Alibaba Continues its Offline Retail Push by Investing in Hypermarket Operator

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Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores. The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224 cities in mainland China. The deal makes Alibaba the second largest shareholder in the business, which has a market cap of over US$10 billion. Ruentex, the shareholder that sold to Alibaba, will retain a 4.67…

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Managing software complexity through intent-based programming

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Software is losing its magic. We simply demand too much from the current approaches. As a result, software developers are losing the battle with complexity, often without realizing it. More often than not, little failures pile on top of other little failures, and life for the consumer, as well as the business, becomes more frustrating rather than easier. For example, Apple’s products have become buggy, travel is still a nightmare and call center experiences make us doubt both artificial and human intelligence. To bring the magic back into software, developers…

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DMM acquires Japanese pawn shop app Cash for $62.2M

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DMM, one of Japan’s largest Internet and e-commerce conglomerates, announced today that it will pay 7 billion yen (about $62.2 million) for pawn shop app Cash. Launched this summer, Cash’s software automatically appraises an item’s value based on user photos and offers a cash advance with it as collateral. Cash was developed by Bank, a startup launched by serial entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsuomoto earlier this year. Mitsuomoto’s previous startup, an e-commerce platform called Stores.jp, sold to Zozotown, one of Japan’s largest online clothing retailers, for an undisclosed sum in 2013. Bank…

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