How to make your iPhone less annoying

If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your iPhone with disdain. Another notification? Why am I getting text messages in the middle of the night? Your iPhone should be a helpful tool, not an annoyance. I have a few tips that can help cut down on your iPhone stress levels.


If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your iPhone with disdain. Another notification? Why am I getting text messages in the middle of the night? Your iPhone should be a helpful tool, not an annoyance. I have a few tips that can help cut down on your iPhone stress levels.
How to make your iPhone less annoying Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, tips, annoying, notification, screen, youre, stress, outyour, text, tool, iphone, pull


How to make your iPhone less annoying

If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your iPhone with disdain. Another notification? Why is the screen so darn bright? Why am I getting text messages in the middle of the night? It makes me want to pull my hair out.

Your iPhone should be a helpful tool, not an annoyance. I have a few tips that can help cut down on your iPhone stress levels.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, tips, annoying, notification, screen, youre, stress, outyour, text, tool, iphone, pull


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Shell quarterly profit jumps 140% after ‘a year of transformation’

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, supported by a recent rally in oil and gas prices. Net profit attributable to shareholders on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, used as a proxy for net profit, and excluding identified items, came in at $4.3 billion, versus $1.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said that the Anglo-Dutch firm had posted a “strong financial performance” during


Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, supported by a recent rally in oil and gas prices. Net profit attributable to shareholders on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, used as a proxy for net profit, and excluding identified items, came in at $4.3 billion, versus $1.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said that the Anglo-Dutch firm had posted a “strong financial performance” during
Shell quarterly profit jumps 140% after ‘a year of transformation’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sam meredith, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, profit, shareholders, performance, transformation, net, shell, reported, 140, quarter, billion, jumps, oil, excluding, came, quarterly


Shell quarterly profit jumps 140% after 'a year of transformation'

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, supported by a recent rally in oil and gas prices.

Net profit attributable to shareholders on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, used as a proxy for net profit, and excluding identified items, came in at $4.3 billion, versus $1.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago. This compared to a company-provided analyst consensus of $4.24 billion. It was also slightly above Reuters estimates.

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said that the Anglo-Dutch firm had posted a “strong financial performance” during “a year of transformation.”

“Our relentless focus on value, performance and competitiveness meant we were able to deliver $39 billion of cash flow from operations excluding working capital movements from our upgraded portfolio,” he said in the earnings statement.

Shell’s full-year net profit, attributable to shareholders on a CCS basis and excluding one-off items, came in at $15.8 billion in 2017 — an increase of 119 percent from the year earlier.

The oil major also reported a sharp rise in cash flow last year, after years of costs cuts and the acquisition of BG Group in 2016 came to fruition.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sam meredith, daniel acker, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, profit, shareholders, performance, transformation, net, shell, reported, 140, quarter, billion, jumps, oil, excluding, came, quarterly


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US futures higher as stocks register their best month in nearly two year

U.S. stock index futures moved higher Thursday morning after the Dow and the S&P 500 registered their best month since March 2016. On Wednesday, the Dow ended January 5.6 percent up, while the S&P 500 rose 5.8 percent in the same period. Nonetheless, the session was affected by comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that sent interest rates higher. The Fed decided to leave interest rates unchanged, but said it expects inflation to move “up this year and to stabilize” around its 2 percent target.


U.S. stock index futures moved higher Thursday morning after the Dow and the S&P 500 registered their best month since March 2016. On Wednesday, the Dow ended January 5.6 percent up, while the S&P 500 rose 5.8 percent in the same period. Nonetheless, the session was affected by comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that sent interest rates higher. The Fed decided to leave interest rates unchanged, but said it expects inflation to move “up this year and to stabilize” around its 2 percent target.
US futures higher as stocks register their best month in nearly two year Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, interest, best, sp, futures, session, rose, rates, earnings, higher, dow, data, stocks, register, nearly, month, fed


US futures higher as stocks register their best month in nearly two year

U.S. stock index futures moved higher Thursday morning after the Dow and the S&P 500 registered their best month since March 2016.

On Wednesday, the Dow ended January 5.6 percent up, while the S&P 500 rose 5.8 percent in the same period. Nonetheless, the session was affected by comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve that sent interest rates higher.

