Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  Qualcomm’s China Technology Day is all about 5G, your health data is safer in Apple’s hands than with other tech giants, says former Apple CEO, Finland is the mobile data capital of the world, Telegram and social media giants criticised in UK PM’s Davos speech and much more…

Qualcomm’s China Technology Day is all about 5G

Android Authority

From the upcoming 5G Tunable RF front-end components to the 5G Pioneer Initiative, Qualcomm and a number of Chinese electronics giants are gearing up for what’s next to come.

China is a lucrative market in many ways: not only is it the world’s largest smartphone market, but Chinese electronics manufacturers are growing at an unprecedented speed. Whereas five years ago, companies like Huawei remained largely irrelevant, today, these companies are the primary propellers of worldwide smartphone shipments. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Qualcomm is specifically targeting the Chinese market and Chinese manufacturers in its effort to remain competitive.

At its China Technology Day in Beijing today, the multibillion-dollar telecommunications equipment company announced its plans for 5G. More specifically, Qualcomm will be joined by Lenovo, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE, and Wingtech. Dubbed the 5G Pioneer Initiative, Qualcomm hopes to form partnerships with these leading Chinese manufacturers to develop the necessary infrastructure for 5G technology.

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Your health data is safer in Apple’s hands than with other tech giants, says former Apple CEO

CNBC

Consumers should not be concerned about their data if they choose to use Apple’s new way of storing medical records in their devices, former Apple CEO John Sculley told CNBC on Wednesday.

Earlier that morning, Apple announced it was testing a new product that would let people view their medical records via mobile devices, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. Some critics argue that Apple may already have too much access to individuals’ information and wonder what tech giants are doing with customers’ data.

Fmr. Apple CEO John Sculley: iPhone health data push ‘a good first step’  23 Hours Ago | 04:29
Consumers should not be concerned about their data if they choose to use Apple’s new way of storing medical records in their devices, former Apple CEO John Sculley told CNBC on Wednesday.

 

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Data show porn is moving to mobile

Quartz

People are truly doing everything on their phones.

Pornography site Pornhub is the 36th most popular website in the world—more popular than Ebay and Craigslist, and not far behind Netflix. Each year since 2014, the site has released an annual year in review (not safe for work) on its users’ behavior. While many of the report’s most provocative findings are not appropriate for this family-friendly website, there is much to learn from it about how people consume… media.

In addition to looking at trends in pornography preferences, Pornhub reports on the device types used by its customers. This year’s report showed that customers are increasingly enjoying their porn on the go—or at least on their phones. In 2013, only 45% of Pornhub’s traffic was on a phone; that number spiked to 67% in 2017.

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2018 will be the year of ‘smart’ in mobile

Computer World

Mobile remains a very competitive business, with major smartphone vendors continually trying to outdo one another and consumers often left doubtful that the latest gadget is really something they need to buy.

Previous mobile competition was all about having the best displays or the fastest processing. Early on-board assistants, such as Siri and Google Assistant, raised the bar and gave us a taste of what was coming. However, these features have become much less differentiated by brand these days. It’s time for the next wave.

The next generation will be about “smart” and is now making its way into our everyday mobile devices. It’s not just about voice interfaces to a search engine or calendar entry, as we’ve had in the past, nor is it about rudimentary augmented reality/virtual reality.

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Mobile surveys give KFC Thailand deep insights

WARC

KFC Thailand has used mobile consumer surveys to better understand its consumer market, using the data to fuel advertising investment, product testing and a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour.

“Our ecosystem has changed in Thailand,” said Anhul Chauhan, CMO of Yum! Brands Thailand at the IIeX Asia-Pacific event in Bangkok, as he explained that the brand used to operate in the fast food category.

“That category is now gone,” he declared. “There is no such thing as a fast food category. There is something called an eating-out industry, and we’ve had to reframe it.”

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Finland Is the Mobile Data Capital of the World

Spectrum

As telecommunications companies continue along the nearly decade-long process to develop and implement 5G technologies, the perfect testing ground for the new mobile data systems may already exist.

Several factors make Finland a potential sandbox for 5G developers: the average person in Finland used about 20 gigabytes (GB) of mobile data in December 2017, a dramatic rise from the 2016 average of 11 gigabytes per month—more than any other country in the world on a per capita basis. (Mobile subscribers in Latvia, who come in second, used 8.2 GB per month in 2016 while U.S. subscribers ranked 13th at 2.67 GB per month.)

Such high usage in Finland, contrasted with severe competition among the nation’s data providers, has resulted in almost 100 percent coverage of high-speed networks across the entire country.

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Israel becomes the first Middle-East country to accept Alipay

Finextra

Israel Credit Card (ICC, CAL) and OneBill have announced they will be cooperating with Chinese payment market leader Alipay to facilitate payments for Chinese visitors to Israel.

The availability of Alipay means Israel becomes the first country in the Middle East in which it can be used for instore payments. This follows Alipay’s extensive international expansion in recent years. The service is available for Chinese tourists and business travelers visiting Israel.

Israeli businesses are showing great interest in the economic benefits of Chinese tourism, and many have already announced they will enable payments through Alipay. National Airline El-Al and James Richardson Duty Free chain stores will soon accepet Alipay, with Diamond Mines prestigious jewelry chain stores launching Alipay powered payments last week.

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Telegram and social media giants spanked in UK PM’s Davos speech

TechCrunch

Social media giants have once again been singled out for a high profile public spanking over social responsibility and illegal online content in Europe.

Giving a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this afternoon, UK prime minister Theresa May said: “Technology companies still need to do more in stepping up to their responsibilities for dealing with harmful and illegal online activity.

“Companies simply cannot stand by while their platform’s are used to facilitate child abuse, modern slavery or the spreading of terrorist or extremist content.”

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China leans on Alibaba and Tencent to digitize public services

Tech In Asia

On January 15, a public hearing took place in the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen. Instead of having to jump through the usual bureaucratic hoops, participants dialed in virtually – via China’s most popular social app, WeChat. In the past, they would have to submit a signup form via email or in person, wait a few days for approval, and then turn up in person at the designated venue on the day of the hearing.

“Now you sign up on the WeChat official account of the Shenzhen Legislative Affairs Office,” says a participant, referring to the government agency’s WeChat equivalent of a Facebook Page. “And you would get a notification regarding your signup status. When the time arrives, you enter a live chat room through the official account and start typing in your views.”

In the past few years, China’s big tech firms have been changing people’s everyday routines. Tasks that used to be done purely offline – shopping, cab hailing, restaurant queuing, personal banking – are now achievable via a few taps on a smartphone.

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TV commercials led advertising revenue in India in 2017, says report

The Drum

Bolstered by digitisation in India, TV commercials led the advertising revenue with a 44.2 % share in 2017 according to IHS Markit.

The report further predicts TV commercials to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9 % between 2018 and 2021 as demand for TV content increases.

Meanwhile, an increase in smartphone distribution and internet penetration has bolstered the growth of subscription-based online video market in India.

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