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Wednesday,28-July-2021

Business

Uber loses license in London over safety failures -Report

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Uber-Eats

Ride hailing giant Uber will not be given a license to operate in London after repeated safety failures, according to the Transport for London (TfL) as the company was found not to be “fit and proper” as a licence holder, the media have reported.

Uber has said it will appeal the decision.

The regulator said the taxi App was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations, the BBC reported on Monday.

The cab aggregator was first stripped of its operating license in September 2017 over a “lack of corporate responsibility,” but the most company’s recent problems involve loopholes in the firm’s driver verification system.

According to TfL, Uber has been working to combat fraud committed by drivers, but it’s not clear that Uber has done enough.

London is one of Uber’s top five markets globally and it has about 45,000 drivers in the city.

If its appeal is unsuccessful, some think Uber drivers would move over to rival ride-sharing firms such as Bolt and Kapten, the report added.

Business

Apple posts record growth in India in June quarter, says Tim Cook

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Apple

Riding on the stellar performance for its entire line-up of products, Apple has recorded an incredible growth in India in the June quarter, its CEO Tim Cook has said, setting another record revenue in a country where iPhones and other Apple products fast gained momentum despite the country being hit by the second Covid wave.

In an earnings call after posting a new June quarter revenue record of $81.4 billion globally, up 36 per cent from last year, Cook said late on Tuesday that emerging markets like India has done extremely well.

“We had an incredible quarter for the emerging markets in Q3. We set June quarter records in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, UAE, Poland, Czech Republic, India, obviously in China as I talked about before. Those results are for the entire line of products that we have,” Cook informed.

“The vast majority of markets we tracked grew double digits, with especially strong growth in emerging markets, including India,” he added.

In the festive quarter (October-December 2020), the company doubled its India smartphone share to 4 per cent, riding on the stellar performance of iPhone 11 and XR.

The strong performance by its iPhone 12 series line-up made sure a record June quarter for the company.

“If you take India for example, we doubled our business last quarter compared to a year ago but our absolute level of business there is still quite low relative to the size of the opportunity,” Cook had said in January this year.

Apple, which has already started manufacturing certain iPhone models in India, has worked out locations for its retail stores in the country as well.

Cook said the company is doing a number of things in India.

“There are several markets I alluded to before. India is one of those where our share is quite low. It did improve from the year ago quarter, our business roughly doubled over that period of time, so we feel very good about the trajectory,” Cook elaborated.

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Business

Google Search, YouTube sales soar to record high in pandemic

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Google

Riding on Search and YouTube advertising growth amid the pandemic, Alphabet has posted a record $61.88 billion in revenue for its June quarter.

Google Search reached a record $35.8 billion in revenue (up 68 per cent) while YouTube advertising revenue nearly doubled to $7 billion compared to $3.8 billion from the same quarter last year, the company said late on Tuesday.

“In Q2, there was a rising tide of online activity in many parts of the world, and we’re proud that our services helped so many consumers and businesses. Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.

Google Cloud revenue was $4.63 billion, up from $3.01 billion a year ago. The Google Cloud business witnessed operating losses of $591 million, a solid improvement from $1.43 billion loss last year.

“Our strong second quarter revenues of $61.9 billion reflect elevated consumer online activity and broad-based strength in advertiser spend. Again, we benefited from excellent execution across the board by our teams,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Google and Alphabet.

Other revenues were $6.6 billion, up 29 per cent, primarily driven by growth in YouTube non-advertising revenues, followed by Hardware, “which benefited from the addition of Fitbit revenues and finally Google Play which lapped the increased level of user engagement that started in Q1 last year due to the pandemic,” Porat added.

The strong growth in Google Workspace revenues was driven by robust growth in both seats and average revenue per seat.

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Sugarcane output per hectare rises in UP

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Sugarcane

 Uttar Pradesh has scored another high with the sugarcane cultivation.

According to a government spokesman, the average cane production reached 815 quintal per hectare in 2020-21. In the last fiscal year, the average cane production was to the tune of 811 quintal per hectare.

Shamli district in western Uttar Pradersh has topped the chart by producing over 1,004 quintal per hectare of sugarcane, followed by Muzaffarnagar which recorded 923.20 quintal per hectare.

In fact, of the top 10 districts, nine are from the agriculturally rich western UP.

The state has 45 cane producing zones.

Additional chief secretary (cane development) Sanjay Bhoosreddy said that the higher cane production was a result of crop cutting practice which was intensely used in the 2020-21 cane cultivation season.

He maintained that it was also because of the timely payment of cane price and associating farmers with the new cropping techniques which have led to an increase in the sugar cane production.

The high cane production happens to be directly linked to cane price payment which is scheduled to be done by the mills, essentially in the private sector, to the farmers.

The farmer groups, as a matter of fact, are up in arms claiming that around Rs 12,000 crore of cane payment is due for the 2020-21 season.

Cane department officials, however, maintained that it was committed to get the payment of cane prices done on a timely basis.

The state government has been highlighting how it has ensured a payment of over 1.4 lakh crore to the cane growers in the last four years.

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