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Apple has acquired artificial intelligence startup Xnor.ai for a reported $200 million

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:58

  • Apple has purchased a little-known AI company for a reported $200 million.
  • According to GeekWire, the acquired company is a Seattle-based startup that specializes in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools, called Xnor.ai.
  • Apple recently acquired a similar startup called Spectral Edge, a British startup that used machine learning to dramatically enhance the quality of photos that can be taken on the iPhone camera.
  • Business Insider has approached Apple and Xnor.ai for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple just can't get enough of AI startups, it seems.

The tech giant has reportedly purchased a little known AI-company for around $200 million. According to GeekWire, the acquired company is a Seattle-based startup called Xnor.ai. that specializes in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools.

Bloomberg confirmed the acquisition with an Apple spokesman. Business Insider has contacted Apple and Xnor.ai for comment.

Despite its acquisition by Apple, Xnor.ai owes its existence to Microsoft – sort of. That's because it's an alumnus of AI2, an incubator for AI startups funded by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's Institute for Artificial Intelligence .

Though it's not yet clear exactly how Xnor.ai's products will be used by Apple, the startup is also thought to specialize in image recognition software. Sources told GeekWire that Apple paid in the range of $200 million.

Apple's purchases of Turi and Xnor.ai form part of a wider recent tendency on its part towards buying small AI firms.

Last month, it acquired British AI firm Spectral Edge, a Cambridge-based firm that uses combines image-fusion technology with machine learning to dramatically enhance the quality of iPhone photos.

In May last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the tech giant acquires a company "on average, every two to three weeks," with the company "primarily looking for talent and intellectual property" when making these purchases.

SEE ALSO: Apple is actively scouting for visual effects startups and has quietly bought motion capture company iKinema

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NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars

Categories: English

Tusinder af danske fans hænger på billetter til EM-kampe

DR Sporten - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:55
EM-arrangør afviser, at danske fans af håndboldherrerne kan få hjælp til at komme af med deres billetter.
Categories: Sport v/DR

Penkowa opgiver forsøg på at vinde doktorgrad tilbage

TV2 Lorry - Hovedstadsområdet - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:49
Milena Penkowa er kendt skyldig i dokumentfalsk.
Categories: Region Hovedstaden

Australia fires: Rain finally falls on some bushfires

BBC News - World - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:40
Wet weather brings relief to some devastated areas, but the fire crisis is far from over.
Categories: English

Skotland er klar til at forbyde hovedstød for børn

DR Sporten - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:08
Skotland kan blive det første europæiske land, der forbyder børnefodboldspillere at heade til bolden under træning.
Categories: Sport v/DR

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sold $50 million of company stock

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:59

  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sold $50 million of Snap stock on Monday.
  • The SEC filing for the the transaction carried a note that Spiegel followed a trading plan designed to allow sellers to avoid accusations of insider trading.
  • Snap had a comeback in 2019 following a harrowing 2018.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An SEC filing has revealed that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel just dumped $50 million worth of company stock.

Filed on Monday, the SEC filing shows Spiegel sold 2,780,670 shares at a price of roughly $18 each. The filing carried the note that the transaction followed a "Rule 10b5-1 trading plan," an SEC rule which allows sellers of shares to avoid accusations of insider trading.

Spiegel owns 5.8% of Snap, making him its third-biggest shareholder, and Forbes puts his current net worth at $3.9 billion.

This isn't the first time Spiegel has sold off a similar chunk of shares, in February 2018 he sold $50 million, marking his first sale since the company's IPO. And at the end of 2019, he sold around $22 million in shares, filings show. At a Goldman Sachs investor conference in 2019, Spiegel also advised young founders against taking their companies public.

Snap had a comeback in 2019 following a disastrous 2018, when a much-maligned redesign cost sent Snap's stock spiralling by 7%. The company's Q2 2019 results showed user growth had bounced back since the redesign, beating Wall Street's expectations and sending shares up by 12%. The company's future is still uncertain however, and research from eMarketer stated that last year it was overtaken in by Pinterest as the third-biggest social media network in the US.

