Welcome to Five at Five, your late look at the payments and commerce news you might have missed. Today’s stories range from Walmart’s promotion of college education to a look at the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). Tencent has a retail joint venture, Amazon is changing how it does business in Australia and Sears hits another low.
The nation’s biggest private employer announced it is partnering with Guild Education to subsidize the cost of higher education for its employees who don’t have a college degree.
The Chinese real estate giant Wanda Group is creating a joint venture with Tencent, one of China’s biggest technology companies and the former local unit of Groupon, to join each other’s online and offline businesses.
The online retailer will make Australians use its Australia site instead of its larger U.S. site. The Australian site has a smaller selection than the U.S. site, but the change comes amid a new sales tax on imported goods.
The retailer faces competition from Amazon, Walmart and other retailers. In the latest quarter, the company’s sales declined once again — in line with recent trends.
The IoT is growing rapidly — too rapidly, some would say. The proliferation of connected devices on the market can make securing each one a challenge. Even where security is sufficient, connected consumers have many devices — and the more they have, the more difficult it is to get all of them to play nicely together.