Global IT Spending on Enterprise Software to See First Drop in 10 Years | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Buyshares.uk

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact different sectors of the global economy, spending on the enterprise software segment under the Information Technology (IT) industry is projected to take a plunge. Most sub-segments under the enterprise software umbrella will witness a decline in spending while essential ones might have an increase.
Data obtained by Buyshares.co.uk indicates that in 2020, the global spending will reach $426 billion, the first drop in ten years. Last year, the spending reached an all-time high of $458 billion, translating to a drop of about 6.98% when compared to the projected figures for 2020.
Cumulatively between 2009 and the estimates of 2020, the spending on enterprise software will stand at $3.94 trillion. The lowest spending in the sector was in 2009 when the figure stood at $225.51 billion.
In 2018, the spending was $419 billion, an increase of 13.55% from 2017’s figure of $369 billion. Notably, this is among the most significant increases in spending over the last 10 years.

Between 2014 and 2015, the spending remained stagnant at $310 billion before a slight increase to $316 billion in 2016. In general, the projected drop in spending for this year breaks an upward trajectory that began 10 years ago.
Sourced from Buyshare.uk
US software publishing records all-time revenue in 2019
Buyshares.co.uk’s research also overviewed the estimated revenue of U.S. software publishers between 2005 and 2019. The data shows that 2019 recorded the highest revenue at $284.66 billion, a growth of 144.05% from 2005 when the amount stood at $116.64 billion. In total the estimated revenue during the period under review is $2.6 trillion.
The revenue has been growing steadily but there was a slight drop in 2009 when the figure stood at $138.98 billion, a decline of about 2.62% from the previous year. The plunge can be attributed to the financial crisis. However, the revenue picked up in 2010 to hit 145.43 billion.
With the IT industry, the enterprise software segment is among the fastest-growing. The main aim of this segment is to meet arising needs for organizations like addressing efficiency. Under this segment, other sub-segments include business process management (BPM) software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and customer relationship management (CRM) software which has been attracting interest in recent years. Other segments include devices and Data Center Systems.
Most of the sub-segments will experience a decline in 2020. However as people adapt to living with the Coronavirus, other sub-segments under enterprise software might grow. Working remotely, one of the measures to curb the virus spread is projected to spur the growth of public cloud services. Additionally, the cloud-based telephony and messaging and cloud-based conferencing will also see growth.
Businesses prioritizing on essential operations
The coronavirus crisis has forced many sectors of the economy to prioritize important aspects of their operations, explaining the drop in enterprise software spending. Many businesses in the IT sector are keen on implementing measures that can keep their entities running during this pandemic. This strategy is replicated across the various business for 2020. However, some businesses unable to cope up have been closed.
Just like other hard-hit sectors, recovery for the IT industry will be slow and many organizations need a strategy to move forward post Coronavirus pandemic.
Under the software publishing industries, there are companies that design, develop, and publish software. It is worth noting that the main players in this sector include firms like IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation, SAP AG, and Microsoft Corporation which are competing to attain a competitive edge.
The recent surge in software publishing revenue has been a direct impact of businesses and consumers increasing their investment in software, computers, and video games. Furthermore, the increasing investments from the private sector have spurred demand from businesses, alongside a rise in disposable income which is pushing consumers to spend on software. With emerging markets and new internet-based solutions fuelled by the popularity of mobile devices, there is high consumption of mobile software.
With the recovery plan after the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is expected to embark on a growth trajectory with a specific focus on mobile and cloud platforms, corporate profits. Furthermore, the sector will also see an increase in investments in information technology infrastructure.
By Justinas Baltrusaitis
Edited by Luis Monzon
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Global IT spending to drop 8% in 2020 amid COVID-19: Gartner- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Due to the COVID-19 induced global economic recession, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.4 trillion in 2020, a decline of 8 per cent from 2019, according to a forecast by Gartner.
In October 2019, months before the outbreak of COVID-19, Gartner predicted that global IT spending was expected to rebound in 2020 with forecast growth of 3.7 per cent, primarily due to enterprise software spending.
But now the coronavirus pandemic and effects of the global economic recession are causing CIOs to prioritise spending on technology and services that are deemed “mission-critical” over initiatives aimed at growth or transformation, Gartner said in its latest forecast.
“CIOs have moved into emergency cost optimisation which means that investments will be minimised and prioritised on operations that keep the business running, which will be the top priority for most organisations through 2020,” John-David Lovelock, Distinguished Research Vice President at Gartner, said in a statement.
“Recovery will not follow previous patterns as the forces behind this recession will create both supply side and demand side shocks as the public health, social and commercial restrictions begin to lessen.”
All segments are expected to experience a decline in 2020, with devices and data centre systems experiencing the largest drops in spending.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spur remote working, sub segments such as public Cloud services (which falls into multiple categories) will be a bright spot in the forecast, growing 19 per cent in 2020.
Cloud-based telephony and messaging and cloud-based conferencing will also see high levels of spending growing 8.9 per cent and 24.3 per cent, respectively, according to the forecast.
“In 2020, some longer-term Cloud-based transformational projects may be put on hiatus, but the overall Cloud spending levels Gartner was projecting for 2023 and 2024 will now be showing up as early as 2022,” said Lovelock.
“IT spending recovery will be slow through 2020, with the hardest hit industries, such as entertainment, air transport and heavy industry, taking over three years to come back to 2019 IT spending levels,” said Lovelock.

