Federal Reserve survey Inflation impacting Americans’ financial status; TikTok restructures e-commerce department to focus on English and American markets | Cross-border e-commerce daily news

Federal Reserve survey shows inflation affecting Americans' finances; TikTok restructures e-commerce for English and American markets

【Fed survey: Inflation Impacting Americans’ Finances】 A survey released by the Federal Reserve on Monday shows that Americans believed their financial situation had sharply declined in the fall of last year due to high inflation eroding their income and savings.

The survey, conducted in October 2022, found that despite continuing benefits from a strong labor market, rising prices are putting more households in an economically unstable position.

The proportion of adults who believe their financial situation has worsened compared to a year ago has risen to 35%, the highest level since the first survey of this issue in 2014. Overall, 73% of adults believe their situation is okay or comfortable, a proportion lower than 78% in 2021 and 75% in 2020.

【TikTok Restructures E-commerce Department, Focusing on UK and US Markets】 May 23 News. According to media reports, TikTok is restructuring its e-commerce business to refocus on markets such as the UK and the US, and the company is working to export its live-streaming shopping model overseas.

Insiders revealed that TikTok Shop’s promoters in Brazil are being transferred to markets where the service has already been launched, such as the UK, the US, and Southeast Asia, while those who have been working to introduce TikTok Shop to Spain are being transferred to London.

It is reported that all employees working in Spain have been informed that they cannot stay there and need to move to London, where they will receive two flights home per month and six months’ rent for a new home.


North America

【Powell Holds Open Attitude Towards Pausing Rate Hike in June】 Federal Reserve Chairman Powell hinted that he is open to keeping rates stable at the Fed’s meeting next month. He said that current banking pressures may mean that rates do not need to be raised to the same high level as they would be without this situation to ease the economy.

The Federal Reserve has rapidly increased the benchmark federal funds rate over the past year to combat inflation, most recently raising it to a range of 5% to 5.25% this month, a 16-year high.

【FTC updates Green Guides to regulate recycling and reuse of clothing and textiles】 The US Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides are guidelines for environmental claims and practices aimed at preventing false or misleading environmental advertising. The agency recently updated the guidelines, with a focus on the recycling and reuse of clothing and textiles.

According to the updated guidelines, retailers and manufacturers using environmental labels or advertising should clearly state the specific details of their clothing and textile recycling programs. They need to provide transparent information, including the scope, methods, and effects of the recycling program, as well as specific recycling and reuse processes.

【Amazon and YETI launch second round of lawsuits to combat counterfeiters】 On May 24th, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crime Unit (CCU) joined forces with YETICoolers to file three lawsuits against several bad actors who attempted to sell counterfeit YETI products through four selling accounts on Amazon’s store, including YETI’s popular Rambler mug.

The fraudulent activity related to YETI has expanded to Turkey, and Amazon and YETI have identified fraudulent behavior by discovering fake invoices submitted to Amazon, and have filed lawsuits against the relevant counterfeiters in the federal court for the Western District of Washington.

【TikTok sues over new ban in Montana】 TikTok has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new ban on the social media platform in Montana.

A lawsuit filed in a Montana court on Monday alleges that the ban violates the First Amendment of the Constitution and other laws. The case is against the Montana Attorney General, who is responsible for enforcing the ban.

【Temu opens new sites in Austria and Mexico】 On May 23, it was reported that Temu platform had opened two new national sites in Austria and Mexico on May 18, according to seller leaks.

So far, Temu has opened 12 national sites, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Spain.

According to the Temu backend screenshot revealed by the seller, Austria and Mexico sites are also listed in the site list.

【Walmart opens a new fulfillment center in Bentonville, Arkansas】 Walmart has opened a store-based fulfillment center in Bentonville, Arkansas to strengthen its e-commerce business and provide faster delivery service.

The fulfillment center is located inside a Walmart superstore and uses existing store space and facilities for order processing and preparation. The center will help Walmart process online orders faster and achieve faster and more efficient delivery.

【Boot Barn to open new distribution center in Kansas City】 Western clothing retailer Boot Barn will establish a new distribution center in Kansas City to strengthen its supply chain network and improve order processing capabilities. The center will expand Boot Barn’s storage and distribution capabilities in the region to better meet customer needs.

