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Alphabet Chairman: Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Some of Their Core Values

Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy says that anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values. Alphabet, of course, is the parent company of Google and reportedly Google is considering re-entering the search business in China. Hennessy said that Google is struggling with whether it is better to give Chinese citizens a decent search engine even if it is restricted and censored. 

John Hennessy, Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, discussed Google’s struggle and internal debate on whether to provide a censored search engine in China during a live audience interview on Bloomberg.

Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Core Values

“Anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values,” says Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy in a live audience interview on Bloomberg. Alphabet is the parent company of Google. “Every single company because the laws in China are quite a bit different than they are in our own country. The question that comes to my mind and that I struggle with is are we better off giving Chinese citizens a decent search engine, a capable search engine, even if it is restricted and censored in some cases than a search engine that’s not very good? Does that improve the quality of their lives? That’s the struggle that we have to work our way through.”

“I think it is a legitimate question in asking how can you do it and still live within the context of what their regulations are,” Hennessy said in response to whether Google can do more good by being in China. “Part of what is reflected inside Google as it is everywhere in the Valley and everywhere in our country right now is the divisiveness that exists. I think that divisiveness has fed more concern in how these technologies get used.”

We Are in a Different Time Now

“If you wind back to the time that Google decided to exit China there were lots of things going on, not just censorship but also surveillance, hacking attempts, things like that,” noted Hennessy. “Those all added together to create a situation. We are in a different time now. Asking how you do this, how you make it safe, but if you store data in the country it can be gotten at by the Chinese authorities. I think you should worry about that and as a minimum, you should make sure that your users understand that.”

Hennessy is not a fan of the current trade wars. “I think in general that trade wars are not productive and they’re not economically productive either. We should try to remind people of that and try to find a way to move forward.”

Google Pulled Out of China in 2010

In 2010 Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, announced that Google would no longer continue censoring their results on Google.cn which quickly led to a complete Google block by the Chinese government:

On January 12, 2010, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

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Google’s EU shopping comparison rivals say their situation is getting worse

They argue in an open letter to the European Commission that Google’s auction-based remedy to antitrust claims is fundamentally flawed.



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European publishers accuse Google and Facebook of ‘plundering’ their content

Publishers and media companies have stepped up lobbying for a restrictive copyright law that would effectively create ‘link taxes.’



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How Successful Marketing Writers Plan Their Content

I never realized just how important it was to connect content with business goals until I had a particular conversation with a client. The client, excited to get started on blog content together, had a running list of topics for me to cover. But then something strange happened. When I asked for background information on
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Stripe is Now Making it Possible for Businesses to Issue Their Own Credit Cards

Stripe has just revealed that it will be offering businesses the capacity to make their own credit cards. The online payments company also announced that they will be using Mastercard and Visa as the operating networks for their new service, aptly called “Stripe Issuing.”

The company explained that the service is “an API for creating cards and new business models” and can be utilized to develop a variety of credit cards, both physical and virtual. For instance, Stripe Issuing can be used to create expense cards with customized credit limits for employees and can even be used by new banks to issue credit cards to their customers.

Since its launch in 2010, Stripe has experienced steady growth in the payments sector. Its system has made it easier for businesses like Lyft, Postmates, and Slack to process payments for ride-sharing, food delivery, and team collaboration services, respectively. 

Stripe’s Annual Transaction Volume Since 2015

Image result for stripe annual growth chart

Now Stripe’s new service aims to fill another gap in payment processing. Lachy Groom, the head of Stripe Issuing, explained to Bloomberg that the company has “tackled many of the major problems on accepting payments” but that businesses still have difficulties in moving their money.

Analyst Jordan McKee expounded on the appeal this new service will have on enterprises. He said that developing a customized payment infrastructure is very complicated and expensive, which is why the majority of companies don’t bother with it. However, Stripe offering a “simplicity value proposition” will definitely bring to light new cases that haven’t been considered previously.

Stripe Issuing service may also generate a tidy sum. Not only will it receive a percentage from every payment made on a card,  it could also grow its revenue by retaining customers who are looking for a one-stop source to issue and receive payments. 

Dozens of companies have reportedly tested the product, although no names have yet been shared. Businesses who are interested in Stripe’s new service can head over to the company site to request an invitation.

[Featured image via Stripe]

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Businesses Struggle to Fill Open Positions as US Workers Quit Their Jobs in Record Numbers

According to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor, a large number of US workers have been quitting their jobs recently. In May, US workers said goodbye to their jobs in record numbers. The statistics showed that 2.4 percent of employees left their companies that month, a higher number than the previous high reached in April 2001.

Some analysts see this as a positive indication of how strong the job market is these days. After all, employees usually only quit their jobs for greener pastures. People who switch employment often receive higher pay and greater benefits than those that stay put.

Government data also revealed that there were fewer jobs advertised in May than in April. The numbers showed that there were 6.84 million jobs in April and only 6.64 million the following month. The 3% drop was the highest in the almost twenty years that records have been saved.

However, the number of open positions were higher than that of the unemployed for the second time in as many years. A look at the available jobs in May, factored in with the number of unemployed workers, shows that there are 0.91 out-of-work individuals for every available job.

The figures mirror a solid job market pushed by employers who are moving to expand their employee base. The recent job report also indicated that the hiring rate was good and that unemployment numbers remained at a low 4 percent.

The current shortage in the labor pool and the competition for jobs should prompt businesses to increase salaries in order to secure workers. However, wage hikes remain at modest levels. Hourly earnings increased to 2.7 percent in June but aren’t commensurate with the 4% yearly gains that are typical in a healthy economy.