Do you work at Snap? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at ihamilton@businessinsider.com or iahamilton@protonmail.com. You can alsocontact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and wife Miranda Kerr limit their seven-year-old child to 1.5 hours of screen time per week

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NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars

Categories: English

Unge har tævet ham, ældre er blevet skræmt - men Nicolai vil ikke gemme sine tics

TV2 Lorry - Hovedstadsområdet - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:00
Tidligere brugte 30-årige Nicolai stoffer til at flygte fra sine følelser og psykiske lidelser. Nu har han fundet respekten for sig selv - og sine diagnoser.
Categories: Region Hovedstaden

Data-integration er stadig det nye sort

Computerworld: Seneste om teknologi - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:51
Klumme: Det er naivt at tro på komplet dataintegration. Vi må nødvendigvis skabe integrationen i takt med de forretningsmæssige behov, og så – naturligvis – fremover høste data så intelligent som overhovedet muligt.
Categories: it-guide

Hård lodtrækning for Wozniacki i afskedsturnering

DR Sporten - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:41
Den danske tennisstjerne møder i første runde den useedede Kristie Ahn, mens anden runde kan byde på hård ukrainsk modstand.
Categories: Sport v/DR

Ekspert efter kæmpe EM-fiasko: 'Kan få konsekvenser for flere spillere'

DR Sporten - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:31
Der venter Nikolaj Jacobsen nogle vigtige valg frem mod OL til sommer.
Categories: Sport v/DR

Hackers increasingly pretend to be a coworker to steal company secrets, and incidents of such conversation hijacking are up 400%

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:01

  • Hackers are increasingly using fake email addresses to impersonate their victims' colleagues and access sensitive company information. 
  • A new report, published by California-based Barracuda Networks, shows such incidents jumped by 400% in the space of a few months. 
  • According to figures published by the FBI, phishing attacks like this cost American businesses close to half a billion dollars every year. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Hackers are increasingly using phoney email addresses to impersonate their victims' colleagues – with a new report suggesting such attacks have risen 400% in a matter of months. 

An analysis of half a million cyber attacks, conducted by California-based Barracuda Networks, found a sharp increase in "conversation hijacking" between July and November last year – in which hackers pose as colleagues to gain sensitive information – rising from just 500 to around 2,000. According to figures published by the FBI in 2017, phishing attacks cost American businesses close to half a billion dollars every year. 

Don MacLennan, Barracuda's senior VP of engineering and product, says conversation hijacking is a "highly targeted" form of attack, suggesting that attackers will familiarize themselves with the inner workings of a business, read existing email chains, and then pose as as an employee using a similar-looking email address. 

"It can be easy to miss the subtle differences between the legitimate URL and the impersonated URL," he said. "Cybercriminals invest a lot of time, effort and money into registering fake domains and hijacking these conversations." 

MacLennan went on to explain that hackers may access an individual employee's email account – but may not use the account itself to reach out to colleagues, so as to avoid detection. 

"From there, they will insert themselves into existing business conversations or initiate new conversations based on information they've gathered from compromised email accounts or other sources. They will spend time reading through emails and monitoring the compromised account in order to better understand the business operation: learning about any deals in the works, payment procedures – the list goes on. 

"They don't always use compromised email accounts to perform the impersonation attacks," he added. "Because the owner of the compromised account is more likely to notice the fraudulent communication.

"Accounts don't usually stay remain compromised for long, so once the hacker has obtained whatever important information they were after, conversation hijacking can involve weeks of continuous communication between the attacker and victim." 

Barracuda outlined their selection five key ways to avoid falling victim to conversation hijacking, which includes: training employees to recognise attacks, multi-factor authentication, monitoring suspicious accounts, strengthening internal policies and using artificial intelligence to block attacks. 

MacLennan said: "Help employees avoid making costly mistakes by creating guidelines and putting procedures in place to confirm all email requests for payment changes.

"Ensure staffers can recognize attacks, understand their fraudulent nature, and know how to report them." 

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NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.

