Walmart and Costco consider joining Biden’s data sharing plan; China’s 21 FTZs saw a 66% YoY increase in imports and exports in the first quarter | Cross-border e-commerce daily news
Walmart and Costco may join Biden's data sharing plan, and China's 21 FTZs had a 66% YoY increase in trade in Q1
【Walmart and Costco consider joining Biden’s data sharing plan】 In order to better address supply chain issues, including congestion, delayed delivery, and shelf shortages, US President Biden is encouraging large US retailers to participate in a data sharing plan to improve supply chain transparency. As the Biden administration believes that data sharing is key to better supply chain management, some large retailers, including Walmart and Costco, are considering joining the program. The plan involves sharing supply chain data to help companies better predict and respond to future supply chain risks, as well as to speed up the movement and delivery of goods.
【China’s 21 free trade zones saw a 6.6% YoY increase in imports and exports in Q1】 A spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce stated that in the first quarter of this year, foreign trade and investment in free trade zones saw fast growth. The imports and exports of the 21 free trade zones reached RMB 1.8 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 6.6%, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the national growth rate. Of this, exports amounted to RMB 794.9 billion, up 8.5% year-on-year, while imports amounted to RMB 1.0363 trillion, up 5.2%. The actual use of foreign investment was RMB 71.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 22.1%, which is 17.2 percentage points higher than the national growth rate. The total import and export volume and actual use of foreign investment in the free trade zones accounted for 19.4% and 18.1%, respectively, of the 21 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities).
【US PPI up 2.3% YoY and 0.2% MoM in April】 US PPI rose 2.3% YoY in April, lower than the expected increase of 2.4%, and down from the previous increase of 2.7%. US PPI also rose 0.2% MoM in April, lower than the expected increase of 0.3%, and up from the previous decrease of 0.5%.
【Amazon and Canon file joint lawsuit against counterfeiters】 On May 11, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crime Unit (CCU) and Canon filed a joint lawsuit against a group of bad actors who attempted to promote, market, and sell camera batteries and chargers in the Amazon store, and are suspected of infringing on Canon’s registered trademark.
When Amazon discovered that counterfeiters were abusing their attempts, the company worked with Canon to confirm that the related products were counterfeit and quickly took action to close 29 sales accounts operated by the defendant.
【Amazon Spain’s new robot distribution center BCN4 put into use】 On May 12th, it was reported that Amazon’s new robot distribution center in Girona, Spain has recently started operating. This is the company’s second “first mile” facility in Catalonia and Amazon’s first robot “first mile” facility in Spain, which will open in 2023.
The center, named BCN4, began operating on April 17th and only started shipping from the location this week. The site currently stores one million products, with a maximum capacity of 25 million.
The distribution facility is three stories tall, with each floor occupying an area of approximately 50,000 square meters (equivalent to the area of 22 football fields), equipped with a 2,300-meter conveyor belt and 3,000 robots, and can store up to 25 million products. Amazon has invested over 200 million euros in the facility.
【TikTok Shop will launch a “fully managed” model】 On May 11th, TikTok Shop adjusted its cross-border business, and the project team codenamed “S” (short for Store) will launch a “fully managed” model for self-operated businesses, where merchants will only be responsible for supplying goods, and the platform will solve traffic and product operation issues.
At the same time, the TikTok Shop storefront function will be fully opened in the United States this year. Brazil, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Middle East and other sites do not yet have a clear start time.
【Nordstrom appoints Cathy Smith as its CFO】 The high-end American department store Nordstrom recently announced the appointment of former Target CFO Cathy Smith as its CFO. Cathy Smith worked at Target for six years and previously served as CFO for Express Scripts and Walmart. She will officially join Nordstrom on June 28th and report to the company’s CEO, Erik Nordstrom.
The Italian antitrust authority launches an investigation into Apple. On May 11th local time, the Italian antitrust authority, the Competition and Market Authority, announced that it had decided to investigate Apple’s alleged abuse of market dominance. The authority stated that since April 2021, Apple has adopted privacy policies for third-party app developers that are more strict than those for Apple itself. In addition, the quality of data provided by Apple to third-party developers and advertisers is relatively poor. Apple’s actions may undermine the enthusiasm of developers to create innovative applications and hinder Apple users from using competitor application systems.
Uber partners with Hopper to launch flight booking service. On May 11th, Uber announced a partnership with travel technology company Hopper to launch flight booking services and fintech products. The feature will be first available to Uber users in the UK, where some users can book domestic and international flights through the Uber app next week, and the full launch in the UK market is expected to be completed this summer. Uber has not disclosed any plans to expand to other markets.
Hopper’s several paid fintech products, including products that allow customers to freeze tickets, cancel flights for any reason, or rebook or get refunds in case of flight interruption, will also be launched on the Uber app.
