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Starbucks suspends social media ads over hate speech

The coffee giant said it would pause advertising on some platforms in an effort to address hate speech.

Starbucks has announced it will suspend advertising on some social media platforms in response to hate speech.

The coffee giant joins global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms.

A Starbucks spokesperson told the BBC the social media “pause” would not include YouTube, owned by Google.

“We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online,” Starbucks said in a statement.

The brand said it would “have discussions internally and with media partners and civil rights organizations to stop the spread of hate speech”. But it will continue to post on social media without paid promotion, it said. 

The announcement came after Coca-Cola called for “greater accountability” from social media firms.

Coca Cola said it would pause advertising on all social media platforms globally, while Unilever, owner of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, said it would halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US “at least” through 2020.

The announcements follow controversy over Facebook’s approach to moderating content on its platform – seen by many as too hands off. It came after Facebook said on Friday it would begin to label potentially harmful or misleading posts which have been left up for their news value.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would also ban advertising containing claims “that people of a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status” are a threat to others.

The organisers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which has accused Facebook of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation, said the “small number of small changes” would not “make a dent in the problem”.

Starbucks said that while it was suspending advertising on some social platforms, it would not join the #StopHateForProfit campaign. More than 150 companies have paused advertising in support of #StopHateforProfit.

Coca-Cola also told CNBC its advertising suspension did not mean it was joining the campaign, despite being listed as a “participating business”.

The campaign has urged Mr Zuckerberg to take further steps, including establishing permanent civil rights “infrastructure” within Facebook; submitting to independent audits of identity-based hate and misinformation; finding and removing public and private groups publishing such content; and creating expert teams to review complaints.

In an interview with Reuters, one of the campaign’s organisers said it would also call on European firms to join the boycott. “The next frontier is global pressure,” said Jim Steyer, the chief executive of Common Sense Media. He added that the campaign hoped European regulators would take a harder stance on social media firms such as Facebook.

In June, the European Commission announced new guidelines for companies to submit monthly reports on how they are handling coronavirus-related misinformation.

Last year, Facebook reported a 27% increase in advertising revenue on the previous year. BBC

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/starbucks-suspends-social-media-ads-over-hate-speech-652629.html

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Ministry warns about online lending apps

Search results for online lending apps. The Ministry of Public Security has warned about the risk of black credit provided by online lending applications which could threaten social security. — Photo vietnamnet.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security has warned about the risk of black credit provided by online lending applications which could threaten social security.

Online lending apps provide trust-based loans in which the borrowers do not need mortgage assets. Transactions were conducted online via websites, online exchanges and apps installed on smartphones.

The borrowing and lending process through the apps was very easy, as people who want to borrow money only have to complete some simple registration procedures including downloading the app, filling in personal information including an account number to receive money, uploading a photo and identity cards, and allowing the app to access their personal contacts.

However, the ministry warned that many lending apps turned out to be a form of black credit with cut-throat interest rates, which might have unintended consequences and affect social security.

The ministry urged borrowers to study online lending providers together with contract terms carefully to avoid risks.

Việt Nam was developing a sandbox for financial technologies, including peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, which was critical to ensure fintech development remains on track.

There are around 40 companies providing P2P lending services in the country. — 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/749379/ministry-warns-about-online-lending-apps.html

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Sóc Trăng exports jump 26% despite pandemic

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng saw exports increase by 26 per cent year-on-year in the first half despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. VNA/ Photo

MEKONG DELTA — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng’s exports in the first six months of the year increased by 26 per cent year-on-year to US$470 million.

Seafood accounted for $332 million, a 24.8 per cent increase, and rice for $97 million, 2.2 times higher.

Võ Văn Chiêu, director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said seafood exports had been sustained despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to efforts to control it.

Võ Văn Phục, director of the Việt Nam Clean Fishery JSC, one of the biggest exporters in the province, said shrimp exports would increase by 50 per cent in July from the same period last year thanks to Việt Nam controlling the disease outbreak.

