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UNCTAD Warns about digital disadvantages in developing countries

Geneva, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) The world's largest digital platforms are increasing their investments in the data value chain, while developing countries run the risk of becoming mere suppliers of information, Unctad warned today.

A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) warns that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba are betting on data collection through user-oriented platform services, while in less developed countries only 20 percent have access to the Internet.

According to the text, the digital giants are also pushing data transmissions via undersea cables and satellites, and the storage, analysis, processing and use of such reports, for example, through artificial intelligence.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, the research notes, were the top buyers of new artificial intelligence companies between 2016 and 2020.

For these companies, the sizes, profits, market values and dominant positions of their platforms strengthened further during the Covid-19 pandemic as digitization accelerates, the research indicates.

Alibaba, Amazon, Google and Microsoft earned 67 percent of global revenue from cloud infrastructure services in the last quarter of 2020, the report exemplifies and expands that Amazon’s case investments exceed $10 billion in satellite broadband. While countries remain in disadvantaged positions, limited internet access occurs at low download speeds but with a high price.

In addition, the average mobile broadband speed is about three times lower than in developed countries.


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