About 120 million Chinese tourists traveled last year, and their most popular destinations outside Asia were France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, data by the China Tourism Research Institute showed. They spent $875 each on average while traveling.
In a world where all roads lead to payments, Alipay’s latest initiatives show hand-holding customers through their purchases is a key function of the business. The end-game for these digital giants, regardless of which side of the globe they’re on, is to become an important driver of commerce and put themselves in a position to take a cut of transactions they help generate.
Watching the US elections and discussions across Europe is the fact that even in countries where there are low unemployment statistics, the huge issue is about stagnant growth, stagnant/depressed wages, and low levels of productivity.
The improvement in the U.S. labor market is certainly good news. It could soon become a headache, however, if it persists alongside disappointing economic growth.
The economy added 255,000 jobs in July, after adding 292,000 in June. Employment growth was weaker earlier in the year, and two solid months don’t make a trend — but even so, the labor market is in pretty good shape. The unemployment rate stands at just 4.9 percent, yet the economy keeps drawing workers back into the labor force and creating new jobs.
The problem is that economic activity, according to the most recent indications, remains subdued. The implication is that growth in output per worker — productivity — is lagging. Underlining the point, the current recovery has so far relied on consumer spending much more than investment, which remains in the doldrums. Companies that don’t invest don’t get more productive.
High employment is great — but without stronger growth in productivity, a tight labor market won’t raise living standards as much as it should.
So, this was a fascinating to read about the homegrown Mobile OS in India that reached No. 2 position ( 6.3 % market share) behind Android at the end of 2015 and maintained that position in the first two quarters of 2016, according to data released this week by Counterpoint Research .
What fascinates me is their business model:
Indus OS also offers carrier billing in its App Bazaar, which means users can pay for downloads via their phone bill, for which network providers likely take a cut. This is a big motivator not only for consumers and app publishers but also for the operators themselves, who are less than happy about being left out of a smartphone party where Android and iOS drink more than their fair share of the champagne.
Engie Seeks to Tap Off-Grid Solar to Power Millions in Africa #frugal #accessible #solutions.
In an article on Bloomberg, Engie (a French utility formerly known as GDF Suez) has signed an agreement with Orange SA, the French telecom company, to jointly develop off-grid products that would be paid for through mobile phone credit. They are currently working on pilot projects in West Africa.
“The world is changing. Our chairman used to say that we are building power plants with 1,000 megawatts. With solar and wind farm, we have gone down to just 1 megawatt,” Bensasson said. “With solar home systems and mini-grids we are going down to kilowatts or watts. As a power company we can and we must accompany this shift.”