© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten, attends the annual Allen and Co. Solar Valley media convention in Solar Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photograph
By Max Hunder
KYIV (Reuters) – Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder and chief government of Rakuten Group (4755.T), on Saturday touted the power of his firm’s Viber messaging platform to counter Russian propaganda.
“In contrast to different social media, we have made it crystal clear we will block all these faux information and propaganda of Russia,” Mikitani instructed Reuters in a Zoom (NASDAQ:) interview throughout a go to to Kyiv.
The 58-year previous was talking after assembly senior Ukrainian officers earlier within the day as a part of a gaggle of Japanese enterprise leaders accompanying Japan’s International Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on a go to to Ukraine’s capital.
“We met nearly all ministers and they’re constructing a future technique… they’ve a macro-economic progress technique, and I’m very inspired and impressed,” he mentioned.
Viber, which launched in 2010 and was acquired by Rakuten in 2014, has a 98% market penetration charge in Ukraine. It is usually fashionable in Russia.
Requested if the app had confronted makes an attempt to breach it by Russia, he mentioned there had not been any breaches.
“We’ve got by no means been breached by Russia prior to now. Typically, manner earlier than the struggle, we had requests, which we rejected… we do not need any safety considerations.”
Mikitani didn’t elaborate on what was requested or by whom, however mentioned that Viber has by no means given any info to any authorities.
The billionaire entrepreneur has beforehand been vocal in his assist for Ukraine and made a 1 billion yen ($6.77 million) donation to its authorities initially of the invasion.
Rakuten has introduced plans to work with Ukraine’s largest cellular operator, Kyivstar, to offer Open Radio Entry Community (Open RAN) telecommunications expertise that makes use of software program to run community capabilities on the cloud, one thing Mikitani has touted as a expertise of the long run.
“All this hardware-based expertise is the expertise of perhaps 2010,” he mentioned. “Software program goes to be rather more environment friendly, complete price of operation will go down perhaps 30% to 50%.”
($1 = 147.8100 yen)