The Fed decided to leave interest rates unchanged, but said it expects inflation to move “up this year and to stabilize” around its 2 percent target. As a result, bond yields rose during the session as traders grow confident that the Fed might step up the pace of policy normalization.

Investors will be looking at fresh data and earnings Thursday. In terms of data, ISM manufacturing new orders and construction spending numbers are both due at 10 a.m. ET, followed by total vehicles sales for January at 3 p.m. ET.

In earnings, Alibaba, Time Warner, Nokia and Blackstone are set to report before the bell. Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Visa are due to release figures after the bell.

On the political front, investors are likely to monitor the U.S. Republican National Committee Winter Meeting 2018. Among Thursday’s speakers are President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.

Elsewhere, oil prices were moving higher in early European trading hours, boosted by a weaker dollar.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, interest, best, sp, futures, session, rose, rates, earnings, higher, dow, data, stocks, register, nearly, month, fed


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Elon Musk’s Boring Company sells all of its flamethrowers in less than a week

Billionaire Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has sold all 20,000 of its flamethrowers in just five days. The entrepreneur announced Sunday that his tunneling firm had started selling flamethrowers. Musk’s idea to start selling them followed The Boring Company’s unusually successful run selling hats. He said last month that, if the company sold 50,000 hats, it would start selling flamethrowers. The flamethrower starts shipping in the spring, according to The Boring Company’s website.


Billionaire Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has sold all 20,000 of its flamethrowers in just five days. The entrepreneur announced Sunday that his tunneling firm had started selling flamethrowers. Musk’s idea to start selling them followed The Boring Company’s unusually successful run selling hats. He said last month that, if the company sold 50,000 hats, it would start selling flamethrowers. The flamethrower starts shipping in the spring, according to The Boring Company’s website.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company sells all of its flamethrowers in less than a week Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: ryan browne, odd anderson, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, sells, sold, company, twitter, selling, flamethrowers, elon, boring, musks, worth, start, companys, week


Elon Musk’s Boring Company sells all of its flamethrowers in less than a week

Billionaire Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has sold all 20,000 of its flamethrowers in just five days.

The entrepreneur announced Sunday that his tunneling firm had started selling flamethrowers. The devices were available for pre-order at a price of $500 each, and customers were also able to buy an “overpriced” fire extinguisher with a “cool sticker” for $30.

By Monday, the company had sold $3.5 million worth of flamethrowers. Musk’s idea to start selling them followed The Boring Company’s unusually successful run selling hats. He said last month that, if the company sold 50,000 hats, it would start selling flamethrowers.

The Boring Company’s new product officially sold out Thursday, Musk said on Twitter. That means Musk’s infrastructure firm has now sold $10 million worth of the devices.

The flamethrower starts shipping in the spring, according to The Boring Company’s website. Musk added on Twitter that the flamethrowers would ship with a “complimentary Boring fire extinguisher.”

The billionaire, who is also the CEO of car manufacturer Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, posted a video to his Instagram account Sunday where he was seen wielding one of the devices and charging toward the person filming him.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: ryan browne, odd anderson, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, sells, sold, company, twitter, selling, flamethrowers, elon, boring, musks, worth, start, companys, week


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Consumer goods giant Unilever sees accelerated sales growth

Unilever reported a bigger-than-expected acceleration in fourth-quarter sales growth on Thursday helped by a step-up in emerging markets that saw the consumer goods maker end its tumultuous year on a higher note. The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – which spent most of last year reviewing its business after rebuffing a $143 billion takeover bid in February – said underlying sales rose 4 percent. Analysts on average were expecting 3.7 percent, according to a company-supplied conse


Unilever reported a bigger-than-expected acceleration in fourth-quarter sales growth on Thursday helped by a step-up in emerging markets that saw the consumer goods maker end its tumultuous year on a higher note. The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – which spent most of last year reviewing its business after rebuffing a $143 billion takeover bid in February – said underlying sales rose 4 percent. Analysts on average were expecting 3.7 percent, according to a company-supplied conse
Consumer goods giant Unilever sees accelerated sales growth Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, maker, unilever, growth, sales, saw, accelerated, consumer, soap, stepup, giant, sees, spent, goods, underlying, tumultuous, takeover


Consumer goods giant Unilever sees accelerated sales growth

Unilever reported a bigger-than-expected acceleration in fourth-quarter sales growth on Thursday helped by a step-up in emerging markets that saw the consumer goods maker end its tumultuous year on a higher note.

