To Compete with Big Tech, Veon Launches Digital ID Authentication

  • VEON Launches Digital ID Authentication system on Tuesday that, according to Chief Executive Kaan Terzioglu, can match those used by US internet companies in terms of streamlining mobile logins without losing privacy.

Instead of utilizing separate passwords or those associated with existing domains like Google or Facebook, users may connect into systems like retail or banking websites using their phone numbers and one-time password authentication.

He added that after a nine-month pilot with over 1.2 million monthly active users in its primary market, Russia, Veon plans to roll out the system to its 212 million subscribers in nine countries. Veon’s approach, according to Terzioglu, is a simpler alternative to those given by Alphabet’s Google and Facebook.

We had this once-in-a-lifetime chance to streamline these interactions by enabling individuals to use only their phone numbers. We tokenized the credentials, including some sensitive information that isn’t always nice to share with everyone.

The Russian government has increased its pressure on foreign internet companies over the information they distribute on their platforms and requests that they open operations on Russian territory.

Veon also launched a new strategy centered on digital assets, double-digit local currency revenue growth, and the sale of its tower assets, which Terzioglu hopes to complete in the next two years as part of its debt-reduction efforts.

Faced with sluggish revenue growth and persistently high debt from the previous network upgrade. telecommunications firms throughout Europe are looking to sell their tower portfolios or spin-off such assets to generate future revenue streams. Last Monday, the business, with over 50,000 towers, agreed to sell its tower assets in Russia for around $1 billion.

“I’d like to see more of these agreements in the next months, and maybe by 2022 or 2023, we’ll have completed the series,” Terzioglu added. “We hit the trigger on our physical assets monetization plan around nine months ago,” he said.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, the business is also negotiating with independent tower operators. Veon’s total debt was $7.7 billion as of September 30, and tower sales might generate several billion dollars.

Before a political grilling, Instagram reveals several changes:

Instagram has unveiled new capabilities that it claims will help parents and teens control their time on the platform. Parents will monitor how much time their children spend on Instagram and set time limitations for them, while teenagers will receive reminders to take a break.

It comes just a day before Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is set to testify before a panel of US Senators looking into internet safety. In recent months, Instagram has been under growing scrutiny due to underage use of the network.

The first in a series of discoveries in France Haugen’s stolen documents from inside Facebook was its internal study suggesting that youngsters blamed Instagram for increased anxiety. Mr. Mosseri will be questioned by a US Senate Committee on Instagram’s internal knowledge on kid safety and strategies, as well as “possible legislative remedies,” according to the committee.

According to social media strategist Matt Navarra, the timing of Instagram’s announcement was “interesting.”

“When US senators interrogate Instagram’s CEO, he’ll want to show them something fresh and substantial. the new features will provide anxious parents additional options to help keep their children safe while using Instagram, but many will ask why it took them so long to act.”

Mr. Mosseri confirmed implementing the “take-a-break” function, which he first mentioned in November through Twitter. He stated it would be released on Tuesday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

“If someone has been scrolling for a specific period, we’ll advise them to take a rest from Instagram and propose that they set a reminder to spend more pauses in the future,” he added. According to him, teen users would receive messages to enable break reminders.

Instagram also said that in March 2022, it would release a new feature for parents that will allow them to track how much time their children spend on Instagram and set time limits for the app.

Instagram already has time limitations; users may voluntarily set a daily time limit and receive a message when that limit is reached. Mr. Mosseri also announced a new bulk-management mechanism for Instagram accounts.

Starting in January, a new system will allow users to see all of their posts and all of their likes and comments in a chronological list and pick multiple items to delete in bulk. “While this feature is open to everyone,” Mr. Mosseri said, “I believe it is especially essential for kids to understand better what information they’ve posted on Instagram. what information is visible to others, and to have an easier method to control their digital footprint.”

Other changes announced on Tuesday included broadening the app’s message restrictions so that individuals would no longer be able to tag or mention kids who don’t follow them. The additional feature shows that “if people are focusing on one issue for a time,” Instagram will “nudge” users towards different forms of material.

Mr. Mosseri didn’t say what kinds of content the “nudge” would apply to, how it will function, or when they will use it. In an illustration on the blog article, the sole example supplied was that a visitor who has looked at beauty topics would be interested in travel, interior design, or dogs.

“I proceed to welcome teamwork and cooperation with legislators and policymakers on our ability to share the goal of creating a digital environment that both advantages and helps protect many coming generations.” On Wednesday, Mr. Mosseri concluded his blog post announcing these new measures ahead of his grilling by US politicians.

“Shifting responsibility to parents without Instagram adopting extra measures to improve online safety would be insufficient.”

Sarah Goodall, the social media agency Tribal Impact, reiterated this opinion. “A lot of youngsters,” she told the BBC, “are quite alienated with their experience on social media.” She was alluding to issues like cyber-bullying.

Weibo, the Chinese social media powerhouse, saw its stock plummet on its Hong Kong debut:

As Chinese technology businesses are under intense criticism at home and abroad, the social media powerhouse Weibo has made its Hong Kong stock market debut. Weibo’s stock dropped more than 7% on the first day of trade. Alibaba and, two other significant Chinese technology businesses, are listed in the United States and Hong Kong.

It comes only days after Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing behemoth, announced relocating its listing from the United States to Hong Kong. Weibo’s secondary share sale in Hong Kong garnered $385 million (£290 million). In the previous six months, the company’s New York Stock Exchange shares have lost about a third of their value.

Companies with share listed in the US have found themselves at the core of the world’s two major economies’ ongoing trade conflict.

In recent months, Beijing has intensified its monitoring of China’s largest enterprises, with the technology sector receiving special attention. Furthermore, the Securities Commission (SEC) of the United States has enacted guidelines that allow US-listed foreign businesses to be delisted if their auditors fail to cooperate with authorities’ demands for information.

Some Chinese companies are now exploring alternate sources of finance if they need to delist their stock from the New York Stock Exchange. “If all Chinese businesses are compelled to delist from US markets, it will be terrible. Despite their fierce rivalry, the two nations need, must, and must be financially, economically, technologically, socially. Culturally connected, “The executive director of China Money Network in Hong Kong, Nina Xiang, stated.

Didi Global, the nation’s biggest ride-hailing firm, said last week that it will delist from the NYSE and list in Hong Kong instead. It garnered $4.4 billion in its first public offering on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of June. Still, China’s internet regulator ordered online merchants not to sell Didi’s app within days, claiming it improperly acquired customers’ data.

Didi’s statement that it will delist in the United States came only hours after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would press forward with its efforts to delist Chinese companies from US stock markets for failing to comply with new accounting regulations.

Didi’s stock has dropped by more than half since trading in New York five months ago. Ms. Xiang feels Weibo is secure for the time being: “A lot relies on whether Chinese and American regulators can hash out their disagreements on access to auditing records.”

The Chinese name for microblog is Weibo, and the company is recognized as China’s equivalent of Twitter.

After Tencent’s Wechat, the firm is China’s second most popular social networking site. With over 900 million members, China is the world’s largest social media market. Because major US platforms like Twitter and Facebook are restricted in China, indigenous social media companies like Weibo have a lot of room to expand.

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