The new distribution center will use modern equipment and technology, including automated order processing systems and logistics facilities, to improve efficiency and accuracy. This will help Boot Barn process orders faster and more reliably, and achieve faster delivery and delivery.

【Meta sells Giphy to Shutterstock to comply with UK regulatory order】 Shutterstock announced on Tuesday that it will acquire the animated image platform Giphy from Meta Platforms for $53 million in cash. The UK competition regulator ordered Meta to sell Giphy last year, fearing it might refuse or restrict access to target content for competitors like Snapchat and Twitter.

【Tesla to sell China-made electric vehicles in Canada】 Tesla’s website showed on Tuesday that the company will sell China-made Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in Canada, confirming that the company has completed its first shipment from the Shanghai factory to North America. A day earlier, it was reported that the second ship carrying electric vehicles produced by Tesla’s Shanghai factory was heading to Canada. Analysts say Tesla is inclined to supply China-made cars to Canada and sell US-made cars from its US factory, as Canadian electric vehicle subsidies do not limit vehicle origin.

【Uber to offer self-driving service through Alphabet’s Waymo】 Bloomberg reported that Uber will soon start offering ride-hailing services with self-driving cars through a partnership with Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet. The two companies announced on Tuesday that the move would bring autonomous driving closer to the mainstream. Later this year, Uber will begin using cars equipped with Waymo’s self-driving technology in some areas of Arizona.

【First Citizens sues HSBC over mass exodus of Silicon Valley Bank employees】 First Citizens is suing HSBC for over $1 billion in damages, claiming the UK bank took top staff and confidential information from the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank. First Citizens bought the US business of Silicon Valley Bank, while HSBC acquired its UK business. The lawsuit alleges that 42 employees collectively resigned to join HSBC, and former Silicon Valley Bank employees accessed and misused data.

【Disney+ and Hulu will remove dozens of TV series starting this week】 The Disney Company will begin removing dozens of titles from its Disney+ and Hulu streaming services starting on May 26th.

Vulture first reported the details of this removal last Thursday night. The list of titles to be removed was increased to more than 50 last Friday, including the fantasy series Willow on Disney+, which is a sequel to the 1988 movie and premiered last November; Pistol, a Hulu biographical miniseries about the Sex Pistols that premiered in 2022; and Y: The Last Man, a post-apocalyptic series that premiered on Hulu in 2021.

More TV series may be removed this week, and it is expected that more will be removed from these platforms in the future.


European Union region

【Doctors in Madrid region of Spain hold strike】 Specialist doctors from several hospitals in the Madrid region of Spain have held a new round of strikes, gathering at hospital entrances to protest the lack of action by the Madrid regional government in making work contracts for doctors permanent. The platform calling for the strike stated that 25% of the doctor group in the region participated in the strike this time. Since May 4th, the Madrid Specialist Doctors Association has called for nearly 12,000 specialist doctors to strike every Tuesday and Thursday. The association stated in a declaration that about 53.9% of specialist doctors in the Madrid region have temporary contracts, and doctors who retire with temporary contracts will lack guarantees for their retirement benefits.

【China’s non-financial direct investment abroad increased by 17.6% year-on-year from January to April】 The latest data released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce shows that from January to April 2023, China’s non-financial direct investment abroad reached 289.29 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 26.6%, equivalent to 42.19 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 17.6%.

Both growth rates continued the high growth momentum since the beginning of this year, benefiting from China’s comprehensive relaxation of epidemic prevention measures this year, as well as the low base last year.

Previously, in the first quarter, China’s non-financial direct investment overseas reached RMB 215.97 billion, a year-on-year increase of 26.3%; equivalent to USD 31.54 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17.2%.

【Alibaba Cloud will lay off 7% of its employees】 According to reports, Alibaba Group Holding Limited has begun a round of layoffs, aiming to reduce about 7% of its employees in the cloud computing department. The cloud computing department has begun offering severance pay or transferring employees to other departments within Alibaba. This layoff is aimed at helping the cloud computing department prepare for the spin-off and eventual IPO.

【Baltic Dry Index falls to over a two-month low】 The Baltic Dry Index fell to over a two-month low on Tuesday due to weak demand for all ship types. The Baltic Dry Index fell 17 points or 1.3% to 1,348 points, the lowest level since March 8 and the 9th consecutive day of decline. The Capesize Index fell 25 points or 1.2% to 2,040 points, the lowest level in nearly a month. Capesize daily earnings decreased by $204 to $16,922. The Panamax Index fell 8 points or 0.7% to 1,212 points, the lowest level since February 23. Panamax daily earnings fell by $71 to $10,911. The Supramax Index fell 20 points or 1.9% to 1,043 points.