The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – which spent most of last year reviewing its business after rebuffing a $143 billion takeover bid in February – said underlying sales rose 4 percent. Analysts on average were expecting 3.7 percent, according to a company-supplied consensus.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, maker, unilever, growth, sales, saw, accelerated, consumer, soap, stepup, giant, sees, spent, goods, underlying, tumultuous, takeover


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India’s finance minister just announced plans for a bigger deficit than many expected

India will focus on strengthening its rural and agricultural economy in the coming fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. “We are now firmly on course to achieve a high growth of 8 percent plus,” Jaitley added, but he did not indicate a timeline by when that number would be reached. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won the local elections in his home state of Gujarat but lost its footing among the state’s rural population. “My government is c


India will focus on strengthening its rural and agricultural economy in the coming fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday. “We are now firmly on course to achieve a high growth of 8 percent plus,” Jaitley added, but he did not indicate a timeline by when that number would be reached. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won the local elections in his home state of Gujarat but lost its footing among the state’s rural population. “My government is c
India’s finance minister just announced plans for a bigger deficit than many expected Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, prakash singh, afp, getty images, prashanth vishwanathan, bloomberg
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, minister, strengthening, rural, programs, expected, india, added, indias, jaitley, states, budget, plans, bigger, deficit, farmers, announced, finance


India's finance minister just announced plans for a bigger deficit than many expected

India will focus on strengthening its rural and agricultural economy in the coming fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.

Jaitley is presenting his fifth annual budget to lawmakers in New Delhi. This budget assumes more importance that usual because of a general election next year.

“We have taken up programs to direct the benefits of structural reforms and good growth to reach the farmers, poor and other vulnerable sections of our society, to uplift the underdeveloped regions,” Jaitley said in his opening remarks to the Indian Parliament.

“This year’s budget will consolidate these gains and particularly focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy,” he said.

The finance minister added that the government will concentrate on the “provision for good health to economically less privileged, taking care of senior citizens, infrastructure creation and working with the states to provide more resources for improving the quality of education in the country.”

Jaitley also said that in the second half of the ongoing fiscal 2018 that ends Mar. 31, India expects to grow between 7.2 to 7.5 percent. “We are now firmly on course to achieve a high growth of 8 percent plus,” Jaitley added, but he did not indicate a timeline by when that number would be reached.

Prior to Thursday’s announcement, economists broadly expected measures focused on India’s rural sector. One market watcher said the “malaise” among farmers ran deep following two years of drought that bit into profits.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won the local elections in his home state of Gujarat but lost its footing among the state’s rural population. In a recent interview, Modi said it was a priority for the government to help distressed farmers.

That led many to speculate that the budget would be aimed at winning back rural voters ahead of the next general election.

“My government is committed to the welfare of the farmers,” Jaitley told the parliament on Thursday. “For decades, the country’s agricultural policy and programs has remained production-centric.”

He added that the Modi government wanted to double farmers’ income by 2022 when India celebrates its 75th year of independence.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, prakash singh, afp, getty images, prashanth vishwanathan, bloomberg
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, minister, strengthening, rural, programs, expected, india, added, indias, jaitley, states, budget, plans, bigger, deficit, farmers, announced, finance


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US Treasury yields rise following Fed’s inflation comments

U.S. government debt prices were lower on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve indicated higher inflation expectations for this year. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was higher at around 2.7332 percent at 4:35 a.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 2.9560 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices. The comments sent yields higher as some traders believe that the Fed will increase rates at a faster pace.


