Skip to Content

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
Home / 2017 / December / 31

Daily Archives: December 31, 2017

The Gurkhas and Lahore

LAHORE-When Nepalis fought the East India Company in the war of 1814-16 the British were impressed by the gallantry of the defenders. So, after the Sugauli Treaty they started recruiting Nepali soldiers in the British Army.In the 20th century, Nepali s…

Maritime: Stakeholders seek intervention fund

Our Correspondent OLUWAKEMI DAUDA dissects policies that will shape the sector in 2018, benchmarking it on stakeholders’ expectations.

During the presentation of the 2018 budget to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari projected that the much-expected rail to link Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports would come on stream by the end of this year. This, the government said, is part of efforts to reposition the sector.

But the stakeholders in the sector, however, said what they want in addition to what the President promised, is that the government should  formulate an holistic policy that will enable the country maximise the benefits of  its oceans, seas and water this year.

Use the sea to boost economy

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) President Prince Olayiwola Shittu said the sector needs intervention fund to boost maritime trade. The government, he said, needs to come up with a better intervention fund like they have done in the aviation, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

“Nigeria must emulate countries  like Britain, Rome, America, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Singapore and India on how best to use the sea to boost the economy.

“Seventy-six per cent of shipping business that takes place in West Africa is done in Nigeria, which means that the country is very important in the continent sea ladder. Maritime trade must, therefore, be of great interest to President Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to boost economy. If we get intervention fund from the government and make it available to the people, millions of Nigerians would have gainful employment and that would solve a lot of problem the country is facing now and in the future,” Shittu said.

Ports’ access roads

The roads that lead to the seaports in Lagos, Warri, Onne, Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Sapele are impassable.

These ports’access roads have not attracted the government’s attention. Those leading to the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos are so bad that some stakeholders have described them as a “shame to the nation”, despite efforts by the Dangote Group to fix part of the road.

The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) President Mr Remi Ogungbemi and other port users urged President Buhari to fix the road this year.

“The bad roads have constituted nightmares to consignees, importers, exporters, freight forwarders and other port users who use the roads to evacuate their goods. The chaotic situation on the road is making port users spend hours daily to access or exit the terminals. The Federal Government must support the NPA in fixing the road this year.

“Importers, truck owners and clearing agents have agreed to give President Buhari and his team the first two months of this year to fulfil part of his projected plans to fix the Apapa roads, reduce the congestion and its adverse effects on business activities at the ports before we can take the government serious on its plans to uplift the maritime industry this year,” Ogungbemi said.

Addressing misnomer in the oil and gas cargoes by NPA

At the forum organised by the Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi in Lagos last year, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was confronted with protests by some terminal operators over the designation of a terminal operator as the exclusive handler of oil and gas cargoes.

This, the protesters said, was against the port reforms carried out by the Federal Government in 2006. The operators insisted that the government must ensure that all ports operations are modeled in line with global best practices which recognised only three classes – bulk, container and multipurpose cargo. This, the protesters insisted, is the practice globally.

The operators and Prince Shittu, however, gave kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari and the management of NPA for initiating last year, an impressive policy that empowered the authority to return to the three classes as it is done across the globe. Shittu and other operators, importers and clearing agents said they hope that the misnomer in the oil and gas designation which was corrected by the NPA in 2017 to enthrone competitiveness and end the unwarranted monopoly must not be allowed to resurface its ugly face this year.

Inauguration of the Command & Control, Communication and Intelligence Centre by NPA

Shittu said the unveiling of the Command & Control, Communication and Intelligence Centre by the NPA which was seen as one of the giant strides taken by the authority last year and needs to be improved upon this year to boost the government revenue.

“The facility is a very good facility because it serves as surveillance for NPA’s activities and for security agencies.While commending the authority for the launch of the provisional, final billing and customer portal module of Revenue Invoice Management System (RIMS) to improve its service delivery and reduce revenue leakage, we hope the management of the Authority will ensure that the efficacy of the platform is not compromised

Acquisition of tug boats and dedication of terminal for exports

“The acquisition of four new tug boats – MT Daura, MT Ubima, MT Uromi and MT Majiya by the NPA was part of the good policy initiated by the authority to improve operational efficiency that must be sustained this year.

“Ditto the development of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and establishment of  a dedicated terminal to handle exports aimed at diversifying the economy and improving earnings in line with the mandate of the Federal Government. The terminals include Ikorodu Lighter Terminal for Lagos, Shoreline logistics terminal for Calabar Port and Bua Ports. This year, all the terminals must be mandated by the NPA to establish dedicated desks that will handle all documentations on export, receipt of consignment and the loading of vessels to boost the Easy of Doing Business posture of the current administration,” said, a maritime lawyer Mr DipoAlaka.

