In China, three-quarters of online shoppers make e-purchases at least weekly, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. And mobile is king. Of those online shoppers, 77 percent made at least some of their purchases online using smartphones.
Russia has become the it girl of e-commerce. Even amid a slowing economy, the country's online shopping increased 26 percent last year, to 510 billion rubles (about $14bn), according to Moscow's Data Insight, and could double by 2015. That has made the country an intriguing target for foreign players such as Amazon, eBay, Asos and China's Alibaba Group, while boosting the fortunes of such local companies as search engine Yandex and Amazon-like Ozon. Can foreign e-tailers make it there?
With much of Europe still struggling to recover from the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, Poland stands out as an unlikely island of economic success, a place where companies and individuals plan for growth rather than decline.
For years developing countries have been thrice blessed. First, near-zero interest rates in the U.S. drove investors into bourses from Mumbai to Mexico as they searched for higher returns. Next, China emerged as the trading partner of choice as it gobbled up Indonesian palm oil, Cambodian hardwoods, and Brazilian iron ore. Finally, with the exception of the Middle East, the politics of most emerging-market countries were stable. The blessings have run out.
Despite all the hype surrounding America's supposed Manufacturing Renaissance, the data has painted a starker picture for some time. Hardly a renaissance, U.S. manufacturing has seemed to be closer to a recession.
The chip manufacturing story has some compelling and awkward moments. For instance, Samsung managed to land Apple as its first massive computation chip customer when the original iPhone was heading to market. Apple needed someone to make the ARM chip that would give the iPhone its low-power consumption and zip, and Samsung said it was up to the task. Of course, the two companies are competitors now.
While President Barack Obama and other Democratic politicians clear their throats about proposing new gun control laws sometime next year, the marketplace is responding swiftly to the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre.
India's business-process-outsourcing companies have a problem. The $50bn industry has enjoyed phenomenal growth: The top 20 BPO companies' employee base grew 12 percent in 2011, according to Dataquest, and the domestic market is expanding. Yet BPO companies are struggling to attract the right talent.