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Baidu Open Sources Self-Driving Cars
China-based search engine and internet services company Baidu announced plans to open source Project Apollo, its autonomous vehicle platform. The self-driving project includes vehicles, hardware, software and cloud data services; Baidu said it would open source its code for the project, along with other items such as testing tools. The company said it plans to have fully autonomous vehicles in operation on highways and in cities by 2020.
Boomers Not Ready to Go Cashless
A recent study from personal finance website CreditCards.com found that older Americans aren’t as ready to embrace the notion of a cashless society as their younger counterparts. In fact, roughly 7 in 10 boomers, and the same proportion of those 72 and older, said they still use paper currency or coins to pay for purchases that amount to $5 or less.
Amazon Pay Expands in Europe
Amazon this week rolled out its Amazon Pay option to consumers in France, Italy and Spain, according to Finextra. The feature allows customers to pay for purchases at participating non-Amazon websites using their Amazon login and account information. Previously, Amazon Pay had only been available in Europe to consumers in Germany and the UK.
Esports Added to Asian Games
Alibaba esports affiliate Alisports announced that it plans to bring esports to the 2018 Asian Games hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the 2022 Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China. The announcement is the latest indication that electronic sports, which consist largely of video games, are increasingly going mainstream. According to Newzoo, revenues from esports reached $463 million in 2016.
‘Hyperfast’ Broadband Heading for Scotland
Aberdeen’s under-construction Countesswells residential development will be the first in Scotland to have “hyperfast” broadband access, according to newspaper The Press and Journal. Residents of the 3,000-home complex will have access to internet download speeds of 1 Gbps via an agreement with internet service provider Grain.
Number of Stores in Japan Accepting Alipay Doubles
Alipay continues to make gains in Japan, according to the CEO of the Japanese unit of its parent company, Ant Financial. Genki Oka said more than 45,000 stores in Japan would accept Alipay this year—about double the number that did in 2016. Alipay is largely accepted in Japanese stores popular with tourists from China. The service says it has about 450 million users in total.
Zalando’s Sales Up in Q1 2017
Berlin-based online fashion retailer Zalando has announced preliminarily that it expects year-over-year revenues to have risen between 22.0% and 24.0% in Q1 2017, to between €971 million ($1.07 billion) and €987 million ($1.09 billion)—up from €796.1 million ($880.7 million) in Q1 2016.
Vietnam’s Viettel Rolls Out Nationwide 4G
Vietnam’s military-run telecom Viettel launched nationwide 4G LTE service in the country this week. The new service covers 95% of Vietnam’s population, offering download speeds of between 30 Mbps and 50 Mbps. Viettel also said it would offer some 4G service plans that are cheaper than 3G plans. eMarketer estimates Vietnam will have 43.7 million smartphone users this year.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rimma Kats
Paid media advertising outlays worldwide will increase 7.3% in 2017 to $583.91 billion. Growth will be roughly on par with previous estimates, and spending will rise at a steady pace throughout the forecast period, driven by increased investments in digital and mobile ads.
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