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blog

Extra! Economist Endorses Cameron In UK Election

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Economist, May 2-8, 2015

One week ahead of Britain's national elections, polls are too close to call between the two leading candidates, the Tories' incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband. The Economist divides its cover between the two, casting the election as a choice between risks: for the economy (Miliband) and for a possible UK exit from the European Union (Cameron).

"The Tories’ Europhobia, which we regretted last time, could now do grave damage," the magazine writes. "A British exit from the EU would be a disaster, for both Britain and Europe." But ultimately, the editors see the recipe for a "fairer Britain" proposed by Miliband as a greater risk to the nation's future: "Despite the risk on Europe, the better choice is Mr Cameron’s Conservatives." Read the full editorial here.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The Economist is a leading international magazine of economics and politics, founded in 1843 in London.

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Future

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

SANTIAGO — TikTok, 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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