Categories: English

10 things in tech you need to know today

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:58

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

  1. US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has sounded the alarm about the rise of facial recognition. "This is some real-life 'Black Mirror' stuff that we're seeing here," Ocasio-Cortez said during a House Oversight Committee hearing.
  2. Indian business owners are furious about Amazon's $1 billion expansion into their country. The e-commerce giant's CEO Jeff Bezos is visiting the country but has been labelled an "economic terrorist" by small business owners.
  3. Chinese tech giant Huawei is offering UK and Irish developers $26 million to build apps for its phones. Huawei is trying to lure developers to build apps for its flagship phones, after it was placed on a US trade blacklist in 2019 and cut off from Google's services on Android.
  4. A bipartisan group of US Senators is proposing a $1 billion bill to help stop Huawei's 5G plans. The proposed act would commit funds to subsidize US companies which are developing 5G wireless capabilities. 
  5. Apple has acquired Xnor.ai a Seattle-based startup which focuses on edge-based AI tools, according to GeekWire. The company was spun out of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's AI startup incubator A12 and is being bought for around $200 million.
  6. Jack Dorsey says Twitter will 'probably never' add an edit button. Dorsey made the revelation during a video Q&A with Wired, arguing that an edit button could be used to mislead people.
  7. Chinese ride-hailing startup Dida Chuxing is seeking $300 million in new funds and is considering an IPO, according to Bloomberg. The move comes amid greater competition for its larger rival, Didi Chuxing. 
  8. The blackout on mobile internet and social media in the Indian-administered state of Kashmir remains in place despite an ease on restrictions.  The BBC reports some broadband connection was returned to the region following a blackout imposed in August amid escalating tensions.
  9. Microsoft has launched its new Edge browser based on Google's Chromium open source project. VentureBeat reports the new browser is said to be twice as fast as older versions and can be downloaded on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Mac OS.
  10. Mozilla is laying off around 70 members of staff following a slow rollout of the company's revenue-boosting products. In an internal memo seen by TechCrunch, Mozilla chairwoman and interim CEO Mitchell Baker mentioned a lack of revenue generation as central to the decision.

Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick "10 Things in Tech You Need to Know."

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NOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.

Categories: English

Taal: Rescuing animals from a Philippine volcano

BBC News - World - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:27
When Taal erupted, Edsel Paredes set up an animal shelter in his home to look after pets left behind.
Categories: English

Helt sort? Nye miljøregler kan tvinge brændstofforbruget for lastbiler op

TV2 Lorry - Hovedstadsområdet - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:20
Lastbiler tvinges til at få påmonteret filtre, der vil øge brændstofforbruget. Og det selvom de ikke forurener mere end andre lastbiler med fri adgang til storbyerne.
Categories: Region Hovedstaden

Axelsen stormer mod ny topplacering i Indonesien

DR Sporten - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:04
Den danske badmintonstjerne havde ingen problemer med Shesar Hiren Rhustavito i Indonesia Masters.
Categories: Sport v/DR

Why are Chinese fishermen finding so many 'submarine spies'?

BBC News - World - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:55
Fisherman are catching foreign "spy drones" – giving us a rare insight into covert sea surveillance.
Categories: English

THE CONNECTIVITY B2B ECOSYSTEM: How 5G and next-gen networks are transforming the role telecoms play in enterprise partnerships (VZ, T, S, TMUS)

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 05:01

Connectivity is central to doing business today — enterprises rely on telecoms to connect the various sprawling parts of their businesses as they engage in digital transformation and modernize practices. It will become even more important as telecoms roll out their blazing-fast 5G networks, which enable near-instantaneous communication alongside complementary wireless protocols that let companies monitor assets scattered around the world.

5G and other next-generation networks can allow telecoms to become the key partner in enterprise connectivity, where they previously were one among many. But telecoms aren't uncontested in trying to take advantage of the growing opportunity in enabling enterprise transformation: Cloud, software, and technology vendors are also out for the market, setting the stage for a clash of titans between two connectivity models that will reign in different industry verticals.

