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Argentina: 'Squatting' For Maximo Kirchner To Keep Swanky Office

Maximo Kirchner with his mother and sister in 2011
Maximo Kirchner with his mother and sister in 2011

BUENOS AIRES — A battle over prized parliamentary office space for Maximo Kirchner, son of former Argentine presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, has become a symbol of the defeated Kirchner forces' bid to hold on to the last remnants of power.

The younger Kirchner won a seat in the December general elections, but his leftist Victory Front party lost to a conservative majority in the election that now wants him out of the spacious office digs, Argentine daily Clarín reports. So to avoid the 38-year-old Kirchner being turfed out, allies in the legislature began sleeping in the office and blocking its entrance, in a "squatting" style action, Clarin reports. Not untypical of the Kirchnerist rank and file, and more so its leftist or youth wing the Cámpora, headed by the young Kirchner, who was once tipped as a possible successor in his own right to his presidential parents. Last fall's general election saw Cristina Kirchner's handpicked successor Daniel Scioli defeated by Mauricio Macri for the presidency.

A member of Maximo Kirchner's staff told Clarín, "we're working, we have things to do," when workers came to clear out the office and change the locks. Maximo Kirchner himself was cited as saying "nobody has usurped anything. They were doing up the office." Another daily La Nación, observed that the showdown was only the latest example of how the Kirchner clan had confused the state and its own personal properties.

Reports say the pro-Kirchner legislators had been occupying the entire third floor since 2007, and now, as their legislators have dropped from 120 to 95, it was only normal they should free up some space. On Monday, in an echo of similar moves in Venezuela, the presidential office ordered the portraits of the late president Néstor Kirchner and his friend, the late Hugo Chávez, removed from parliament to be sent to a museum.

Ironically, the current Maximo Kirchner showdown also recalls the difficulties that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had getting Chavez's daugther to move out of the presidential palace after her father's death in 2013.

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Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGOTikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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