International round-up: Coca-Cola partners with The Salvation Army, Lyft enters Canada

Plus Tencent looks to increase its investment in digital content and cinema chain Vue takeover explored by Korean film giant CJ-CGV.


Ride-hailing app Lyft sets up shop in Canada

Uber better watch out, as its competitors are closing in. Lyft is in the middle of an expansion drive, and has announced plans to launch its ride-hailing app in Toronto next month.

It’s the company’s first international expansion outside the US. The move follows aggressive growth in the US, where Lyft has also benefited from problems affecting its rival, Uber.

The Lyft app is now available to 95% of the US population, up from 54% at the start of the year.

Last year, Toronto approved rules that would allow ride-hailing services to operate, after earlier clashes between Uber, regulators and traditional taxis.

The company has also shared its intention to set up shop in London – something that Uber certainly would not welcome as it is currently appealing its ban by TfL.

READ MORE: Lyft heads to Canada with Toronto service

Coca-Cola teams up with The Salvation Army for Christmas

Coca-Cola Australia is looking to do some good this Christmas, by partnering with The Salvation Army.

The ‘It Feels Good to Give’ campaign will be headlined by the Coca-Cola Christmas truck, which is coming to Australia for the first time.

The fizzy drinks brand will gift each region items for their town, from lighting and sound equipment for a community music hall to a reusable outdoor cinema in remote far north Queensland. The charity helped pick which regions would be visited by the truck and what gifts were most needed.

“We’re thrilled to launch our new festive campaign with The Salvation Army this year that truly benefits communities in need and reminds us just how good it feels to give back”, says Jacqui O’Donnell, marketing manager at Coca-Cola Australia.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola teams up with The Salvation Army on Christmas Truck Tour

Tencent looks to increase its investment in digital content

Chinese internet giant Tencent says it will invest more in its digital content businesses – spanning publishing to film-making – after its third quarter net profit surpassed expectations on Wednesday (15 November).

Asia’s most valuable company, which has a market value of $472bn, is looking to invest more in its digital content to draw more time from more paying customers, president Martin Lau said on an earnings call.

Its messenging-to-payment app WeChat now has 980 million monthly active users, with 38 billion messages sent daily. Tencent reported third quarter revenue of $9.83bn, marking an increase of 61% year on year.

Meanwhile, its YouTube equivalent, Tencent Video, has become the video streaming service with the largest paying subscriber base in China, at 43 million subscriptions.

READ MORE: Tencent’s focus on digital content after stellar third quarter

Cinema chain Vue takeover explored by Korean film giant

A Korean film giant is looking to buy cinema chain Vue International in a deal that could value the struggling business at £2bn.

Sky News claims CJ-CGV has been seeking out investment bankers to advise on a potential bid. CJ-CGV is part of the massive CJ “chaebol” conglomerate, which began as a sugar manufacturer in 1953 and was originally part of Samsung.

Vue’s owners, Canadian pension funds Omers and Aimco, are thought to be planning a dual-track sale process next year with the aim of either selling to a trade buyer or floating on the stock market.

Vue, which employs 9,500 people, made a loss of £103.2m last year on revenues of £772.5m. The company operates 212 cinemas, including 87 in the UK, 124 in mainland Europe and one in Taiwan.

READ MORE: Korean cinema giant CJ-CGV considering £2bn Vue bid

Papa John’s flicks off neo-Nazis after praise from the far right

Papa John’s has spoken out against neo-Nazis yesterday (15 November) by posting a middle finger emoji on Twitter. Through this, the pizza brand wants to make it clear that it does not support racism or prejudice.

The tweet comes after founder and CEO John Schnatter blamed its weak sales on the NFL during an earnings call and criticised the league’s response to player protests. This led to US neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer creating an image of a swastika out of a pepperoni pizza, which included the line “Papa John: Official pizza of the alt-right?”

Since then, the pizza chain has been trying to recover from Schnatter’s statements. On Tuesday, Papa John’s tweeted that the statements on its earnings call “were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologise to anyone that thought they were divisive.”

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