The Australian government has just launched an interactive system called GovShare for all Australian Public Service (APS) agencies to share documents, spreadsheets, find contacts and discuss problems through an online forum. The site will allow civil servants to share documents on policies and standards, open source code, and other ICT downloads. It also hosts a database of vendors, and allows users to find people across the APS according to their expertise.
New Zealand has provided an extra $300,000 funding for the next two years of its Open Government Data and Information Programme – with two thirds of the money being spent over the next year. The funding was provided in New Zealand’s recent Budget, and the programme will be led by the agency Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
FLORIDA: Enterprise software company SAP may set up a data centre in India as it continues to a greater amount of business from the Indian public sector, APJ head Adaire Fox-Martin said. The German software company has been increasingly targeting the public sector and has been making the investments in localisation to win business in the country.
The India smartphone market grew by a whopping 186% year-on-year in Q1 2014, making it the highest growing market in Asia Pacific. The sharp growth trend is also seen across Asia-Pacific region which, IDC says, will also see a large increase in devices under the BYOD model.
Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, recently issued 3G and 4G licenses to CMPak, China Mobile’s subsidiary in Pakistan, in Islamabad. Sharif said during the issuance meeting that Pakistan currently has over 132 million mobile users and they will soon be able to experience the most advanced mobile communications technologies.
Singapore-based startup Sova has raised about $3 million in seed funding from undisclosed investors. The startup was launched in December 2013 to provide webmasters using WordPress with dedicated cloud hosting services. The founders are Japanese entrepreneurs Miyako Itonaga and Takashi Fujimoto with a total of 21 people in the team.
China’s biggest Pinterest look-alike Mogujie (literally translated as “Mushroom Street”) is now rocking more than 35 million monthly active users and has just raised a US$200 million round of funding, according to QQ Tech. Goldman Sachs’ Magnolia Fund led the investment followed by Zhixin Capital, Qiming Ventures, IDG, and Banyan Fund. Mogujie stated it will use the money to enhance customer experience, develop its team, and create an open-source community to support its ecosystem.
Alibaba’s Tmall, China’s largest online retail marketplace, beat all traditional retail giants to head a new list of China’s top retailers. It was compiled for the 9th China Retailer Conference. Compared to the list’s rankings for 2012, Tmall surpasses electronics retail chain Suning (SHE:002024) for the first time and leaps to first place with a turnover of RMB 347 billion (US$55.5 billion) in 2013. Suning is one of the largest traditional retailers in the country, covering brick-and-mortar stores in over 700 cities in China as well as a fast-growing ecommerce site.
Dentsu Digital Holdings (DDH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, announced a US$2 million investment in internet infrastructure platform S-cubism. The investment was made through the firm’s VC arm, Dentsu Digital Fund. DDH had partnered with S-cubism since last February but only disclosed its investment Wednesday.
TOKYO: A chatty humanoid robot whose makers claim it can understand people’s emotions made its first friends Friday as it struck up conversations with shoppers in Tokyo. And the device — named Pepper by its designers — proved an effective marketing tool for mobile carrier SoftBank, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.
NEW YORK: Samsung unveiled plans on Thursday to produce a co-branded tablet computer with US bookseller Barnes & Noble (B&N), which has struggled with its Nook line of devices. The two firms said in a statement they would produce Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets “with easy access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive digital collection of more than three million books, leading magazines and newspapers.”