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Anti-Trump protests continue with sporadic violence

It is no surprise that social commerce is flourishing in Southeast Asia as Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular social networks where internet users spend up to 3.7 hours every day on average.

Add to that Asia’s high mobile phone penetration, the fact that Southeast Asians are reluctant to share their financial and personal information online, and less than 20 per cent of the population (except Singapore) use either debit or credit card to make payments, and you have the success formula for shopping via social networks.

It is very likely while browsing Instagram or Facebook that you’ve seen sponsored posts from many unknown brands selling clothes, shoes, or something similar. There’s also quite a high chance a coworker bought that nice top she’s wearing from a Facebook “shop.”

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But how does social commerce affect ecommerce overall? And why is social commerce so popular amongst Southeast Asians? To answer these questions, ecommerceIQ decided to test how social commerce works.

Social commerce: surprisingly easy

In social commerce, an order is usually made online while the payment is done offline. Merchants set up “shops” on Facebook or Instagram and post images and details of goods for sale. Shoppers browse and inquire about product availability and arrange a method of payment, typically a bank transfer, through a popular chat app such as Line in Thailand.


To find a reliable shop on social media, many browsers skim through popular forums like Pantip in Thailand. Based on popular word of mouth and recommendations, the ecommerceIQ team chose to test an Instagram makeup shop by @lachompshop.

The search for products takes place by scrolling through @lachompshop picture gallery on Instagram. We decided to purchase a MAC lipstick, which was surprisingly selling for THB 550 (US$15), THB 300 cheaper than in MAC’s official online store.

The seller indicated her Line account in the Instagram “about me” section in case people have product enquiries. The seller replied within one minute of the team’s question and confirmed product availability with a screenshot of the product from her Instagram page.

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She outlined details of the payment, which had to be made before the shipping of the product. The seller noted delivery would take three days, after easy negotiation she agreed to express delivery in two days at no additional charge.

The seller sent details of her bank account. The purchase process was simple – a brief exchange on the chat app followed by a bank transfer. Much easier compared to filling forms and providing payment card details when shopping on a typical ecommerce site.

Once the bank transfer was made, the transaction could not be cancelled. After payment, the seller followed up in Line with a tracking number from Thai Post.
Demonstrators took to the streets across the United States for a second night to protest against Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, voicing fears that the real estate mogul’s triumph would deal a blow to civil rights.

On the East Coast, protests took place in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, while on the West Coast demonstrators rallied in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland in California, and Portland, Oregon. The protests were for the most part peaceful and orderly, although there were scattered acts of civil disobedience and damage to property.

Protesters threw objects at police in Portland and damaged cars in a dealership lot, the Portland Police Department said on Twitter. Some protesters sprayed graffiti on cars and buildings and smashed store front windows, media in Portland said.

“Many in crowd trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property, anarchists refusing. Others encouraged to leave area,” the department tweeted after declaring the demonstration a riot.

The demonstration continued into Friday morning as Portland police arrested a handful of protesters and used pepper spray and rubber bullets to try to disperse the crowd, the department said.

At least 35 were arrested in a protest in downtown Los Angeles, where demonstrators blocked traffic and sat in the street, local media reported. Dozens in Minneapolis marched onto Interstate 94, blocking traffic in both directions for at least an hour as police stood by. A smaller band of demonstrators briefly halted traffic on a busy Los Angeles freeway before police cleared them.

Baltimore police reported that about 600 people marched through the downtown Inner Harbor area, with some blocking roadways by sitting in the street. Two people were arrested.

In Denver, a crowd that media estimated to number about 3,000 gathered on the grounds of the Colorado state capitol and marched through downtown in one of the largest of Thursday’s events. Hundreds demonstrated through Dallas.

Thursday’s gatherings were generally smaller in scale and less intense than Wednesday’s, and teenagers and young adults again dominated the racially mixed crowds.

“Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Trump tweeted on Thursday night.

But just hours later, he praised the demonstrators for being passionate about their country. “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!” he tweeted early on Friday.

Police pitched security barricades around two Trump marquee properties that have become focal points of the protests – his newly opened Pennsylvania Avenue hotel in Washington and the high-rise Trump Tower in Manhattan, where he lives.

About 100 protesters marched from the White House, where Trump had his first transition meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, to the Trump International Hotel several blocks away. At least 200 people rallied there after dark, many chanting “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and carrying signs with such slogans as “Impeach Trump” and “Not my president.”

“I can’t support someone who supports so much bigotry and hatred. It’s heart-breaking,” said Joe Daniels, 25, of suburban Alexandria, Virginia.

Two Trump supporters stood off to the side carrying signs reading: “All We are Saying is Give Trump a Chance”.

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer too urged the protesters to give Trump a chance once he is sworn in to office in January. “I hope that people get it out of their systems … but then they give this man that was just elected very historically and his new vice president an opportunity to govern,” Spicer told MSNBC.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2016.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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