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Google to launch fund to support Taiwan’s media outlets

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Wednesday it will launch a T$300 million ($9.8 million) fund over the next three years to help boost the Taiwanese media’s continuing operations and digital competitiveness.

Google has come under pressure in some countries to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content, though not in Taiwan.

Google said it will pay local publishers through what it calls a “Taiwan News Digital Co-prosperity Fund” to strengthen their digital publishing capability.

The fund will help Taiwan local media “hone digital skills, gain expertise and support the sustainable development of Taiwan’s news industry”, the company said.

“Even while Google faces many challenges in the overall international environment, Taiwan remains a crucial global stronghold,” Tina Lin, managing director of sales and operations at Google Taiwan, told reporters in Taipei.

Google said Taiwan’s media industry has been facing major competitive challenges in adapting to the digital age, pointing out that advertising revenues for traditional media outlets have dropped 70% from 2003 to 2020.

The initiative marks the latest effort by the internet giant to develop mechanisms to support and compensate regional news providers whose content appears on Google, as it faces the prospect that governments may impose regulations to require such mechanisms.

An Australian law giving the government power to compel Google and rival Meta Platforms (META.O) to negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, according to an Australian government report in late 2022.

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Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Wednesday it will launch a T$300 million ($9.8 million) fund over the next three years to help boost the Taiwanese media's continuing operations and digital competitiveness. Google has come under pressure in some countries to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content, though not in Taiwan. Google said it will pay local publishers through what it calls a "Taiwan News Digital Co-prosperity Fund" to strengthen their digital publishing capability. The fund will help Taiwan local media "hone digital skills, gain expertise and support the sustainable development of Taiwan's news industry", the company said. "Even while Google faces many challenges in the overall international environment, Taiwan remains a crucial global stronghold," Tina Lin, managing director of sales and operations at Google Taiwan, told reporters in Taipei. Google said Taiwan's media industry has been facing major competitive challenges in adapting to the digital age, pointing out that advertising revenues for traditional media outlets have dropped 70% from 2003 to 2020. The initiative marks the latest effort by the internet giant to develop mechanisms to support and compensate regional news providers whose content appears on Google, as it faces the prospect that governments may impose regulations to require such mechanisms. An Australian law giving the government power to compel Google and rival Meta Platforms (META.O) to negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, according to an Australian government report in late 2022.

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Wednesday it will launch a T$300 million ($9.8 million) fund over the next three years to help boost the Taiwanese media’s continuing operations and digital competitiveness.

Google has come under pressure in some countries to negotiate commercial deals and pay news publishers for their content, though not in Taiwan.

Google said it will pay local publishers through what it calls a “Taiwan News Digital Co-prosperity Fund” to strengthen their digital publishing capability.

The fund will help Taiwan local media “hone digital skills, gain expertise and support the sustainable development of Taiwan’s news industry”, the company said.

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“Even while Google faces many challenges in the overall international environment, Taiwan remains a crucial global stronghold,” Tina Lin, managing director of sales and operations at Google Taiwan, told reporters in Taipei.

Google said Taiwan’s media industry has been facing major competitive challenges in adapting to the digital age, pointing out that advertising revenues for traditional media outlets have dropped 70% from 2003 to 2020.

The initiative marks the latest effort by the internet giant to develop mechanisms to support and compensate regional news providers whose content appears on Google, as it faces the prospect that governments may impose regulations to require such mechanisms.

An Australian law giving the government power to compel Google and rival Meta Platforms (META.O) to negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, according to an Australian government report in late 2022.

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ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

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ByteDance confirms layoff plan at its Indonesian unit

China’s ByteDance will lay off staff at its Indonesian unit following a deal where it bought a local e-commerce firm and combined it with its TikTok operation, a spokesperson said on Friday.

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, did not say how many employees would be affected. Bloomberg had earlier reported there would be 450 jobs cut.

