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Tim Cook, visits China for first time as Apple CEO

Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China this week for the first time since taking over as chief executive. The company is framing the trip as part of its push for “greater investment” in the world’s most populous country. Cook previously visited China while Steve Jobs was still CEO to look into conditions at the controversial Foxconn plants that make Apple products. Jobs himself never visited the country, which is second only to the U.S. in Apple sales. Cook’s first trip as CEO signifies China’s growing importance to Apple, and its larger strategy for moving into markets outside the U.S. Cook noted in January that demand for the iPhone in China was “staggering.” When he wasn’t being photographed with Chinese citizens at an Apple Store in Beijing (see photo above), Cook apparently met with unnamed “Chinese officials.” It wouldn’t be surprising if he sat down with the heads of mobile carriers to discuss getting the iPhone and iPad on other wireless networks, especially China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by customers. Apple recently signed a deal with China Telecom to carry the iPhone, but it would really make a dent with China Mobile offering it as well. Apple is also in the midst of a major court battle in China for rights to the trademark on the iPad, so Cook could be meeting with the legal team to discuss recent developments. Bankrupt Chinese firm Proview is trying to get the iPad banned in the country on trademark grounds. Filed under: VentureBeat

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Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China this week for the first time since taking over as chief executive. The company is framing the trip as part of its push for “greater investment” in the world’s most populous country. Cook previously visited China while Steve Jobs was still CEO to look into conditions at the controversial Foxconn plants that make Apple products. Jobs himself never visited the country, which is second only to the U.S. in Apple sales.

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Cook’s first trip as CEO signifies China’s growing importance to Apple, and its larger strategy for moving into markets outside the U.S. Cook noted in January that demand for the iPhone in China was “staggering.” When he wasn’t being photographed with Chinese citizens at an Apple Store in Beijing (see photo above), Cook apparently met with unnamed “Chinese officials.” It wouldn’t be surprising if he sat down with the heads of mobile carriers to discuss getting the iPhone and iPad on other wireless networks, especially China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by customers. Apple recently signed a deal with China Telecom to carry the iPhone, but it would really make a dent with China Mobile offering it as well. Apple is also in the midst of a major court battle in China for rights to the trademark on the iPad, so Cook could be meeting with the legal team to discuss recent developments. Bankrupt Chinese firm Proview is trying to get the iPad banned in the country on trademark grounds. Filed under: VentureBeat

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Tim Cook, distinguishing himself from Jobs, visits China for first time as CEO

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Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

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Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.

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In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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