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Indian govt bans AliExpress, 42 other Chinese apps

NEW DELHI, Nov 24: Government of India Tuesday blocked 43 Chinese mobile apps from accessing by users in India, under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

"This action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order", the Centre said in an official statement.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs, it further stated.

Popular shopping website AliExpress was among the banned apps, which comes a big blow to Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba. This is another setback for the e-commerce giant after its Ant Group's $37-billion (£28 billion) initial public offering, (IPO) was halted in China.

Earlier on 28 June, 2020 the Centre had blocked access to 59 Chinese mobile apps and on 2nd September, 2020 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act. Government is committed to protect the interests of citizens and sovereignty and integrity of India on all fronts and it shall take all possible steps to ensure that.

The earlier banned apps included The banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading, Ludo All Star, Alipay and Tencent Weiyun, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, according to an official statement.

The latest move from Indian government comes amid ongoing border tensions between India and China.

Here is the full list of apps:

AliSuppliers Mobile App
Alibaba Workbench
AliExpress - Smarter Shopping, Better Living
Alipay Cashier
Lalamove India - Delivery App
Drive with Lalamove India
Snack Video
CamCard - Business Card Reader
CamCard - BCR (Western)
Soul- Follow the soul to find you
Chinese Social - Free Online Dating Video App & Chat
Date in Asia - Dating & Chat For Asian Singles
WeDate-Dating App
Free dating app-Singol, start your date!
Adore App
TrulyChinese - Chinese Dating App
TrulyAsian - Asian Dating App
ChinaLove: dating app for Chinese singles
DateMyAge: Chat, Meet, Date Mature Singles Online
AsianDate: find Asian singles
FlirtWish: chat with singles
Guys Only Dating: Gay Chat
Tubit: Live Streams
First Love Live- super hot live beauties live online
Rela - Lesbian Social Network
Cashier Wallet
MGTV-HunanTV official TV APP
WeTV - TV version
WeTV - Cdrama, Kdrama&More
WeTV Lite
Lucky Live-Live Video Streaming App
Taobao Live
Identity V
Isoland 2: Ashes of Time
BoxStar (Early Access)
Heroes Evolved
Happy Fish
Jellipop Match-Decorate your dream island!
Munchkin Match: magic home building
Conquista Online II

Tensions between India and China have been high since May when New Delhi detected attempts by the Chinese troops to intrude into Indian territory. On 15 June, soldiers of the two sides were engaged in a violent clash that killed 20 Indian troops and an unknown number on the Chinese side. India’s move to ban 58 apps followed soon after as did steps to block Chinese investments in key infrastructure sectors like roads and telecom.

ISRO successfully launches 10 satellites

SRIHARIKOTA, Nov 7: New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday (November 7, 2020) successfully launched the PSLVC49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota.

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in its 51st mission (PSLV-C49) launched EOS-01 as primary satellite along with nine international customer satellites at 3:12 PM IST.

The launch was earlier scheduled at 3:02 PM IST but was delayed by 10 minutes.

This is to be noted that the EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

The nine foreign satellites are from - one from Lithuania (R2, technology demonstrator), four from Luxembourg (maritime application satellites by Kleos Space) and four from the US (Lemur multi-mission remote sensing satellites).

The customer satellites were launched under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space.

The launch was live telecast on ISRO's official website along with its Youtube, Facebook and Twitter channels.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is the third generation launch vehicle of India and is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages. After its first successful launch in October 1994, PSLV emerged as the reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India with 39 consecutively successful missions by June 2017.

During 1994-2017 period, the vehicle had launched 48 Indian satellites and 209 satellites for customers from abroad.

Besides, the vehicle successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later traveled to Moon and Mars respectively.

Xiaomi beats Apple first time ever

NEW YORK, Oct 31: For the first time ever, Apple has been overtaken by Xiaomi in smartphone market shares. Apple shipped 10.6% fewer iPhones in the third quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period last year, according to IDC data.

IDC data mentions that Apple now ranks fourth in the list of smartphone manufacturers by market share rankings. This is the first time Apple has ranked fourth with Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi beating Apple’s 11.8% share.

In total, according to reports, Apple has shipped 41.2 million devices in the third quarter of 2020 which is five million less than what they had shipped the same time last year.

This drop in numbers was expected on the grounds that the iPhone 12 series was delayed. Apple usually has its new iPhones dropping by the third quarter of the year (usually in September). The new iPhone 12 devices aside, the older iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE contributed to the majority of Apple’s sales and performed “exceptionally well”.

The IDC report predicts that Apple will be growing in the coming quarters due to “strong early demand for the iPhone 12 and solid trade-in offers from major carriers, particularly in within the United States”.

Samsung was on top of the lists with a market share of 22.7% after shipping over 80 million smartphones. Huawei followed at a 14.7% which was a significant reduction (40% year-on-year), followed by Xiaomi at 13.1%, then Apple with 11.8%. The last name in the top five lot is Vivo wit ha 8.9%.

This is the first time Xiaomi has overtaken Apple achieving a 42% growth. The rise is supposedly due to strong gains in India and China, says MacRumours.

