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KrASIA Daily: Sea may raise funds amid widening losses

Plus, Douyin taps into e-commerce. Amazon to bring its staffless stores to two more cities. 

KrASIA Daily: Sea may raise funds amid widening losses
| Screenshot from seagroup.com.

Sea’s quarterly loss tripled in Q1 2018 in e-commerce and payment expansion. 

KrASIA Daily is a three-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:

Sea may raise funds amid widening losses
Screenshot from seagroup.com.

Singapore: Sea Ltd., operator of Southeast Asia’s biggest gaming platform, said it may raise funds to strengthen its balance sheet after its quarterly loss tripled on rising investments at mobile-shopping unit Shopee. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, co-working space provider JustCo, and listed real estate firm Frasers Property are jointly investing up to $177 million in Asia’s rapidly growing co-working space industry, the three firms said in a joint statement on Wednesday. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: PayPal Holdings Inc. is teaming up with Indonesian venture-capital firm Alpha JWC Ventures to back emerging financial technologies that can be developed for Southeast Asia. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: In yet another speed-breaker for Grab, Vietnam’s antitrust regulator has said that the Singapore-based ride-hailing major had formed a monopoly in the country following its acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations in March. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based Artificial Intelligence-powered healthcare startup uCare has come out of stealth mode after two years and raised an undisclosed sum in Series A funding from several big names, including global venture capital firm Walden International. (e27)

China:

Douyin taps into e-commerce.
Image credit to Douyin.

Douyin has added portals that lead to online shops of its popular video posters. People browsing Douyin can now tap through to the personal store of the accounts they follow and purchase products. Previously, users wanting to buy from a Douyin publisher would see the products tagged and be redirected straight through to Taobao. (Technode)

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company which sparked public outrage after the murder of a 21-year-old female passenger using its ride-pooling service Hitch, announced rectifications of Hitch which has been suspended since May 12. (KrASIA)

Ofo, the last remaining major independent player in China’s bike-sharing industry, resists Didi’s acquisition offer – bucking the consolidation trend, per South China Morning Post’s article on May 15. (KrASIA)

Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. reported that its first-quarter profit increased 61% to 23.3 billion yuan ($3.66 billion), while its revenue rose by 48% to 73.5 billion yuan. (Yicai)

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday rejected any plan by President Donald Trump to ease restrictions on China’s ZTE, calling the telecommunications firm a security threat and vowing not to abandon legislation clamping down on the company. (Reuters)

Luckin Coffee, the coffee shop startup using market acquisition tactics borrowed from China’s internet companies, has written an open letter to Starbucks accusing it of monopolistic practices in the country and proposing a possible lawsuit. Luckin has taken issue with Starbucks’ exclusivity rights with property owners and putting pressure on suppliers not to work with other brands. (Technode)

HTC is the latest to hop onto the blockchain bandwagon, with the company announcing plans to make a new blockchain-powered Android phone, as first reported by TheNextWeb. The company is naming it Exodus and giving it a universal wallet and hardware support for cryptocurrencies and decentralized apps. (TheVerge)

World:

Amazon to bring its staffless stores to two more cities. 
Image credit to Amazon.

Amazon.com Inc is bringing its grocery store without checkout lines to Chicago and San Francisco, the company said in a statement this week, confirming reports it will expand the concept beyond its pilot in Seattle. (Reuters)

The investment firm founded and chaired by billionaire George Soros took a stake in Tesla Inc bonds during the first three months of the year, giving the electric carmaker run by Elon Musk a prominent supporter. (SCMP)

Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said production of its crucial Model 3 sedan is likely to exceed 500 vehicles per day this week, automotive news website Electrek reported on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Microsoft Corp. is planning to release a line of lower-cost Surface tablets as soon as the second half of 2018, seeking a hit in a market for cheaper devices that Apple Inc. dominates with the iPad, according to people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

The next phase of Amazon‘s union with Whole Foods has begun. Starting Wednesday, Amazon Prime members in Florida will get an additional 10 percent off Whole Foods products that are already discounted. (CNBC)

Though SoftBank’s near-$100 billion Vision Fund has yet to close, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is already setting sight on a second fund. “Vision Fund II will definitely come. It’s just a matter of time,” Son said during an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday, adding it won’t be in six months, but in the near future. (KrASIA)

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