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What Did Amazon Do This Week? - April 21st

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WDADTW is the newsletter that even Amazon execs read to keep up with the world of Amazon. Let me kno
 
April 21 · Issue #10 · View online
What Did Amazon Do This Week?
WDADTW is the newsletter that even Amazon execs read to keep up with the world of Amazon.
Let me know you think it can be improved, simply hit reply or email me here.

Amazon 0 - China - 1
Despite buying a company (Joyo.com) and rebranding it, Amazon can’t get a foothold in China so it is pulling out of the region. Amazon announced they will shut the online store in China and push people through the global store from July 18. Bad news for domestic sellers, but Amazon has stiff competition from huge forces in China (not just businesses; culturally, politically) so this is not entirely surprising news. Despite the huge growth opportunity (see chart above) Amazon is US-powerful but not so much in the rest of the world. China is important to Amazon but not at the cost of other regions or the money-maker (US). AWS (and content businesses like Kindle) will still continue to operate in China but the retail route was proving too difficult and costly for Amazon currently thanks to Alibaba and JD.com. The move does allow Amazon to focus on other areas, which is a nice spin, but this move highlights the challenge Amazon has when moving overseas. The company may not be the most welcome or beloved brand (even with younger demographics) and success is not assured. India just became a whole lot more important to Amazon’s future - where the company has vowed to spend $5.5bn on e-commerce alone - but is seeing considerable resistance and new legislation already so eyes will be focusing on that region and current market leader, Flipkart (owned by Walmart).
Amazon launched their ad-supported spotify-esque music platform for Alexa users only. ··· Amazon and YouTube’s content will now work on each other’s dongles. ··· David Fincher’s ’Utopia’ will get a US remake for Amazon Prime Video and feature John Cusack. ··· A 10-part series for Prime Video, ’Underground Railroad’, will be directed by ‘Moonlight/If Beale Street Could Talk’ director. ··· Amazon has reached a settlement with Bavarian media authority, BLM, in a 'surreptitious advertising’ dispute. ··· Amazon Prime original series trailer for 'The Boys’ received the NSWF banner across the internet. ··· Amazon is going fishing for NFL content.
Amazon (and Walmart) will now accept foodstamps in a trial to see if capturing the low-end of the market is profitable. ··· Amazon partnered with Maxwell House for a ‘Marvellous Mrs Maisel’ Haggadah promotion. ··· Amazon is now texting customers package arrival times. ··· Amazon has opened its third Amazon Go store in San Fransisco (575 Market Street). ··· Amazon UK has lots of fake reviews according to new research. ··· To support World Book Day, Amazon is giving away nine books on Kindle for free.
Amazon is combating fraud (and training its facial recognition products?) by making drivers take selfies. ··· Amazon will use AWS for Chilean stargazers. ··· Amazon has launched a certification program for Alexa skills developers. ··· Alexa is now in the(terrible named) Amazfit Verge smartwatch.
Amazon has given the market ’weak’ Q1 results guidance. ··· Amazon’s Nashville deal (Amazon snags $100m subsidies for choosing building there) is causing problems on both sides of the aisle. ··· Amazon awarded its ‘Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary’ scholarships to 24 female students in the UK. ··· Amazon workers at four German warehouses are striking for better pay and conditions. ··· Amazon-backed car maker Riavan plans 6 new vehicles by 2025 ··· Amazon stakeholders will vote on facial recognition issues May 22nd. ··· Amazon named Jen Maclean Head of Worldwide Business Development for Amazon Game Tech. ··· Amazon is courting big oil more than renewables. ··· Amazon is changing a facility focus in Illinois which will impact hundreds of workers. ··· Amazon spokesperson says the company has no plans to enter the $16bn/2025 CBD market. ··· Amazon granted $1.35m to a school in New Jersey. Amazon France launched a competition to find the best personal stories written by French people outside France. ··· Amazon Japan opened the new distribution base called ’Kawaguchi FC’, full operation will begin in September 2019. ··· Amazon has given $200,000 to a political committee in Seattle. ··· Amazon has leased a small distribution centre in North Jackson, Idaho, that will be functional by July/August. ··· Jeff Bezos could be deposed in the Woody Allen lawsuit. Jeff Bezo’s salary has stayed the same this year… $82k.
— Italy’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Amazon. [Reuters]
— Europe has passed regulations (aimed specifically at Amazon and co) to rein in online retailers and avoid unfair practices. [Telecoms]
— Amazon is finding it hard to run sweepstakes thanks to Robocall technology. [Bloomberg]
— Facebook’s voice assistant (leaked this week) could spell trouble for Alexa. [Forbes]
— More data emerged this week to suggest that Amazon Prime membership in the US is slowing. [Motley Fool]
— Rakuten’s move into cryptocurrency may force Amazon to move faster into the space. [ICO Examiner]
— How Amazon taught Alexa to recognise sounds and hear speech. [Amazon]
— For $60, Amazon’s facial recognition software identified 2,750 faces and matched a significant amount to real identities. [NYT]
— How AI powers Amazon. [The Economist]
THE NUMBERS
SHARE PRICE = $1,861.69 ··· CHANGE = -3.13 (-0.17 %) ··· MARKET CAP = $916,050.89 B.
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