The coronavirus could have wide-reaching effects on eCommerce, investments and the economy as a whole. Here are the latest updates on its impacts around the world.
Alibaba’s worldwide online shopping platform, AliExpress, notified shoppers that the coronavirus might cause some delivery delays, Reuters reported. It noted in a social media post per the report, “Some shipping and logistics are experiencing longer waiting times for processing orders.” AliExpress was rolled out in 2010 and is especially popular in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, France and Spain, with merchandise like wireless headphones and jeans. AliExpress is one of the most downloaded eCommerce apps around the world, and it aims to serve international buyers mainly. Taobao and Tmall try to reach the domestic market.
In other news, SoftBank Group Corp. has made two major wagers on the property market in China, The Wall Street Journal reported. The arrangements may present challenges with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Chinese economy. The two billion-dollar investments are in Beike, a digital real estate platform, and Ziroom, an apartment rental company. The report comes as multiple moves, with the inclusion of an investment in WeWork’s parent company that brought about a massive loss, had reportedly made efforts to bring in funds for a second investment vehicle more difficult for SoftBank.
On another note, consumers are turning to eCommerce merchants to buy products such as hand sanitizer and face masks, but some merchants have brought unreasonably-priced merchandise that make suspect medical marketing claims to digital marketplaces, CNBC reported. eCommerce retailers, on the other hand, are aiming to take away listings that charge too much for merchandise that has skyrocketed in demand or make suspect coronavirus claims. The news outlet, in one case, says it found products such as face masks marked up by as much as 582 percent. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted last week that it was keeping an eye on the market for items that make deceitful coronavirus care and prevention claims.