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Google ad sales steady after coronavirus drop; Alphabet leads tech share rally – Finance- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

A drop in Google ad sales steadied in April and some consumers returned to using the search engine for shopping in addition to finding novel coronavirus information, parent Alphabet Inc said on Tuesday, sparking an 8 percent rally in shares.
The share rally to US$1,329.81 after hours brought the stock almost back to where it started the year.
Some financial and advertising analysts had estimated ad sales declines of up to 20 percent in the coming quarters, with hotels, airlines, film studios and other big spenders cutting ad buys because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But Alphabet said search ads, its most lucrative business, saw revenue decline by a mid-teens percentage in late March compared with a year earlier and that the slowdown did not worsen this month.
The company also is working to lure money from advertisers that normally sponsor sporting events canceled by the coronavirus.
“While, obviously, there’s an impact on the economy and we’re not immune to that, the engagement from advertisers across our products and with our teams has been very robust,” Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai told analysts on Tuesday.
Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat still warned that she anticipated “the second quarter will be a difficult one” because the early April trends may not hold.
But Nicole Perrin, an analyst at ad consultancy eMarketer, said the first-quarter results matched “relatively optimistic scenarios” and left her “cautiously optimistic” about the current quarter.
Alphabet’s overall revenue in the first quarter was US$41.2 billion, up 13 percent compared with the same period last year.
The average estimate among financial analysts tracked by Refinitiv was US$40.29 billion, up 10.87 percent, expecting the slowest growth since 11.1 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
Alphabet was the first major US internet services company to report first-quarter results, offering a preview of what other companies might report in coming days.
Shares of Google’s top rival in ad sales Facebook, which had been down 8.6 percent this year entering Tuesday, rose 3 percent after hours.
Microsoft rose 1.2 percent in extended trading after rising 10.7 percent this year, and Apple rose 0.6 percent after entering Tuesday down 3.3 percent.
Shares of Amazon, up 28.6 percent this year as shoppers turn to it amid lockdowns, were up 1.25 percent after Alphabet’s results.
Virus challenges
A booming economy and rising internet usage have driven Google to record revenues in the last few years.
But the virus has split those two trends, with consumer spending now plunging and reliance on internet services surging.
While Google tools including Duo video chatting and YouTube have become essential to many users this year, the company largely does not charge for them and instead generates revenue selling ad tools as well as links, banners and commercials on its services and those of partners.
But more than 26 million people have filed for unemployment during the last month in United States, Google’s largest market for ad sales, erasing all of the country’s job gains in the last decade.
Google’s ads business generated about 83 percent of Alphabet’s revenue last year. It tends to flow with the broader economy, which explains Alphabet’s slower revenue growth in the first quarter.
Google ad sales in the first quarter were US$33.8 billion, with about 73 percent coming from search and 12 percent from YouTube.
“YouTube provided an upside surprise, with growth actually accelerating despite the impact on ad budgets from the lockdowns,” said James Cordwell, analyst at Atlantic Equities.
Revenue from YouTube grew 33.5 percent, slightly faster than during the previous quarter.
But Porat warned that the growth rate had slowed to the “high single digits” by late March and continued to decline in April for ads that were not meant to immediately spark a consumer purchase.
The company did not release the number of paid subscribers for YouTube services, after revealing it had 20 million last quarter.
About 5.5 percent of Alphabet’s revenue last year came from cloud services for which Google charges businesses, schools and governments.
This year, the company has extended various free offers to aid customers affected by the pandemic.
The cloud business generated US$2.8 billion in revenue, up 52 percent from a year ago.
Alphabet’s total costs and expenses rose about 12 percent from a year ago to US$33.2 billion, down from around 20 percent jumps in recent quarters.
Porat said first-quarter expenses included an increased reserve to account for clients unable to pay bills because of the virus.
With usage of Google’s services up but sales down, the company has pared hiring, marketing, office expansions and other spending plans.
Google just three months ago had said it would be spending heavily to add staff for its cloud business and other areas where it is challenging to unseat dominant competitors.
Alphabet’s first-quarter profit was US$6.8 billion, or US$9.87 per share, compared with the analysts’ average estimate of US$7.21 billion, or US$10.40 per share.

