KrASIA Daily: Amazon Tops Alphabet to Become the World’s #2 Most Valuable Company 

Plus, Malaysia’s dahmakan has acquired Thai competitor Polpa. Alibaba mulls opportunities to acquire Rocket Internet’s online retail unit in Pakistan.

Amazon Go in Seattle.

Editor’s note:

Amazon’s share price rose 2.7% on Tuesday and its market value reached $767 billion. The company’s stock saw an 85% increase over the past 12 months. 

Investors believe in the company’s future growth funded by its lucrative cloud computing business.

KrASIA 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:

KrASIA Daily: Amazon Tops Alphabet to Become the World's #2 Most Valuable Company 
Image credit to Dahmakan.

Malaysia: Malaysian food delivery startup dahmakan, a Y Combinator graduate that raised $2.6 million early this year, has acquired Bangkok-based competitor Polpa for an undisclosed amount, as part of its aggressive regional expansion plans. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. plans to create a platform that connects mobile wallets across Asia, enabling users to pay digitally in the countries its partners operate. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has participated in the $140-million funding round of Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd, the maker of the portable real-time DNA/RNA sequencer MinION, according to a statement. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based doctor-booking platform DocDoc has raised $5.45 million in its latest funding round, which was led by London-listed investment firm Adamas Finance Asia Limited (ADAM). (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: Philippine-listed logistics firm LBC Express Holdings disclosed on Tuesday that it has secured board approval to acquire 30 percent stake in Orient Freight International Incorporated for P218.8 million ($4.2 million). (Deal Street Asia)

Myanmar: Myanmar-based agriculture and fintech enterprise Impact Terra has bagged nearly $3 million in grant funding to lead the digitization of smallholder farming, the company announced on March 19. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP) and China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a $200 million (RM782 million) ASEAN Green Technology Fund, the New Straits Times reported. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Facebook has named Le Diep Kieu Trang, known as Christy Le, as CEO of its Vietnam operations, local media reported. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund has announced that it plans to invest approximately GBP3 million ($4.2 million) into 15 mobile platform-focused startups across Africa and Asia Pacific, including Vietnam. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

KrASIA Daily: Amazon Tops Alphabet to Become the World's #2 Most Valuable Company 
Image credit to hinglish Notes on Flickr.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is considering acquiring Rocket Internet’s online retail unit in Pakistan to help China’s biggest e-commerce company expand its reach in the South Asian nation, a person with knowledge of the matter said. (Bloomberg)

Chinese O2O and e-commerce giant Meituan is going to launch its long-rumored ride-hailing service tomorrow (21 March 2018) in Shanghai, Chinese media iFeng is reporting. The report says they have confirmed the news with Meituan’s customer service staff. (Technode)

Chinese electric car startup Xiaopeng Motors, also known as XPENG, is expected to receive a specialized license plate today for its electric models from the traffic regulator of Guangzhou, local media is reporting. This is the first time for a Chinese municipality to issue an official plate to electric cars made by a tech firm. (Technode)

JD reached a new partnership with the parent company of China’s leading smartphone brands Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus. JD’s new cooperation deal means that users will be able to purchase directly from BBK Electronic’s offline stores via JD Daojia, the O2O arm of JD. (Technode)

Chinese smartphone suppliers Vivo and Oppo have separately introduced their new flagship Android smartphone models, each of which feature a notch at the top of the touch screen identical to the prominent design cue on the tenth anniversary iPhone. (scmp)

No less than 12 vendors on Taobao are offering buyers tailor-made, ghostwritten “white papers”, or business plans, on how to launch their very own initial coin offerings (ICO), or fundraisings using virtual currencies. (scmp)

China Literature, which listed in Hong Kong in November, is banking on developing and marketing its massive pool of intellectual property at home and abroad to help it become a combination of the Walt Disney Company and Marvel Entertainment. (scmp)

China’s drone-maker DJI is reportedly raising $500 million to $1 billion at a $15 billion valuation. (36Kr)

Ofo kicked off its service in Alma-Ata city in Kazakhstan on March 17. The bike-sharing company plans to provide 2200 bikes in the city this year. (cankaoxiaoxi)

Goldman Sachs lifted Tencent‘s target price to $535 from $438 with rating kept Buy.Tencent will announce its 2017 results on 21 March. (aastocks)

Lexin Fintech reports RMB 1.59 billion revenue in Q4 2017, up 14.68%, with net profit reaching RMB 100 million. (36Kr)

Rumour has it GONG Zhenbing, ex-chairman of Baidu Waimai, is likely to join Didi Chuxing‘s food delivery arm. (36Kr)

In a bid to compete against WeChat mini program, 10 smartphone makers including Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, OPPO and Vivo rolled out a standard for “quick app” which is expected to reduce the cost for app development. (36Kr)

Cleaning robot maker Ecovacs get the nod from CSRC to list on Shanghai Stock Exchange. The company plans to raise RMB 912 million to fuel future development. (tech.sina)

App-only bank N26 has raised $160 million from German insurer Allianz and Chinese messaging and payment giant Tencent. (Business Insider)

17zuoye closed a $ 250 million round led by Temasek with participation from existing investors in including Shunwei Capital and CITICPE. (36Kr)

WeChat mini program-based e-commerce platform LOOK raised $22 million in a Series A round led by GGV and Fengsion. (36Kr)

World:

KrASIA Daily: Amazon Tops Alphabet to Become the World's #2 Most Valuable Company 
Image credit to Amazon.

Amazon has passed Alphabet and now trails just Apple among the list of the world’s most valuable companies. (CNBC)

Amazon, locked in a margin-crushing price war, is offloading costs onto suppliers and limiting the number of single, low-priced items shoppers can purchase in an effort to offset rising shipping costs. (Bloomberg)

CryptoKitties became a sensation after it debuted in November as a collectible game built on top of a blockchain and the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Now the Axiom Zen game studio is spinning it out as a separate company, and it has raised $12 million funding for this endeavor. (VentureBeat)

Sequoia, the venture capital firm known for early bets on everything from Apple and Google to WhatsApp and Dropbox, is setting a high bar to get into its upcoming global growth fund: $250 million. (CNBC)

Facebook is drawing scrutiny from the main US privacy watchdog and members of Congress over how the personal data of 50 million users was obtained by a data analytics firm that helped elect US President Donald Trump. (scmp)

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is joining a startup called City Storage Systems that focuses on repurposing distressed real estate assets like parking lots or abandoned strip malls and turning them into spaces suited for new industries, such as food delivery or online retail. (Recode)

DocuSign is gearing up to go public in the next six months, sources tell TechCrunch. The company, which pioneered the e-signature, has now filed confidentially, we are hearing. (TechCrunch)

Google is offering publishers sweeter terms as part of a new subscriber tool announced Tuesday, currying favor with the news industry at a time when Facebook Inc. is sending mixed signals to newspapers and magazines. (Bloomberg)

Police say a video from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a woman on Sunday shows her moving in front of it suddenly, a factor that investigators are likely to focus on as they assess the performance of the technology in the first pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle. (Bloomberg)