Earlier this year, Tokyo-based IT services provider NTT Data was selected to aid in the construction, storage, and safekeeping of a digital archive for the Vatican Apostolic Library. NTT Data, a subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications giant NTT, on Monday announced that it had successfully launched a new application for viewing more than 400 digitized manuscripts on the library’s free website.
Here’s more proof that Rakuten is serious about becoming a global ecommerce player alongside the likes of Amazon and Alibaba: the Japanese company today launched Rakuten.co.uk. According to TechCrunch, the new UK marketplace will sell goods from Rakuten and third-party retailers, in addition to offerings from its Kobo ebook store and Wuaki video streaming service.
Move over, card games. Roleplaying games – RPGs – are now the most popular mobile game genre for Android users in Japan. App monetization platform Metaps discussed why in a blog post where it analyzed the top grossing categories in Japan’s Google Play store for September 2014. The card game, once a dominant genre, is now ranked fourth, behind the roleplaying, casual, and simulation categories. While its average revenue per user (ARPU) is still above average, there are also fewer new releases in that category, showing that the card battle game is finally running out of steam.
In what appears to be the largest round for an Indonesian startup on public record, online marketplace startup Tokopedia announced its approximate US$100 million financing round, led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Internet and Media Inc (SIMI). Sequoia Capital joined in as a follow on investor. With this round of funding, SoftBank and Sequoia Capital representatives will join the company’s board of directors. The funding also comes as Sequoia Capital’s first investment in Indonesia.
TOKYO: A Tokyo court has ordered Facebook to disclose the IP addresses used by fake accounts that were posting revenge porn, a lawyer said Tuesday, in the first such case in Japan. In response to the order the US-based social networking site revealed IP addresses — a string of numbers identifying the computer being used — connected to two accounts that were uploading personal information and private pictures, lawyer Yohei Shimizu said.
Gree is working hard at remaking its fortunes in the smartphone age. The industry giant today announced a new mobile game publishing partnership with KDDI Corporation in Japan, under which it will develop, publish, and localize games from outside of the country. KDDI – a mobile phone carrier – is best known for its mobile subscription service, au Smartpass, which allows users access to a variety of apps and games for a modest monthly fee of JPY 372, or US$3.50.
If you go to Bijin Tokei (“the beautiful woman clock”), you will see a carefully selected young Japanese woman holding up a sign that tells the current time. Every minute, the page will refresh – sometimes with a new girl, sometimes with the previous one in a new position. This repeats without stop every minute of everyday, drawing on a roster of 70,000 beautiful Japanese women.
NEW YORK: Toshiba Corp has entered into a pact with United Technologies Corp (UTC) to strengthen strategic collaboration through their joint venture, Toshiba Carrier Corp (TCC). “The agreement outlines the next stage of cooperation between Toshiba and UTC in the field of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning solutions through TCC,” Toshiba said in a statement today.
Sony has submitted an application to the Chinese government stating that the company plans to launch the Chinese official version of PS4 at the end of 2014 with expected annual shipments of 200,000 units. However, the detailed launch time, place, or shipment mode was not disclosed. Microsoft has already launched Xbox One in China. As its major competitor in the gaming console sector, Sony does not want to fall behind and the company plans to tap the Chinese market with its latest PS4 in December 2014.
NEW DELHI: Instant messaging and voice call app LINE Friday said that it has achieved 30 million registered user base in India. The company has also introduced localized stickers such as ‘Diwali’ stickers to spice up the Indian users’ chat experience. “Optimal user experience is in the heart of every feature that we bring for our users in India, as we make sure that our new features and services take our users beyond the usual messaging communication experience,” Damandeep Singh Soni, India operations head at LINE, said.
Acer reportedly is cooperating with Panasonic to develop a battery management system for its Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) platform for Internet of Things (IoT) business opportunities, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Acer declined to comment. Acer is looking to integrate its BYOC platform into Panasonic’s battery management system and offer the solution to electric vehicle vendors. Panasonic provides batteries to EV vendors including Tesla.
Indian startup AdNear, which provides location-based intelligence for advertising, has just raised US$19 million in series B funding. What is significant is that a leading Japanese venture capital firm, Global Brain, and the VC arm of Australian telecom giant Telstra have come on board, joining existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners in this round. AdNear, which started in Bangalore but is now headquartered in Singapore, has taken its unique adtech model across Southeast Asia, Australia, and most recently, Japan.
China’s Lenovo Group and Japan’s NEC agreed to extend their joint venture agreement through 2026. The agreement signed by the two parties included amendments to the initial transaction. Amendments to the NEC brand license agreements stated that the parties to the NEC brand license agreements entered into the NEC brand license amendment agreements on October 7, 2014, to extend the terms of the NEC brand license agreements for two more years to June 30, 2018.
Japan’s Softbank plans to acquire Korean TV show portal DramaFever, according to a press release published on Business Wire . The five-year-old startup has raised US$12 million up to this point, some of that coming from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. The site has a wide range of international TV shows, but is mostly known for its Korean dramas.
Softbank, Japan’s robot-loving telco, today announced a business tie-up with Tokyo-based ad tech startup Geniee . Starting next month, Softbank will launch a supply-side advertising platform (SSP), in collaboration with Geniee, which the wireless carrier hopes will give a boost to its internet advertising business. As part of the deal, Softbank will purchase a minority stake in Geniee that accounts for 32.9 percent of the startup’s outstanding shares.
Free messaging app provider LINE Corp. said it plans to enter new businesses such as music distribution and online bill payment services. The company also disclosed for the first time its monthly number of smartphone messaging service users, putting the figure at 170 million worldwide. LINE was expected to list its stock in Japan or abroad this year, but has put off the plans at least until next year.
Toshiba Corporation announced in September this year of its business expansion strategy for the Southeast Asia region, which includes investing US$1 billion in the region over the next five years, and doubling its current sales to US$7 billion. Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Hisao Tanaka, the President and CEO of Toshiba, elaborated on the infrastructure technologies and know-how that Toshiba proposes to deploy in SEA in support of building a better and secure future.
Alcatel-Lucent has today opened an innovative facility in Tokyo designed to give service providers and enterprise customers hands-on experience in the co-creation of new ultra-broadband and cloud-based services and applications, the networking communications company said in a press statement. The Alcatel-Lucent Customer Network Centre (CNC) is a first-of-its-kind in Japan – one of the world’s most advanced telecommunications markets, the company said.
TOKYO: A Japanese court has ordered Google to delete search results linking a claimant to a crime he did not commit, the latest in a series of rulings around the world on what search engines should tell users. The Tokyo District Court this week placed a provisional order that Google delete about half of 237 entries that appear after the plaintiff’s name is entered, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other local media reported.