French influence thrives on an exotic island in the Indian Ocean

The Republic of Mauritius, located off the east coast of Africa, is full of Indians who speak French. But in informal settings, at home and with friends, most people speak Mauritian Creole. Born during French rule among the majority slave population, the lingua franca remains an integral part of the islanders’ heritage and identity. In 1723 during French rule, a law was passed that required all slaves brought to Mauritius be baptized Catholic. Except for the French gastronomy offered by the high


The Republic of Mauritius, located off the east coast of Africa, is full of Indians who speak French.
But in informal settings, at home and with friends, most people speak Mauritian Creole.
Born during French rule among the majority slave population, the lingua franca remains an integral part of the islanders’ heritage and identity.
In 1723 during French rule, a law was passed that required all slaves brought to Mauritius be baptized Catholic.
Except for the French gastronomy offered by the high
French influence thrives on an exotic island in the Indian Ocean Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: verne maree, lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, islands, french, influence, indian, thrives, ocean, getty, indomauritians, speak, island, exotic, mauritius, english, rule, mauritian


French influence thrives on an exotic island in the Indian Ocean

The Republic of Mauritius, located off the east coast of Africa, is full of Indians who speak French. The story of how it got that way is an intriguing one. Visitors may be surprised at the predominance of French influence on this island state in the Indian Ocean — a destination best known for its powdery beaches, aquamarine lagoons and reefs teeming with marine life. That influence pervades not just the spoken language — be it French or Kreol Morisien, the local dialect — but also the island’s religion, law and architecture.

Aerial view of the Republic of Mauritius. Norbert Figueroa / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

Spoken by 90% of the population, French is a vital element of Mauritian culture. English is the medium of instruction in schools, but French predominates in daily discourse and in the media. For example, just one or two of the 16 pages in the island’s mostly widely read newspaper, L’Express, are in English. Although English is spoken in Parliament, by law French is allowed there too.

How the Indo-Mauritians got here

There are more than 1.26 million people living in Mauritius, and Indo-Mauritians make up 75% of the population. Most of today’s Indo-Mauritians trace their lineage back to the Girmityas, indentured laborers who migrated to work on colonial British sugarcane plantations around the world. Between 1830 and 1924, half a million of them went to Mauritius alone.

Harvesting sugar cane in Mauritius. santosha | E+ | Getty Images

Why Indo-Mauritians speak French

Like many former colonies, Mauritius experienced separate, distinct periods defined by who was in charge: Dutch control from 1664 to 1710, French rule from 1715 to 1796, and finally British rule from 1814 to independence in 1968. Given that the British ruled the island for such a long time, it would be reasonable to expect the English language to dominate. Two reasons explain why it doesn’t: First, when France handed the country over to Britain, in terms dictated by the 1814 Treaty of Paris, the British agreed to respect the language and laws of the inhabitants. Second, Britain regarded the island as too small and insignificant for settlement, so very few English speakers ever settled there.

A traditional creole Sega dance at sunset in Ville Valio, Mauritius. Dmitry_Chulov | iStock Editorial | Getty Images

Hotel manager Pierrot Barbe described himself as a true Mauritian. “I’m a real mix with my mother’s family having come from Tamil Nadu and my father from Madagascar.” A polyglot like most of his fellow countrymen, he prefers to write in English and speak in French. But in informal settings, at home and with friends, most people speak Mauritian Creole. Born during French rule among the majority slave population, the lingua franca remains an integral part of the islanders’ heritage and identity. It’s mainly French-based, said Barbe, although the meanings of some words have shifted. It contains some English words and borrows from African and Southeast Asian languages, too.

Religion and architecture

Around a third of Mauritians are Christians, with 80% of that group identifying as Roman Catholics. In 1723 during French rule, a law was passed that required all slaves brought to Mauritius be baptized Catholic. Later, French doctor and Catholic missionary Jacques Desiré Laval (1803-1864) was said to have converted over 67,000 people; he was beatified in 1979. As a result, churches are ubiquitous. Two stunning Roman Catholic examples are Cap Malheureux’s much-photographed red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Chapel in the north and Mahébourg’s Notre Dame des Anges in the southeast. French colonial houses and public buildings also add lashings of architectural charm to the island. Well worth a visit is Château de Labourdonnais in the north, named for the first French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais. He founded the capital, Port Louis, which boasts two fine examples: Government House and the 26-acre Line Barracks compound. One of the island’s top attractions, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) Botanic Gardens at Pamplemousses, not far from Port Louis, was established by the Lyonnais missionary-turned-entrepreneur, horticulturist and botanist Pierre Poivre (1719-1786). Famous for its variety of tropical plants and its long pond of giant Amazonia lily pads, it is also home to the charming Château de Mon Plaisir.

Giant water lilies in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, Mauritius. Romeo Reidl | Moment | Getty Images

Another architectural jewel is Château des Aubineaux (1872). Located in the south, it is home to a museum dedicated to the history of tea-growing in Mauritius. The chateau proprietors own the flourishing Bois Chéri tea factory, where visitors can take a tour and then taste the renowned black vanilla tea.

