Weekend Wrap-up – E-commerce Focuses on International and Healthcare

Freedom Sale

In celebration of India’s 72nd Independence Day, Amazon held their Freedom Sale from August 9 through August 11. Similar to Prime Day, Amazon’s Freedom Sale offered a host of product deals, including price cuts on smartphones, TVs, and Amazon Echo devices.

India has been one of Amazon’s primary international focal points recently. After a longstanding tug-of-war with Amazon, Walmart purchased 75% of Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, in a deal worth nearly $15 billion. Amazon responded by increasing investments in India by $7 billion.

Amazon’s healthcare venture

Last week, CNBC reported on Amazon’s plans to open healthcare clinics for their Seattle employees, and over the weekend GeekWire discussed how internal clinics could save the company money. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have been quietly working on a joint healthcare venture for some time now, which was confirmed in late January with an official press release. With a small pilot program, the retailer has plans to expand in 2019. Considering Amazon’s partnership and their acquisition of PillPack, it appears that Amazon’s employee-focused healthcare program may be a trial run for something more public.

Walmart and further investments in grocery

Walmart recently co-invested $500 million in Dada-JD Daojia with, China’s second largest e-commerce company. Dada-JD Daojia is a Chinese grocery delivery company that JD merged with Dada Nexus, a crowdsourced delivery company, in 2016. Walmart is currently the largest stakeholder for JD, owning a 12% stake in the company. As the online grocery market becomes more competitive, Walmart is making big moves to keep up with Amazon (which recently announced one-hour grocery delivery) and Kroger (which recently launched an in-house delivery service).