Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 11): Walmart Advances Drone Deliveries, ByteDance Invests in Malaysia

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Jun 11): Walmart Advances Drone Deliveries, ByteDance Invests in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Skyline with Petronas Towers


Walmart Enhances Drone Delivery and Tests AI Shopping Assistant

Walmart has announced several new technology initiatives, including the enhancement of its drone delivery service and the trial of an AI shopping assistant in its app. Starting from late June, Walmart’s drone delivery service will be available to customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Initially launched in Northwest Arkansas in late 2021, the drone delivery service is expanding through a partnership with Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Walmart is also testing an AI-based shopping assistant in its mobile app to engage in natural conversations and address specific shopping needs. The AI shopping assistant will be continuously improved and more advanced features will be introduced over time.


Amazon India Launches Creator Programs

Amazon India has introduced two new programs, Creator University and Creator Connect, to help social media influencers sell products on its platform. These programs provide resources such as video tutorials, interactive workshops, and case studies to help content creators build their audience and optimize their content. About 60% of customers get information from creators before making a purchase decision, making this collaboration crucial for increasing sales. Amazon India will also offer creators more channels to publish content, including Amazon Live. The Amazon Influencer Program (AIP) allows creators to earn commissions by recommending Amazon products and services to their followers.

ByteDance Expands Data Centers and Invests in AI Hub in Malaysia

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is expanding its data center operations in Malaysia with an investment of up to 10 billion ringgit ($2.13 billion) in an AI hub. The Malaysian Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry announced the additional investment of 1.5 billion ringgit ($317 million) to enhance the data center facilities. This investment is expected to boost Malaysia’s digital economy, aiming for a 22.6% GDP contribution by 2025. Google and Microsoft are also making significant AI investments in Malaysia, with Google investing $2 billion and Microsoft $2.2 billion. These investments are set to play a crucial role in Malaysia’s digital transformation, creating numerous job opportunities and significantly contributing to GDP.

Temu Launches in Brazil with Major Discounts and Free Delivery

Pinduoduo’s cross-border e-commerce platform, Temu, has officially launched in Brazil. Temu offers consumers up to 90% off on shopping prices and free delivery to their doorstep. Various promotional schemes are available, including a 9% discount on purchases over 175 reals. The minimum order amount is set at 65 reals, which includes a 17% state circulation tax (ICMS). Temu has prepared for the Brazilian market by securing tax exemption for goods under $50 and currently operates nearly 60 global sites.

eMAG Reports Growth and Future Investment Plans

Romania’s largest e-commerce platform, eMAG, reported a revenue exceeding 2 billion euros ($2.19 billion) as of March 31, 2024, an 11% year-over-year increase. eMAG Romania’s revenue grew by 11% to 5.979 billion lei, while its integration company, Dante International, saw an 8.3% increase. Despite investments leading to a negative net profit, eMAG’s operating profit remained positive. Over the past three years, eMAG has increased the number of active sellers from 31,698 in 2020 to 56,972 in 2024. The company plans to invest approximately 900 million lei in the 2025 fiscal year to enhance its Romanian operations, AI technology, and logistics infrastructure.

Polish Consumers Increasingly Shop via Social Media

A report by the global fintech platform Adyen reveals that 45% of Polish consumers shop on social media platforms, with average monthly spending four times. The average annual spending is approximately 7000 pounds, with Facebook Marketplace being the most popular platform among Polish consumers. Generation Z and Baby Boomers have shown significant growth in social media shopping, with a respective increase of 32% and 35%. 37% of Polish businesses sell products via social commerce, with 80% reporting improved revenues. Popular shopping categories include sports and outdoor (46%), fashion (43%), home goods (42%), and clothing (42%).

Latin American Smartphone Market Thrives with AI Features

According to Canalys, the Latin American smartphone market saw a 26% year-over-year growth in Q1 2024, with shipments reaching 34.9 million units. Samsung led the market with 11.1 million units shipped, followed by Motorola with 5.9 million units. Xiaomi, Transsion, and Honor showed significant growth, with their shipments increasing by 45%, 215%, and 293%, respectively. The market’s strong demand for budget-friendly smartphones highlights the importance of balancing cost and advanced AI features. Despite marketing efforts for high-end AI features, manufacturers must align these with the capabilities of low-cost models to meet consumer expectations and manage costs effectively.


Singapore Lands $7.8B Semiconductor Plant for Automotive, Industrial Chips

Singapore will soon host a new $7.8 billion semiconductor manufacturing plant designed to produce hardware for the automotive, industrial, and mobile markets. This initiative is a joint venture between Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation (VIS) and NXP Semiconductors, forming VisionPower Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The plant will produce 12-inch chips, with the first batch expected in 2027, and aims to supply 55,000 300 mm wafers per month. This project aligns with VIS’s strategy to diversify manufacturing capabilities and is expected to create 1,500 jobs in Singapore. NXP will contribute $1.6 billion for a 40% stake, while VIS will invest $2.4 billion for a 60% stake.

Apple Watch Gets New Health Features, AI Summaries, and Translation

Apple has announced new features for the Apple Watch, including improved sensors and AI-generated notification summaries, as part of the watchOS 11 update. The new Vitals app will display key health metrics, such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and respiratory rate during sleep. Users can now track workout intensity with an algorithm that combines personal data with workout metrics. The update also introduces the Smart Stack feature for customizable watch faces and generative AI summaries for notifications from apps like Mail and Messages. Additionally, a new translation app will support 20 languages, enhancing the Apple Watch’s functionality for travelers.

Meta Launches WhatsApp AI Tools to Redefine Business-Customer Connections

Meta has introduced AI-powered tools for businesses on WhatsApp, transforming customer communication. These tools, revealed at the Conversations business messaging event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, include an AI feature that answers common customer questions automatically. Businesses can now also create ads for other Meta social media apps directly from WhatsApp, improving ROI and customer targeting. The new features, being piloted in select markets, will expand globally later this year. Meta has also enhanced WhatsApp with a business verification feature, offering a Verified badge for businesses to improve trust and security.

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