The New Digital Divide

The fact that President Obama devoted a significant portion of his annual State of the Union address to discuss cybersecurity shows just how critical this issue is. But when it comes to cybersecurity, most people tend to think primarily in terms of massive corporate hacks, thanks in large part to recent headline-grabbing data breaches at well-known companies like Sony, Target and JP Morgan.

In doing so, we’re neglecting the security of something else that is extremely vulnerable to digital breaches – something most of us carry around all day, every day, and which contains our most precious data and personal information: Our phones.

As our world becomes increasingly connected in the so-called “Internet of Things” – with our phones talking to our home security systems, our smart watches engaging our thermostats, our tablets linking to our coffee makers, and so on – mobile privacy and security is only becoming more and more important.

The good news is that even if this issue is not always top of mind for most people, mobile users here in the U.S. are increasingly aware of the privacy risks that exist when using their devices. A recent survey found that nearly 90 percent of respondents expressed concerns about identity theft and exposure to malware. And just one-third of respondents said they felt in control of their own personal information stored on their devices.

That is why our company helped fund a recent project led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, called, which assigns privacy grades to thousands of Android apps, based on the difference in a user’s expectations about the app’s behavior, and how the app actually operates. The idea is to help users become more aware about how many seemingly innocuous apps – many of which target children – actually use and share our personal data.

The problem is when pundits and mobile security experts do discuss personal mobile data security, they do so through a predominately first-world lens. To the extent this is an overlooked issue in the U.S. relative to how serious the risks are, the disconnect is just as bad, if not worse, in other parts of the world. A 2014 report by Symantec looking at internet security threats around the world found that 38 percent of mobile users had experienced mobile cybercrime, while 57 percent were “unaware that security solutions existed for mobile devices.”

Mobile security risks are only going to to get bigger as global smartphone usage continues to expand at breakneck speed (currently 96 out of every 100 people on the planet have access to a mobile phone, and one-third of the human population is expected to use smartphones by 2017).

But if you think Americans are isolated from mobile security challenges in other parts of the world, think again. Last month, German researchers discovered massive security flaws in the global network that is used to connect calls, text messages, and various communications between cellular providers. The worst part? One cellular carrier “in Congo or Kazahkstan, for example, could be used to hack into cellular networks in the United States, Europe, or anywhere else.”

So, if we’re serious about stopping data theft and reducing threats to mobile privacy, we’re going to need to think globally. NQ Mobile is in the unique position of being an internationally-based mobile technology firm that supplies security and privacy apps to mobile carriers across the developing world, and We’re witnessing this explosion in the use of mobile usage firsthand. From our perspective, focusing solely on data security in the first world is like trying to put out a house fire with one glass of water.

In a world where we’re all connected, the digital divide is no longer solely about who is connected and who’s not – it’s about who’s protected and who’s not.

So what can be done?

Above all, we need more education and awareness about the importance of mobile security. With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, now is the time to nip the problem in the bud and ensure that users everywhere understand the risks to their privacy and data and know how to protect their devices.

President Obama is right to look for workable government solutions to larger corporate cyber threats, and developing and developed nations alike need to take steps to enhance data security and privacy. But, the best line of defense is ensuring that everyone with a mobile device takes the security of their device seriously. The tools exist to protect consumers – they just need to use them.

In a hyper-connected world, we’re only as strong as our weakest link. We must treat this challenge like the global issue it is, and work together to ensure we’re protecting ourselves and therefore, each other.

Omar Khan

Our New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year!

Our team has always been passionate about driving mobile innovation. This passion, which was behind many great mobile developments at Motorola, Samsung, and Microsoft, to name a few, is an important part of what makes NQ Mobile such a great company.

One of our New Year’s resolutions is to better share this passion with others who follow NQ Mobile by talking more about what we’re doing to continuously push the bounds of mobile technology. You’ll hear a lot from us this year as we provide our perspective on the diversity of issues that impact NQ Mobile, our industry, and mobile technology in general.

And what better way to begin following through on our New Year’s resolution than by sharing some exceptional news about the state of the mobile technology industry. Last week, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a report detailing how mobile technology drove nearly $3.3 trillion in revenue in 2014, with an aggregate annual consumer value of $6.4 trillion – more than the GDP of every nation on earth, except for the United States and China.

The report, which includes a trove of information about the economic and social impact of mobile technologies across the globe, makes one thing clear: this is a remarkable time to be working in this industry.

We said during our last earnings report – and have said repeatedly since then – that NQ Mobile is well-positioned for growth in 2015, and this report confirms that. According to BCG, a strong area of growth in the years ahead will come from app developers – like NQ – who are taking advantage of advancing mobile standards around the world to transform the way we do everything from how users interact and engage with mobile devices (through offerings like NQ Live) to discovering new music (through apps like Music Radar).