U.S. government debt prices were lower on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve indicated higher inflation expectations for this year. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was higher at around 2.7332 percent at 4:35 a.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 2.9560 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices. The comments sent yields higher as some traders believe that the Fed will increase rates at a faster pace.
US Treasury yields rise following Fed’s inflation comments Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, prices, inflation, rise, bond, higher, yield, yields, fed, indicated, treasury, comments, months, feds, following


US Treasury yields rise following Fed’s inflation comments

U.S. government debt prices were lower on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve indicated higher inflation expectations for this year.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was higher at around 2.7332 percent at 4:35 a.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 2.9560 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

During Janet Yellen’s last meeting as chair of the Fed on Wednesday, policymakers indicated that market-based measures of inflation had increased in recent months and it expected prices to move higher in the next 12 months. The comments sent yields higher as some traders believe that the Fed will increase rates at a faster pace.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, prices, inflation, rise, bond, higher, yield, yields, fed, indicated, treasury, comments, months, feds, following


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European markets move higher amid earnings; Nokia surges 8%

Technology stocks were among the top performers Thursday, up over 1.3 percent amid earnings news. Dassault Systemes reported a 4 percent rise in total revenue during the fourth quarter, while Nokia also beat analyst expectations with quarterly earnings. Spain’s second-largest bank, BBVA, reported a 90 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit when compared to the same period a year earlier. Shares of BBVA were trading around 1 percent higher Thursday morning. The world’s second-largest mobile op


Technology stocks were among the top performers Thursday, up over 1.3 percent amid earnings news. Dassault Systemes reported a 4 percent rise in total revenue during the fourth quarter, while Nokia also beat analyst expectations with quarterly earnings. Spain’s second-largest bank, BBVA, reported a 90 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit when compared to the same period a year earlier. Shares of BBVA were trading around 1 percent higher Thursday morning. The world’s second-largest mobile op
European markets move higher amid earnings; Nokia surges 8% Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sam meredith
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European markets move higher amid earnings; Nokia surges 8%

Technology stocks were among the top performers Thursday, up over 1.3 percent amid earnings news. Dassault Systemes reported a 4 percent rise in total revenue during the fourth quarter, while Nokia also beat analyst expectations with quarterly earnings. Shares of the two companies were both up over 6 percent.

Looking at individual stocks, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported that profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, supported by a recent rally in oil and gas prices. Its shares were trading 1 percent lower, however.

Spain’s second-largest bank, BBVA, reported a 90 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit when compared to the same period a year earlier. The lender cited a 1.1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) writedown on its Telefonica stake. Shares of BBVA were trading around 1 percent higher Thursday morning.

Vodafone also reported their latest figures Thursday. The world’s second-largest mobile operator reported a 1.1 percent rise in organice revenue for its third quarter, citing intense competition in Spain and Italy. Its shares were down more than 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Danish telecoms operator TDC slumped to the bottom of the benchmark on Thursday, after reports it had reached a deal to buy Swedish Modern Times Group’s broadcasting and entertainment’s business. TDC’s shares fell more than 12 percent during early morning deals.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sam meredith
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, surges, trading, amid, revenue, nokia, earnings, operator, rise, markets, higher, european, reported, quarter, stocks, oil, shares, secondlargest


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EU referendum in Italy is not an option, says euroskeptic M5S party leader

The leader of the 5-Star Movement (M5S), a euroskeptic, populist party that’s doing well in Italian polls ahead of an upcoming general election, has ruled out having a referendum in Italy on membership of the European Union (EU). “We need to renegotiate some EU rules, but not in an in/out referendum,” he said, noting that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU had “weakened” the bloc. The 5-Star Movement has repeatedly stated in the past that it would like to hold a referendum on euro zone membersh


The leader of the 5-Star Movement (M5S), a euroskeptic, populist party that’s doing well in Italian polls ahead of an upcoming general election, has ruled out having a referendum in Italy on membership of the European Union (EU). “We need to renegotiate some EU rules, but not in an in/out referendum,” he said, noting that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU had “weakened” the bloc. The 5-Star Movement has repeatedly stated in the past that it would like to hold a referendum on euro zone membersh
EU referendum in Italy is not an option, says euroskeptic M5S party leader Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: holly ellyatt, willem marx
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, eu, zone, maio, party, membership, italy, rules, euroskeptic, movement, referendum, italian, leader, option, m5s, hold


EU referendum in Italy is not an option, says euroskeptic M5S party leader

The leader of the 5-Star Movement (M5S), a euroskeptic, populist party that’s doing well in Italian polls ahead of an upcoming general election, has ruled out having a referendum in Italy on membership of the European Union (EU).

