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Imgur’s take on Snapchat Stories is for people who really love GIFs

Imgur’s take on Snapchat Stories is for people who really love GIFs Imgur, the hugely popular photo and GIF sharing site with over 250 million users, is the latest to board the ephemeral storytelling train. Like the ‘stories’ feature inside Snapchat and Facebook/Instagram, which has cloned the heck of Snapchat, Imgur has moved into lean-back content with the arrival of ‘Snacks’, a new feature that sits at the top of its mobile app. With Snacks, Imgur is letting users watched an ongoing array of GIFs in one sitting. When one GIF…

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Spotify and Tencent agree to swap stakes in their music businesses

Spotify and Tencent agree to swap stakes in their music businesses Tencent’s overseas investment splurge continues after the company confirmed a deal with Spotify that will see the duo make investments in each other’s music businesses. Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), the Chinese firm’s subsidiary that manages its music streaming and karaoke services, will make an undisclosed minority investment in Spotify through new shares, while Spotify will buy a similar undisclosed stake in TME. Further to that, Tencent will make its own investment in Spotify by purchasing secondary shares from existing…

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Amazon brings its Echo smart speakers and Music Unlimited service to 28 new countries

Amazon brings its Echo smart speakers and Music Unlimited service to 28 new countries Amazon is continuing to push its media services worldwide after it expanded its Alexa smart speakers and its standalone Music Unlimited service to an additional 28 countries today. The company took its Prime Video service global a year ago and last month it rolled a Fire TV Stick for over 100 countries, but now the music component of its entertainment services — which became a standalone service last year — is getting a wider rollout to this new range…

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Uber lands investment from Singapore’s largest taxi operator in blow to rival Grab

Uber lands investment from Singapore’s largest taxi operator in blow to rival Grab Uber has struck a major deal in Southeast Asia after ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, announced [PDF] it has agreed to buy a majority share of the ride-hailing giant’s Singapore-based business. The deal will see a joint venture valued at SG$642 million (US$474 million) established to run Uber Singapore. Comfort will contribute SG$295 million in what is the largest investment outlay in its forty-plus-year history. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but if and when completed it…

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Coinbase hits top spot on Apple’s US App Store despite struggling to handle bitcoin demand

Coinbase hits top spot on Apple’s US App Store despite struggling to handle bitcoin demand Ignoring recent price rises for a second, if you can — there’s no greater sign of bitcoin fever than an app that lets you buy the cryptocurrency becoming the most downloaded app in the App Store. That’s exactly what happened on Thursday when Coinbase, the $1.6-billion-valued company behind what is arguably the world’s best-known exchange for converting fiat into crypto, hit the top spot for free apps in Apple’s U.S. App Store for the first time…

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China’s JD partners with accelerator program Plug and Play to reach US startups

China’s JD partners with accelerator program Plug and Play to reach US startups E-commerce giant JD.com, the closest rival to Alibaba in China, is broadening its presence in Silicon Valley after it announced a collaboration with accelerator firm Plug and Play to seek out and work with promising U.S. startups. The e-commerce giant said it will share technologies, including AI, cloud and smart supply chain tech, with the program generally and work together to launch a new cohort that taps into its extensive presence in China. The new JD-backed program…

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Honda is working with Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime on self-driving car tech

Honda is working with Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime on self-driving car tech Honda is putting the focus on artificial intelligence after it announced a partnership with SenseTime, a Chinese startup valued at over $1 billion, that will power its autonomous cars of the future. SenseTime, which raised a $410 million funding round this past summer and counts Qualcomm among its investors, is particularly well known for its object recognition technology which has been used by both public and private entities in China. The startup has agreed to a five-year joint R&D…

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Ford recruits Alibaba to help break into China’s electric vehicle industry

Ford recruits Alibaba to help break into China’s electric vehicle industry Ford has put a lot of focus on China’s electric vehicle market — with a local joint venture expected to lead to 15 electric or hybrid models on sale in the country by 2025 — and today the automotive giant announced a tie-in with Alibaba to fulfill its ambitious goals. The scope of alliance is fairly broad and vague at this point, but a large chunk of  the”strategic collaboration” appears to be based around developing a direct sales channel to…

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Facebook co-founder’s B Capital leads $10M investment in Indian payment startup Mswipe

Facebook co-founder’s B Capital leads M investment in Indian payment startup Mswipe B Capital, the investment firm from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin that is backed by BCG, has stepped into India after it backed smart point-of-sale company Mswipe in its first deal in the country. The U.S.-Asia fund is investing $10 million into Bangalore-based Mswipe alongside DSG Consumer Partners in what is an extension to a Series D round announced this summer. Originally pegged at $31 million, the addition extends the round to more than $40 million. Mswipe was founded in 2011 and…

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Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash loses tens of millions of dollars following hack

Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash loses tens of millions of dollars following hack Bitcoin is flying sky high after crossing the $14,000 mark for the first time, but one projected aimed at helping mine coins is short of at least $60 million after it was hacked. NiceHash, a marketplace that matches those with spare computing to power to miners wanting to create new coins, has confirmed that it has hit by attackers who snatched bitcoin. The company has paused operations for 24 hours while it figures out exactly how much was…

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