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China blast toll 114, 70 still missing

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Beijing: The toll in the deadly warehouse explosion in China’s Tianjin blasts has escalated to 114 with 70 people still unaccounted for, authorities said on Monday.

A total of 54 bodies have been identified.

China Port Blast_12
Image Source: www.newindianexpress.com

Minute traces of cyanide have been detected in water samples collected near the Tianjin port, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said.

The density of the dangerous chemical was below the normal limit, and will not pose a threat to the marine environment for the time being, Xinhua news agency reported.

Thirteen monitoring sites have been set up in the waters off Tianjin port and a total of 194 samples were collected.

The SOA said it would continue monitoring and release the related information in a timely manner.

Officials with Tianjin bureau of environmental protection said that the roughly 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide that had been stored at the site “remained mostly unaffected”.

Two massive explosions, which occurred in the port city in northern China just before midnight on August 12, have destroyed a large area.

Sodium cyanide at the periphery of the blasts area will be mostly collected and cleared by Monday evening, He Shushan, vice mayor of Tianjin said.

Meanwhile, the industry and information technology ministry ordered local regulators to conduct thorough safety checks on entities that deal with commercial explosives, with a focus on storage and safety regulations.

Any company found to have not corrected any irregularities will be ordered to halt production.

In addition, the ministry said it will “in principle” cease issuing new construction permits for industrial explosives factories.

(IANS)

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India Becomes the Second Largest Smartphone Market After China: Report

India surpasses US to become 2nd largest smartphone market

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Smartphone
The Indian smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level. Pixabay

New Delhi: Riding on Chinese brands, the India smartphone market surpassed the US for the first time on an annual level and this is the latest science and technology news, becoming the second-largest smartphone market after China globally — reaching 158 million shipments in the calender year 2019 with 7 per cent (YoY) growth, a report from Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

While Xiaomi continued to be the top player with 28 per cent market share in the calendar year 2019, Samsung was second with 21 per cent and Vivo at 16 per cent market share, said Counterpoint’s ‘Market Monitor’ service.

Smartphone
India has now become the second-largest smartphone market after China globally. Pixabay

“Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint.

“Chinese brands share hit a record 72 per cent for the year 2019 as compared to 60 per cent share a year ago.

“This year, we have seen all major Chinese players expanding their footprint in offline and online channels to gain market share. For instance, Xiaomi, realme, and OnePlus have increased their offline points of sale while brands like Vivo have expanded their online reach with Z and U series,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst at Counterpoint.

Over the past four years, Xiaomi, Vivo, and OnePlus have grown 15 times, 24 times and 18 per cent, respectively.

“This highlights that OEMs are mature enough to capture next wave of growth and expand their operations in India,” Jain added.

Smartphone
Although the rate of growth for smartphone market hit single digit for the first time ever on an annual basis, India is underpenetrated relative to many other markets with 4G penetration in terms of subscribers being around 55 per cent. Pixabay

Samsung shipments remained almost flat (YoY) while it has shown a 5 per cent (YoY) decline in 2019.

“This is for the first time Samsung transitioned to a completely new portfolio targeting different channels (offline with A series and online with M series). However, it needs to double down its efforts to keep the momentum going,” the report noted.

While the smartphone market registered YoY growth, the feature phone market witnessed a steep decline of nearly 42 per cent YoY in 2019 and 38 per cent (YoY) in Q4 2019.

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“This is due to slowdown in the new shipments from Reliance Jio. However, the players such as itel, Lava, Nokia and Micromax registered positive annual
growth despite the overall segment declined showing the untapped potential of the market,” said the report.

In fact, itel emerged as the number one feature phone brand in Q4 2019, followed by Samsung and Lava. (IANS)