eMarketer’s scan of the key developments of the day, plus data to make sense of it all
Google to Add Ad Blocker to Chrome
Google is planning to roll out an ad blocking feature for the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome browser. According to The Wall Street Journal, the feature will “filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.” Google is expected to introduce the ad blocking feature within the next few weeks.
Date Set for Uber Appeal in UK
Uber’s fight against greater regulation in the UK marches on. The sharing economy poster child has been given a September 27 hearing date to appeal a ruling in the UK that declared its “self-employed” drivers should be given the same rights granted to official employees, according to The Guardian.
China Keeps Buying Stuff from South Korea
Despite ongoing political tensions between the governments of China and South Korea, digital shoppers in China show no signs of decreased demand for goods from South Korea. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency reported that 13.6% of direct overseas purchases by Tmall shoppers in China came from South Korea, behind only the US and Japan. China has placed restrictions on imports from South Korea as part of the fallout over South Korea’s decision to install a US missile defense system on its shores.
Value of Lost Taxes on UK Ecommerce Tops £1 Billion
The UK government lost between £1 billion and £1.5 billion ($1.53 billion and $2.29 billion) in tax revenues last year due to online sellers based outside the European Union failing to charge value-added tax (VAT) on their goods located in the UK when sold to UK customers, according to an investigation by the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO). The UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), “has not yet been able to assess how much is due to lack of awareness, error or deliberate fraud,” NAO’s report said.
US Millennials Vote for Snapchat Stories
In two separate surveys conducted in November–December 2016 and April 2017 by millennial consumer insights company Whatsgoodly, millennials overwhelmingly preferred Snapchat stories to Instagram’s version of the feature. In the tail end of 2016, 88% preferred Snapchat stories. While that number fell by 10% in the April survey, the scant 4% who preferred Instagram stories remained the same.
Maybank Launches Payment Gateway
Malaysia-based bank Maybank introduced a new payment gateway called Maybank2u Pay, which is intended to serve as a payments solution for emerging ecommerce businesses in the country. The service is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses in Malaysia that may not have the resources to develop their own digital payment methods. eMarketer estimates retail ecommerce sales in the country will reach $2.41 billion this year.
Uber Central Now Available in India
US-based ride-hailing platform Uber rolled out Uber Central, a feature geared toward corporate clients, in India. The service allows door-to-door transportation to be dispatched centrally for corporate users who don’t need an Uber account to make use of the service. Instead, riders can receive text notifications regarding ride details. Uber said more than 8,000 firms had already participated in an Uber Central pilot program, including over 50 in India.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats