Tech Review | Amazon Reviews: What's Fake, What's Real? (video)

graphic "Tech Review" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tech Review (TR 2018-12-22)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news, analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Amazon Reviews: What's Fake, What's Real?, 2) How Scammers in China Manipulate Amazon, 3) Investing: The Week, Investing Notes: Focus on Europe, 4) ICYMI Tech News.

1) Amazon Reviews: What's Fake, What's Real?

Amazon.com, Inc. $AMZN has a program where reviewers get free products in exchange for legitimate reviews. In other scenarios, vendors give products free to buyers who rate them five stars. WSJ's Joanna Stern caught up with a professional Amazon reviewer to find out how to spot the fakes. Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) video above published Dec 20, 2018.


2) How Scammers in China Manipulate Amazon

Chinese sellers resort to a wide range of cunning techniques to manipulate product listings on Amazon and boost sales. WSJ’s Jon Emont investigates their strategies and explains how consumers can detect sham listings. Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) video above published Dec 17, 2018.

See also: Amazon to lower some fees for third-party sellers.

3) Investing
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The Week: NASDAQ Composite -8.4% | S&P 500 Index -7.1% | DJIA -6.9%
Editor's note: the markets appear to be "spooked." U.S. consumer sentiment remains at record favorable highs:
source: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey.
"Consumer confidence remained in December at the same record favorable levels as it has throughout the year. The Sentiment Index averaged 98.4 in 2018, the best year since 107.6 in 2000 ... Over the past half century, sentiment was higher in only two other time periods: 1964-65 and 1997-2000. These periods correspond to the two longest prior expansions since the mid 1800's. If the current expansion lasts past mid-2019, as is likely based on current data, it will become the longest expansion ever recorded."--University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey.
The Long View:
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Investing Notes: Focus on Europe

"While the U.S. economy remains solid, our international business weakened during the quarter, especially in Europe"--FedEx lowers outlook on slowdown in Europe (Dec 18, 2018).

Europe’s Still Not Ready to Shore Up the Monetary Union ... Planned reforms are a start, but they won’t be much help in a crisis.--bloomberg.com.

Germany: "Germans are enthusiastic savers but reluctant shareholders. As a cohort, they demonstrate a counter-productive preference for fixed-income products. This inclination has barely changed even as income has fallen due to the European Central Bank (ECB)’s low interest rate policy."--“German Angst” Shapes Investment Decisions: Study | cfainstitute.org.

France to tax tech giants from 2019 as EU fails to act ... French economy minister says the country will introduce its own digital tax, dubbed “GAFA tax”, on large internet and technology companies from January 1--dw.com.

A WTO Brexit: "I have still not heard a scare story I believe, and do not think the EU will be able to mount some kind of self harming blockade of their trade with us after we leave. I find myself in the position of having more confidence in our Ministers’ abilities to make it (Brexit) work than they sometimes express in themselves. I have this confidence because most of what happens to ensure imports and exports work is nothing whatsoever to do with governments. It rests on a willing buyer and a willing seller, who will still  be there in abundance the day  we leave the EU"--John Redwood, Dec 18, 2018 (Redwood was Chief Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher).

4) ICYMI Tech News:
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Apple $AAPL in India: only 24% of people in India own smartphones, and "the number of users is growing faster than in any other country," but "the number of iPhones shipped in India has fallen 40% so far this year compared with 2017, and Apple’s market share there has dropped to about 1% from about 2%."--wsj.com. See also Apple to pull some iPhones in Germany as Qualcomm $QCOM extends global patent wins--reuters.com.

Facebook $FB shares drop as data privacy fallout spreads--reuters.com. See also: As FAANG stocks falter, fund managers make bets on survivors--reuters.com. FAANG: Facebook Inc. $FB, Amazon.com Inc., $AMZN, Apple Inc., $AAPL, Netflix Inc., $NFLX, and Google (Alphabet) $GOOG, $GOOGL.

SoftBank's Vision Fund nearing $1.5 billion investment in SE Asia's Grab--reuters.com.

Cisco $CSCO announced it will pay $660 million in cash and assumed equity awards to acquire privately held semiconductor company Luxtera that uses silicon photonics technology to build integrated optics capabilities for webscale and enterprise data centers, service provider market segments, and other customers.

China hacked HPE, IBM and then attacked HPE's and IBM's clients--reuters.com. See also China resumes approvals of video games | technode.com.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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