Overall, the global smartphone market declined by only 1.3% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020. The results were stronger than IDC's previous forecast of a 9% year-over-year decline. An important trend was the strength of shipments in India, which is the second-largest market globally, and other emerging markets, such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia.

Bharti Airtel Set to Double Down on Broadband Services

NEW DELHI, Oct 31: Bharti Airtel, the second-largest wired broadband provider in India will be “doubling down” on its broadband services through multiple points including “rapid expansion” of its service areas in the upcoming quarters.

The development was shared by Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel in the second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday with Vittal highlighting that the broadband services is “at a cusp in terms of growth.” Vittal highlighted that the company added “one million home passes during the quarter” in the cities where the Airtel currently offers its services.

The CEO of Bharti Airtel also said that the company would accelerate its Local Cable Operator (LCO) partnership model. The second-largest wired broadband provider in India is currently offering its services across 145 cities in India including 28 cities where Airtel unveiled its services in its second quarter. In its quarterly report, Airtel highlighted that its LCO model is currently live in 48 cities across India.

“I believe that the broadband category is at a cusp in terms of growth. With Covid as the trigger point, we are seeing a rapid increase in work from home, in online education and in streaming services,” Vittal said in the earnings call. “All of these need reliable high-speed broadband.”

Vittal said that the company would be introducing the “full power” of its Airtel services along with its “partner services to deliver an integrated converged offer encompassing connectivity, entertainment and more.”

The operator in early September revamped its Xstream Fiber plans with Airtel introducing an Xstream Bundle enabling users to opt for Airtel Xstream Set-Top Box (STB) for Rs 1500 refundable deposit.

“Finally, an adjustment in entry prices due to competitive reasons towards the end of the quarter,” Vittal said in the earnings call. “As a result, we saw growing momentum across the quarter while adding close to 130,000 customers.”

Airtel on Tuesday highlighted in its earnings release that its Airtel Business and Homes segment witnessed 7.5% and 7.3% year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth respectively. In its quarterly report, the operator highlighted that its Homes services registered an average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs 783 in its second quarter as compared to Rs 802 in the previous quarter.

Axis Securities in a report on Thursday said that the operator will witness further pressure on its ARPU in its Homes segment despite witnessing a “good traction” in the second quarter.

“Traction in Homes was led by (i) increased demand from Work-from-Home, streaming; online education; (ii) converged offering including Airtel Xtreme; (iii) adjustment of entry pricing; and (iv) LCO partnerships in 29 new cities for the last mile connectivity,” Axis Securities said in its report. “Price reduction is not reflected in Q2 number and there will be some pressure on ARPU going forward.”

Motilal Oswal in its report also released on Thursday said that the Airtel broadband services is “poised for growth” with the segment said to be “driven by the new LCO distribution model.”

The operator in its first-quarter report for the period ended June 2020, highlighted that LCO model was live in 14 cities across India. The users in LCO cities were earlier offered advance rental packs with the plans carrying speeds in the range of 16 Mbps to 300 Mbps. However, in early August, Airtel introduced the pan India plans even in its LCO cities. Alwar, Bareilly, Dehradun, Jammu, Katra, Nashik, Prayagraj, Rajahmundry and Sikar are some of the cities with Xstream Fiber services under the LCO model.

Samsung dethrones Xiaomi to become number one smartphone brand in India

NEW DELHI, Oct 28: Samsung has overtaken Xiaomi to become the leading smartphone brand in India. Growing at 32% YoY (Year on year) in September quarter 2020, Samsung accounted for 24% of the smartphones shipped in India market, while Xiaomi with 23% of the market slipped down to second position for the first time since September quarter of 2018, Counterpoint Research reports.

Samsung's success was attributed to their aggressive push in online channels, effective supply chain and equal focus on various price points through new launches. Xiaomi's decline was largely caused by covid-19 induced supply chain disruption which led to a supply-demand gap.

Analysts at Counterpoint Research feel Xiaomi slipping down the table is temporary and the Chinese company is likely to bounce back strongly in the December quarter on back of strong demand for the Redmi 9 and Note 9 series, aggressive product strategy and growing offline presence.

The anti-China sentiments which impacted Chinese brands in the June quarter whittled down as tensions on the Ladakh border eased and was no longer a decisive factor for buying decisions in the September quarter.

Further, the report shows, the overall India smartphone grew 9% YoY, shipping 53 million units in Q3 2020. This is the highest-ever shipment in a quarter for the Indian market. According to Counterpoint, aggressive push from brands, pent-up demand after the lockdown and strong sales on online platforms were the key movers for the shipments.

"The market has shown a consistent growth for the last few months. It saw strong demand during the Independence Day period in August as major online platforms hosted massive sales. September has always been a high sell-in month as brands prepare for the upcoming festive season and push stock in the channels. Almost all the brands recorded growth compared to the last year," Prachir Singh, senior research analyst said in a statement.

