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Samsung flags near-30% slump in Q4 operating profit

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SEOUL: Samsung Electronics on Tuesday flagged its first quarterly profit drop in two years and painted a grim outlook owing to mounting competition from Chinese smartphone makers and declining chip prices.

The shock warning added to concerns about the broader tech sector after Apple sent shudders through world markets last week by slashing its revenue forecast blaming weak sales in China and citing the trade war.

Samsung — the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips — has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including a humiliating recall and the jailing of its de facto chief.

But operating profit during the October to December period was expected to be around 10.8 trillion won ($9.8 billion), down 28.7 percent from a year earlier, Samsung said in an earnings estimate.

The figure was below market consensus of about 13.5 trillion won, according to market researcher FnGuide.

Sales dropped more than 10 percent to 59 trillion won in the period, Samsung said.

It cited “lacklustre demand in the memory business and intensifying competition in the smartphone business” for the dismal outlook.

“Memory earnings fell significantly… due to weaker-than-expected demand amid inventory adjustments at data-centre customers,” which led to a “greater-than-expected” drop in chip prices, it said.

“We expect earnings to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business but strengthen in the second half.”

 

 

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Pakistan among top countries where Facebook restricted most content

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KARACHI: Pakistan ranked second in the list of countries where social media giant Facebook restricted maximum content.

The total content curbed in Pakistan by the platform doubled between July and December 2018, according to Facebook’s latest transparency report released on Friday.

4,174 items were restricted in Pakistan during the second half of 2018, as compared to 2,203 pieces from the first half of the year.

According to the breakdown of the content restricted in Pakistan, Facebook suspended 3,811 posts, 343 pages and groups, 10 profiles and one album. On Instagram, the platform restricted a total of nine items — seven posts and two accounts.

 

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China slams US ‘lies’ about Huawei-government ties

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BEIJING: Beijing on Friday accused the United States of spreading “lies” about Huawei after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the telecom giant was not being truthful about its ties to the Chinese government.
Huawei has been thrust at the centre of escalating tensions between the world’s two top economies, with President Donald Trump saying Thursday the fate of the company could be included in any deal to resolve their trade war.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was not aware of the “specifics” of Trump’s comments and repeated that dialogue must be based on “mutual respect”.
The Trump administration has infuriated Beijing by blacklisting the smartphone and telecommunications company over worries that China uses it as a tool for espionage and allegations of breaking Iran related sanctions.
Huawei has repeatedly denied that it works with the Communist-led government.
“To say that they don’t work with the Chinese government is a false statement,” Pompeo said.
Lu said US politicians have spread rumours about Huawei without providing evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

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SpaceX launches first satellites of its internet network

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WASHINGTON: SpaceX on Thursday launched a rocket containing the first 60 satellites of its “Starlink” constellation, which is intended to provide internet from space and could one day number 12,000 satellites.

One of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets took off without incident from Cape Canaveral in Florida around 10:30 pm (0230 GMT).

The second stage of the rocket will begin to release them one hour after launch, at an altitude of 270 miles (440 kilometers), and then the satellites will use their thrusters to take up their places in a relatively low orbit of 340 miles (550 kilometers).

That’s slightly higher than the International Space Station, but well below the majority of terrestrial satellites, the highest of which sit in a geostationary orbit of 22,400 miles (36,000 kilometers).

The launch was originally scheduled for last week but was postponed, first due to high winds and then due to the need for a software update.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s firm, which is leading the private space race when it comes to rocket launches, is now looking to seize a chunk of the future space internet market.

The launch will make it an early forerunner, along with rival OneWeb, a startup, but well ahead of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the brainchild of Musk’s space rival Jeff Bezos.

Each of the satellites weighs just 227 kilograms (500 pounds) and was built in-house in Redmond, near Seattle.

Starlink will become operational once 800 satellites have been activated, which will require a dozen more launches.

 

 

 

 

 

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