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Online Retail in China

“It is ‘one of the few bright spots in the Chinese economy,’ says Zeng Ming. He is talking about e-commerce. Mr Zeng, the chief strategy officer for Alibaba, a giant Chinese internet firm, predicts that digital transactions on his firm’s platforms will top 1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) this year—more than Amazon’s and eBay’s combined. That is a bold claim; but consider what happened on Singles Sunday.

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Investing in UK Technology

“Investment into UK technology start-ups reached a 10-year high in the first half of 2012, with nearly £600m put into early-stage businesses. This level of funding exceeds the last boom year, 2008, when some £550m was invested in tech companies in the first half – and is already three-quarters of the total funding committed last year – according to figures released Wednesday by Ascendant, the corporate finance advisory company.

Ascendant says the total for this year is likely to be between £900m and £1bn. “There is a lot of money going in to companies,” said Stuart McKnight, managing director of Ascendant. “We have not seen a boom year like this since 2008.” Much of the money is going to internet, mobile and digital media companies, as well as new cleantech businesses.”

Source: “Investment in UK tech at 10-year high” from Maija Palmer at the Financial Times

Following on from my post about UK Competitiveness, excellent indicators from the technology sector on new investment. Let’s hope this translates into some world-class enterprises that grow, employ and stay rooted in the UK ecosystem.

UK Industry Competitiveness

From the Guardian today following the publication of the World Economic Forum’s report on global competitiveness. Article here, full Report here.

WEF’s summary of the UK: lies in 8th position gobally (up from 10th), warning of a weak economy, but praised flexible labour market.

“In its annual Global Competitiveness Report, the WEF scores each country according to 12 “pillars of competitiveness”, from the state of its infrastructure to the effectiveness of its health and education systems. The UK’s flexible labour market – making it easier for firms to hire and fire workers – is singled out as a strength by the WEF, which says “the country improves its performance in several areas, benefiting from clear strengths such as the efficiency of its labour market, in sharp contrast to the rigidity of those of many other countries”. Read more