In January ByteDance completed a deal to buy a majority stake in Tokopedia, an Indonesian e-commerce firm, from the GoTo group.

ByteDance spokesperson Nuraini Razak told Reuters in a statement the company would “make necessary adjustments” as a result of the combination of TikTok and Tokopedia.

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“We identified areas to strengthen our organisation and better align our teams with company goals,” she said, adding the company would “aim to support employees throughout this transition”.

ByteDance had its own e-commerce operation in Indonesia via its TikTok app, but that was banned under an Indonesian rule that social media applications could not operate as an e-commerce platform.

Tokopedia is one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

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Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

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Indonesia minister threatens to shut down X over adult content

Indonesia is prepared to shut down social media platform X if it does not comply with a regulation barring adult content, the country’s communications minister said on Friday. Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has strict rules that ban the sharing online of content deemed obscene.

Minister Budi Arie Setiadi told Reuters he had sent a warning letter to X related to this matter.

“We will certainly shut its services down,” he said, pointing to Indonesia’s electronic information and transaction (ITE) law that can carry a six-year jail sentence if someone spreads pornographic content.

His comments in an interview come after the social media platform recently updated its policies to permit consensually produced adult content.

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X, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has not responded to Indonesia’s warning letter, Budi said, adding the government would send more letters before deciding on a potential closure.

X, formerly known as Twitter, did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

Indonesians are big users of social media and X has 24.85 million users in the country, according to data gathering business Statista.

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Japan watchdog recommends action on MUFG units over sharing of client data

Japan watchdog recommends action on MUFG units over sharing of client data

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Japan's securities watchdog recommended on Friday that the banking and securities units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group opens new tab (MUFG) be penalised for what it said was unauthorised sharing of client information. The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) made the recommendation to the banking regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), which hands out such punishments in Japan. The recommendation, which was widely expected, followed the SESC's investigation into MUFG's banking arm, MUFG Bank, and its two brokerage ventures with Morgan Stanley (MS.N), opens new tab. The investigation found that confidential client information had been shared between MUFG Bank and one of the two securities firms on at least 26 occasions between 2020 and 2023. MUFG Bank also illegally offered preferential lending rates to clients that did business with the group's two securities brokerages, the SESC said. Japan's "firewall" regulations prohibit banks and securities companies in the same group from sharing customer data with one another without the customer's consent. The investigation found no evidence of insider trading, but monitoring and internal controls were lacking, the SESC said. MUFG group companies will make every effort to strengthen control systems in light of the recommendation and will take measures to prevent recurrence, the parent company said in a statement. The two brokerages were established in 2010, two years after MUFG invested in Morgan Stanley at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. MUFG owned around 23% of Morgan Stanley as of March 2024.

Japan’s securities watchdog recommended on Friday that the banking and securities units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group  opens new tab (MUFG) be penalised for what it said was unauthorised sharing of client information.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) made the recommendation to the banking regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), which hands out such punishments in Japan.

The recommendation, which was widely expected, followed the SESC’s investigation into MUFG’s banking arm, MUFG Bank, and its two brokerage ventures with Morgan Stanley (MS.N), opens new tab.

The investigation found that confidential client information had been shared between MUFG Bank and one of the two securities firms on at least 26 occasions between 2020 and 2023.

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MUFG Bank also illegally offered preferential lending rates to clients that did business with the group’s two securities brokerages, the SESC said.

Japan’s “firewall” regulations prohibit banks and securities companies in the same group from sharing customer data with one another without the customer’s consent.

The investigation found no evidence of insider trading, but monitoring and internal controls were lacking, the SESC said.

MUFG group companies will make every effort to strengthen control systems in light of the recommendation and will take measures to prevent recurrence, the parent company said in a statement.

The two brokerages were established in 2010, two years after MUFG invested in Morgan Stanley at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008. MUFG owned around 23% of Morgan Stanley as of March 2024.

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