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Alibaba Plants its Flag in Australia
Chinese ecommerce and internet services giant Alibaba opened its first office in Australia last week. The new office in Melbourne will serve as Alibaba’s base of operations for Australia and New Zealand, and will help vendors in those countries to sell goods on its marketplaces.
‘Planet Earth II’ Coming to Snapchat
Snap and BBC Worldwide have joined forces to bring extra content to Snapchat from the upcoming “Plant Earth II.” The travel series will premiere February 17 on BBC America, AMC and Sundance TV in the US, and on BBC Earth in Canada. Re/code reports that there will be six mini-episodes, each 4 to 6 minutes long, available on Snapchat a day before each episode.
Uber Launches Day-Long Driver Service in India
Ride-hailing app Uber rolled out a new service in India called UberHire that lets customers hire a cab for up to 12 hours. The service, which launched in nine cities, charges users time-based fees and allows them to make multiple stops during the same trip. Uber said it plans to unveil the service in additional cities over the coming weeks.
Electrolux Buys IoT Cookware Company Anova
Swedish home appliance giant Electrolux has acquired Anova—a San Francisco-based maker of an internet-connected sous vide cooker for home use—for $115 million, and up to an additional $135 million depending on future financial performance. Anova had net sales in 2016 of around $40 million, according to Electrolux. In addition, Electrolux will open an office in San Francisco to establish an innovation hub for “creating meaningful and innovative consumer experiences in the smart home arena.”
IDC: Oppo Now Ships More Smartphones in China Than Anyone Else
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo shipped 78.4 million units in China last year, making it the top smartphone vendor by shipments in the country with a 16.8% share, according to recent research from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The company also found that Huawei and Vivo shipped the second- and third-highest number of smartphones in the market, respectively, and that Apple shipped almost 25% less phones in 2016 than it did a year earlier.
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—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
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