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Big Four banks under pressure to drop digital debit fees – Finance – Strategy – Networking- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s Big Four banks may have paused payment terminal rental fees for businesses shuttered by COVID-19, but a fresh battle has broken out over how regular digital transactions are routinely force-trunked via more expensive rails.
Local stalwart eftpos has revealed it has started pushing banks and regulators to quickly open-up access to billions of dollars a year in card-on-file transactions, so that businesses can get a choice over whether they pay higher or lower fees based on how digital payments are routed.
It’s an incremental manoeuvre, but big battles are sometimes won in small steps.
If successful, the move would allow merchants who accept so called card-on-file payments – most commonly used for recurring transactions like bills, subscriptions and memberships – to pull money from debit card accounts without having to run over Mastercard’s or Visa’s higher cost rails.
It would also rattle what, over time, has become a powerful payments technology hegemony that has arguably held back development and innovation in the local payments technology market, prompting repeated interventions by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
“eftpos and its members have already made systems changes to enable eftpos online digital transactions which could lead to lower costs and enhanced payments competition for the benefit of merchants and consumers,” a submission from eftpos lodged with the Senate’s ongoing Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology last week said.
“With Government support, we now want to work with major banks to turn on this service more broadly, starting with low risk card-on-file transactions.”
The big question is whether banks – who are now throwing the kitchen sink at rehabilitating their public image to be seen as compassionate and caring corporate citizens after the bruising Royal Commission and successive AUSTRAC scandals – are prepared to play ball with eftpos.
In many ways it’s an unseen battle, especially as consumers wouldn’t notice much, if any, difference should a card-on-file payment switch to lower cost rails.
But merchants and the broader Fintech community certainly would, because such a move would broaden access to lower cost and real time payments infrastructure that was first rolled out in the 1980s.
The optics of smaller-scale business banking used to count for little in big bank marketing campaigns; today they verge on economic life or death. And as usual the complexity of payments
Debit account payments, which pull available money direct from people’s bank accounts (as opposed to chalking-up credit with 50 days to pay) have become a fierce battleground for banks and payment schemes as consumers increasingly dump higher cost credit cards.
As reported by iTnews last year, the value of debit payments in Australia overtook the value of credit payments in around August last year according to leading analysts and RBA data.
On one side, consumers are fed up with paying credit card interest rates of between 15 percent to more than 20 percent at a time when secured lending rates are nudging zero and buy-now pay-later are offering far more compelling deals.
On the other side, merchants on increasingly thin margins are desperate to rein in expenses anywhere they can, with the cost of accepting payments always in the cross-hairs.
Merchants have been fighting for years for greater levels of regulatory intervention to keep a lid on transaction fee gouging, including allowing merchants to dictate what rails their payments run on – rather than the banks that derive handsome revenue from routing transactions through global schemes.
What’s also not clear is to what degree, if any, the major international card schemes are taking their own hit on volume fee revenue as local banks feel the pinch as spending and sentiment craters amid the lockdown.
As spending continues to shift from credit to debit, a real policy question opens as to why domestic infrastructure initially developed by Australian banks and retailers continues to be sidelined in favour of institutions continuing to slug business customers with more expensive imports.
It’s a fair question too, and one that will not simply disappear, even if the RBA has briefly paused its probe of payments systems regulation.

