Day: May 19, 2020

Sony to become Sony Group, integrating financial unit

TOKYO — Sony will make listed subsidiary Sony Financial Holdings a wholly owned unit for 400 billion yen ($3.73 billion) as it follows global tech giants Alibaba Group Holding and Apple in turning to finance as a stable profit generator that performs even during crises like the current pandemic, Sony announced Tuesday.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment group intends to combine its artificial intelligence and other technologies with the expertise of Sony Financial, which has a bank as well as life and casualty insurers under its umbrella.

Low share prices due to the coronavirus-triggered economic downturn convinced Sony to act

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US and China ratchet up tensions over WHO

TOKYO — China reacted angrily to a threat by Donald Trump to leave the World Health Organization, saying the U.S. president is trying to shift the blame for his country’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to a letter Trump sent to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday that “the letter from the U.S. leader is full of hints and ambiguous rhetoric.”

“It is an attempt to mislead the public, slander China’s effort in containing the coronavirus, and shift the blame to others. This is in vain,” Zhao told reporters at a daily press

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Facebook acquires Giphy image-sharing platform for reported $400M

Brief:

  • Facebook announced in a blog post Friday that it acquired the image-sharing platform Giphy. The deal came in at around $400 million, according to Axios, which first reported the news. 
  • Giphy will join the Instagram team and see its GIF library further integrated into the app, along with other Facebook products. Giphy will continue to operate its library, Facebook said, and the platform is expected to preserve its branding, per Axios.
  • Half of Giphy’s traffic already comes from Facebook apps, with Instagram making up a significant bulk of that volume. Giphy is also integrated with rival social
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Chrome to block resource-depleting ads

Dive Brief:

  • Google’s desktop and mobile web browser Chrome will begin blocking ads in August that use too much of an end user’s device resources, a move to improve user experience, Google revealed in a blog post.
  • Chrome will begin limiting ads that require a lot of battery power or network data from end users, inline with Better Ads Standards for desktop and mobile web from the Coalition for Better Ads. Under the new standards, ads must not exceed 4MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in any 30 second period, or 60 seconds of total
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