The mid-tier (₹10,000 to ₹20,000) was the highest growing segment in the September quarter. In the premium segment ( ₹30,000) Apple was the most sought after brand and iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11 were the most sought after smartphones. Analysts feel the iPhone 12 series will further strengthen Apple's position in the coming quarter.

"Focus on online channels has been increasing due to covid-19. Even the offline-centric brands like vivo, OPPO and Itel are increasing their online presence due to the changing consumer behavior," Shilpi Jain, Research Analyst said in a statement.

NASA awards Nokia contract to set up 4G network on moon

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 18: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded Nokia of the US $14.1 million to deploy a 4G cellular network on the moon.

The grant is part of $370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA`s "Tipping Point" selections, meant to advance research and development for space exploration.

NASA said that the system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds and provide more reliability than current standards.

NASA said that space agency must quickly develop new technologies for living and working on moon if it wants to realise its goal to have astronauts working at lunar base by 2028.

"The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds and provide more reliability than current standards," NASA noted in its contract award announcement.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a live broadcast said that the space agency must quickly develop new technologies for living and working on the moon if it wants to realise its goal to have astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028.

"We need power systems that can last a long time on the surface of the moon, and we need habitation capability on the surface," Bridenstine said.

Nokia`s research arm, Bell Labs, provided more details in a Twitter thread. The company intends for the network to support the wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation, as well as streaming video.

"Working with our partners at @Int_Machines, this groundbreaking network will be the critical communications fabric for data transmission applications, including the control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography and streaming of high definition video," Bell Labs said in a tweet.

As per reports, this is not Nokia`s first attempt to launch an LTE network on the moon as back in 2018, it was planned to do this in collaboration with PT Scientists which is a German space company, and Vodafone UK to launch an LTE network at the site of the Apollo 17 landing. This couldn't happen as the mission reportedly never got off the ground.

Samsung beats Xiaomi to become number 1 smartphone brand in India: Report

NEW DELHI, Oct 17: Smartphone major Samsung is back at No. 1 position in India’s smartphone market. As per a latest report by Counterpoint, Samsung has recaptured the top spot in India.

Samsung lost the top position to Xiaomi in the second half of 2017. The company, the report says, has reached its highest market share in India since 2018.

“ July and August, Samsung rebounded as India recovered from a nationwide lockdown. Samsung has now reached its highest market share in India since 2018 by adopting an aggressive online channel strategy to benefit from opportunities arising due to anti-China sentiments in the country,” says the report.

Globally, Samsung has beaten Huawei to regain number one spot with a total market share of 22%. This is 2% greater than the company’s 20% share in April, 2020. Huawei’s market share, on the other hand, declined to 16% in August, 2020 from 21% in April, 2020. The Chinese telecom giant is expected to further lose its market share due to US trade restrictions.

Same may not be true for another Chinese brand Xiaomi which, according to the report, is showing a significant increase in its market share in Central Eastern Europe. It appears that Huawei’s loss is Xiaomi’s gain in the region.

Global market share of Apple remained the same in April and August 2020. The company accounted for 12% of the global smartphone market. With the launch of iPhone 12 series on October 13, the sales are expected to rise for Apple in November this year.

Bose launches QC Earbuds, Sport Earbuds, Frames in India

NEW DELHI, Oct 6: Bose on Tuesday launched a bunch of new devices in India. The list includes the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Sports Earbuds and Bose Frames in India.

The QC Earbuds are priced at ₹26,990 in India, while the Sports Earbuds are priced at ₹17,990 in the country. Both these devices are available for pre-orders starting October 6 and they will go on sale in India starting October 13 across Bose Premium stores, wholesale partner stores and e-commerce partners.

On the other hand, the Bose Frames are priced at ₹21,900 in India. Bose Frames are available in Tempo, Tenor and Soprano variants that are priced at ₹2,990, ₹1,990 and ₹2,990 respectively.

Coming to the features, the Bose QC Earbuds come with StayHear Max tips that create a soft-yet-tight seal. They come with 11 levels of noise control so that users can pick how much of the outside sound they want to let in. coming to the battery, the new QuietComfort Earbuds offer up to 18 hours of total listening time. They have a matte finish with metallic and gloss accents and come in two colors: Triple Black and Soapstone.

Talking about the Sports Earbuds, they also come with StayHear Max tip and they offer a battery life of up to 5 hours of battery life and a charging case that provides up to 10 hours of additional playback time. They come in Triple Black, Baltic Blue, and Glacier White colour variants. Additionally, they have Bluetooth 5.1 for connectivity and they come with IPX4 sweat resistant technology.

In addition to its earbuds, Bose launched the Bose Frames in Tempo, Tenor and Soprano variants. Bose says that while the Frames Tempo are engineered specifically for outdoor workouts — like biking, running, and climbing, the Frames Tenor and Soprano are designed for everyday use. Both of these Frames come with Bose’s proprietary Open Ear Audio technology and they have polarized lenses that block up to 99% of UV rays.

The newly launched Bose Frames are up for pre-orders in India and they will go on sale in the country starting October 13 via Bose Premium stores, wholesale partner stores and e-commerce partners.



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