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Spotify could launch in India by end of January

Spotify, which has been gearing up to launch in India for several years, could do so as soon as Jan 31, sources said.

Spotify is rumoured to be hosting a launch party in Mumbai on Jan 31, which means they’re working against the clock to secure deals before the end of the month. — Bloomberg

Marriott looks to reboot loyalty plan after cyberattack

Marriott International Inc will relaunch its loyalty programme under a new brand name, the company said on Jan 16, as it seeks to undo the damage to its name from a massive cyberattack that led to millions of customer records being stolen.

The world's biggest hotel chain said the new brand, Marriott Bonvoy, will replace the existing loyalty programmes integrating the three brands into one name, with the launch on Feb 13. — Reuters

‘Pokémon Go’ developer secures US$245mil in Series C funding

Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, finished its Series C financing with US$245mil (RM1bil) on Jan 16, according to a press release.

Hong Kong’s smaller businesses think ‘we’re too small to be hacked’ despite hacking experience, insurer finds

About 70% of smaller businesses surveyed said they had been hacked or had data compromised, yet only about half carry cybersecurity insurance in city named a top hacking destination, insurer Chubb reports.

Chubb surveyed 300 of Hong Kong’s small and medium sized businesses and found that seven out of 10 said they had experienced a cybersecurity incident such as hacking or data loss in the past year. — SCMP

AI fail: Japan’s Henn-na Hotel dumps ‘annoying’ robot staff, hires humans

Dinosaur receptionists are a thing of the past as Japan’s first robot hotel concludes there “are places where they are just not needed”.

The dinosaur receptionists at Japan's Henn-Na Hotel have gone extinct. — SCMP

Apple, Amazon called out for ‘incorrect’ Taiwan, Hong Kong references

One of China's top government-linked think tanks has called out Apple Inc, Inc and other foreign companies for not referring to Hong Kong and Taiwan as part of China in a report that provoked a stern reaction from Taipei.

CASS said in a report this month that 66 of the world's 500 largest companies had used "incorrect labels" for Taiwan and 53 had errors in the way they referred to Hong Kong, according to China's Legal Daily newspaper. — Reuters

US bill seeks to give Americans more control over online data

US Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill on Jan 16 aimed at giving Americans more control over information that online companies like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google collect on their location, financial data, job history or biometric data like fingerprints.

Rubio's bill would require consumer protection regulator the FTC to draw up rules for companies to follow that are based on the US Privacy Act of 1974, with a goal of having them in place within 18 months of the Republican senator's bill becoming law. — Reuters

Electronic Arts shelves one Star Wars game, continues work on others

Electronic Arts Inc shelved a Stars Wars videogame the company was developing at one of its Canadian studios, but said its efforts on the series continue.

Electronic Arts holds the license to several Star Wars games, including the Battlefront series. — Electronic Arts

Apple plans to cut back on hiring due to iPhone sales struggles

Apple Inc will cut back on hiring for some divisions after selling fewer iPhones than expected and missing its revenue forecast for the holiday quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.

How Chinese sellers of fake Dior are evading a crackdown online

China has come down hard on its world-renowned counterfeit industry. Bazaars lined with fake watches, shoes and bags have been demolished in recent years. A new law effective Jan 1 promises to slap online retailers with up to 2mil yuan (RM1.21mil) in fines for bogus goods sold on their platforms.

Guests at a 2017 preview of Dior's new shop at the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. The skill of the counterfeiters and their growing ability to leverage global social networks has left Beijing playing whack-a-mole as it attempts to stamp out fake luxury goods. — AFP