Internet

A man looks at the screen of his mobile phone at Pudong financial district in ShanghaiA new war is brewing between China’s three internet giants, known collectively as BAT – short for Baidu, the dominant search engine, Alibaba, which controls 80 per cent of China’s ecommerce, and Tencent, the gaming and social media juggernaut with a market capitalisation of $132bn. For Wang Ran, a blogger and founder of China eCapital, an investment bank, the competition between Didi Dache [“Honk Honk Taxi”], a Tencent taxi-hailing app, and Alibaba’s Kuadi Dache [“Fast taxi”] is “the first battle in the first world war of the internet”.

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Hannah Kuchler

Ladies and gentleman, the moment you have all been waiting for is fast-approaching: Twitter is due to file the small print on its initial public offering, a bulky S-1 registration statement that will allow investors a peek into the messaging platform’s business.

Here is the Financial Times “Ctrl-F” guide to getting the news fast (Alternatively, please tune in to FT.com when it happens, where we’ll do the heavy lifting for you): Read more

Anyone who has surfed the web in places like Marrakech or Jakarta knows that internet speed in many developing countries leaves much to be desired.

But a report published this week by internet company Akamai shows that a good number of those countries are catching up.

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Shares in Sina Corp, the Nasdaq-listed Chinese online media group, rose nearly 21 per cent during trading on Monday after the company said it had agreed to sell 18 per cent of Weibo, its Twitter-like micro-blogging service, to Alibaba Group for $586m. The two came close to a similar deal five months ago. Now they have tied the knot.

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More good news for Istanbul’s ambitions to establish itself as a hub: even the internet is hearkening to its call. Fadi Chehade, chief executive of ICANN, the organisation responsible for administrating the domain name and IP address systems, announced on Thursday his group was setting up shop in Istanbul.

To be precise, ICANN is splitting its headquarters into three – the old base in Los Angeles, a new outlet in Singapore, and Istanbul itself, as a step towards a more global, and a more seamless operation.

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Richard Waters

There was a major disconnect on display at the FT’s Digital Media conference in London on Thursday morning.

Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner and Thomas Rabe of Bertelsmann made it sound as though any-time, any-place access to media was ushering in a golden age comparable to the birth of broadcasting. But Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP had a wake-up call: Big Media is being complacent, and the real impact of companies like Google and Facebook has yet to be felt. Read more

Already the third-largest online user base in the world, India has the potential to double its economic contribution from the internet in the next three years.

India could see a surge in the internet’s role in the economy from 1.6 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2011, to up to 3.3 per cent in 2015, putting it near developed countries on this measure, according to a McKinsey report.

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Fed up with labouring in the shadow of Silicon Valley, two Hollywood studios have belatedly woken up to social media with the launch of two new ventures that take advantage of their own in-house technology.

Dreamworks Animation, the studio behind the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda films, today launches Ptch, a mobile app that lets users create 60-second movies using pictures and video shot with their smartphone – and then share them via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Read more

The body overseeing the allocation of new web addresses has revealed intense competition for certain domain names and strong demand for non-Latin web suffixes as companies apply to own potential rivals to .com, writes Duncan Robinson.
A total of 1,930 applications for new web suffixes were made, with more than a third of these aimed at just 229 addresses, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organisation in charge of regulating web domains. Read more

Maija Palmer

Companies are not exactly beating down Icann’s door to get their hands on a new .anything domain name, it seems.

One month into the application process, just 100 companies have so far registered to apply for  a new top level domain name such as .coke or .london.  It is the first indication of what the uptake will be like of the controversial expansion of internet names by Icann.   Read more