Restoring investors’ confidence

An importer, Chief Celestine Davies, said he was happy with the efforts of the authority to restore investor’s confidence in the maritime industry. “The China Harbour Engineering Company has agreed to take up 15 per cent shareholding in the Lekki Deep Seaport project. Dubai Port World also negotiated an agreement with Josepdam Port Services while the Tanger Med Port of Morocco also indicated willingness to develop a green field terminal logistic base.

“These initiatives must be pursued by the NPA and translate into a more efficient port sector this year, so that the country achieves its vision of housing the leading port in Africa,” Chief Davies said.

National single window policy

Chief Davies also urged NPA to continue to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority to develop the operational framework of establishing the National Single Window, Ports Community System and Scanning services to address the chaotic clearance of cargoes from the port. The collaboration, the importer said, must be used by the NPA this year in simplifying and harmonising formalities that impede trade.

Making more large vessel berth in Eastern Ports

Many decades after the Eastern Ports came into being, a flat bottom ship, berthed at the Calabar Port last year. It elated importers and clearing agents. The vessel, MV’ Desert Ranger, weighing about  62,000 metric tonnes, made history as the largest ship to call at the port, despite its draft limitations. The heavy vessel, which sailed from Greece, was laden with 60,000 tonnes of wheat. The 200-metre long vessel, which called at the port after the arrival of large MV Desert Rhapsody was seen as a good omen that must not end with last year. Many importers and clearing agents operating at the Eastern ports gave kudos to the management of NPA for achieving the landmark and specifically urged its Managing Director Ms Hadiza Bala Usman to sustain the tempo this year.

Concerns over ports and harbour bill

Maritime unions are protesting some aspects of the Ports and Harbour Bill as it relates to retrenchment of staff and harbour operations being ceded to the private sector. A former member of the House of Representatives Mr Moroof Akideru-Fatai said it was good that NPA drew the union’s attention to the fact that the bill would not in any way bring about retrenchment or retirement of staff. “The Bill will  allow the NPA to concession some of its operations but it does not stipulate that harbour operation would be handed over to private company by the authority,” he said.

Making the ports competitive and review of the concession agreement

The Federal Government, through its agencies, stakeholders said, must do everything possible to make the ports competitive.

ANLCA Publicity Secretary, Dr Kayode Farinto said: “One of the two approaches adopted by the NPA to achieving this is to have a competitive pricing and tariff regime. The agency has embarked on conducting a study to determine respective tariffs and pricing regimes across the region.

“Also, the authority also set in motion last year, the machinery to review the concession agreements after the initial 10 years. We believe the effort is to reposition the ports by ensuring that critical issues around equipment deployment and infrastructure deployment are carried out by all parties, as entrenched in the agreement.’’

 

Executive order and 24-hour port operation

“The Federal Government last May issued an Executive Order on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in business and sequel to this order, government agencies, such as the NPA, NIMASA and the Shippers Council, commenced implementation of some of the directives at the ports. One of the executive orders mandated 24-hour operations at the Apapa Ports and the NPA. Some of the actions taken by the authority included Pilotage  and Berthing of Vessels on 24-hour basis.

“We are aware that last June 18, when the Order took off, NPA’s Harbours Department handled 20 vessels after 19.00 hours at Lagos Port in the first two weeks of the commencement of 24 hours operation and we hope that the trust of the Order would not be jettisoned by the management of the authority this year. We also appeal to the government to direct other agencies and terminal operators to also make their tariffs accessible anywhere in the world like NPA.

“Cargo dwell time (CDT), the average time a cargo remains in the terminal from the point of discharge to the point it exits the terminal, must be improved upon significantly this year. The government must support NPA and the Nigerian Shippers Council in ensuring that human contact, which breeds corruption in the seaports, airports and international land borders are eliminated to boost the campaign for 48-hour cargo clearance regime announced by the Federal Government.

“About 90 per cent of goods are still subjected to physical examination as against use of the mobile and fixed scanners. A lot of deals devoid of transparency and integrity that are taking place at ports and international land borders must be addressed seriously by the government this year,” DrFarito said.

NIMASA, security and CVFF disbursement

Indigenous ship owners said they were sad because they had not accessed the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF). A member of the group, Mr Margret Orakuwsi  urged the Minister of Transport RotimiAmaechi to ensure that the money is disbursed this year to boost indigenous capacity id shipping.

Other stakeholders said they were happy that the NIMASA Director-General Dr Dakuku Peteride brought the issue of the blue economy to the front burner. Maritime, they said, has become a key sector.

