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Recode Daily: Google invests in Chinese e-commerce

Plus, here’s how serious Apple is about original TV content — it signed Oprah; what will “Disney as a service” look like? Team Mexico makes the earth move.

The world’s first Hello Kitty supermarket opens In Hong Kong Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Google is investing $550 million in, the Chinese e-commerce company. The companies say the investment is part of a partnership that will include the promotion of products on Google’s shopping service. Google’s core search and ad business is still blocked in China. [Reuters]

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence sat down with our sister site The Verge to talk about everything from a potential Sonos IPO to the risk of consumers becoming overwhelmed and confused by today’s unending wave of smart speakers. Would light bulbs with microphones inside be a better answer? [Nilay Patel / The Verge]

Apple signaled its serious intent to get into original TV content in maybe the biggest way possible — it signed Oprah Winfrey to a “unique, multi-year content partnership” to create original programming. Apple’s Winfrey announcement follows similar announcements about video projects involving Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg and other well-known creators and brands. Here are some theories and thoughts about Apple’s TV strategy, which is being engineered by former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, hired by Apple last year to reboot its original content plans. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Disney has announced its own subscription streaming business — here are some thoughts about what “Disney as a service” may look like. It won’t just be a repository for the Disney Vault, Marvel Cinematic Universe, a dozen Star Wars movies and a handful of TV series — in fact, it won’t be just about video. It will be about leveraging the entirety of The Walt Disney Company — whether it’s online or off, in the theater or on a cruise, enjoyed by infants or seniors. Which raises these questions: How is it sold, how much does it make and how does it change the industry? [Matthew Ball / Redef]

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn will establish its North American corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., following the purchase of a building in the city’s downtown area. The announcement comes about a year after the company disclosed plans to invest $10 billion over four years to build a 20 million-square-foot LCD panel plant that could eventually employ up to 13,000 people. Best known for making iPhones and other Apple devices, Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, employing more than a million people. [Andrew Galbraith / Reuters]

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