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Alibaba’s Ma Meets With Trump

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  • Alibaba’s Ma Meets With Trump to Discuss Job Creation

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma met with Donald Trump on Monday to discuss how the online retailer could help create 1 million new U.S. jobs, keying in on one of the president-elect’s chief concerns amid fraught relations between China and the incoming administration.

The Chinese e-commerce giant said the positions would be generated through Alibaba adding 1 million small and medium-sized U.S. businesses to its platforms, estimating that each one will hire a new person as a result of the added commerce.

Several other top executives have met with Trump in his New York headquarters promising to create U.S. jobs. But Ma’s 40-minute sit-down comes after Trump has called for high tariffs on trade with China, accused the country of stealing jobs from Americans and incited political controversy by reaching out to Taiwan. Alibaba was also recently put back on the U.S. “Notorious Markets” list, with its Taobao website cited as a haven for fake merchandise, suggesting it hasn’t done enough to fight counterfeits. Alibaba said at the time its new designation could have been influenced by politics.

Still, Alibaba needs to cultivate a positive working relationship with Trump as it aims to implement its international expansion plans. Ma’s discussion fits into Alibaba’s long-stated goal of bringing foreign goods to Chinese consumers. Ma has also said he wants the company to derive half of its revenue from outside China, which would to offset any slowdowns at home.

Alibaba shares rose 0.9 percent to $94.72 at the close in New York. The stock gained 8 percent last year.

Alibaba has a significant part of its business tied to trade in the U.S., giving it a strong incentive to avoid a situation in which Trump puts his campaign rhetoric into practice. Higher tariffs would depress demand for the AliExpress site, where Chinese retailers sell to U.S. consumers. Any ensuing trade disputes could hurt sales on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, through which U.S. and international brands sell to Chinese consumers. Last year, 7,000 U.S. brands on Alibaba’s platforms made sales worth $15 billion to Chinese consumers, according to the company.

“Jack and I are going to do some great things together,” Trump said in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York. After the meeting, Alibaba tweeted that it “wants to create U.S. jobs by helping U.S. small businesses and farmers sell to China’s 300 million-strong middle class.”

U.S. produce sold on Alibaba’s platforms include Pacific Northwest cherries, Washington State apples, and Alaskan seafood.

Alibaba on Tuesday said it is leading a $2.6 billion bid to take department store operator Intime Retail Group Co. private, as its seeks to deepen its integration with brick-and-mortar stores in China. Alibaba has bought or invested in a number of physical retail chains in the country as it seeks growth beyond its traditional Internet business.

Trump’s meeting with Ma comes just a few weeks after he met with SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son. In that meeting, Trump took credit for a previously announced investment by SoftBank and 50,000 jobs that fund would help create in the U.S.

Several other companies — from IBM to Ford Motor Co. — have also unveiled plans to create jobs in the country since Trump’s election, though some of the plans had been in the works before the election was decided.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

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YouTube Suspends Trump Channel

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday temporarily suspended President Donald Trump’s channel and removed a video for violating its policy against inciting violence, joining other social media platforms in banning his accounts after last week’s Capitol riot.

Trump’s access to the social media platforms he has used as a megaphone during his presidency has been largely cut off since a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC last week.

Operators say the embittered leader could use his accounts to foment more unrest in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies,” YouTube said in a statement.

The channel is now “temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a ‘minimum’ of 7 days,” the statement read.

The video-sharing platform also said it will be “indefinitely disabling comments” on Trump’s channel because of safety concerns.

Facebook last week suspended Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following the violent invasion of the US Capitol, which temporarily disrupted the certification of Biden’s election victory.

In announcing the suspension last week, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Trump used the platform to incite violent and was concerned he would continue to do so.

Twitter went a step further by deleting Trump’s account, depriving him of his favorite platform. It was already marking his tweets disputing the election outcome with warnings.

The company also deleted more than 70,000 accounts linked to the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, without any evidence, that Trump is waging a secret war against a global cabal of satanist liberals.

Trump also was hit with suspensions by services like Snapchat and Twitch.