“As an oil-producing and exporting country, as well as a consumer nation, the country is a large market for foreign goods owing to its population. Thus, the industry is key to growth.  To unlocking the potential in the sector this year, policies and programmes on blue economy by the Federal Government are vital. Although, NIMASA is  taken steps to reposition the maritime security landscape. The security of the waterways and the sea must be a key component of DrPeterside’s policy this year,” Alaka said.

Cabotage Act, Alaka said, must be made to work in areas like the environment, lives and clean ocean.

Shippers Council and intervention fund

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) needs the maximum support of the Federal and state governments to build the Truck Transit Park (TTPs) and the Inland Dry Ports (IDPs) across the country. The Council must continue with his laudable engagement of the terminal operators and other critical stakeholders to make the ports attractive and competitive.

Its role as economic regulator transcends the position of the Federal Government on every issue relating to trade and commerce. “Shippers Council is the umpire between the government and the investors at ports. It is not biased and it must be seen to be faired to everybody this year to make the ports attractive and competitive in the sub region,”  Alaka said.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, according to the operators, has what it takes to contribute meaningfully to reviewing the concession agreement and to carry out the reforms in our ports.


Tags:

RELATED LINKS

中国ビジネス、売上規模拡大のカギは「非純血主義化」

 ジャパンコンテンツの海外展開は特にアニメ分野において大きな成果を上げている。一方で音楽分野については、いくつかのアーティストで海外公演などの成功事例が見られるものの、ブレイクスルーには至っていない。ただし、2017年には中国マーケットでの著作権管理の整備、Zeppのアジア進出、サブスクリプションサービスのアジア普及などを追い風に、急速な拡大の兆しも見せている。そこで、オリコンが発行する週刊エンタテインメントビジネス誌『コンフィデンス』では、改めて2017年の動きを整理するとともに、2018年以降の展望を占う。

◆中国マーケットでのビジネスチャンスが拡大

 ここ数年、国を挙げて推進する”クールジャパン”は目前に迫った2020年、そしてその先へ向けて、さらに拡大しており、エンタテインメント分野だけでなく、飲食やIT、観光などさまざまな業種が連携し、アジアを中心に成果を上げている。

 さらに2018年には、長く課題とされてきた中国においても、ビジネスチャンスが見えてきた。果敢に中国展開を行ってきた大手企業の関係者は、「2015年から、中国政府は音楽著作権保護法の頒布と楽曲版権市場の保護の標準化を推し進めており、本年も周近平総書記が”知的財産権の違法行為に対し、処罰を増大化し、権利侵害者には重い代償を科す”とも発言している」と説明する。

 このように中国において、知財保護に向けた法整備および管理プラットフォームの構築が進んだことで、これまでライブ興行ばかりが目立っていた音楽ビジネスにおいても、新たな可能性が広がっている。実際に、中国の楽曲版権管理およびイベント制作を行うHi Fiveでは、楽曲版権の管理ツールを開発し、2017年から音楽配信プラットフォームなどでの楽曲使用の管理をスタート。音楽配信やイベント制作のほか、携わったイベントのライブストリーミング配信など、多方面から音楽IPの流通を促進させている。

◆Zeppがアジア展開を本格化、アジア全体が地続きに

 音楽をはじめとするライブ・イベント事業でも中国をはじめ、アジア全体を”地続き”に活動できる状況が整いつつある。

 例えば、Zeppライブホールネットワークはライブホール・Zeppのアジア進出を本格化。2017年6月にシンガポールに「Zepp@BIGBOX Singapore」をオープンし、さらに、2020年にはマレーシアと台湾にホールを開設する計画が正式に発表された。Zepp は現在、国内4都市6ヶ所(札幌、東京2ヶ所、名古屋、大阪2ヶ所)で展開しており、2018年には福岡、2020年には横浜(コーエーテクモゲームスより運営受託)にも開設予定。

 また、2017年に発表された上記3ヶ所のほかにも、アジア数ヶ国・地域での開設も検討していることが明かされており、今後、アジア各都市へと仕様を統一したZeppが展開されれば、これまで国内で行われていた”Zeppツアー”は、機材や演出もほぼそのままにアジアへと広げることが可能になる。

◆サブスクリプションサービスがマーケットを世界へ広げる

 さらに、音楽配信においては、Spotifyのようにグローバルで展開しているサブスクリプションサービスを通じて、日本国内を飛び越え、アジアや欧米で一気に頭角を現すアーティストも2017年に多数出現した。その代表例が日本人エレクトロデュオ・AmPm(アムパム)だ。彼らは2017年4月にデビューシングル「Best Part of Us(feat.Michael Kaneko)」をSpotifyでリリース。わずか4ヶ月で再生回数650万回超を記録。このうち90%以上が海外からのリスナーとなった。

