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BEIJING – China’s top search engine Baidu is planning to buy the app store 91 Wireless for $1.9 billion in order to gain a bigger share in the very competitive mobile sector, Reuters reports.

After the acquisition, Baidu will hold 57.4% of the shares of one of China’s earliest app stores, taking control from NetDragon Websoft Inc.

“It is good for Baidu because if you look at mobile, currently apps are more popular than mobile sites because Internet download speeds are slow. So with the acquisition of this apps store, Baidu can work more closely with the apps developer and be able to enhance further their search capabilities”, Elinor Leung, an analyst in Hong Kong, told Reuters.

According to Bloomberg, this deal puts China’s most popular third-Party appstore for smartphones in a market where hundreds of companies offer mobile softwares. In the US, Apple Inc. and Google Inc. dominate the sales of content using their very own operating systems.

As of March 31st Baidu accounted for 82% of computer searches in China, while its mobile app had only 9% of the 1.16 billion wireless subscribers.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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