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

This week..  Google to roll out its own RCS chat system, China’s privacy challenges with AI and mobile apps, how mobile phones are changing personal finance across Africa and much more.

Google gives up on US carriers, will roll out its own RCS chat system

Ars Tehnica

Will RCS ever matter? The standard has been hanging around for years as an upgrade to the aging carrier SMS texting standard, but since the carriers are in charge of it, the Rich Communication Service (RCS) has been going nowhere fast. Google is apparently tired of waiting for the carriers, and after launching its own RCS service in the UK and France earlier this year, the industry giant is now bringing its own RCS implementation to the United States, carriers be damned.

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China’s Privacy Challenges with AI and Mobile Apps

CPO Magazine

China’s rapidly growing tech economy is now facing some serious questions about the trade-offs involved in the widespread adoption of emerging technologies such as AI. In fact, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology is now leading the debate over the relative benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence, with at least some recognition that certain AI applications – such as facial recognition technology – might have some very negative implications for personal privacy.

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Google, Citi see integrated payments, mobile banking as mutually beneficial

Mobile Payments Today

The blockbuster announcement regarding Google’s partnerships with Citigroup and the regional Stanford Federal Credit Union marks a bold evolution in the efforts by Silicon Valley to encroach upon the financial services business, combined with a recognition by traditional banks that they need to jump out of their comfort zones to confront the tech of startup fintech companies from within the U.S. and abroad.

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How mobile phones are changing personal finance across Africa

New Economy

When it comes to mobile money, sub-Saharan Africa is leaps and bounds ahead of other regions. Transactions using some sort of digital currency have a value of close to 10 percent of GDP, according to the World Economic Forum, compared with seven percent of GDP in Asia and less than two percent in Europe and the US.

But while statistics for the overall region paint a resoundingly positive picture, a closer look reveals that there are significant disparities between individual nations.

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IoT cellular device shipments to approach 350m per year by 2025 – with strong China growth noted

IoT News

Sales of IoT cellular devices will approach 350 million per year by 2025, fuelled by 5G, with China continuing to provide a healthy impetus to the market, according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics.

The analyst firm forecasts that shipments of 4G IoT modules will peak within three years, as 5G modules begin slowly in 2019, with 2023 a key inflection point, as 5G modules outstrip those of 4G modules. The automotive vertical market will be the largest consumer of IoT cellular modules across the forecast period and will significantly increase its market share position by 2025.

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Mobile ad spending in APAC jumps 26% in Q3, driven by header bidding

Marketing Interactive

Mobile ad spend in APAC has seen strong growth (25%) in the third quarter (Q3) this year due to the rise of header bidding, a programmatic buying technique that emerged about four years ago. This is according to PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index, which showed that mobile header bidding spend rose 71%, and volume rose 35% over last quarter.

Globally, header bidding is spurring further mobile ad monetisation, accounting for more than half of header bidding transactions in Q3 2019, a dramatic rise from 41% last quarter.

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Instagram takes on TikTok with new video feature

Mobile World Live

Facebook debuted a new video editing tool for Instagram users in Brazil, TechCrunch reported, as the company looks for ways to better compete with short-form video app TikTok.

Available on both iOS and Android, the so-called Reels tool mimics some of TikTok’s popular features, allowing users to add music to 15-second video clips. TechCrunch stated tunes can be sourced from a catalogue or other videos, “to create a remix”.

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App Annie: 5 predictions for mobile app and gaming success in 2020

Venture Beat

App Annie collects a lot of data on mobile devices, apps, and games. And so the mobile insights and analytics company has five predictions for the year ahead in mobile.

The company said that 2019 was a landmark year for mobile, with 20% year-over-year growth in consumer spending in the first three quarters of the year — including a record $23 billion from the iOS App Store and Google Play combined in the third quarter of 2019 alone, compared to nearly $20 billion a year ago.

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China throws its weight behind A.I. and blockchain as it aims to be the world’s tech leader


China, once seen as an imitator when it came to technology, is now looking to take the lead in areas from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI), much-hyped technologies that are seen as critical to the future.

Despite the U.S.-China trade war, experts say the world’s second largest economy will continue pushing its domestic technology sector.

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