Kr-ASIA Weekly Roundup

Highlights from the past week, as well as something cool for the weekend.

Photo by Dean Rose on Unsplash.

Editor’s note:

In the first month of the new year, the battle of new retail between Alibaba and Tencent is already escalating. Tencent has made several moves to beef up its presence in brick and mortar stores by teaming up with Carrefour and Wanda, as well as branching out to new verticals such as clothing retails.

We are likely to see a revolutionary change in offline stores at the end of 2018 as the two deep pocket tech giants would spare no efforts to bring about a change.

Kr-ASIA Weekly Roundup highlights tech & startup news of the past week, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China. We also pick up the best features from Kr-Asia and the web that are worth your time. Also, there is always something cool for the weekend.

News of the week:

Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent is leading a group of investors, including Suning, JD, and Sunac to acquire a 14 percent stake in Wanda Commercial Properties Co. for USD 5.4 billion (RMB 34 billion). (KrASIA)

Google confirmed investment in Go-Jek, stepping into the Asian ride-hailing rodeo. (KrASIA)

Uber is planning an expansion in Japan and is offering faster booking and cheaper rides to gain share in Singapore, according to APAC chief. (Deal Street Asia)

Alibaba is buying a 33 percent equity stake in Ant Financial, its affiliate specializes in mobile payment, in exchange for certain intellectual property rights owned by the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate. (KrASIA)

Tencent, the tech mogul behind WeChat, is acquiring a 5% stake in Chinese leading menswear HLA. The two companies are said to establish a joint venture dedicated to investing in the clothing industry. (KrASIA)

Chinese insurer Ping An announced earlier this week to spin off its online healthcare unit and float it on the main board of Hong Kong stock exchange. It’s seeking up to US$ 1 billion in the initial public offering. (KrASIA)

Singapore’s bike-sharing startup oBike has officially rolled out its dockless bikes in Indonesia. Residents in Bandung and in areas of Bali including Kuta, Legian and Seminyak will be the first in the country to use the bikes. (e27)

China’s most popular news aggregator Toutiao claimed it has sued Baidu, the dominant search service in China, for unfair competition amid an intense battle for the lucrative mobile feed ads business the duo both heavily bet on. (KrASIA)

Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank has signed a memorandum of understanding to buy a 51 percent stake in messaging platform LINE Corp.‘s mobile services business, with an aim to promote its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business. (e27)

Xiaomi, China’s smartphone manufacturer, rolled out its very own live trivia game on its short video streaming app Youle Monday, marking the latest case of a Chinese tech company throwing itself into a recent fad of app-based live trivia games. (KrASIA)

Best of Kr-Asia Features:

We are increasingly becoming mere data generators in a world that’s heavily driven by data. Say Hi to The Age of No Privacy (Part 2).

In Tech companies, the midlife crisis seems to strike earlier and harder (Part 2).

Blog posts that worth your time:

What it’s like to be the Uber of the Middle East.

You can’t build a consumer brand in 2018 and ignore the 800-pound-gorilla that is Amazon. So, how to Beat Amazon?

How Apple fumbled the Voice first future.

Cool thing of the week:

A PropTech company, Ten Fold Engineering, seeks to provide people with a solution to mobile housing. The concept is simple: fold up the solid parts of a building, move it and open it wherever you want it to be.