Humanless in Jakarta. Photo: JD.com

In May, we reported that China's tech giants are sharing their secret sauce with mom-and-pop shops around the country, helping them join the digital revolution with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and e-commerce technologies.

What's next: The Chinese are taking their digitalization-in-a-box concept abroad — with the potential to fuel a grassroots retail revolution beyond China.

In a brewing war, China's retail giants are vying for the Southeast Asian market, with its super-high population density and lack of local retail competition.

  • On one front, JD.com, China's wildly popular online retailer, is opening an unmanned, high-tech shop in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
  • Customers walk in, grab what they need, and walk out. AI and facial recognition technology handles the checkout process automatically.
  • This is JD's first such store outside China, and the company wants to open more — as well as sell its retrofit kit to local Jakarta storekeepers who also want to digitize.

Why it matters: Amazon has developed and deployed unmanned retail technology in its Go store in Seattle. The difference is that JD and Alibaba are marketing their high-tech solutions to anyone who wants them.

Go deeper

Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

From live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year.

Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.

Life after Roe v. Wade

The future seems clear to both parties: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one fell swoop, and the abortion wars will move to a state-by-state battle over freedom and restrictions. 

What's new: Two of the leading activists on opposite sides of the abortion debate outlined for “Axios on HBO” the next frontiers in a post-Roe v. Wade world as the balance on the Supreme Court prepares to shift.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.