China had 731 million internet users as of December 2016, which accounts for more than half of its 1.4 billion population.
• Ninety-five percent of China’s internet users are on mobile (695 million people in total).
• China added 42.99 million new internet users in the past year.
• In China, 168 million people use car-hailing apps.
• In China, 469 million people also use mobile wallets.
• WeChat is the most-used app in China. It’s used by 80% of all internet users in the country—an enormous user base built in part on the world’s most popular digital cash platform. MG
Samsung’s thriving chip business eased the pain of the Note 7 debacle, earnings report shows
• Samsung’s overall operating profit was up by 50% to 9.22 trillion won ($7.93 billion) in the October-December quarter, up from 6.14 trillion won last year, fueled mainly by a strong chip business.
• After the nightmarish experience of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the company’s mobile phone business took a small but significant hit in the quarter. Smartphone sales were off 6% to 22.65 trillion won ($19.43 million).
• Samsung’s chip division killed it again this quarter with operating profit up 77% to 4.95 trillion won versus the year-earlier period.
(Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 phones in October after numerous reports of the device’s battery exploding.) MS
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative buys an AI bot to surf scientific research
Doing scientific research can be slow work, often requiring digging through countless academic and/or scientific papers looking for just the right data. That’s something that a number of companies are hoping artificial intelligence can address.
Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization started by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced it has bought one such startup, Meta. In a post on Facebook, the organization—which aims to cure all diseases—wrote that Meta “developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand, and prioritize millions of scientific papers” in an effort to surface the most important information to the researchers who need it the most. One problem Meta (and other organizations in the same space, such as Iris AI) is no doubt grappling with is how to get past the paywalls on countless publications. Meta, which has raised $7.5 million in venture funding, will be free for researchers to use, according to the post.
Oracle sued for paying white guys more than its other workers
A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor claims that Oracle has a “systemic practice” of paying white male workers more than employees of color and women with the same job titles, according to a New York Timesreport. The company refuted the charge in a statement saying it was “politically motivated, based on false allegations and wholly without merit,” but the Labor Department says that Oracle refused to provide routine employment data.
The required reporting of salary information for women and men to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was mandated by an executive order signed by former President Obama. It’s aimed at federal contractors (of which Oracle is one). He subsequently submitted a proposal to further help close the gender wage gap by requiring companies with 100 or more employees to report their staff’s pay broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity.
Although many tech companies used to provide employment data publicly on an annual basis in effort to promote diversity initiatives and report on progress, many recently stopped when the numbers weren’t budging after two to three years. LD.
Yahoo just beat on Q4 earnings, but Verizon deal sees delays
Did Yahoo finally catch a break? Despite better-than-expected earnings today, the embattled company’s stock was initially down 0.3% in after-hours trading, but it trended upward soon after. That initial hesitation may be because Yahoo’s acquisition by Verizon has stalled, with the deal now expected to close in Q2. The delay comes as Yahoo is cleaning up the mess left by two massive hacks on its system that exposed over 1 billion accounts. And on that front, the news keeps getting worse: Earlier today, reports emerged that Yahoo could be facing an SEC investigation for failing to disclose the breach sooner than it did.
Still, Yahoo reported earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $1.46 billion. Analysts had expected average earnings of 21 cents on $1.38 billion. Though desktop continues to decline, the company’s mobile revenue grew this quarter. Its assets in Alibaba are also gaining in value.
Boom moving toward testing of its supersonic plane after successful wind tunnel test
It’s still going to be a few years before any passengers get to fly supersonic aboard Denver-based Boom’s all-business class jets, but the big milestone it announced today would seem to be an important step forward to eventually plying the skies at above the speed of sound.
This step will allow the team to move on to building the large-scale hardware to begin testing with human pilots. This is a very substantial update for the company and a culmination of Boom’s aerospace work, two years in the making.