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Amazon Adds UK B2B Ecommerce Site
Two years after its debut in the US and just months since its December expansion to Germany, Amazon Business came to the UK this week. According to Amazon, the site offers more than 100 million products, from office supplies and commercial-grade printers to industrial safety products and laboratory tools. It looks to grab a share of an online B2B/B2G ecommerce market in the UK worth nearly £100 billion ($135.0 billion) annually, according to the latest available estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – UK.
WhatsApp Considers P2P Payments for India
Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is considering launching a digital payment service in India, reports local tech news site The Ken. According to the report, WhatsApp plans to use the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard, which is government-backed and allows for transactions between different banks, to facilitate digital payments among its users. Cheetah Mobile reported that WhatsApp had a reach of 91.7% among Android device users surveyed in India in the fall of 2016.
Daimler Is Making Really Nice Robot Taxis
Daimler, the parent company of luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, is teaming up with parts supplier Robert Bosch to create a self-driving taxi. The move means Daimler will halt its previous plans to develop an autonomous car on its own. According to a February 2017 survey from connected car tech company Klashwerks, about 38% of US internet users were willing to ride in a self-driving car.
European Union Unemployment Rate Dips
The unemployment rate in the 28-nation EU fell to 8.0% in February 2017, down from 8.9% a year earlier, according to Eurostat. The figure was the lowest rate recorded for the EU since January 2009. The 19-country euro area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.5% for the month, down from 10.3% in February 2016. The new figure was the lowest rate recorded in the region since May 2009.
H&M Unveils New Retail Brand
Sweden-based apparel retailer H&M plans to launch a new retail brand later this year in the UK that will offer slightly higher-priced men’s, women’s and children’s clothing than its fast fashion flagship chain, plus sell home goods and feature in-store cafes. The first physical location for the new Arket chain will open in London in early autumn; online stores will open in 18 European countries at the same time.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick
US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%.
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