KrASIA Daily: Go-Jek to Enter Vietnam, Upping Competition with Uber and Grab 

Plus, Amazon is recruiting in Argentina. Ofo received 1.77 billion yuan (US$280 million) from Alibaba.

Photo:Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note:

In Vietnam, there are 45 million motorbikes and about 93 million people, making it a good place for motor-hailing startups to grow.

The local market is currently dominated by Uber and Grab. Local companies in the ride-hailing space include 123Xe Vivu, Rada, iMove, and Go-ixe.

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:

Go-Jek rider.

Indonesia & Vietnam: Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant Go-Jek is said to be in the process of recruiting professionals in Vietnam to drive its entry into its second market in the Asean region, according to industry sources aware of the development. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Microsoft Corp said it will buy solar power from the Sunseap Group in Singapore, the technology company’s first renewable energy deal in Asia. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Venture Hotel, a capsule hotel by Vikram Bharati’s Tribe Theory, officially launched on March 1 with the aim of providing startups and entrepreneurs traveling to Singapore an affordable place to stay. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysian state-owned power company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has acquired 80 percent stake in two UK-based renewable energy companies — GVO Wind Ltd and Bluemerang Capital Ltd  – for an enterprise value of about $235.6 million (RM923 million). (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

One of China’s major bicycle sharing companies, Ofo, has received 1.77 billion yuan (US$280 million) in financing from Alibaba, by pledging its assets of sharing bikes twice, The Paper reported. (Asia Times)

Tencent has established a department dedicated to smart retail which is expected to help the social networking giant to further beef up its presence in offline retail. (36Kr)

Chinese online anime-streaming platform Bilibili Inc. has filed a F-1 form to raise as much as US$400 million via a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, after being rumored to plan a U.S. IPO for months. (China Money Network)

JD.com, the nearest e-commerce competitor to Alibaba in China, has reported its first year of profitability as a public company. For its fiscal 2017, it posted a slim RMB 116.8 million $18.0 million profit on total revenue of RMB 362.3 billion ($55.7 billion). That’s a 40.3 percent increase on 2016’s revenue, which resulted in a RMB 2.0 billion for the year. (Tech Crunch)

Robin Li, CEO and founder of Baidu, said that Baidu has always wanted to list in China after the company became a public company in 2005 in the US. Baidu is always ready to list in China when local policies allow the company to do so. (cnstock)

Baidu and Sohu’s live trivia game resumed operation after acquiring licenses from regulators. (ynet)

China plans to roll out its first benchmark for 5G and is pushing for the commercial use of 5G networks. (tech.sina)

World:

Image credit to Amazon.

Amazon.com Inc.’s data services division is recruiting for several positions in Argentina, signaling the online retailer is expanding its presence in Latin America beyond Mexico and Brazil. (Bloomberg)

Japan’s 16 government-registered cryptocurrency exchanges will set up a self-regulatory body to bolster trust in an industry rocked by a $530 million digital money heist in January. (Reuters)

Toyota Motor Corp. said it would spend nearly $3 billion to build software for autonomous cars, the latest sign that Japan’s biggest car maker is pushing to get the cars into the hands of consumers. (WSJ)

Facebook Inc put an end to a test of splitting its signature News Feed into two, an idea that roiled how people consumed news in the six countries where it occurred and added to concern about Facebook’s power. (Reuters)

The European Union will unveil a directive within weeks on taxing between 2 percent and 6 percent of big technology companies’ revenue, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche. (Bloomberg)

The maker of the Angry Birds game, Rovio Oyj, plunged on Friday after the Finnish company said its head of games was leaving “with immediate effect” and reported full fourth-quarter numbers that failed to appease angry investors. (Bloomberg)