Jack Ma’s plans for world domination; Apple investigated over anti-trust concerns … again; and the smartest TVs on the block: Best of the Web

Jack Ma’s plans for world domination; Apple investigated over anti-trust concerns … again; and the smartest TVs on the block: Best of the Web

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has made billions by building the largest e-commerce platform in China but now he is eyeing of another lucrative market.

In an opinion article for the Wall Street Journal this week, Ma outlined Alibaba’s strategy for the US market and it quite simply, relies on small businesses and entrepreneurs.

We want to help US entrepreneurs, small business owners, and brands and companies of all sizes sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class. Chinese consumers will get to buy the American products they want. This, in turn, will help create American jobs and increase US exports.

I feel most at home with entrepreneurs because a group of friends and I founded Alibaba Group 16 years ago believing that we could use technology to level the playing field, giving anyone who wanted to participate in global commerce a chance to succeed … Today there are about 10 million entrepreneurs running small businesses on Alibaba’s retail marketplaces in China, and our ecosystem has generated 14 million jobs.

Alibaba Group was founded in China but created for the world. We want to connect small businesses in the West with the largest, fastest-growing market in the East.


Apple investigated over ant-trust concerns …. again


It has taken just days since Apple revealed its music streaming service for US authorities to launch an investigation over the tech giant’s deals with record labels, amid anti-trust concerns that share similarities with the previous probe into its deals with e-book publishers.

Over at the Financial Times, Tim Bradshaw and Matthew Garrahan explain why the Connecticut and New York attorneys-general are interested in Apple’s bid to take on the likes of Spotify:

At issue is whether Apple urged labels to drop support for the free, advertising-supported listening model offered by Spotify and Google’s YouTube, a move that could be seen as being anticompetitive.

The new case emerged after the New York attorney general published a letter online from lawyers representing Universal Music, the largest of the three major record labels. In its letter, the Vivendi-owned entertainment group said it was not colluding with Sony Music, Warner Music of Apple to ‘impede the availability of free or ad-supported music streaming services’ or restrict its licensing deals with other streaming services.

‘This letter is part of an investigation of the music streaming business, an industry in which competition has recently led to new and different ways for consumers to listen to music,’ said Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for the New York attorney-general, Eric Schneiderman. ‘To preserve these benefits, it’s important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices.’


The smartest TVs on the block


The internet has fundamentally changed the way we watch television and the companies that produce TVs are slowly catching on. So much so that according to Geoffrey Fowler, those big screens in our homes now have more in common with our smartphones than “any old RCA with rabbit ears”.

Writing for WSJ, Fowler road tests the latest smart TVs from Sony, LG, Sharp, Panasonic and Samsung:

I’ve created a checklist of things that actually make a TV smart, with some suggestions on which brands do them best. When you’re looking at TVs in the store, don’t be shy about requesting a remote control and seeing if you can use the thing. You wouldn’t buy a phone after just looking at its shiny screen, right?

Click through to find out which of the TVs come out on top.


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