The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 12 November 2015

It’s the day after Singles’ Day, or “Boxing Day” as they could perhaps call it now that Chinese logistics finds itself faced with approximately half a billion orders. This week’s Digital World naturally reports on this huge sales event, but we’ve also seen key pieces about electronic payment in Russia, African ecommerce, Google My Business (and Maps) and the Chinese music industry.

£9.4 billion Singles’ Day grabs all the usual headlines

The 57.1 billion RMB record for sales on Alibaba set last year was a significant moment in international marketing – the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) had grabbed headlines earlier in the year, and massively raised awareness of the Chinese ecommerce market. A significant leap from the 35 billion RMB taken in 2013, last year’s figure has inevitably been eclipsed again. The 57.1 billion RMB mark was reached by 11:50am local time – not even 12 hours into the day. By Midnight, the total was being reported as 91.2 billion RMB. (£9.4 billion GBP, $14.3 billion USD)

Mobile sales were said to account for 68.67% of revenue – more than taken for all platforms combined in 2014. The effect was similarly being felt at key competitor JD, saw 30 million orders, doubling last year’s record.


How legislation is electronic payment in Russia has a new article about the changes that have been made in Russian legislation governing electronic payment in the last five years. The article opens by discussing prepaid cards – improvements in 2011 and 2014 has stressed and streamlined identification procedures to prevent fraud. It additionally deals with the personal data laws that came into effect in September 2015: these laws dictate that Russian citizens’ personal data must be stored within databases located in Russia.

A major change in motion since 2014 is the creation of the “National System of Payment Cards” (NSPC) – including the issuing of “MIR” national payment cards by the end of 2015. The system is designed to minimise disruption across borders, with co-badged payment cards issued featuring internationally recognised operators (American Express, JCB, MasterCard). However, payment service providers are likely to find that MIR cards increase in popularity among Russian customers, and they will have to comply with data storage and processing requirements while dealing with this system.


The ups and downs of recent tech news in Africa

As reported by The Next Web, African’s digital industries have had a month of ups and downs, with a round of acquisitions and investments offset by some high profile closures and downsizings. The bad news first: South Africa’s Mxit social network, which had 7.5 million users in 2013, is closing after users fell dramatically to just 1.2 million in July 2015. Simultaneously, Jumia, the primary player in Nigerian ecommerce, has laid off 30% of its Nigerian workforce.

Among the positives, mobile payments startup Paga was able to raise $13 million, Interswitch invested $1 in ecommerce solutions provider SlimTrader and Egyptian ecommerce aggregator Yaoota raised $2.7 million for expansion in North Africa and the Middle East. Interswitch also acquired a Kenyan integrated payments company, Paynet.

Google My Business re-enables latitude and longitude data for certain countries

A community manager on Google’s advertiser communities messaging board has informed the community that bulk upload spreadsheets for Google My Business now include latitude and longitude functionality in Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and Mexico. The implication of this announcement being that Google is not currently confident about the fine detail on its maps functionality in these countries. A latitude and longitude option is visible outside of these countries, but non-functional.


Chinese government wants approval process for music

The Chinese government’s love of whitelists may apparently get extended to music downloads, according to a report that was published on Monday 9 November by the Ministry of Culture, laying out plans for the music industry in 2016. The report suggests that all music download or streaming sites should be obliged to have a censorship department, which will exclude songs that fall outside of the Ministry’s guidelines for permissible content. Repeat offenders will be added to a blacklist.

As Techinasia reports, the measures are likely to be draconian: heavy restrictions on live performances by foreign artists have existed for most of the last decade due to the possibility of artists going off-script (thanks, Björk) and the Ministry of Culture has operated an outright ban on video game consoles until quite recently. Alibaba subsidiary Xiami and Baidu’s music streaming platform are likely to be the companies most affected, but users aren’t said to be especially happy either.

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Image credits

Waste recycling cart photo by Flickr user David Barrie

Olkhon Island photo by Flickr user Jason Rogers

Lagos skyline photo by Flickr user Clara Sanchiz

Golden Mask Dynasty Show photo by Flickr user IQRemix