This week in the news, the technology industry in Israel seems to be immune to the ongoing conflict with Hamas, Chinese investigators raided four of Microsoft’s offices as part of an anti-monopoly investigation, and India’s biggest e-commerce site Flipkart secured $1 billion in funding and aspires to dominate its own domestic market.
- The Tech Industry in Israel Thrives Amid Conflict
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been escalating for the last six weeks, but it hasn’t stopped money from flowing into the country’s technology industry. Since the war started, investors have poured $598 million into tech startups in Israel. During the time between June 12 and July 24, investing has actually accelerated despite the fighting claiming more than 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis. During a preceding six-week period starting in April, private tech financing was $282 million, according to data compiled by IVC Research Center in Tel Aviv. Amid the violence in Gaza, other parts of Israel’s economy are also going strong. The shekel is approaching a three-year high, and bond yields are at a record low. (Bloomberg)
- China Raids Microsoft
China has begun investigating whether Microsoft broke its anti-monopoly laws, the latest sign of growing commercial and policy tensions between the U.S. and China. Roughly 100 investigators raided Microsoft offices in four Chinese cities on Monday. The investigation represents a new friction point between the two countries following disclosures about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance and revelations of the hacking of U.S. networks by China’s military. The disputes are increasingly affecting companies as well as official relations. Several U.S. executives have said their business in China is suffering as a result. (The Wall Street Journal)
- Flipkart Vies to Become India’s Alibaba
India’s biggest e-commerce site Flipkart is often benchmarked against Amazon. People ask: can it be the Amazon of India? But today, Sachin Bansal, co-founder and CEO of Flipkart, set the record straight. He pointed out that with $1 billion of fresh funding under its belt, Flipkart is in the same position as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was in 2005. “We want to be India’s first $100 billion technology company,” Bansal added. Just as Alibaba dominates China’s ecommerce market, Flipkart wants to establish itself as India’s homegrown e-commerce leader, keeping global giants like Amazon at bay. (Tech in Asia)
- Text a Smell
The creators of the oPhone hope to create a new technology to bring aromas to mobile communications. Inventor and Harvard professor David Edwards said the device will allow people to send and receive scented messages, just as they do texts or photographs today. Edwards and a former student, Rachel Field, are attempting to raise $150,000 to start production of the oPhone Duo through an Indiegogo campaign. The oPhone is said to deliver a small dose of aroma—just enough of a scent needed to identify a particular smell. (Re/code)
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