Hi there, it’s Robin.
The US midterm election happened this week, and it looked like it could offer a glimmer of hope for the many who have been affected by the Sino-US trade war’s effect on the global public markets. As it happened, the Republican only managed to edge the Democrats by a mere 7% of the votes.
That minor setback for the Republicans, however, as of now, did not have much influence on this fight against free trade. Quartz recently cited self–described e-commerce analyst Li Chengdong’s opinion that while both the Democrats and Republicans have opposing views in other areas, they both have the same negative opinion of China. Therefore, Trump’s agenda to trade war is likely to remain.
China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba is already taking many steps to circumvent the potential problems that these trade restrictions might bring.
One example will be its recent announcement of pledging to support $200m worth of imports into China over the next 5 years.
A stronger illustration will be how Alibaba’s strategy to expand beyond e-commerce has kickstarted its ambitions to manufacture its own chips – something that Chinese companies traditionally do not compete fiercely in, has been forced to accelerate in the face of the trade war. These chips – targeted for artificial intelligence (AI) tasks like object detection and voice recognition will be part of Alibaba’s plans to build up its AI and cloud computing abilities.
Despite all of these uncertainties, China’s private funding markets did not slow down. A Hurun report revealed that the Chinese unicorn list has doubled in less than a year. Ant Financial still tops the list while Toutiao has officially overtaken Didi Chuxing as the second largest unicorn in China.
The short video app wave in China is showing no signs of stopping. The $75b valuation giant Toutiao has seen its monthly active user and daily active user numbers surge up yet again in the short span of 5 months. The company also claims that its international version has been making breakthroughs globally.
Maybe a working business model in the midst of a burgeoning trend could be the answer for all these market uncertainties.
As for the tech scene in Southeast Asia, the race to become the efficient all-in-one app just got more exciting and tech companies are riding on that wave.
Grab, for example, has been on a roll, launching out two new partnerships all in one week – one with Thailand’s Kbank, and another with Hyundai. All of these were announced just after Go-Jek’s move to start hiring drivers for its upcoming entry into Singapore.
With the race getting more intense between Grab and Go-Jek, it is worth remembering how the local knowledge can be the advantage that players need to thrive. Uber lacked that and has since exited, leaving the market to Grab. Go-Jek relied on that to grow in Indonesia.
Spotify can be very successful in the West, in addition to making progress in Asia, but it is nowhere near Tencent’s Joox – the market leader in Asia’s streaming market.
Read on to find out more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news clue or you just want to talk with us, email us at [email protected] and we are looking forward to hearing from you.
Here are some stories you shouldn’t miss.
Rest of Asia
Huawei is in “Battle Mode” (Parts 1 and 2)Huawei is in “Battle Mode” (Parts 1 and 2)
EPIC startups: Early StageEPIC startups: Early Stage
Will China’s coffee vending startups survive Luckin’s offensive?Will China’s coffee vending startups survive Luckin’s offensive?
Google Indonesia’s Henky Prihatna to join NorthstarGoogle Indonesia’s Henky Prihatna to join Northstar
JD.com allows users to tailor-make clothes, pushing the boundaries of mass customizationJD.com allows users to tailor-make clothes, pushing the boundaries of mass customization