【Disney announced the integration of Disney+ and Hulu into one app】 The CEO of Disney announced during a financial report conference call that they plan to merge Disney+ and Hulu into one application, and the new app will be launched later this year.
European Union Region
【Allegro, the Polish e-commerce platform, launched its Czech website】 On May 11th, Allegro, the Polish e-commerce platform, announced on its official website that it has launched allegro.cz, its Czech website, and buyers in the Czech Republic can now access and purchase products on the new website. The allegro.cz website is now open, but Allegro is still testing and developing some features.
If a seller sells on allegro.cz, they need to first add delivery methods to the Czech Republic, including cash on delivery, which is popular among Czech customers. Even if the buyer does not pick up the product, the seller only needs to pay a return fee of 5 Czech korunas until the end of the year.
【Cdiscount, the French e-commerce platform, collaborates with ESG to build a team in China】 On May 11th, Cdiscount/Octopia, the largest local e-commerce platform in France, and ESG cross-border e-commerce jointly established a local service team in China to help improve Cdiscount/Octopia’s brand awareness and acceptance in China.
The main task of the service team is to help Chinese sellers enter the European market, provide comprehensive support to sellers from the start of their registration, offer high-quality account operation knowledge and growth incubation support, and also feedback the voice of Chinese sellers to the platform and European consumers, strengthen the connection and interaction among the three parties, and help sellers quickly land in Europe.
【German railway workers will hold a 50-hour strike】 On May 11th, the German railway and transport workers union announced that they will begin a 50-hour railway strike starting on the evening of the 14th, which may seriously affect train traffic on Monday and Tuesday next week. For several months, several unions in the transportation and related departments have been negotiating with employers, leading to a series of strikes in public transportation and airports. According to the German railway and transport workers union, the upcoming strike will affect German national railway operator Deutsche Bahn and other transportation companies, and there has been no “meaningful” progress in labor negotiations with these companies in recent weeks.
[Security Personnel at London Heathrow Airport Go on Strike Again] In protest against high inflation and soaring living costs, around 1,400 security personnel at London Heathrow Airport went on strike again from the 9th to the 10th local time, one week after their previous strike.
[JD.com’s Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.4% YoY, Exceeding Market Expectations] JD.com’s Q1 net revenue was CNY 243 billion, up 1.4% YoY, exceeding the estimated CNY 240.49 billion. Adjusted earnings per ADS for Q1 were CNY 4.76, up from CNY 2.53 in the same period last year and exceeding the estimated CNY 3.59. The adjusted EBITDA profit margin was 3.9%, up from 2.5% in the same period last year. JD.com reported a Q1 non-GAAP net profit of CNY 7.6 billion. Its adjusted EBITDA for Q1 was CNY 9.5 billion, up 57% YoY.
[Baltic Dry Index Records Worst Performance in Three Weeks] The Baltic Dry Index recorded its biggest drop in three weeks on Thursday due to lower shipping fees for various types of ships. The index fell 32 points, or about 2%, to 1,608, the biggest single-day decline since April 18. The Capesize index fell 64 points, or 2.4%, to 2,566. The average daily profit for Capesize ships dropped by $538 to $21,276. The Panamax index fell 36 points, or 2.4%, to 1,445, the lowest level since February 28. The average daily profit for Panamax ships decreased by $324 to $13,009. The Supramax index fell 2 points to 1,112.
[Amazon US: Sellers Must Complete Account Verification as Required by New Law] On May 11th, Amazon US announced that the new INFORM Consumers Act will take effect on June 27th, 2023. The law requires bulk third-party sellers to provide information about their business and to collect, verify, and disclose information about their business on Amazon.
Amazon has begun to maintain and continue to innovate the process of collecting and verifying seller business information during and after registration. Although many of the processes are more complex and effective than the basic requirements of the INFORM Consumers Act, this new law requires Amazon to take certain additional steps to verify information related to large-scale sellers.
【Amazon launches flexible buyer installment payment function】 On May 11th, Amazon launched flexible buyer installment payment, which allows buyers to purchase higher-priced items by spreading the cost over several months.
Flexible buyer installment payments are currently available on Amazon UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. As long as the seller’s items do not belong to the excluded product categories listed in the following table and the item price meets the following price range, the seller can register for flexible buyer installment payments.
【Shopify Search & Discovery function upgrade】 On May 11th, Shopify Search & Discovery application launched new features, making it easier for merchants with large product catalogs to view and edit all search improvements and product recommendations, thereby improving the store’s search accuracy and recommendation effectiveness.
It is reported that sellers using the Shopify Search & Discovery application can set up recommended product partitions on the product page to show complementary and related products to customers, helping them discover new products or other similar products that may be of interest, thereby improving store sales performance. Sellers can also assign specific search terms to each product to increase its exposure on the search page.