Speculation is rife that Amazon is soon to establish itself as a global shipping and logistics expert, in a move coined internally as project ‘Dragon Boat’.

While this bold strategy has the potential to significantly increase margins and position Amazon as Chinese businesses’ gateway to the West, a considered and phased implementation is essential if the firm is to gain share of the cross-border e-commerce market from industry leader Alibaba. Read more

Last year, eBay began a partnership with Snapdeal, an Indian online marketplace, investing an undisclosed sum. Now it has said it will lead a funding round of over $133m in the company.

It is part of a wider move by international groups to foster the Indian ecommerce industry and a sign of consolidation in a sector which still has a lot of scope for growth. Read more

Amazon’s Christmas season was marked by labour unrest at its German warehouses, and as the US retail giant expands into central Europe, building five centres in Poland and the Czech Republic, it is hoping that unions do not follow.

“In terms of unions themselves, we don’t see a need for that,” Tim Collins, director for Amazon´s EU logistics operations, told beyondbrics. “Any friction that gets between us and our associates slows down innovation, slows down change, slows down improvements on the shop floor, and we don’t see that as being good at all.”

However, the Solidarity labour union, heir to the organisation that helped end communism in Poland, plans to support any unionisation drive among Amazon’s Polish workers. Read more

Online merchant Amazon is contemplating building a new network of logistics centres in central Europe after being hit with strikes at its German warehouses, according to the Polish press.

Amazon is looking at three locations in Poland and two in the Czech Republic, according to the Puls Biznesu paper. Officials in Poznan, in western Poland, and in Wroclaw, in the south-west of the country, confirmed to the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that there were plans to build logistics centres near their cities. Read more

It’s not just Apple that can generate sales buzz in China for new devices. A couple of weeks on from Amazon’s Kindle launch in China, and the new e-reading devices are becoming hot properties. Read more

Thousands of IT start-ups dream of that golden phone call from an industry giant offering to buy out the business– a vision that until now has been a bit of a hallucination for Polish entrepreneurs.

That changed this week with Amazon’s purchase of Ivona Software, a Polish maker of text-to-speech software, already used in the retailer’s Kindle Fire tablets. Read more

It’s not every day that a bookshop is one of the biggest gainers on Brazil’s stock market. But late on Wednesday Saraiva’s shares were up over 7 per cent in late trading after rumours resurfaced about a possible acquisition by Amazon.

Despite naming itself almost 20 years ago after the vast river that runs through Brazil, Amazon is still struggling to establish itself in the Latin American country. Read more

Amazon this week launched a Kindle store in India to woo the country’s huge – and increasingly literate – population away from print and into the world of the e-reader.

The company said in a press release that it will sell the Kindle for Rs6,999 ($127) at the Tata Group’s Chroma electronics stores. The company said its store would be the largest e-book store in the country, with titles from best-selling Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh and Amish Tripathi. Read more

It couldn’t have been a bigger anticlimax. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff had until today to announce whether she would veto a controversial new forestry bill that will help decide the fate of the Amazon rainforest.

Would Dilma give in to the powerful agricultural lobby that has pushed the bill, watering it down as it progressed through the legislative process?

Or, faced with the potentially embarrassing prospect of hosting the Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development next month, would she throw out the whole text in disgust? Read more