 同誌インタビュー(17年8月28日号)で彼らは「Spotifyの国別バイラルチャートから、その国で人気があるジャンルやスタイルを分析し、今後の音楽トレンドなどを予測します」とコメント。さらに「Spotifyが提供するデータを分析することで、自分たちの楽曲がよく聴かれている国や都市を把握できるので、ターゲティング広告やSNS広告の配信先を絞るなど、プロモーションの費用対効果の最大化も狙える」と語っている。アーティスト自身が戦略的にマーケティングし、世界へと展開していく事例はかなり稀ではあるが、彼らの登場は、サブスクリプションサービスによって、メジャー、インディーズを問わず、マーケットが世界へと広がったことを示した。

◆始めから”海外向け”を視野に、コンテンツ制作していくことも必要

 このように周辺環境はここ数年で大きく前進しており、それに伴い、音楽や映画、アニメ、ゲームなど日本のコンテンツ産業の海外展開は右肩上がりで成長している。

 ただし、2017年12月に実施された「知的財産戦略本部検証・評価・企画委員会 コンテンツ分野会合(第2回)」に提出された、内閣府知的財産戦略推進事務局の資料によると、2015年のコンテンツの世界市場規模が5550億ドルだったのに対し、日本由来コンテンツの売上は約141億ドルで、世界市場規模全体でのシェアはわずかに2.5%。内訳では、放送が0.4%、音楽に至っては0.2%に留まっている(出典:経済産業省「コンテンツ産業政策について」(2017年))。

 とはいえ、アジアを中心にビジネスチャンスが広がっている市場環境を見る限り、これらの数値は悲観的なものではなく、それだけ伸びしろがあると見るのが正しいだろう。

 同会合では、2018年以降の海外展開の推進に向けて、「クールジャパンという名称自体やコンセプトの見直し」や「省庁横割りのプロジェクト編成の必要性」などが新たな議論として加わっているが、なかでも編集部が注目しているのが、「非純血主義化」という指摘である。

 日本コンテンツの海外輸出だからといって、なにもすべてが”日本由来”であり、”100%日本製”である必要はない。ところが、音楽であれば、日本独自の文化であるアニソンが、日本語の歌詞のまま受け入れられていることを成功事例とするあまり、アプローチがやや単色化しているきらいもある。

 先に挙げたAmPmのように海外のニーズを取り込み、必要とあれば、海外のクリエイターとも組みながら、最初から”海外向け”を視野にコンテンツを制作していくことも必要だろう。以前、アメリカのアニメ配信プラットフォームの関係者が日本のコンテンツホルダーについて「1人でやろうとする」「ゼロからやろうとする」「すべてやろうとする」と指摘していたが、海外展開においては、海外の技術・ニーズ・エッセンス・人材を柔軟に取り入れ、日本独自のアレンジを加えていくことも求められるだろう。

(『コンフィデンス』 18年1月1日号掲載)

Councillors and officers bill ratepayers for global trips

AN OFFICER’S trip to New York at a cost of $19,253 was one of many taken by staff and councillors in the financial year.The annual report also reveals international travel to destinations including Hong Kong, Indonesia, China and the United Kingdom. Ra…

展望2018:共享经济全球领跑 人工智能弯道超车

2018中国互联网续写华章

  中国共享单车入驻法国巴黎。新华社发

刚刚过去的2017年,中国互联网追风踏浪,勇立潮头,捷报频传。高铁、支付宝、共享单车、网购成为外国人眼中的中国“新四大发明”,人工智能异军突起,物联网、大数据、虚拟现实技术与实体经济进一步融合。新兴产业蓬勃发展,传统行业迎来变革之机。海外网邀请几位专家对这一系列热点话题进行解读,展望2018年的中国互联网。有理由相信:2018年的中国互联网将再谱新篇,续写华章!

共享经济全球领跑

不知不觉间,共享经济已经成为中国人日常生活的一部分:共享出行、共享充电宝、共享房屋……值得一提的是,共享单车服务发轫于中国,是完全意义上的“中国式创新”,无论是设计水准还是制造工艺,都是“中国创造”“中国智造”的典型代表。

中国社科院财经战略研究院互联网经济研究室主任李勇坚表示,共享经济在中国高速发展,不但经济规模持续扩大,而且各类创新商业模式层出不穷。交通出行领域,共享经济参与者持续增长,其中共享单车用户增长最快;住宿领域的共享经济也快速发展,2017年中国共享住宿市场交易规模预计可达125.2亿元,相比2016年交易额增长42.6%。此外,共享汽车也开始进入快速发展期。北京、上海、广州、重庆等地开始出现多家共享汽车平台,EVCARD(汽车租赁)用户数超过75万。2017年9月,北京市石景山区提出打造全市首个共享汽车示范运营区。

