Tag: store

E-commerce firm Shopee in Thai twitter storm for banning anti-government store

BANGKOK (Reuters) – E-commerce firm Shopee has reversed a ban on a store linked to a dissolved opposition party in Thailand, a spokeswoman said, after online criticism of its perceived pro-government stance.

The building housing the office of e-commerce platform Shopee in Singapore February 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tim Chong/File Photo

#BanShopee became the third highest trending hashtag with over 57,000 uses on Saturday and many Twitter users saying they’ve deleted the app.

“Double standards @ShopeeTH,” wrote Twitter user @chanson_2013. “You need to explain why you banned the stores of those advancing democracy but allow businesses who are pro government to sell on your platform.”

Shopee, a unit of Tencent-backed Sea Ltd, is the latest business in Thailand to be targeted by pro-democracy campaigners for appearing to support the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The campaign also comes a week ahead of the crucial online shopping event, 10.10.

“Our platform is neutral, and everything is up to company policy,” a Shopee Thailand spokeswoman told Reuters, adding that its policies were applied equally to all sellers.

Companies in Thailand are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate political division. In August, after calls for a boycott, Burger King and others pulled advertisement off the Nation television, which activists branded as pro-government.

Shopee says Democstore had violated its terms several times before the ban for posting “politically sensitive” material.

Democstore is run by the Progressive Movement, a group founded by banned politicians from upstart opposition Future Forward party, which was dissolved in February.

“We were selling urban camping equipment for the protesters and we were banned,” Progressive Movement spokeswoman Pannika Wanich told Reuters.

In September, ten thousand protesters joined an overnight demonstration calling for amendments to the constitution and reform of the monarchy.

DemocStore said it would continue selling t-shirts and mugs with the group’s logo on the chat app, Line.

Anti-government memorabilia are fast becoming hot items online.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Christina Fincher

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E-Commerce Firm Shopee in Thai Twitter Storm for Banning Anti-Government Store | World News

By Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat

BANGKOK (Reuters) – E-commerce firm Shopee has reversed a ban on a store linked to a dissolved opposition party in Thailand, a spokeswoman said, after online criticism of its perceived pro-government stance.

#BanShopee became the third highest trending hashtag with over 57,000 uses on Saturday and many Twitter users saying they’ve deleted the app.

“Double standards @ShopeeTH,” wrote Twitter user @chanson_2013. “You need to explain why you banned the stores of those advancing democracy but allow businesses who are pro government to sell on your platform.”

Shopee, a unit of Tencent-backed Sea Ltd, is the latest business in Thailand to be targeted by pro-democracy campaigners for appearing to support the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The campaign also comes a week ahead of the crucial online shopping event, 10.10.

“Our platform is neutral, and everything is up to company policy,” a Shopee Thailand spokeswoman told Reuters, adding that its policies were applied equally to all sellers.

Companies in Thailand are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate political division. In August, after calls for a boycott, Burger King and others pulled advertisement off the Nation television, which activists branded as pro-government.

Shopee says Democstore had violated its terms several times before the ban for posting “politically sensitive” material.

Democstore is run by the Progressive Movement, a group founded by banned politicians from upstart opposition Future Forward party, which was dissolved in February.

“We were selling urban camping equipment for the protesters and we were banned,” Progressive Movement spokeswoman Pannika Wanich told Reuters.

In September, ten thousand protesters joined an overnight demonstration calling for amendments to the constitution and reform of the monarchy.

DemocStore said it would continue selling t-shirts and mugs with the group’s logo on the chat app, Line.

Anti-government memorabilia are fast becoming hot items online.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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U.S. government appeals judge’s ruling to block WeChat app store ban

By David Shepardson



FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among U.S. flags in this illustration picture


© Reuters/Florence Lo
FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among U.S. flags in this illustration picture


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

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A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the Executive Branch has determined constitutes a threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Lawyers for the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, the group behind the legal challenge to the WeChat ban, said on Friday the department “has still presented no compelling national security interest to justify such an unprecedented ban” and will oppose the effort.

The group noted Tencent tried to negotiate a settlement with the Commerce Department and offered a number of mitigation measures to address data security concerns.

Beeler said WeChat users “have shown serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment claim.” The U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech.

WeChat has had an average of 19 million daily active users in the United States, analytics firms Apptopia said in early August. It is popular among Chinese students, Americans living in China and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China.

WeChat is an all-in-one mobile app that combines services similar to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Venmo. The app is an essential part of daily life for many in China and boasts more than 1 billion users.

On Sunday, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued a similar preliminary injunction to halt the U.S. app store ban on new TikTok downloads. Nichols has not decided whether to block other restrictions set to take effect on Nov. 12 that could effectively ban the app’s use, pending a series of court filings due by Oct. 30.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jonathan Oatis and Paul Simao)

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India open to launching own app store as start-ups criticise Google – government source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is open to launching its own mobile app store or expanding an existing one if it receives enough demand from domestic firms for an alternative to Apple AAPL.O and Google platforms, a senior government official said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The country has some 500 million smartphone users, most of whom use Google’s Android platform, but Indian start-ups have criticised the company for policies they say stifle their growth.

SoftBank-backed 9984.T Paytm, one of India’s leading payments firms, protested against the U.S. tech giant’s decision to remove its app for a few hours last month citing violations of gambling policies.

Alphabet-owned GOOGL.O Google also said this week that it will strictly enforce a policy which will levy a 30% commission on payments made within apps on its Android store.

In response to an earlier media report, a senior Indian official told Reuters New Delhi hasn’t received any formal request but was willing to consider developing a mobile platform where apps could be downloaded.

“Before we open one we need to know there will be takers for it,” said the government official, declining to be named as he is not authorised to speak with media.

India already runs a mobile app store that lists over 1200 mainly government-backed applications, but also Paytm, and the government could also consider expanding that instead of starting from scratch, the official added.

India’s technology ministry, Google and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google has previously said that fewer than 3% of developers with apps on its Play store sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and nearly 97% comply with its payment system policy.

Nonetheless, several Indian start-up founders are calling for a local app store that doesn’t charge a high service fee.

“It’s absolutely necessary to have a local app store,” said Vishal Gondal, co-founder of Bengaluru-based gaming firm nCore Games.

“If we have to give 30% fees to Google and also pay for customer acquisition, how will our budding businesses survive?”

Paytm disagreed with Google’s assessment but removed certain promotions to have its app reinstated. The company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has said in interviews that Google was acting as “judge, jury and executioner”.

Without referring to Paytm by name, Google later said its policies were aimed at protecting users from potential harm and were applied and enforced on all developers consistently.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi; Editing by Aditya Kalra, Kirsten Donovan

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