Flipkart secures a credit line of over Rs450 crore from HDFC Bank; Amazon’s localization of mobile tech boosts demand for its app

Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

What to watch out for

• Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India to fast-track market reforms, ease start-up funding.

• Amazon’s localization of mobile tech boosts demand for its app.

• Flipkart has secured a credit line of over Rs.450 crore from private sector lender HDFC Bank, according to latest documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

* TPG Growth looks to invest in Indian consumer Internet start-ups

Matters of debate

Why Flipkart will be worth its invested capital: If Flipkart and other e-commerce firms in India were to bring operating losses to zero this year, it would be generous to estimate that the revenues will remain flat compared to 2015.

Can Taiwan get back on the tech map? The country is attracting capital from overseas—Sequoia Capital India has inked two deals in Taiwan, Pinkoi and Appier—without a local office. Infinity Ventures from Japan has funded Taiwanese start-up 17App.

What the world is talking about

Fire tablets: Amazon to restore encryption to Fire tablets after complaints after customers and privacy advocates criticized the company for quietly removing the security option when it released its latest operating system. In the interim, however, there are some options for Fire owners.

China’s economy: The economy isn’t headed for a hard landing and isn’t dragging on the global economy, China’s top economic planner said on Sunday, but uncertainty and instability in the global economy do pose a risk to the country’s growth.

Disabilities start-up: Irish start-up Access Earth, a web platform and app that crowdsources data on accessible buildings and locations to help people with disabilities, wants to be a Google Maps for people with disabilities.

Tencent’s winning game strategy: From a chat software developer to an investment holding company and the world’s largest online gaming company by revenues, what Tencent did right.

Startup classroom

• 3 questions to ask yourself before launching a start-up

• The valuable lessons Silicon Valley should learn from Australian start-ups

For the geeks:

Testing Google’s Hands Free payments: Google has a new mobile payment app called Hands Free. Watch the video to see how it works.

Did you know:

• Is China’s Alibaba bigger than Brazil? Six stunning facts about China’s tech market

Why BlackBerry is a hit in Indonesia: While globally, Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp dominates the messaging market with a billion monthly active users, in Indonesia, it’s a different story. BBM has over 55 million monthly active users, BlackBerry said in January, making it the dominant messaging app in Indonesia.

The Previous Week in Review:

Mutual funds sour on start-up investments: Fidelity, BlackRock and other giants cut value of their stakes at faster pace, make fewer new investments.

Flipkart soars: Flipkart becomes one of the largest digital ads platform’s in the country within a year of launch.

Uber, Ola launch rival motorbike-hailing services in India: The competitors go head-to-head to target commuters tired of sitting in their cars in traffic.

Alibaba finance arm in talks to invest in Chinese media group Caixin: Alibaba and its affiliates have been expanding their media empire, investing in everything from film, television and music to video games and news.


Xiaomi Launches 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro With Slimmer Build, Faster Charging

Xiaomi Launches 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro With Slimmer Build, Faster Charging

Xiaomi, besides launching its Redmi Note 3 in India last week, also launched its 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro with USB Type-C in China. The company additionally announced its Mi Box 3 Enhanced Edition media player.

Priced at CNY 149 (roughly Rs. 1,500), the power bank like other Mi Power Bank units sports an aluminium body along with temperature, input overload, short circuit, output overcurrent, and reset protection. It also features chipset protection and nine layers of circuit protection built by Texas Instruments.

The 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro comes with a cable that has USB Type-A connector on one end and a Micro-USB connector on the other. The highlights of the power bank are the inclusion of a Micro-USB Type-C adapter and two-way fast charging technology. It can output power from the Type-A connector and can be charged from the Type-C connector.

The 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro can deliver and draw 12V 1.5A, 9V 2A, or 5V 2A and can charge other smartphone accessories such as Bluetooth headphones, fitness bands and more as well. The company forum posts that, “10,000 Mi Power Bank Pro does support USB Type-C charging and you may charge up your Mi 5 and MacBook.”

The Mi Power Bank Pro is said to be 42 percent thinner compared to the company’s other 10000mAh power banks. The device is rated to go from 0 percent charge to full in 1 hour 50 minutes. Using the power bank, the company says users can charge their Mi Note for 2.5 times, iPhone 6 four times, and the iPad Mini 1.5 times. The 10000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro measures 128.5x75x12.6mm and weighs 223 grams.

As for the Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced Edition, the media player’s highlight is its faster processor over the Mi Box 3, said to be 80 percent faster than the processor inside the standard Mi Box 3. The Mi Box 3 Enhanced Edition comes with an improved cooling system along with a fan. On the connectivity front, the box now has Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 delivering transfer speeds of 300Mbps, along with Bluetooth v4.1. The box is priced at CNY 399 (roughly Rs. 4,100).


Expecting Income Tax Incentives On Bank Deposits: Mukesh Butani

Mr Butani expects the finance minister to announce some changes in the indirect tax regime to usher in GSTFinance Minister Arun Jaitley will focus on three to four broad themes in this year’s budget, says Mukesh Butani, managing partner at BMR Legal. Tax benefit to deal with inflation, rejigging of threshold and slab rates and tax relief on interest earned from bank deposits could be announced in budget, he added.

“There could be some form of incentive for garnering greater degree of deposits in the banking sector. He (Jaitley) could raise the limit on interest deduction on interest from bank is concerned,” Mr Butani told NDTV Profit. (Watch)

According to the current tax laws, if the total interest on bank deposits in a financial year crosses the threshold limit of Rs 10,000, tax deducted at source (TDS) is applied on the interest earned.

In the previous year’s budget, Mr Jaitley had announced the government’s intention to reduce corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next four years. Mr Butani expects the finance minister to outline a roadmap for lowering of corporate tax rate.

“The primary agenda would be how the corporate tax rate would be lowered over the next 4 years, including the phase-out programs for various exemptions.”

Indirect tax

Mr Butani expects the finance minister to announce some changes in the indirect tax regime to usher in GST (goods and services tax).

“In the light of Parliament logjam on GST, people would be wondering what is the finance minister is going to do as far as GST is concerned. Taking away of the central sales tax (CST) will be important signal for the GST,” he said. “The government is well within its realm to carry out the requisite amendments for indirect tax central sales tax levies for seamless credits. That will ease pressure and signal that the central part of GST is concerned, at least seamless credits are available.”

CST is levied on goods in inter-state trade. Under the proposed GST regime, major central and state taxes will get subsumed into GST to bring in a uniform tax regime across the country. In anticipation of implementation of GST, the central sales tax goods was brought down from 4 per cent to 2 per cent in two phases in 2007-2009 but this tax has not yet been fully phased out yet.

Mr Butani also expects the government to address the inverted duty structure issue in some sectors. Under the inverted duty structure, the import duty on the raw material is more than the import duty on the same finished product, a taxation structure the hurts the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing industry.

“You could also very well see, the continuing efforts of successive governments, including this government, to address the inverted duty structure in certain industries in which it is still around,” he said.

Mr Bhutani also expects the finance minister to announce administrative tax reforms to increase the ease of doing business in India and also defer the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) for another year. (Read: 5 facts about GAAR)