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Consumers Can Access Early Prime Day Deals via Alexa
Amazon’s annual Prime Day is coming up on July 10, and the company is giving voice shoppers early access to select deals. Additionally, for the first time, consumers who purchase with Alexa between now and Prime Day will receive a bonus $10 promo code.
Alibaba Unveils New Voice Assistant
Chinese ecommerce firm Alibaba just got into the voice-assistant device game. This week, the firm unveiled the “Tmall Genie X1” digital speaker assistant, joining companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and JD.com in the nascent category. The device allows users to issue voice commands, to do tasks like stream news and listen to music. The speaker, priced at about $73, will go on sale in China on August 8, and will initially only support Chinese.
Snapchat Users Can Now Add Links to Snaps
Snapchat is rolling out new features, including one called Paperclip, which lets users attach a website to a Snap that friends can swipe up to open within the app’s internal browser, TechCrunch reports. Voice Filters, another new feature, will let users remix the sound of their voice in their Snaps.
Airbnb Expands ‘Trips’ in Europe
Airbnb has rolled out its Airbnb Trips service to Berlin and Prague, bringing the number of cities to more than 30 worldwide where users can use the platform to book curated experiences hosted by locals. At launch late last week, the platform offered 25 experience options in Germany’s capital and 20 in the Czech Republic’s.
India’s Snapdeal Rejects Flipkart Buyout Offer
According to local media reports, Indian ecommerce platform Snapdeal rejected a buyout offer from rival Flipkart estimated at $800 million to $900 million. However, negotiations between the two companies and their stakeholders were reportedly ongoing. Japanese telecom SoftBank Group was Snapdeal’s largest shareholder, while Tiger Global Management controlled the largest stake in Flipkart.
Tencent Invests Millions in Ride-Hailing Service Go-Jek
Chinese internet services company Tencent, owner of popular messaging platform WeChat, has invested between $100 million and $150 million in Indonesian ride-hailing platform Go-Jek, according to Reuters. The on-demand taxi service has expanded beyond its initial service to offer users mobile payment and food delivery services, among others, as it expands to capture market share in more of Southeast Asia’s digital economy sectors. The company reportedly seeks to raise $1 billion in its current investment round.
Germany’s Social Media Law Approved
Germany’s parliament has passed the country’s Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) law designed to speed up the removal of illegal content on social networks. Scheduled to go into effect in October, the law threatens social networks with fines of €5 million to €50 million ($5.5 million to $55.3 million) if they fail to remove posts containing hate speech or other “obviously illegal” content within 24 hours or haven’t assessed more ambiguous postings within a week, according to the BBC.
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