Global Marketing News – 19th October 2015
Weibo launches ecommerce feature
The popular Chinese social network Weibo has just launched an ecommerce feature, just weeks before Singles’ Day.
Singles’ Day falls on the 11th November and is traditionally the busiest online shopping day of the year in China, similar to Black Friday in the US.
Weibo now allows users to buy and sell items on the social network. Users can advertise up to 9 items in one post, including prices and product descriptions.
The feature will only be available to users with over 1,000 followers, in an attempt to prevent dodgy users selling counterfeit products.
Users will also be able to repost listings by third-party ecommerce sites such as Taobao, Tmall and Weimai.
Weibo is one of the most popular social networks in China, with around 212 million monthly active users, and is a micro-blogging platform similar to Twitter.
Social commerce is growing in popularity around the world. Recent research by Market Track found that over half of US internet users will use social media to some degree to do their Christmas shopping.
Yandex considers integrating Bitcoin
The Russian internet giant Yandex has said it is interested in integrating the virtual currency Bitcoin into its online payment service Yandex.Money.
Yandex.Money is a popular online payment system in Russia, where it has over 22 million users, and around 12,000 new users joining every day.
With Bitcoin currently illegal in Russia, however, Yandex has said it will wait for the Russian government to decriminalise the virtual currency before integrating it into its system.
Yandex is not the only online company to announce an interest in integrating Bitcoin in recent months. In April, the hugely popular Latin American social network Taringa! Integrated Bitcoin, with the Japanese Q&A site OKwave and ecommerce site Rakuten following suit in later months.
Nine African countries in top 100 of Global Competitiveness Index
Nine African countries have made it into the top 100 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.
The Index ranks countries based on a variety of factors, such as infrastructure, education, technology, institutions, financial markets and labour markets.
Mauritius was the top ranking African country, followed by South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia, the Ivory Coast, Zambia, Seychelles and Kenya.
Authors of the report commented on the findings, saying: “For five years, growth rates have averaged over 5%, and rapid population growth holds the promise of a large emerging consumer market as well as an unprecedented labour force that, if leveraged, can provide significant growth opportunities.”
Various big name tech companies are focussing on Africa, having clocked on to its potential. Google, Facebook and WeChat have all said they will be focussing on the continent as key future market.
German e-book company Skoobe a success
The German e-book company Skoobe has claimed that it has been a “success” in the country.
Over a quarter of Germans read digital books, “and more than 16% are interested in e-book subscription services,” claimed the company’s CEO.
Skoobe has around 140,000 different titles in its online library, in a selection of languages. It is also rumoured that it could add 1,000 older Macmillan books to its library in the near future.
There is heated debate about whether the digital book market is sustainable, with some commentators saying the sector’s future is bleak and heading for monopolisation by big names such as Google Books and Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Alibaba opens offices in Europe
And finally, the Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is due to open offices in Germany, France and Italy.
It aims to encourage more European businesses to sell their products in China, describing itself as a “gateway to China”.
The Chinese cross-border ecommerce market is predicted to grow to over 200 million people in the next five years, when it is expected to be worth around 250 billion US dollars.
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