What about French cuisine?

Except for the French gastronomy offered by the higher end of the island’s 150-plus hotels and resorts, there is little French influence on modern Mauritian cuisine. Seafood predominates, as do Indian-style curries eaten with rice and breads, particularly the flatbread known as faratas.

An amalgam of laws


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: verne maree, lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, islands, french, influence, indian, thrives, ocean, getty, indomauritians, speak, island, exotic, mauritius, english, rule, mauritian


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Streaming services like Disney+ aren’t likely to make money ‘anytime soon,’ analyst says

The streaming wars got underway last month with the launch of Disney+, the media giant’s subscription service priced at $6.99 a month, a direct competitor to Netflix. But one analyst has warned that these services are unlikely to make money in the next five years, because the amount they will take in subscription fees won’t exceed the sums needed to make new content. According to Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, streaming services will spend an extra $4 billion e


The streaming wars got underway last month with the launch of Disney+, the media giant’s subscription service priced at $6.99 a month, a direct competitor to Netflix.
But one analyst has warned that these services are unlikely to make money in the next five years, because the amount they will take in subscription fees won’t exceed the sums needed to make new content.
According to Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, streaming services will spend an extra $4 billion e
Streaming services like Disney+ aren’t likely to make money ‘anytime soon,’ analyst says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, analyst, report, billion, disney, spending, fees, soon, wieser, arent, money, services, month, subscription, likely, streaming, anytime


Streaming services like Disney+ aren't likely to make money 'anytime soon,' analyst says

The streaming wars got underway last month with the launch of Disney+, the media giant’s subscription service priced at $6.99 a month, a direct competitor to Netflix. Meanwhile, AT&T’s HBO Max and Comcast’s Peacock are set to follow in the coming months.

But one analyst has warned that these services are unlikely to make money in the next five years, because the amount they will take in subscription fees won’t exceed the sums needed to make new content.

According to Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, streaming services will spend an extra $4 billion each a year on content, making a total of $20 billion by 2024, matching the incremental $20 billion in subscription fees GroupM estimates. GroupM is the media-buying arm of ad business WPP.

“There will only be so much money to go around for subscription fees. If consumers continue to increase their spending on all forms of video (which amounted to $140 billion last year for video services, cinema and DVDs) at historical rates through 2024, there will only be an incremental $20 billion in consumer spending available for new services. This is roughly equal to the amount of new spending on content that we estimate,” Wieser said in GroupM’s worldwide media forecast report, published Monday.

“This suggests that financial contributions from these new services will not be net positive anytime soon,” the report stated.

Netflix has already seen the impact of this, with a mixed earnings report in October that showed a beat on earnings but a miss on subscribers. In January, it increased its most popular HD streaming plan from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month and said the price increase was partially to blame for its subscriber miss. It projected 7.6 million additional subscribers for its fourth quarter, versus 8.8 million for the same quarter a year earlier.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-09  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, analyst, report, billion, disney, spending, fees, soon, wieser, arent, money, services, month, subscription, likely, streaming, anytime


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How a former Ecuadorian politician and soccer manager is now revamping a WPP ad agency

Gaining a reputation for being creative is also a way for ad groups to charge more. When WPP-owned agency Grey Europe needed a new chief executive, it moved its Latin American chief executive Eduardo Maruri over to London in December 2018. One of the first things Maruri did at Grey was bring the group’s creative heads together. Since then he’s hired Javier Campopiano, the ad exec behind “It’s a Tide Ad,” the award-winning campaign for Procter & Gamble’s flagship detergent brand, as chief creativ


Gaining a reputation for being creative is also a way for ad groups to charge more.
When WPP-owned agency Grey Europe needed a new chief executive, it moved its Latin American chief executive Eduardo Maruri over to London in December 2018.
One of the first things Maruri did at Grey was bring the group’s creative heads together.
Since then he’s hired Javier Campopiano, the ad exec behind “It’s a Tide Ad,” the award-winning campaign for Procter & Gamble’s flagship detergent brand, as chief creativ
How a former Ecuadorian politician and soccer manager is now revamping a WPP ad agency Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-04  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chief, president, ecuadorian, grey, soccer, maruri, think, politician, team, groups, agency, way, creative, revamping, manager, wpp


How a former Ecuadorian politician and soccer manager is now revamping a WPP ad agency