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Google sees large drop in state-sponsored attacks on users – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Google says its strengthened anti-phishing measures are being effective, and led to a quarter fewer attacks on users by nation-state threat actors in 2019.
Tony Gidwani, a security engineering manager at Google’s Threat Analysis Group, posted updated statistics that showed the online giant had detected and sent out around 40,000 phishing alerts last year, down nearly 25 per cent on 2018.
“One reason for this decline is that our new protections are working—attackers’ efforts have been slowed down and they’re more deliberate in their attempts, meaning attempts are happening less frequently as attackers adapt,” Gidwani wrote.
In October 2017, Google launched the free Advanced Protection Program (APP) for frequently targeted users such as journalists, government workers, and human rights activists with tightened access controls for online services and hardware backed security, to mitigate against phishing attacks.
APP was expanded to Apple iOS devices in January this year, and Gidwani said Google has yet to see people enrolled in the program being successfully phished.
Up to 500 government-backed phishing attacks were recorded in Australia and New Zealand last year by Google’s TAG.
Google did not provide information on where the attacks on Australian and New Zealand users originated from, nor did it give further detail on who were targeted.
TAG pays particular attention to dangerous zero-day attacks that attempt to exploit unknown software flaws.
Last year, TAG found multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in Google’s Android operating system, its Chrome web browser.
The TAG security researchers also found zero-days in Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.
Due to the danger unknown vulnerabilites present to users, vendors get seven days to patch or warn users about zero-days, or TAG will release an advisory about them.
On one occasion last year, TAG found a threat actor targeting North Korean users and individuals who work on issues relating to the country with no fewer than five zero-days.
The attacker attempted to exploit the vulnerabilities through email attachments or so-called spearphishing, as well as by compromising legitimate web sites and setting up malicious ones that targets were tricked to visit.
Google did not reveal which country the five zero-day attacker was from.
Gidwani said however that Russian government-backed attackers like the Sandworm/Iridum threat actor repeatedly go for geopolitical rivals, officials, journalists, dissidents and activists.
A rising number of attackers including Iranians and North Koreans have started impersonating news media and journalists, Gidwani said.
The attackers pretend to be journalists in order to seed false stories and disinformation with other journalists.
They also seek to build a rapport with journalists or foreign policy experts by sending several benign emails at first, and then following up with messages containing malicious attachments, Gidwani warned.
TAG is also seeing government threat actors using the novel coronavirus pandemic as lures, and will provide details on this activity at a later stage.

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Social Distancing Has Lead To Major Drop In Footfalls- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Higher awareness & Proactive Government measures made Kerala #1 displaying the Highest Drop at 62% on 17th March.

Maharashtra with highest number of COVID2019 cases, has seen a drop of 49% in footfalls 

PM Narendra Modi and the Government of India’s efforts towards lockdown of many cities and states to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus across India has proved fruitful. In the wake of this spread, most people across India have been confined to their homes. 
Looking at the real time step count data collected by over 5 lakh users who are using GOQii Activity trackers. These results have indicated, the average daily step count of Indians has reduced by 51% across the country. The average has dropped from 6432 steps on 2nd March to 3146 steps on 17th March.
  The data reveals that the drop in average daily step count is due to a combination of reasons such as 

The call for social distancing by the Government of India and by the State authorities to contain the spread of Coronavirus
Fear of stepping out into crowded spaces and public transport vehicles
Closure of all public places such as Malls, Cinema Halls, religious places of worship, Gyms etc
Work from home
Closure of Monuments 

The drop in step count has steadily increasing after ‘India Lockdown’
Statewise Drop in Footfall
Kerala which had the first positive case on January 30, 2020 and which increased to 27 confirmed positive cases of CoronaVirus has seen a drop in its step count by 62% as on 17th March. This is a good sign. The Kerala Government has taken all possible timely measures to contain the spread of this infectious disease.  The drop in step count started earlier in Kerala due to the initial cases starting from the state. Therefore the highest drop is seen in Kerala across the country. However, a lot more needs to be done by the state.
The State of Maharashtra has seen a rapid spurt in COVID-19 cases, the drop in step count in the state stands at 49%. 
Statewise Drop in Footfall %
Drop in Footfall % – Across Cities
Cities in India are also seeing reduced step count. With a rapid increase in positive cases  of COVID-19, Mumbai, the most urbanised and financial capital of the country and Pune have seen a fairly steep rise in decline of daily step count among the Maumbaikars and Punekars. While Mumbai has seen a steep drop of 52%, Pune has seen a decline of 49%.
Even though some of the other states do not have cases most of India seems to be taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. The drop seen across states, ranges from 35% to 62% as on 17th March 2019. 
“The Govt of India is doing a fantastic job with PM Modi himself at the helm and overseeing that all preventive measures are being put together by the various state health authorities to contain the spread of this deadly virus. But it is also our ethical and moral obligation towards our society to curb our activities and practice social distancing. PM’s idea of declaring March 22nd as ‘Janta Curfew’ is a very good idea. While India is currently at 51%, with the janta curfew we can reach 100% lockdown. Let us all work towards this and support our Government and our doctors who are tirelessly working towards containing the spread of COVID2019,” said Vishal Gondal, Founder & CEO, GOQii.In the wake of this rapid spread of COVID2019, ‘Social Distancing’ is the buzzword and it is going to be the key phrase that is going to remain for the next few weeks to come.
Footfalls Drop in different states Table