【Amazon launches age verification feature to facilitate adult customers purchasing alcoholic products】 On May 23, Amazon announced that its palm payment service Amazon One has launched a new feature called “age verification”, providing convenience for customers to purchase alcoholic products.

This feature allows adult customers aged 21 and over to purchase alcoholic beverages by simply hovering their palm over the Amazon One device without having to verify their physical ID. Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball (MLB) team, will be the first location to offer the Amazon One age verification feature.

【Amazon China to discontinue Appstore service】 On May 23rd, Amazon Appstore sent an email notification stating that Amazon China will no longer provide Appstore services from July 17th.

It is understood that Amazon Appstore is an application store launched by Amazon, which is also the official application store of its Fire OS system and the third-party genuine application store of the Android system. It was launched on March 22, 2011 and is now available in nearly 200 countries.

All users running Windows 11 can download and install applications on Windows 11 through the Amazon Appstore. The Amazon Appstore has an App trial function, and users can try it out for half an hour on Amazon EC2 cloud through their browser.

【Amazon UK adds Evri delivery service】 On May 23rd, Amazon announced that UK courier Evri has become a carrier for its Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). Now, UK sellers can choose Evri delivery service to deliver orders to customers.

Amazon SFP allows sellers to ship directly to Prime customers from their own warehouses and display the Prime badge, indicating that the seller promises to fulfill orders through approved Prime carriers and not charge additional fees to Prime customers.

After a six-week test, Evri was certified and claimed to have “consistently met or exceeded Amazon’s requirements and delivered packages in strict compliance with standards” during the test period.

【Amazon reminds Canadian sellers to upload 2 types of compliant documents in a timely manner】 On May 23rd, many Amazon Canada sellers received notifications reminding them to submit compliance documents. For the two categories of “bicycle helmets” and “personal flotation devices (PFDs)”, sellers who sell these two major categories need to take action in a timely manner.

Among them, the implementation date of the bicycle helmet policy is April 25, 2023, and the product removal date is June 24, 2023; the implementation date of the personal flotation device (PFD) policy is April 26, 2023, and the product removal date is June 25, 2023.

【Shopify adds gift card direct mail setting and supports personalized messages】 On May 24, Shopify announced that consumers can now choose to send gift cards directly to recipients’ email addresses and attach a personal message. Merchants need to use the latest version of Dawn to enable this update.

It is understood that all Shopify subscription packages support the sale of gift cards, and these gift cards can be redeemed by customers on all sales channels using Shopify checkout (including online stores, “Buy Now” buttons, Facebook Shop, Messenger, Shopify POS, etc.).

When merchants activate the gift card function in the Shopify backend and add the gift card product, their customers can purchase gift cards for themselves or others.

【TikTok Shop seeks “fully managed” merchants for Saudi Arabia’s Eid al-Adha festival】 On May 23, Saudi Arabia will hold its annual Eid al-Adha festival. This is also the first platform promotion event for TikTok Shop’s cross-border e-commerce fully managed mode-TikTok Shop Eid al-Adha sale.

The event will last for 42 days from May 18 to June 28. TikTok Shop will invest abundant platform resources to help the Eid al-Adha promotion.

It is understood that Eid al-Adha is one of the traditional shopping peaks, and people will buy clothing, electronics, and various Eid al-Adha specialty products to celebrate the festival. Clothing and gifts are consumers’ first choice for shopping, and children and baby goods are also of concern.

【DHgate shortens the standard response time for refunds before shipment】 On May 23, DHgate released the “Optimization of Response Time for Refunds Before Shipment and Early Upgrade of VIP Buyer Disputes After Shipment Announcement”. The announcement stated that the platform will optimize the “dispute response time standard during the stocking period before shipment”, and the response time standard will be adjusted from 7 natural days to 4 natural days.

At the same time, in order to enhance the VIP buyer experience, after the seller ships the goods, VIP buyers (including V4 and V5) can initiate a dispute. If no agreement is reached after 5 days of negotiation between the buyer and seller, the dispute will be automatically escalated to the platform. The above optimization will take effect from May 29, 2023.

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