Rakuten’s Viber chat app plans to charge to operate chatbots in controversial move

Viber, the messaging app down by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten, is poised to implement a controversial new strategy that will see it charge companies that run chatbots on its platform. The conventional wisdom is to work with content companies to help bring users to messaging platforms and keep them engaged but Viber, which has struggled to keep up with rivals like WhatsApp and Line, is turning that on its head. Starting April 1, Viber will charge chatbot operators $4,500 per month for the ability to send up to 500,000 messages to users. Those who exceed that range will be eligible to send up to one million messages per month for… Read More

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China wants its rural villages to go cashless by 2020

Residents of even the tiniest far-flung villages in China may soon be able to pay on their phones to run daily errands as Beijing announced this month that it aims to make mobile payments ubiquitous in rural areas by the end of 2020. The plan arrived in a set of guidelines (document link in Chinese) jointly published by five of China’s top regulating bodies, including the central bank, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, in a move to make online financial services more accessible to rural residents. The hope is that by digitizing the… Read More

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Realme 3 to launch in India on March 4

Realme will be launching the Realme 3 smartphone soon. The company announced via Twitter that the launch event, which will be available via live stream for everyone to follow, that the smartphone will be launched on March 4. The Realme 3 will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 chipset, the same as the Realme U1; This processor is claimed to consume 40% less power during heavy gaming, and has a faster CPU and download speed as compared to the Realme 2 Pro’s Snapdragon 660 chipset. However, some speculate that the global variant of the smartphone will be powered by the MediaTek Helio P60 SoC. The Realme 3 is the… Read More

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2019 Mobile Power 50 – Nominations extended

Part of the Mobile Industry Awards 2019 powered by TechRadar Pro, the Mobile Power 50 highlights the most important and influential figures in the UK mobile industry during the past year. Nominations for the 2019 Mobile Power 50 are closing on Monday 4th March at 5pm GMT – so it’s time for you to grab your chance to put forward that person you think has really made a difference this year. Nominate your choice for the 2019 Mobile Power 50 here! The winner, recognised with the Mobile Power 50 Person of the Year award, is selected following in-depth interviews with key senior figures across the industry, from operators and retailers,… Read More

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Apple set to ditch Intel processors for ARM early next year

It’s no secret that Apple has been considering ditching Intel processors for its Mac and MacBook devices in favour of its own ARM-based CPU, and now it seems like the company will make the move as soon as next year. According to the Axios website, developers and Intel insiders have privately revealed that Intel expects Apple to move to custom ARM-based chips in 2020. Check out our Mac mini reviewWhat’s the best processor?Our pick of the best laptops in 2019 This follows reports that Apple is looking to make it easier for iPad and iPhone apps to run on Macs. As we noted a few days ago, Apple wants developers… Read More

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