It’s no secret that ad agency groups are having a hard time: It’s a world where clients expect more efficient marketing, squeeze their agencies on fees and are even setting up their own internal marketing teams. Ad giant Publicis posted poor third-quarter results in October and while Interpublic upped its third-quarter profit, U.S. sales were down. American media giant Omnicom fell short of Wall Street quarterly estimates. U.K.-listed WPP, meanwhile, posted a higher operating income for its third-quarter, but reiterated an expected drop of between 1.5% and 2% in its full fiscal year. One way that agency groups think they can win the battle for marketers’ money is by placing a renewed focus on the most imaginative and memorable ad campaigns, especially when many consumers are expressing frustration with advertising, particularly online. Gaining a reputation for being creative is also a way for ad groups to charge more. When WPP-owned agency Grey Europe needed a new chief executive, it moved its Latin American chief executive Eduardo Maruri over to London in December 2018. He had previously turned around his own Ecuador-based agency, Maruri Publicidad, winning the country’s first award at the prestigious Cannes Lions event in 2012. One of the first things Maruri did at Grey was bring the group’s creative heads together. “I said, this is very simple business … I made an analogy: if you are an actor, and you’re a famous actor because you do good work and you win Oscars and Baftas, you get more calls, people will call you and you can charge more.” Since then he’s hired Javier Campopiano, the ad exec behind “It’s a Tide Ad,” the award-winning campaign for Procter & Gamble’s flagship detergent brand, as chief creative officer of Grey Europe. The company has also poached high-profile creative teams from rival agencies, although last month Grey London’s Creative Chairman Adrian Rossi stepped down from his role after less than a year. Procter & Gamble has one of the world’s largest ad budgets and works with Grey Europe on commercials for its Gillette, Braun and Herbal Essences brands — Grey was behind Gillette’s much discussed “The best men can be” commercial.

In 2018, Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard criticized agencies for wasting time and money on “excess management, buildings and overhead.” Maruri believes the observations have merit. “I think we need people like Pritchard. He said something that I always remember, he said: ‘Your complexity is not our problem.’ It’s true. I think sometimes we have created these structures, complex structures around the clients, which they have to pay for and then not necessarily every single part of the structure is adding value.” Maruri had more to bring to Grey than imagination, having done two things that are not on an ad exec’s regular path: managed Ecuador’s popular Barcelona Sporting Club soccer team and been a politician who considered running for the country’s president.

Political ambition

In 2004, Maruri was elected as the youngest president of the Chamber of Commerce for the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil. In April that year, he was part of a group of opposition delegates who met to discuss taking action against Ecuador’s corrupt president, Lucio Gutierrez. Maruri described a situation in which gunshots were fired outside the presidential palace as vice-president Alfredo Palacio was being held by the military. After a campaign led by Guayaquil’s mayor, Palacio was eventually released and became president. By the time his term ended in 2007, Maruri had gained popularity and considered running for the presidency himself but realized he ultimately didn’t have enough congressional or military support. Maruri thanks his time in politics for helping him in business. “I think (I learnt) … a little bit of both freshness and trying to separate myself from the rest … how do you make yourself different. It’s all about relevance,” Maruri told CNBC. He’s taken that experience to Grey, he said. “I try to be different because I bring more creative ambition.” Instead of running for president of Ecuador, he took over the management of Guayaquil-based soccer team Barcelona SC, historically the country’s most successful club. But in 2007, it was in the doldrums, not having won a national title for a decade. Maruri was president of the team for four years but was unable to turn the club’s fortunes around. Such were the passions of Barcelona’s fans that his family received death threats, and in 2010 he resigned. “Sports is a bit of a trap in the sense that it is something that’s not up to you, it’s a game. So, the ball goes in or it doesn’t go in. If it goes in, you’re a hero, if it doesn’t, you’re not a hero,” he said. “Politics could be also very deceiving in a way that makes you think you are this powerful person … And then when I went to Barcelona, it was a very humbling experience to learn … about failure in a big way.” After leaving the soccer team, Maruri went back to advertising, taking an executive MBA at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership to kickstart his own ad agency.

Creative challenge


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-04  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chief, president, ecuadorian, grey, soccer, maruri, think, politician, team, groups, agency, way, creative, revamping, manager, wpp


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Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed holiday decorations, bottle openers and fridge magnets

Amazon has removed a selection of items that displayed images of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. The products’ removal followed a tweet on Sunday from Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial, the museum that preserves the site of the former German Nazi concentration camp. The tweet stated: “Selling ‘Christmas ornaments’ with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. An Amazon spokesperson said the products had been removed, in a statement emailed to CNBC. In 2018, Amazon removed products


Amazon has removed a selection of items that displayed images of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.
The products’ removal followed a tweet on Sunday from Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial, the museum that preserves the site of the former German Nazi concentration camp.
The tweet stated: “Selling ‘Christmas ornaments’ with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate.
An Amazon spokesperson said the products had been removed, in a statement emailed to CNBC.
In 2018, Amazon removed products
Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed holiday decorations, bottle openers and fridge magnets Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, spokesperson, auschwitz, products, selling, removes, concentration, stated, amazon, fridge, openers, decorations, holiday, auschwitzthemed, bottle, items, nazi, removed, magnets


Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed holiday decorations, bottle openers and fridge magnets

Amazon has removed a selection of items that displayed images of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.

The products’ removal followed a tweet on Sunday from Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial, the museum that preserves the site of the former German Nazi concentration camp. The tweet stated: “Selling ‘Christmas ornaments’ with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate. Auschwitz on a bottle opener is rather disturbing and disrespectful. We ask @amazon to remove the items of those suppliers.”

The account later tweeted that the items had been removed.