Businesses in Sóc Trăng have methodically invested, branded and built value chains, and so the province’s exports increased even when the export markets were plagued by difficulties.

The province has set this year’s export target of $900 million, $670 million from seafood.

To meet it, it encourages firms to expand markets, improve design and quality, and diversify products to meet various consumer demands. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/749348/soc-trang-exports-jump-26-despite-pandemic.html

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Hà Nội condominium market has recovery of sales in Q2

 

In Q2 Hà Nội’s market had a total of 5,100 sold units, more than double that of the previous quarter. — Photo vneconomy.vn

HÀ NỘI — The new launch of condominiums in the second quarter of this year (Q2) nearly tripled that of the previous quarter, showing recovery of sales activities, according to CBRE Việt Nam’s quarterly report on the Hà Nội market released on Tuesday at an online press conference.

In terms of segments, 88 per cent of units launched in Q2 were in the mid-end segment while the remainder were high-end products.

Sales momentum was relatively positive in Q2 compared to the previous quarter, with more than 50 per cent of units launched during the quarter having been absorbed.

In Q2, there were a total of 5,100 sold units, more than double that of the previous quarter. The sales picked up in Q2 thanks to the social distancing order removed.

Diversification in sales channels such as online channels combined with direct marketing via sales events has boosted sales during the quarter, according to CBRE.

Especially, applications in project management and online sales have been successfully developed by many companies. Those technology platforms help to introduce projects, deal with customers and carry out online sales process.

In addition, investors and property trading floors can also receive sales data and information analysis to build suitable sales and marketing strategy, Robert Vũ, CEO of batdongsan.com.vn, a popular property website in Việt Nam, said on Wednesday at a press conference releasing a report on the domestic property market in Q2.

Local buyers are the key focus of developers during the first half of the year as foreign sales have been disrupted due to the suspension of international flights.

The segment of property for foreigners buying or renting significantly slowed down due to the reduced number of foreigners travelling in Việt Nam and a significant amount of foreigners going home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nguyễn Hoài An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam told Việt Nam News.

“However, in the Hà Nội market, there were many experts of foreign companies coming back to work in Việt Nam by charter flights. Therefore, the experts must rent serviced apartments and hotels, leading to occupancy rates in many serviced apartment projects increasing from the end of the second quarter.”

The hotel segment in Hà Nội was in a better situation, although it still struggles, she said.

“The prospects of this property market for foreign customers would depend on the ability to re-open international flights and borders between Việt Nam and other countries,” An said.

The CBRE also reported that the Hà Nội market had about 5,600 units launched in Q2, leading to a total new launch during the first half of around 7,200 units – down 65 per cent year on year (y-o-y).

The new supply in the first six months declined significantly compared to the same period of last year due to COVID-19 disruption, said CBRE Việt Nam.

Selling prices in the primary market in Q2 averaged US$1,379 per sq.m (net of VAT), up by 3 per cent y-o-y. While mid-end products from township developments see higher selling prices due to an increasing amount of amenities, landscape and infrastructure, this segment witnessed the highest y-o-y growth of 4 per cent among segments.

The level of new supply is expected to stay at around 18,000-20,000 units in 2020, lower than 30,000 units at annual average for many years, according to the CBRE.

Nguyễn Hoài An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam said that: “The lower level of new supply this year allows sales to catch up quicker with the new launch which had remained at a high-level over the past five years.”

This year, total sold units might be lowered to around 15,000-17,000 units in Hà Nội due to modest sales performance in the first half of this year.

The primary pricing is forecast to remain flat in the second half of this year since new supply is heavily dominated by mid-end segment and higher competition in this segment making it harder to escalate selling prices.

According to batdongsan.com.vn, the number of searches for mini apartments (with an area of less than 45sq.m) at the end of Q2 increased by more than 200 per cent compared to February 2020.

This reflects the growing trend of more young people and families wishing to own affordable apartments. This is also a reason for investors to build studio apartments and mini apartments, according to this website. — 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/749344/ha-noi-condominium-market-has-recovery-of-sales-in-q2.html

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