In the Connectivity B2B Ecosystem Report, Business Insider Intelligence unpacks the enterprise telecommunications ecosystem at the cusp of the 5G era. First, we highlight the ways that companies employ telecommunications technology in business, both today and in the near future with 5G. Next, we look at the various types of companies involved in the wider ecosystem and explore the relationships between these company archetypes. Then, we examine the players involved in these relationships and look at specific efforts and initiatives that are driving change and transforming the companies involved. Finally, we look to some of the key trends that will define the next decade of B2B telecommunications.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Numerous multibillion dollar opportunities exist in enterprise connectivity services, including in verticals like heavy industry and manufacturing, the connected car market, and healthcare.
  • Telecoms and tech companies headline the two competing models — tech-centric and connectivity-centric — for the focal point of the data-based services that burgeoning connectivity will support.
  • Acquisitions, foundries, corporate partnerships, and developer outreach are some of the key tactics companies can explore to drive new sources of revenue in enterprise connectivity.
  • Telecoms won't attain dominance in every sector — they need to gauge their capabilities and their competition on a range of factors before deciding whether to compete in a segment.

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the key types of companies involved in the enterprise connectivity ecosystem.
  • Highlights some of the leading companies in the different segments of the ecosystem.
  • Breaks down the leading models in the connectivity space and explains what conditions should dictate how the companies involved should approach it.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Arm, Artik, Arundo Analytics, AT&T, C3 IoT, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, Everactive, GE, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Honeywell, Huawei, IBM, Intel, MediaTek, Microsoft, Nokia, Nvidia, Oracle, Particle, PTC, Qualcomm, Salesforce, Samsung, SAP, Semtech, Siemens, Sierra Wireless, Sigfox, Splunk, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are three ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  3. Current subscribers can log in and read the report here.

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Categories: English

The US and China's tech cold war is far from over, even with Trump's trade deal. Here's why tech companies will remain on the front lines of the trans-Pacific rivalry.

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 02:45

  • The US and China took the first steps toward halting a near-two-year-long trade war raging between the two countries, as President Trump signed an interim trade deal with China on Wednesday
  • But although the first phase of the deal addressed intellectual property issues that American tech companies have complained about for years, the broader issues surrounding tech supremacy - which have fueled tensions between the two countries - remain largely unaddressed, according to some experts. 
  • Issues like China's emerging dominance in AI and concerns over its human rights record - that was used as justification for some sanctions - were left unaddressed, one expert said. 
  • We should also expect to see the US push for stricter controls on tech trade with Huawei and China in the future, another expert said. 
  • In the meantime, expect to see the two nation's tech industries to continue decoupling, they said. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Trump's interim trade deal with China — announced on Wednesday with great fanfare — raised the prospect of a return to normalcy for technology companies rattled by an 18-month trade war.

But while the pact eases some immediate hostilities, particularly in industries like agriculture and financials, it does little to resolve the underlying tensions around technology that have pitted the two countries against each other, according to some experts Business Insider spoke to.

American tech companies have long complained over the lack of intellectual property rights protections in China. But as technologies like AI and wireless communications have become increasingly vital to everything from national security to economic growth, the rivalry between the US and China has erupted into a full-fledged tech cold war.

Graham Webster, who leads a joint initiative between Stanford university and the think tank New America, focused on China's digital policy, said that Wednesday's deal brought good news regarding intellectual property protection. The pact commits China to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by Chinese firms and state-owned organizations.

But this was a small concession for China, and in its own self-interest, Webster said. "The Chinese government was already on a trajectory of becoming more rule-based, and [implementing intellectual property rights] has become a matter of self-interest for the Chinese economy as its companies have become more advanced," he said. 

All the missing pieces

More importantly, the deal did not touch on the biggest issues fueling the tech cold war. "Phase 1 just didn't get to most of the tech issues on the future of supply chain security and the ethical use of advanced security," Webster said. 

Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert in the Council of Foreign relations, said that little change was coming to the tensions that have fueled the tech cold war.

"The trade deal doesn't have much of an impact on tensions over AI or Huawei and the race to 5G," Segal said. "There are still part of the White House that want to slow China's tech development down and hobble Huawei, and we will continue to see US push for stricter controls on tech trade with Huawei and China more generally." 

Webster agreed with this assessment, and said that the Chinese government's need to develop independent technology is only going to increase. "None of this is going away," he said. 

Here's a look at the major battle lines in the China-US tech cold war that are still unresolved: 

Huawei and the 5G battle

Last May, the US added China's Huawei to a so-called entity list, in an effort to block American companies from selling components to it. Huawei is the second-biggest smartphone maker in the world and is dominant in mobile network equipment, so the implications of the blacklist were huge. 

