Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 29): Amazon and Walmart Battle for Market Dominance, TikTok Enhances EU Transparency

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Apr 29): Amazon and Walmart Battle for Market Dominance, TikTok Enhances EU Transparency

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Amazon and Walmart Vie for Consumer Spending

The battle for consumer spending between Amazon and Walmart intensified in 2023, with total US retail sales nearing $7.25 trillion. Amazon’s command of the holiday shopping season was evident as it garnered $209 billion in sales compared to Walmart’s $141 billion. Over the year, Amazon’s online sales grew by 17%, representing 10% of total US consumer retail spending, further establishing its market leadership over Walmart, especially in home goods, electronics, and apparel sectors.

Amazon Outpaces in Seller Growth and Prime Membership

Since 2018, Amazon has seen an influx of nearly 5 million sellers, with 40% focusing on the US market and the remainder spreading across twenty international markets. The top 1% of sellers have been pivotal, historically driving at least half of Amazon’s sales volume. Despite changes in registration procedures, fees, and an intensely competitive landscape, new sellers keep the platform vibrant, contributing significantly to its expansion. As of March 2024, a record 180 million US customers have subscribed to Amazon Prime, marking an 8% increase over the previous year and highlighting the growing consumer reliance on Amazon’s services.

Snapchat’s Q1 Financials Show Robust Growth

Snapchat’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2024 demonstrated a 21% increase in revenue, reaching $1.195 billion. The social media platform managed to reduce its net losses to $305 million, a 7% improvement, while adjusting net profits rose to $49.1 million from $20 million the previous year. Daily active users increased by 10% to 422 million, supported by a notable 85% increase in the number of small and medium-sized advertisers and over a 125% increase in the viewing time of Spotlight videos, indicating heightened user engagement and platform growth.


TikTok Adapts to EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA)

In alignment with the EU’s Digital Services Act, TikTok’s latest transparency report showcases its commitment to regulatory compliance by detailing the removal of 13 million pieces of content and disabling over 3 million accounts for guideline violations. During the last quarter of the previous year, TikTok faced over sixty thousand content complaints, with significant portions removed or restricted due to violations. The platform’s investment in a robust team of over six thousand content reviewers in the EU underscores its efforts to maintain a safe and legal online environment.

Amazon Australia Ramps Up for Prime Day

In preparation for the anticipated July Prime Day rush, Amazon Australia plans to hire 1,400 seasonal workers to support its distribution centers and logistics sites. These roles will focus on sorting, packaging, and delivering orders to meet the expected surge in customer demand. The majority of these positions will be in New South Wales, with significant numbers also in Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. This strategy not only addresses immediate operational needs but also opens pathways for seasonal workers to transition into long-term roles, benefiting from full-time employee perks.

Getir Refocuses on Turkish Market After Exiting US and Europe

The rapid delivery service Getir, known for its promise of grocery deliveries within minutes, has decided to withdraw from the U.S., U.K., Germany, and the Netherlands to concentrate on its original market in Turkey. This strategic shift comes after significant investment rounds, including funds from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and venture firm G Squared. Despite achieving notable brand visibility and acquiring competitor Gorillas, Getir faced market valuation challenges, prompting a consolidation of its operations to stabilize its financial footing and bolster its presence in Turkey.


Google’s Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Data Centers and AI Training

Google has announced a $3 billion expansion of its data center infrastructure across the U.S., with significant developments in Indiana and Virginia. These facilities not only support Google’s vast array of services but are pivotal to its AI research and development efforts. In addition to physical infrastructure, Google is also enhancing AI education, launching a $75 million initiative to train one million Americans in AI skills through partnerships with educational institutions and nonprofits.

The estate of Tupac Shakur has issued a legal challenge against Canadian rapper Drake for using an AI-generated voice of Tupac without permission in a track. This move underscores the growing legal complexities surrounding AI in creative outputs, as the estate condemns the unauthorized use of Tupac’s likeness and voice, highlighting issues of legacy respect and intellectual property rights in the age of AI.

OpenAI’s GPT-4 Surpasses Doctors in Diagnosing Eye Conditions

A study by the University of Cambridge has shown that OpenAI’s GPT-4 model can diagnose eye problems more accurately than some doctors. This breakthrough suggests significant potential for AI in supporting medical diagnostics, although experts caution that such technology is intended to complement, not replace, human clinicians. The study highlights GPT-4’s capability to enhance medical triaging and patient advice, potentially revolutionizing how healthcare providers manage eye health.

AI Advances in Postpartum Depression Screening

Dionysus Health has introduced an AI-enhanced blood test designed to detect genetic markers for postpartum depression before symptoms arise. This innovative approach, which is undergoing clinical trials with support from the Department of Defense and NIH, aims to improve early diagnosis and intervention, offering a proactive solution in maternal healthcare. However, the effectiveness and accessibility of such diagnostic tools remain subject to FDA approval and insurance coverage considerations.

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