李勇坚说:“我国共享经济在吸收国外先进商业模式的基础上,向海外扩张,形成了国际影响力。自2015年以来,ofo小黄车、摩拜等多家共享单车企业布局海外市场。2017年6月13日,摩拜单车宣布登陆全球第100个城市——英国曼彻斯特;ofo目前已经进入20个国家,超过250个城市;滴滴国际化步伐加快,先后投资了巴西99约车、印度Ola(欧拉)、南非打车应用Taxify、新加坡的Grab打车软件、美国的优步和利福特、中东北非地区的Careem(中文意为‘大方的’)等全球七大移动出行服务平台,合作网络已触及北美、东南亚、南亚、南美1000多个城市,覆盖了全球六成人口。共享单车已经成为中国的一张新名片。”

  中国-东盟博览会上的机器人服务员。新华社发

人工智能弯道超车

打开手机语音,可以与手机机器人对话;打开输入法,可以将语音转换为文字;打开电子地图,可以得到道路实时路况和最佳出行方案……人工智能从每一个微小的方面改变着人们的生活。艾媒咨询数据显示,2016年中国人工智能产业规模增长率达到43.3%,突破100亿元,预计2017年达到152.1亿元,并于2019年增长至344.3亿元。

北京大学“机器感知与智能”教育部重点实验室吴建龙博士认为,中国在人工智能领域已经取得阶段性成功。他说:“中国在部分人工智能领域已经取得了重大突破。以计算机视觉为例,计算机视觉是人工智能的一个重要分支,其目的在于让计算机或者机器能够像人类一样理解外部世界。计算机视觉包括许多实际任务,例如人脸识别、物体检测与分割以及场景分类等。随着深度学习的发展,现有的技术方法在以上相关任务上已经取得了非常优异的成绩。例如在标准人脸识别数据集LFW(自然场景下标注的人脸数据库)上,现有算法的识别准确率已高达99.8%,超过人类的识别精度。另外在阿里巴巴举办的天池AI(人工智能)医疗大赛中,对肺部结节图像的智能诊断也已经达到了专业医生级的水准,3毫米及以上的微小结节的检测准确率超过95%。在计算机视觉上取得的优异成绩进一步促进了人工智能的发展,这在无人驾驶、智慧城市和医学图像等相关的应用中都得到充分的体现。”

吴建龙表示,未来人工智能主要将在无人驾驶、智慧城市、医学图像以及语音识别等4个方向进行深入拓展。中国在这些领域的发展已经走到了世界的前列,我们有理由相信,在不久的将来中国有望在人工智能方面“弯道超车”。

  大数据中心工作人员与公安民警共同工作。新华社发

大数据向纵深发展

根据工信部信通院《2017年中国大数据发展调查报告》预测,2017年-2020年中国大数据市场增速将保持30%以上。但实际上,一些业内人士认为,2017年的中国大数据行业发展速度已超过预期。百分点信息科技有限公司董事长兼首席执行官、原北京大学光华管理学院博士生导师苏萌也对此观点表示赞同,他说:“事实上,一些优秀大数据公司的成长速度远超这个增长率。以百分点公司为例,2017年百分点市场营收实现了300%的增长,其大数据整体解决方案在国内的公共事务、金融、媒体出版、智能制造、零售快消等领域得到了广泛的采用。”

再以制造业为例,2017年,中国优秀的制造业企业已经将大数据应用到研发设计、生产制造、市场营销、售后服务等多个环节,实现了生产效率的提升、营销效果的更加精准以及服务体验的改善。

苏萌认为,一方面,全球性的技术开源运动趋势推动了中国大数据公司在基础技术创新上实现突破,中国公司逐渐成为大数据技术创新的主力;另一方面,中国丰富的数据资源条件以及日益广泛的应用需求,让中国大数据公司在大数据应用层面的创新处于世界领先水平。此外,传统行业与大数据纵深融合的步伐正在加快,大数据正在成为传统行业转型的一大法宝。

对未来大数据行业的发展,苏萌很有信心。他说:“中国大数据行业的发展离不开政策的支持。百分点公司抓住‘一带一路’沿线国家数字化建设的市场机会率先出海,成为中国首家走向海外市场的大数据公司。此外,习近平总书记在十九大报告中多次提及大数据,这让我对未来行业的发展更加有信心。”

虚拟现实变革产业

2015年以来,随着消费新科技产品的不断推出,VR(虚拟现实)产业成为热点。2017年被称为“VR产业元年”。智能手机、移动客户端、移动互联网与虚拟产品相融合,不仅为人们的生活带来了翻天覆地的变化,也进一步变革了传统产业,催生了大量新兴行业。