Merchandise also included a bottle opener, key ring and mouse mat that appeared to depict the concentration camp, according to screen shots posted by the Auschwitz Memorial. One of the Christmas tree decorations showed a picture of Auschwitz and the description stated: “The ideal city souvenir to commemorate and share the cities you have visited.” The items were listed by a third-party seller.

More than a million mainly Jewish people are thought to have died at Auschwitz during World War II.

An Amazon spokesperson said the products had been removed, in a statement emailed to CNBC. “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account,” the spokesperson added.

Amazon prohibits the sale of “products related to human tragedies and natural disasters,” according to its offensive products policy. The policy does not apply to books, music, videos or DVDs.

In 2018, Amazon removed products including an infant onesie with a burning-cross image and jewelry showing Nazi swastikas after pressure from the Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race and the Economy.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, spokesperson, auschwitz, products, selling, removes, concentration, stated, amazon, fridge, openers, decorations, holiday, auschwitzthemed, bottle, items, nazi, removed, magnets


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Big brands troll Elon Musk’s Cybertruck with their own versions on Twitter

Brands including Lego and Pepsi have taken to Twitter to mock Tesla’s Cybertruck — the ‘bulletproof’ electric pickup truck whose windows were smashed by a metal ball at its launch last week. Toy company Lego tweeted on Wednesday: “The evolution of the truck is here. The launch of Tesla’s Cybertruck attracted worldwide headlines when Musk claimed it was “bulletproof” against a 9mm handgun at a promotional event in Los Angeles last Thursday. But when Tesla’s chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen thr


Brands including Lego and Pepsi have taken to Twitter to mock Tesla’s Cybertruck — the ‘bulletproof’ electric pickup truck whose windows were smashed by a metal ball at its launch last week.
Toy company Lego tweeted on Wednesday: “The evolution of the truck is here.
The launch of Tesla’s Cybertruck attracted worldwide headlines when Musk claimed it was “bulletproof” against a 9mm handgun at a promotional event in Los Angeles last Thursday.
But when Tesla’s chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen thr
Big brands troll Elon Musk’s Cybertruck with their own versions on Twitter Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-28  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, lego, ball, launch, tweeted, truck, versions, windows, twitter, brands, musk, elon, teslas, big, troll, cybertruck, musks


Big brands troll Elon Musk's Cybertruck with their own versions on Twitter

Brands including Lego and Pepsi have taken to Twitter to mock Tesla’s Cybertruck — the ‘bulletproof’ electric pickup truck whose windows were smashed by a metal ball at its launch last week.

Toy company Lego tweeted on Wednesday: “The evolution of the truck is here. Guaranteed shatterproof,” with a picture of a pale-colored piece of Lego on wheels.

Lego’s post has been retweeted more than 21,000 times.

Pepsi did its own version, picturing a ball of paper hitting a cola can with the caption “Demo day,” shortly after Cybertruck’s launch.

Fast-food chain Denny’s also jumped on the trend, tweeting “Revealed our Dynertruck the same day as the Cybertruck… smh.” SMH stands for “shaking my head.”

Meanwhile, the Dubai Police tweeted a picture of Cybertruck with its own branding on Tuesday.

The launch of Tesla’s Cybertruck attracted worldwide headlines when Musk claimed it was “bulletproof” against a 9mm handgun at a promotional event in Los Angeles last Thursday. But when Tesla’s chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen threw a metal ball at two of its windows, they both shattered.

“Oh my f—— God,” Musk exclaimed after it first happened.

Tesla also released a video showing the Cybertruck towing a Ford FF-150 pickup, which inspired Ford X vice president Sundeep Madra to tweet Musk, challenging the two vehicles to a tug-of-war contest. “Bring it on,” Musk replied on Monday.

The pickup’s launch also inspired Dbrand, a Canadian company that makes skins and cases for phones and laptops, to offer printed wraps for the Cybertruck, including camouflage, wood and leather-look options.

Production of the Cybertruck begins in 2021 and Musk has claimed on Twitter to have had 250,000 pre-orders. People pay $100 to apply for an order, but they are not considered official deposits for the vehicle, which has a $39,900 starting price.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-28  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, lego, ball, launch, tweeted, truck, versions, windows, twitter, brands, musk, elon, teslas, big, troll, cybertruck, musks


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Netflix takes over New York’s iconic Paris theater for movie screenings

Streaming giant Netflix has taken over the lease of New York movie theater The Paris, after the venue closed its doors in August. Netflix screened its movie “Marriage Story” at The Paris earlier this month, and on Monday announced a lease agreement to keep the theater open. It will use the theater for special events, screenings and theatrical releases of its film, the company said in an online statement. The Paris was opened in 1948 in a ceremony where Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon, and origin


Streaming giant Netflix has taken over the lease of New York movie theater The Paris, after the venue closed its doors in August.
Netflix screened its movie “Marriage Story” at The Paris earlier this month, and on Monday announced a lease agreement to keep the theater open.
It will use the theater for special events, screenings and theatrical releases of its film, the company said in an online statement.
The Paris was opened in 1948 in a ceremony where Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon, and origin
Netflix takes over New York’s iconic Paris theater for movie screenings Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-26  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, streaming, york, film, movie, paris, netflix, lease, takes, theatrical, theater, movies, screenings, yorks, iconic


Netflix takes over New York's iconic Paris theater for movie screenings

Streaming giant Netflix has taken over the lease of New York movie theater The Paris, after the venue closed its doors in August.