State
No. of COVID 19 Cases
(as on 18.03.2020 9 am)

17th March 2020

Kerala
27
-62%

Chhattisgarh

-55%

Maharashtra
42
-49%

Bihar

-48%

Karnataka
11
-48%

Tamil Nadu
1
-48%

Telangana
6
-48%

Uttarakhand
1
-48%

Madhya Pradesh

-47%

Gujarat

-45%

Punjab
1
-45%

Andhra Pradesh
1
-44%

Delhi
10
-44%

Odisha
1
-41%

Uttar Pradesh
16
-41%

West Bengal
1
-40%

Rajasthan
4
-36%

Jharkhand

-35%

Haryana
17
-34%

*Insufficient data for J&K

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Vodacom Agrees to Drop Data Prices by as much as 40% | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

South African telecoms giant, Vodacom has agreed to reduce the cost of its data offerings by as much as 40%. This is following a finding that the country’s mobile data prices were the highest on the continent, according to a report from the Competition Commission.
In December last year, the watchdog warned both Vodacom and, equally massive contemporary, MTN that prosecutions were to be faced if they did not agree to cut data prices within two months of these finds, Reuters writes.
“Vodacom has agreed to a multi-year substantial reduction of monthly data bundles across the board. Effective from 1 April price will come down by over 30% across all channels,” reads a statement from the South African government.
According to the George Herald, Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub notes that the network will not fight the commission but instead constructively tackle the issue raised by the Competition Commission’s report on the prices.
Vodacom has agreed to a two-year reduction on the monthly data bundles across the board.
Furthermore, and accompanied by the decrease in data costs, Vodacom also says it will:

Make available all of its current zero-rated services on one platform with an increased focus on consumers in poorer communities through “ConnectU” – all except for zero-rated Government websites.
Give all prepaid customers 2 daily free SMSs if they had at least one revenue-generating activity within the preceding 30-day period.
Allow free access to Facebook Flex. Customers will also be able to assess local and international news headlines as well as trends in the weather for free.
Allow customers to view and apply for job opportunities through 7 zero-rated South African job websites.

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Baldur’s Gate 3’s first official gameplay video will drop on February 27 – Blog – 10 minute

In context: Old school PC gamers will undoubtedly be familiar with the Baldur’s Gate franchise. These games are often considered the grandfathers of the modern party-based CRPG genre, and for good reason. Well-known titles like Divinity: Original Sin 2, Pillars of Eternity, and even Pathfinder: Kingmaker wouldn’t exist in their current state if it weren’t for the success of Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2.
Now, years after the Baldur’s Gate franchise seemed to be all but dead (aside from a couple remasters), there’s a true sequel in the works. Larian, the team behind the fantastic Divinity: Original Sin 2 (and other Divinity titles), is developing Baldur’s Gate 3. The game was first announced with a simple (but gruesome) cinematic trailer back in June, but we didn’t know much about it at the time.
Everything from its combat system — the original Baldur’s Gate games implemented real-time-with-pause combat — to its visual style and gameplay mechanics were, and still are, up in the air. However, last month, Larian released a teaser stating that “something is brewing,” and advised fans to stay tuned for a mysterious February 27 announcement.
Today, the nature of that announcement was unveiled: on February 27 at PAX East, Larian will drop the first official gameplay video for Baldur’s Gate 3. We’re not sure how much ground the video will cover, but it will be our first look at what the studio has in mind for the direction of this franchise.

