case the GST Law as passed by parliament or state legislatures is significantly different from the one adopted by the GST Council," FICCI said.
 
FICCI also requested the empowered committee that certain existing exemptions such as the area based exemptions under excise legislation and incentives under states' industrial policies should be converted into an effective, non-discretionary tax refund mechanism.
 
The industry body further recommended that valuation provisions under GST, which is a transaction based tax, should give primacy to actual transaction value.
 
"Valuation provisions under the draft GST laws are reflection of valuation laws of a single point tax like excise duty. Wide powers have been given under the draft GST laws to authorities to reject declared transaction value," the statement said.
 
In a meeting here with Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia earlier this month, Indian industry chambers had raised concerns on the draft GST law, flagging issues like dual administrative control and wide discretionary powers for tax authorities.
 
"Provisions may lead to unwarranted disputes in future so it requested to give a re-look the law before finalising," a FICCI representative told reporters here after the meeting.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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