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Market Watch


A First in Physical Arts, Sotheby’s Accepts Cryptocurrency for Banksy’s Work

Sotheby’s has activated emerging collectors in recent years by connecting the consumption relationships across different industries. It has now become the first large auction house that accepts cryptocurrency to pay for physical artwork.

Image:Sotheby’s

The renowned British street artist Banksy’s famous work, Love Is in the Air, also known as Flower Thrower, was auctioned off on May 12th in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. More importantly, through a partnership between Sotheby’s and Coinbase Commerce, this lot will accept the payment of the hammer price in Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

Source: Blockcast
Full article:


Following Microsoft and Apple, Google Opens Its First Retail Store This Summer in New York

Google will open its first brick-and-mortar retail store in New York. This signifies the company’s intention not only to keep expanding business in New York but also to let consumers experience its software and hardware services in an immersive environment and to collect their feedback. Google states that a storefront enables direct contact with different consumers and collection of user feedback, making the brick-and-mortar store an important part of the development cycle of hardware products. By collecting more consumer opinions and suggestions, the company hopes to improve its Pixel phones and the networking functions of the NEST products.

Source: Business Next
Full article:


Four Phenomena Emerge as the US Survives the COVID-19 Black Swan

In April, the United States met the goal of 200 million COVID-19 vaccines, and a milestone was reached shortly after: 50% of adults were vaccinated. As the pandemic gets under control and the post-pandemic era arrives, we look at four phenomena and lessons learned from historical trends.

Change 1. Turning increased saving into consumption: The US population had a total of $6 trillion in savings in March, which is four times the amount before the pandemic. On average, people have been saving 21% of their total income.

Change 2. Bolder changes and challenges: This trend can be seen in the worker shortage of the restaurant industry. Many former restaurant workers who were let go due to the pandemic were motivated to learn new skills or find more challenging work to make themselves more indispensable.

Change 3. More machines replacing human labor: Since the onset of the pandemic, chicken meat and timber industries has had lower production due to the restrictions in the number of workers allowed on site. The proportion of enterprises that adopt automation will undoubtedly increase going forward to reduce the risk factor of labor shortage.

Change 4. More social focus on equality and justice: The large-scale crisis has brought into focus the existing economic inequality and uneven resources.

Source: Business Next
Full article:


Gucci, Patagonia, and Timberland Are into Farming! What Is the Connection Here?

“Farm to table” has been a hot trend in the last few years. It’s a direct-sale model that takes the freshest ingredients from the producers’ farms to the consumers’ tables. The consumers can be assured of the food safety and transparency of food production; the farm can net more profit by foregoing distributors. But the concept of “farm to wardrobe” may not be as familiar. This new integrated model is taking the fashion industry by storm. International luxury brand Gucci and outdoor clothing brands Patagonia and Timberland have all invested in producing their own raw materials.

Image: Patagonia

Source: Manager Today
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Netflix Recruits Executives to Expand into the Gaming Market

Netflix is planning on recruiting executive-level talents in gaming. Tapping into the huge economic capacity of the gaming market, Netflix expects to increase the usage of its audio-video streaming service by bundling it with games. It is also rumored that Netflix may adapt some of its original audio-video contents to create the games.

Image:NETFLIX

Source:INSIDE
Full article:


Tourism Industry Update


Taiwan Outbound Departure Statistics for April 2021

Charts: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications
Charts: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

1.    Taiwanese went abroad 26,318 times in April 2021, up 135.66%from the 11,168 outbound trips taken in the same month in 2020.

2.    The top destination for outbound travelers in April 2021 was China, followed by the United States, Macao, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, in that order. COVID-19 continues to impact travel. The destination with the largest year-on-year growth was Vietnam, at 145800%.

Inbound Visitor Statistics for April 2021

Source: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

In April 2021, Taiwan had 17,843 inbound visitors, up 597.26% from the same month last year.

Image: Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications
Source: Monthly Report, Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications


DGBAS Latest Economic Indicators for April 2021

Image: Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS)

Image: DGBAS

  1. In April 2021, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 2.09% compared to the same month in 2020. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) increase by 9.62% from a year earlier.

2. In March 2021, the average regular salary of workers in Taiwan was NT$43,259, a 2.51% increase compared to the same month last year. The average total salary was NT$48,897, a 2.49% increase. The regular hourly salary was NT$194, a 5.43% increase from the same month last year.

Source:DGBAS Leading Indicators


As the Pandemic Goes to Level 3, the Tourism Bureau Oversees Prevention Measures for National Scenic Areas, Visitor Centers, and Tourist Attractions; Large Events To Be Canceled or Postponed

In response to the worsening of the pandemic, and because domestic cases have been identified continuously in Taipei City and New Taipei City, the national epidemic alert has been raised to level 3 until May 28 to bolster the pandemic prevention measures. The Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is managing the pandemic prevention measures for national scenic areas, visitor centers, and tourist attractions. Additionally, information on all large events scheduled between now and June 14 will be adjusted.

