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Thursday,24-September-2020

Business

China’s e-commerce website Alibaba creates video fingerprints to fight piracy

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In a bid to curb piracy, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has come up with ‘video fingerprints’ technology that gives each original video a unique online identity.

Short videos have become a popular form of advertisement for sellers on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall. But the videos are often left unpatented due to a cumbersome process, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

To curb this malpractice, Alibaba’s security lab has created ‘fingerprints’ for all original videos on Taobao and Tmall, said He Yuan, a senior algorithm expert at the lab.

The fingerprints can be used to identify the video even if it is trimmed or its images modified, he added.

Businesses participating in the project can upload their videos and have ‘fingerprints’ generated automatically. Once qualified as an original video, any other videos with high similarity will be reported to the business owner.

After being online for about a month, more than 7,000 businesses have signed up to participate in the project, said Alibaba.

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Business

Flipkart Wholesale expands footprint to 12 new cities

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Flipkart

Digital business-to-business marketplace Flipkart Wholesale on Thursday said it has expanded its operations to 12 new cities ahead of the festive season.

Flipkart Wholesale will now be operational in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Mysuru, Chandigarh Tricity, Meerut, Agra, Jaipur, Thane-Bhiwandi-Ulhasnagar, Greater Mumbai, Vasai-Virar-Mira-Bhayanadar, Thane (Kalyan-Dombivli) and Thane (Navi Mumbai).

Expanding with the fashion category in these cities, Flipkart Wholesale said it is looking to digitally transform kiranas and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to help them grow faster, retain their customers, and improve their profitability.

“As we enter the festive season, we are excited to be scaling up our offerings across 12 cities, aiming to create more opportunities for MSMEs and Kiranas,” Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head – Flipkart Wholesale, said in a statement.

“From trendy Jaipuri Kurtis to evergreen Mysuru silk saris, we aim to help small businesses embrace the digital transformation and emerge as more robust businesses,” Menon added.

By this year-end, Flipkart Wholesale also plans to expand into categories such as home and kitchen, and grocery.

Flipkart Wholesale said its customers will have access to easy credit facilities in partnership with leading banks and non-banking financial companies to manage cash flow.

E-commerce platform Flipkart first announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale’s operations earlier this month.

At the time of the launch, the platform was available for fashion retailers, especially footwear and apparel, in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru.

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Business

Nepal-China border point reopens after 3-week closure

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Nepal’s Chinese conundrum: The imbalance and debt trap.

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point between Nepal and China reopened on Thursday after it remained closed for around three weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior customs official said here.

The border point, which is one of the key trade routes between the two country, was closed after a Nepali worker tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier, it reopened in early July after it was closed for nearly six months firstly due to snowfall in the bordering Chinese region and later because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Two containers of medical goods entered into Nepal after the reopening of border point on Wednesday,” senior customs officer at Rasuwagadhi, Punya Bikram Khadka told Xinhua.

“Now, we hope the movement of goods will take place normally.”

According to the officer, there has been a restricted flow of goods through this border as both countries have adopted zero human-to-human contact policy between the two sides until the pandemic is over.

The Tatopani-Zhangmu, another border point, which reopened in late March after closing in January, has also remained shut for the last few months.

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Business

Imports fall leads to New Zealand’s largest trade surplus in 6 yrs

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Trade

New Zealand imports fell nearly NZ$1 billion ($650 million) in August, leading to the country’s largest annual trade surplus since 2014, the Stats NZ said on Thursday.

The NZ$1.3 billion annual goods trade surplus reflected a rise in exports and a fall in imports over the past months, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

“The recent falls in imports and growth in exports resulted in an annual trade surplus not seen since the strong 2013-2014 dairy export season, when product prices were high,” senior analyst Nicholas Cox said in a statement.

Imports of crude oil, cars, and other vehicles were much lower than usual in recent months after the Covid-19 pandemic, Cox said.

New Zealand’s demand for fuel dropped due to the international and domestic travel restrictions, which were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

During the lockdown in April, imports of vehicles were particularly affected by international trade restrictions and the closure of vehicle dealerships as non-essential businesses, he added.

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