Beijing’s internet watchdog has said articles from Caixin, one of China’s most prominent and trusted business publications, can no longer be republished by online news services, marking the latest blow to journalism and free speech in China.
According to an announcement on Wednesday by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s internet watchdog, Caixin was not among the list of more than 1,300 media sources approved for domestic republishing in China.
The move comes with the Chinese internet landscape already under immense pressure and heightened scrutiny as the Communist party under President Xi Jinping redoubles efforts to control flows of information in the world’s most populous country.
“Before we hear anything from Caixin or others on the significance the new ‘source list’ might have for them specifically, I think we can say that this marks the further consolidation of party controls over news creation and distribution,” said David Bandurski, co-director of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong.
“The goal is to ensure that the growing universe of digital media products is politically disciplined when it comes to sourcing news and discussion of current affairs.”
Caixin could not immediately be reached for comment.
However, Bandurski also cautioned that Caixin’s content mostly sits behind a paywall and that the outlet has not encouraged wider distribution through prominent Chinese social media channels such as Sina.
The list was last updated five years ago. In a statement the CAC noted the guidance of Xi and said China must strictly manage “illegal” investigations and reporting and work to cut off such information at the “source”.
The CAC’s new list also follows months of tightening scrutiny and intensifying censorship of blogs and social media sites covering China’s financial markets and economy.
Additional reporting from Emma Zhou in Beijing
Mark Rogers, owner of Masterton’s Bear Flag Books and Retro is one of many retailers who struggled with an online transition during lockdown.
Rogers said while a brand-new book can be found easily online, customers of secondhand bookshops are looking for something else.
“People who buy secondhand books want a browsing experience, they want to scour the shelves until something pops out. That method of customer interaction served us well, until the lockdown moved everything online,” Rogers said.
When the physical store closed, sales dropped to zero.
Rogers tried selling goods on Facebook marketplace or Trade Me, but found the online platforms were ill-suited to the pace of his business.
“The nature of the shop is that things come in and out quite quickly. If we sell a first edition John Steinbeck it’s not as if we can go to a wholesaler and say, ‘could we have another five of those?’,” Rogers said.
But despite the difficulty, the lockdown convinced Rogers of the need to move online.
“The last couple of lockdowns have certainly increased the pressure to have an online presence. We know it is something we should do, and something we have to do,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ difficulties mirror the wider pressure of digital transition in the small-to-medium business sector.
New research commissioned by Yellow NZ revealed that small businesses with an online presence were more likely to survive an economic downturn.
Despite this digital growth in the small business space has been painfully slow.
This research revealed just a 5 per cent year-on-year growth in online presence among small-to-medium businesses.
More than a third of small-to-medium businesses still had no online presence at all.
Tracey Taylor, chief executive of Yellow, said one of the biggest barriers for small businesses growing their digital exposure was uncertainty about how to go about it.
“We work with over 150,000 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and the ones we see getting the best results are taking a multi-channel approach, and of course digital is essential in that,” Taylor said.
Taylor said that a major hurdle for many businesses was the cost, and she would like to see government support for this.
“Let’s give our SME whanau options to go digital for free, and give them access to financial support such as grants to rebuild and grow online,” Taylor said.
Paul Schneider experienced first-hand how much an online presence helped a small businesss.
Schneider owned the Coromandel Distilling Company in Thames and the early lockdowns hit the business hard.
Until the first lockdown, the business’s main point of sale had been walk-in customers.
When Covid-19 hit and those customers dried up, Schneider transitioned to an online cellar door which made lockdowns a period when sales traffic significantly spiked.
The experience convinced Schneider to continue to push the digital side of the business.
“It is hard to tell what the future of retail is going to hold. At the end of the day nothing can beat the experience of being in a place, but the closer we can bring that to people from the safety and comfort of their own homes the better,” Schneider said.
Schneider said SMEs worried about the cost of a digital transition should weigh it against the potential rewards.
“It didn’t cost the earth to set it up, and it is really working a treat for us,” Schneider said.
Brad Olsen principal economist at Infometrics, said that without a widespread digital transition it would be difficult for small businesses to transition to a smarter, modern economy.
“The concern would be that with a driving divide between those with and without digital connections, you could have a number of businesses struggling to adjust to a post-pandemic world,” Olsen said.
Global digital competition was a scary prospect for many businesses, but a bigger threat could be digital competitors in their own economy, Olsen said.
“As those businesses with digital capabilities are able to put forward more complex offerings to consumers, the competition in the SME space is likely going to intensify,” Olsen said.
