Tencent goes online shopping
Tencent and Alibaba’s rivalry spans industries, but Alibaba has always trumped Tencent in the realm of e-commerce — no small victory in a market that drew $1.26 trillion yuan ($204.77 billion) in transactions in 2012, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. To strengthen its offering, Tencent has invested in JD.com, reportedly the country’s second-biggest e-commerce company. The Internet titan will take 15 percent of JD.com now and “subscribe at IPO price for an additional 5 percent of JD on a post-IPO basis,” according to a press release. Though Tencent still plays catch-up to Alibaba, whose e-commerce properties command the market, second fiddle isn’t such a bad job when operating in such a massive market. .
Amazon Prime gets a price hike
The dreaded moment, first threatened in January, has arrived. Amazon Prime, which offers members free, expedited shipping among other perks, now costs $99, $20 more than before. The company’s SVP and CFO Tom Szkutak first teased a price increase during last quarter’s earnings call, revealing membership could cost between $99 and $119 up from $79. With a worst case scenario, upper bound set in place, users may not feel quite as crushed having to fork over the extra Jackson; plus, it seems like additional services on Amazon might make sticking with Prime worthwhile. Rumors swirl the e-commerce behemoth may soon debut a music streaming service.
No one is ever thrilled by a price hike — except maybe Amazon’s investors. The company’s stock, which closed at $370.64 on Wednesday, opened Thursday at $376.62, up 1.6 percent.
Turnpike state to ban Tesla sales
It’s not exactly news when the state of New Jersey comes off as unfriendly. Even so, many seemed upset when it was revealed the Garden State would require new cars be sold through auto dealers; Elon Musk’s Tesla included. “New Jersey auto dealers subverting democratic process to try to block Tesla sales,” the Tesla founder and CEO tweeted, linking to a blog post explaining the situation.
From Tesla’s view, Governor Christie’s administration and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission are yielding to a special interest group seeking to safeguard its monopoly, an action that represents an “affront to the very concept of a free market,” the post reads. Regulation squeezes Tesla out of the state, as the company operates via a direct sales model. And while the situation has wrought negative consequences for Tesla, on the upside, the company may never have to go back to New Jersey again.
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