1. TikTok launches “TikTok for Business”
TikTok is getting serious and opening for business. It has officially launched a new platform called “TikTok For Business” that will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands.
The site will include access to TikTok ad formats, including its marque product, TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app. Basically, this will be where brands and businesses can browse and select the package they want in order to appear on TikTok.
Under this platform, there’s also a thing called “brand takeovers” which are the three to five-second ads that can be either a video or image. There’s also the brand hashtag challenge and in-feed videos.
TikTok has also introduced a new AR effect, “Brand Scan,” a competitor of Snapchat’s sponsored lens.
TikTok essentially wants to create an ecosystem where marketers create work that becomes a part of the TikTok community, and it’s poised to make $500 million in revenue for its US arm this year.
2. Tencent buys Malaysian Netflix competitor, iflix
Tencent has acquired iflix, a Malaysian based, SEA centric Netflix clone. We’re just as surprised as you are, but this is Tencent’s big push into the region, and iflix has the content, resources and the tech for the Chinese giant to leverage.
Details of the deal remains undisclosed, but apparently iflix was sold for “tens of millions of dollars”.
The company raised over $300 million over the years, says it has more than 25 million active users in Southeast Asia. However, it’s had its fair share of financial struggles and losses.
In Southeast Asia, Tencent also operates Joox, a Spotify competitor. It’ll face some heavyweight competition here though, with Netflix and Chinese streaming giant iQIYI also beefing up its presence.
3. Huawei loses out on Singapore’s 5G deal
Huawei has lost out on Singapore’s race to 5G. Instead, Nokia and Ericsson remain in the talks. However, it may still be involved in the broader ecosystem at a reduced capacity.
Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) said it is in talks with Sweden’s Ericsson to be the main vendor for its 5G and localized networks. Separately, a jJV between Starhub and M1 said it selected Nokia as the preferred technology partner to build its 5G network
Singtel and the joint venture between Starhub and M1 will each build a standalone 5G network.
Huawei is one of the major names in the race to build 5G infrastructure, but it’s been locked in a war with the US over security vulnerabilities that could result in espionage for Beijing, according to the Trump administration.
4. Google will start paying news publishers for new business
Google will begin paying select media outlets featured in a yet-to-be released news service later this year. This is a big shift for the tech giant, and comes after much pressure from regulators and media companies.
The licensing deals will start in three countries first; Australia, Germany & Brazil. The service will show stories from chosen publishers inside the news aggregation features, Google News and Discover.
Google didn’t disclose the financial terms or when the new service will start.
Media organizations have criticized Google and other internet platforms for their treatment of news articles and grip on digital advertising (ahem, Facebook). Now, this is their way of rectifying the situation slightly and start giving credit where credit is due.