Huawei was accused of theft, wire fraud, and threatening to American national security, due to its close links with the Chinese government. 

And as American companies like Google cut ties with the world's second-largest phone maker — blocking its access to Android, for instance — some wondered whether the US had dealt Huawei a fatal blow. 

More recently, the US has been pressuring its allies, like the UK, to toe the same line and freeze Huawei out of its 5G infrastructure projects. 

 



The race to dominate artificial intelligence

The US continued to hit Chinese tech companies later into 2019, adding 28 more Chinese companies to its 'entity list' in October. Among these 28 were eight major tech companies, including three AI startups valued at over $1 billion (One of the companies, SenseTime was at one time the world's most valuable AI startup at over $4.5 billion, per TechCrunch). 

The Department of Commerce said the companies named were implicated in human rights violations, as their surveillance operations had aided in the oppression of Uighur Muslims and other minorities in China. 

But the ban was also linked to a race to dominate the field of artificial intelligence. China accounted for 17 out of the top 20 academic institutions involved in patenting AI, Reuters reported last January. The next month, President Trump had issued an executive order to call on the US to prioritize advancements in artificial intelligence, Axios reported

 

 



China refused to pledge that it would not hack American companies, arguing that the issue was not trade related.

Chinese officials declined to pledge to refrain from hacking US companies and stealing intellectual property, arguing that it wasn't a trade issue, the New York Times reported

The issue of hacking and corporate cyber espionage has been a long-running point of friction between the two countries. In 2018, the Trump administration accused the Chinese government of breaking a promise struck with the Obama administration to stop hacking US businesses.



And China's push to be less dependent on the US technology, potentially disrupting supply chains, seems more likely than ever.

China's central government told its departments and public institutions to replace existing computers and software with domestic versions, the Financial Times reported December.

Webster says that this is a natural outcome of China's push to become more independent. 

"This is national strategic logic to avoid more dependence on sometimes unfriendly countries," Webster explained. "What happened with the trade war, especially with the tariffs that threatened to disrupt trade, has only strengthened the Chinese government's instinct to become more independent." 

A director at the China Computer Federation had similar reasoning, telling the Financial Times that "three years ago, there may have been more people thinking that we could rely on some US technologies ... Now if someone is still saying that, I suppose they have just been sleeping for the past three years." 



Categories: English

AI IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Why carriers could lose out if they don't adopt AI fast — and where they can make the biggest gains

Businessinsider - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 01:04

In the face of rising demand for data, increasingly saturated mobile markets, and stiff opposition from legacy players, tech entrants, and startups, global telecoms are locked in a battle for market share. These market pressures have led to vicious price wars for mobile services and, as a result, declining average revenue per user (ARPU).

Making matters worse, improvements in infrastructure and technology have made telecoms largely comparable in terms of coverage, connection speeds, and service pricing, meaning companies must transform their businesses if they hope to compete.

For many global telecoms, shoring up market share under today's pressures while also future-proofing operations means having to invest in AI. The telecom industry is expected to invest $36.7 billion annually in AI software, hardware, and services by 2025, according to Tractica.

Through its ability to parse large data sets in a contextual manner, provide requested information or analysis, and trigger actions, AI can help telecoms cut costs and streamline by digitizing their operations. In practice, this means leveraging the increasingly vast gold mine of data generated by customers that passes through wireless networks — the amount of data that moves through AT&T's wireless network has increased 470,000% since 2007, for example. 

In the AI in Telecommunications report, Business Insider Intelligence will focus on the use of AI to enhance the customer experience, which can directly impact revenue. Each year, an estimated $62 billion is lost by US businesses after inferior customer experiences, according to NewVoiceMedia. We will discuss the forces driving firms to AI, pinpoint some of the top use cases of AI along the customer journey, and identify some of the leading companies in the space

The companies mentioned in this report are: AT&T, CenturyLink, China Mobile, IBM, Spectrum, Sprint, Swisscom, Telia, T-Mobile, and Vodafone.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Telecoms have long struggled with their customer experience image: In 2018, telecommunications had the lowest average Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of how favorably a company is viewed by customers, of any industry.
  • Companies that use advanced analytics, which can be accessed via AI, to improve this image and the overall customer experience are seeing revenue gains and cost reductions within a few years of adoption. 
  • Most (57%) executives believe that AI will transform their companies within three years, per Deloitte's State of AI in Enterprise. 
  • Overall, telecoms should focus on a hybrid organizational model to move beyond pilots to launch full-scale AI solutions that can have the biggest impact on their companies.

