Tag Archives: google

Russia may slow down internet to punish foreign Internet giants

Many foreign Internet firms avoid decisions of Russian courts and state bodies, bringing up the fact that they work under the laws of the countries in which they are registered. Russia came up with how to terminate this problem. Internet firms found guilty of breaking Russian law could soon see the speeds at which their websites load cut by the Russian authorities.

The idea was arose during discussion of the FAS case against Google. In February 2015, the FAS started an investigation against Google for the complaint from Yandex, which accused Google of performing anti-competitive practices. Russia acknowledged Google guilty of violating the law. Google was fined $7.4 million.

The new restrictions would target corporations which are able to avoid judgments from Russian courts because they are formally registered abroad. The initiative of the new law is in the final stages of approval and is being tested in the presidential administration.

But while mobile operators already have equipment in place to slow Internet speeds, other companies do not. Technically, it is much more complicated to realize than banning, especially for fixed-line operators who have a huge decentralized network. Mobile operators are easier to do this because they already have deep-packet inspection systems: they let consumers to access a part of the site by blocking or slowing down access to others. In case of companies, who don’t have such systems, its installation will need investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These complex and costly efforts would go to waste because users could use tools for avoiding such limitations. Operators are not enthusiastic about the initiative. They report negative impact of introduction of such legislative restrictions: subscribers would blame the crporations for slowing down access to Youtube or Facebook.

Google Launchpad Accelerator expands to Europe and Africa

If you are trying to develop innovative business in the field of IT and telecommunications, your corporate sponsor can now be Google itself. Launched in 2015 Launchpad Accelerator, initially addressed to the countries of Asia and Latin America, is opening up to new territories to include startups from Certain European and African countries. Now, entrepreneurs from these regions can join the 47 graduates and 31 currently participating startups.

There are very few companies that could match the reach and resources of Google, and now these resources can be made available for free to all those who want, through science, to solve real problems of their city, region or country. The program is organized by a global team of Google Developers for startups with a proven history of success in the marketplace, who want to reach the next million users.

The program begins with a two-week training in San Francisco, whose main feature are mentoring sessions with engineers and product managers from 20 Google teams and an international team of external mentors. Participants will receive financial support of $ 50.000, free access to paid Google services and help of local Google teams for six months.

For the new training cycle now there can sign up startups from Central and Eastern Europe – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Africa – Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Of course, Google does not guarantee that it will accept all. On the contrary, the competition may be intense. In the program there also participate startups from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Applications will be accepted until April 24. Training will begin on 17 July. More information can be found on the Launchpad Accelerator website.

“Google tax law” in Russia

IT companies operating on the Russian market have started to pay VAT on the sale of electronic services in the Federation since 1st of January 2017. The rate is 18%. The relevant law, called in Russia “Google tax” was signed by Vladimir Putin at the beginning of July 2016.

The new rules apply to companies offering internet right to use their programs, including computer games and databases, and domains; providing services of advertisements placing; as well as selling electronic versions of books, music, video, etc. This applies, among others, to companies such as: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Uber.

Under the new law, foreign IT companies are becoming VAT payers. For their purpose, the Russian tax authorities will launch this year a special on-line service “Tax office”. It will cover the whole process of taxation from application to the tax office, by making a declaration and control of the settlement by the tax authorities. If any company fails to comply with the new regulations, it will be punished for illegal activity.

Foreign companies had already reacted to the new legislation by increases in prices of their services. The first, at the beginning of December 2016, was the US Google. It informed its Russian clients that file storage service Google Disc would become more expensive due to new tax regulations. Uber moved on its drivers the duty to pay taxes on provided services. The company announced that it does not intend to raise prices because of the new law and its drivers can count on subsequent reimbursement. Nevertheless, some Russian Uber drivers started to give up work. The US startup is trying to catch up the local leader in the market of private transportation, Yandex Taxi. Currently there are in Russia about 3,000 Uber cars, and Yandex Taxi has 15,000 cars. New tax regulations may enlarge this gap.

In the initial version of the Law on VAT for the IT industry, it covered Russian companies too. Yet, it met with great criticism from native industry. The arguments convinced the Kremlin and therefore the law covers only foreign providers of services via Internet. This is to convince Russian IT companies to leave tax havens and register their business in Russia.

Google names new Managing Director for MENA region

Google has revealed that Lino Cattaruzzi has been designated as Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry. Formerly he commanded the Google business in Mexico as Country Director. Beforehand he did that in Argentina too. He also led the global sales strategy team for online media solutions at Google’s headquarters in California, and was responsible for the online sales in Germany, Switzerland and Austria while based out of Dublin.

In his new role in Dubai office, Lino Cattaruzzi will carry on the efforts to let local business partners scale growth online and involve with consumers, as well as support broader digital ecosystem via scalable programs and initiatives. Since Google set up its presence in MENA region 8 years ago, a momentous strains went in successfully enhancing the broad adoption of digital throughout large and small businesses in the Middle East and North Africa.

Google will open a start-up campus in Warsaw

Warsaw Google campus will be designed for developers of technology start-ups. It is scheduled at the end of this year. The Campus is a perfect place for work and meetings for entrepreneurs. Headquarters will be located in the old factory of vodka. The history of the factory is very interesting, a lot of red brick buildings survived the World War II and were built in the nineteenth century. The future Campus is as equally interesting. Construction crews will work on renovation of the complex, including residential buildings, shops and offices.

Launching the Google Campus in Warsaw is one of the Google activities as part of the program to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. Last year, Google started in Krakow the program “Google for Entrepreneurs” and also teamed up with the University of Warsaw, giving the university one million US dollars grant to launch the Digital Economy Lab (DELab) – an interdisciplinary centre, which is intended to support conductions of new technologies in society and the economy. Google hopes that the Warsaw Campus will help in the development of technology businesses, strengthen the ecosystem of start-ups and encourage innovation development in Poland.

Google has been present in Poland since 2006. It currently has three offices, employing nearly 500 people. The Warsaw office employs staff primarily engaged in sales of services, marketing and communications, as well as engineering research and development centre. The office in Wroclaw is one of the largest offices for customer service support in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Krakow office employs nearly 200 engineers, who are complicit in the global technology projects.

Similar campuses Google has already opened in London, Tel Aviv and Seoul. Till the end of the current year, there will also be launched start-up campuses in Madrid and Sao Paulo.