Tenn. attorney general investigating Johnson City contractor for unfinished projects, ‘fake’ online reviews | WJHL
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Since the airing of the first News Channel 11 investigation into Wood Construction and Remodeling, LLC almost two weeks ago, the Tennessee attorney general’s office reports the number of consumer complaints they have received has more than doubled. Their office is actively investigating the company.
Wood Construction and Remodeling is a licensed Tennessee contracting company based in Johnson City. Customers across the state of Tennessee and into North Carolina continue to ask why their projects are not finished and where their money has gone.
WJHL confirmed Tuesday that Leighton ‘Joe’ Wood, owner of Wood Construction, has been sent a letter inviting him to an informal hearing on Oct. 28 in Nashville where his contractor’s license will be reviewed, and possibly revoked, by a state board.
On Oct. 7, the airing of WJHL’s first consumer report, 15 complaints had been filed to the Tennessee attorney general’s office against Wood Construction. Now, that number is at least 35 complaints.
The number of complaints filed with the North Carolina attorney general has grown from four to seven.
“That number of complaints in that brief a time period is rare,” said Tennessee Deputy Attorney General Jeff Hill.
The Tennessee attorney general’s office sent a cessation of unlawful conduct letter to Joe Wood, owner of Wood Construction, on Oct. 7. The letter outlines, what they call, multiple illegal actions taken by the company.
“There is an investigation. We have sent a letter demanding that Wood Construction stop certain conduct. We are continuing to look into it and talk to people about it,” said Hill.
Hill says of the seven illegal practices outlined in their letter, the first is that Wood Construction was charging an illegal amount of money upfront to its customers.
The letter states charging customers more than one-third of their contracts, without giving them a payment bond or a way to get a refund, is prohibited by Tennessee law.
“If you don’t do certain things, bonds, and certain things, you can’t charge 40 percent. Clearly, he has been doing that. We told them not to do that and we are waiting on a response to why it has happened,” Hill said.
All Wood Construction contracts stated money paid by customers was non-refundable.
The Wallace family of Bristol, Tennessee contracted Wood Construction to complete two projects. The first required 40 percent to be paid before any work was done – the second required 50 percent.
“80,000. We are out $80,000,” said Jacci Wallace.
Before moving to Bristol from Oregon, the Wallaces agreed with Wood Construction to fully renovate a farmhouse for Jacci’s parents on their property. The goal was to keep her father close by, as he has brain cancer.
The second contract was for a bathroom remodel in Jacci’s family’s main house.
“This is the master bathroom,” Wallace showed News Channel 11. “They came in and demo’d everything and then did a little bit of shoddy work like the accent tile. So we’ve been told that it all has to be torn out and redone.”
With the bathroom left unfinished for months, Wallace says the same goes for the farmhouse. There, she says no work was ever started.
“We were pretty patient for the first couple of months,” said Wallace. They signed their first contract in March, the second in May.
After asking for a refund, Wallace says that is when a Wood Construction crew came to start on her bathroom. Per her contract – an additional 40 percent deposit was then required.
“They got that second payment and then stopped showing up,” said Wallace.
Wallace and at least 20 other customers identified by News Channel 11 with unfinished projects say they have not heard a word from the company in weeks.
“I don’t think that any of us expected to hear from them,” said Wallace.
That is – until many of them received an email on Tuesday from Wood Construction, one day before the airing of this story, claiming the company has been acquired by ODJ Construction and Remodeling. The email stated that this company would handle all existing projects moving forward.
This email is to inform you that Wood Construction and Remodeling llc has been acquired by ODJ Construction and Remodeling, and this company will be handling all customer jobs going forward.
We are in process of communication with all active customers concerning their contract related projects, so we may ascertain which clients wish to proceed with having their contracted work completed, or if a client would choose to have a refund of their payments wherein work has yet to be completed, or materials purchased.”
(Email sent by a Wood Construction employee)
No Tennessee contractor’s license exists for such a company.
The Tennessee attorney general’s office confirmed to News Channel 11 that someone, they did not name who, filed for a license as ODJ Construction and Remodeling Corporate with the Tennessee secretary of state on Wednesday, one day after many customers received the email alleging this company was taking over all projects. The AG’s office says the person who filed for ODJ Construction is using a Memphis address as a registered agent company.
The AG’s office told News Channel 11 this is not enough to actually work as a contractor or purchase a contractor in Tennessee.
The office also outline in their Oct. 7 letter to Joe Wood that they have proof the company was falsifying positive reviews online.
