CIO SA tech news round-up: Grocery App Yassir Express launches in Gauteng, Microsoft plans to acquire four percent stake of the London Stock Exchange, Huawei and OPPO sign global patent cross-licensing agreement, and more

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Yassir Express launches in Gauteng

Yassir Express, an on-demand grocery and essentials delivery app, has launched in Gauteng and will soon expand across the province and major cities across the country. Yassir emphasises ease and simplicity, with delivery times of less than 30 minutes as a goal.

Yassir Express provides a one-stop shop for thousands of products ranging from nappies and pharmacy items to pet food, fresh fruit and vegetables, and meat – all of which are delivered directly to customers’ doors in under 30 minutes.

Yassir South Africa general manager Timothy Kiluba notes that Yassir’s meteoric popularity in other African markets, with over eight million users across the continent, has been driven by speed, variety, and affordability.

“Yassir Express is specifically designed for convenience, with a user-friendly and intuitive app that makes grocery shopping easier than ever,” he says.

“Our business model is also unique in that we rely exclusively on dark stores and last-mile delivery. This ensures that our prices remain highly competitive and, most importantly, that we can offer faster and more reliable delivery times with a target of less than 30 minutes from purchase to arrival.

“Our aim is to consistently meet our promise to users, providing a seamless shopping experience that removes all inconvenience or hassle.”

Microsoft plans to acquire four percent stake of the London Stock Exchange

Microsoft will acquire a four percent stake in London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) as part of a 10-year commercial agreement to migrate the exchange operator’s data platform to the cloud, the British company announced on Monday.

As part of the agreement, LSEG has committed to a minimum cloud-related spend of $2.8 billion (R48 billion) with Microsoft over the course of the partnership.

According to Microsoft, the partnership will be built around the digital transformation of LSEG’s technology infrastructure and Refinitiv platforms onto the Microsoft cloud.

“The initial focus will be on delivering interoperability between LSEG Workspace and Microsoft Teams, Excel and PowerPoint with other Microsoft applications and a new version of LSEG’s Workspace,” said Microsoft in a statement.

LSEG purchased Refinitiv for $27 billion (R480 billion) from a consortium led by Blackstone and Thomson Reuters, making the exchange the second largest financial data company after Bloomberg LP.

LSEG said in a statement that it has made "good progress" on its cloud-based data platform delivery programme since the completion of its Refinitiv acquisition in January 2021.

According to the exchange operator, Microsoft will purchase LSEG shares from the Blackstone/Thomson Reuters Consortium. Following the Refinitiv acquisition, Thomson Reuters now owns a minority stake in LSEG. Microsoft’s acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Bahamian authorities arrest FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

According to a statement from the Bahamas government, Samuel Bankman-Fried, the founder of failed crypto exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas this week after US prosecutors filed criminal charges against him.

The arrest was confirmed on Twitter by the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which is investigating Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX and its sister trading firm, Alameda.

“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the US government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY,” wrote US attorney Damian Williams. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had authorised separate charges relating to Bankman-Fried “violations of securities laws”, which will be filed publicly this week, shortly after the SDNY confirmed his arrest.

It’s unclear what charges await the 30-year-old crypto celebrity, after his company went bankrupt due to a liquidity crisis, leaving at least a million depositors unable to access their funds.

According to the New York Times, the charges against FTX’s founder and former CEO include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.

The extradition treaty between the United States and the Bahamas allows US prosecutors to return defendants to American soil if the charges are punishable by at least a year in both jurisdictions.

Huawei and OPPO sign global patent cross-licensing agreement

Huawei and OPPO have announced the signing of a global patent cross-licensing agreement covering essential cellular patents, including 5G.

“After more than 20 years of continuous innovation, Huawei has developed multiple high-value patent portfolios in the global marketplace in domains like 5G, Wi-Fi, and audio/video codecs,” says Alan Fan, head of Huawei's intellectual property department.

“We are delighted to have reached a cross-licensing agreement with OPPO. The mutual recognition of intellectual property value between companies is a major step towards fostering a positive cycle of innovation and research in high-value standards: investing, receiving returns from investment, and then reinvesting. This will enable our industry to keep innovating and provide consumers with more competitive products and services.”

According to Adler Feng, OPPO’s chief intellectual property officer, the company is very pleased to enter into a patent cross-licensing agreement with Huawei. It clearly demonstrates that the two companies recognise and greatly respect the value of each other’s intellectual property. “It is a win-win deal for both sides,” he says.

“We will, as always, advocate for the establishment of a sustainable, healthy intellectual property ecosystem, where intellectual property licences can be resolved through amicable negotiations and every company’s patent value is highly respected.”

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