Hi there, it’s Robin from Singapore.
After announcing additional payment features in Singapore last month, Grab is adding a bunch of new options for its users in the city-state. These will let them watch videos on-demand, book travel accommodations, plan their daily commutes, and book movie tickets all in one app.
The new features are offered in partnership with other startups, like Hooq for video on demand and Booking.com for hotels. This seems to be an important strategy for both Grab and Go-Jek as they compete to become regional super apps. Grab also struck up a strategic deal with logistics company Ninja Van, looking to expand on its logistics service offerings, and grow its logistics capabilities.
Meanwhile, the Singapore-headquartered online grocer Honestbee appears to be facing trouble. Its Philippines operations and food delivery verticals in Hong Kong and Thailand have been suspended. Meanwhile, HappyFresh, a competitor, raised more funds this week.
In Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest market, the e-commerce sector is showing signs of change. Go-Jek, best known for its on-demand motorcycle taxis and food delivery, is also stepping into e-commerce through a tie-up with partner JD.id to launch Go-Mall. And online marketplace Tokopedia has ventured into social commerce, adding new features that will give users a shot at becoming the next big “influencer.”
In China, the weakening internet sector does not appear to have stifled the ambitions of the larger Chinese tech firms. Luckin Coffee, for instance, has filed for a New York IPO this week, as has game live streaming app Douyu, which is looking to raise USD 500 million at the New York Stock Exchange soon.
But there’s also a growing awareness that some of China’s tech giants may be abusing their dominant position. Monopolistic behavior by Tencent, which owns the ubiquitous instant messenger WeChat, is facing increasing scrutiny. One Chinese lawyer brought a lawsuit against the firm, accusing it of limiting his freedom to communicate by preventing him from sharing links from rival platforms on WeChat.
Read on to discover more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news tips or just want to talk with us. Email us at email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
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