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For the second year in a row Apple and Google have retained their positions as the world’s most valuable brand. See who else made it to this year’s Best Global Brands list in today’s In The News segment. Other news include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to India to promote Internet access in the country as well as the growing use of robots in China’s manufacturing industry.

  • Apple and Google Brands Worth over $100 Billion Each

According to the Interbrand Best Global Brands 2014 report, both Apple and Google’s brands are each worth more than $100 billion. Both firms have retained the top two positions for the past two years. Apple, which is worth $118.9 billion, increased its brand value by 21 percent, and Google, which boasts a $107.5 billion value, shot up by 15 percent. Coca Cola came third with an $81 billion brand. Meanwhile, IBM is valued at $72.2 billion and Microsoft ranked fifth with $61 billion. (The Inquirer)

  • New Wearable Device Could Mimic Psychoactive Drugs

A California-based company, Thync, is developing wearable devices that can mimic the effects of certain drugs by tapping directly into the user’s brain. The device works by using neurosignaling algorithms to trigger the brain to release neurotransmitters. Thync can currently send three types of signal: one for calm, one for focus and one for energy; each signal can be controlled by a smartphone. So far, Thync said they have raised $13 million in venture capital from Khosla Ventures since launching their plan in 2011. (Dumb Out)

  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Promotes Internet Access in India
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in India this week, stressing on the importance of enhancing Internet connectivity in the world’s second most populous country. Zuckerberg said Facebook is creating a $1 million fund to help developers develop apps for farmers, migrants and women. This will be a contest to drive new apps and services in local languages. He also launched the global internet project called internet.org in the country. The project, which was announced in August 2013, aims to make Internet access more affordable for people across the globe. (The Economic Times)

  • Robots Save Chinese Factory $13 million a Year

In 2012, Shenzhen-based electronics peripheral maker Rapoo cut about 2,100 employees, more than 65 percent of its workers, and replaced them with 75 robots. Recently, its CEO Deng Qiuwei told China Business News that the robots are saving the company RMB80 million (US$13 million) a year. But according to statistics from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), China’s robot population is still small, especially when compared to its neighbors. Korea has 396 robots for every 10,000 human factory workers. Japan has 332. The global average is 58 robots per 10,000 human workers. China currently only has 23 per 10,000. (Tech In Asia)


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