The large discrepancy between unfilled job positions and unemployed workers is forcing companies to become more flexible with their hiring. Where businesses used to employ people with specific skills, now they’re more open to choosing applicants who could thrive in the company’s culture and are willing to learn required skills.

However, companies are still cautious and are embracing change much slower than they did in the 1990s, the last time the country enjoyed a solid job market. Staffing experts say that the hiring process has become more thorough in the last twenty years, as background checks intensified and more screening steps were introduced. This is also why it’s taking longer to fill many open positions.

[Featured image via Pexels.com]

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Google invites more entities to take control of their Knowledge Panels and ‘get verified’

Suggest a featured image and control other factual information in the panel.



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3 Content Marketing Myths and Their Reality-Based Solutions

We all know that creating content can be hard work. One of our goals at Copyblogger is to help you make sure you’re putting your work into the right things, so you get results and not just a fistful of disappointment. This week, we looked at three myths and mistakes that can hold writers back
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5 Brands That Used Influencer Marketing to Raise Their Profile

Influencer marketing is more than just a marketing buzzword these days. More companies are utilizing this marketing method to boost sales and grow their brands.

For those still confused about what influencer marketing is, it’s simply the act of promoting or selling products or services via influencers, or people who have the ability to affect a brand. Where the main influencers before were celebrities and industry leaders, today’s influencers are more varied. Nowadays, top brands are seeking out bloggers, food critics, makeup mavens and celebrities who rose to fame on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

Brands that Benefited from Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing provides a lot of benefits. Brands can reach the relevant demographic and enjoy high levels of engagement. It’s also affordable and can help retain a brand’s authenticity. Numerous companies have already successfully leveraged these people to give their brand a boost.

Clinique for Men

Clinique is renowned for its hypoallergenic skincare for women. When the iconic cosmetic company launched a men’s line, they raised product awareness by partnering with a disparate group of male influencers from various professions. These influencers consisted of filmmakers, outdoorsmen, stylists, and lifestyle bloggers, each representing a group of men who would be interested in using Clinique for Men. Every post used in the campaign was unique and defined the influencer. For instance, surfer Mikey de Temple posted a photo of himself wearing his surf gear, with his surfboard in the background, along with a Clinique product.

Clinique’s campaign was golden for several reasons. One, the company’s choice of influencers were so diverse that it expanded the product’s reach. Also, the posts integrated the product smoothly into a setting that was so natural to the influencer. This helped create a more organic interest in Clinique’s men’s line.

Fashion Nova

One brand that has truly embraced influencer marketing is Fashion Nova. According to the company’s founder and CEO, Richard Saghian, Fashion Nova is a viral store that works with 3,000 to 5,000 influencers. Its aggressive marketing efforts rely on lots of model and celebrity influencers, like Kylie Jenner and beauty vlogger Blissful Brii. The former has 93.8 million followers on Instagram while the latter has 93 thousand subscribers on YouTube. These two influencers alone have garnered millions of engagements, likes, and comments for the company.

While other brands go for low-key but very relatable influencers, Fashion Nova went for the celebrities. While this will obviously net a company high-levels of engagement, it can also be costly. But as Fashion Nova has proven, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Lagavulin’s Whiskey Yule Log

This is a magnificent example of how an influencer marketing campaign made a product culturally relevant to a generation. Young people might not have a taste for single malt whiskey, but Lagavulin’s 2016 campaign featuring Nick Offerman changed that. Offerman’s iconic Parks and Rec character, Ron Swanson, is known for his love of whisky. Lagavulin’s 45-minute video took inspiration from YouTube’s yule log videos and simply showed Offerman quietly sipping and enjoying his whiskey next to a fireplace.

The campaign was a success because Lagavulin found the perfect influencer for its brand. Offerman’s character proved to be a critical match for the target audience. As a matter of fact, the campaign was so good that it won an award for Best Influencer & Celebrity Campaign.

Zafferano

Zafferano does not have the same name recall as Nobu or other famous restaurants. But this Singapore-based establishment is a prime example of how social media can be used to boost audience engagement. The company tapped 11 Instagram influencers who are popular in the lifestyle and food category. They invited them to the restaurant for a special meal and in turn, they shared photos of the dishes on Instagram. The influencers also described the dishes and their dining experience. Details like price and availability were also included.

Zafferano’s campaign is notable because of the experience it created for the influencers. This, in turn, helped them come up with authentic and sincere reviews. Since the campaign had such a genuine feel, it encouraged followers to interact and engage with the posts.

Zara

Clothing powerhouse Zara was one of the most profitable companies in 2015, and that’s partly because of its successful influencer marketing campaign. The company’s social media marketing campaign got some help from several top fashion-forward Instagrammers. The Instagram posts shared by these popular influencers showcased Zara’s clothing lines and their followers used these photos to get ideas on what’s currently trending as well as tips on how to work a particular style.

Related image

Zara’s campaign was a success because the company handed the control over to the fashion influencers, the people that customers looked to for fashion advice. The content that was used in the campaign was subtle and useful, which made it even more valuable to the influencers’ thousands of followers.

[Featured image via YouTube]

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Copywriting: Listen to customers so you can speak their language

Words are subtle indicators to tell a potential customer “we understand you specifically” and “this offer is meant for people like you.” To truly speak our customers’ language, we must listen to them because our customers may be very different from us.
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