Alibaba plans five-day ‘farmer’s festival’ to drive e-commerce in Chinese hinterlands over Lunar New Year

Alibaba Group, which pioneered the Singles Day retail event in China that falls on November 11, is poised to make an all-out assault on the mainlands largely untapped rural e-commerce market, with the launch of a five-day Lunar New Year online shopping festival from Sunday. The worlds largest e-commerce services provider has mobilised affiliate Cainiao Logistics to bolster its last-mile delivery network in more than 270 counties and about 13,000 villages to support the new festival, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.

Hong Kong e-commerce start-up Popmap offers universal check-out cart to take the pain out of global shopping sprees

Online shoppers who prefer shopping at independent boutique shops but are tired of website-hopping will be pleased to hear that Hong Kong-based e-commerce start-up Popmap now offers a universal check-out cart. Customers can now shop from a list of boutiques around the world and check out all of their items in one transaction with Popmaps universal shopping cart, regardless of where the stores are located.

Drizly pulls in $15 million Series B to power liquor-based e-commerce

Drizly, the on-demand booze delivery startup, has today announced the close of a $15 million Series B funding round, led by Polaris Partners, with participation from other existing investors. Drizly operates in a very similar manner to Uber, providing the technology infrastructure that allows liquor retailers the opportunity to provide their own on-demand service, as well as an e-commerce platform through Drizly Connect.

Firm may have just killed the hype surrounding blockchain

It seems every financial institution is ready to talk up the potential of blockchain the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin but one firm has taken a more reasoned approach and warned about the “unrealistic expectations” that could arise. A research paper commissioned by global financial messaging service SWIFT was published Monday based on interviews and focus group meetings with individuals from 75 organizations working in technology and post-trade processing.

Apple, Samsung team up with UnionPay to launch payment services in China early next year

China UnionPay has forged separate ties with Apple and Samsung Electronics that could accelerate the adoption of fast and secure contactless mobile payment systems across the country, the worlds largest smartphone market. These new partnerships will allow ChinaUnion Pay cardholders from early next year to easily add their bank cards to Apple Pay on the iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad, and to Samsung Pay on the Korean companys Galaxy and Note devices.

Alibaba to spend US$15 million on digital flea market as China looks to second-hand sales

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is going to invest at least 100 million yuan (US$15.4 million) this year to develop a digital flea market on the mainland, Chinese media report. The firm launched a used-goods mobile app called Xianyu (Idle Fish) in June 2014 that has since attracted more than 100 million registered users, according to news website yicai.com.