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Technology Giant Alibaba Sells US Ecommerce Flop

Global Marketing News – 29th June 2015

Technology giant Alibaba sells US ecommerce flop

Alibaba has sold its US-based ecommerce site 11 Main to a key American competitor, highlighting the company’s withdrawal from foreign markets as it seeks to solidify its position at home in China.

11 Main was sold to the US ecommerce operator OpenSky last week, in exchange for a 38% stake in OpenSky.

At the same time, Alibaba announced it would be investing almost 1 billion US dollars in the Chinese food delivery booking service Koubei, ramping up the competition between it and its rival Tencent, which also has a Chinese food delivery app.

Alibaba has said that although it is taking a step back from the American ecommerce market now, it does not intend to leave the market entirely, saying: “in the long run, that’s an interesting market to us”.

Asia largest global market for apps

Asia is now the largest market in the world for apps, according to research by Flurry.

App usage in the region increased by a staggering 77% in the last year, as smartphone usage also exploded in the region, with smartphones being the first internet device for many Asian users.

Shopping and lifestyle apps accounted for most of the growth, increasing by 278%. News apps also saw significant growth of 134%, with utilities and productivity apps seeing increases of 89%. Messaging and social apps; music, media and entertainment apps; and gaming apps also saw increases.

The research revealed other interesting data, such as that the use of shopping apps peaked at mealtimes, and that time on gaming apps accounted for around a quarter of all time spent on apps in the region.

Number of mobile internet users in Nigeria surges

The number of mobile internet users in Nigeria has surged by 1.6 million in the last month to reach over 87 million.

Infinix Mobile, the company selling most of the mobile handsets, has said that on one particularly successful day they sold 30,000 smartphones in the country. Nigeria is its biggest African market, the international mobile retailer added.

The mobile operators Globacom and Airtel Nigeria both increased their customer base during the time studied, whilst MTN saw a decrease in numbers.

Nigeria is not the only country where mobile internet usage is booming – numbers are also growing rapidly in Mexico.

An E-Marketer report predicts that the number of internet users in the country will grow by 9% this year to reach 65 million, equivalent to 54% of the Mexican population. Most of this will be driven by mobile, with mobile access making up 82% of all internet usage.

Chinese ecommerce site JD sees record sales

The Chinese ecommerce site JD celebrated record-breaking sales in its anniversary sale on June 18th last week.

15 million orders were placed on the site on anniversary day, double the sales figures from the same day last year.

Clothes and shoes were the most popular items, with 8 million clothes and 1.2 million pairs of shoes being sold during the 24 hour period.

Smart devices were also popular, with 7 and a half times more devices being sold this year than in 2014. The Xiaomi-produced fitness wristband Mi Band was the top-selling smart device, selling 45,000 wristbands during the anniversary sale.

The majority of shoppers (over 60%) came through mobile devices, up from 40% who bought via smartphone on the Singles Day sale around 6 months ago.

Rocket Internet launches 2 new ventures in Middle East

And finally, Rocket Internet has just launched two new ventures in the Middle East.

Vaniday, an appointment booking system for spas and salons originally launched in Brazil, has launched in the United Arab Emirates, initially covering just the Dubai area.

And the delivery service Wadi, which currently operates in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has secured backing from Rocket Internet following a successful 3 months. It has ambitions to expand to other countries in the Middle East in the future.

Rocket Internet is a German company that helps launch ecommerce-related companies in new markets.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Cal O'Connell

Lead Videographer at Webcertain
Cal has been the Lead Videographer at Webcertain for nearly seven years, creating a whole range of digital video content. As his main passion, and with over ten years of experience, he also has a hand in making feature films, short films and other online content, as well as providing his voice (and sometimes his face) to videos. In addition to Webcertain’s content, he also plays a part in creating content for a wide selection of our clients!

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