Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Mar 26): Amazon’s Spring Sale Stumbles, EU Cracks Down on Tech Giants

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (Mar 26): Amazon’s Spring Sale Stumbles, EU Cracks Down on Tech Giants

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US News

Lackluster Spring Sale Leaves Sellers Disappointed

Amazon’s first-ever spring sale in the US concluded with underwhelming results, as only 11% of sellers reported increased sales, while 59% suspected the platform failed to notify buyers, and 30% didn’t participate at all. Despite Amazon’s efforts to expand the sale’s reach, it still falls short of traditional peak seasons. The sale also coincided with a wave of account suspensions and a crackdown on the vacuum cleaner category, further compounding sellers’ frustrations.

Numerous Amazon sellers have once again received warnings about potential account suspensions, as the platform aims to comply with the Consumer Notification Act. Sellers meeting specific criteria must undergo annual verification to ensure the accuracy of their business information. While this process may cause temporary disruptions, it is unlikely to result in permanent account closures or fines, provided sellers complete the verification promptly.

FedEx Unveils Upgraded fdx Platform for E-commerce Businesses

In a bid to optimize supply chains and manage delivery processes for e-commerce businesses, FedEx is set to introduce an upgraded fdx platform this fall. The platform will leverage FedEx’s extensive transportation network and digital capabilities to create customized experiences for various enterprises. This move is part of FedEx’s strategy to streamline its parcel business in 20 markets, adapt to changing demand, and compete with rivals such as UPS and Amazon.

Global News

EU Launches Antitrust Probes into Apple, Google, and Meta

The European Commission has launched in-depth investigations into potential antitrust violations by Apple, Google, and Meta, marking the first use of the recently enacted Digital Markets Act (DMA). Companies found to have violated the law could face fines of up to 10% of their global revenue. The investigations will focus on Google’s turnover rules in the Google Play Store and potential self-preferencing in Google Search, Apple’s turnover rules in the App Store and choice screen settings in the Safari browser, and Meta’s “pay or consent” model.

German Lawmakers Mull Stricter TikTok Regulation Amid US Crackdown

Amid growing concerns over TikTok’s potential threat to democracy, some German politicians are calling for tighter regulation or even a complete prohibition on the platform. Others advocate for using the Digital Services Act (DSA) to strengthen oversight of the app, which boasts around 19 million users in Germany. This development comes as the US ramps up its pressure on TikTok, with the app facing a potential nationwide prohibition. However, implementing a complete prohibition in Germany may prove challenging, given TikTok’s substantial user base in the country.

Temu Faces Product Recalls in the United Kingdom

Two products sold on Temu, a high-pressure shower head and a portable space heater, have been recalled by the UK government due to serious burn and electric shock risks. The products fail to meet the requirements of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016. Temu has removed the products from its platform and is contacting affected customers to arrange recalls and refunds.

AliExpress Rolls Out “Multi-Piece Direct Discount” to Boost Bulk Purchases

AliExpress has launched a new feature aimed at facilitating small-scale bulk purchases for overseas consumers, including group buying, reselling, and dropshipping. The platform will subsidize the discounts, ensuring that merchants’ profit margins remain unaffected. This initiative aligns with AliExpress’s recent launch of the AliExpress Business channel, which will feature procurement festivals, live streaming from sourcing industrial belts, and direct ordering for procurement-oriented consumers.

Chinese Platforms Gain Foothold in South Korean Market

Chinese e-commerce giants, such as AliExpress and Temu, have rapidly gained popularity among South Korean consumers, thanks to their competitive prices and attractive promotions. In 2023, China surpassed the US as the top choice for cross-border shopping in South Korea. As of late 2023, AliExpress and Temu had a combined user base of over 10 million in South Korea, meaning 20% South Koreans use a Chinese cross-border e-commerce app.

Concerned about the growing market share of Chinese e-commerce platforms, the South Korean government has intensified its scrutiny of these companies. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an in-depth investigation into potential violations of consumer protection laws and antitrust regulations. The FTC’s inspection team will focus on influential e-commerce platforms, considering factors such as monthly active users (MAU) and sales data, with the aim of comprehensively understanding the market landscape.

AI News

OpenAI’s Potential Voice Assistant Plans Revealed Through Trademark Filings

Recent trademark filings suggest that OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, may be developing a voice assistant product. The company filed a service mark application for the term “voice engine” on March 19, hinting at a potential new offering. OpenAI has already incorporated voice capabilities into ChatGPT through its Whisper speech recognition system, allowing users to engage in back-and-forth conversations with the AI. Additionally, the company’s trademark filings for GPT-6 and GPT-7 indicate that future language models may include features such as multilingual speech recognition and music generation.

JPMorgan: TSMC Poised to Benefit from AI Boom

According to JPMorgan analyst Gokul Hariharan, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) is well-positioned to capitalize on the artificial intelligence boom. As a key supplier to major chip companies like Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm, TSMC is expected to maintain its dominant market share in AI-related processor silicon over the next three to four years. Hariharan predicts that TSMC’s AI contribution to revenues could quadruple from 6% in 2023 to 27% by 2027, driven by strong demand for AI training and inference, as well as the company’s advanced 3-nanometer process technology. Despite its potential, TSMC shares are currently trading at a significant discount compared to its peers in the semiconductor industry.

Apple to Reveal AI Strategy at Worldwide Developers Conference in June

Apple has announced that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place from June 10 to June 14, with the company expected to unveil its long-awaited artificial intelligence strategy. Although Apple has not officially disclosed the contents of the presentation, insiders have indicated that the event will heavily focus on AI. The tech giant’s move to showcase its AI plans comes amid intensifying competition in the artificial intelligence space, with rivals such as Google and Microsoft making significant strides in the field. The WWDC event is expected to provide insights into how Apple intends to integrate AI technologies across its product lineup, potentially reshaping the user experience for millions of customers worldwide.

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