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E-Commerce Mobile

eBay’s Devin Wenig on Retail in a Post-Mobile Age

With mobile connectivity more and more ubiquitous, could we be entering a post-mobile age? eBay's Devin Wenig thinks so, and says it will increasingly define the global marketplace. "The physical and digital worlds are coming together in incredibly interesting ways," Wenig told us at a recent Techonomy dinner salon in San Francisco. Retail is turning stores into virtual shopping and shipping centers, said Wenig, while platforms like Uber and Airbnb use tech to link data to the physical world. The fear that online retailers like eBay could decimate physical retail is being upended, according to Wenig. Instead, small merchants and service providers are learning to use tech and data to broaden their distribution and become more competitive. "Some call it collaborative consumption, some call it the merger of physical and digital. Whatever you call it," said Wenig, "the change ... has been astounding."   More

Jobs

eBay’s Devin Wenig on Tech’s Destruction … and Humanism

"While tech is sometimes thought of as a sector or a niche, it's increasingly clear that tech is the economy and tech is the transformative force," says Devin Wenig, president of eBay's global e-commerce business. As tech reinvents industries, jobs, and processes, and changes how people work and act, companies that want to succeed must learn to accept creative destruction. "Any time you go through a disruption, you end up with winners and losers," said Wenig, who joined us at a Techonomy dinner salon in San Francisco. "But I do believe it's a positive-sum game," he added. And he says that in this game, humans, not just machines, are winning. "I don't think the world coming is all full of drones and robots.... It can be amazingly humanistic," Wenig said.   More

Business

Techonomists Weigh in on Tech’s Future at Our San Francisco Salon

Techonomy hosted a salon dinner in San Francisco, in partnership with BlackBerry, and we took a few guests aside for further insight. We asked them, among other things, our usual—how is tech innovation changing society? Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute celebrated having such conversation in the Bay Area, noting its world-class universities and venture capitalists, adding up to a “cauldron of interpersonal connections” that spur innovation. But with more and more people coming online, Chui foresees developing countries playing an increasing role in a more global cauldron of innovation. BlackBerry’s John Chen thinks the future is in the machine-to-machine interconnectivity, as software and devices help make our lives “more automated, more information driven.”   More

Global Tech

LinkedIn Takes New Step in Slow Road to China

Online professional networking leader LinkedIn took a big step towards entering the lucrative but tricky China market last week when it created a new China chief position and filled it with an industry veteran as it explores a formal service launch. The move was just the latest in the company’s slow and careful approach to China, and could boost its chances of success in a market that has proven difficult for other global giants like Google, Yahoo, and eBay.   More

E-Commerce Security & Privacy

The Hidden Secrets of the Deep Web

Early this month, U.S. officials seized and shut down a hidden but sprawling online marketplace called Silk Road, known as the eBay of illegal goods and services. More than 1.2 million transactions had been completed on the site, earning its owner some $80 million in commissions. How did a site that allegedly allowed users to buy illicit drugs, deal black market weapons, and even hire hit men stay above water long enough to handle that much revenue over its two-and-a-half years of operation? The answer lies in what’s called the “Deep Web” or the “Dark Web”—hidden corners of the Internet that can’t be reached by Google and require connecting to an anonymous network called TOR that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy.   More

Business E-Commerce Global Tech

Tencent, eBay in Potent Partnership

After its first attempt to develop the China e-commerce market failed miserably nearly a decade ago, US Internet giant eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) is making some smarter moves this time around by choosing better partners and also by building up its business more gradually. In the company’s latest China development, media are reporting eBay has formed a new joint venture with Chinese Internet giant Tencent (HKEx: 700). At the same time, separate reports are saying that eBay may fail in its bid to become the first foreign licensee to offer electronic payment services in China.   More

E-Commerce Global Tech

eBay’s Paypal: China Payment License in Sight

China’s regulators have never been known for moving fast on anything, and that case seems to apply even more when it comes to allowing foreign players into emerging markets like third-party payment services. More than two years after China began awarding licenses for its domestic companies to offer such, foreign companies are still waiting for equal rights in the lucrative domestic market. But now US e-commerce giant eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) is saying it could soon become the first foreign licensee to enter the market, providing both a big opportunity, but also a major challenge, as it seeks to catch up to Chinese rivals with more than a two-year head-start.   More

Business E-Commerce

Amazon Pushes E-tailers to Deliver Instant Gratification

Retailers big and small are trying to chip away at Amazon's growing competitive edge, in some cases even if it cuts into their own profits. A number of stores and e-commerce sites now offer same-day delivery as a way to ward off Amazon's incursion into the realm of immediate gratification—one of the few remaining advantages of brick-and-mortar shopping. With Amazon hinting at expanded same-day shipping services, small companies like Shoptiques, along with bigger fish like Walmart, Macy's, and Target, are exploring ways to offer same- or next-day delivery to their online customers.   More

Business

Why Big Companies Crowdsource: A Report from the Crowdopolis Conference

At this summer’s Crowdopolis conference in Los Angeles, which I organized, speakers from major brands such as eBay, Amazon, Nokia, and GE presented case studies on their company’s use of crowdsourcing. They shared best practices and provided unique insight into how the practice is impacting advertising, content marketing, and technology.   More