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Steven Spielberg’s Amblin and Chinese E-commerce giant Alibaba Announce Partnership to co-produce Films for Global Audiences

The deal adds to a multibillion-dollar string of Chinese ventures with Hollywood studios to capture more of the profits from China's growing media market

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FILE - Visitors walk past a giant display at the Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, May 27, 2016. VOA

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s media arm announced a partnership Sunday to co-produce films for global audiences.

The deal adds to a multibillion-dollar string of Chinese ventures with Hollywood studios to capture more of the profits from China’s growing media market.

Alibaba Pictures will acquire a minority stake in Amblin Partners, the companies said. Amblin, co-owned by Spielberg, combines DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One.

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No financial details were announced.

Alibaba, led by founder Jack Ma, is China’s biggest online commerce company and has expanded into entertainment with its 2014 acquisition of a 60 percent stake in a Hong Kong company that became Alibaba Pictures. Alibaba also owns the Youku Tudou online video service.

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The partnership “marks an important milestone in our globalisation strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike,” said Alibaba Pictures chairman Shao Xiaofeng in a statement. “We will also leverage Alibaba Group’s ecosystem as a channel for Amblin Partners’ films to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.” (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?