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Week in Tech: 03/15/14

What's new in the world of technology.

Michelle Phan YouTube

ASSESSING BITCOIN’S RETAIL FUTURE: While Bitcoin’s status as a mainstream payment system might be a ways off — if ever — the stateless, electronic currency could develop a larger place in the retail world. Hudson’s Bay Co. is testing the currency via a third-party app.

VLOGGERS WINNING ONLINE BATTLE OVER BRANDS:
The numbers don’t lie — when it comes to beauty content on the Google-owned YouTube, vloggers like Michelle Phan are running mascara rings around the major brands.

FACEBOOK LAUNCHES VIDEO ADVERTISING: Facebook, which began testing video ads in December, is officially in the video advertising game, having pulled the trigger on its Premium Video Ads program.

BOOHOO.COM STOCK SOARS AFTER IPO: Boohoo.com, the online fast-fashion player, saw its shares rocket as much as 70 percent to a high of 0.85 pounds, or $1.41, on Friday, its first day of trading on London’s AIM market.

NOWNESS.COM INTRODUCES FIRST SHOPPABLE VIDEO: Nowness.com launched its first shoppable video, a short film featuring five Sadler’s Wells dancers and showcasing product from Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, La Perla, Kenzo, Maison Martin Margiela, Haider Ackermann and Rick Owens. The four-year-old, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned property specializes in fashion, art and media content and does not incorporate traditional advertising such as banner ads or sidebars.

CHINA HALTS VIRTUAL CREDIT CARD, MOBILE PAYMENTS: Chinese Internet behemoths, Alibaba and Tencent, were caught off guard by orders from the country’s central bank to halt payments via QR codes and virtual credit cards. Both companies were preparing to roll out virtual credit cards next week.

ALIBABA BUYS STAKE IN CHINESE TV FIRM: Alibaba is buying a 60 percent stake in Chinese television and film production firm ChinaVision Media Group for 6.24 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $804 million, marking the second M&A deal in a week for China’s fast-growing e-commerce industry.

NPD INVESTS IN CONSUMER DATA FIRM STYLITICS: The NPD Group made an equity investment in Stylitics, a supplier of consumer behavior and preference data to fashion retailers and brands.

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