业内专家指出,现阶段,我国VR产业发展正在由用户、技术、硬件、内容、开发者、渠道、资本等力量共同推进,一个良性VR产业生态圈已初步建立,并正在形成一条集工具设备、行业应用、内容制作、分发平台、相关服务在内的全产业链。

从国家层面来看,虚拟现实产业作为新兴战略性产业,得到国家的高度重视,相关的政策措施和规划方案高密度发布。各政府部门针对产业发展出台大量专项政策,鼓励、支持、促进虚拟现实产业的发展。

工业和信息化部电子信息司副司长乔跃山在前不久召开的国际虚拟现实创新大会上表示,发展虚拟现实产业可以促进融合创新。以虚拟现实为产业抓手,能够推动不同领域的跨界融合,进而定义新标准与新技术,乃至裂变出颠覆式的新产品和新市场。发展虚拟现实产业可以助推产业变革,有利于打破传统的彼此封闭、烟囱式的产业发展框架,串联起产业链不同领域的骨干企业,实现由产业单点突破向产业生态扩张的转变。发展虚拟现实产业可以繁荣内容应用。虚拟现实业务形态丰富、产业潜力大、社会效益强,VR应用正在加速向生产与生活领域渗透。他同时指出,未来,须从强化跨领域技术储备、丰富产品有效供给、推进虚拟现实重点行业应用和建设产业支撑服务平台等方面开展工作,保障虚拟现实产业健康发展。

  在南非约翰内斯堡,一名游客使用支付宝支付。新华社发

移动支付走向海外

2017年5月,北京外国语大学丝绸之路研究院采访了“一带一路”沿线20国的青年。采访发现,让他们惊讶、艳羡、直呼想带回自己国家的,首先便是移动支付。“印度版支付宝”“泰国版阿里巴巴”,中国的移动支付技术正走向海外并实现本土化,为当地带来深远影响。

中国互联网经济研究院副院长欧阳日辉教授认为,中国互联网金融发展在全球处于领先地位,是中国数字经济的主要成就之一。移动支付是中国最成熟的互联网金融模式,在城市得到充分发展以后,正在向农村市场下沉并向海外市场拓展。

欧阳日辉说:“我国移动支付进入海外市场冲击了海外的支付生态。移动支付是支付发展的趋势,海外的支付机构也在积极拥抱变化,但是,是发展自己的移动支付平台还是接受中国的支付机构,这是一个很复杂的问题。中国支付机构可以乘海外移动支付机构没有发展起来的空当,大力推进与商家的合作,配合我国在‘一带一路’沿线国家开展的基础设施建设,做好移动支付的信息基础设施建设,培养消费者的使用习惯。”

欧阳日辉认为,在未来,从空间上看,中国移动支付机构要做好英美等发达国家市场的开拓,同时做好“一带一路”沿线国家的市场拓展;从合作对象来看,重点做好我国出境游客量比较大的地区的商家合作,先满足我国游客的需求,进而带动所在国消费者的支付变化;最后,一定要深入研究进入国家和地区的法律法规、习俗和传统,以开放和合作方式逐步扩大市场,特别注意海外的信息隐私和反垄断问题。

  世界物联网博览会上,观众参观“智慧农业”产品。新华社发

物联网享智慧生活

物联网时代下,中国的物联网产业已经进入快车道。2017年,中国物联网行业井喷式发展。正如中关村物联网产业联盟秘书长兼创新中心主任王正伟所言:“如果说2016年是物联网的新元年,那么2017年无疑是中国物联网的爆发之年。”

王正伟认为,2017年我国物联网加速进入“跨界融合、集成创新和规模化发展”的新阶段,智能可穿戴设备、智能家电、智能网联汽车、智能机器人等数以万亿计的新设备竞相接入网络,形成海量数据,带来应用的爆发性增长。首先,NB-IOT(基于蜂窝网络的窄带物联网)技术引爆了物联网市场。华为公司率先提出的NB-IoT 核心协议标准,在 3GPP(第三代合作伙伴计划,是一个成立于1998年12月的标准化机构)获得通过,从而引爆了物联网的热点。其次,2017年三大电信运营商开足马力,强势介入,齐齐杀向物联网的新蓝海,全面激活了中国物联网市场。同时,工信部印发《关于全面推进移动物联网(NB-IOT)建设发展的通知》,明确加快推进移动物联网部署,到2017年末,实现NB-IoT网络覆盖直辖市、省会城市等主要城市,基站规模达到40万个。