The letter reads:
“We have reason to believe that you have placed misleading reviews authored by your own employees on consumer sites … purporting to be customers.”
Tennessee Attorney General’s Office
“If you are being misleading or deceptive in reviews, if it’s not true, that’s a problem,” said Hill. “That can be a violation of the law.”
Wallace and multiple other customers said reading positive reviews online lead them to choosing Wood Construction for their projects.
“I read through all these reviews and they were decent. Not perfect, but decent and comparable to the other construction companies in the area. So, I figured we were safe,” said Wallace.
As far as what happens next, the Tennessee attorney general’s office is still working on their investigation and could file an injunction against the company to stop them from continuing alleged illegal activity.
“If you can’t perform the work you need to stop taking in money from other consumers. Otherwise, it becomes pretty clear you know what you are doing at some point,” said Hill.
Joe Wood is not required to attend the hearing where his license will be discussed later this month.
Stay with News Channel 11 for an update regarding the outcome of the hearing.
“I think we are absolutely resigned. We don’t think we are getting the money back. We certainly don’t think the work is going to be done. We would like to see people held accountable,” said Wallace.
WJHL’s multiple attempts to contact Joe Wood and the Wood Construction customer service line for comment on this story have both gone unanswered.
“With this acquisition, we continue to strategically expand our footprint to serve new commercial business channels,” Dan Kelly, IFB’s executive vice president of strategy and programs, said in a statement.
“There is a strong potential for revenue growth that will allow us to add additional jobs for people who are blind as sales increase.”
“We are incredibly grateful to everyone on the Pinnacle Mercantile team for trusting us to take over a business that was built from the ground up,” Kelly said.
“Growing a commercial business opportunity like Pinnacle Mercantile helps us establish new jobs here in Winston-Salem.”
IFB Solutions is partnering with local small-business suppliers of raw materials and coating needed to manufacture and package finished goods for Pinnacle.
IFB received financial support from Truist Financial Corp. in completing the purchase.
On Sept. 16, IFB announced that David Horton, its president and chief executive, would retire at the end of 2022. Horton, 58, has been with IFB since 2001 and has served in the two leadership roles since 2015.
IFB’s board of directors has appointed a search committee, led by chairman Bob Newell, and hired a search firm to interview potential candidates. The goal is to select the next top executive in the third quarter of 2022.
COLORADO CITY, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pueblo West Metropolitan District (PWMD), announces an agreement with RTC Broadband, a subsidiary of Highline, a nationwide Fiber-to-the-Home fiber Internet service provider. Highline will start construction next month to bring lightning-fast Gigabit speeds to homes and businesses in the Pueblo West area!
“We have worked closely with Pueblo West for several years on how we can collaborate on broadband deployment,” commented Deb Rand, CEO of Highline South/West Region and RTC Broadband. “The COVID pandemic has further highlighted the disadvantages lack of real high-speed internet imposes. We are thrilled that we have found a way to assist in helping the residents and businesses of PWMD that have for so long have had to deal with inadequate and unreliable internet service.”
The Pueblo West Metropolitan District operates one of the leanest local governments in Colorado, yet still provides robust services to over 30,000 residents, businesses, and visitors. As a special district form of government, Pueblo West exists to provide services in an unincorporated portion of Pueblo County. Pueblo West was formed to perform local government functions outlined in the District’s service plan. These services include covenant enforcement, fire protection, parks and recreation, public works, and water and wastewater utilities. Law enforcement, planning and zoning, and court services are provided by Pueblo County. In addition, services such as the Health Department, Regional Building Department, and the Pueblo West Library are provided by partnerships between the City of Pueblo and Pueblo County. As PWMD continues to focus on the needs to the community and their residents, being able to offer real high-speed internet is a requirement they do not wish to ignore.
“One of the reasons that I wanted to be on the Pueblo West Metropolitan District team is that I bring a great deal of historic knowledge to the table regarding Pueblo West and want to be a part of moving this community forward in the future, and this partnership to bring fiber to the home in this district is vital,” stated Board President Doug Proal. “We are eager to get construction underway and involve the people of Pueblo West so that they know Gigabit Internet is coming.”
Highline has been offering Fiber-to-the-home in Colorado since 1999 and is now able to offer even higher speeds than ever, all on a fiber network that is the most reliable in the internet service industry. Over PWMD 13,000 homeowners and residents will be able to enjoy new economic opportunities, careers, education, entertainment, healthcare and connection to friends and family with higher speeds and reliability of internet service in their homes.