Netflix screened its movie “Marriage Story” at The Paris earlier this month, and on Monday announced a lease agreement to keep the theater open.

It will use the theater for special events, screenings and theatrical releases of its film, the company said in an online statement.

“After 71 years, the Paris Theatre has an enduring legacy, and remains the destination for a one-of-a kind movie-going experience,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “We are incredibly proud to preserve this historic New York institution so it can continue to be a cinematic home for film lovers.”

The Paris was opened in 1948 in a ceremony where Marlene Dietrich cut the ribbon, and originally showed French movies. It closed in August 2019 after a run of “Pavarotti,” a Ron Howard title. Terms of the Netflix lease were not disclosed.

“Marriage Story” stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a divorcing couple and will be released online on Netflix December 6. It is being shown at The Paris as well as in some movie theaters across the U.S. and U.K.

Netflix has previously attracted criticism for inclusion in awards ceremonies such as the Oscars, with director Steven Spielberg arguing that the company produces TV movies. But some Netflix movies now have theatrical releases, including the forthcoming films “The Two Popes,” about the relationship between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, and “I Lost My Body,” an animated film about a hand that escapes from a dissection lab.

Wells Fargo downgraded Netflix on Monday, saying the cost for it to acquire new users would be “more expensive that investors realize.” Earlier this month, Credit Suisse said the launch of streaming service Disney+ had “little to no impact” based on app downloads and Google search analysis. Netflix stock is up 17.9% year-to-date.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-26  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, streaming, york, film, movie, paris, netflix, lease, takes, theatrical, theater, movies, screenings, yorks, iconic


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King co-founder Riccardo Zacconi says Facebook nearly crushed his company

Riccardo Zacconi is the multimillionaire co-founder and former CEO of gaming business King, the company that was sold to Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion in 2016. But in the early days, King struggled after Facebook first opened up to games developers, Zacconi told CNBC’s “The Brave Ones.” “2009 is the year when (King rival) Zynga launched a game, which became incredibly popular, called ‘Farmville’. The company launched “Candy Crush” on Facebook in 2012, a game designed by King co-founder Se


Riccardo Zacconi is the multimillionaire co-founder and former CEO of gaming business King, the company that was sold to Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion in 2016.
But in the early days, King struggled after Facebook first opened up to games developers, Zacconi told CNBC’s “The Brave Ones.”
“2009 is the year when (King rival) Zynga launched a game, which became incredibly popular, called ‘Farmville’.
The company launched “Candy Crush” on Facebook in 2012, a game designed by King co-founder Se
King co-founder Riccardo Zacconi says Facebook nearly crushed his company Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-26  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, game, cofounder, launched, crush, riccardo, mobile, facebook, zacconi, crushed, company, games, king, nearly, zynga, candy


King co-founder Riccardo Zacconi says Facebook nearly crushed his company

Riccardo Zacconi is the multimillionaire co-founder and former CEO of gaming business King, the company that was sold to Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion in 2016.

Much of King’s success was due to “Candy Crush Saga,” currently the top grossing mobile iOS games app in the U.S., according to data from App Annie.

But in the early days, King struggled after Facebook first opened up to games developers, Zacconi told CNBC’s “The Brave Ones.”

“2009 is the year when (King rival) Zynga launched a game, which became incredibly popular, called ‘Farmville’. And that’s the year where Facebook also started growing massively. And so, between April of 2009, and a year later, Facebook impacted one of our biggest partners, Yahoo in an incredible way. We were the key partner of Yahoo and games,” he said.

Zacconi described that period as “the most stressful time in my life,” as he had to manage the expectations of investors and the board, as well as employees.

“Still we are profitable. Still we are OK, because we have loyal players who will stick with us,” Zacconi would tell people. “But we’re losing players and the revenues are slowly going down, and it’s only a matter of time that we need to crack Facebook, or we will be out of business,” he said.

The company launched “Candy Crush” on Facebook in 2012, a game designed by King co-founder Sebastian Knutsson. But a competing game, “Bubble Safari,” by rival Zynga, was still getting more traction than “Candy Crush.”

“But at some point after we launched, ‘Candy Crush’ actually flattened out on Facebook, because one of our biggest competitors, Zynga, who was much bigger than us launched (‘Bubble Safari’) a competitive game to one of our strongest games at the time, ‘Bubble Witch’, which was stronger than ‘Candy Crush’, and really hit us hard. For the first time, we saw our users going down, and our revenues going down,” he said.

It wasn’t until King launched “Candy Crush” on mobile that the number of users soared. King had designed the game to be accessible across multiple platforms, which meant that players could jump into the game seamlessly between their desktops and mobile devices. And it was this cross-platform strategy that fueled the game’s success.