Source: Ministry of Transportation and Communications

Image: shutterstock.com

Subsidies and Emergency Relief for Tourism Industry

Regarding the sustained economic relief from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Minister of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics, Tzer-Ming Chu, states that NT$38.8 billion are still available in the relief budget. This amount will be used to fund any emergency economic relief as needed. “The Executive Yuan will support” whatever that is necessary.

Source: United Daily News (Economy News)
Full article:


Show Your Stay-at-Home Photos and Get Rewards from Travel Businesses

As the pandemic worsens, some travel businesses are trying to encourage people to stay home by launching online “choosing to stay home” programs. All you need to do to receive the travel rewards is to share your stay-at-home photos and write about your experience.

Source: Central News Agency
Full article:

Image: Fullon Hotels and Resorts

The Crisis of “Zero Reservations” Pushes Hotels to Become Family-Friendly

Even as the summer vacation approaches, the pandemic remains a big uncertainty. The tourism and hotel industries are once again facing the crises of “zero tour groups” and “zero hotel reservations.” Many are working on a solution this year. Especially, five-star hotels in Taipei and New Taipei City that typically cater to international business travelers are using this opportunity to reinvent themselves. For example, Howard Hotels in Taipei and Fullon Hotels in Tamshui have both re-packaged themselves as family-friendly hotels before the peak season arrives.

Source: United Daily News
Full article:


Media News


Taiwan Celebrities and YouTubers Test Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms

Real-time social audio experiences are now available on Facebook. Public figures and content creators can host “live audio rooms” and chat with followers in real time to reach a greater audience. There is no limit to the number of listeners in the rooms, and it allows up to 50 speakers at the same time for up to 4 hours. In the future, broadcast content can be saved. The finished product is similar to the podcast format, unlike Clubhouse, where the content is erased afterward. In addition, live audio rooms can be for-profit or do fundraising, including using Facebook Stars to sponsor content creators.

Image: Facebook

Source: TechNews
Full article:


i-Buzz VOC+ Industry Word of Mouth Database: Netflix Dominates; LineTV, KKTV, and Vidol Can Respond with Content Differentiation

According to the i-Buzz Report, Netflix, with its huge funds and original contents, takes up a large share of the internet traffic and volume of discussion. However, its grip has been slipping recently, and other over-the-top (OTT) media service brands have been trending upward in their collective volume, indicating that there is still room in the market for OTTs other than Netflix.

Image: i-Buzz VOC+ Industry Word of Mouth Database

Source: i-Buzz Research
Full article:


Omni-Channel Marketing for the Touch-Screen Generation: The Surge of Apps

Retail brands can treat their brand apps as their “in-house media”. An enterprise can use apps for real interactions with consumers to let them make personal connections to the brand. Many retailers, such as MUJI, have already pioneered this approach.

Apps are not like the points of sale in physical stores that only collect behavioral data during the purchasing stage. Apps can collect customers’ “lifetime value” data accumulatively, including when and where they make which choices.

Image: TierneyMJ via Shutterstock

Source: Business Next
Full article:


Want to Keep Facebook Free of Charge? The Company Asks for User Permission to Track Data

With the official launch of Apple’s operating system iOS 14.5, the feature that many users desired the most, “app-tracking transparency,” has also become available. This feature prohibits application developers from tracking any user data in any form unless user permission has been obtained.

Facebook and Instagram, which have historically relied on collecting user data for survival, have come up with an idea. When the app detects that a user has updated to iOS 14.5, a message will pop up and ask for permission to continue the data collection to enable these two apps to keep providing “free” services.

Image: TechNews Facebook

Source: CCC TechNews
Full article:


Case Study


The British Council’s Official IELTS Examination Center in Taiwan
—IELTS Promotes Facebook Chatbot Program

Background
In the spring semester of each year, those who want to study abroad begin to collect information about their potential destinations and the English certification exams. Therefore, in early 2021, the British Council began to host a fun event on Facebook to contact students who intend to study abroad and to promote IELTS certification, explaining that an IELTS certification can be used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other places.

Highlights
The event’s design involves a virtual character, “IELTS Master,” who helps the user take a questionnaire to figure out the best place of study for them. To emphasize the fact that IELTS is accepted by many institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, the questionnaire asks for the user’s preferences and lifestyles to identify the most suitable country for studying abroad.

Upon completing the questionnaire, the user receives an IELTS study planner provided by the British Council and information about the IELTS. After the event is over, five users are randomly selected to receive special gifts.

First Facebook Post 2021/1/11

Second Facebook Post 2021/03/03

Screenshots of Chats

Shared Screenshots

About IELTS
IELTS—Opening Doors, Creating Opportunities
https://tw.ieltsasia.org/IELTSopensdoors/

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