Rakuten CEO touts Viber’s potential to counter Russian ‘fake data’ all through Kyiv

Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder and chief govt of Rakuten Group (4755.T), on Saturday touted the flexibleness of his agency’s Viber messaging platform to counter Russian propaganda.

“Unlike completely different social media, now we have made it crystal clear we’ll block all these fake data and propaganda of Russia,” Mikitani suggested Reuters in a Zoom interview all through a go to to Kyiv. The 58-year outdated was speaking after meeting senior Ukrainian officers earlier inside the day as part of a gaggle of Japanese enterprise leaders accompanying Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on a go to to Ukraine’s capital.

“We met nearly all ministers they usually’re establishing a future approach… they’ve a macro-economic progress approach, and I’m very impressed and impressed,” he acknowledged. Viber, which launched in 2010 and was acquired by Rakuten in 2014, has a 98% market penetration worth in Ukraine. It will also be widespread in Russia.

Asked if the app had confronted makes an try to breach it by Russia, he acknowledged there had not been any breaches. “We have in no way been breached by Russia before now. Sometimes, technique sooner than the wrestle, we had requests, which we rejected… we should have no security issues.”

Mikitani did not elaborate on what was requested or by whom, nevertheless acknowledged that Viber has in no way given any knowledge 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 to start with of the invasion.

Rakuten has launched plans to work with Ukraine’s largest mobile operator, Kyivstar, to provide Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) telecommunications experience that makes use of software program program to run group options on the cloud, one factor Mikitani has touted as a experience of the long term. “All this hardware-based experience is the experience of presumably 2010,” he acknowledged. “Software goes to be moderately extra setting pleasant, full worth of operation will go down presumably 30% to 50%.” ($1 = 147.8100 yen)

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