Alipay, an app which a billion Chinese people use to pay, is being split up by the Chinese government. Why is Alibaba's hugely popular and profitable payment service under such scrutiny?
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China is working on a law that will make webshops responsible for intellectual property violations. Those who do not want to obey must face up to it: serious offenders will have to close down completely.
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Tmall Luxury Pavilion, the luxury goods platform launched by Alibaba in 2017, is experiencing an explosive growth. There is no doubt that one fast-growing target market is no stranger to that.
For the first ever, Amazon has sold more than its eternal rival Walmart over the course of a year. In doing so, it has beaten its eternal rival in the race... for second place, as one other retailer dwarfs both of them.
Alibaba attracted 45 million new customers in the past quarter. It is the first time that the Chinese e-commerce giant has exceeded 25 billion euros in quarterly turnover, but due to large investments, profitability fell.
In the retail industry, the gap between winners and losers is still widening. Just 25 front-runners have captured more than 90 % of global growth in market capitalisation, as financial markets are rewarding retailers who are best armed for the post-corona era. Who are they?
Despite a sharp increase in turnover, Alibaba has recorded its first loss in nine years. The reason being, the Chinese government imposed a record-breaking fine on the e-commerce company for monopoly practices at the end of last year.
Since the corona pandemic, e-commerce has been an absolute top priority for food retailers, but the profitability of online shopping remains a major challenge. McKinsey defines three conditions for a successful digital transformation.
In an increasingly digital world, retailers need to rethink how they fill their square metres of selling space. "Innovation in retail is not limited developing a new store concept, it's about adopting a shopper-driven philosophy."
China has imposed a fine equivalent to 2.3 billion euro on online shopping giant Alibaba for monopoly practices. In December, the Chinese competition watchdog launched an investigation into the empire of billionaire Jack Ma.
The Chinese government has had enough of the unbridled power of its technology giants. After heavy interventions and a billion-dollar fine for e-commerce giant Alibaba, it would also be Tencent's turn. Now, both rivals are forced to seek rapprochement between each other.
During the corona crisis, luxury department stores proved surprisingly agile. Now they need to become stronger brands, by focusing on new services and storytelling. "Digital is a tool, not a goal," says Selvane Mohandas of sector organisation IADS.
Following Amazon, Alibaba has also announced record sales: in the past quarter, e-commerce sales grew by 38 per cent, thanks to the Singles Day shopping frenzy. However, the Chinese government casts a dark shadow.
Is it a fulfilment centre or a store? The future will be all about a mixture of the two: hybrid shops. The Covid-19 pandemic has given stores a new purpose, notes real estate player CBRE.
What does 2020 teach us about the future of retail? There will be a wave of consolidation to face up to "monster ecosystems", believes Marc-André Kamel, head of the global retail department of consultant Bain & Co.
California has given the go-ahead for a commercial delivery service with self-driving vehicles. Robotics start-up Nuro plans to start deliveries as early as next year, without a driver.