The gameplay demo will be streamed live on YouTube at 3:30 PM ET for those watching at home, but PAX East attendees can also visit the Baldur’s Gate 3 booth to see it first-hand. Larian promises that the game will be a “truly next-generation” RPG with over 100 hours of content and all of the mechanical depth that comes with that. Of course, that’s not to say the game will be standard, predictable RPG fare; the developers say fans should expect “many surprises.”
As part of its latest announcement, Larian gave us a brief idea of what to expect from the story of Baldur’s Gate 3 via the following description:

You are burdened with a great power devouring you from within. How far down the path of darkness will you let it take you? The fate of Faerûn is on your party’s shoulders. Will you carry it to salvation, or descend with it to hell?

There are many ways to interpret that relatively vague story blurb, but the core takeaway seems to be that the player will be tasked with battling against some internal force. Whether that force is spiritual (demonic possession?), psychological, or physical (some sort of mind-bending parasite — a Mind flayer, perhaps?) remains to be seen.
If Baldur’s Gate 3 is anything like its predecessors (and other Larian games), gamers will undoubtedly be forced to make some pretty tough moral decisions, and this “great power” may well try to influence them. Hopefully, we’ll have some of these details clarified in just a couple of short weeks when PAX East rolls around.

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Alibaba warns of drop in e-commerce revenues due to coronavirus – Finance – Strategy – Cloud – Networking- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd warned of a drop in revenues at its key e-commerce businesses this quarter as the coronavirus sweeping China hits supply chains and deliveries.
The warning from executives came during an earnings call for the quarter ending in December 2019, during which the company beat analyst estimates and brought in record transactions for its annual Singles’ Day shopping event.
CEO Daniel Zhang said the delayed return to work following the Lunar New Year, due to the virus outbreak which has killed more than 1,350 people in China and infected thousands more, had caused problems for merchants and delays in fulfilling orders.
He said food delivery orders had dropped year-on-year due to the number of restaurants that had closed as a result of the outbreak. And while the company has seen a surge in demand for goods from its Hema supermarkets, it has been held back by limited delivery capacity.
Finance chief Maggie Wu said most of Alibaba’s businesses that rely on the sale of physical goods would likely see a decline in revenues this quarter.
“We like other businesses are not immune to supply and demand,” she said. “Their recovery and long term success will translate to long term growth for Alibaba Group.”
Despite the downbeat forecast, Zhang said that as of Monday Alibaba had observed more people in large cities going back to work and logistics networks returning to normal operations.
He also said DingTalk, the company’s enterprise chat app, had seen “explosive growth” during the crisis as white collar businesses and schools use it for remote working and online lessons.
“Alibaba’s earnings for the next couple of quarters are certainly likely to take a hit from the coronavirus outbreak. However, the company’s business is strong enough to withstand the brief downturn, with its cloud computing business set to lead the charge for a more positive outlook,” said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com.
Third quarter beats forecasts
Alibaba usually reports its highest revenue in the December quarter due to its mega Singles’ Day shopping bonanza in November. The company said sales during the 24-hour event hit a record US$38.4 billion in 2019.
The group primarily generates revenue by selling advertising and promotional services to third-party merchants that list products on its e-commerce sites, Taobao and Tmall.
The company said it was supporting the fight against the coronavirus outbreak by ensuring supply of daily necessities and introducing relief measures for its merchants.
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial’s MYBank unit has said it will offer 20 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion) in loans to companies in China in the wake of the outbreak.
The outbreak, which originated in the city of Wuhan, has resulted in companies laying off workers, seeking cheaper funding and struggling to restart production after an extended Lunar New year holiday, as supply chains are disrupted.
Alibaba is often viewed as a window into the health of China’s consumer economy, which Beijing views as key to continued economic growth.
The epidemic is expected to pile more pressure on China’s economy, just as the government had hoped a preliminary deal with the United States would ease a protracted trade war that had weighed on its growth.
Sales in Alibaba’s core commerce business jumped 38% to 141.48 billion yuan in its third quarter ended Dec. 31, while revenue at its cloud computing unit surged 62% to 10.72 billion.
Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders rose to 52.31 billion yuan from 33.05 billion.
Excluding items, the company earned 18.19 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS). Analysts had expected 15.75 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Total revenue rose about 38% to 161.46 billion yuan, beating estimates of 159.28 billion yuan.
US-listed shares of the company were up nearly 1% at US$226.30 in premarket trade.
(US$1 = 6.9829 Chinese yuan renminbi)
 