“Remote schooling, remote working and telehealth are basic needs in today’s world,” added David Shipley, COO of Highline South/West Region and RTC Broadband. “We have been providing reliable fiber internet connectivity to areas of Pueblo County for over 20 years and are so excited to expand into Pueblo West and finally bring the benefits of the best technology supported by a local company and staff with a proven track record.”
Highline acquired Rye Telephone, RTC Broadband and SPT Broadband of Colorado in August 2021, and the brand name that will continue is Highline.
At Highline, we believe everyone should have access to the most reliable, fastest internet speed available – at a fair price, regardless of where you live and work. Highline’s owner ITC has been in business for more than 125 years, and over the last 25 years, Highline has built, owned, and operated fiber networks that have thousands of subscribers. Highline currently serves the communication and internet needs for thousands of residents and businesses in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Texas. Our Colorado companies include RTC Broadband, based in Pueblo County, and SPT Broadband, based in Park County. Highline is expanding its existing Colorado operations by working with communities to build out state-of-the-art Fiber-to-the-Premise, lightning-fast Gigabit networks. We are currently building a Fiber-to-the-Premise network to provide 1 Gigabit internet service to more than 55,000 homes and businesses in Michigan that are underserved by existing providers.
In addition, Highline works closely within its partner and part-owner Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG) for the design, engineering and construction of Highline’s Fiber-to-the-Premise networks. AEG has worked with municipalities, rural electric cooperatives and internet service providers for over 25 years. AEG has built over 50,000 miles of fiber plant, passing almost 3 million homes, with over 130 FTTP projects completed across the country. AEG is currently building a fiber network in partnership with the City of Ft. Collins, CO and will use its Ft. Collins team to build out Pueblo.
The use of fonts is key within your website. From how to create a favicon to incorporate into browsers to how to optimize it for mobile, there are many aspects to take into account before launching the web and getting caught with unfinished business.
One of them has to do with the fonts you want to use to design your website. Using one font or another implies transmitting a totally different message, so it is necessary to pay attention to it before choosing the one that best suits your business idea.
Very possibly you find yourself in the situation of testing designs and fonts for your website, with the addition of not being a professional web designer or having the minimum knowledge to identify the font that best suits your business.
Therefore, we are going to see below some tips to keep in mind when choosing the best possible typography for your website, and those fonts that are being used the most today. Let’s jump right into it.
1. Choose the font according to your brand
Font name: Bodoni
First of all, be consistent in choosing the font for your website. That is, what identity do you want to give your brand and wrap it in the fonts that best fit that style.
The texts of the main landing page, the articles on your blog, the online store, everything must have a base structure where your website sits with attractive letters and fits your business idea. Thus, your clients will see that you are characterized by seriousness and they will trust you.
2. Mark the hierarchy of sources
Another key point is the typographic hierarchy when planning the design of your website.
The most common is not to use more than two or three letter fonts on a website. When using more than one type, situations may arise where it is not entirely clear which is the main type and which are the auxiliary ones. Hence the importance of prioritizing them arises; that is, establish their order within your website.
The main source must be the most visible, and by this we mean that it must appear in the most important parts of the web page. For example, your logo or in all the headings that you enable.
At a lower level, the secondary font is often used to write blog content, product descriptions in the online store, and other secondary texts.
The first source must be original to have an attractive website and attract visitors. But the primary objective of the second source is readability, to make customers stay longer on your website instead of leaving after a few seconds because they are not able to read what you expose on the web.
Two fonts may fall short and you need a third, but keep in mind that this case is only applicable on special occasions. For example, to create a CTA offering promotions and offers that attract traffic in a timely manner.
3. Look at the size of the fonts
When it comes to typefaces, size does matter. There is no golden rule to choose the size of the font that you are showing on your website, but it is advisable not to use sizes smaller than 12px, since you could have some complaints from users who cannot read such small texts.
In this sense, the difference between headings, subtitles and paragraph texts must also be made visible, so that an amalgam does not occur and your website is totally unreadable.
The same thing happens when you start writing and mix normal characters with bold, italics or underlined words.
Depending on whether or not you abuse these resources, it can make it even more difficult to read your blog articles or the details of a product you want to sell, which could end up being counterproductive.
4. Pay attention to design trends
When it comes to web design, we have already seen in this article the trends that will sweep this next decade: minimalism, the permanent commitment to the development of responsive designs and the use of personalized fonts.
However, abusing this technique is dangerous, because you are attacking the usability level of your website. If you lower the quality of your page, customers will jump in and stop reading or buying your products.
