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China's Tencent may take 16 percent stake in JD.com: media

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's largest Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd may soon announce a deal to take about a 16 percent stake in online retailer JD.com and merge their online shopping platforms, local media reported on Saturday. JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce company, has a nearly 13 percent market share. Any deal between two of China's largest online companies would help narrow the huge gap between e-retailers and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which dominates China's booming online commerce market.

Toronto visual search company Slyce gets $10.75 million in funding

TORONTO - A Toronto-based startup specializing in mobile visual searches says it has raised more than $10.75 million in its latest round of funding. Slyce says this latest cash infusion has increased the company's total funding to $14.5 million. The startup uses product recognition technology to allow customers to be linked to an item available for purchase from a retailer after they take a photo of the item, or a similar one, on their smartphone.

Half of Canadian Internet users now shop online once a month: poll

TORONTO - Almost half of Canada's Internet users are now shopping online at least once a month, suggests a new report. About 87 per cent of the Canadian respondents in an online poll conducted for PricewaterhouseCoopers said they shop online at least once a year, while 49 per cent said they do so on a monthly basis. Of the minority who are still not interested in doing any kind of shopping online, just over half said it's because they're concerned about the security of their personal data.

Japanese online retailer Rakuten moves into voice calls with Viber purchase for $900 million

TOKYO - Japan's Rakuten Inc. is buying Cyprus-based Viber Media, which operates a popular Internet phone application, for $900 million, fortifying the online retailer's social networking footprint. The Tokyo-based company said Friday it sees Viber, with 280 million global users, as a key platform as people are moving from TVs and computers to mobile devices to consume and enjoy content. Rakuten, which competes with Amazon.com and Yahoo, has been successful with online shopping in Japan, where it is the top Internet retailer.

German publishing group Weltbild, part-owned by Catholic dioceses, files for insolvency

BERLIN - German publishing group Weltbild GmbH, whose owners include 12 Roman Catholic dioceses, has filed for insolvency amid declining sales. Weltbild said it applied for insolvency at a court in Augsburg on Friday. The company has more than 6,000 employees in total though not all of its activities are covered by the application. It says the application came after sales declined in the July-December period, and lower revenue expected over the next three years meant the amount of money needed to right the company's finances was double what was originally anticipated.

China online marketplace Taobao to ban Bitcoins

China's largest online marketplace, Alibaba Group's Taobao, said Wednesday that it would ban the trading of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from January 14, after a government crackdown on the units. The People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank, in December ordered financial institutions to halt Bitcoin-related services and products and cautioned against its potential use in money-laundering, according to a statement.

Online shopping still gaining ground but holiday shipping problems reveal growing pains

Americans waited until the last minute to buy holiday gifts, but retailers weren't prepared for the spike. Heavy spending in the final days of the mostly lacklustre season sent sales up 3.5 per cent between Nov. 1 and Tuesday, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks payments but doesn't give dollar figures. Online shopping led the uptick, with spending up 10 per cent to $38. 91 billion between Nov. 2 and Sunday, research firm comScore said.

Online shopping still gaining ground but holiday shipping problems reveal growing pains

Americans waited until the last minute to buy holiday gifts, but retailers weren't prepared for the spike. Heavy spending in the final days of the mostly lacklustre season sent sales up 3.5 per cent between Nov. 1 and Tuesday, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks payments but doesn't give dollar figures. Online shopping led the uptick, with spending up 10 per cent to $38. 91 billion between Nov. 2 and Sunday, research firm comScore said.

Boxing Day shoppers up 8 percent as Britain begins annual bargain hunt

LONDON (Reuters) - Britons were out in force for the Boxing Day sales with 8 percent more shoppers than last year, despite heavy rainfall that left parts of the country under water and without power, figures from retail data company Springboard showed on Thursday. Shopping centers saw a 22 percent rise in the number of bargain-hunters coming through their doors, while high street stores saw 3.4 percent more shoppers as of 10am, the data showed.

British consumers asked to be alert in online shopping

LONDON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- British consumers are warned to take extra care when shopping online as the country expecting a record numbers to log-on for Christmas shopping this year, according to a statement issued by the Home Office on Thursday. The warning is jointly launched by Action Fraud, the City of London Police and Get Safe Online agencies in a bid to help consumer prevent from online scams. It said Christmas creates opportunities for retailers and bargain hunters, but also presenting opportunities for fraudsters.
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