王正伟表示,物联网的大发展不仅将进一步便利人们的生活,同时还将推动其他技术取得突破,促进各行各业的发展。他说:“物联网万亿级的垂直行业市场正在不断兴起,将推进供给侧结构性改革不断深入;车联网、健康、家居、智能硬件、可穿戴设备等消费市场需求更加活跃,将驱动物联网和其它前沿技术不断融合;人工智能、虚拟现实、自动驾驶、智能机器人等技术也将不断取得新突破。”

<!–enpproperty 501813142018-01-01 06:46:33:22崔玉玉展望2018:共享经济全球领跑 人工智能弯道超车人工智能,支付宝,摩拜,场景分类,弯道10007183219新闻库新闻库http://news.china.com.cn/2018-01/01/content_50181314.htmnull人民日报海外版中国共享单车入驻法国巴黎。中国社科院财经战略研究院互联网经济研究室主任李勇坚表示,共享经济在中国高速发展,不但经济规模持续扩大,而且各类创新商业模式层出不穷。工业和信息化部电子信息司副司长乔跃山在前不久召开的国际虚拟现实创新大会上表示,发展虚拟现实产业可以促进融合创新。1/enpproperty–>

Digital payments player looks to mirror Indian success in Canada Subscriber content

At first glance, Harinder Takhar’s business seems boring, and he knows it.

“Maybe we should have a slogan,” he says, grinning: “Make bill payments interesting again.”

The technology sector is enjoying a boom unlike any since the dot-com era of the late 1990s, but much of the excitement is in areas such as social media, online retailing, cybersecurity and streaming entertainment services. There’s very little glamour in building an app that helps people pay their monthly bills more efficiently.

Story continues below advertisement

But Mr. Takhar, the 40-year-old chief executive officer of Paytm Labs, reckons those pesky bill payments sap more than half of what’s in the average Canadian’s wallet each month, so he sees potential. And his company’s corporate pedigree is not to be underestimated.

Paytm’s Toronto office is in a squat brick building sandwiched between a burrito shop and a purveyor of poutine on a stretch of Adelaide Street West that’s at its liveliest in the wee hours of the morning, when the neighbourhood bars let out. Inside, it has all the trappings of a typical tech startup: exposed brick and wooden beams, a Ping-Pong table and a pod of staff known internally as “the suits,” none of whom are dressed in anything remotely resembling a suit.

But Paytm Labs represents something more noteworthy: A lab for research and development to tap into a growing trove of customer data and a Canadian foothold for India’s foremost e-commerce and mobile-payments firm. Paytm, in turn, is backed by two of the world’s emerging corporate superpowers: China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Japan’s Softbank Corp., which have invested more than $2-billion (U.S.) combined.

In India alone, Paytm boasts some 230 million registered users, though not all of them use the app regularly. And now it has quietly set up shop in Canada, with ambitions to improve the way Canadian consumers, businesses and even cities make and receive payments.

“What we have figured is that bill payments, even though it is boring and doesn’t sound interesting to anybody, we have an opportunity to make it really interesting,” Mr. Takhar says in an interview. “It is actually a very nice, sticky surface.”

Paytm has done business in Canada since 2014, though it was incorporated earlier. Mr. Takhar was Canadian employee No. 1, having settled here to raise his family after stints in Finland, Britain, Singapore and France.

Born in India, he studied at Delhi College of Engineering and became pals with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, and went on to be that company’s first engineer.

Story continues below advertisement

Story continues below advertisement

After stints at global firms such as BlackBerry Ltd. and Nokia Corp., he reunited with Mr. Sharma in 2011 as Paytm’s CEO, and turned his focus to forging partnerships with firms such as ride-hailing leader Uber in India.

It was on a phone call with Mr. Sharma and a board member in the fall of 2014 – just as data was gaining steam as the tech world’s latest hot commodity – that they decided, “You know what? Let’s put our foot down,” as Mr. Takhar remembers it. He was told to build a 100-person team in Canada with a focus on data, where Paytm was “weak” at the time. “Make it the strongest thing in our company,” Mr. Takhar’s bosses told him.

Paytm’s Canadian bill payments app launched in March of 2017, and the Toronto lab now has about 60 staff. It took 60 days for the company to process its first million dollars in bill payments, but by summer, the company had shortened that pace to 15 days. Even so, Paytm’s reach in Canada is still small, with a goal to reach 100,000 active users soon. The app also allows person-to-person money transfers, but that feature isn’t used much so far.

Online and mobile bill payments are not new, and every major banks offers them in some form so it won’t be easy to stand out. “But because this is not their attention area, I think we have a chance to make it front and centre,” Mr. Takhar says. Paytm will give users reminders of when their bills are due, alerts when a regular bill is out of the ordinary, and predict monthly expenses. Paytm talks regularly with Canadian banks about supplying them with its platform, and is in “advanced-stage discussions” with two banks, Mr. Takhar said.

