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India’s Reliance Jio to launch 4G enabled low-cost laptop at $184

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NEW DELHI:

Reliance Jio will launch a budget laptop priced at $184 (15,000 Indian rupees) with an embedded 4G sim card, aiming to replicate the success of its low-cost JioPhone in India’s highly price-sensitive market, two sources told Reuters.

The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate has partnered with global giants Qualcomm and Microsoft for the JioBook, with the former powering its computing chips based on technology from Arm Ltd, and the Windows OS maker providing support for some apps.

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Jio, India’s biggest telecom carrier with more than 420 million customers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The laptop will be available to enterprise customers such as schools and government institutes from this month, with a consumer launch anticipated within the next three months, sources said. As with the JioPhone, a 5G-enabled version will follow.

“This will be as big as JioPhone,” one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Since its launch late last year, the handset has been India’s top-selling sub-$100 smartphone, accounting for a fifth of the market over the last three quarters, according to Counterpoint.

The JioBook will be produced locally by contract manufacturer Flex with Jio aiming to sell “hundreds of thousands” of units by March, one of the sources said.

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Overall PC shipments in India stood at 14.8 million units last year, led by HP, Dell and Lenovo, according to research firm IDC.

The launch of the JioBook will extend the total addressable laptop market segment by at least 15%, Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak said.

The laptop will run Jio’s own JioOS operating system and apps can be downloaded from the JioStore. Jio is also pitching the laptop as an alternative to tablets for out of the office corporate employees.

Jio, which raised around $22 billion from global investors such as KKR & Co Inc and Silver Lake in 2020, is credited with disrupting the world’s no. 2 mobile market when it launched cheap 4G data plans and free voice services in 2016, and later the 4G smartphone at a cost of just $81.





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Microsoft admits Sony has has ‘better’ exclusive games

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Microsoft has recently admitted that its rival, Sony, has “better quality” games than Xbox in a filing with UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The assertion was made on October 31, but the document was recently made public, Eurogamer noted.

Microsoft elaborated its stance, saying that Sony was “the dominant console provider” and ” a powerful game publisher”. It explained that “Sony is roughly equivalent in size to Activision and nearly double the size of Microsoft’s game publishing business.”

Read: Global regulators to target crypto platforms after FTX crash

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Comparing data, Microsoft wrote in the filing that Sony had five times as many of their 280 exclusive first- and third-party titles, on PlayStation. Besides just owning franchises like God of War and Spider-Man, Sony has signed deals with third-party publishers for exclusive rights to games.

Microsoft also claimed that console exclusives accounted for a higher percentage of global game sales for Sony than their own company. The company detailed review scores for PlayStation and Xbox, saying “the average Metacritic score for Sony’s top 20 exclusive games in 2021 was 87/100, against 80/100 for Xbox”.

CMA is conducting an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which has raised concerns by Sony, particularly over the franchise Call of Duty, which could be made exclusive to Xbox only, if the deal goes through.

 





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Netflix is working on a ‘brand-new AAA PC game’

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Netflix is currently hiring game directors and engineers to work on a “brand-new AAA PC game” at its new Los Angeles games studio.

The project has yet to be announced by the streaming platform itself. However, as per a job listing spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix needs a game director who “will be the creative leader of one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games”.

 Apart from multiple job listings, there are not many details available regarding the new project.

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Read Global regulators to target crypto platforms after FTX crash

The digital platform has previously launched some games, but they were specifically suited for mobile phones. While many users are unaware of the games on Netflix, the platform plans to venture into PC gaming and expand its audience.

 

 





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Global regulators to target crypto platforms after FTX crash

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LONDON:

The crash of FTX exchange has injected greater urgency into regulating the crypto sector and targeting such ‘conglomerate’ platforms will be the focus for 2023, the new chair of global securities watchdog IOSCO said in an interview.

Jean-Paul Servais said regulating crypto platforms could draw on principles from other sectors which handle conflicts of interest, such as at credit rating agencies and compilers of market benchmarks, without having to start from scratch.

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Cryptoassets like bitcoin have been around for years but regulators have resisted jumping in to write new rules.

But the implosion at FTX, which left an estimated one million creditors facing losses totalling billions of dollars, will help change that, Servais told Reuters.

“The sense of urgency was not the same even two or three years ago. There are some dissenting opinions about whether crypto is a real issue at the international level because some people think that it’s still not a material issue and risk,” Servais said.

“Things are changing and due to the interconnectivity between different types of businesses, I think it’s now important that we are able to start a discussion and that’s where we are going.”

IOSCO, which coordinates rules for G20 countries and others, has already set out principles for regulating stablecoins, but now the focus is turning to platforms which trade in them.

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In mainstream finance there is functional separation between activities like broking, trading, banking services and issuance, with each having its own set of conduct rules and safeguards.

“Is it the case for the crypto market? I would say most of the time not,” Servais said.

Crypto ‘conglomerates’ like FTX have emerged, performing perform multiple roles such as brokerage services, custody, proprietary trading, issuance of tokens all under a single roof that give rise to conflicts of interest, Servais said.

“For investor protection reasons, there is a need to provide additional clarity to these crypto markets markets through targeted guidance in applying IOSCO’s principles to crypto assets,” Servais said.

“We intend to publish consultations report on these matters in the first half of 2023,” he added.

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Madrid-based IOSCO, or International Organization of Securities Commissions, is an umbrella body for market watchdogs like the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, Bafin in Germany, Japan’s Financial Services Agency, and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, who all commit to applying the body’s recommendations.

The European Union’s new markets in cryptoassets or MiCA framework is an “interesting starting point” for developing global guidance as it focuses on supervision of crypto operators, said Servais, who also chairs Belgium’s financial regulator FSMA.

“I think that the world is changing. We know there is some space for developing new standards about supervision of this kind of crypto conglomerates. There is an obvious necessity,” Servais said.





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