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Tencent gets its game on

The company invests $474 million in Shanda Games, a privately held Chinese developer of online games.

Investments by Alibaba and Tencent Holdings were the main subjects of a quiet international ICT market last week.

It was also very quiet on the home front.

Key local news

* Mediocre interim numbers from Net1 UEPS Technologies, with revenue down 2% and net income down 32.8%.
* A positive trading update from Mustek.
* A negative trading update from Silverbridge Holdings.
* Naspers led an additional $100 million investment in India's online food delivery start-up, Swiggy.
* Net1 UEPS Technologies made an additional 5% investment in Bank Frick & Company, Liechtenstein, thus raising its stake to 35%. The former still has an option, exercisable until 2 October 2019, to acquire an additional 35% interest in Bank Frick.

Key African news

* Zinox Technologies acquired e-commerce powerhouse Konga.
* Nimbus Infrastructure bought a 26.5% stake in Paratus's Namibian operation for N$95 million. Paratus is described as the largest privately owned pan-African telecoms operator and is based in Windhoek.
* The MTN Group plans to raise about $500 million from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business during the first half of the year, fulfilling the terms of a deal struck with the West African nation to settle a record fine.
* The board of the Nigerian Communications Commission has approved two additional infrastructure company licences in order to deepen broadband penetration in the country. The two new Infraco licensees are Zinox Technology for the south-east, and Brinks Integrated Solutions for the north-east.
* Naspers has shut down its online classifieds operation, OLX, in Kenya and Nigeria.

Key international news

Naspers has shut down its online classifieds operation, OLX, in Kenya and Nigeria.

* Aspen Technology acquired Apex Optimisation, a European company specialising in Dynamic Optimisation and Advanced Process Control.
* Capgemini bought LiquidHub, a digital IT firm, for EUR400 million.
* Exponent Private Equity, a UK-based private equity firm, purchased Gartner's CEB Talent Assessment unit for $400 million.
* Identiv purchased 3VR Security, a video technology and data analytics company.
* LogMeIn, a cloud-based provider of phone systems, acquired Jive Communications, in a bid to expand its market position and communications expertise.
* Proofpoint bought Wombat Security Technologies for $225 million in a move that gives the former a foothold in the phishing simulation and security awareness training market.
* Sapiens International purchased Adaptik in a move that will enable the former to provide North American property and casualty carriers with an enhanced platform and improve its competitive position in the North American insurance market.
* The Alibaba Group made a $486 million investment (38%) in Shiji Retail Information Technology Company, a Chinese big data firm focused on hotels and retail.
* Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of the Singtel Group, invested in Attivo Networks, which develops and provides deception solutions for cyber security defence.
* Tencent Holdings made a $474 million investment in Shanda Games, a privately held Chinese developer of online games.
* Warburg Pincus made a $395 million investment (55%) in Fiserv's Lending Solutions business.
* Navico, parent company to the Lowrance, Simrad and B&G brands, and Garmin International have ended a three-year legal dispute relating to sonar and auto-guidance patents.
* Alphabet has merged Nest, which had operated as an independent unit, into its Google hardware group.
* India's anti-trust watchdog has imposed a $21.17 million fine on Google for "search bias" and abuse of its dominant position.
* Excellent quarterly results from DXC Technology and Lumentum.
* Very good quarterly figures from Amtech (back in the black), Coherent, Gartner, Nvidia, Paycom Software, Vocera Communications (back in the black) and Zynga (back in the black).
* Very good year-end numbers from AMS.
* Good quarterly numbers from Axcelis Technologies, Camtek, CDW, ESCO Technologies, IIJ, Imperva (back in the black), j2 Global, Radware (back in the black), TechTarget and Yelp.
* Good year-end numbers from Winbond.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Acxiom, Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, AU Optronics, BCE, Cerner, CSG Systems International, CSRA, ePlus, Fiserv, Monolithic Power Systems, Nuance Communications (back in the black), NXP, ON Semiconductor, Panasonic, RealNetworks (back in the black), SoftBank, T-Mobile USA, Take Two Interactive Software (back in the black), Telus, TTM Technologies, Twitter (back in the black), Unisys (back in the black) and Web.com.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Fabrinet, MagnaChip Semiconductor (but back in the black), Oclaro, Perceptron, Silicon Motion Technology and SMIC.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Akamai, Arrow Electronics, Forrester Research, Inphi, NetEase, ScanSource, Skyworks Solutions, Snap-On, Sophos, VeriSign and Zayo Group, with revenue up but net income down; and from FIS, FormFactor, Presidio, Viacom, Westell (but back in the black) and Xplore Technologies, with revenue down but net income up.
* Quarterly losses from Activision Blizzard, Aerohive Networks, Allot Communications, Apptio, Benchmark Electronics, Black Box, Callidus Software, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Computer Programs & Systems, Diodes, Echelon, eGain, Entegris, Euronet Worldwide, Extreme Networks, FireEye, ForeScout, Fortinet, Glu Mobile, Hortonworks, IEC Electronics, Infinera, Limelight Networks, MACOM Technology Solutions, MAM Software Group, Manhattan Associates, Microchip Technology, MobileIron, NCR, Netgear, Proofpoint, RadiSys, Sierra Wireless, Snap, Spotify, Synaptics, Teradata, Trimble, Ubiquiti Networks, Ultimate Software, USA Technologies, ViaSat, Vishay Intertechnology and Zendesk.
* A full-year loss from Flipkart.
* The appointments of Anthony Jabbour as CEO of Black Knight; Bryan Lewis as CEO of Intellicheck; and Tom Sanzone as vice-chairman of Black Knight (was CEO).
* A planned IPO from Netgear's Arlo security-camera business.
* A planned IPO in Japan from SoftBank's Japanese telecoms unit.

