KrAsia Daily: JD Seeks to Challenge Archrival Alibaba and Amazon with A Prepared U.S. Debut

Plus, the Indonesian government announced that it is currently developing an integrated dashboard to monitor ride-hailing services. Walmart teamed up with Rakuten to launch an online grocery delivery

Photo:Shutterstock.com

Editor’s note:

JD and Alibaba are targeting the US market as another battlefield. While Alibaba was rumored to team up with US’s second largest food retailer Kroger, JD, who said in December it is set to start online sales in the U.S. by the second half of 2018, is now seeking funds for a logistics build-up to support its international expansion.

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:

Image credit to Grab.

Indonesia: The Indonesian government through the Ministry of Communications and Informatics announced that it is currently developing an integrated dashboard to monitor ride-hailing services operating in the country, starting from car-based services such as GrabCar or Go-Car. (e27)

Singapore: AEP Investment Management Pte has resumed work on a long-delayed Singapore initial public offering of its property assets after Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. terminated its participation in the listing. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: ESR-REIT, which is backed by Warburg Pincus’s Asian logistics venture, is in talks to merge with Viva Industrial Trust to expand its portfolio of Singapore warehouses and business parks. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Vertex Ventures, part of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, has joined a $4.7-million seed financing round of Israeli startup Cylus, which develops cybersecurity solutions for railways and metros. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Snapcart, a service that allows users to receive cashback by scanning their shopping receipts into the app, has soft launched its platform in Singapore. The app was previously only available in the Philippines and Indonesia — its country of origin. The app has also recently expanded to Brazil. (e27)

Myanmar: Myanmar tech startup Bagan Innovation Technology (BiT) has secured a six-digit dollar sum as part of a pre-Series B funding round led by individual investor and former Goldman Sachs veteran Takashi Hatanaka, making the company reach a valuation at past eight-digit dollars post investment, according to the founder of BiT. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: VinPro, the electronics retail arm of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, is mulling an investment into mobile device retailer Vien Thong A, two people aware of the development told this portal. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to JD.

JD is preparing to make its U.S. debut with a beachhead in Los Angeles, seeking to best arch-rival Alibaba and challenge Amazon on its home turf. The $68 billion company, which said in December it’ll start online sales in the U.S. by the second half of 2018, is now seeking funds to bankroll a logistics build-up to support an international expansion. (Bloomberg)

WeChat now accepts payment by credit cards issued by HSBC. The Chinese instant messaging app has previously accepted payment by Visa, Master, and JCB. (news.qq)

Beijing regulators are set to reduce the number of bikes operated by bike-sharing companies in the city from 2.35 million to 2.2 million. (tech.qq)

Beijing-based Ofo, which has raised more than $1.3 billion in venture capital, is eyeing Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey as it prepares to offer its service in Mexico, said Taylor Bennett, the company’s head of communications for North America. (Reuters)

Mobike, which has raised more than $1 billion, has set its sights on Mexico. The company is in talks to bring its rental bikes to Mexico City’s affluent Miguel Hidalgo borough, targeting a February launch, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. (Reuters)

Huami, the world’s largest wearable devices manufacturer, has updated its prospectus and is eyeing to raise RMB 788 million (approx. USD123.33 million) through a US IPO. (36Kr)

SoftBank China invested in Dingdang Kuaiyao, an app that allows users to buy medicine with guidance from pharmacists. (36Kr)

The stock exchange in Hong Kong — home to the world’s fourth-largest equity market — is in the midst of weighing a proposal that would allow biotech companies to list even before they turn a profit. If those plans go through, it would pave the way for more Chinese health-care firms to raise money via initial public offerings, giving them easier access to funds for research. (Bloomberg)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

Walmart has struck a partnership with e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc to launch an online grocery delivery service in Japan, its latest effort to forge an alliance with a popular homegrown chain to crack a competitive market. (Reuters)

Similar to Uber’s “God View” scandal, Lyft staffers have been abusing customer insight software to view the personal contact info and ride history of the startup’s passengers. (TechCrunch)

U.S. copyright authorities on Saturday decided to increase over the next five years the royalty payments music streaming companies like Spotify and Apple must make to songwriters and music publishers, a trade association for music publishers said. (Reuters)

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck said it will use its own capital to reimburse customers who lost money in Friday’s $400 million theft. (Bloomberg)

Cash is still king in Japan, and that means that the central bank doesn’t see a need to mint a digital currency for now, according to the head of the FinTech Center at the Bank of Japan. (Bloomberg)