Alibaba, which filed for its US IPO on Tuesday, is frequently called the Amazon or eBay of China. But while there may be similarities in their business model, the online shopping experience for customers can be quite different indeed.
Here, a look at some of the things one finds on Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, how they differ from each other, and some of the ways in which they are vastly different from their western counterparts. Read more
Pinterest – the online scrapbook which started to show adverts just this month – has been valued at whopping $3.8bn in its latest round of fundraising.
This more than 50 per cent rise in valuation in only eight months shows investors have faith the site is transforming from the home of Mid-Western wedding planners to a store front for big brand marketers. Read more
Publishers may take a cue from the software industry as they regroup from a decisive loss in the US Supreme Court over copyright rules.
After failing to persuade the justices to protect their foreign-made titles from resale in the US in the Kirtsaeng v Wiley case, publishers must instead rethink their international business practices.
While traditional publishers of books, music, and film have generally viewed the computer industry as a foe in various policy battles, it could find a saviour in borrowing its concept of software licensing agreements and applying them to physical goods. Read more
The FT’s latest ebook is about Amazon and its voracious expansion from online book retailer into technological giant.
Is the company a force for good? Can it justify its current stock price? Why does Amazon compete with the companies it provides services to? Will Amazon agree to pay more tax in the UK as Starbucks just agreed to do?
Thanks to everyone who took part in the Q&A. If you have further questions, please post them to Twitter using #FTAmazon. Barney Jopson, the FT’s US retail correspondent, and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, global media editor, will answer them here as soon as possible. Read more
Six months after setting up its cutely-named @WalmartLabs offshoot in Silicon Valley, the world’s biggest retailer is ready to launch its first experiment in social commerce: a gift-recommender that taps into the Facebook social graph. Read more
Last week saw the biggest venture-capital fundraising yet in Russia’s fast-growing e-commerce market.
But even with $100m in its coffers, how long can Ozon.ru – the “Amazon.com of Russia” – fend off Amazon itself? Russian idiosyncrasies in payments, deliveries and culture suggest that domestic online retailers such as KupiVIP, Molotok and Avito may be able to repel the foreign invaders looking to capture a share of what will soon become Europe’s largest internet market. Read more
Russia’s booming internet market has received another huge injection of growth funding. Ozon.ru, the largest Russian online retailer, has raised $100m in new venture-capital funding.
The investment in the self-styled “Russian Amazon” is the largest in the country’s e-commerce market after KupiVIP, a private buying club with big ambitions, raised $55m in April. Ozon’s round follows the stock-market debuts of Mail.ru and Yandex at eye-popping valuations. Read more
The version of Google’s Android operating system for smartphones due out in a few weeks can be used with specialised chips to authenticate the precise location of the mobile devices, paving the way for secure payments at physical stores, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Monday.
Because the Near-Field Communication chips can store and exchange precise data about the phones, well beyond ordinary GPS, their adoption will allow phone owners to tap their gadgets against a physical surface to confirm their presence and identity, Mr Schmidt said. Read more