Research results and predictions

Worldwide:
* Worldwide tablet shipments totalled around 46 million units in Q417, according to Digitimes Research.
* Telecoms operators' revenue from IOT will grow to $38 billion in 2020 from 3.8 billion connections, and $400 billion in 2025 from 33 billion connections, according to Huawei.
* Worldwide spending on blockchain services will grow from $1.8 billion in 2018 to $8.1 billion in 2021, achieving a CAGR of 80%, according to IDC.
* The specialised fitness wearables integrated into clothing and ear-based 'hearables' market will grow from an expected 4.5 million units shipped in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, according to Juniper Research.
* The global semiconductor industry posted sales totalling $412.2 billion in 2017, the industry's highest annual sales, and an increase of 21.6% compared to 2016, according to the SIA.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 4.7%
* FTSE100: Down 4.7%
* DAX: Down 5.3%
* NYSE (Dow): Down 5.2%
* S&P 500: Down 5.2%
* Nasdaq: Down 5.1%
* Nikkei225: Down 8.1%
* Hang Seng: Down 9.5%
* Shanghai: Down 9.6%

Look out for

International:
* Softbank taking a stake in Swiss Re.
* The outcome of the discussions between Qualcomm and Broadcom, following the latter's $146 billion bid for the former.
* A possible IPO by BMC Software.

South Africa:
* The possible re-amalgamation of the Department of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, following a recommendation by Research ICT Africa.

Final word

IFICLAIMS has just released its list of 'Top 50 patent assignees of 2017'. Included in the top 20 are, with their 2016 position in brackets:
* 1: IBM (1)
* 2: Samsung Electronics (2)
* 3: Canon (3)
* 4: Intel (6)
* 5: LG Electronics (7)
* 6: Qualcomm (4)
* 7: Google (5)
* 8: Microsoft (8)
* 9: TSMC (9)
* 10: Samsung Display (12)
* 11: Apple (11)
* 12: Sony (10)
* 13: Amazon (14)
* 17: Toshiba (13)
* 18: Ericsson (18)
* 19: Fujitsu (17)
* 20: Huawei (25)

Paul Booth

Paul Booth is an independent commentator who looks for significance in what ICT vendors haven't said.

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