We’re All (Browser) Window Shopping Now #94

Deepnews Digest #94

We’re All (Browser) Window Shopping Now

It probably isn’t circled on your calendar, but the end of this week marks the halfway point between Singles’ Day, the biggest global shopping event of the year, and Black Friday, when a sea of shoppers normally surges into stores looking for sales. But what do these days mean (for businesses, for customers, for workers) when pandemic lockdowns in much of the world have sent the transition to online shopping into overdrive? It’s a good subject for a little depth, and this week the Digest pulls in recent articles from around the world on e-commerce, all gathered with the Deepnews Scoring Model.

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Published every Thursday

Rest of World

A South Korean e-commerce titan falters, as rapid growth hurts its workforce

Jeon Woo-oak has the numb, strained aspect of someone forced to grieve in the public eye. It has been months since she recovered from Covid-19, but she is still nervous in public spaces, preferring to meet in a rented private study rather than a cafe. “I’m worried I might get it again,” Jeon says.

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Bloomberg

Who’s a Very Good Pandemic Business? Chewy Is. Oh, Yes It Is

This is the best year ever, if you’re a cat or a dog—or if you’re a certain online pet supply company experiencing phenomenal growth.

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Nikkei Asian Review

Analysis: Xi’s message to Jack Ma, ‘you’re nothing but a cloud’

Japanese painting delivers stern warning as president takes victory lap.

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TechCrunch

Europe lays out antitrust case against Amazon’s use of big data

The European Commission has laid out a first set of antitrust charges against Amazon focused on its dual role as a platform for other sellers but also a retailer itself on its own platform — and its cumulative use of third party merchant data to underpin Amazon’s own retail decisions.

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Business of Fashion ($)

Where People Are Shopping Again

Across global markets, the pandemic has proven a boon for leading e-commerce marketplaces and a fatal blow for many offline-reliant department stores. Between these two extremes sit smaller businesses like multi-brand boutiques, many of which are working hard to reach consumers in a post-pandemic world.

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Florida Today

Shopping local during holiday season has ripple effects in Brevard County | Opinion

The weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest shopping days of the year. Last year, a record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped the five-day period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, an increase of 14% over 2018, according to the National Retail Federation.

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Harvard Business Review

How Jeff Bezos Built One of the World’s Most Valuable Companies

Sunil Gupta, Harvard Business School professor, has spent years studying successful digital strategies, companies, and leaders, and he’s made Amazon and its legendary CEO Jeff Bezos a particular areas of focus.

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Wall Street Journal ($)

Pandemic Speeds Americans’ Embrace of Digital Commerce

Consumers try new ways to get health care, buy vehicles, eat and work out as the pandemic shakes up habits

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Channel News Asia

Commentary: Everyday feels like 11.11 since COVID-19

SINGAPORE: For many shopaholics, this year of the pandemic has also been the year of online shopping.

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Editor’s Note:

Writer Karen Tee says that Singles’ Day used to hold excitement for her, though not so after the lockdown in her home of Singapore. Here she explores how she’s changed as a shopper in 2020. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

HuffPost

Why 2020 Is The Year Of All Years To Boycott Black Friday

The coronavirus pandemic shines a searing spotlight on everything that’s wrong with Black Friday.

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Caixin Global ($)

Cover Story: How China’s E-Commerce Giants Enable Illegal Online Gambling

By the end of September, Chinese authorities launched investigations of more than 8,800 cross-border gambling cases and arrested more than 60,000 suspects allegedly involved in the illegal businesses.

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MoneyControl

Moneycontrol Analysis | Amazon-Future deal: Tail wagging the dog

With just Rs 1,431 crore in investment, Amazon is trying to control assets worth more than twenty times as much.

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Irish Independent

Amazon offers one-day delivery as Irish retailers fight for a share of online trade on ‘Green Friday’

Amazon is deepening its Irish online shopping operations with one-day delivery and an expanding distribution operation in Dublin.

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Editor’s Note:

One of the major issues in European countries has been the competition between local retail companies, dramatically impacted by the pandemic, and global giants such as Amazon. Here Adrian Weckler reports from Ireland, where some companies are promoting a “Green Friday” push to buy local and boost the Irish economy. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Associated Press

Online shopping surge could lead to holiday delivery delays

Retailers and carriers are preparing for an online holiday shopping surge that could tax shipping networks and lead to delivery delays.

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Chatelaine

Against Amazon: The Little Canadian Book That Went Viral

The Spanish writer Jorge Carrión loves books, and hates Amazon. In 2018, the indie Canadian publisher Biblioasis released an English-language version of Bookshops, his global history and loving ode to brick-and-mortar bookstores. The small Windsor, Ont. company also printed a few copies of “Against Amazon: Seven Arguments,” an essay that Carrión had written for a Spanish magazine about his distaste for the behemoth online marketplace.

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Channel News Asia

Commentary: Guaranteed next-day deliveries in South Korea are coming at a heavy price

SEOUL: In South Korea, if you sign up for Coupang’s Rocket Wow service, you can order fresh food in the evening, and have it appear on your doorstep early the following morning, in a smart-looking cooler, stored with ice packs to keep it cool.

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Sixth Tone

China’s African Traders Confront a Formidable New Foe: Alibaba

ZHEJIANG, East China — Olivier Mugabo cuts a lonely figure as he wanders through the gleaming, neon-lit corridors of Yiwu International Trade City.

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Editor’s Note:

The name Alibaba makes frequent appearances in this Digest, though its reach extends far beyond Asia. Here Sixth Tone looks at the predicament of African businessmen at the wholesale hub of Yiwu International Trade City as the e-commerce giant makes a play for customers back in their home countries such as Rwanda. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Bloomberg

Asia’s richest man takes on Amazon in India’s booming online market

Mukesh Ambani triumphs in telecommunications — where he started as a tiny player, but outpaced established rivals by undercutting them on price and capitalizing on regulatory changes — are a cautionary tale for the American giants.

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Albany Times Union

Holiday sales jobs shifting from storefront to warehouse and van

But like Black Friday, this year’s hiring is a bit different, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail workers may be as likely to work in a warehouse or behind the wheel of a delivery van as they are to work at a cash register.

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Associated Press

Amazon opens online pharmacy, disrupting another industry

NEW YORK — Now at Amazon.com: insulin and inhalers.

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