What are the best fonts for your website?
Having seen some tips for choosing the best fonts for your website, it’s time to see a list of the free fonts that are being used the most today.
In fact, some of them are included in the Web Pages + Marketing tool.
The best fonts to use on your website are:
- April Fatface
Created in the 60s, it is one of the most used letters by web designers due to its clarity and neutrality when establishing large texts as headings or when they must create informational posters.
It is a sans-serif font whose family has expanded, giving designers versatility.
Currently known as Helvetica Neue, variants such as Rounded or the Pro line are active, useful for any type of commercial communication.
Being one of the most used letters in publishing houses to print and publish books, a gap has recently been opened among web designers due to its stroke, with a small line at the end of each letter, making it unmistakable and easy to read.
It is not advisable to apply these types of fonts in very long texts, but it is better to use them to do work focused on companies that look for classic elements in their communications and texts within the web page.
Used by default when you open a text document in Microsoft Word, replacing the famous Times New Roman in that position, its curved lines make it one of the most attractive typefaces for designers. Above all, when writing texts that can be easily read on the screen, regardless of the font size.
ChunkFive is a bold typeface reminiscent of old woodcuts, also used to write headlines for newspapers published in the western United States. It is usually used in display texts and high visualization.
It is a very classic font that seeks to convey a more intellectual and refined personality; a typeface that certain users greatly appreciate. Especially those consumers who are trying to find a book and enter the website of an online library. That’s where this typeface fits perfectly.
Its rounded ends make it a great option to give modernity and creativity to your content. It is geometric and widely spaced, adaptable to both small and large font sizes. Although it is more recommended for use in long texts, it is very legible, so there may also be different uses of typography on the web. For example, for shorter paragraphs.
Abril Fatface is part of one of the frequently used font families: Abril, which includes a total of no less than 18 different styles.
This letter, used for headlines, shows a strong presence on the web page in order to capture the user’s attention.
Its main characteristics focus on the good use of color, a high contrast and the use of clean curves that give it a refined touch.
Roboto is a double meaning letter. On the one hand, it presents totally geometric shapes, while other characters are made with friendlier and more open strokes.
In addition, it is a flexible font, which allows the text that is written using it to adapt to the available width, allowing the reader to read more calmly.
Do you already know which are the best free fonts to use on your website?
Now that you know what fonts you can have in mind while you are preparing texts for your business, you only have to do tests until you find the winning combination for your website. And, therefore, for your future as an entrepreneur.
The correct choice of fonts for your website is a very important aspect to consider. And it is that it completely affects the time your users spend visiting you and staying looking at products and reading your publications.
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The Worldwide Online Home Decor Industry is Expected to Reach $348.3 Billion by 2027 – ResearchAndMarkets.com
DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Online Home Decor – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Online Home Decor estimated at US$98.4 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$348.3 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 19.8% over the analysis period 2020-2027.
Online Home Furniture, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 19.2% CAGR and reach US$156.4 Billion by the end of the analysis period. After an early analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Online Home Furnishing segment is readjusted to a revised 20.7% CAGR for the next 7-year period.
The U.S. Market is Estimated at $29.2 Billion, While China is Forecast to Grow at 19.1% CAGR
The Online Home Decor market in the U.S. is estimated at US$29.2 Billion in the year 2020. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$60 Billion by the year 2027 trailing a CAGR of 19.1% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 17.6% and 17.2% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 14.6% CAGR.
Other Segments Segment to Record 17.9% CAGR
In the global Other Segments segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 17.7% CAGR estimated for this segment. These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$7.4 Billion in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$23.2 Billion by the close of the analysis period. China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$42.6 Billion by the year 2027.
Select Competitors (Total 43 Featured):
- Amazon.com, Inc.
- Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
- Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc.
- Cabela’s Inc.
- Carrefour Group
- Costco Wholesale Corporation
- Herman Miller Furniture (India) Pvt. Ltd.
- Home24 SE
- Inter IKEA Systems BV
- jcp Media Inc.
- Otto (GmbH & Co KG)
- Sears Brands LLC
- Target Brands, Inc.
- Tesco PLC
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Wayfair LLC
Key Topics Covered:
II. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. MARKET OVERVIEW
- Influencer Market Insights
- World Market Trajectories
- Impact of Covid-19 and a Looming Global Recession
2. FOCUS ON SELECT PLAYERS
3. MARKET TRENDS & DRIVERS
4. GLOBAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE
III. MARKET ANALYSIS
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/t3hbcy