The Global eCommerce Newsletter 11.21.16

[Middle East] Alabbar, Saudi PIF to Set Up $1 Billion E-Commerce Firm
A group of investors led by Emaar Properties PJSC Chairman Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will each invest $500 million to an ecommerce firm, Noon, to tap into the Middle Eastern online retail market. Noon will launch in next January with 20 million products. Aramex PJSC, a Dubai-based courier and logistics company will back Noon’s operations. Alabbar said he expects Noon to be profitable in five years and to enter Egypt and Iraq by 2018.

[Europe] Alternative Payments releases widget for cross-border payments
European payment service company Alternative Payments has launched a payment widget that automatically locates customers and displays localized currency, payment options, and language. The widget now supports “over 40 languages, more than 160 different currencies and a broad portfolio of local payment options.” It can be implemented by “adding a few lines of code to the ecommerce website”.

[China] China’s Alipay just saw a record 1 billion transactions in a day

Alibaba just set a new record on Singles Day. Its mobile payment app, Alipay, also saw a record amount of transaction. Alipay had 1.05 billion transactions on November 11th, a 48% growth than the same day last year. At its peak, the app processed 120,000 transactions per second. Alipay now has over 450 million active users.

[Rakuten] Rakuten will reportedly launch a mobile games platform
Raketen is preparing to enter the mobile games space soon, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The company will work with a U.S. startup Blackstorm Labs to develop a platform that will include titles from Rakuten and third parties that can be played inside a mobile web browser, chat app, and other places.

[Amazon] Amazon to open small stores, online supermarket in Australia
Amazon is on track to launch bricks and mortar grocery stores and an online supermarket in Australia within two years. The company has been in talks with third-party logistics providers and private warehousing companies in Australia for months, but firm entry dates and store targets are yet to be decided. An August report by Citi’s Australian retail analysts estimated Amazon could generate between $3.5 billion and $4 billion in Australian sales within five years of launching, assuming an entry within two years. Earlier this month, I have also reported that Amazon will launch its service in Southeast Asia in next Q1.

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