Technology 

As bitcoin trading shifts shape, big money stays away

LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin’s value has plunged by three-quarters this year, sending the original and biggest cryptocurrency back to levels not seen before its bubble. And price isn’t the only aspect of trading that has changed. FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo The retail investors behind bitcoin’s dizzying ascent to a record of nearly $20,000 last December have fled, leaving the early adopters and crypto-related firms that traditionally dominated digital coin trading driving exchange…

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Sharp contractors axe 3,000 staff as iPhone sensor output shifts: union

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nearly 3,000 foreign workers subcontracted to Sharp Corp have been laid off in central Japan, a labor union said, as the firm moves production of some sensors for Apple iPhones to a Chinese plant owned by its parent Foxconn. A logo of Sharp Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai The labor union said some of the laid off workers were its members. The union is in Mie Prefecture…

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Technology 

YouTube shifts to make new exclusive shows, movies free to users

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – YouTube plans to make all of its future original programming available to users for free with advertising, as the video streaming unit of Alphabet Inc’s Google seeks a bigger audience for shows and movies that had mostly been restricted to its paid subscribers. The shift in strategy means YouTube Premium will no longer have exclusive access to original programs starting next year,…

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Technology 

Snap’s strategy shifts win over advertisers more than users

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Snap Inc on Tuesday received a vote of confidence from a billionaire investor and reported record revenue from outside North America, factors that helped soften the blow of its first-ever drop in daily users. The social media company said its shift toward a self-serve model for advertisers was paying off and blamed a redesign of its app for denting user numbers. Still, analysts expressed concern that advertisers and users prefer Facebook Inc’s Instagram app over Snapchat. Snap picked up a big backer in Saudi Arabia’s Prince…

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Technology 

SoftBank’s Son to prioritize unicorn hunting as firm shifts focus

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Wednesday he plans to devote the bulk of his time to hunt for technology investments around the world, as part of a major shift in focus at the Japanese tech and telecoms conglomerate. FILE PHOTO: An employee works behind a logo of Softbank Corp at its branch in Tokyo March 2, 2011. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo “I have spent 97 percent of my time on managing the telecoms business and only 3 percent on investing,” Son said. Reversing that…

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Technology 

Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Ant Financial Services Group [ANTFIN.UL],the dominant Chinese fintech company, is shifting its main focus to technology services and away from payments and consumer finance as Beijing’s crackdown on financial risk deepens, four sources with knowledge of the matter said. FILE PHOTO: An employee stands next to the logo of Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/Files The company, which is controlled by the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, plans to accelerate the shift within the…

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