In India, one of Paytm’s big breakthroughs came in 2016, when the country’s government suddenly withdrew most of the smaller banknotes from circulation to try and bring a bustling shadow economy onto the books. With cash suddenly in short supply, Paytm became a vital way to move money.

But Canada is a vastly different market, and rather than import its Indian business model, most of Paytm’s Canadian tech is built from the ground up. Canada’s payments system is also in the midst of its own modernization plan, which aims to introduce, among other things, a real-time system to settle payments instantly by 2019. When compared with other countries, Canada’s current payments infrastructure is adequate, Mr. Takhar says. But he is something of an evangelist for the power of technology to make things better, and he’s prone to throwing his hands on his head in exasperation at how costly and inefficient making a simple payment can still be.

Story continues below advertisement

“We, ourselves, go to China to be humbled,” he says, where payment products from Alibaba and rival Tencent are dominant. “That is how you do payments 10 years from now.”

So far, Paytm makes very little money in Canada. But the company sells gift cards through the app and pockets a spread, and will use targeted ads to sell products to users by predicting their needs and working directly with retailers. “We cannot bombard you … So you come to our app 50 times, we will show you a product three times, and we hope that you buy it once,” Mr. Takhar says.

Paytm Labs is also looking to facilitate faster, cheaper payments for small cities, large utility companies and even mom-and-pop businesses. Mr. Takhar expects it will take a decade to build its brand in Canada. “We are standing on the shoulders of giants, so we actually are not seeking [an] immediate sort of bump in numbers,” he says.

But it still irks him that when Paytm inked its deal to work with Uber in India, Western media framed it as the ride-hailing company choosing Paytm, even though the Indian payments provider was the more established company at the time.

“I hope that what we’re doing over here, in five years it changes it a little bit, that we get some credit,” he says. “A little bit.”

In deze landen is 2018 al begonnen: ook Europa aan het feesten

  • 31 december 2017
  • 22u00
  • Bron: ANP, VRTNWS
ANP

Om middernacht was het (eindelijk) zover en begon 2018 bij ons, maar door de verschillende tijdzones is het niet overal tegelijkertijd Nieuwjaar. Op de eilanden in de Stille Oceaan en in Nieuw Zeeland werd 2018 al veel vroeger ingeluid. 

In Apia de hoofdstad van de republiek Samoa was het om 11.00 uur onze tijd middernacht. Het nieuwe jaar is in het westelijke deel van de Stille Oceaan dus al begonnen.

Nieuw-Zeeland

In Nieuw Zeeland begon het nieuwe jaar om 12.00 uur onze tijd. Daar hebben ze een spectaculair vuurwerk afgeschoten vanaf de Auckland Sky Tower. 

Omdat het nieuwe jaar niet overal op hetzelfde moment start, is tijdreizen vandaag niet onmogelijk. Zo steeg er een vliegtuig op in Nieuw-Zeeland waar het al 2018 is dat in Hawaii landde terwijl het daar nog 2017 was.

Time travel is possible!
Flight #HA446 just took off from New Zealand in 2018 and will land in Hawaii back in 2017! pic.twitter.com/3KsCEniCOL

Flightradar24(@ flightradar24)link

Australië

Om 13 uur was het de beurt aan een klein deel van Rusland. Vanaf 14.00 uur onze tijd was het ook de beurt aan  Australië. In de haven van Sydney keken naar schatting 1,6 miljoen mensen naar het traditioneel spectaculaire vuurwerk.

Japan en Zuid-Korea waren aan de beurt om 16 uur, Noord-Korea volgde een half uur later.  Om 17 uur vierden China, Filipijnen en Singapore Nieuwjaar. Een uur later was het ook feest in Indonesië, Thailand en Vietnam. Bangladesh volgde om 19 uur. 

In India is Nieuwjaar gevierd om 19u30 en Pakistan volgde een half uurtje later. In Afghanistan was het om 20u30 2018 en nog een uur later was ook Iran aan de beurt. 

2018 heeft intussen het Europese continent bereikt. West-Rusland, Turkije, Irak en Kenia hebben om 22 uur Nieuwjaar gevierd. Om 23 uur was het de beurt aan Griekenland, Egypte en Zuid-Afrika. En om middernacht was het onze beurt!

Een uurtje na ons heten ook de Britten, Ieren, Portugezen en Marokkanen 2018 welkom. Brazilië moet wachten tot 3 uur Belgische tijd om het vuurwerk af te steken. Dan is het ook Nieuwjaar in Argentinië. Noord-Amerika viert 2018 tussen 6 en 9 uur.