TECHCRUNCH: There’s a myopia blinding e-commerce players to the reality of opportunities in Southeast Asia. Everyone is looking at Asian economies from under the shadow China casts on the economic landscape, which can’t help but obscure the picture.
China is one of the most developed markets in e-commerce today and with mobile commerce via WeChat, the dominance of Alipay and the entrenched online shopping behavior it is arguably more developed than Western markets.
However, businesses are, in fact, wasting their time and resources expanding into China and Southeast Asia will be the next gold rush. Read the full article
TechInAsia: Ecommerce titan Alibaba announced this morning that it’s forming a RMB 6 billion (US$970 million) joint venture company to focus on web-connected on-demand services, such as food delivery. Alibaba is forming this joint venture, called Koubei, with its affiliate company Ant Financial, which operates the Alipay epayments system that’s integral to Alibaba’s ecommerce sites. Each firm will put in half of the capital and hold a 50 percent stake. The joint venture is “aimed at capturing opportunities within China’s local services market, with an initial focus on the food and beverage segment,” said Alibaba’s statement today. Read the full article
E27.CO: MYbank, a startup backed by Ant Financial Services Group — an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group — has launched a digital-only bank to provide “inclusive and innovative financial solutions” at lower cost to under-banked urban and rural consumers and small and medium businesses (SMBs), according to a report. The startup does not have a physical presence and so it can serve customers 24X7. Although the bank will need additional regulatory approval before it can begin setting up accounts and accepting deposits, its initial strategy is to concentrate on issuing small loans of less than RMB 5 million (US$805,500) for SMBs, entrepreneurs and consumers. Read the full article