Amazon Prime Day has turned us all into shopaholics (The Daily Charge 7/15/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today on the daily charge.
Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple head back to Washington.
Our latest in our 5G series.
And happy Prime Day everybody.
Amazon Prime day is here and after five year, this drunkenly poopy sideshow into a massive shopping phenomenon.
Ben you get on top of this.
What's going on?
Man it's Prime Day.
It's Prime day again.
[LAUGH] You sound so excited.
People are really interested in Prime Day.
It's five years now and Amazon has obviously done a really good job of adding new stuff into Prime Day all the time to get people interested and still talking about it.
Like this year was a Taylor Swift concert which nobody can get Taylor Swift but apparently Amazon could so.
Well you were a great storage kind of looking at the cultural impact of, Prime Day and how really it's changed the way we've shop.
Right, it's basically created a black friday ask event in the summer.
Yes, yeah, and that's really rare.
A lot of retailers have tried to do this for years if not decades to try to get people to shop more in the summer they do this Christmas in July thing and never really took off.
Yeah>> So in part due to the economy in part due to just dumb luck.
Amazon was able to just fall into being able to get Prime Day to really take off.
And it's causing people on one end to hold off their shopping right away for Prime Day, to wait for the other end instead of buying them back to school or maybe on a holiday Now you're buying on Prime Day, so it's kind of consolidating the shopping into this two day window.
No it hasn't been all smooth sailing right.
There have been outages the last two years in a row.
Maybe there was there was one that was particularly bad last year.
And then I think the previous one was in 2016 that wasn't as bad.
When people had a hard time of getting into their you actually checking things out once they put them into their shopping carts.
Last year was so atrocious where I think it was in the middle of the day.
It was right at the beginning at noon, and the whole thing fell apart.
The mobile app didn't work.
The website didn't work and that went on for roughly an hour or so.
Yeah, so beyond the sales and deals there are several downside things.
We are seeing protests all over the country, really looking at some of the issues in its warehouse which have been fairly widespread wide record.
We've reported on some of the issues there.
Yeah, this is what happens when you create a fake shopping holiday in the middle of the summer.
That you get all the attention, you get the all the eyeballs on you.
Well, you're going to end up inviting protests and it's just, it's going to elicit that kind of thing.
And so those concerns about treatment of warehouse workers is gonna come up Allegations that Amazon has been working with ICE, which, by the way, Amazon does not talk about whether it is or isn't working with ICE.
That's been coming up, there's gonna be a protest outside of Jeff Bezos' house in half an hour from now in New York.
And also concerns about just climate change, there's an Amazon employee group that's pushing for Amazon to do more on the climate, they're also talking up about this and that's what happened when Prime day is getting all these people to talk about these concerns.
Yeah, Prime day is definitely a great platform to get your news out, so next up get ready for a busy week in DC as they grill the tech giants, the house judiciary committee will question Google.
Facebook, Amazon and Apple over whether they hold too much power.
Meanwhile, the set of banking committee will question Facebook over Libra cryptocurrency.
This comes after President Trump held his social media summit on Thursday, without any actual social media companies.
Yeah, we'll see how much attention this event tomorrow gets These are not as far as I can tell, heavy headers from any of these companies cuz there are a lot of folks that I haven't heard off there from the public policy aside of these companies.
Or they're from the legal side.
So this isn't a [INAUDIBLE] event.
This isn't a Mark Zuckerberg event, but at the same time we might get some interesting nuance or we might get some useful context as far as
Like at the very least, how these companies are trying to defend themselves against the potential for regulation and in a worst case scenario for them, potentially breaking up the companies.
Well, yeah, we'll see what actually gets done because I feel like there are competing interests even on the just the government side of things.
People can't even agree.
On a regulation perspective on what they want, right.
Some folks want to address the issue of bias against conservative voices.
So there are all these competing agendas and it just doesn't seem like anything can get done.
Which sounds a lot like DC.
Well, meanwhile, what do you think the potential is for any of these breakups to actually happen?
I think that's a really tough one.
I think it's an issue that these tech companies are particularly sensitive to.
I just don't know if it'll actually get done.
Obviously a lot of noise was made about Microsoft getting broken up back in the day, that never happened.
Yeah, and that was years.
Lastly, the Laso 5GCA looks at how technology is gone caught up in a blood trade war between US and China.
Our own Maggy Yuri takes a look at the stakes as both China and the US are jockeying for the leadership in 5G which Winter potentially shaping the geopolitics and technology scheme for the next decade.
Okay, so yeah, what do we need to be paying attention to here is this is this I feel like wow way this is back in the mix as relates to this because they have a lot to do with infrastructure and particularly 5g infrastructures Is that right?
That's exactly what Huawei is sort of the the big name big company that Stands out there as the number two smartphone player.
The world's largest Telecom equipment maker.
Now they supply some equipment to actually to some US rural carriers.
They're not allowed in the big four.
But, given the security issues and the wrap up in government scrutiny over some its practices, it feels probably like Security issues are valid in one sense.
But also it does feel like this is heavily politicized.
This is really more about Trump and more about, you know, getting leverage to strike better terms in, with China in terms of trade deals.
So if the US doesn't end up using any of that, while a technology, are we in this country At a disadvantage in any way that like maybe we're losing out on any sort of useful infrastructure that maybe we should be using.>> No, it's a great question.
It's still kind of mixed at this point because there are enough of these other suppliers.
Interestingly enough, due to all the consolidation in this industry there are actually no us suppliers of telecom equipment.
Loosen you know that got purchased right and So we've got Nokia and Ericsson, Samsung.
So they're folks in other countries that are our core suppliers.
There's like the Intel's and the Cisco's, but they don't supply some of the main components.
So it's hard to tell whether or not, Losing out on Huawei equipment is really going to hurt us.
I think the bigger issue is, you know 5G has is an international standard set by multiple companies.
And we're trying to basically block out Huawei from contributing even more even though while we actually does have more patents than really are, China sorry, China.
Thanks to Huawei has more plans to rectify 5G than the U.S or Korea.
So, you could tell there's someone in the White House just thinking about this, thinking ahead and going, well, I don't know if I want China to be in that driver's position for 5G.
And then having a sort of follow them.
For the Daily Charge I'm Roger Chang.
I'm Fox Ruben.
Thanks for listening