Amazon Takes a Stand on Reviews -- Tech Roundup

If a company gave someone a product to keep in exchange for an honest review on Amazon (AMZN) , do you think the review would slightly biased?

Well, apparently that has been found to be the case and as a result, the e-commerce juggernaut is cracking down.

These "incentivized" reviews skewed product ratings, and were ultimately disappointing and in some regard misleading customers. Data shows that an incentivized review averaged a 4.74 out of 5 rating, while a non-incentivized rating received just a 4.36 average review.

Amazon wants an online shopping experience that's quick, easy, price competitive and perhaps most importantly, honest and trustworthy. If users log in to purchase a new product and see that its rated a 4.74 out of 5, many will assume that it's of high quality and worthy of a purchase.

But if a majority of those reviews came from a customer who received that product for free, it's likely that they have a more positive bias. Given that Amazon has boomed into a colossal player in the retail sector, its customers' trust is ever so important.

Losing that could lead to lost sales. And in a world where seemingly every retailer is trying to combat Amazon, that's not something the company wants to see happen.

Shares of Amazon closed at $780.12 Wednesday, down 0.7%.


Fresh off its capital raise in September, Airbnb is looking to put some of that money to work in China. It raised $555 million at a valuation of $30 billion -- making many wonder when an IPO will be on the way.

In any regard, Airbnb is reportedly looking to acquire Xiaozhu, which boasts about 100,000 properties in the country, more than Airbnb's roughly 75,000 properties in China.

The acquisition would do a couple of things for Airbnb. First, it would more than double its current property reach and add a large number of users to its list. It also gives the company a stronger foothold in a very strong, highly populated market.

Finally, the acquisition could also help the company sidestep a costly price war with its competitors in the region. Rather than battling Xiaozhu on price, Airbnb would have one less competitor to worry about.


When it comes to the stock market and investment world, the word "raid" never seems to be a positive.

But that's exactly what happened to Samsung (SSNLF) on Wednesday at the company's South Korea-based headquarters. Also being raided was the National Pension Service.

The NPS is the world third largest pension firm and has more than $450 billion in assets. The firm stands as one of the largest shareholders in many of the country's largest companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Apparently in 2015, the fund approved a deal that went in "favor of a merger of two Samsung affiliates that strengthened the grip...on Samsung." But so far, it's unclear why Samsung and the National Pension Service were raided and if it was indeed related the merger.

We'll eventually know the reason, but as it stands, no explanation has been given for the document seizure.

Shares of Samsung closed higher by 0.55% in South Korea, although it's unknown whether this news had broke before the stock closed for trading.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

If you liked this article you might like

Video: Best Presidents Day Deals!

Video: Best Presidents Day Deals!

Inside Goldman Tech Conference: Key Takeaways on Bitcoin, Ethereum and ICOs

Inside Goldman Tech Conference: Key Takeaways on Bitcoin, Ethereum and ICOs

Only Wall Street's Dumbest Think Amazon Will Be Able to Skirt Regulation Forever

Only Wall Street's Dumbest Think Amazon Will Be Able to Skirt Regulation Forever

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

Buy Stocks That Are Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 2/16/18)

Shorts Trampled In Bull Market Rally; UPS Share Structure Examined -- ICYMI

Shorts Trampled In Bull Market Rally; UPS Share Structure Examined -- ICYMI