The president’s YouTube account has amassed 2.77 million subscribers.

The home page of the Trump channel featured a month-old video of Trump casting doubt on the voting process in November’s presidential election, and had logged some 5.8 million views.

On Tuesday, an activist group called on YouTube to join other platforms in dumping Trump’s accounts, threatening an advertising boycott campaign.

(AFP)

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

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Analysts Predict 1,137% Earnings Per Share Growth for Shopify’s Full Year 2020

While the pandemic has devastated countless businesses, it has provided a major boon for eCommerce platform Shopify.

Shopify’s stock rallied by 169.9% in 2020 compared to the industry’s 26.6% growth. As of mid-December 2020, according to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish site Sijoitusrahastot, it had a 90 RS rating, which means that it had outperformed 90% of stocks during the year.

Based on the Zacks Consensus Estimate, its Q4 earnings per share (EPS) are set to jump by 188.37% to $1.24 while its sales will grow by 78% to $899.2 million. For the full year 2020, analysts project a massive 1,137% jump for the Shopify EPS.

Shopify Merchants Sell Over $5.1 Billion on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Since Shopify went public in 2015, its stock has risen over 40-fold to more than $1,200 at the end of December 2020. Between 2016 and 2019, it skyrocketed by over 1,400%.

The eCommerce platform’s earnings for Q1 to Q3 2020 grew at an average of 552%. That was well above the 101% three-year average. In Q3 2020, its revenue nearly doubled from $390.6 million to $767.4 million.

Earnings in Q3 2020 rose from a net loss of 29 cents to $1.13 per share. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) soared by 109% reaching $30.9 billion, compared to 46% in Q1 2020 and 119% in Q2 2020. For the first nine months of 2020, there was a revenue increase of 82%.

For the first time, Shopify’s GMV surpassed that of eBay in Q2 2020, doing it again in Q3 2020. It claims to have a 6% share of the US market, higher than eBay’s but lower than Amazon’s 37%.

During the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, merchants on the Shopify platform sold goods worth $5.1 billion. Compared to 2019, this marked a 76% uptick and set a new record. Comparatively, independent businesses on Amazon sold goods worth $4.8 billion. The number of buyers on Shopify increased by 50% year-over-year (YoY) to 44 million during that weekend.

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Global Digital Payments Market to Grow by 23.7% in 2020 to $4.9 Trillion

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While it was already under way prior to the pandemic, the global shift to digital payments has been positively affected by the crisis.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Finnish website Sijoitusrahastot, the global digital payments market grew by 21% YoY in transaction value during H1 2020. Statista projects that the market’s total transaction value will grow by 23.7% year-over-year (YoY) in 2020 to reach $4.93 trillion. The number of users is also set to increase by 10.1% YoY to reach 3.47 billion.

Asia’s Digital Payments Market to Reach $2.88 Trillion in 2020

In the period between 2020 and 2024, the global digital payments will grow at a 13.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $8.17 trillion by 2024. The market’s top segment is digital commerce, estimated to grow at 4.8% YoY reach $2.93 trillion in 2020. By 2024, it is set to grow to $4.11 trillion, growing at a CAGR of 8.9%.

China will take the lead in digital payments, growing to $2.31 trillion, as well as in digital commerce, reaching $1.17 trillion in 2020. For Asia as a whole, digital payments will reach $2.88 trillion in 2020 as per a Statista report.

According to McKinsey, Asia generated $900 billion in 2019 as payment revenue, almost half the global total. Between 2018 and 2019, digital payments in Asia Pacific grew by 24.7%. Comparatively, the growth rate was 14.1% in the global market, 12.2% in Europe and 5.6% in North America.

China has a dominant role in the market, thanks to mobile payments. Based on a Finextra report, 70% of China’s consumers use mobile wallets regularly. It estimates that in 2020, 80% of global mobile wallet revenue will come from China.

Capgemini projects that in 2020, mobile payments in APAC will grow at 13.9% YoY to reach $277.5 billion. In contrast, the figure will be $229.1 billion in Europe, growing at 6.2% YoY and $184.8 billion in North America, growing at 3.0%.

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