“We launched the (mobile) game in November 2012. And by the end of the month, the game … skyrocketed. I never experienced anything like that my whole life,” Zacconi.

“We had a board meeting in October of 2012 where we defined the plan, and the budget for the entire following year, 2013. And by the end of November, we had already achieved the entire plan for the following year,” Zacconi said.

Zacconi stepped down as CEO of King in May to become its chairman.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-26  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, game, cofounder, launched, crush, riccardo, mobile, facebook, zacconi, crushed, company, games, king, nearly, zynga, candy


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Traveling alone to Las Vegas: Visiting the Strip and Fremont Street

Eighty percent of Las Vegas tourists are from the U.S. bluejayphoto | iStock | Getty ImagesAnd among the crowds, it can be lonely — but it’s not all bad. Downtown Vegas and Fremont StreetI wanted to check out downtown Vegas, the original gambling district north of the Strip, which people had described to me with adjectives ranging from “alternative” to “dangerous.” The Golden Nugget (left) on Las Vegas’ famous Fremont Street. Street performers pose with tourists on the sidewalk at the Fremont St


Eighty percent of Las Vegas tourists are from the U.S. bluejayphoto | iStock | Getty ImagesAnd among the crowds, it can be lonely — but it’s not all bad.
Downtown Vegas and Fremont StreetI wanted to check out downtown Vegas, the original gambling district north of the Strip, which people had described to me with adjectives ranging from “alternative” to “dangerous.”
The Golden Nugget (left) on Las Vegas’ famous Fremont Street.
Street performers pose with tourists on the sidewalk at the Fremont St
Traveling alone to Las Vegas: Visiting the Strip and Fremont Street Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-22  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, visiting, traveling, downtown, tropicana, las, street, tourists, strip, getty, vegas, fremont, place


Traveling alone to Las Vegas: Visiting the Strip and Fremont Street

Las Vegas isn’t the first place you’d think of to go on vacation alone. But earlier this year after a conference at one of the giant hotels on the Strip, I was curious to see Sin City through fresh eyes and decided to stay five more days — by myself. Being alone in an adults’ playground was a strange experience, but it made me see it from an entirely different perspective. Traveling as a solo, British woman made me an anomaly in Vegas, where most tourists are Americans visiting in pairs or more — in 2018, the average group size was 2.2, and 80% were from the U.S., according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Eighty percent of Las Vegas tourists are from the U.S. bluejayphoto | iStock | Getty Images

And among the crowds, it can be lonely — but it’s not all bad. Vegas drivers didn’t seem to think it was strange that I was traveling alone, but I found some workers regarded me with slight hostility. At my downtown hotel, staff asked me to “scooch off” a pool lounge chair and pushed me to order cocktails. I didn’t feel comfortable eating at hotel buffets or sitting at a bar alone — but being alone made me seek out off-the-wall activities, the kind of undiscovered things I might not find if I was part of a regular tourist couple.

From ritzy to rundown

After a few days holed up in a convention center, I was keen to get outdoors. I went for a run along Tropicana Avenue, the highway that goes to the airport from the southern part of the Strip. Getting to Tropicana Avenue from my hotel proved tricky, because I had to run up and down several escalators and along pedestrian bridges, past slow-moving tourists and people taking photos. I know — running along the sidewalk next to an eight-lane highway is an odd thing to do, but it was a good way to see the Strip from another angle, and I wasn’t the only person running that day.

The less glitzy side of Vegas, as seen from Tropicana Avenue. CNBC

Vegas looked strangely small and insignificant, even from only a mile down the highway, and the landscape quickly turned from high-rise buildings to vast areas of derelict land scattered with parking lots and the odd motel, a big contrast to the glitz of the Strip. I found a branch of Einstein Bros. Bagels, a chain we don’t have in the U.K., and it turned out to be a great place to sit outside in the sunshine and watch planes take off from McCarran International Airport. Walking back along Tropicana, I spoke to a pilot who was walking to his hotel from the airport’s private jet terminal. Traveling on foot from the airport must be unheard of in Vegas, but it turns out the private terminal is only a 15-minute walk to the Strip.

Downtown Vegas and Fremont Street

I wanted to check out downtown Vegas, the original gambling district north of the Strip, which people had described to me with adjectives ranging from “alternative” to “dangerous.” Jumping in an Uber Pool, I briefly shared the ride with two women who went about a half mile to a taco place, and the driver asked where I was from. “London,” I said. “How’s the weather in the U.K.?” “Rainy,” was my obvious answer. Our chat turned into one of several similar conversations I had with drivers, many of whom had moved to Vegas from other parts of the U.S. in search of a better life for their young families. Surprisingly, no one asked me about Brexit, and they rarely mentioned U.S. politics (in contrast to several Californians I met while hiking in Utah a week later, who were fascinated by Brexit and divided over Trump).

