Home » Latest News » E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (May 20): Walmart Expands High-Tech Distribution, TikTok Challenges US Ban

E-commerce & AI News Flash Collection (May 20): Walmart Expands High-Tech Distribution, TikTok Challenges US Ban

high tech distribution center


TikTok Appeals US Ban Law

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are urging the US Appeals Court to expedite the review of the “sell-or-ban” law. This legislation could potentially prevent 170 million Americans from using TikTok. Several TikTok creators have sued the federal government to block this law, citing its significant impact on Americans’ lives. TikTok claims the law violates the US Constitution and free speech. They seek a court decision by December 6 to allow time for an emergency review by the Supreme Court if needed.

Walmart Opens Fourth High-Tech Distribution Center

Walmart has inaugurated its fourth high-tech distribution center in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, to speed up order deliveries. The 1.5 million square feet facility will employ over 1,000 workers and utilize advanced automation for efficient operations. The center will double storage and order processing capacity, extending next-day and two-day delivery services. Walmart’s fulfillment service will also handle third-party seller orders through this center. By 2026, Walmart plans to establish five advanced e-commerce distribution centers.

Amazon Launches Amazon Access for Low-Income Customers

Amazon has introduced Amazon Access to offer affordable shopping experiences for low-income customers. The platform provides member programs, discounts, and flexible payment options like SNAP EBT cards and Amazon Layaway. Eligible customers can subscribe to Prime Access for $6.99 per month, enjoying all Prime benefits at half the regular membership cost. This initiative helps customers save over $1,600 annually through shipping savings, coupons, and member discounts.

Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom Chase Gen Z, Millennials Ahead of Earnings

Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Nordstrom are struggling to attract younger customers as sales slow and their core baby boomer customers age. Macy’s and Kohl’s face scrutiny from investors, leading to attempts to revitalize through new leadership and private brands. Macy’s plans to close over 25% of its stores by 2027 and open smaller, off-mall locations, while enhancing its beauty offerings with more Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury stores. Kohl’s aims to appeal to younger shoppers by adding trendy clothing, expanding Sephora shops, and introducing Babies R Us departments. Nordstrom is focusing on signing deals with popular brands and launching a third-party marketplace to increase its online offerings, aiming to double or triple the items sold on its website and app.


India to Launch App Against E-commerce Dark Patterns

The Indian government will launch an app to prevent e-commerce platforms from using “dark patterns” to manipulate consumer choices. Dark patterns are deceptive design techniques that can mislead consumers. The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) banned these practices last December, detailing 13 types as criminal offenses. The new app will detect dark patterns in leading e-commerce apps, alerting consumers and allowing them to file complaints.

Kuaishou Expands in Saudi Arabia and MENA

Short-video platform Kuaishou is expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region. The platform boasts over 20 million monthly active users in these regions, with high user engagement. Kuaishou plans to set up offices in Riyadh and further customize its features for local preferences. The platform prioritizes user safety and employs advanced AI models to filter harmful content. Kuaishou’s local content, including sports, games, and religious topics, resonates well with MENA users.

Mercado Libre Sees Sales Surge During Hot Sale Event

Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre reported a 36% increase in sales on the first day of its annual Hot Sale event compared to 2023. From May 15 to 23, the platform offered over 2.5 million products, with more than 1.2 million items sold in the first day. Popular items included coffee capsules, sneakers, hand sanitizer, mattresses, and cordless drills. Fashion and beauty products saw a 60% growth, while electronics grew by forty percent. The event’s success was bolstered by installment payment options and significant discounts.


Sony Cracks Down on Unauthorized AI Training Using Its Music Catalog

Sony has initiated actions to prevent the unauthorized use of its music catalog for training AI models. The company is focusing on protecting its intellectual property and ensuring that its music is not used without permission. This move is part of a broader industry trend where content creators and rights holders are seeking to control how their work is used in AI applications. Unauthorized AI training using copyrighted content has raised significant legal and ethical concerns. Sony’s crackdown aims to safeguard the interests of artists and the integrity of its music library.

Actors Sue AI Voice Generator for Unauthorized Use of Their Voices

A group of actors has filed a lawsuit against an AI voice generator company for using their voices without permission. The actors claim that the company used their recorded voices to train its AI models, which can then replicate their voices for various applications. This legal action highlights the ongoing debate over the ethical use of personal data and intellectual property in AI development. The case underscores the need for clear regulations and consent mechanisms to protect individuals’ rights in the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

AI-Powered Robots Show Off Cat-Like Agility at Robotics Conference

At a recent robotics conference, AI-powered robots demonstrated impressive cat-like agility, showcasing advancements in robotic movement and balance. These robots, designed to mimic the fluid and dynamic movements of cats, highlight the potential for AI in creating more agile and adaptable machines. The technology could have applications in various fields, including search and rescue, where agility and precision are critical. The demonstrations reflect significant progress in AI and robotics, pushing the boundaries of what machines can achieve.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Discusses AI-Integrated Laptops in Interview

In an interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared insights on the future of AI-integrated laptops. Nadella emphasized the importance of AI in enhancing user experiences and productivity. He highlighted how AI can personalize interactions, optimize performance, and provide smarter assistance through laptops. Microsoft is focusing on integrating AI technologies seamlessly into its devices, aiming to make them more intuitive and efficient for users. This vision aligns with the broader trend of embedding AI into everyday technology to improve functionality and user engagement.

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