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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Visited China Mobile HQ

Tim Cook arrived in Beijing two days ago for yet another trip to China, but since then he has been moving in mysterious ways. According to QQ Tech, one of China’s biggest IT news sites, Cook visited China Mobile (NYSE:CHL; HKG:0941) HQ this morning to meet the new chairman Xi Guohua

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook arrived in Beijing two days ago for yet another trip to China, but since then he has been moving in mysterious ways. According to QQ Tech, one of China’s biggest IT news sites, Cook visited China Mobile (NYSE:CHL; HKG:0941) HQ this morning to meet the new chairman Xi Guohua. The site claims that Cook’s social visit was confirmed by a China Mobile spokesperson.

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Tim Cook in Beijing, January 2013

Tim Cook spotted yesterday at an Apple reseller’s store in Beijing. (Image: @yang_0909 on Sina Weibo)

It’s not clear what was discussed if Cook and Xi did indeed meet, but surely the talk will have covered a possible partnership. Currently, China Mobile, the world’s biggest telco, cannot carry the iPhone or iPad since its 3G network uses the unusual, homegrown TD-SCDMA 3G protocol, which no Apple devices support. While China Mobile has over 700 million subscribers, it’s not faring so well in the 3G stakes, in which it’s only marginally ahead of its much smaller rival, China Unicom. China has just over 200 million 3G subscribers in total.

If Apple will never support TD-SCDMA 3G, then China Mobile must wait for authorities to greenlight 4G going nationwide, which might happen later this year, but is much more likely to launch in 2014.

A trawl of Sina Weibo’s social search reveals no amateur paparazzi shots of Cook today. But yesterday he was spotted dropping into an Apple reseller (pictured above) in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. When Cook was Apple’s COO in mid-2011, he was spotted by a fast-snapping netizen as he strode through the foyer of the China Mobile HQ. If he was in the building again today, he did so with ninja stealth.

(Source: QQ Tech – article in Chinese)

The post Report: Apple’s Tim Cook Visited China Mobile HQ This Morning appeared first on Tech in Asia.

Myanmar

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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Ecommerce

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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Tech

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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