The Golden Nugget (left) on Las Vegas’ famous Fremont Street. anouchka | iStock Unreleased | Getty Images

Downtown is famous for the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian area lined with neon-lit hotels and casinos, a much more laid back and traditional version of Vegas. I wandered along, marveling at sights such as the Heart Attack Grill, where people over 350 pounds eat free — there’s a scale outside the restaurant — and diners wear hospital-style gowns. Further down the street, I saw a guy holding a piece of cardboard that said, “I just need a joint.” I admired giant slushy cocktails served in foot-long plastic glasses (everything in Vegas seems huge when you’re from Britain). It was edgier than the Strip, but it didn’t feel dangerous. Fremont Street was entertaining for a while, but it still felt pretty mainstream. If I’d been in a group, I might have checked out one of the steak, taco or shrimp places, but being alone made me curious to explore further afield.

Street performers pose with tourists on the sidewalk at the Fremont Street Experience. Bouillante | iStock Unreleased | Getty Images

Walking away from the frenzy, I found coffeehouse PublicUs about six blocks east. It was so quiet on the street I could stand in the middle of the highway and take a selfie, but inside it was packed. Compared to the fancy, carpeted restaurants elsewhere in Vegas where eating solo might attract looks, PublicUs was the kind of place I could blend into over coffee. Other places I found close to downtown included Vesta Coffee Roasters and Sin City Yoga, a friendly studio where one of the class participants brought his dog, and people chatted easily to each other — a rarity in the U.K., where people are more shy. There’s also a free bus that goes past most of the sights and ends up at Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, a mall where stores like Coach, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors sell goods at major discounts. It’s a place to get away from Vegas crowds; at 7 p.m. on a Friday night it was almost empty, as people headed to dinner or a show.

Expos and XXX on offer

Vegas hosts more than 5 million people a year at conventions like the International Pizza Expo and World of Concrete 2020, which are obviously not aimed at tourists. But scouring an events website, I found a listing for the Cannabis Wedding Expo, held in a building across the street from Bank of America’s downtown office. I’m not a smoker, nor am I planning a wedding, but where else in the world could I educate myself on combining both? Inside, I found stands advertising “budtenders,” a cannabis sommelier and chocolates that could be infused with THC, the psychoactive part of the plant. Expo founder and CEO Philip Wolf has held wedding fairs in other U.S. cities, but he told me that Vegas was the most difficult place for him to secure a venue, even though Nevada legalized recreational cannabis use in 2017 (no marijuana was permitted on site at Wolf’s event).

An Elvis Presley impersonator examines a cannabis flower in downtown Las Vegas. Bryan Steffy | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-22  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, visiting, traveling, downtown, tropicana, las, street, tourists, strip, getty, vegas, fremont, place


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TikTok’s owner ByteDance just beat Tencent and Baidu in digital ad revenue

Alibaba took 33% of digital media spend for the first half of the year, or 72.1 billion yuan. Baidu made up 17%, or 36.9 billion of digital media spend for the first half of 2019, followed by Tencent, with 14% or 29.8 billion yuan. Digital media is set to make up 63% of Chinese ad spend for the whole of 2019, a 2.2 percentage point increase on 2018, R3 estimated. By comparison, digital media is expected to make up 52.7% of global ad spend this year, per a May estimate by WARC. TV ad spend in Chi


Alibaba took 33% of digital media spend for the first half of the year, or 72.1 billion yuan.
Baidu made up 17%, or 36.9 billion of digital media spend for the first half of 2019, followed by Tencent, with 14% or 29.8 billion yuan.
Digital media is set to make up 63% of Chinese ad spend for the whole of 2019, a 2.2 percentage point increase on 2018, R3 estimated.
By comparison, digital media is expected to make up 52.7% of global ad spend this year, per a May estimate by WARC.
TV ad spend in Chi
TikTok’s owner ByteDance just beat Tencent and Baidu in digital ad revenue Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-19  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, baidu, rate, inflation, tencent, tiktoks, billion, bytedance, spend, digital, beat, chinese, media, revenue, half, owner


TikTok's owner ByteDance just beat Tencent and Baidu in digital ad revenue

ByteDance, owner of video-sharing app TikTok, took a larger chunk of the digital advertising market than fellow Chinese companies Tencent and Baidu during the first half of 2019.

ByteDance has overtaken Baidu to become the second-largest digital ad player in China, taking 23% of all digital media spend in the first half of the year, equivalent to 50 billion yuan ($7 billion), according to a report by consultancy R3. The consultancy described this as “extraordinary growth.”

Alibaba took 33% of digital media spend for the first half of the year, or 72.1 billion yuan.

Baidu made up 17%, or 36.9 billion of digital media spend for the first half of 2019, followed by Tencent, with 14% or 29.8 billion yuan.

Ad revenue for ByteDance grew 113% for the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year, with most of the growth coming from from TikTok’s Chinese equivalent Douyin and ByteDance-owned news app Jinri Toutiao.

Digital media is set to make up 63% of Chinese ad spend for the whole of 2019, a 2.2 percentage point increase on 2018, R3 estimated. By comparison, digital media is expected to make up 52.7% of global ad spend this year, per a May estimate by WARC. TV ad spend in China is set to go down to 23% this year, from 25% in 2018.