Even more importantly, NQ Mobile is in a very unique position in that we are truly global. We not only serve developed countries like the United States, but our products and offerings are used in a number of emerging markets, as well. The report shows that mobile technology companies like NQ Mobile, and the value they create, are not only generating “enormous economic and social benefits for both developed and emerging markets,” but that investments in mobile technologies – which have exceeded investments in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology combined – highlight the industry’s “prospects for growth.”

Not everything in the report paints a rosy picture. BCG cites a growing digital divide between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) “leaders” and “laggards” – those that are adopting mobile technology to their advantage, and those that are not. And this digital divide is not exclusive to emerging markets.

But at its core, this report really boils down to one critical thing: We are operating in an industry whose success is closely tied to the economic fortunes of countries around the world – developed and developing alike. What this means is this is not a zero sum game. The better we do, the better it is for the global economy and individual nations. Take SMEs as but one example: the report notes that of the countries evaluated, it found that “closing the mobile divide among SMEs could add 7 million jobs over the next three years.” So, for a company like NQ Mobile, that means that introducing mobile enterprise solutions to new markets is good for the company and good for investors – but also good for the very economic well-being of the markets we serve.

So we remain laser focused on doing our work as well as we can, expanding to new markets, pushing the envelope, and creating great products.

And we’re doing exactly that.

Omar Khan

Forward Looking Statements

This blog post contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates” and similar statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact in these blog posts are forward-looking statements and involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about the Company and the industry in which the Company operates, but involve a number of unknown risks and uncertainties. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent occurring events or circumstances, or changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in these forward looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure you that such expectations will turn out to be correct, and actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results. You are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained herein and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month


With a plethora of recent hacks in the news, the safety of our personal data and devices is top of mind. From stolen pictures to hacked pacemakers—we all find ourselves wondering: How do we keep safe when we’re online?

October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives, with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

As a member of the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, I understand just how important it is to support cyber security awareness and education, and I encourage each of you to participate in any way that you can. Throughout the month, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies will be hosting cyber security programs that are open to the public—you can see a full listing of events here:

As Industry NCSAM Champions, here at NQ we’ll be discussing cyber security issues, infrastructure, and what we can do as a business to prevent and mitigate cyber threats. But NCSAM isn’t just for businesses and government agencies; one of its most critical initiatives is to educate adults (and their kids) about online safety. We’ll be sharing lots of helpful information via our social media channels—be a part of the conversation by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

It’s important for each and every one of us to ensure we are staying safe online, whether we are at work, school, or in our own homes. Please take a moment to visit The National Cyber Security Alliance website at to learn more about how to do your part.

On behalf of everyone at NQ Mobile, we wish you a happy and safe National Cyber Security Awareness month, and encourage you to learn more about protecting your digital life by participating in NCSAM events in your community and online.

A Letter to the NQ Team


We have worked diligently to establish NQ Mobile as a leading global provider of mobile Internet services. As a result of the increased breadth and strength of our product portfolio and the growing acceptance of our products by our global partners and end consumers, we have entered a period of significant growth.  It is unfortunate to see this continued progress being temporarily overshadowed by the false and malicious attacks of a short seller.  As a company, we remain confident and resolute and will continue to grow stronger.

I am extremely proud of our employees for their continued focus on meeting the needs of our customers and conducting themselves in a highly professional manner.  They have remained focused on running and growing our business with both existing and new customers and partners.  Most important, they have remained focused on being a cohesive, collaborative and supportive team.  I want to thank each one of them for their focus, dedication and confidence.

Our team doesn’t stop with our employees.  It extends to our customers and partners.  Our partners have not only stood strong with us, but they have continued to expand their partnerships with us.  In fact, there is no greater validation of our products and technology than China Mobile and China Unicom announcing expanded and new partnerships with NQ Mobile in the past week, as well as Lenovo, ZTE and Huawei confirming their partnerships with NQ.  In addition, just two weeks ago, we announced the most significant new product in the history of our company, NQ Live.  NQ Live uniquely delivers new capabilities for each participant in the mobile ecosystem, starting with the content originator, through the carrier, and on to the mobile user. NQ Live does this in a way that no other platform has been able to accomplish.  I am extremely excited about the future enabled by NQ Live.

Our team also includes our shareholders.  I have been on the phone with and met face-to-face with many of you.  I have received countless messages from shareholders of all sizes expressing their support and confidence in us.

I want to tell you that the NQ management team remains strong and resolute in leading and growing our company.  We remain committed to building great technology and products for our customers and consumers while ensuring NQ is a great place to work for the most talented people in the industry.  We remain committed to building the future of the mobile Internet, enabling us to help our partners build even stronger businesses.  We remain committed to providing the best products, technology and service to our customers including mobile security, gaming, advertising, next-generation search and enterprise mobility services.  We remain fully committed to all members of the NQ team.


Omar Khan

Co-CEO, NQ Mobile