Kr-Asia Daily: Grab Appoints Ex-Visa Country Manager as Managing Director of GrabPay

Plus, China’s state-owned automaker FAW acquired a 10% stake in Mobike. Bitcoin saw a steep fall in its price to under $15,000, as concerns that regulators will tighten their grip on cryptocurrencies

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Kr-Asia Daily: Grab Appoints Ex-Visa Country Manager as Managing Director of GrabPay

The bitcoin bubble may be on its way to blast. Following China and South Korea’s tighter grip on the trading and mining of the most popular cryptocurrency, the price of bitcoin slumped to under $15,000 on Jan 8, raising worries about the financial risks that it would pose to the global financial system.

Kr-ASIA Daily is a five-minute read to brief you everything you need to know to start your day. We only choose the latest tech & startup news that is worth your time, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China.

Southeast Asia:

SE Asia: Grab has appointed Ooi Huey Tyng as Managing Director of GrabPay in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Huey Tyng was previously Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei. (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand: Central Group, Thailand’s biggest operator of shopping malls and department stores, is expecting a partnership with China’s e-commerce website JD to help it boost its online sales.(Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: The city-state-based life insurance company Singapore Life is acquiring Zurich Life’s business portfolio in Singapore, which is worth around $4.5 billion. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: City-state-based VC firm, Sirius Venture Capital, co-led a $600,000 seed funding round in Hargol FoodTech, an Israeli foodtech startup that yields consumable protein from grasshopper farming. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: Conglomerates Ayala and Yuchengco announced that the two are planning a merger of their education business. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) mulls to embrace changes, including exploring ICO and exclusive boards or governing bodies for tech companies and startups. The PSE has long been criticized for its strict rules and regulations in listing and trading. (Deal Street Asia)

Myanmar: The leading telecommunications service provider, Global Technology Group, has introduced international Gateway services in December, providing secured cross-border connectivity for Myanmar enterprises.  (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand: Startups in Thailand banked a record total of more than $120 million in funding in 2017. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: City-state’s trade agency, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, has signed an MOU with Confederation of Indian Industry (CI), planning to bolster business partnership and knowledge exchange among tech companies of the two countries. (IE Singapore)

The Philippines: Data-driven marketing platform AlphaConcepts secured $200,000 seed fund. (AlphaConcepts)

China:

China’s state-owned automaker FAW acquired a 10% stake in Mobike and is set to provide EVs to the bike-sharing startup who recently rolled out its ride-hailing services in Guizhou. (Reuters)

Baidu unveiled Apollo 2.0, an upgrade to its open-source self-driving car software, and is also expanding to Singapore with a new Apollo Southeast Asia Fund. (Venture Beat)

Alibaba led a $2.75 million round in Taiwanese e-commerce startup citiesocial. (e27)

China’s second-hand luxury goods marketplace, Xinshang, raised $50 million in a Series C round led by GGV and Joy Capital. (China Money Network)

Tencent joined an investment worth hundreds of millions of RMB in Peilian, a Chinese online music tutoring platform. (QQ.com)

Meituan is to roll out its ride-hailing services in Beijing as it has achieved a targeted 200,000 pre-subscriptions for its service in the country’s capital city. (QQ.com)

Xiaomi hasn’t decided when and where to list, according to an insider familiar with the matter from an investment bank. The speculation of Xiaomi’s $200 billion market capitalization seems to have overvalued the company. (36Kr)

Jiangsu Consumer Council sued Baidu for monitoring users’ call and location. In response to that allegation, Baidu said its apps were not spying on their users. (The Beijing News)

Beijing-based e-commerce website LightInTheBox announced its two websites LightInTheBox.com and miniinthebox.com have started accepting payment in bitcoin powered by payment processor BitPay. (Sina)

Social network website Renren was urged to stop its ICO project RR Coin by China’s regulators. (WallStreetcn)

WeChat rolled out new features on its mini program, allowing developers analysis its users’ persona. (36Kr)

Didi announced to have served 450 million users across 400 cities in China with 7.43 billion rides in 2017. On average, each Chinese has used its ride-hailing service for 5 times last year. (36Kr)

About 35% of full time live streaming anchors in China earn more than ¥8000 (around $1231) in 2017, according to a newly released report by social networking service provider Momo. (ChinaNews)

Regulators in Shanghai issued a notice to rectify problems like high-interest rate and personal information infringement in the cash-loan business. (wdzj)

EV maker Byton unveiled its first model BYTON Concept priced at around $45,000. (Mydrivers)

World:

Bitcoin saw a steep fall in its price to under $15,000, as concerns that regulators will tighten their grip on cryptocurrencies weigh on. (Bloomberg)

Google is to roll out Google Pay, combining its Android Pay and Google Wallet under a brand. (Venture Beat)

GoPro confirmed the company is planning a layoff of at least 250 employees and is leaving the drone business. The company has hired JP Morgan to help it seek a potential sale. (CNBC)

SoftBank-backed Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure is reportedly going to take office in Uber as Uber board member (36Kr)

Two Apple shareholders urged the smartphone maker to curb Children’s addict to iPhones. (Reuters)

Uber India is to relaunch its auto rickshaw hailing service UberAUTO, starting in Bangalore and Pune. (VCCircle)

The number of AI-powered smartphones will rise 70% in four years, according to research and advisory firm Gartner. (NetEase)

Two-thirds of vocal assistant users use less their smartphones, according to a report by Accenture. (36Kr)

At CES 2018, graphic chip mogul Nvidia unveiled the next generation of its autonomous driving stack powered by Xavier, which cost the company $2 billion. (zdnet)

U.S-based online retailer Overstock received $100 million investment from Quantum Fund. CEO Byrne claimed the company is to inject $20 million proceeds in the blockchain startup DeSoto. (8btc)

Amazon is targeting the Windows PC market and potentially challenging Cortana, as computer brands Asus, HP and Lenovo announced at CES 2018 that they will roll out their Windows 10 PC with Alexa installed. (IT Home)