“We need to renegotiate some EU rules, but not in an in/out referendum,” he said, noting that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU had “weakened” the bloc.

The 5-Star Movement has repeatedly stated in the past that it would like to hold a referendum on euro zone membership and new leader Di Maio has echoed that perspective as recently as December. As the election on March 4 approaches, however, he appeared to have changed his mind.

When asked Wednesday if a M5S-led government would hold a vote on euro zone membership, Di Maio said he “wouldn’t even contemplate that last resort.”

“Germany, France Spain are renegotiating some of the EU rules. This is the time to make some deficit, to make investments and relaunch the Italian economy. I don’t want to even consider that last resort,” he said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: holly ellyatt, willem marx
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, eu, zone, maio, party, membership, italy, rules, euroskeptic, movement, referendum, italian, leader, option, m5s, hold


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Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have.

Amazon and two other American titans are trying to shake up health care by experimenting with their own employees’ coverage. Technology companies like Alibaba and Tencent have made health care a priority for years, and are using China as their laboratory. While officials have emphasized the use of artificial intelligence in areas like defense and self-driving cars, they have also aggressively promoted its use in health care. in ways that could increase the efficiency of China’s health care syste


Amazon and two other American titans are trying to shake up health care by experimenting with their own employees’ coverage. Technology companies like Alibaba and Tencent have made health care a priority for years, and are using China as their laboratory. While officials have emphasized the use of artificial intelligence in areas like defense and self-driving cars, they have also aggressively promoted its use in health care. in ways that could increase the efficiency of China’s health care syste
Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have. Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sui-lee wee, paul mozur, david ryder, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, united, china, giants, health, amazon, wants, tech, tencent, america, chinas, care, alibaba, doctors, medical, patients, disrupt


Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have.

Amazon and two other American titans are trying to shake up health care by experimenting with their own employees’ coverage. By Chinese standards, they’re behind the curve.

Technology companies like Alibaba and Tencent have made health care a priority for years, and are using China as their laboratory. After testing online medical advice and drug tracking systems, they are now focused on a more advanced tool: artificial intelligence.

Their aggressive push underscores the differences between the health care systems in China and the United States.

Chinese hospitals are overburdened, with just 1.5 doctors for every 1,000 people — barely half the figure in the United States. Along with a rapidly aging population, China also has the largest number of obese children in the world, as fwell as more diabetes patients than anywhere else.

The companies’ technological push is encouraged by the government. Beijing has said it wants to be a leader in A.I. by 2030 and pledged to take on the United States in the field. While officials have emphasized the use of artificial intelligence in areas like defense and self-driving cars, they have also aggressively promoted its use in health care.

Alibaba and Tencent, which already dominate China’s e-commerce and mobile payments sectors, are at the forefront. Among their goals: building diagnostic tools that will make doctors more efficient.

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Amazon and its partners, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, see technology as a way to provide simplified, affordable medical services. Although the alliance is still in the early stages, it could create online services for medical advice or use its overall heft to negotiate for lower drug prices.

“It’s fair to say that across the board, the Chinese tech companies have all embraced being involved in and being active in the healthcare space, unlike the U.S., where some of them have and some have not,” said Laura Nelson Carney, an Asia-Pacific health care analyst at Bernstein Research.

“Few of them have made moves as big as in China,” Ms. Carney said, referring to Alibaba and Tencent’s American rivals.

Those big moves have had varying degrees of success.

In 2014, Alibaba announced a “future hospital” plan intended to make treatment more efficient by allowing patients to consult with doctors online and order drugs via the internet. But two years later, Chinese regulators stopped the sale of over-the-counter drugs on Tmall, Alibaba’s e-commerce website. They also suspended a drug-monitoring system that the company had created. And last year, the search engine company Baidu scrapped its internet health care service, which allowed patients to book doctors appointments through an app, in a bid to focus solely on A.I.

