Line, Wechat Move To Conquer Europe

Europe’s global role

FC Barcelona, for instance, has a home page on the app where it posts photos that has already drawn more than 8.2 million friends. Line even has a permanent office in Spain, where it counts some 15 million users already. A French version of the mobile app, meanwhile, is to be launched before the end of the year. One of the main selling points for Line, which was launched at the beginning of 2011, is its “stickers” — funny, cartoon-like figures that express emotions in a way deemed far more original and fun than traditional emoticons. On WeChat, users can post figures that move about dancing, blowing kisses or punching the air. Both social networks also supply a selection of “stickers” that users have to pay for. “We’re betting a lot on this new form of communication with stickers,” Sunny Kim, assistant director general of Line Europe and America, told AFP on a trip to Paris. This part of the business represents 30 percent of Line’s overall turnover and in July alone, users bought eight million euros ($10.8 million) worth of stickers. The company makes the rest of its money on the sale of games integrated in the mobile app (50 percent) and from partnerships and products on the side. Line’s logo is green with a conversation bubble inside, and looks remarkably similar to the icon of WeChat, which began in January 2011. Already translated into 19 languages, the social network has 500 million users, including 100 million outside of China, and plans to launch in France towards the end of the year. While Line has Real Madrid, WeChat has enrolled the help of Argentinian football star Lionel Messi, who has become ambassador of the brand and has filmed a commercial for the social network. But WeChat — which belongs to China’s web giant Tencent — is also banking on the huge Chinese diaspora to expand. “The French of Chinese origin or the Canadians of Chinese origin, for instance, are the bridge between China and the rest of the world,” said Renaud Edouard-Baraud, who heads up an Asia consulting branch of the BNP-Paribas bank and advises WeChat.

Europe Warns French Minister over Statement Regarding Roma Community

What better time to engage in another debate on Europeas aglobal rolea, standing and influence in todayas extremely complex, rapidly changing, globalised world? The subject is top of the agenda for European Union (EU) policymakers, business leaders, academics and reporters who love nothing more than indulging in long bouts of hand-wringing over Europeas aloss of influencea and declining presence on the global stage. I stand guilty too, having written extensively about the need for stronger EU engagement with Asia, that Europeans must be more ambitious in their outreach to the rest of the world and the role Europe can play in ensuring better global governance. I havenat changed my mind: Europe has much to offer. Europeas single market attracts goods, investments and people from everywhere. European technology helps the world tackle climate change, urbanisation and other 21st-century challenges, European design excites fashionistas the world over and tourists flock to European cities to enjoy good food, drink and visit exquisite monuments. Europeas asoft powera resonates when it comes to peace-making and reconciliation, trade, aid and the promotion of democracy and the rule of law. And yet. With no army, navy or air force at its command, the EU continues to feel ainferiora on the international stage. Europeas military powers a Britain and France a may still have an appetite for armed interventions but most of the other 26 certainly donat. Significantly, Germany, Europeas most powerful economy and an industrial machine thatas the envy of the planet, has made clear that it is not interested in taking on global responsibilities by responding to international crisis. Newspapers talk about Germany as a reluctant giant, pointing out that foreign policy was not a major issue in the recent elections and that a as one reporter put it a the country seems content to lurk in the shadows. Merkel is fond of saying that Europe must become more competitive as China and other powers rise.

German elections and Europe’s economy: Five things you need to know

Mr Valls said on France Inter radio [fr] on September 24 : ces populations ont des modes de vie extremement differents des notres et qui sont evidemment en confrontation [avec les populations locales]. This community has a way of life that is very different from ours and their way is clearly at odds with the way of life of their neighbors. The statement got plenty of reactions from the francophone community on twitter, some with a hint of sarcasm: C’est les roms qui sont la cause de tous nos malheurs, c’est a cause d’eux qu’il y a plus de 25 % de chomage chez les jeunes en Europe. More Iulia Socea Just a quick comment: the country tags for this article France and Romania are misleading and reinforce, once again, the misperception that prevails across Western EU countries according to which all Roma come from Romania. Roma in Europe live in many other countries (like Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia etc.) and Im sure not all Roma who live in France are Romanian Roma, though I imagine quite a large percentage are. This is not a France vs. Romania problem, and framing the conversation in these terms makes me think were not really looking for creative, constructive discussions on the matter. Rakotomalala Hello Iulia, Thank you for your comment. The reason why Romania was tagged in this article is because French Minister Valls specifically named Romania in his speech. We are as distraught as you are by the rhethoric and the tone used in this debate by some authorities. A more discerning approach to this debate is sorely needed. We thank you for bringing just that to the topic.

Portugal, which has been bailed out once, is expected to face problems if it attempts to return to the bond markets. As a result, bailouts and haircuts are likely to remain on the agenda for Merkel’s third term even as the eurozone enters a recovery phase. IN PHOTOS: Rising to the top The nascent pan-eurozone banking union and other pillars of Europe’s rescue package — like the legal use of the ECB’s pledge to support ailing nations through “outright monetary transactions” — are other issues that will need to be settled. Merkel’s strengthened mandate could also mean a stronger position on fiscal restraint and austerity across Europe. Merkel is convinced, in the longer term, healthier balance sheets will leave the region better off — but in the short term it may mean more cuts. What about the euroskeptics vote? Germany’s euroskeptic party Alternative for Germany — which is opposed to the single currency and wants the country to exit the eurozone — did not get past the 5% threshold required to usher it into the Bundestag, or lower house of Germany’s parliament. It did, however, gain 4.5% of the vote. So, while major anti-euro policy plays are out, noise will increase around Germany’s role in Europe, and any benefits it gets from being in the single currency. How will a third term of Merkel influence the German economy? Merkel’s stewardship of the German economy has been good for the country, but not for all of its citizens. Since she was first elected in 2005, Merkel has steered a steady course, shielding German output from the worst of the financial crisis. This is reflected in upbeat readings for business confidence and a 75% appreciation for the Xetra Dax, the nation’s main bluechip stock index.