R3 expects Douyin and Toutiao as well as Sohu News to see inflation in their digital media rate cards of 10% in 2020 — a rate card refers to the advertised price a media outlet charges for ad placements on their site or app and is usually used as a starting point for price negotiations. It expects Tencent News to see an 8% inflation. This contrasts with an average inflation rate in China of just over 2.5% currently.

TikTok is popular with American teens, but it is in the early stages of making money from ads. Globally, ByteDance’s apps have 1.5 billion monthly active users, the company said in July.

ByteDance was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Zhang Yiming and is now reportedly worth $75 billion, making most of its money via advertising. It was loss-making in the first half of the year, but turned a profit in June, according to a Reuters report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-19  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, baidu, rate, inflation, tencent, tiktoks, billion, bytedance, spend, digital, beat, chinese, media, revenue, half, owner


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A start-up is planning an underground network of tunnels in the UK to deliver more than 600 million packages a year

British start-up Magway is planning an alternative to traditional above-ground truck deliveries and wants to build narrow tunnels and tracks that could run underground next to freeways and under cities in the U.K., carrying parcels and groceries. Freight pods and track designed by Magway, part of a proposed underground network of delivery tunnels in the UK. London had an underground “mail rail” system that was built in 1927, with a capacity of more than 4 million letters a day. The company has r


British start-up Magway is planning an alternative to traditional above-ground truck deliveries and wants to build narrow tunnels and tracks that could run underground next to freeways and under cities in the U.K., carrying parcels and groceries.
Freight pods and track designed by Magway, part of a proposed underground network of delivery tunnels in the UK.
London had an underground “mail rail” system that was built in 1927, with a capacity of more than 4 million letters a day.
The company has r
A start-up is planning an underground network of tunnels in the UK to deliver more than 600 million packages a year Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-14  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, network, underground, deliver, london, tunnels, planning, packages, million, delivery, run, startup, transport, magway, 600


A start-up is planning an underground network of tunnels in the UK to deliver more than 600 million packages a year

Magway’s proposed pipe network would run alongside freeways, transporting goods underground Magway | Lightfield London

The days of staying at home waiting for a delivery could be numbered with plans afoot for a subterranean network of tunnels in the U.K. that could transport as many as 600 million parcels a year to London alone. British start-up Magway is planning an alternative to traditional above-ground truck deliveries and wants to build narrow tunnels and tracks that could run underground next to freeways and under cities in the U.K., carrying parcels and groceries. Magway hopes to build a series of pipes, less than 1 meter wide, that could transport items in pods that would travel along a track powered by a magnetic motor, connecting distribution centers to retail outlets and consumers. Its small tunnels are similar in design to the underground pipes already used by water, gas and electricity companies, and Magway co-founder and Commercial Director Phill Davies said it could also redeploy existing pipes, in a phone interview with CNBC. The first planned route would run from Hatfield, north of London, to Park Royal, a suburb in west London, a distance of about 20 miles (32 kilometers) that takes around 45 minutes to drive in light traffic. This compares to about 40 minutes for a parcel traveling via Magway over the same distance, with 31 miles per hour the optimum speed for the system and less than half a second between freight pods.

Freight pods and track designed by Magway, part of a proposed underground network of delivery tunnels in the UK. Magway | Lightfield London

Davies said the initial Hatfield-Park Royal route could be operational in about three years’ time. An extended route, running about 50 miles from Milton Keynes to London, would have the capacity to transport more than 600 million parcels a year, Magway said in an online release. The development comes as the shipping and transport industries are in flux, with companies jostling to speed up delivery times and create more sustainable ways to get around. Air pollution is expected to cause 2.4 million new cases of illness in England by 2035 according to the country’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, while traffic jams cost the U.K. $10.3 billion in 2018, per data from analyst Inrix. In the U.S. the figure reached $87 billion. Amazon is building its own fleet of trucks and UPS is exploring new ways to deliver goods such as drones and self-driving trucks in the U.S. Amazon also filed a patent for “Dedicated network delivery systems” that may include “subterranean or aboveground elements” in November 2016, with the filing showing images of packages being transported underground. London had an underground “mail rail” system that was built in 1927, with a capacity of more than 4 million letters a day. It was closed in 2003. Magway is based on linear synchronous magnetic motors, similar to the technology used in roller coasters, and was co-founded by Rupert Cruise, an engineer who has designed linear motor systems for Hyperloop and U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. The company has raised £1.5 million ($1.9 million) since being founded in 2017, a sum it spent on two demonstration projects, and Davies described the technology as “ready to go.” It hopes to raise a further £750,000 to expand its team and file new patents and chose crowdfunding to appeal to consumers who want delivery options that are better for the environment and their health, it said in a statement.

Magway uses magnetic motors to transport goods along underground tracks. Magway | Lightfield London


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-14  Authors: lucy handley
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, network, underground, deliver, london, tunnels, planning, packages, million, delivery, run, startup, transport, magway, 600


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