In full, the report:

  • Outlines what factors are leading telecoms to turn to AI technology. 
  • Describes the benefits of using AI in telecommunications. 
  • Highlights players that have successfully implemented AI solutions.
  • Discusses how telecoms should move forward with AI projects. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are three ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  3. Current subscribers can read the report here.

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Categories: English

Indian business owners are furious about Amazon's $1 billion expansion into their country and are calling Jeff Bezos an 'economic terrorist' (AMZN)

Businessinsider - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 23:30

  • Small business owners in India are protesting Amazon, saying they won't be able to compete with the steep discounts it offers other suppliers.
  • An organizer of the protest said Amazon will "destroy small retailers" and called CEO Jeff Bezos an "economic terrorist."
  • The protests coincided with Bezos' trip to India, where he announced on Wednesday that Amazon plans to invest $1 billion in the country, calling a US-India alliance the "most important" of the 21st century.
  • Meanwhile, India's antitrust regulator just opened an investigation into potential unfair business practices by Amazon and Walmart-owned online retailer Flipkart.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon's planned $1 billion investment in India has not been met with open arms.

On Wednesday, CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the e-commerce giant wants to put money into "digitizing small and medium businesses" and said that, in the 21st century, "the most important alliance is going to be the alliance between India and the United States."

However, small business owners in India don't seem to think that alliance should involve Amazon, and thousands took to the streets this week in protest. Sumit Agarwal of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said demonstrations were planned in as many as 300 cities across the country.

Agarwal said in a tweet Amazon will "destroy small retailers" and called Bezos an "economic terrorist."

Traders of @TEAMCAIT @AimraIndia @AICPDF will be protesting TODAY across 300 cities against the India visit of Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos who runs an organisation that expertises in predatory & anticompetitive business to destroy small retailers @praveendel @BCBHARTIA #GOBACKBEZOS pic.twitter.com/OorfqaUyqO

— SUMIT AGARWAL (@sumitagarwal_82) January 15, 2020

Here's a look at a few of the protests and why shop owners are so opposed to Amazon's presence in India.

SEE ALSO: Tech companies are at the center of a major shift in the relationship between workers, consumers, and businesses — and executives are reacting

Jeff Bezos is on a trip in India, and said Wednesday that Amazon plans to invest $1 billion in "digitizing small and medium businesses" in the country.

Bezos also said that a US-India alliance will be the most important alliance of the 21st century.

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But not everyone was excited by Amazon's interest in India. Thousands of local shop owners took to the streets to protest Bezos' visit, holding signs that said: "JEFF BEZOS GO BACK."

Protests were held in as many as 300 cities across India, according to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), one of the trade associations that organized the demonstrations.

Sumit Agarwal of CAIT tweeted that Bezos and Amazon were "foreign economic terrorists & invaders." Protesters also compared Amazon to the East India Company, a British company that colonized India, parts of Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong.

Tweet Embed:
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Enough of tolerance! @TEAMCAIT @AimraIndia will fight this battle against foreign economic terrorists & invaders till the very end and bring back peace & prosperity for our 70 million retailers. @narendramodi @rajnathsingh @PiyushGoyal @nsitharaman It's now time for action! https://t.co/aHpsJJNGt1

 



The protesters are concerned that Amazon has used its enormous size to undercut small businesses on price, saying those businesses are unable to compete with the steep discounts that Amazon offers larger sellers.

India's antitrust regulator recently opened an investigation into Amazon and Walmart-owned online retailer Flipkart over this exact issue. It said e-commerce titans like Amazon use their market dominance to price "below cost," making it hard for other businesses to compete.

Amazon has faced similar criticism in Europe, too. Germany's competition watchdog launched an investigation in 2018 into Amazon over the potential abuse of its marketplace platform.

And in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly been talking to Amazon's competitors as part of a potential antitrust investigation.

Categories: English