But some of the more recent initiatives have made inroads. Last year, Alibaba’s health unit introduced A.I. software that can help interpret CT scans and an A.I. medical lab to help doctors make diagnoses. About a month later, Tencent unveiled Miying, a medical imaging program that helps doctors detect early signs of cancer, in the southwestern region of Guangxi. It is now used in nearly 100 hospitals across China.

Tencent has also invested in WeDoctor Group, which has opened its own take on Alibaba’s “future hospital” in northwestern China. The service allows patients to video chat with doctors and fill their prescriptions online.

Advances in artificial intelligence have already been transformative for China’s overworked doctors.

Dr. Yu Weihong, an ophthalmologist at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said she used to take up to two days to analyze a patient’s eyes by scrutinizing grainy images before discussing her findings with colleagues and writing up a report. Artificial intelligence software currently being tested by the hospital helps her do all that dramatically faster.

“Now, you don’t even need a minute,” she said.

The software has been developed by VoxelCloud, a start-up has raised about $28.5 million from companies including Tencent and the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. It specializes in automated medical image analysis, helping eye doctors like Dr. Yu screen patients for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among China’s working-age population.

There are just 20 eye doctors for every million people here, a third of the proportion in the United States. In April, Beijing announced an ambitious plan for the country’s 110 million diabetics to undergo eye tests.

“It’s impossible for one person to read that many images,” said Dr. Yu.

Ding Xiaowei, whose grandparents were doctors, founded VoxelCloud in 2016, three months after completing his doctorate in computer science at U.C.L.A. The company, which has offices in Los Angeles and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Suzhou, is awaiting the green light from China’s version of the F.D.A. for five diagnostic tools for CT scans and retina disease.

The sheer size of China’s population — nearly 1.4 billion people who could provide a vast number of images to feed into their systems — provides a potential advantage for the development of artificial intelligence. Also helping: China has fewer concerns about privacy, allowing for easier collection of data that could result in smarter and more efficient A.I. systems. Regulation here isn’t as strict as in the United States, either.

In all, more than 130 companies are applying A.I. in ways that could increase the efficiency of China’s health care system, according to Yiou Intelligence, an industry consultancy based in Beijing. They range from behemoths like Alibaba and Tencent to domestic champions iFlyTek, which invented a robot that passed a Chinese medical licensing exam, and an array of smaller start-ups.

Money is flowing in. As of last August, venture capitalists such as Sequoia and Matrix Partners had invested at least $2.7 billion in such businesses, according to Yiou. Analysts at Bernstein estimated that spending in China’s health tech industry will reach $150 billion by 2020.

Behind this push is a realization that the country’s health care system is in crisis. With no functioning primary care system, patients flock to hospitals in major cities, sometimes camping out overnight just to get treatment for a fever. Doctors are overworked, and reports of stabbings and assaults by frustrated patients and their relatives are not uncommon.

Yunfeng, the personal investment fund of the Alibaba founder Jack Ma, has invested in one company, Yitu, that hopes to address the shortfall of resources. Yitu is working with Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, the best medical facility in eastern Zhejiang province, to develop software that automates the identification of early stages of lung cancer.

While it initially focused on facial recognition, Yitu has branched out into more complex image-recognition challenges, like cancer scans. Lin Chenxi, who left Alibaba to establish the company in 2012, said he hoped to use the technology to ensure equal access to medical treatment across China.

“In China, medical resources are very scarce and unequally distributed so that the top resources are concentrated in provincial capitals,” he said. “With this system, if it can be used at hospitals in rural cities, then it will make the medical experience much better.”

Trying to identify cancer nodes — shifting black-and-white splotches that look something like a Rorschach test — is grueling work, and China’s doctors have far less time and resources than their counterparts in the United States and elsewhere. Gong Xiangyang, the head of the hospital’s radiology department, likened the process to a factory, where burnout and mistakes from overwork can happen.

“We have to deal with a vast amount of medical images everyday,” he said. “So we welcome technology if it can relieve the pressure while boosting efficiency and accuracy.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-02-01  Authors: sui-lee wee, paul mozur, david ryder, getty images
Keywords: news, games, cnbc, companies, united, china, giants, health, amazon, wants, tech, tencent, america, chinas, care, alibaba, doctors, medical, patients, disrupt


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