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Sprite turns to young creators to ‘drop’ Sprite Ginger and reinvent a classic taste- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sprite has a long history in the hip-hop space, starting with a 1986 commercial that featured Kurtis Blowto, to the iconic ‘I Love the Sprite in You’ ad, starring popular artists like LL Cool J and Kris Kross.
The brand has now returned to hip-hop culture as it releases a new product – Sprite Ginger ,a gingery twist on the original lemon-lime soft drink
But rather than going for a big hip-hop star to help launch it, Sprite is looking to young creators to collaborate on a Sprite Ginger Collection of products, which it’s dropping in New York City today (12 February).
To help launch the Sprite Ginger Collection, Sprite has partnered with legendary streetwear designer Jeff Staple, founder of Staple Design and Staple Pigeon – a celebration of young, up-and-coming creators from across the artistic spectrum.

Jeff Staple and Sprite Ginger creators

Sprite calls the new product and collection a “reinvention” of sorts. “The reason we think it’s about reinvention is because the trend of cross-segment blurring is definitely at the forefront of what consumers are wanting. With Sprite Ginger we feel we can give our fans what they know and love about Sprite, in terms of it being cool and crisp with lemon-lime and caffeine-free but with a little bit of reinvention with that hit of ginger flavor,” Aaliyah Shafiq, brand group director, Sprite, told Tempemail.
Added Sam Beresford, senior manager, Sprite, of the collection: “What we did was take that concept of reinvention and we are using that to tap into a network of emerging, young creators. It plays in that hip-hop music and hip-hop cultural space. Sprite as a brand has such a rich heritage of that, of being a part of hip-hop culture and leaning into that and putting on hip-hop artists over the years. So, this idea of reinvention is a really interesting way for us to push that forward.”
The campaign began with an out-of-home and social teaser push. For the last few weeks in New York City the brand has put up billboards that show the Sprite can with tear-aways at the top showing the gold accents in the new can. They were strategically placed in lower Manhattan in neighborhoods where the brand knows its audience and the culture they follow is active.

Sprite OOH

“We did these cool, cryptic billboards which flipped and revealed the product. That generated a lot of cool conversations on social media,” said Beresford.
The ‘Drop’
Sprite is treating the release of its product and Ginger Collection like a ‘drop’, a staple in modern hip-hop culture where hype is teased and built and the product (albums, clothing collections, movies) is suddenly dropped, like a midnight Beyoncé album.
“We thought, with that spirit of reinvention, it would be really cool to be the first beverage brand to ‘drop’ a new product in that way,” Beresford said.
The TV spot at the center of the campaign, by Wieden+Kennedy, should help that. In it, a young man leads viewers through a mix of old and new school hip-hop culture as it pertains to Sprite, showing “new new” concepts along with the “oh so familiar”, meaning new ginger flavor meshing with traditional Sprite. It ends with the statement “It’s not limited edition, but it should be.”

The drop also encompasses the Ginger Collection, which drops at hip streetwear shop Extra Butter in New York with a collection of clothing, art and other items by nine up-and-coming creators, like designer Bluboy, artist Barbara Rego and design collaborative Banana Papaya, all mentored by Staples.
“They are taking that idea of reinvention and putting a hit of something new to all the amazing work that they’re already producing. So, we think it’s a really strong tie between what the product actually is and how we are going to tell that story,” said Beresford.
Around the time of the campaign launch, Sprite will reveal what the collection is, and it includes jewelry, art, clothing and even a skateboard deck. The brand will spend the next eight to 10 weeks telling the story of each item in the collection about how they were collaborated with and how they were mentored by Staple. The brand is helping the creators manufacture and distribute the items.

Elan Watson and his skateboard deck

“A lot of the story we’ll be telling through social will be the stories of these individual creators and their items and actually dropping them in the same way a streetwear brand might announce a collection or season, and week by week drop pieces of that collection,” Beresford explained.
This is the first time Sprite has launched a product under its brand platform, ‘Thirst for Yours’ which started in 2019 to spotlight tastemakers and innovators – musicians, designers, artists, photographers and more – who are shaping the future of hip-hop culture.
“The drop and the Ginger Collection is really the first time underneath that new brand platform to do this. We think it’s a great representation of launching a new product, but doing it in a way that puts young, creative people who are contributing to hip-hop culture and pushing it forward, putting them on and giving them a chance for us to help them elevate their voice and execute their vision,” said Beresford.
See elements of the campaign by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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