News in Numbers: China’s Huawei at no. 2 spot in global smartphone sales, says report
What is it? The number of road accidents between January and July 2017, according to information provided by the government.
Why is it important? This is about 3% less than those recorded in the corresponding period in 2016, while the number of fatalities due to road accidents have declined by around 4.8% in the same period. The trend in 2016 mirrors that of the first seven months of 2017 in terms of road accidents (a decline of around 4.1% on a year-on-year basis), though fatalities increased by 3.2% in 2016 over 2015. Of the 789 accident-prone zones identified by the government, 140 have been rectified, 283 are under execution/bidding and 228 are under investigation.
Tell me more: The ministry of road transport and highways has said that committees will be constituted under the chairmanship of Lok Sabha MPs in every district to monitor road security, suggest measures for its improvement and identify accident-prone zones.
What is it? The ranking of Huawei, China’s top smartphone brand, in global smartphone sales in June and July, according to Counterpoint Research.
Why is it important? For the first time, it has overtaken Apple in global smartphone sales, though this ranking could revert to its old position, given that the latter is ready to launch its new generation iPhone 8 in a few days. The research note says, however, this underscores the rate at which the Chinese brand has been growing and attributed its growth on a global level-consistent investment in research and development and manufacturing, aggressive marketing and sales channel expansion. Samsung retains the top spot.
Tell me more: Despite being among the top three in the world, none of Huawei’s models figure among the top 10 highest selling smartphones globally.
What is it? The number of directors of shell/dormant companies that are likely to get disqualified, according to the government.
Why is it important? As per a new rule, directors of shell companies that have not filed returns for three or more years will be disqualified from being appointed or reappointed to similar roles in other companies. This is in continuation of the measures the government has taken to curb black money, prevent such companies from being used to launder money, evade taxes, manipulate tenders or hide ultimate beneficiaries. A couple of days ago, the bank accounts of over 200,000 shell companies were frozen after they were de-registered by the finance ministry.
Tell me more: Directors or authorised signatories of deregistered companies who try to siphon off money from the firms’ bank accounts can be imprisoned for six months to 10 years. If the fraud involves public money, then the minimum jail term would be three years and a fine of thrice the amount involved may also be imposed.
What is it? Donations to national political parties in India in 2015-16, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Why is it important? It’s down 44.7% from Rs1,869 crore in 2014-15. As much as 55.25% of all donations in 2015-16 went to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), underlining its dominance in the political sphere. It was followed by Congress (25.32%) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM (10.40%). As much as 80.5% of the income for the BJP and 71% for the Congress were from unknown sources—a sign that political funding in India needs drastic and urgent reform.
Tell me more: In its report, ADR recommended that full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny, and that the national political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act.
What is it? The number of people between the age of 18 to 24 years that Facebook claims to reach in the United States.
Why is it important? According to the US census, there are only 31 million people in that age group. Similarly, while Facebook claims to reach 60 million people between the ages of 25 to 34 in the US, there are only 45 million people living in the country. The discrepancy could be partly because Facebook also counts tourists and other visitors, and partly because users may have multiple accounts or may have lied about their ages.
Tell me more: The higher headcount benefits Facebook. The social networking site depends on advertising revenues, and has earned $36 billion this year, second only to Google.
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