China’s LeEco to buy Vizio for $2 billion

China’s LeEco to buy Vizio for $2 billion

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China’s Le Holdings, also known as LeEco, said on Tuesday it would buy US consumer electronics company Vizio for $2 billion.

Irvine, California-based Vizio makes affordable flat screen televisions, soundbars and LCD monitors. Founded in 2002, the company is now one of the largest manufacturers of TV sets in the United States.

Vizio, which filed for an initial public offering last year, generated sales of $1.3 billion in the first six months of 2015, according to IPO documents.

Vizio’s hardware and software units will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of LeEco. The company’s Inscape TV viewership data business will be spun out as a privately owned company, LeEco said.

Founded in 2004, LeEco started selling smartphones in China in April last year. Earlier this year, the company unveiled an all-electric battery concept car.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised Vizio on the deal, while Latham & Watkins LLP was the legal counsel. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter. more

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Facebook’s quarterly profit surges 186% to $2 billion

Facebook’s quarterly profit surges 186% to $2 billion

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Facebook’s profit leapt 186% from a year ago to $2 billion, as the world’s biggest social network blasted past most analyst forecasts for the second quarter.

With its global base of monthly active users growing to 1.71 billion, Facebook saw a 59% jump in total revenues to $6.4 billion, mostly from online advertising.

Facebook shares jumped seven percent in after-hours trade on the stronger-than-expected results.

“Our community and business had another good quarter,” said Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. “We’re particularly pleased with our progress in video as we move towards a world where video is at the heart of all our services.”

Facebook has been dominating the social media space as well as related online advertising as it seeks to diversify into areas such as messaging, virtual reality and other fields.

The research firm eMarketer estimates that Facebook is taking in two-thirds of social media ad revenues, dominating rivals such as Twitter, which this week reported disappointing results.

The number of monthly active users, a key metric for social networks, grew 15% from a year ago, Facebook said. read more

Who is Irom Sharmila? Ten things to know

Who is Irom Sharmila? Ten things to know

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Fifteen years after civil rights activist, Irom Sharmila, began a fast seeking the repeal of AFSPA, she is set to end it on August 9. She also announced her decision to fight elections as an independent candidate in the Manipur polls, early next year.

“I will end my fast on August 9 and contest elections on an independent ticket,” Sharmila said. She had just come out of a local court after attending a trial for attempting suicide.

Business Standard lists out ten things to know about the Iron Lady of Manipur.

How did it all start?

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India is the apple of CEO Tim Cook’s eye as iPhone sales spike over 50%

India is the apple of CEO Tim Cook’s eye as iPhone sales spike over 50%

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India has become one among the fastest growing markets for Apple, which is looking at increasingly offloading more iPhones in the country to offset the decline in the device’s sales globally.

iPhone sales in India were up by 51% during the nine months that ended June 30, company CEO Tim Cook revealed during an earnings call with analysts and investors. “We’re looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road, and we see huge potential for that vibrant country,” he added.

On the contrary, iPhone sales have fallen for two straight quarters now as the global market for smartphones especially developed markets) becomes saturated. In its third quarter (April-June), Apple reported a 15% drop in iPhone sales from 47.5 million units in the corresponding quarter last year to 40.4 million units.

The iPhone contributes to over 60% of Apple’s earnings, making it the most important device in the company’s lineup.

Read More | Business Standard

‘Pakistan group uses disfigured celebrity faces to campaign against use of pellet guns in Kashmir’

‘Pakistan group uses disfigured celebrity faces to campaign against use of pellet guns in Kashmir’

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Pellet guns were first introduced to Jammu and Kashmir police in 2010 during Omar Abdullah government. The use of such guns, however, has shot to the forefront after protests against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani saw the use pellets for crowd control. (more)

Flipkart buys Jabong, beats out Snapdeal, Future Group

Flipkart buys Jabong, beats out Snapdeal, Future Group

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Flipkart-owned online fashion retailer Myntra has acquired smaller rival Jabong as it looks to strengthen its portfolio in the high-margin online fashion retail space. The move comes at a time when rival Amazon is pumping in billions of dollars to have a run at becoming the leader in India’s fledgling e-commerce space.

Snapdeal – which competes directly with Flipkart – large-format retail giant Future Group, Aditya Birla owned Online shopping and fashion store. Shop the latest fashion trends online | abof.com and others were also in the running to acquire Jabong. The company in a statement said the deal will further strengthen its position as the “leader in fashion and lifestyle segment” in India. It did not disclosing the financial details of the deal.

“Fashion and lifestyle is one of the biggest drivers of ecommerce growth in India. We have always believed in the fashion and lifestyle segment and Myntra’s strong performance has reinforced this faith. This acquisition is a continuation of the group’s journey to transform commerce in India,” said Binny Bansal, CEO of Flipkart, in a statement.

The fashion retailer has been on the selling block as far back as November 2014 when it was in talks with global e-commerce giant Amazon. The sale of Jabong will provide Rocket Internet with its first big exit in India. more

Kabali film review: Weapon of mass attraction

Kabali film review: Weapon of mass attraction

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The expectations from Kabali are as high as the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the setting for almost 80% of the movie, not least because it’s a Rajinikanth movie. The reasons are varied: the audience need a taste of the Rajinikanth of yore, not a do-gooder Samaritan (Lingaa) or a CGI generated version of a warrior Prince (Kochadaiiyaan). Thalaivar fanatics just wanted him to have fun, which was rarely the case ever since Sivaji. The teasers of Kabalisuggested Rajinikanth is back to his glory days of Basha, Padayappa and Pedarayudu.

You wanted badass, you get industrial levels of badass in this Pa Ranjith movie. His previous film Madras had a delightful off-kilter sensibility. Sadly, here he spends too much time deifying his larger-than-life protagonist. And that makes the movie a giant 150-minute slog.

It opens with the erstwhile gangster getting released from a Malaysian prison after spending 25 years there. As soon as he steps out, he’s apprised of how his rival gang (consisting of Kishore and Winston Chao) has grown from strength to strength and has turned the city into a teeming hub of drug abuse and prostitution.

Kabali starts cleaning up right away, while getting reunited with his daughter and wife along the way. You have to be punch drunk on Rajini mania to sit through the movie without dozing off or trying to play Pokemon GO at the cinema itself. The only saving grace is the man himself. The wizened visage hasn’t lost a bit of its grace and infectious scowl.(more)