May 19, 2020

Adobe Responds to IT Pricing Inquiry, Lowers Prices in Australia

Australia
Business Review Australia
Apple
Technology
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Adobe Responds to IT Pricing Inquiry, Lowers Prices in Australia

US design software company Adobe has lowered the price of its Creative Cloud product suite in Australia after a Federal IT Pricing Inquiry was initiated by politicians and consumer advocates who are frustrated over the inflated prices issued to Australian customers. 

Adobe, in addition to Apple and Microsoft, was subpoenaed to a parliamentary committee hearing in Canberra on March 22 to explain why their customers Down Under are paying significantly higher rates for the same products and services enjoyed by those in the US and the UK.

"Adobe, Apple and Microsoft are just a few firms that have continually defied the public's call for answers and refused to appear before the IT Pricing Inquiry [voluntarily],” Ed Husic, the Labor MP spearheading the inquiry, told News.com.au.

One day after being summonsed, Adobe has become the first of these companies to respond to the inquiry and match its US product price in Australia.

Click here to read the February issue of Business Review Australia magazine

“As Adobe continues to attract membership to its cloud offerings, it is evolving its product offering to provide increased value to subscribers, including new pricing for customers in Australia and New Zealand,” the company said in a statement obtained by the Australian Financial Review. “Creative Cloud membership pricing in Australia for individuals has been reduced to AU$49.99 on an annual subscription per month for new and current customers, effective immediately.

“Month to month pricing was $94.99 per month [and is now] $74.99 per month.”

Now, the pressure is on Microsoft and Apple to follow suit.

 “If you go to Apple’s iTunes and buy Macklemore’s song Same Love, which is number two in the Australian charts, it’s 69¢ in the US and over $2 in Australia,” consumer advocate site Choice’s chief executive Alan Kirkland told the AFR.

“[And] we found it cost $5795 more to buy Microsoft’s Visual Studio software in Australia compared with the US. These are downloaded products with no Australian labour involved and no local distribution costs – it’s simply a matter of where the computer server thinks you’re coming from.

"Australians are waking up to the fact that we are being ripped off.”

[Photo sourced from CGrecord.net]

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

hoching
legend
singapore
Temasek
3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.

 

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